The WSOP Main Event has played down to the final three – Pius Heinz, Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko – who will return this evening (11/08) to crown the championship. As the Vikings were on bye, I forsook football and spent virtually all of Sunday following the live action. Here are some comments and thoughts…..
I liked the coverage and commentary. Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth provided some insightful commentary on hands – especially without seeing the hole cards (until after a flop or preflop folds).
I don’t think I liked the 15 minute delay. We had nearly live coverage with that 15-minute delay for “the integrity of the game.” I think 30 minutes or an hour would be better. For a standard viewer, a delay of 30 minutes or an hour is still “live”, but it does a better job of maintaining play integrity. With 15 minutes you may only have a delay of 4 or 5 hands. That is too close to real time for my comfort. It seemed that each player had supports in the stands receiving info on the televised but time-delayed hands. Czech Martin Staszko seemed to use the dinner break as scout report time and really adjusted his play accordingly – particularly against German Pius Heinz. Who knows what other on-the-fly adjustments players like Ben Lamb made that changed the completion and tenor of the game. A slightly longer delay still maintains the “live” aspect, but puts more hands between “that great bluff he made” and actually knowing about it which I think may well have altered the complexion of the play.
Now, having said the above – it seems like only Staszko adjusted his play – particularly against Heinz who was playing the ultra aggression card. That it continued to work for him is a pity – I personally don’t care for him. Speaking of Staszko – there’s a guy near and dear to my hear. Esfandiari gave him props several times for his play during the coverage. At one point when 4-handed Phil Hellmuth noted that Staszko’s play works very well at 8 or 9 handed, but that he needed to pick up the pace and agresssion. I think I like Martin Staszko’s play because it reminds me of my own style. And, his being Czech doesn’t hurt at all.
I’m looking forward to tonight’s coverage and hope that it’s payback time for the Munich Agreement of 1938. Look it up if you don’t know your history and you’ll find out who I’m looking at in the final two and who should win!!
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