Forum Files – It’s All About the Main Event

Alex Weldon : July 13th, 2015

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The World Series of Poker Main Event is considered the most important poker tournament of the year by a lot of people, so it’s only natural that as we go into Day 6, it’s the topic which is dominating conversation on the forums. Some cheating allegations broke over the weekend, and that always gets people talking, but there’s also genuine excitement about the tournament itself. That’s largely due to the fact that there are still several interesting and controversial players left in it, so depending on how the next couple of days play out, there’s potential for a final table fit for the history books.

Main Event Thread Hits 1k posts
Thread: 2015 WSOP Main Event Thread

First of all, there’s the big ol’ thread for general Main Event conversation, which is at 997 posts as I type this and likely crack the 1000 mark by the time I’m done. Most of them aren’t of very high quality, naturally, but we can’t have a Main Event Forum Files without linking the Main Event thread.

Brian Hastings Hatefest
Thread: Brian “Stinger88″ Hastings Multi-Accounting as “NoelHayes” Cliffs in first post.

The Brian Hastings/Noel Hayes multiaccounting thread has been rumbling on since the story first broke halfway through the series. Online poker scandals invariably get a lot of attention on the forums, but this thread has been out of control – now at 2200 posts and counting – because of the double-whammy of the scandal plus Hastings’s amazing run in the World Series this summer. He’s got two bracelets and is in contention for Player of the Year, and now he’s going deep in the Main Event to boot.

Needless to say that means that the thread is full of hate for Hastings and complaints about the injustice of his good run. A few people are still defending him, but for most part the thread is now a rail for those hoping to see him bust out on some horrible bad beat. It would have to be a hell of a pot for that to happen, though, since he’s sitting on 4.74 million chips and is in 10th place of 69 remaining.

No One Cares About Daniel Negreanu
Thread: Daniel Negreanu’s very own containment thread. All things Negreanu go here

I don’t have to tell you who Daniel Negreanu is, do I? He’s only the world’s most popular poker player among the armchair contingent, and he happens to be having a very good run in this year’s Main Event. He currently stands 22nd in chips with 3,620,000 to his name. Compared to some of the other people in the running, his thread is pretty quiet, as there aren’t too many fanboys in the forums community, and he isn’t controversial enough to generate many posts.

Schwartz – the Yin to Negreanu’s Yang
Thread: stealthmunk antics at Foxwoods FT

Even if the forums are a bit “meh” about Negreanu himself, his continued presence in the tournament is exciting because of who else is in there with him: Justin “stealthmunk” Schwartz, one of poker’s more unusual and controversial characters. Schwartz is known for being abrasive and for getting himself in various kinds of trouble, with the 2014 incident which started this forums thread being just one example. As with the Hastings multi-accounting thread, this one has expanded beyond its original subject and now serves as a general-purpose thread for all things stealthmunk.

Schwartz made the news shortly before the Main Event kicked off in a bizarre exchange with Negreanu on Twitter. Schwartz wanted to play Negreanu heads-up for $100,000, but Negreanu – who is a health nut – would only agree to it if Schwartz would agree to improve his lifestyle in some way. After a bit of drama and negotiation, the final agreement was on a heads-up match plus a weight-loss bet, with Schwartz needing to beat Negreanu at Pot-Limit Omaha and then get his body fat under 22% in order to collect.

Obviously, that bet, the poker portion of which is scheduled to be played out in October, will make it very interesting if he and Negreanu end up at the same table at some point, and particularly if both make it through to the November Nine. Schwartz has had more of a roller-coaster ride through the tournament than Hastings and Negreanu, but is currently sitting on a healthy 3.5 million stack, in 25th place.

And Then There’s the Flashed Card Thing
Thread: Cheating happening at WSOP main event?

Finally, there’s the alleged cheating video which got posted to Twitter on Friday night, which has naturally produced its own forums thread. We reported on that story this morning and you can read the full story here, but the nutshell version is that a woman was watching her husband play the main event, and caught the dealer on camera flashing his opponent the Ace of Diamonds in a big pot on the river. The opponent made the call and won the pot, leading many to suspect that this was a case of intentional cheating and collusion between the dealer and the player.

This thread is actually quite an interesting read, because people’s opinions are both split almost evenly and strongly held on both sides. Half of the posters feel that the flash was obviously intentional, while the other half feel that it’s obviously not. The former believe the latter are hopelessly naive, while the latter believe that the former are utterly paranoid. The debate rages on…

Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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