Sunday, June 26, 2005

Why the WPT was wrong to ban deals at final tables..

Well, there are a million reasons, the main one being it is the players money and it really is none of their business what we do with it...

But another reason became apparent when I was watching the WPT from Paris.

If the finalists didn't do a secret deal without telling the organisers I'm a Dutchman.

Tony G called a Surinder allin bet with J8. Then he did it again with J4. Later Surinder called with K6...Finally he called just looking at one card. That's the sort of behaviour you see in a £5 comp at Luton, not when you're playing for half a million Euros.

Clearly they did a deal, that is the only way the standard of play that night by two brilliant poker players can be explained. By pretending that no deal took place they made a mockery of the game. The solution? Bring the deals out in the open and tell the viewers. After all, deals have been a part of tournament poker since day 1, why try and deny their exsistence now?


Blogger Felicia :) said...

Agreed. Amen.

Telling players what they can and cannot do with their OWN money, plus a hefty entry fee, is criminal, IMO.

I have a WPT story for you at the Rio, if we meet up, that might interest you. It's completely ludicrious and turned me off of the WPT altogether.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

I totally agree in principle, although I remember reading at the time that Tony G simply played all-in pre-flop in the heads-up match, which might explain Surinder's call with K high a little better.


12:42 AM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

Deals only occur if the players prefer a different prize distribution to that dictated by the organizers. If the prize distribution reflected the wishes of the players, then there would be less need for deals.

Since most deals seem to be for flatter prize distribution then obviously the general prize structure neeeds to be flatter.

There is no fundamental law that deals always be ones that flatten the prize structure. I would enjoy seeing a tourney where on of the remaining two players proposed: "sod this splitting it up, want to play winner take all, chicken shit?

The best structure (i.e., the one most in tune with player's desires)would be one where an equal number of deals made the prize money more top heavy as made the prize structure flatter.

A more responsive strucutre might also have the added advantage of reducing the number of 5% swaps. These days you aren't entering poker comps -- it's more a lesson in how to run a one-man insurance company, minimizing risk.


1:54 AM  
Blogger ariston said...

If we want to deal we deal its quite simple. I did like the fact that a "real" deal was done at Walsall yesterday. They announced it and the prizes were distributed as per the players request. It would be interesting to see what the WPT would do if the final 3 players said they were gonna chop, could they refuse to pay? Love Peter B's idea of "play winner takes all chickin shit" wonder if anyone would ever dare try it?


4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would declaring the deal stop the game going to a farce? It wouldn't. None of Surindar's actions suggested to me he was on deal, they were the right calls.
Tony G's actions were those of an arrogant piss-head. If Surindar was on a no-loser, I think he would have moved all-in or played the hand stronger when bluffed out of top pair.

I support WPT on this, one way of reducing the deal problem would be to pay the money directly nto players' bank-accounts - I'm not usre I'd trust more than 5% to cough up.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

I've occasionally thought of saying "ok here's a deal for you : winner takes all" to shut people up begging for one.

I am personally not in favour of flatter structures. No one in real life will ever agree to a deal which "unflattens" them. There are quite a few people who will never stop asking for a deal whatever you do with structures, it's just in their nature.


7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interstingly, if there was one time to propose such a deal HU in a WPT it might have been this one. Although, it may have been thing to stop the guy playing like crazily. Chances are he wouldn't have accepted, and Surindar could have turned the tables and called him 'pussy' all night.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing with the deal at Walsall russ is that TK was part of it and so published it on his site. You are not allowed to deal at walsall at the table (if you are overheard you will be barred from the card room for 20 mins) and they will only pay the advertised structure and yu must play to a finish. Also they will only publish official results, if you looked there or on the site they publish results there was no deal.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a very funny instance of someone offering a deal to make payout more top heavy.

It was one of the WSOP events, 3 years ago (I think). It was Omaha High Low, down to the final two: Scotty Nguyen & Phil Hellmuth Jnr.

Scotty was playing to the crowd and really winding Hellmuth up. Very funny stuff.

Out of the blue Scotty (who has a 60/40 chiplead) suggests splitting the chips 50-50, and playing winner takes all. Phil Hellmuth hum and haws, eventually when Phil seems just about to agree, Scotty says "Deals off, you took too long!".

The crowd loves it. Scotty continues the show (at one point, sowing the crowd his hand while berating Phil for falling for a trap-check). Scotty wins the bracelet without the deal.

Classic. If you can find footage of it, watch it. Its very funny.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

I remember that, and I almost mentioned it. But I don't consider the world Hellmuth and Nyugen live in to be "real life" :-)


1:21 AM  
Blogger ariston said...

There were rumours of a deal being discussed in the main event in 2002.This was the way I heard it, Just before they went back to play heads up Varkoni approached one of Julians backers to suggest a deal. Obviously full of adreneline and testosterone when the possibility of a deal was mentioned to Julian his response was we will play winner takes all. No deal was done and Julian went on to lose heads up.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Baard Dahl said...

What would you say if the finalists at Wimbledon struck a deal?

I know they don't pay entry fees, but I think that is a moot point, since the sponsors money eventually will be the players money anyway.

Having said that, I am clearly in favour of a flatter payout structure do discourage deals.

11:11 AM  
Blogger 89TJ said...


who says sportsmen and women DON'T make deals? Snooker players have certainly done so in the past.


12:36 PM  
Blogger M3boy's Poker Blog said...

I was in Barcelona recently for the 2005 WHUPC and in one of the other MTT's going on at the time, the "chicken shit" idea was said.

One guy who had about 4 to 1 chip lead was in a commanding position and the other guy said "do you want to do a deal?"

He thought about it for a while and said "yes, we do a deal, ONE PRIZE!!"

The reply he got was "No" but interestingly enough the guy who had the least chips went on to win (with the help of 2 wicked outdraws).

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