Jonas Lauck took down the WCOOP Main Event with no deal made, for over $1.5 million. PTP’s Alex Weldon moderated a political debate between cohost Andrew Barber and online MTT boss Bryan Paris.

Confidence, Skill and Lauck

It’s rare to see online events with multi-million prize pools end without a deal being reached; and when one player obstructs the negotiations, or demands extra money that the others won’t agree to, it often proves to be a case of hubris. Not so yesterday, when Jonas “llJaYJaY||” Lauck took down the full $1,517,541 first-place prize for the $5,000 World Championship of Poker Main Event after the idea of a deal had been broached twice, but scuttled by Lauck holding out for more money, which the others weren’t willing to give.

The second of the two instances was particularly interesting as a case study, as it happened four ways, with Lauck sitting on 40M chips while his three opponents were virtually tied at 20M apiece. Lauck’s contention was that he held an advantage in excess of what standard ICM calculations would give him, because his opponents would be under higher than usual pressure to play tightly and hope for others to bust first. The hold-out was “0409479,” seated directly opposite Lauck, who felt that his position made the situation less bad for him than the others.

There’s plenty of room for interesting discussion of these stances, but from a results-oriented perspective, at least, both players will have been happy with their decisions, as 0409479 did indeed end up finishing second, and taking home over $1 million of his own.

Poker People Arguing About Not-Poker

You’ll have to wait till Friday for the official version of the next episode of the PartTimePoker Podcast, but an unedited video version of today’s live stream is available on YouTube. Aside from the people involved, it has little to do with poker directly, but is a debate between (reluctant) Clinton-supporter Andrew Barber and (reluctant) Trump-supporter Bryan Paris, moderated by yours truly.

You can skip ahead to 4:25 if you want to get to the actual political talk. If you’re wondering whether you’ll be interested or not, the nine questions I asked are as follows:

  • One theme that’s come out in this election is that many Americans, from all over the political spectrum, are unhappy with the status quo. Ignoring the current candidates for a moment, what do you think America would look like in 2024 if the Obama administration could simply go on doing as it has been for another eight years?
  • How have race relations changed in the past eight years, and why do you think that is?
  • Whether we’re talking about Colin Kaepernick’s protest, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, open carry marches, or the Bundy standoff in Oregon, we see people of various stripes adopting all sorts of different tactics in response to perceived social or systemic injustices. Pretty often, people’s opinion on the acceptability of tactics seems to depend heavily on the perceived validity of the cause. Do you feel the standards should be the same regardless of the cause in question, and if so, where do you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable forms of protest or civil disobedience?
  • The subject of temperament came up in the debate on Monday. What personality traits do you see as most desirable in a world leader and which if any would you see as disqualifying?
  • What do you envision as the best and worst case scenarios under a Trump presidency?
  • The internet and the rise of social media have drastically changed the way people consume and share information and opinions. What impact do you see that having on politics, and is the change more positive or negative?
  • Many people are dissatisfied with what is effectively a two-party system in the US. If you could be king for a day and replace the current electoral system with a new one, what would that look like?
  • When it comes to taxation and government spending, the point of contention usually comes down to differences of opinion on what constitutes an individual responsibility and what constitutes a collective one. What heuristics do you apply to separate the one from the other?
  • I would guess that we’re all in agreement that the government of a major world power has an obligation both to its own citizens and to the rest of the world, but that the first takes higher priority. The extent to which that’s the case is a philosophical issue underlying many debates on things such as trade, immigration and foreign policy. In your opinion, how heavily should the US government weight the lives, finances and well-being of its own citizens relative to those of people elsewhere in the world?

Quick Hitters

PartyPoker has entered into “Phase 2” of its efforts to combat so-called predatory players. The changes include a ban on seating scripts, and the stripping of players’ screen names from downloaded hand histories.

– Although poker seems to be on the decline, gambling in general is booming, according to a study commissioned by the Irish government.

– The European Poker Tour has announced it will be amending its recent payout structure changes somewhat. Although sticking by the decision to pay out roughly 20% of seats, this will be rounded down rather than up, and minimum cashes will be brought back up to 1.5x rather than 1.1x, even if this means reducing the money up top somewhat.