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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The WSOP Razz Event on ESPN
I just got through watching the WSOP Razz event on ESPN, and for whatever reason several post ideas started percolating in my head. At least 1 or 2 of them deserve their own longer posts. For now let me throw out some unrelated thoughts:

1) I was surprised at the negative way they portrayed Razz, since I was hoping that the ESPN coverage of games other than Hold'em would bring more players to these games. I was even getting annoyed at ESPN for a while--and I was particularly wondering how upset or disapponted Felicia and like-minded Razz players were with the Razz-bashing. But once the players at the table started trashing the game, I realized why ESPN went with the coverage they did. I guess Razz is a frustrating game, and that's why it's so unpopular, but still, it's never good to have the TV dissuading new players from trying a new form of poker.

2) Great to see T.J. Cloutier beat out Dutch Boyd. I particularly admired T.J.'s class at the end when Dutch Boyd looked at his bracelet, and T.J. said something like "Don't worry, you'll win plenty of them." Do you think Dutch would have been as respectful of his opponent if he'd won? The class level is partly an age thing, and my point is not to Dutch-bash (that's in #3 below). Kudos to T.J.

3) Of course Dutch Boyd and the crew are annoying as hell. I feel silly quoting myself, but as I wrote in a comment on Flopped the Nuts, "Dutch Boyd was already annoying. Now he has sycophants." Two sub-points here:
   1) We are all buying in to the poker "story" that ESPN has created through editing, commentary, and player-profile segments. They have painted The Crew as a bunch of annoying young braggarts, and we are all rooting against them. Now, The Crew certainly do seem like a bunch of annoying young braggarts, but let's not forget the drama that ESPN is actively trying to create. In bitching about The Crew we're having exactly the water-cooler conversation ESPN hoped for.
   2) The worst part of The Crew is the lame gay way they root for each other from the rail. If you were in a ring game and 3 jackasses were clapping and yelling every time one guy at the table won a hand, I think that sooner or later the the entire table would be berating, cursing, threatening, and otherwise working to silencing the cheerleaders, while also engaging in unspoken collaboration against the cheer-ee. But in televised tourney poker, lame dorky cheerleading just makes for more drama.

I've got a few more thoughts on the Crew but I'm gonna save it for another post. I've got 3 whiskeys in me and it's time for bed.

Oh yeah, in case anyone was interested in how I did at Saratoga--I lost $53. Not a single bet I made came in. No biggie money-wise, it was just depressing that I read a book on handicapping and wasn't able to pick a winner. Seems like a case of "I learned just enough to realize how very much I don't know." I also got a little insight into how many poker players win money at poker, then lose it betting on sports or the horses. Still, I'm looking forward to heading back up to Saratoga for the weekend of the 28th. Also, when B and I got back on Sunday, I sat down at Paradise $2/$4 7-Stud and won $120 in about and hour and a half. That certainly helped me feel less upset about the $53 wasted on the ponies :)

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