And not just because I’m creeping ever-closer to the free sweet tea at Hardee’s.
Once upon a time I had a poker blog. Some days this spot here even masquerades as one, but those days are few and far between, kinda like my winning sessions at the poker table. Maybe if I sucked less, I’d write more. And maybe if I wrote more about my game, I’d suck less. It’s entirely possible that it’s something like the antithesis of the vicious cycle, but who knows?
Anyway, because I occasionally write about poker (and have you ever noticed that occasionally is one of those words that NEVER looks right the first time and you always have to go back and take out an “s” in the middle to get that stupid little red line to go away (thanks, Richard, bane of my existence)?) the fine folks at Poker from the Rail have invited me to be part of the BBT5.
If you’re not a poker blogger and are still reading this, what’s wrong with you? No, really, here’s the deal. The Battle of the Blogger Tournaments started life as a fun series of tournaments hosted by friends who wanted to get together and give away some cool prizes. Then more people started playing, and the prizes and prize pools got bigger, and the tournaments attracted the attention of some cool folks with prizes to add. Then Full Tilt Poker stepped up huge and started adding WSOP seats to the mix, so some of the tournaments got a little less blogger-centric, then a LOT less blogger-centric, and more competitive, and what started out as kind of drunken chatroom fests with a poker tournament happening in the background turned into real poker tournaments with a few drunks playing but a lot of serious players. Then some old farts decided not to play because it wasn’t like the good old days (and get off my lawn!) but it was still a wildly successful series of tournaments that put some bloggers and readers into the WSOP Main Event and some side tournaments, too. For the record, I didn’t decide to not participate because of any of that, I just am usually broke online and have stuff going on when the tourneys are running.
But now, because I’ve been around for a million blog years, and still sometimes write about poker, I’ve been invited to be part of the BBT5, which includes two open tournaments each week for the next six weeks, and one invitational tournament each week. I’ll be playing all the invitationals, which could be bad for me, because I suck, but since they’re freerolls, won’t be too bad. And since a bunch of my friends have also been invited, it’ll be like old home week, with chips! The top two finishers each week get seats in the Tournament of Champions, and the top 5 folks in the TOC get WSOP seats to either the Main Event or a preliminary event, depending on where they finish. So that’s way cool. I get six freeroll shots at a Main Event seat, which there’s no way I’d pass up. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be on Full Tilt (with the terribly original screen name of Jhartness) playing for my shot at poker glory (or at least $10K to throw at credit card payments). Go here for more details on the BBT5, and give Al a big smooch from me when you see him!
Now here lies my dilemma – if the seas part and all seven seals unlock and I manage to win a seat, do I play? There’s no question that I’m not a very good card player, but I do have some history of success in well-structured tournaments (Venetian, Casa de Blood, etc.). The structure of the WSOP Main Event is nice and deep, and I might have a shot to crack the money (top 10%), which would double my “buy-in.” And since the buy-in is not coming out of my pocket, that’s $20K in free money. Then the upside potential is in the millions for a final table appearance. The flip side is $10K cash in hand, which wipes out all my existing credit card debt and leaves me a little on the side. Our finances took a hit last year when PokerNews restructured and no longer needed my services, so between that loss of revenue and a couple of weddings and some frivolous spending, we’ve accrued a little debt that I’m working to get rid of. So, I ask you, dear readers (if anyone actually made it this far) – if you considered yourself no better than 40% to make the money, thus walking away with at least $20,000, would you play the Main Event or pocket the ten grand? Obviously this debate is so far into the future as to be laughable because I first have to win my way into the TOC and then finish in the top two spots there to even qualify, but it does make for interesting conversation, because I do plan to be in the TOC. After all, I was invited, and what’s the point of showing up at a party if you’re going to leave early?