Rant: Where’s the Voice For the Recreational Live Poker Player?

Day 1c Field

The poker circus is buzzing with news, views and ideas for how the online poker community can help the recreational player get a stronger foothold in the online game

But what about the live, recreational poker player?

Why is life as tough as old boots for the fish who like to swim in these tepid waters?

Galfond Makes the First Push

The first man to push his foot down on this particular Sisyphus-size boulder was Phil Galfond.

It was the beginning of January 2012 when he wrote a blog post entitled ‘Let’s Make Some Changes.' It referred to his views on the current state on online poker. It was a piece that generated 173 comments proving that it was a subject of interest.

“The online poker landscape has changed over the last few years," Galfond wrote. "Unfortunately, for the most part, things have changed for the worse.

Phil Galfond
Galfond: Sounded the online alarm.

"As edges (and the regulars’ bankrolls, it seems) have decreased, extra edge seeking has grown and grown. In my opinion, it’s now past a reasonable level.

"It’s gotten to the point where I think the overall quality of the games is suffering.”

Yong Picks Up the Fight

Galfond’s blog post was recently used as inspiration for a similar post written by Rob Yong, the owner of the Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) Poker Room in Nottingham, England.

Yong raised concerns over a series of tactics that were seemingly hell bent on driving the recreational players from the game.

Galfond and Yong have directed much of their ire at the online poker rooms. They are looking to them to create changes to protect the recreational poker player.

I want to know why the same thing is not happening for the recreational players on the live tournament circuit?

Who is holding court for these poor souls?

Have You Ever Tried a $22+R 3xTurbo satellite?

I dream of playing in events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP), World Poker Tour (WPT) and European Poker Tour (EPT) but the costs of those main events are well out of my league.

The Legends Booty
WPT glory becoming pipe dream?

I earn, on average, £50,000 per year and to me $1,000 is a lot of money. Yet that is the smallest buy-in event that I can play in any of those three events.

There used to be a time when the recreational player could qualify for these types of events through the satellite system, but these days those spots are eaten up by pros can grind them much harder than the recreational players through their backing arrangements.

Have you ever tried playing in a $22+R 3xTurbo satellite? They cost that much, you might as well just fork out the €5k main event prize.

My eyes illuminated when I saw that PartyPoker is launching a new five-stop WPT National Tour in the UK with main events costing just £200.

I think that price is pitched nicely for the working class, so imagine my disappointment when I realized the event was an Accumulator.

This means whilst the recreational player can most likely buy in for just one day, the pro has three days to amass many more chips than the recreational player.

The same theory applies to the re-entry events.

Days of Tournament Underdog Numbered

“Are you saying I have to beat Phil Ivey eight times?" said Mike "The Mouth" Matusow at the recent $10m Guaranteed event at the Seminole Hard Rock.

Mike Matusow
The Mouth a voice of reason?

He wasn’t jesting either. Matusow continued on to say the re-entry rules were a joke.

They are designed by the tours to increase revenue, and whilst I understand this is necessary to exist as a business, I believe they are doing so at the expense of their customers.

The days of the live tournament underdog are numbered.

The re-entry and accumulator type tournaments are acting as flamethrowers to deter the recreational players from the game, and the issues are very similar to the online cause championed by Galfond, Yong et al.

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