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The New Face of Tournament Poker

It’s Day One at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, and well-known pro Daniel Negreanu makes a $500 bet into a small pot. His opponent raises all-in for nearly $15,000, causing Negreanu to marvel at the ridiculous over-bet before mucking his hand. “That’s poker,” claimed his opponent. “That ain’t poker,” rejoined a frustrated Negreanu. “That may be how y’all play poker…” and he trails off, understanding the futility of an attempted explanation. His experience during the first day of the tournament reflects an ongoing trend in tournament poker. You can learn more about poker and the poker tournament on situs poker online deposit pulsa. You can even play poker games and poker tournaments online as well. It is really important that you learn about the game before you get into any professional tournament.

The truth of the matter is, the quality of play is at an all-time low. A number of reasons can be cited for the decline, but most of them stem from one common factor: the fields have gotten too large.

The problem with the increasingly large fields in poker is rather basic and intuitive in nature: the talent pool becomes diluted. In other words, there are too many players who do not understand how to play the game, a trend that is damaging the game of poker. The results of this phenomenon have included: players being unable to recognize whether they have won or lost a hand, even after all of the cards have been turned face-up; an increasingly high number of players’ fates being decided by coin flips pre-flop, reducing the game to nothing more than a glorified lottery; and fewer and fewer top pros managing to make their way through fields of inferior players who tend to go after them as if the pros wore a bulls-eye on the front of their shirts.

For those who may not agree with the reasoning behind this author’s standpoint, consider that poker is not unique in its reduced quality of play that comes from increasing field size. Take a look at professional football, for instance. There are 32 teams in the NFL and only about a dozen good quarterbacks to go around. Similarly, in Major League Baseball, there are not nearly enough good starting pitchers to fill the 150 roster spots that exist among the 30 teams. The result in both cases is a dilution of the talent pool, leading to a lower level of play. As is the case in poker, there are just too many players that do not belong there.

Imagine the difference that would be observed in the NFL if the following scenario occurred: both conferences were cut in half, reducing the league to a total of 16 franchises. Next, players from the 16 cut teams competed with the players from the 16 remaining teams, replacing the weaker half of the total field. The NFL would be left with only the top 50 percent of its talent in the league, a compressed and higher-quality version of what it currently offers. Undoubtedly, the game would improve from the changes.

As slim as the chances may be for the above changes to be made in football, the chances of a reduction in the fields of poker tournaments seem even slimmer. All that stands between a home game or on-line player and an entry into the World Series of Poker Main Event entry is $10,000 at most, and a $30 satellite fee at the least. There were 8,773 entrants into the 2006 Main Event, and the number is likely to increase in the coming years. And while the sharks like Daniel Negreanu, T.J. Cloutier, and Dan Harrington have a distinct advantage over the fish that come to Vegas from their 25-50 cent home games, they are simply too outnumbered for it to make a substantial difference. The true poker greats still have their high-stakes cash games that almost no amateur could hope to crack, as well as the recently-established Professional Poker Tour. But as for tournament poker in the World Series and World Poker Tour, the game no longer belongs to them.