If you live in the UK, and love football (soccer for American readers), then a Saturday night is not complete without a cup of tea and Match of the Day.
A few weekends ago I listened to the Hull City manager, Steve Bruce, complaining about a disallowed goal, due to a bad offside call.
“We have goal line technology, so why can’t we use the same technology to make sure the offside decisions are also accurate?” questioned a rather irate Bruce.
The man has a valid point, but I couldn’t help but worry for the future of our game. Goal line technology was a good thing. The decisions are made in seconds, but to tinker even further? Our beautiful game would lose its sheen. It would become unrecognizable.
Too many changes in poker?
The same is happening in poker right now.
There is a real worry that our beautiful game is undergoing so many facelifts that soon we won’t even recognize it.
The Card Player Tour have just announced details of the next stop at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California, Sep 21 through Oct 15. It’s a $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Main Event that will use the Quantum Reload concept.
Purveyors of poker press will remember that the Quantum Reload concept resulted in Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler boycotting the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event when they declared their intention to incorporate the concept a few weeks ago.
It turned out to be a good call for Kessler, after he decided to travel to Connecticut instead. He played in the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) event and won it for $170,031.
But that’s not the point.
Chainsaw makes plea on behalf of non-pros
Kessler was so incensed that he posted an open letter to the WPT head honcho, Adam Pliska, and even created a poll on 2+2 (77.14% of people who took part agreed with Kessler that Quantum Reload is bad for poker).
In Kessler’s view, the Quantum Reload concept makes it incredibly difficult for the recreational player to make any headway in these sorts of events, as professionals have so many chances to even out their luck.
So I guess Kessler will not be playing in the Card Player Tour event at the Bike then?
An article on Cardplayer.com states that the event will carry an estimated guaranteed prize pool of $500,000. The last time the Card Player Tour was at The Bike they were only willing to offer a $300,000 guarantee, so it’s obvious the Quantum Reload structure allows the organizers to get a little bit more confident in their guarantees.
Definition of “guarantee” unclear to organizers
That being said I have never seen the word “estimated” next to the word “guarantee” before.
Players will have the opportunity to buy-in for $1,100, on three different starting days. If they are eliminated during any of these starting days then they can re-enter the following day. Players also have the ability to enter on Day 2 – with an average starting stack – for the additional price of $4,000. This means the max buy-ins for the pros – or wealthy fish – is $7,300.
“The deep pocket skilled pros have an even bigger edge,” said Kessler, when complaining about the WPT using the structure at the Legends of Poker.
It’s not surprising that the Card Player Tour have gone this way for their event at The Bike. After all, The Bike Tournament Director, Mo Fathipour, is the creator of the concept.
The Quantum Reload concept is one tournament where you can come in different times, pay different amounts of money, and get different amounts of starting tournament chips,” said Fathipour. “It’s the ability for the player to choose his or her day to play, depending on what day you choose dictates the amount of the buy-in and the amount of each starting stack. For the bigger tournaments, the players are coming on day two paying more money and starting with more chips.”
The Bike will also be offering a series of live satellites for as little as $65. This means that Joe Bloggs will get the opportunity to play in the main event for a paltry price. Rest assured, there won’t be many satellite winners taking advantage of the Quantum Reload concept.
Quantum Reload’s effect on poker questioned
So is this a good or bad thing for poker?
As a recreational player, I couldn’t care less about the Quantum Reload concept. I live in Cardiff, South Wales, and we rarely get any big time poker tournaments in this neck of the woods.
If the only way this could happen is the introduction of a Quantum Reload tournament then bring it on. I know before I start that I am at a disadvantage so I have a choice whether I am going to play or not. I don’t really see much difference between this and the re-entry format. Either way, it’s more difficult for me to beat the pro.
It’s a tough call to make but I think as a whole I would prefer to see the money remain in poker. This doesn’t happen if a Deli owner from California takes the first prize. So if the concept helps the pros more, then as long as we are sensible about the use of this toy, then we should be ok.
And here lies the problem.
It’s all about the money honey.
Bigger prize pools and bigger fields
The Quantum Reload concept allows the organizers to offer bigger guarantees, and that will attract bigger fields. The organizers of these events will do anything to earn more profit, and tournament derivatives such as Quantum Reload and Re-Entry seem to bring home the bacon.
And this is where our beautiful game comes under threat.
How long before the WSOP Main Event is a re-entry event?
How long before the WPT and EPT Main Events are all re-entry?
How long before poker players look back into the annals of time and piss themselves laughing at the thought that we used to have a tournament format called a Freezeout?