The countdown continues...
Background on Pros and Poker
I have been thinking more about yesterday's post about the WSOP and how the Pros have an unfair advantage. As I blogged yesterday, it appears that the following is true:
1. Pros are sponsored so they keep 100% of their winning at no risk.
2. Pros may soft play each other to avoid chip loss since they prefer to compete against recreational players.
3. Pros make deals--sometimes they wait until after the first break--to diversify their risk. But these deals also give them a reason to soft play each other when at the same table.
For perspective, I believe either the WSOP and/or WPT made it against the rules for the final two players to make a deal. If you recall when the WPT events were first aired on TV, the final two players were moving all-in with any two cards. It was exciting but stupid.
I also recall hearing a story about how one Pro actually trained a large number of players, with the agreement that if they were at the same table, his trainees would slough off chips to him. Is this a rumor? Is this true? I don't know.
Are the Pros better players?
Everyone knows that the game has a fair share of luck. Anyone who has played poker has taken a bad beat. The bigger the field, the more difficult it is to win.
I also know that any edge in a poker tournament is a big one. Heck, I believe I have uncovered a flaw in the poker RNG in one of the sites I play at, and I take advantage of that knowledge.
No one keeps track about how many events each player competes in. Does Phil Hellmuth get to the final table 1% of the time or 10% of the time? What about Daniel Negreanu or Gus Hansen? Cardplayer keeps track of dollar amounts and final table appearances, not how often they struck out. (Using this thinking, Dave Kingman may be considered the best player in the history of baseball.)
Are these really the best players? Or is it just an impression created from TV since they have these advantages, and play more often. When is the last time Howard Lederer won a bracelet? Maybe he has simply been too busy to play?
Could you win a bracelet if you had these edges?
I believe that there are many other poker players, who are not Pros, who could win as much and as often as these Pros. I believe if someone sponsored you for 10 no limit WSOP events, you would have a decent shot at getting to one final table.
Frankly, I believe that if I was sponsored for 10 WSOP events I would get into the final table at least once.
This whole topic is truly annoying and making me believe that the Pros are not all they are meant out to be. They may be in the top 10-20% of poker players--but there others who I think would be in that same group with the same edges. Heck, now my guess is that the winning online players may indeed be better poker players! And I never thought I would say that!!
What do you think?