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EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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October 29th, 2010 at 2:12:49 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321



So the TV shows are nothing but heavily edited fiction, IMHO.



I have to agree with MKL. The big question everybody who knows pro poker players asks, is why would somebody like Mike the Mouth play Phil Helmuth or Phil Ivey with his own money? Nobody has an edge, it would be all luck, what would be the point? And like MKL says, these dudes don't slide out 50K bets unless they KNOW they have an edge. Its all about making them look like big time players, so the dentist from Chicago will want to play one of them with his 75K bankroll. And the suckers will play at the online poker sites they endorse. Remember how huge pro wrestling was 20 years ago? This is the newest version of that.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
scotty81
scotty81
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October 29th, 2010 at 3:15:18 PM permalink
Changing the subject a bit, but there were (credible - I believe) rumors that some players in the WSOP main event were able to intercept the video signals - in real time - transmitted by the pocket cams. This is the reason that in past events, some players refused to show their cards to the camera.

This year, nobody seems to be worried about the pocket cam signals. Does anybody have any real information on this?
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. - Niels Bohr
Mosca
Mosca
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October 29th, 2010 at 6:28:59 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Remember how huge pro wrestling was 20 years ago? This is the newest version of that.



Agreed. But I wonder, who actually ever though it is real? As entertainment, it will do just as well as repeats of Cops, or Cash Cab, absolutely. But Mike Matisow walking in with $400,000 in big bricks? Come on. The competition I believe is real, but only in the sense that a family game of hearts is played to win; you do it because it is fun to win.

On a side note, I read somewhere that many of these guys are absurdly skewed gamblers; one week they have 3/4 of a million dollars, a month later they're borrowing rent money. My dad saw Phil Ivey going nuts at a craps table in the wee hours of the morning.

And lastly: There are what, 100 golf pros on the tour, with a couple dozen or so finishing in the money. But there are thousands quietly making a living under the radar at skins, playing as the boss' brother in law, stuff like that. I would think it would be the same for poker pros. It's a hustle, it depends on a lot of social factors to work. It's one thing to win; it's another to win in such a way that you are invited back next week to win again.
NO KILL I
EvenBob
EvenBob
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October 29th, 2010 at 6:46:04 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca



On a side note, I read somewhere that many of these guys are absurdly skewed gamblers; one week they have 3/4 of a million dollars, a month later they're borrowing rent money. My dad saw Phil Ivey going nuts at a craps table in the wee hours of the morning.



Thats another thing that looks fake, they never run out of money on the show. Thats because they aren't really playing. One thing that is real is all the 'prop' bets they make on the side. Those bets are real and are the only real gambling thats going on. Look at the commercials. They're trying to make the players look like Old West poker bad asses, or biker tough guys. Its all about hyping the image of pro poker, so dumbo newbies see it as a macho thing to do. Keep the money rolling in is the object.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
soulhunt79
soulhunt79
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October 29th, 2010 at 10:13:18 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Thats another thing that looks fake, they never run out of money on the show. Thats because they aren't really playing. One thing that is real is all the 'prop' bets they make on the side. Those bets are real and are the only real gambling thats going on. Look at the commercials. They're trying to make the players look like Old West poker bad asses, or biker tough guys. Its all about hyping the image of pro poker, so dumbo newbies see it as a macho thing to do. Keep the money rolling in is the object.




The side bets I'd actually believe.

The rest though I agree with most people here in that a professional poker player does not play that type of money without an edge. They simply didn't become a pro by doing anything else.

It is still entertaining, but if they are truly putting up 100k+ then they are making a lot more off their books/tv shows than I expected.
jpprovance
jpprovance
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
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October 31st, 2010 at 10:44:47 PM permalink
any chance we can get the wizards opinion on this. i think on a poker forum we would have the complete opposite argument. i have no cred but i believe the cash is 100% real. these guys really do like to gamble that much that they would play the top pros just for action. you guys stated they wouldn't put up this kind of cash wit out an edge. Phil Ivey plays High stakes craps therefore he is also a sick gambler and would even play a negative edge game. I think anyone who frequents TV poker Cash games other than the Hellmuth would flip a coin for 100k just to do it, any time, any day, any place. They really do have that much of a disregard for money. I also think that is is easy proof looking at highstakesdb or ptr or just watching some heads up matches that are going on all the time on full tilt.
rxwine
rxwine
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October 31st, 2010 at 11:45:22 PM permalink
Quote: jpprovance

They really do have that much of a disregard for money.



I sure have no problem with the idea that money seems more like "units" after awhile when you play a lot. I'm not tossing around 100K like these guys, but I can relate on a smaller scale. So, at least on the idea that these folks can be cavalier about stacks of cash seems at least more probable (than perhaps it does to people who don't play a lot.).

Now if someone has the data on recorded TV wins and losses of these high-profile players for all their appearances, we might have some good hard evidence of something or other, either way.

I'm happy to go with, "it's all fake" but I like to see some actual stats.
The Hall of Unverified Claims is a vast place with many shelves.
Paradroid
Paradroid
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November 1st, 2010 at 7:08:00 AM permalink
I see a false bifurcation in many posts in this thread. People seem to argue that the players are either playing for huge amounts of their own cash or it's all fake. Consider a different possiblity - that the players have backers that invest in them, so that they are playing for their own cash, but not 100%. Online poker is a lucrative business, and I think it's reasonable to assume that the players are sponsored by poker sites in exchange for endorsing that site.

Somone wrote that "professional gamblers" would not put huge amounts at risk. Playing poker for high stakes requires a personality that revels in raking risks rather that shying from them. There are many tales of winning poker players losing big on the table games, for instance TJ Cloutier is legendary for losing his poker winnings at the craps table (source). I'd say high stakes poker playes are in general action junkies, and the culture among them is one of encouraging risk taking. For an example, look at another cash game show, The Big Game, game 9, part 5. Just look at the abuse Andrew Robl gets for not straddling, putting in $800 in the pot blind.

Also consider that in the last eposides of High Stakes Poker season 4, the stakes were doubled and there was a minimum buy-in of $500,000. If the show was a fake, this could be done every time for even more impressive stakes. Instead the higher stakes noticably affected the play. For instance, a pot was run four times, i.e. split into four parts with four turn and river cards each for one quarter of the pot. You see pots run multiple times a lot on poker shows, which is done to reduce variance. It would make no sense to reduce variance this way unless the stakes mattered to the players, as multiple board runs are bad TV; they are confusing to the common viewer and far less dramatic than the decisive fall of one card.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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November 1st, 2010 at 8:08:49 AM permalink
How about this possibility? They are playing for real money, but they all are ALSO being paid for being on the show. Thus it is a net positive for all of them. Any individual may lose, but overall, they are winning. I do not believe that any one of them thinks that they are at a disadvantage compared to the others.
kenarman
kenarman
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November 1st, 2010 at 9:09:09 AM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

How about this possibility? They are playing for real money, but they all are ALSO being paid for being on the show. Thus it is a net positive for all of them. Any individual may lose, but overall, they are winning. I do not believe that any one of them thinks that they are at a disadvantage compared to the others.




I don't think there is any doubt that they receive some kind of appearance fee for being on the show. They also are receiving sponsorship money and that is why they wear the sites logos. Depending on the players sponsorship agreement that money may be show specific or part of an overall contract. Daniel Negraneau's 'PokerStars' contract is reported to be in the $5 million per year range.

Accepting all that I believe when a player looses several hundred thousand dollars on the show a significant portion of that is their own money. They do it because they truly love to gamble, like all of us who gamble they go into a new session thinking this could be their turn, and they all need to keep up their TV exposure in order to ensure they continue to get good sponsorship deals.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.

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