Weekly Poker Roundup: July 18, 2016
PokerStars Makes Minor Change to Cash Game Rules
PokerStars updated its software within the last few days and with the update came a change that many players won’t even notice, but others will find interesting: if two or more players go all-in in a cash game, they must show their cards.
It seems like an obvious feature, but traditionally, players are not required to reveal their cards in cash game all-in situations. If they want to win the pot they would need to do so, of course; nobody is going to simply take their word for it that they have the nuts. But if one player shows and the other all-in player (or players) can see that he has lost, he can just muck and concede the pot. In tournaments, each all-in player must flip over their cards – after all action is completed, of course.
All players at the table were able to go the hand history to see the all-in players’ cards, even if they were not revealed on the table, but this new rule evens the playing field just slightly, as newer players may not have known that.
Player Folds and Shows Quads in WSOP Main Event
The focus of the poker world is on the World Series of Poker Main Event right now and because of the tournament’s significance, things that happen during it are magnified. Take what poker pro Kyle Bowker did in one of the early days of the Main Event: he folded quads face-up.
The report from WSOP.com wasn’t complete, as none of the site’s staffers were present throughout the entire hand, but the gist is that on a board of K♠-9♠-7x-7x-J♠ and facing an all-in bet, Bowker folded his hand and showed his pocket Sevens to the rest of the table. Normally, a player would not hesitate even a second to call with quads, but Bowker both folded and revealed what he did.
Bowker obviously thought there was a great enough chance that his opponent had Q♠-T♠ that folded his monster hand was the correct call. And it may have been – his read may have been dead on. But hoo boy, can you imagine both folding that hand AND letting the world know you did it?
WSOP Looking Healthy, Sets Records
Keeping the focus on the World Series of Poker, this year’s WSOP has set a number of records. First, it was composed of more events – 69 – than any other WSOP in history. That certainly helped contribute to some of the other records, as well: the 2016 has had the most total entries of all-time (107,833), the most total prize money ($221,211,336) of any WSOP that did not have the $1 million Big One for One Drop event, and the most money winners (15,767) of any WSOP. The latter stat was also largely caused by a change in the payout structure, in which the tournaments averaged 15 percent of the field in the money, compared to 10 percent in previous years.
Lest we think every record was artificially produced, the average field size was 1,563 entries, just beating last year’s average of 1,522.
The 2016 WSOP Main Event is not the largest of all-time, but at 6,737 entries, it is the biggest since 2011 and the fifth-largest in the 47-year history of the WSOP. Also, because of the deeper payout structure, more players – 1,011 – are getting paid in the Main Event than ever before.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Pushed to September, Outlook Still Positive
There was good news and bad news out of Pennsylvania in the past week. The bad news is that an online gambling bill was not passed. The good news is that there is a very strong chance that it will only have to wait until September.
A gambling expansion bill passed the state House in June, but it has stalled in the Senate. That is not to say that there isn’t support for it, but rather than Senators had trouble agreeing to some of the details. Of particular note was a part of the of the gambling package that would allow for the installation of slot machines at off-track betting venues. Some Senators want it, some don’t. Thus, there wasn’t time to finish debating, make chances, and vote, so further discussion was put off until the fall.
The state’s budget bill, though, assumes $100 million in revenue from gambling legislation, which implies that the gambling package is expected to pass at some point. The silver lining for online gambling fans who now have to wait longer is that it would be very hard to get to that $100 million figure without online gambling being included.
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