Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Saturday was spent working most of the day. I had a ton of meetings and departed the room without my traveling mate who mumbled something about hair extensions and another trip to the Cheeta in his sleep, as I walked out.

Got over to the Rio and started connecting with my meetings. They went all day and one led to another. Finally met up with CK again and met LJ in the hall. She had just busted. Lucko went in after break and came out about a half hour later busto himself. It was the four of us, Ftrain, and G-money all haning about jaw'in about what just took place. grubby stopped by and gave a recount of the nights activities before. All seemed to be curious about the whereabouts of one of their companions. I told them he was safely tucked in bed, and all was right with the world.

We all headed up to the American Grille and had dinner (lucko, LJ, Stoner showed, Todd, and Loretta showed when dinner break came, Ck and myself).

Aferwards we split and went looking for cash games. The regular Rio poker room was 20 deep at every table, and CK and I went back to the Amazon room to sweat Iggy. I ran into another contact, and commenced with a meeting. Meeting these people was rough because of the time and spent and obligations elsewhere. I missed a few that I didnt want to, and got a few that were unexpected, so it kind of acted as a wash.

Ck was brought into the tourney floor to get a glimpse of another tall dorky looking caucasion, and I came back into the room to sweat Iggy just as they went to break before the final level. CK and I headed back over to the Venetian to give that a go again.

I ran into no fewer than 5 of the guys who final tabled the Borgata summer open and said hi's and good lucks. I found out that the winner of that tourney had finished day 1 of the main with 97k in chips. A good start.

While I was sweating Iggy, there was a guy I recognized playing about 3 tables away. This guy (David Fox) was being railed by no less than 3 others and we started talking. These guys hang around in packs and travel playing tournaments all over the country. Every single one of them are in their low 20's and these packs or groups of guys seem to be the norm. The statement was made that this is how they roll. all of them. One made the comment that the guys wearing the Full Tilt gear are the horrible players. I asked what the guys wearing the poker stars gear where then. And what about the Bodog guys?

It got me to thinking though... how long before groups of guys like this disappear? Or get bigger? Do they continue to grow? They spoke about bankroll building and so on. Some of the guys within that group have had some major cashes. At least 2 have over a million in tourney wins. And I know for a fact that they spread it out to each player as stakes into multiple tournies.

With a ton of that money going into travel expenses, do the guys with the rolls break off on their own at some point? Obviously if they are all winning players, its a great deal. But I would think that most of them aren't. Not that they can't play, but odds are at least one is going to run horribly for an extended period of time. And odds are also that at least one is horrid.

I think these types of groups of individuals will determine the fate of tournament poker. At least in terms of the growth of tournament poker. I know several casinos are offering more and more $2500 tournies, and the $1000 type tournies are exploding and growing every day/ week/ month. Its these types of tournies that will see the largests growth and determine how far tournament poker goes as far as participation and availability.

I saw another guy from the Borgata summer open who shipped 5th. I think just under 200k. He was exclaiming at that tourney that it was his first cash in any type of tourney, and here he was at the main, shelling out 10k and whatever else it took to get and stay there for his shot and poker eminence. I know for a fact that he satellited into the 5k event on a $250 act 1 tourny at the Borg a week before the big one. Add yet another guy who wins a nice chunk of money and tries to spill it all back into the tourney pool, travel agents, and cabbi's before he's done.

Other than the usual suspects within our community, do any of you take this approach? do you hit up every single live tourney that come your way that holds a ton of value? The Borgata $2000, $500k guarantee is a great structure. 30K starting stacks, and hour levels. Plus a first place prize pool of 500k is usually a lock. they plan on capping this event at 750 (which is where it was the first time). I know they plan on having one of these just about every month next year because they are so popular. And it is a great value and can really get a career off the ground.

So do the 10k events start to thin out a little, and the 1k and 2k and all under 5k really start making a weekly presence? And if so, I have to believe that it will bolster enough bankrolls to keep the main growing and growing even without third party registrations being allowed.

Time will tell. Its no longer one guy playing online or live. Its a group who seem to pool their money and winnings together like a mutual fund to try to get a nice roll. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.


HighOnPoker said...

Hey Riggs. You wrote a very pensive, interesting post here. I never understood the whole conglomerate-of-players thing. I can understand traveling in a pack to save on expenses and have people around that you enjoy and trust, but I cannot see agreeing to split money/buy-ins/wins. Poker is such an individual game and there will always be a weak player in the pack, even if the player is only weak relative to the other guys. What happens when that guy keeps losing? What happens when a player makes a couple of huge scores while his compadres are struggling? There is too much opportunity for discord. I'm all for having a pack to run with (think wolves), but that doesn't mean we all have to share fur.

BamBam said...

Personally, I'm with H.O.P.

I get the run together, I just don't think I'd be good at the run bad together.

But then again, I run bad.

It would have to be like a lottery pool. No matter what, we live and die together. I just don't know how "the pack" deals with the lame prey that's constantly stalked by the preditors.

Interesting debate for certain. I wonder if there's not more prey out there, pushing for this very idea?

Have a blast out there brother! Buy "the reporter" a Red Stripe for me if you get the chance. Pauly could use a break on us. You know I'm good for it.

Bayne_S said...

The other aspect of the pack is that they are constantly discussing how hands played out and rest of pack can learn nuances since each member has a different style.

I got to observe some inner workings of pack in Australia and believe that as they all learn and improve they do eventually break out with separate bankrolls.