The Euro invasion...

Read the articles on the glummed faced Main Event contingent, those sullen and non-fun participants that started the event, and what's being attributed to the cause of their stick-in-the-mud mentality? It's because the online sites pay their winners in cash and those winners then have to use that 10k, they actually hold it before they buy their seat. Suddenly, they realize the value instead of it, and it's no longer getting a Full Tilt entry certificate so the money is actually real and they are all playing to win.

Ummm... not exactly. Anybody who has won a "seat" be it a $1,000 or a $50,000 HORSE seat appreciates the value of it. Nobody isn't thinking this 10k could be better spent on 10 flat screens around my house or I hold in my hand a decent used car. On top of that, besides Kimmono lady, and companies inserting stooges into the event for P.R. purposes everybody has been playing to win. Just because it's a freeroll makes you less desirous of 5 million? That pyschology of perception is overstated.

You want a real explanation? It actually involves the fact that the players are different. Most of the online satellite winners this year are European. The Brits, a boozing bunch, and in my limited personal experiences an inept playing pool are somewhat lively, but Ze Germans, the Swedish, Austrians etc. are solid quiet businesslike predators. They also make up the bulk of the new blood and "dead money" in the event. In year three of my going to Vegas this group exponentially grew.

Why does this Main Event suffer from a lack of personality (read the ESPN blog to see the mainstream bemoan this), it's a simple parallel. Remeber the tennis explosion in the 80s? Then what followed it. You ever watch Mats Wilander vs. Stefan Edberg? Ivan Lendl vs. any Croat not named Goran (are there any)? Now contrast that to McEnroe-Conners. Thought so. If that's too dated for you contrast a Roddick presser (usually let me try and be funny about how pissed I am that I lost again and I'll never win another major and I don't look like a dark haired Stiffler) to a Federer bore-fest.

No, I'm not making broad generalizations about Europeans, well I am, but there are always exceptions: Yannick Noah (great player but terrible offspring) or Marcel Luske. Still, the poker room to me felt like a tribunnal at the Hague, we need some more dipshit Americans with headbands, basketball jerseys, loud mouths, and bowling stories. Congress, do your part to liven it up: legalize online gambling, ESPN will thank you for it, and so will we the viewers. Less at large bids to the stiffs from Europe and more to the next Leif Forces, Layne Flack, or Wild Bills of the worlds.


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