Bike not Unfair, Brecher Unprepared
On Thursday, Steve Brecher wrote a blog entitled "Fairness: Dead at the Bike."
In it he complained about being forced to play on a feature table with live streaming that would reveal his hole cards.
His objection was based on the fact that 1) he wasn't informed prior to paying his buy-in and 2) the information about his hole cards would be available to players with 30 to 60 minutes, creating an information inequality.
In today's op-ed, Poker Junkie blogger Compncards explains why he thinks Brecher is overreacting.
Not a New Thing
My main question to Mr. Brecher is, where has he been the last six months or so?
Has he not been privy to the trend of "nearly-live" tables with hole card information available?
Did he not see the WSOP Main Event or the final table?
Has he not been privy to the other events that have streamed featured and final tables before and since?
This is not a new thing.
Nearly live streaming with hole cards, and the information that one can get from that, is just another evolution in the game of poker.
And it's already been here awhile.
What Happened to Adjusting Your Play?
My main question to people that are "forced" to spend an hour or two playing on a featured table is, whatever happened to mixing up your play?
As poker players, we're supposed to mix up our play to keep our opponents guessing and adjust to tournament situations.
If you're forced to play at a feature table for an hour or two, why can't you adjust your play accordingly?
Is your game so weak that you can't change your play for an hour to confuse someone?
I know this isn't a feasible option at a final table, but someone playing one or two levels at a featured table could certainly do this if he or she is a decent player.
Am I wrong?
Failing to Prepare Does Not Constitute Unfairness
Brecher's primary complaint is he was not given ample forewarning of the Live at the Bike broadcasts - and that it came after he paid his buy-in.
Would it have mattered if he knew, or is Brecher just using this to complain because he couldn't get his way?
Would he really have given up a potential prize pool of $800,000, as he claimed, because of one or two hours of broadcasting his hole cards?
If so, more power to him.
If not, then why is he barking?
As for the notice issue:
On the WSOP website, in an article dated November 20th, 2011, the following was included in announcing the Bike WSOP-C stop:
"Each stop includes a $1,600 buy-in Main Event Championship.
For the first time ever, this tournament will be played as a re-entry, with a morning and an evening flight available to players.
Unique to this year's LA WSOP Circuit Tour event, many of the events will be streamed live on www.liveatthebike.com."
In Brecher's statement, he claims that no prior notice was given and that the notice said final table only.
I don't know about you, but a notice on November 20th stating many of the events (not final tables, but "events") will be streamed live seems pretty clear to me.
Failure on your part to read the information provided by the WSOP and the Bike does not make the Bike unfair.
It makes you unprepared.
The Bike and the WSOP gave you fair warning and streaming feature tables with hole cards are the wave of the future.
Better get used to it.