Thursday, as if to celebrate September's loosening up of British gaming laws,
the World Series of Poker comes to London. Next week's main event is a
staggering pounds 10,000 no-limit hold 'em event.
I'm not sure why they
made the buy-in quite so enormous - almost double the cost of the main event in
the Las Vegas WSOP. Most people would consider this a prohibitive price,
especially when it's a first run for this event, with a lot of new dealers, and
we can't be sure how smoothly it will go.
Nevertheless, in the betting for "How many
entrants?", clear favourite is "over 700", at less than 3/1. If this proves
correct, it will be both exciting and frightening - where the hell would 700
people find that kind of money to throw at a poker tournament?
method is to win a seat in a satellite for much less money. One person who has
already done that is the actor Neil Pearson, who collected one at
PokerRoom.com: very impressive for a man who is already so successful in his
day job, and who (given the extra exposure that celebrity players receive)
could have tried asking the organisers for a free seat, rather than grafting to
win it online. His tip for satellite success is: "It's easier to get chips from
bad players than good ones, so controlled aggression early is good [while the
bad players are still around]. And I decided in advance to take one big 50/50
risk late on, if it would convert me from a medium stack to a big one; I did,
with 10 10 v AQ, and it worked."
My own tip is that the tournament
sponsors, www.betfair.com, have guaranteed at least 125 players from their
website, so this week is a great time to look there for last-minute squeezes,
ie online super-satellites with extra money or seats thrown in by Betfair.