There’s no surprise when it comes to what people are talking about this week. Last night was the moment the poker world has waited three and a half months for – the beginning of the World Series of Poker Main Event final table. The November Nine played down from nine to six, and play will continue tonight and tomorrow.
The World Series of Tanking
Thread: 2015 WSOP Final Table NO SPOILER discussion thread
Thread: 2015 WSOP Main Event Thread
Thread: Official November 9 Discussion Containment Thread
There are three threads on the subject of the Main Event and its final table, but the first one above is the one you want. The Main Event Thread contains tons of discussion about the road to get here, but has now been locked to keep final table discussion in the appropriate thread, while the “Official” containment thread doesn’t appear to have been accepted as such by most posters, or perhaps everyone is just concerned about the possibility of spoilers being posted by people reading live updates rather than watching the televised version on a delay.
The NO SPOILER thread, on the other hand, generated over five hundred posts last night. Unfortunately, at least half of those are not about the actual action, but rather about Zvi Stern’s thinking time. Consensus is that Stern is single-handedly making the most anticipated event in poker unwatchable by taking an agonizing amount of time for every preflop decision. I’m inclined to agree, but it’s unfortunate that the damage isn’t only contained to the broadcast, but extends to discussion thereof; sifting through pages of Stern-rage to find comments about anyone else is, in a way, much like waiting through Stern’s turn to get to watch the other people play poker.
Neil Blumenfield seems to be far and away the fan favorite, for a few reasons. He has the most distinctive personal style of anyone at the table, started the evening on a bit of a heater, and shows the most marked difference and improvement in his play since play paused in July. Also popular are Max Steinberg and Josh Beckley, whose prompt decision-making has led to them being celebrated as the antitheses of Stern.
Sexism in poker and the question of how to get more women playing are both important topics of conversation, but Two Plus Two’s News, Views and Gossip subforum is possibly the worst place one could decide to bring them up, due to the sort of people who post there. User “Bike Crash” evidently hasn’t spent much time reading the threads there, or he wouldn’t have bothered crafting a lengthy and well thought-out post on a subject guaranteed to bring out the trolls.
Needless to say, the thread has produced essentially zero thoughts on tackling the problem, but seven pages of people attempting to deny that it exists. Ironically, when an actual woman (username AlaskaGal) showed up in the thread to share first-hand experiences of sexist harassment in a poker room, she was immediately attacked for it, and called a “silly child.” As usual, those who don’t believe sexism exists are simultaneously eager to demonstrate its existence.
Slightly better discussion is to be found in Mason Malmuth’s thread from the week before, titled “Women and the Form of Poker,” in which he speculates that limit games might be more appealing to women than no-limit, and the decline of the former and rise of the latter may be partially responsible for the overwhelming maleness of the field these days. Part of the forums’ willingness to accept that thread is probably due to its focus on women’s supposed risk aversion, rather than the way they’re treated at the tables, but at the same time, it was also started by the owner of the forums himself, so trolling that thread would no doubt be a good way to get oneself banned.