Monday, June 08, 2009


Meanwhile In Vegas

The big news this week of course was Phil Ivey winning his bracelet, and many prop bet millions. Daniel Negreanu also finished 2nd in a LHE tournament after having the chip lead heads up (something I can sympathize with). What's interesting to note, I think, is the games they won (or nearly won) in - NL Single Draw and Limit Hold-em.

As Terrence Chan says in his excellent blog, "If you cannot beat a typical WSOP $1500 tournament field in any given game, you are a lousy excuse for a poker pro." Not just that, but I would contend that for anyone who is even competent at a limit game, they have a much better shot at a bracelet in that game than in NL events.

Note that I say "shot at a bracelet" rather than "EV". You might have better EV as well, depends, but really when you go out to Vegas you almost have to leave EV and variance at home. As Rolf Slotboom said to me last year (where's Hugo when I need him to do a comedy Rolf accent), if he only cared about EV he'd be sitting in his front room playing online. The limit games have much smaller fields, which gives you a much better chance of winning, LDO.

NL events are now either stacked with top players ($40K), humungously large fields ($1K) or a fair slice of both ($5K). Every year it's more difficult to win a NL bracelet, and that's not going to change any time soon. All the vibes I'm picking up from blogs and updates are backing this up - less value than people expected, less value than last year. Also, let's face it, playing NL 10-handed is hella boring (another point echoed by Terrence Chan), and I lose focus very easily when I'm bored. So if it's bracelets you want, just become vaguely competent at all the HORSE games and you'll have a much better chance. You've got a year to do it and plenty of games online to practice in. I might even do it myself !

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