Bizarro World

Friday, May 2nd, 2008, 3:42 pm

Yesterday afternoon I was in the mall parking lot when I passed a woman walking with her six- or seven-year old daughter. Mom looked pissed, so mad she couldn’t even look at her child. The little girl was crying. Here’s the conversation:

Mom: Nothing’s ever good enough for you. Ever.

Little girl: Yes it is!

Mom: Nothing makes you happy.

Little girl (sobbing): I AM happy!!

That’s either brilliant reverse-psychology or really messed up.

I’ve tried twice today to write up a post about Harrah’s moving the WSOP final table to November, but I’m too disgusted with the pathetic quality of the discussion I’ve been reading to bother. I love how all these savvy poker players who worship at the temple of EV are whining, "Harrah’s is only doing this to put more money in their pocket". No shit, Sherlock. It’s possible that the poker community as a whole could benefit if Harrah’s and ESPN promote the final table and tens of millions tune in, but people can’t seem to get past the blasphemous idea that Harrah’s might be acting in their own interest. There were actually people posting in the 2+2 thread demanding that the PPA or WPA do something about this. What planet do these people live on? How do they manage to cross the street?

I especially loved the posters who accused BJ Nemeth of supporting the change because he’s a tournament reporter and thus has a vested interest in making the WSOP last as long as possible, and that he’s "talking through his wallet". Yes, those of us who know BJ that he’s all about the Benjamins, money money money, gotta get that dolla yo. Jesus freaking wept.

Conversely, Harrah’s hasn’t exactly proven that they’ve thought this all the way through. Questions about how they’re going to combat collusion and what happens if someone dies (or gets locked up, or can’t get back into the U.S.) were hardly reassuring. WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said that the bright light of publicity and the threat of disqualification would keep people from cheating. Uh, yeah, that’s worked in the past. Like back in 2006 when those $2 million extra chips were introducted to the game, both Harrah’s and ESPN were right on top of that. And in a post at the Hendon Mob forum Roland de Wolfe asked a question that’s been posed about million times now–What happens if someone dies before November–and Howard Lederer said that eventuality was "Highly unlikely (probably <1%), but I’m sure Harrah’s will do the right thin(g) if that happened." I don’t think many people will be reassured upon hearing that Harrah’s "will do the right thing". And what WOULD be the right thing to do? Give the family some cash? Spring for the funeral? Ask for a moment of silence before "Shuffle up and deal!!"? We do know one thing–if someone can’t play at the final table their stack will be blinded away, and that would dramatically change the dynamic at the table. Is that a reasonable course of action if the likelihood that someone can’t make it is "probably <1%)? Is everyone comfortable with using the word "probably" here?

Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out. The other changes coming to the WSOP all sound very encouraging (using 5 separate rooms, separate satellite area, separate cage, better food, NO TENT) so maybe the powers that be have their eye on the ball. Starting to look forward to re-joining the circus. I must be touched in the head.

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4 Responses to “Bizarro World”

  1. JoeSpeaker Says:

    AJ gets in these moods where he will simply say/believe the opposite of what I say for no reason at all. Once, in a similar fit of pique, I said to him, “Now you’re just being disagreeable.” His response, “I’M NOT BEING DISAGREEABLE!”

  2. BJ Nemeth Says:

    I originally became a poker tournament reporter in my never-ending quest to become as rich as possible. Every move I’ve made has been carefully calculated to get me closer to becoming a billionaire.

    This move by Harrah’s is just step #71 in my 3,293-step plan. 🙂

  3. Am I the only one pokered out? Says:

    […] Mean Gene Bromberg: Conversely, Harrah’s hasn’t exactly proven that they’ve thought this all the way through. […]

  4. The Fat Guy » Blog Archive » Why I Love Poker Says:

    […] Bizarro World — Gene Bromberg.com Questions about how they’re going to combat collusion and what happens if someone dies (or gets locked up, or can’t get back into the U.S.) were hardly reassuring. […]

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