Blog – Poker, Bahrain Grand Prix & Tour of Flanders

Roy The Boy Weekly Blog looks at the 2016 Irish Poker Open, the farcical Intertops dealings, the Bahrain Grand Prix and Peter  Sagan in the Tour of Flanders.

Do Poker Tournaments Represent Value These Days?

The 2016 Irish Poker Open has come and gone and what a great success it was.  Personally I found it refreshing not to see bookmaker and online poker room branding draped from every spare square-inch of wall space of the hosting venue.

And no one missed the dreadful sponsors sweatshirts meted out like Bacofoil at the finishing line of the London Marathon.  Poker is heading back to its halcyon days on the early 2000’s and that is refreshing.

What was striking was a registration fee of €125 and an added €25 for VAT.  Then there was small print of 2.5 percent being removed from the prize-pool to be given to the dealers as a ‘tip’.

In short only €975 of €1,150 in the entry fees players handed over to organisers was ultimately be returned to players.  I’m cool with that, these things cost money to organise after all, and I have the choice to play or not.

However, with such a large percentage removed, and with the standard of poker play higher than it has ever been, one has to ask themselves if domestic poker tournaments represent value.  Does even the finest players have a near 20 percent edge over the field?  I suspect not.

Take Me to the Top

Remaining with poker… On a recent trip to Austria I found myself talking to an American who had qualified for a major poker tournament in an online satellite.  I asked him where he lived, he replied Texas.  I asked him where he was when playing his online satellite to this event, once again he replied Texas.

By my way of thinking the management of the gambling/poker website that allowed him to play online (and processed his financial transactions) whilst resident in the USA were tinkering with the prospect of life in prison.  That or the electric chair.

But seemingly have no concerns about OTT American laws and, judging by an email which they sent me recently, they have little concern about their customers either.

On the back of meeting said American Intertops customer I downloaded their poker software to take a look around.  As is good business practice I was subsequently bombarded with emails from the company trying to entice me to make my first deposit on their site.  I never bit.

And then I received their most outstanding mail of all, it read:  “Let’s keep it short and sweet – we are very disappointed.  Two months have passed and we have really done everything we could to convince you of the advantages of your Intertops Poker membership.  But enough is enough: We can’t continue like this, so it’s time to call it a day.  Your account will be closed within the next 24 hours and no further mails will be sent.”

What a masterpiece.  Could Intertops not find a better way of alienating themselves from potential customers, customers which cost most firms a solid three-figure sum to attract in the first place?

Lingfield Finals?

The All-Weather Championship Finals on Good Friday was a great success.  It was the third time the event was staged and this year the seven race card saw over £1 million in prize-money on offer.

Once again not many conventional meetings were abandoned this year due to frost or snow so maybe it is time to rebrand the ‘all weather’ and simply call it ‘synthetic surface’.  Anyway, none of that matters, what does is the choice of venue for this valuable card.

Lingfield?  I mean Lingfield… could you not come up with a worse venue for the meeting?  Fair?  No.  Galloping?  No.  Safe?  Probably not.  Guilty of serving up endless bad-luck stories?  You bet ya!

Gimmi Some Podium Kimi

Bahrain’s F1 circuit certainly is wide, safe and galloping (see Roy’s primary F1 selection) and that gives me confidence about Kimi Raikkonen’s chances in this weekend’s race.

The Finn drives the second best car on the F1 grid, a Ferrari, and the stats show he loves this circuit.  He has finished on the podium here seven times from his last nine starts and he put up an excellent performance in this race last year splitting the Mercedes drivers to finish second.

Ladbrokes and BetVictor’s 5/2 about him standing on podium step once more is standout stuff and another obvious bet for Sunday’s race.

Sagan this Sunday

Cycling’s Tour of Flanders also takes place on Sunday.  This will be the 100th running of the one-day race which measures 158 miles covering 18 categorized climbs and seven flat cobblestoned sectors.

That’s custom made for Peter Sagan, a former cyclo-cross and mountain bike racer who has finished second, fourth and fifth in this contest during his four previous attempts.

Now aged 26 and already a winner of an early season one day classic, Paddy Power and Coral have under estimated Sagan offering 9/2 about him in this week’s race.

Recommended Bets:

Kimi Raikkonen to finish on the podium Bahrain Grand Prix at 5/2 with BetVictor

Peter Sagan to win the Tour of Flanders at 9/2 with Paddy Power and Coral