The WSOP is shit again. Now not shit in the Harrahs are running it like they are prime contenders in the half-wit Olympics sense. Although, if other reports are even partly true, then they are a shoo in for that particular Championship. Nor do I mean the death of any kind of impartial, non-tourney sycophantic reporting. That died probably a couple of years back. What has really struck me is how bad it has been for those folks who want Poker to be a sport.
Obviously, Harrahs and the Media Circus clearly view poker as just another reality TV show. Because they wouldn’t treat genuine sports stars in such a shoddy way. But unfortunately the results of some of the play seem to be confirming their suspicions. The big names are not dominating. This is bad for poker-as-a-sport. What brings the money into a sport, especially in the USA, is either dominance of, or conflict between, sporting characters. And by characters I mean Tiger Woods not Mike the Mouth. This was always going to be hard for Poker, but crap shoot structures are always going to hurt this. In the WPT, for example, the antes accelerate as you get closer to the big money.
If some of the play is to be believed of the Cardplayer hand by hand, some of the winners have chumped their way to victory. Some of the recent John Gale victory hands were especially dubious. And saddo I am, I tracked Jules Gardner’s 3rd place quite closely and the ultimate winner seems to have played quite poorly. Certainly his move of calling off all his chips with KQs before the flop was very suspect – yes I actually number crunched this one, thanks Andy W.
The ultimate problem is that this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more like Big Brother or Date My Daughter it becomes, the more it will be treated like cheap, ratings eating TV. But the public may have an unlimited appetite for sport, but far from it for another reality TV show.