27/07/2009

Topics of the Week

Carl Sampson 'The Dean'

Just like to say that after my tongue in cheek account of me being on Dragons Den in my article last week, in no way was that article having a go at anyone who has asked for staking or backing now or in the future... so for anyone who took offence then... toughen up (did you expect me to say sorry).

As someone who has asked for financial backing and been backed in the past then I cannot slate anybody. Besides there are clear reasons why people need staking and I have staked more than my fair share of players. For lots of different reasons, people just need money at various stages of their life and you can never prevent emergencies from cropping up.

Most winning poker players are not rich so it is wrong to expect them to have accumulated money. Many of them merely work for wages just like in any other job and how many people who have regular jobs are poor at accumulating personal wealth?

There is little difference between someone who takes home 25k a year working in some office who is reckless with money and someone who clears 25k playing poker. But yet us lot expect the poker player to have amassed wealth and if they haven’t then they can’t have been a winning player to begin with. Does a qualified accountant stop being a qualified accountant simply because he is lousy with his own money? This cannot be accurate some of the time and I think that we need to give some of these people a break.

But poor old JJ Hazan, you have to take your hat off to the guy for doing what he did. Personally I think that it would have taken someone with more tournament success and a different persona to have pulled it off. I have heard that Phil Ivey is a really accomplished negotiator, I reckon old Phil would have stood a great chance. Once Duncan, Peter, Theo and the gang knew that they had the “Tiger Woods” of poker pitching to them then I reckon they would have been putty in his hands.

Only problem is that Ivey has so much dosh that he could have made a case for sitting where they were and being a Dragon himself. On reflection I think the poker table was a mistake and I am not being wise after but I wouldn’t have done that. It easily created a barrier between himself and the Dragons and it looked too gimmicky.

Moving on to the other focal topic of the week that talked about how many poker players were winners online. I always find this topic interesting because its something that reflects how online poker is evolving.

I really don’t have anything of note to add to this except that I can see clear cases for the figures to be both above and below what usually gets quoted. I think it is difficult to assess in truth and I am certainly not qualified to throw numbers at it (which would be wrong anyway).

But online poker is getting tougher, if it wasn’t then there wouldn’t be as many players switching to PLO as there are. I do feel though that too many players are making it tougher on themselves by basically playing similar to everyone else. I have sat and played in and watched players in full-ring at NL50 through NL200 recently and they all seem to play the same.

I have sometimes sat there thinking “is this the same player playing nine different spots on the same table”. It’s almost like they are battery chickens where you can’t tell one from another. I said that this would happen years ago, that doesn’t make me Nostradamus... the logical sequence of events seemed obvious to me.

But if you want to make money playing poker these days online then you simply need to start doing something that’s different to the masses at least some of the time.

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