This is a bit of reflecting about Poker and where it’s going, for better or for worse. Sometime earlier this year, one of the tourneys I watched on TV made some mention of a gigantic poker tournament to be held around June 2006 in Australia or some such, and for which the prize pool would be $60 mln. Top prize would be $10 mln, and entry would be a cool mil.
Well, the fact is, I got it all wrong. It’s even nuttier than that. It’s 2 minutes after midnight where + when I’m writing this, and it’s July 13 (Eastern time, N. America). The big game was on July 12th, from Melbourne, Australia – so it’s likely over, expected to be 6-10 hours in length. The Fox Sports network won the deal to broadcast the tourney for 3 years. Now are you sitting down? Well, if you’re a poker player or poker blogger, you might already known this, but the grand prize is $60,000,000, not $10 mil. The latter figure is the buy-in!! Can you imagine staking your skills on that much money? It’s winner-take-all; no other prizes.
Inside Edge points out there is no other Cbetcasino sport that has ever paid that much money to a single person in a single event. KRON4’s website says that the same tournament will have the pot at $75 mil in 2007 and $100 mil in 2008. This type of payout borders on the movie star level. Heck, even ultra-popular comedian/ actor Jim Carrey was only getting paid $20 mil per film.
It’s true: there’s no game like poker. On the other hand, I can’t think of a sport where a participant has to pay $10 mil just to get in on the game. And it’s a game of skill, no matter what some people might say. It’s become so popular that even up here in tiny (population-wise) Canada, in the past week the number of TV stations broadcasting poker matches in the general Toronto area has actually doubled to about six or seven – for a region serving maybe 6 million people. Unfortunately, without a cable/ satellite TV plan, I only get to see old tournaments, sometimes over 2 years old.
But even with old games (supposedly due to lack of sufficient fresh programming), Texas Hold’em is so popular that these kinds of big games can be held. Previous to this big July 12th game, Australia’s Joe Hachem won $7.5 mil last year. For this new tourney, Phil Ivey was the first person in. Way ta go, Phil. You’ve got steel ones, for that kind of buy-in. Whoever wins might want to disappear for a while, get a secluded, secure mansion.
There’s an interesting discussion on odds, at the United Poker Forum, about the six players’ chances of getting the prize, and whether it’s worth it for most to pay the buy-in of $10 million. Keep in mind that this is a winner-take-all tourney. There are no other prizes. One person gets $60 mil, and five people who paid $10 mil apiece go home with absolutely zilch.
Seriously, if I had $10 million to burn like that, I’d put it into real estate, not in a Cbetcasino poker game, no matter how much I love Texas Hold’em. It’s a no-brainer (relatively), less risky, and it might pay back in spades. Of course, I doubt any of these players are putting in much of their own money. They’ll have backers. But there’s probably going to be a lot crying and wailing afterwards.