20/12/2005

Putting Out a Contract

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

Bellagio PPT / WPT, Las Vegas
Report by Joe on Tuesday, 20 December 2005 at 3:21 pm

My WPT Bellagio event was short lived. In all the $10,000+ events that I have played I can’t remember ever busting out so early. There’s not much to say about it. I lost most of my chips the first hand back after the first break. I sat down UTG, picked up AK and made it 600 to go. I got two callers in late position. The flop was K, K, 10. I bet out got called and raised. The raiser had slow played a set on the first level so I didn’t fancy him for 10, 10. I called and the third player passed. It transpired he did have 10, 10 and it cost me over half my stack. Could I have played better? Some say yes, most say no and I’m happy to leave it at that.

With Barny going well in the main event the rest of us decided to go and play the $5000 buy in event at the Palms. It was organised by Matchroom Sports and our good friend Marty Wilson. I was stood talking to Barry Hearn and Ram. Barry asked us what price we thought JJ Liu should be to win the WPT event. There were 27 players left and she was chip leader with 2 million in chips. With 16.5 million in play she was no worse than a 7/1 shot. She has a great record and has also been the highest lady finisher in the WSOP main event. Barry had backed her at 15/1 with Roland De Wolfe! I went up to Roland and asked if the 20’s was still available. To which he replied ‘its 15’s’. I had $200. At one point she looked the winner. She eventually finished fourth.

Barry Hearn has a theory. He was telling us how since Steve Davis has finalised the split from his wife he has become the same focused and self centred snooker player he was ten years ago. He had just made his highest break for ten years and was available at a huge 5/1 to beat Steven Hendry in the semi. I managed to avail myself of a few dollars and Steve duly obliged. Barry reckons that when a sportsman gets married or has kids his focus drops by a considerable percentage. That is with the exception of the three months ‘golden’ period following a first born; food for thought!

The Palms / Matchroom tournament was a star studded event. When I sit down to play an event these days I rarely know more than two or three players at my table. In this event there were 112 players and I reckon I could name over 100 of them.

On my table I had Allen Cunningham, John Juanda, Marco Traniello, Andy Bloch, Alan Boston and Cecilia Mortensen. The winner of the one table format would proceed to the semi final and then the top four from each semi would proceed to the final.

The event also had a twist. Using the word ‘global’ to make the event sound bigger than it was and by organising everyone into either ‘Team America’ or ‘Team Rest of The World’ Barry succeeded in putting something together that TV companies would love. I did try to insist that there should be three teams but they didn’t have any ‘Team Hendon’ badges.

Points were awarded for knocking out players from the opposing team. The team thing though had no money or prizes – it was simply a bit of fun and something that would help to sell the event.

I won my heat beating Allen Cunningham heads up and then made the TV bubble finishing 5th in my semi. It was only then that I realised that Tony G was the captain of Team Rest of The World! He came up to me and apologised for his recent behaviour. He told me that he was really a nice guy and a supporter of The Mob. I told him that I would believe it when I saw it; leopards, spots and all that. Whoever chose him as team captain obviously doesn’t know Tony very well. There were many more suitable players in the team. I personally would have chosen Daniel if I had been the organiser. Team Rest of the World went on to win and the programme should be going out on Fox Sports and Challenge TV very soon.

Some of you may have heard rumours about certain well known players ‘boycotting’ the WPT events. Andy Bloch and Chris Ferguson, amongst others, didn’t play at the Bellagio. Chris is involved in the WSOP computer game. He has a contract with Acuvision and if he signed the WPT contract then he would have been in breach of his Acuvision contract. The WPT have recently changed the wording on their contracts and the new wording is less favourable to the players. Chris brought along a copy of the Harrah’s contract that he said he was happy to sign but the WPT said that if he was going to play he would have to sign their contract. The new WPT contract allows players images to be used for many things including computer games. Chris spoke to Steve Lipscombe who assured him that he would never do anything like that. Chris asked for an e-mail confirming that and none was forthcoming. The problem would arise if the WPT was ever sold.

At the start of the WPT event a few players put a line through these new unfavourable clauses before signing the documents. About half way through the first level they were pulled away from their tables and told that if they wanted to continue to play they would have to sign new forms.

It is the players that have made the WPT the success that it is. It is only a matter of time before something has to give or before someone has the foresight to set up a rival tour with the players in mind.