Weekly Poker Roundup: November 13, 2015
MPN Trying a New Trick
The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) will be experimenting with a new initiative starting December 1st. According to MPN’s Head of Poker, all Omaha Hi/Lo tables will have a mandatory 100 big blind buy-in. The idea is to eliminate people from employing a “short stacking” cash game strategy in which they buy-in for the minimum.
The goal is two-fold. First, many players are annoyed by short stackers, as they removed post-flop play from just about any hand in which they get involved. A short stacker’s decision making process is generally all-in or fold (or something close to it). Plus, those who play with a max buy-in lose the potential for a big payoff if they have to go up against someone intentionally playing a small stack. The second reason for the experiment is that based on an analysis of over 2 million hands, Scott and his team have found that players who buy-in for the max do better than those who buy-in for the minimum. They want to see if forcing people to buy-in for 100 big blinds instead of 30 actually improves overall results of the network’s players.
The tables will be evaluated and if the experiment doesn’t work out, they will revert back to normal. If the results are neutral or positive, other tables will gradually be converted to max buy-in-only.
Joe McKeehen Wins 2015 WSOP Main Event
Pennsylvania’s Joe McKeehen dominated the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event final table this week, starting as the big stack and never coming even remotely close to giving up his lead en route to the championship and a $7.7 million payday.
The final table was split into three days in order to try to avoid excruciatingly late nights. The plan worked, as the tournament played down from nine to six on Sunday, six to three on Monday, and of course, down to the champ on Tuesday.
There’s not really all that much to be said about McKeehen. He started with a monster stack going into the November Nine and did nothing but increase his lead as the final table went on. He played fantastic poker, content with using a small ball approach so as not to risk getting overly aggressive and doubling up any opponent unnecessarily. He was still aggressive, though, as he knew the threat of his massive stack could allow him to push his opponents around even with small bets. He did benefit from a lot of good flops, but he also took advantage of them, playing about as perfectly as one could play.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz Still Continuing the RAWA Charade
Even though he doesn’t seem to be getting all that much support for it in Congress, it appears that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah) is still doing what he can to advance the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). According to a recent tweet from Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas, Chaffetz has tentatively scheduled another hearing on the bill for December 9th.
Should it pass (it is not expected to have much of a chance), RAWA would make illegal most forms of online gambling in the United States, including online poker. This includes online gambling in the three states – Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey – where it has already been legalized and regulated. It is widely understood that the bill was written by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his team; Adelson claims he wants to protect the vulnerable, but most believe he is just trying to eliminate gambling competition.
Unfortunately, though even legislators in Chaffetz’s own party see RAWA as the embodiment of “crony capitalism,” we’re still going to have to put up with this because Chaffetz is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, so he can schedule a hearing if he so desires.
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