News Update: March 19th, 2012
March 19, 2012, Posted by Daniel.Smyth
In today's news update we see who triumphed in the latest Superstar Showdown, discuss the bubble with Matt Savage and hear from the Poker Players Alliance.
Blom Beats Millar
After riding a virtual rollercoaster with Isaac Haxton in last week’s Superstar Challenge, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom returned to the felt yesterday to face another of the world’s best online players.
Alexander “Kanu7” Millar, a HU NLHE specialist from the UK, was his opponent. While many were still tipping Blom for the win - even after a torrid week at the high stakes tables - there was a lot of respect for Millar ahead of the match.
As expected, Blom came out swinging and minutes he was up almost $50,000. The Swede’s onslaught didn’t stop there and with 150 hands gone his lead had increased to over $70,000.
However, by 1,100 hands that lead had been reversed and Millar was ahead by $13,650. His joy didn’t last long though as Blom rocketed to a $148,275 with just 434 hands left to play.
With a victory almost guaranteed, Blom just needed to hold off the constant attacks from Millar. A spirited effort saw the Brit claw back some of his losses, but it was too little too late as Blom crossed the 2,500 hand finish line with $37,687 profit.
To Pay or Not to Pay
Nobody likes to be the proverbial pin that bursts a tournament bubble, but in order for anyone to get paid someone has to be.
In many live tournaments, however, a culture has developed where the bubble boy is rewarded for breaking the status quo and starting the payouts.
Agreeing a deal and redirecting some of the prizepool to the player who goes out on the bubble may be a nice gesture but, for tournament director Matt Savage, it’s not conducive to an efficiently run tournament.
In a post on 2+2, Savage proposed to cease allowing deals to be made on the bubble and asked the poker community for their opinions on the subject.
Savage’s main objections to paying players on the bubble were: players are often pressured into making a deal, deals can affect someone’s bubble strategy – i.e. players can’t take advantage of others as easily -, players agreed to a payout structure before entering the tournament and if you pay the bubble there’s still a bubble anyway.
The thread has sparked a lengthy discussion with the majority of people currently voting in favour of banning deals on the bubble.
While Matt’s decision will only influence the tournaments he controls, he hopes that a standardised set of rules can be established and implemented across the world.
PPA Still Positive
Failed legislation, uninterested politicians and reams of red tape have caused a certain wave of pessimism to sweep over those praying for the regulation of online poker in the US.
Indeed, with presidential candidates doing their best to convince the American public they’re the best man for the job, it seems the issue of whether or not to allow the virtual game isn’t a major concern for those in power.
One corner of the community who aren’t giving up the fight, however, is the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). In an email to their members, Bryan Spadaro has insisted that it’s in the interests of both Harry Reid and Jon Kyle to see a bill go through.
“If these two well-regarded, highly-influential Senators can reach an agreement, the chances of the bill’s success are greatly enhanced, even during a highly-charged presidential campaign.”
In addition to the PPA, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has similar hopes. Their president and CEO, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., said:
“I know that Senator Reid and others are working very hard on a piece of legislation which would allow online poker with states’ rights being respected … I haven’t given up hope that something may yet be accomplished in the regular session.”
Exactly how and when the situation in America will be resolved is still far from certain, but with some more people showing their support for the fight it seems only a matter of time before something happens.
With discussions over whether or not to pay the bubble rife, we thought we’d end today’s news with a look back at someone who might wish they’d made a deal before the money. Ouch.