Tuesday, June 3, 2008

At poker World Series, which prevails? Skill or luck?

The stock question regarding poker is: Luck or skill, which is it? Well, given a reasonable field, skill seems to still come in handy.

The first event of the 39th World Series of Poker over the weekend was a $10,000 buy-in in pot-limit hold 'em and the cost of admission kept the field to a cozy 352 players. In part because of that, the final table featured at least five well-known professionals so there must be something to this skill thing. The final table big names were Andy Bloch (finished 2nd), who was part of the famous MIT blackjack card-counting team; Kathy Liebert (3rd), one of the most accomplished woman players in the world; Mike Sexton (4th), a commentator on TV's World Poker Tour; Phil Laak (9th), the "Unabomber" and TV regular, and Patrik Antonius (7th) from Finland. The winner was a lesser-known but still formidable pro, Nenda Medic, who collected more than $794,000. Former pitcher Orel Hershiser, who went to the elite eight in the national poker heads-up championship earlier this year (he lost to Bloch), was in the field but didn't cash.
Don't expect such luminaries at the final table for Event 2. It's a much cheaper buy-in, just $1,500, attracting a record field of 3,929 (record for live non-Main Event tournament). From that kind of land-rush crowd, often it's an amateur who emerges from the pack although last year, Phil Hellmuth won his 11th World Series bracelet in a similar event in a field of more than 2,600 players.



rita said...

The highlights of the 2008 series include the selection of Erick Lindgren, who won a bracelet and made three final tables, as recipient of the "Player of the Year Award". Nikolay Evdakov led all players with a record 10 money finishes. The Main Event, which began with 6,844 participants, was suspended once the event was down to the nine players needed for the final table; the Main Event was resumed on November 9, and concluded with the heads-up final between Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov the next day. This year was the first in which the Main Event was suspended in this fashion, a change introduced at ESPN's request to allow the television network to do a same-day Main Event broadcast.

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dalewalker said...

I think in playing poker it is necessary that you should be equipped with proper skill consider one like how to bluff your opponent. Having the skill itself won't assure you to win so that is why you need luck also.