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Harry Demetriou

I think this is going to make me unpopular but here I go anyway

By Harry Demetriou (12/07/2006)

Many have asked me whether or not I am going to play the HORSE event tomorrow but I have answered with a very definitive NO and for several reasons.

Despite really wanting to play the event I am disgusted by the fact that this has primarily been introduced to appease some of the higher profile players on the consultation panel at The WSOP.

This, in my humble opinion, is disgraceful.

Whilst I have no direct opposition to the (re)introduction of a HORSE event (and actually actively personally want and support mixed game events) there should have been something for the ordinary player and as such they should also have had (say) a $5000 event too.

As a stand alone $50k event it is way too elitist and overshadows the main $10k no limit event and if that wasn't bad enough the organisers are taking out 4%, i.e. they are taking out $2k for every $50k entrant in the prize pool. Call me mean/stingy or whatever but there's NO WAY I AM PAYING THAT MUCH for the privilege of playing in a $50k buy in event.

I do not care what anyone says about a HORSE event being a fairer test of skill it is not THE main event at this series and it will probably also put pressure on the main event buy in being raised in future years (but that's a story best left for another time' as there are several pros and cons to raising the entry fee).

Despite Daniel Negreanu claiming Jeffrey Pollack will be good for the Poker players he is still a Harrah's employee and as such his primary task is to protect and promote the Harrah's and WSOP image as that is why a PR man / Spin Doctor has been employed and regardless his role is in many ways contradictory to the interests of the players.

I would openly challenge him to answer some of the following points and am going to try and get him to appear on The Circuit and/or publicly where he can answer directly to ordinary poker players whom I feel are being ignored and treated very badly by Harrah's.

Firstly as a European I feel we are being victimised. The Rio/Harrahs's/WSOP seem to ignore us despite our constituting a significant proportion of players. The Bellagio applies and gets ITIN numbers for us whenever we cash and do not withold if you produce a passport from a tax treaty country.

More generally, however, there are many other things that they have continued to get wrong at this year's WSOP.

Admittedly there are a few slight improvements but as far as I'm concerned they all seem to be token gestures and been way too few for my liking, although of course they are welcomed.

Absolutely NOTHING that has been introduced has cost the organizers ANYTHING and I want to see some good faith on their parts.

By the way, before anyone replies by saying that we the players are to blame as we constantly keep turning up in our thousands to play, causing events to be oversold, I appreciate and accept the point but feel the higher profile players should make a stand and refuse to play in select events such as the HORSE.

Anyway back to my main gripes.

I want to know why ABSOLUTELY NONE of the money from ESPN/Milwaukee Light/Party Poker and any other sponsors is coming back to the players. I think they should at least give us some kick backs in the form of juice free tournaments.

I also want to know why they say they will close out events and then make us play 11 handed and have hundreds of alternates who get introduced to the events several levels into play.

Why are there takeout percentages listed on the tournament schedules without any clarification/breakdown as to whether any of that juice goes to dealers etc etc.

Why does it cost less to get a room at Rio when walking in off the street than by booking the poker rate as a player?

Why are photographs of the players allowed to be taken and sold off for commercial profit by people such as Image Masters?

This year's Tournament of Champions comprised 27 players. 3 were invited by Pepsi and 3 by Party Poker. I want a proper explanation about why exemptions are being permitted without other bracelt winners getting due consideration for their performances. It strikes me that the tournament of champions is regressing back to it's original format where ten players of the organizers choice are invited to play almost entriely regardless of merit but merely on their profile.

Tomorrow rather than playing I intend to spend the day with fellow players discussing a course of action to try and get definite answers from the organizers and challenge them to open debate and discussion.

I do not really want this to be a discussion. I have written it merely to try and give an idea of how I feel about a few issues (there are a LOT more).

What I would appreciate, however, are your views, .ie. you the ordinary grass roots players, on what questions you would like raised and answered.

So if you have any questions please post them on the forum.

I understand that you may not agree with my points and have counter arguments and comments about how corporations are expected to make profits but I DO NOT WANT THOSE.

If you post your questions and concerns here then I am going to go out of my way to get them addressed by The WSOP from those in high positions and then report back.

I am fed up of feeling like I am being unfairly treated, taken for granted and financially abused.

I shall be posting this on numerous forums but if you could help by forwarding any concerns or questions that any of you may have I will collate them and try and obtain answers.

Your assistance with this would be greatly appreciated.

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