If you aren’t in the industry side of real money slots usa , you can’t imagine the chaos in the days leading up to WSOP. The players are all in R&R mode and mostly unreachable, everyone needs this article or that article or to set up a meeting or what have you, we’re all working out our rental situations if we’re coming from outside of Las Vegas…pretty much, every minute of the twenty hours a day you’re awake is occupied by three things at once.
With everything that’s going on, I’ve been caught unprepared on a couple of wagers. You may be asking ‘what that has to do with poker?’ but the reality is that when the object of the game is to win as many dollars as humanly possible, you do so with every means at your disposal; whether you’re holding aces, buying a percentage of a player in a tournament or making some ludicrous wager whose results are beyond your control, you do it.
The first of these came when, on an errand to buy a new audio recorder for interviews, I got a call from Andrew Feldman telling me that The Poker Edge had a last minute cancellation and would I be willing to come on (host Phil Gordon eventually announced “We mostly have you on because we couldn’t find another guest”)? I’m a publicity hog, so I happily agreed, and once on, we got to talking about the different storylines I’m watching coming into this year’s WSOP.
When I mentioned the emergence of Tom Dwan as perhaps the most anticipated rookie in WSOP history (That will likely change in 2010, when Annette Obrestad becomes eligible) host Phil Gordon put me on the spot, asking “What would you put the odds at that Dwan wins a bracelet?” I hadn’t really thought about it and my brain froze up and I blurted out a truly idiotic “um…3-1?” even Dwan, who is uber-confident with math to back it up, couldn’t give himself a better shot than 5-1.
Before I knew what was happening, Phil had a signed, sealed and delivered wager. Hell, I was so caught in the headlights that I didn’t bother to rescind…I mean, how to you refuse a host on his own show? The obvious answer is to say ‘no’, but at that point I was so beside myself for talking like a moron on a mainstream podcast that I wasn’t thinking straight any more. All I can hope for now is that Dwan makes me look like a genius.
Thing is, once I’d regrouped, I made what I think were a series of good enough bets to get what I think was an overall advantage in mine and Phil’s wagers. Phil is a bit of a cynic and I played on that. With regards to the Dwan bet, three lessons to learn from my idiotic example;
1) Don’t bet under duress.
2) Don’t let the other guy get your signature on the contract until you’re sure you want it there.
3) Try to actually think about your wagers before making them.
…all of which can be summed up by the always useful “don’t be a moron”
Here’s the rest of the wagers we made, though you’ll probably have more fun listening to the whole thing at espn;
Allen Cunningham to win a bracelet 5-1 – Allen’s won bracelets in each of the last three years and five years in total in the 2000’s. Are you really going to tell me he’d only win a bracelet once if you played out this WSOP five times? This wager seems especially brilliant now in light of the odds Phil Ivey’s been taking on himself. Ivey’s expressed a similar confidence in Allen, reportedly offering 1.1-1 on one of the tandem taking a tournament this year.