It’s a thrill … until it isn’t
Quote of the Week:
9 to 5’ers often light up hearing about gambling professionally and always want to hear about your biggest wins. The reality of gambling for a living is that sometimes you get fucking mauled. It is, after all, gambling’s second-greatest thrill. #GottaLoveIt
— Dan O’Brien (@DanOBrienPoker) January 17, 2018
Sharing is caring
What do you say when your friend wins a bad beat jackpot? Sharing is caring, just ask France and Spain.
Thanks to the new European liquidity deal and the ability to act fast, PokerStars became the first online site to secure a license. Shortly after, it launched its Franco-Spanish platform.
While there seem to be some delays (especially as Italy just began accepting license applications again), you can expect Portugal and eventually Italy to follow onto the shared platform once their conditions are made available and licenses are awarded.
This is a big deal for a few reasons. First, a larger pool of players not only provides more choice in the types of games and stakes offered but attracts more players to the game.
Basically, it’s the law of attraction. Like attracts like. Not to mention, and this is the second reason, this may very well be the first step back to a regulated international player pool.
For the record, we are a caring bunch in the U.S., too (at least most of us are). When do we get to share?
Well, it’s a little early to hope to become part of an international pool of players, but we can start by consolidating player pools in the North East.
And getting Pennsylvania on board is a big first step.
Is it too late to change my name?
“How do you find a word that means Maria?”
Well, champion seems to fit. The song from the Sound of Music has been running through my mind ever since a second Maria hoisted a trophy at the PCA.
Maria Lampropulos navigated her way through a field of 582 players to claim the 2018 PCA Main Event title and earning her second $1 million-plus score in less than a year.
I say she navigated the field. Others say she tanked her way through the field.
In an interview with PokerNews, Lampropulos answered the criticism around her excessive tanking.
“I am not a professional player. All the situations are new for me. I have to think a lot. Right now, for me, it is hard to have a decision in a quick way. Sometimes they ask for time and I understand. I respect that. I do what I can.”
Most of the discussion around her taking her time making decisions came because it made for a boring live stream.
Well, guess what, guys? I don’t like watching a broadcast where decisions take forever, either. I also don’t like watching people play wearing dirty t-shirts and looking unkempt.
But I still watch because I love the game. And if I get bored, which I often do, then I turn it off or at the very least, multi-task.
The argument for not imposing a dress code for final tables is the same argument for supporting someone’s playing style. You are a poker player for the freedom and lifestyle it provides. You are given that same freedom to watch or not.
But please remember, live streaming a tournament might be entertaining to you, but they are a business to the players. They did not sign up to entertain you. They signed up to win and should be able to do whatever they feel necessary to win.
She was not upset at people calling the clock, which is a player’s right, and she was fine with the shot clock. Because face it people, good poker is boring poker. This game isn’t that exciting.
So, cut the woman some slack and let her take her time. It’s obviously working for her.
Now, what I do think is fair to question her about is her playing status. I mean at what point do you move from amateur to professional? It obviously isn’t when you reach $2.7 million in tournament winnings. Maybe $3 million?
Twitter is laughing at you
Speaking of status, what do you say when you hide your big chips to avoid being labeled the big stack?
Don’t be like Donald Trump.
This week Vanessa Selbst tweeted out she was playing her first tournament as a “rec player.” This comes a little over two weeks after Selbst announced her retirement from professional poker.
Will any friends be at the Hard Rock this weekend? It’s gonna be my first tournament as a rec and I’m actually giddy with excitement 🙂
— Vanessa Selbst (@VanessaSelbst) January 17, 2018
Apparently, she is “giddy” at the prospect of playing a tournament.
Needless to say, Twitter responded by laughing.
Selbst, obviously, will never be just another recreational poker player taking a seat in a weekly tournament. She knows it and we know it.
To be fair, I am guessing she’s giddy at the prospect of playing for fun, without the pressure of being a sponsored pro and having a target on her back.
Who’s kidding who? She will always have a target on her back.
One thing is for sure, recreational players are always looking for a good story to tell their friends back home. And knocking out a pro, retired or not, provides such a story.
Can we all agree that Selbst will always be a pro, regardless of what she calls herself?
And that is my view from the rail for the week ending January 19, 2018. Stay safe out there and tank if you want to.