As seen at the WSOP

The good players will tell you that it's all about focus. Hour upon hour of looking at the same damned cards, enduring the muscle tension and constant jabbering of the guy in the one-seat. It can take its toll. And then there are the distractions. They are everywhere.

Allow me to offer a...for instance...


During a key hand for Noah "Exclusive" Boeken at the $2500 Limit Event final table, a chihuahua ended up in the media area and eventually in the arms of the tournament director (see above). A dog lover myself, I was distracted. Then Men "The Master" showed up and got on the microphone and left just as quickly as he arrived. What's more, there have been three events running today with PokerStars players in every one.

Talk about distracting.

See, most of the general public is so used to having everything boiled down to one table on TV. While it's nice to have a digest of sorts, sometimes paying attention to the distractions can offer a vision of the future.


Well, consider this.

Noah "Exclusive" Boeken

That's Noah Boeken, the 24 year-old Dutchman who made the final table of the WSOP $2500 Limit Hold'em (see the post below this one for more on that). If you live in America, you haven't seen him on TV before. Regardless, I don't think I'm out of line in calling him a rising star. He won the European Poker Tour Scandinavian Open and is well-known online as Exclusive.

Greg "Chosen Kid" Debora

And then there is the "Chosen Kid" Greg Debora. Not only does he crush the online games, he nearly made the final TV table at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. What's more, he reportedly played a homegame single table tournament featuring names like Arieh, Lindgren, et al and took it down.

Eric "erbloore" Bloore

I met PokerStars player Eric Bloore today. His big stack of chips in the PL Omaha tournament drew my attention. As the day and night wore on (now going on twelve hours) he continued to build chips and as of this moment 11:50PM PDT, he's down to the final 17 players, still has a decent amount of chips, and sits among names like Hellmuth, Jesus, and Greenstein. Bloore is in the money and eying the final table.

It's around this time I realize that it's the distractions that make all of this interesting. It's the young kids, the guys playing against the big names, and, yes, even the chihuahuas that make all of this more than fun to watch. Bring on the distractions at the WSOP. Why? Because it is not an outlandish propsition that the distractions "As seen at the WSOP" could someday be the stars "As seen on TV."

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker