WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Notes
The $50,000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) H.O.R.S.E. tournament generated a great deal of fan interest on Wednesday, and early on there was plenty for observers to talk about.After noticing that several cards were marked, Andy Bloch bent the cards and asked the dealer to take the deck out of play, and action which resulted in a 10-minute penalty. Minutes later, Annie Duke did the same thing, but was given no penalty."The worst thing I've seen is that a card gets marked and we ask them to switch it and they just take it out and put it in at another table," said two-time WSOP champions Scott Fischman, during the first break. Fischman's table went through at least two decks before finally getting a clean setup. "Basically, I think that's what most people are complaining about. They just need to give us new decks."The problem was temporary, however, as the decks were replaced with brand new decks soon after the problem was discovered.
"It was a mistake," said WSOP spokesman Gary Thompson. "We go through decks pretty quickly. There were supposed to be new decks at each table prior to the start of the event, and somehow some used decks got mixed in there."
While some of the cards were marked, it does not appear that anyone had intentionally marked the cards to gain an advantage in the event, since the damage to the cards was likely done prior to the tournament.
"There's a lot of people that bend them too hard, and then there's a crease in there and then you can see it when it gets pitched out," Fischman said.
ESPN analyst Norman Chad believes that the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event is the most challenging tournament at the WSOP.
"This is the best event," Chad said. "I was not happy when they got rid of it last year. A lot of us always thought that the actual Main Event should be this event because you've got to play well in five different games, so it's more of a test of how good a player you are than just playing No Limit Hold'em."
While many participants in WSOP events earn their buy-in through WSOP-run satellites, only two of the 143 entrants did so for the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. On Tuesday night, the WSOP ran a $1,000 H.O.R.S.E. mega-satellite with unlimited rebuys for the first two and a half hours.