The Kevmath Report #2
It’s been quite the week here at The Kevmath Report. A huge thank you to everyone who signed up and said nice things on Twitter. I’ve received a fair number of questions on how to support my efforts. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can assure you that something is coming very, very soon.
2021 WSOP Becomes a Vaccination Destination
On August 27, the World Series of Poker announced that anyone wishing to participate - that includes players, media, vendors, and spectators - would need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their first appearance at the Rio Las Vegas. You can find answers to more vaccination questions in the FAQ at WSOP.com/2021.
If you follow #PokerTwitter, you already know the reaction over the weekend was full of vigorous debate on both sides of this decision. I gave some thoughts over the weekend with Bernard Lee further down the page, but I’ll try to make them a little more clear in this space.
Since the publication of the WSOP tournament rules earlier this month, the rule stating that players could be disqualified if they received a positive COVID test or been in close proximity with someone who tested positive brought plenty of discussions about possible scenarios. The WSOP walked it back a few days later saying fully vaccinated players would not be forced to exit the tournament. The decision on Friday was the next logical step to reduce the risk of a ‘superspreader’ event at the Rio.
The WSOP vaccination requirement was the best option available to ensure the series runs as scheduled. Will field sizes be down from 2019? Yes. The question is by how much? The 2019 WSOP featured over 173,000 participants in the 80 live bracelet events at the Rio Las Vegas. No other major tournament series happening this fall in Las Vegas has announced a vaccination requirement yet, potentially giving players many options to spend their hard-earned money. However, you must know that everything is subject to change. All I know is that I’ll start seeing some familiar faces in Las Vegas starting September 26.
PokerNews’ Chad Holloway reached out to the WSOP officials to get even more clarification on how the vaccination requirement will impact those looking to work as dealers or floor staff this summer.
Lon and Norm are BACK!
Some good poker news to report as Lon McEachern and Norman Chad will commentate for CBS Sports Network coverage of this year’s WSOP. The 2020 Main Event missed Chad’s presence as he was recovering from COVID and Jamie Kerstetter served as his replacement. Another newsworthy item from the article was that PokerGO will livestream about 20 bracelet events while Lon and Norm will commentate on the edited version of the final tables over the next few months on CBSSN. Expect an announcement on the scheduled livestreams within the next couple of weeks.
And if you haven’t heard yet, Norman is selling action for the WSOP $25,000 HORSE event with 100% of the markup going to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation.
Visit StakeKings.com and search for ‘Norman Chad’.
Tony G Double Dips Short Deck
The Super High Roller Bowl Europe series in Cyprus nears a conclusion with the $250,000 Main Event well underway (watch morning men Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks for free at PokerGO.com). Phil Ivey, Yohan Guilbert, and Artur Martirosyan are among the winners so far, but the highlight of the week so far is the bone broth drinking Tony G as he’s scooped up two Short Deck titles, collecting over $1,500,000 for his efforts. Will we see more players fasting their way to success?
Dwan and Galfond Challenge Champions
High Stakes Duel III featured a rematch of sorts between the undefeated Phil Hellmuth taking on an old rival in Tom Dwan. In the end, it was Dwan coming out on top and winning the $200,000 match. We don’t yet know if Hellmuth will request a rematch as the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner has been playing against and palling around with Youtube personality ‘Mr. Beast’.
Phil Galfond maintained a perfect record in his series of Challenges, collecting $370,000 after Brandon Adams threw in the towel in their PLO match. Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates is the next expected opponent for Galfond.
What’s Worth Playing?
The major online poker series’ continue into September at partypoker, GGPoker, and PokerStars. First, let’s take a look at the WPT World Online Championships at partypoker. The first flight of the $5,300, $5,000,000 guaranteed Main Event drew almost 400 entries in Sunday’s first flight with Day 1 flights taking place over the next two Sundays.
The WSOP GGPoker Online Bracelet Series is on the back half of their schedule. The $5,000 Main Event Online Championship prize pool is at the halfway point to the $20,000,000 guarantee with flights twice daily through September 4 when Day 2 commences. Several bracelets are still up for grabs, take a look at the rest of the schedule here.
PokerStars WCOOP edges closer to the halfway point, you can find results, schedules, streams, and more at the PokerStars blog.
Check out the rest of the partypoker WPT WOC schedule here.
In the US, there’s not much happening this week as the Venetian is taking no days off with the DeepStack Extravaganza starting just a day after the conclusion of the Showdown series. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Commerce Hold’em Series runs from September 3-19 offering some mid-stakes action.
The Kevmath Report Media Blitz
The month before the WSOP is usually when the requests for interviews start sliding into my DMs. The debut of the newsletter meant a few more inquiries so here’s where you can find what I’ve done so far in one convenient spot with a pair of articles and podcasts.
Earlier in the week, I spoke to the guys at Rec.Poker about what to expect for this year’s WSOP. You can watch me chop it up with the RECing crew here.
During the last 14 years, Bernard Lee has interviewed many notable names in poker, including Jack Binion. After the WSOP announcement requiring participants to become vaccinated, I spoke with Bernard with my thoughts.
PokerStars Goes to Supreme Court
The long-running situation between Kentucky and PokerStars could wind up in the US Supreme Court as the online poker site petitioned the Court regarding a state Supreme Court decision ruling they owe the State of Kentucky $1.3 billion. That figure has climbed from the original $300 million Kentucky claimed that PokerStars had earned from players in the state between 2007 and 2011. More details and analysis are provided by Online Poker Report.
Jeff Boski Needs to Know What Time It Is
Everyone likes to see a good challenge: whether it’s $100 to $10,000, playing a certain number of hands in a day, or taking on some of the biggest names in the world in a mano v mano battle. Jeff Boski’s vlogs usually consist of tournaments, but he’s currently working on the ‘BankRollex’ Challenge, earning enough in cash games to purchase a Rolex watch before the start of the WSOP. His most recent episode is from the opening weekend at Resorts World LV.
One thing I learned from last week’s question: Double-check the resource you’re using for the answer. What I was considering as the correct answer is 21 letters (Athanasios Polychronopoulos and Ben Yu). However, you can also come up with 19 if you use The Hendon Mob’s database and provided Elio Fox as your answer.
Shoutouts to Mike Durand, Jerod Smith, and Alfonso Cisneros.
This week’s question:
Ed Asner of Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant fame passed away at the age of 91 last weekend. Asner has one Hendon Mob result from a 2003 edition of the Hollywood Home Game. Who did he defeat heads-up to win $10,000?
The first three subscribers to Tweet the correct answer at me get a shoutout in next week’s Kevmath Report. GO!