Weekly Poker Roundup: July 9, 2018
PokerStars Launches Moneymaker PSPC Tour
Beginning in the first week of August, PokerStars is launching a new, affordable-stakes live poker tour (with one online exception) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship.
The highlight of every stop on the newly-minted Moneymaker PSPC Tour will be an $86 buy-in event that will award, in addition to the regular prize money, a $30,000 Platinum Pass prize package which includes a $25,000 seat in the PokerStars Player NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC), six nights’ accommodation in the Bahamas, and $2,000 for travel and expenses.
If that buy-in amount seems familiar (or odd), it is because it was the amount Moneymaker famously paid for his buy-in to a PokerStars online satellite that awarded him a seat in the 2003 Main Event. He became the first person to win the Main Event after qualifying online, helping kick off the poker boom and injecting the term “Moneymaker Effect” into poker parlance.
“I’ve played a lot of poker for years and during that time I’ve got to know lots of people at live events and meet-ups,” Moneymaker said. “Now U.S. fans will have the chance to win an amazing prize and have some fun along the way. Come join me to play, you never know, this could lead to a life-changing moment like I had. I am looking forward to playing with some familiar faces at every stop.”
Hate Speech Rears Ugly Head in Poker World
Poker pro and 2016 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Ryan Laplante was attacked on social media just for…well, being a person. June was Pride Month and in a discussion of the topic, the openly gay Laplante wrote on Twitter, “The reason #PrideMatters is because of how important representation is to our society. How can you feel like you belong, or that you matter, if you don’t see people similar to yourself achieving success? This is why #Pride has been so successful in furthering equality.”
While he certainly received plenty of support in his statement, one person, poker player Jesse McVicker, wouldn’t stand for it, responding, “The amount of people liking these gay pride tweets are hilarious. Like, were your (sic) aware how bad you were before you miracle the 565$ 3 years ago?”
In another conversation, McVicker really let his colors fly, saying to someone, “Like for the laplante fag? And glad you can count. But he’s still gay and you’re still defending a fag on Twitter MAGA. This gay liberal trying to blast one of the best poker players ever. Like kill yourself.”
Laplante remained classy throughout the whole thing, noting that many people spoke out against McVicker. He says the way to combat hatred is to, “Be out. Be proud. And be a vocal supporter of all rights and equality. Actively speak out against hate and bigotry.”
For his part, McVicker told Poker News Daily that he understood that his comments were wrong and that he does not dislike homosexuals. He said he got “attacked for a misunderstanding” and lashed out in a way he knew would be hurtful. Ok, then.
2018 WSOP Main Event Sets Record
When attendance numbers were falling several years ago, there was some fear that poker’s popularity was waning. The 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event (not to mention the 2017 version) begs to differ. With 7,874 total entries, the 2018 WSOP Main Event is the second largest of all-time, second only to the 2006 Main Event with 8,773 entries at the peak of the poker boom, just before the UIGEA passed in the United States.
The 2018 Main Event has also set a record of its own. Day 1C, the final of the three starting flights, drew 4,571 players, making it the largest starting flight in WSOP Main Event history. The first year Day 1 of the Main Event had flights was 2008.
There was much questioning in the poker community of the Main Event’s scheduling, as Day 1C fell on July 4th, the Independence Day national holiday in the U.S. Many thought this may keep people away as poker players might have opted to stay home and celebrate the holiday with family, but clearly this didn’t happen. It is possible that the holiday helped attendance, as non-professional poker players, those who had other jobs, likely had the day off of work and therefore could more easily play that day.
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