WSOP Commentary - Addressing the Tournament of Champions Voting
A lot of players, fans, and the âpoker mediaâ have been giving their thoughts about selections for the Tournament of Champions and how they think that this player or that player has been slighted and that âthere arenât enough younger championsâ etc.
Players That Were "Omitted" Had Not Done Enough
First, this is the WSOP Tournament of Champions. Those that argue a player based on their overall accomplishments are missing the boat on the purpose of this game. It is supposed to be an all-start game for WSOP Champions. Arguing that Carlos Mortensen should be in because he has a WPT World Championship and is one of the WSOP Main Event champions defeats the purpose. Arguing anyoneâs merit based on accomplishments unrelated to poker should be thrown out.
The argument that âyounger superstarsâ were left out is hard to swallow too. What young superstars have put together a body of work that is more than 2 years old? Brock Parker was brought up. Before last year, nobody really cared about him and in all honesty, not many really do now. Jason Mercier is a great poker champion, but he has all of one bracelet. Does one bracelet victory and a good year or two make your worthy of the TOC? Unless we are talking about a monumental Main Event win or a Player of the Year type year, I donât really think so.
I also do not subscribe to the argument that a players âinappropriate personal behavior at the WSOPâ should disqualify them. Letâs look at that argument. Using that argument Phil Hellmuth should never play in a TOC based on his behavior. Granted, Scotty Nguyen, T.J. Cloutier, and others have made several inappropriate decisions, but if we are getting on our moral high horses, there are many players that have done inappropriate and even illegal acts that just are washed under the rug because of the nature of the game.
Popularity Did Play a Huge Role
One thing I do agree with is that popularity of a player played huge into their votes. There were a lot of blatant slights from the event in my opinion, but I also realize that my view of the TOC awarding greatness is unrealistic in most peopleâs eyes. Who cares that Billy Baxter, Men Nguyen, or Jay Heimowitz have more bracelets than many of the players in the event can imagine winning? Who cares that the man whose win made all this possible isnât even in the event but the runner-up is?
For those that argue that this young gun or that young superstar should be in, my only thought on the matter is that let them develop more of a track record. Let Brock Parker win another bracelet or have another strong WSOP and you will see him rise. Give Jason Mercier time and people will recognize his accomplishments. The Tournament of Champions is supposed to recognize the all-stars of the WSOP. Let these âomissionsâ prove themselves more, get more exposure, and in time they will rise up the list. Unfortunately.