Pros and poseurs on the WSOP.

Watching the recent televised WSOP event with Phil Hellmuth was enough to make me question playing poker at all. And Beth Shak didn’t help. She’s living proof that anyone can make a final table. It seems that the true ambassadors of poker these days are the really young players who show skill and polish way beyond their years.

Hellmuth :

His constantly running to Phil Ivey to make side bets that totaled over $80,000 focused on a scary part of the insatiable need gamblers have for action….and to lose. He and Ivey are like poster boys for Gamblers Anonymous.

Really, are Dan Shak and Phil Ivey so close. How much did that cost? (Or Johnny Chan and Jamie Gold for that matter.) This is a new form of hookerdom. Buy a pro for the night.

Hellmuth is a boring guy. Why in the world do producers continue to give him air time?. Most viewers come to watch poker, and when he’s on that’s hard to do. What am I missing here? We know…he’s won bracelets, but there are many better players that make for better viewing and certainly showcase a more interesting part of the game. Producers: Give us a break. Don’t insult our intelligence. We like poker, not listening to people we wouldn’t even have lunch with.

Beth Shak :

Did she ever actually think about a hand..you know, analyze it. Like, what might my opponent have?. Watching her said, poker’s basically a mindless game. Hey, I can do that. I’ll get a hat.

Did she have a clue about how to bet? She couldn’t seem to figure that out. Instead she had the basic move recommended for all amateurs when they don’t know what to do i.e. “I’m all in” with the threatening hand wave. Lot’s of posing, but not much playing. She even bought some friends to bring and paid top dollar for the right to high five them I’m sure.

Why wasn’t she penalized for acting like a 12 year old and yelling “I’ve got them” to her husband while another player was in the hand trying to decide whether or not to call? She was embarrassing to watch and set a bad example for how to behave, but she got away with it.

The good examples at the table were the young guys who outplayed the bracelet winner and tolerated the wannabe. At least Norman and Lon were informative and entertaining as usual.