Visit us at:

Formula One Poker
by MJ Bernstein | Contact   
Tuesday, 07 April 2009

Poker Pro MJ Bernstein's Blog

So it looks like not attending Foxwoods was a good idea. Most of the feedback I received so far was that the tournaments were pretty much a mess and not worth going to- Management was poor, structures were bad etc.etc. The most interesting thing though is that a lot of this info came from players that had successful trips. Therefor, the information is reliable as it could not clouded by any kind of negativity. On the other hand, I heard from other players that the quality of play was so poor that, despite all the negative stuff, there was still plenty of money to be made. This is an interesting take and warrants further discussion.

Personally, I have had success at Foxwoods over the last two years. While my tournament results weren't that great, I ripped through the single and multi-table satellites yielding pretty substantial numbers. However, I do remember taking exception to a few items like poor structures and a "no talking during a hand' rule which I found completely ridiculous. Honestly, a lot of poker decisions are made based on verbal cues. Why in the world would you take that away? If collusion was one reason, then that's crazy. Poker has been around for quite a while now and I don't see any other tournament directors taking that line. What, have you suddenly created a new moral earnestness from which everyone will follow, Foxwoods? Um, I don't think so. And if you believe what you read, it's actually the opposite. I digress, though. The point, which I will get back to now, really comes in the form of a question. What, in a tournament, warrant's all of us making the trip to play? Is it the poor quality of play? Good structures? Good Management? Good setting? Well, I suppose in an ideal world having all of these things would be great. But that's just not always going to be the case.

While I think players speaking out with one voice against some of the crazy things that go on at tournaments will have some residual self benefit down the road, overall each casino will end up doing things as they see fit. There goal is to make as much money as possible by drawing the most players they can into their table games and slots by way of their tournaments. This is generally referred to as "spill over" revenue. Of course, I prefer to call it "bend over the player" revenue. Although many of their decisions to achieve this may seem counter intuitive (and in fact are), some casinos will continue, as they always have, to make poor decisions regarding their tournaments which subsequently result in low turn-outs. The exceptions that come to mind are Borgata, Bellagio, Venetian and Commerce. However, our decision to attend a tournament will and must always be a function of the quality of structures offered, compared to the quality of player attending, compared to the quality of our individual bank rolls. There are some other things that could factor in as well like mind-set (how well you are running or what's going on in your home life) and what other live and online options are available at the time. We all have to put our unique data in and hope that it generates a reasonable solution. If calculated correctly, it can definitely save a lot of time, money and energy. Mine told me to sit this one out and it looks like it was the right move after all.

Anyway, it's pretty early here (well, for me) and I just got up. I'm going to go eat some breakfast and watch TV. Later on, I'm meeting with my accountant to go over some tax stuff (yeah, that's fun) and then I think I'm going to Dave & Busters to hustle some air hockey and knock back a few. Also, for those of you interested, Vilma's status hasn't changed much in the last few days. I hope to get an update today and I will definitely share anything new.

Still farming in Chicago,


* Please feel free to email me at with any questions or comments

< Prev Blog   Next Blog >