Sunday, 14 October 2007

WSOP 2007 Reflections - Part 2

WSOP 2007 Reflections - Part 2
By Mick McCloskey

I made it over to Las Vegas this year and played in the main event, thanks to some very generous sponsorship from a couple of shareholders in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Card Club. On the flight over from London I spotted a few guys busily reading various “How to win Texas Hold’em tournaments” type books. I was assuming they were on their way to play the WSOP main event and wondered if perhaps they were leaving it a little late for studying. After playing in the event, I can report that some players could have done with extra lessons as the standard of play of a few of the players I came across can only be described as woeful. That’s not to say that I did anything wonderful. After a bad start, I managed to get through day 1 but day 2 saw the end for me. My first tournament attempt had a better outcome as I managed to take down the WSOP Media invitational event, winning $10,000 for my chosen charity, a rather nice trophy and bragging rights in the WSOP Press room for the rest of my trip.
Harrahs continue to extract as much money out of the WSOP brand as they can. Anything vaguely related to poker was sold off to the highest bidder, including rights for the official WSOP poker water and the official WSOP peanut, for God’s sake! In the gift shop, official WSOP programmes were selling for $10 plus tax and a short sleeve cotton shirt could be had for $80 plus tax. In contrast, Binions used to send out the WSOP programme, free of charge, to everyone on their mailing list.

No big Irish interest in the latter stages of the main event this year. The highest placed local was Sylvester Geoghegan who took 122nd place for $58,570. Sylvester also picked up $30,992 for 13th spot in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, carrying on his good form from the Macau Club festival in June.
2005 final table star, Andy Black made two WSOP final tables this year and narrowly missed out on a third, placing 11th in a PLO event.
I had the pleasure of personally congratulating Ireland’s two latest bracelet winners while in Vegas. Well done again to Ciaran O’Leary and Alan Smurfit.

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