Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A New Era

It seriously is a new era for us poker bloggers.

Five years ago when I first started really getting into poker blogs and eventually poker blogging, we were basically a bunch of misfits and geeks who had a good time getting to know each other while talking and thinking poker. Very few of the guys heavy into poker blogging back in the day were really what I would consider to be any kind of truly serious players. Most people didn't play every day, many didn't play every week even, and there really weren't many stories out there of significant blogger scores in big poker tournaments. Hell, five years ago I don't even remember any of the blogger crew even playing in the World Series of Poker, let alone running deep. I'm sure it happened, don't get me wrong, but it was such a rarity to even have one of us playing in a big spot back in the day, which frankly is why I always loved what Al as able to do, and what Iggy did once back in the day, to organize the group to find a way to send some of us to the WSOP.

Things changed over the ensuing couple years, but very slowly. I remember when I cashed in the WSOP what, two full years ago now, there were at least four bloggers playing in the very event that I played in. Pauly cashed in a later event in the Series, and several other bloggers took a shot as well along the way in the various events. And I know at least three or four who played in the Main Event that year as well. If I had to guess, two years ago we probably had a good 20-25 blogger attempts in WSOP events. That would have been unheard of to all of us who had been blogging for a while already just a few years earlier, I assure you.

My how things have changed.

Just one week ago, sprstoner went on a sick run and finished 3rd in Event #13 of the WSOP. He took home a not-too-shabby 202 Large for his efforts. Two hundred two thousand dollars. Thousand dollars! I have to say, when stoner went on that run, I felt pride at "one of us" going the distance like that in such a big spot. I've never talked to stoner, I've never met him and I don't even know if I've ever commented on his blog (though I do enjoy reading it from time to time), but I still couldn't believe it. I remember when Ryan of absinthetics won the first event of the LA Poker Classic or whatever it was, probably four years ago now at this point. I think he won somewhere around 116k or something, it was sick. And this felt a whole lot like that, only moreso because it was a lot more money and it was at the WSOP (not to take anything away from Ryan, who won his event outright don't get me wrong). The point is, one of us in a large way was out there on the big stage, playing 3-handed for a m'er f'ing bracelet. When the eff did that happen?

And now look at what's happened just since then. CK, fresh off winning 2k from full tilt in the BBT4 Tournament of Champions, rips into the $1500 OE event at the WSOP (Event #25) and plows through more than 90% of the field on her way to her first WSOP cash. And then from Sunday to Tuesday this week, LJ set the blogger world seriously abuzz with an incredible run to m'er f'ing 10th place in WSOP Event #31, in $1500 HORSE. I freely admit it was the only thing I could think about last night. What a run. And in a lot of ways, this hits most of us a lot closer to home even than stoner's news from last week, despite the cash not being for as much from a pure dollars perspective.

Stoner is a blogger, he has a blog, he writes about poker sometimes, and he's played a few blonkaments with us over time. Maybe 5, maybe 10, probably not a whole lot more than that I would guess. But LJ, LJ is a whole different story. She is seriously one of us. She's played a million blogger tournaments and has played cash and chatted on the girly with most of you out there. She's come to multiple blogger get togethers and has met many of you personally, in Vegas or otherwise. She blogs (fairly) regularly and has taken the time to comment many, many times on many of your blogs about all different kinds of topics. She's a "homegrown" as anyone in our community these days when it comes right down to it, in a way that stoner is just not. And LJ just went and ran to 10th place in the WSOP.

I am speechless. Seriously. Those of you who have been around a while I imagine would have to agree with this. To think that in the span of three weeks we would have a 3rd place, a 39th place and a 10th place in WSOP events for people who are basically "regular bloggers", it is just mind-numbing to me. Has the skill level of our group as a whole actually been progressing all along to the point that the best of our group these days seriously are that much better than we were just a few years ago? Shit, a blogger in 3rd and another in 10th place? At the friggin World Series of Poker?!!

In about five years involved in this community, never did I ever think I'd see the day when I could run through 1300 donks on my way to a 27th place finish in the WSOP next week, and it would be pretty much ho-hum at this point. I would be whacking off but the rest of you would be sitting there wondering why I couldn't get past the final three tables in the WSOP and how I managed to donk off my stack that had been so much bigger an hour earlier.

This is going to be a strange visit to Vegas as compared to my last few pilgrimages to the WSOP. I'm sure I'll spend more time on this topic over the next week or so, but where my expectations would probably have been to cash and to make a Day Two for the first time in my life, now the bar has just been set so much higher, by people who admittedly have had more poker tournament success than me already as it is. But if bloggers can really run to the last ten of major WSOP events and be in position to run over the final table with a little bit of luck, then that changes everything, doesn't it?

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Blogger Sean D said...

You can do it Hoy. Drop a "Waffles can suck it" line when you win it!

Have fun!


12:46 AM  
Blogger oossuuu754 said...

Well said Hoy, and Good luck!

2:15 AM  
Blogger lj said...

thanks for the kind words. gl in your event.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Iak said...

GL buddy. Have been off the grid (as usual) but am still thinking very good thoughts for you.

3:58 AM  

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