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WSOP Rant: Abusing Chip-Count App Borders on Pure Evil

When Johannes Strassmann first went missing in Slovenia, some heartless idiot thought it would be funny to enter him into a side event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and give him a chip count.

That’s not funny. It’s not even close.

It’s bordering on pure evil.

I know that the poker circus contains its fair share of nutters. You only have to read the forums or play online poker for a few hours to get a taste of the mindless, abusive filth that pours forth.

But screwing around with the MyStack chip app? That’s really pissed me off.

Only Answer to Real-Time Chip Counts is Players

When I joined the poker insdustry as a live reporter my least favorite task was counting chips. I hated counting them, hated the way that players didn’t stack them properly, but most of all I just hated the fact that I had to do it in the first place given that we are living in the 21st century.

It was a job that cried out for automation. If we could find an automated method of counting chips then the writers could be freed up to write more hand coverage.


Relying on dealers only gets us part of the way there.

Winner, winner chicken dinner.

The Italians were the first to grasp this. They created a chip-counting app that was used at WPT Venice.

The only problem was it relied on the floor staff to enter the chip counts and there just wasn’t enough of them.

Next up was ChipTic. They took it one step further and asked the dealers to update the chip counts.

I always thought this was a much better idea, with the only problem that dealers could only really update at the end of each break.

It was a novel idea but not exactly "real time." So how could we get "real-time" chip counts? There was only one answer - the players.

Johannes Strassmann

Entering Strassmann's name into chip counts abhorrent.

Then the Idiots Showed Up

I remember discussing this at the time and the only concern that was raised was the player’s integrity. Would a player enter an incorrect chip count?

My thought: What’s the point? They don’t get any benefit from it, so why would they try?

Eventually PokerNews created the MyStack app and suddenly the chip counts blossomed. Players didn’t have to complain that "their ego" wasn’t in the chip counts because they could now enter the data themselves.

With part of the responsibility falling to the players, live reporters could now write more coverage. Players were happy, backers were happy, live reporters were happy and readers were happy.

Then the idiots showed up. At the 2014 WSOP now only did we have the horrid affair with Strassmann’s name being entered into a side event but we have also had players entered into the WSOP Main Event chip count who aren’t even playing.

Why? It’s not even funny. The outcome? People complain to WSOP.com that the chip counts are wrong.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Don't Spoil It for Everyone, Please

The 45th Annual WSOP has been celebrated for many things.

Open Face Chinese App

Players entering up-to-date chip counts is future of live reporting. Don't wreck it.

Records have been broken left, right and center. There are more players than ever before, more high-profile events and ever-more scrutiny.

Underneath all of this pressure lies a group of men and women who are working their arses off to provide you with the best coverage that they can.

And it is the best. It is better than ever. I am sat at home reading the WSOP Main Event coverage and it is flying out of the screen.

So don’t blame them if some idiot wants to put Amarillo Slim or Donald Duck into the chip counts. It’s one of your own.

I implore the people who are doing this to stop.

Relying on players to enter their up-to-date chip counts is the future of live reporting. It’s the only way that real-time chip counts can be collated in vast numbers.

Please don’t spoil this for everyone else. Stop abusing the system now.

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