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If I did everything at the weekend that I should do every weekend, then I wouldn't have a weekend.

If that piece of existential meandering didn't make any sense, what I mean is, there are things that I have to do every weekend (shopping, washing, ironing), things that I should do every weekend (hoovering, cleaning the kitchen, dusting, furniture polishing, driving the car), and things that I ought to do every weekend (typing GH, putting some newly burnt DVDs into cases, with covers created and printed via Quark Xpress, tidying up the email inbox) and so on and so on. Then there are the things that I ought to do once a month. But, well, you get the picture.

Usually, so that I have time for things like playing poker, reading the papers, watching some TV, recovering in preparation for the week ahead and maybe, just maybe, once in a blue moon, going out, I end up doing the things that I should and ought to do each week no more than once a month. The things that I ought to do monthly, get done twice a year. And the things that I really ought to do, some time? Well, they just never get done. The stairway and landing walls have been waiting to be painted so long that the paint I bought is close to becoming illegal by EU standards.

Getting a cleaner is one option; but I quite value my space. I would end up having to depersonalize it to a certain degree, rather than just leaving things as I feel like leaving them. I don't think that it's a solution.

Uncluttering my life a bit is another possbility, and one to which I am increasingly warming. Stop taping stuff. If you miss it, you miss it. Hell, it'll be on again one day. Everything is.


So, another anonymous geek-looking Swede wins a major tournament (Deauville EPT). There's a wide pool of talent out there playing tournaments, but I reckon that you could count the number of players who are positive EV at the EPT, WPT and WSOP combined (after expenses) on the fingers of two hands. On the other hand, they are having a good time about it, and the value of that should not be underestimated.

What saddens me is that a number of these people ("poker household" names, as it were) show a remarkable lack of awareness at what is going on. Slowly but surely they are going to find the cashflow tougher and tougher. Those who can win at cash will keep going, because this is where plus EV remains for players of even modest ability, but the tournament specialists will find it harder and harder.

What might keep them going is that, although there is little dead money at the actual tournament, a lot of dead money will have played in the online satellites, meaning that most of the participants will not have paid the full entrance fee.

But this is topsy-turvy economics. What it means is that all the people going to the EPT are probably minus EV, but can convince themselves that they are plus EV, because they did not pay the full entrance fee (having won a seat in a satellite). In fact, if they had played a straight cash-prize tournament online, they would also have been plus EV, and then they would not have had to take the minus EV part as a prize.

But, ego is ego. Most of these poker players will not admit to themselves that, at this level, there isn't much difference between most participants' expected return. Sure, there's some "dead money", but not enough to outweigh the juice and the hotel bills.

The entire tournament schedule strikes me as a long holiday at which most of the party is slowly going broke. But, as long as they have a good time doing it, good on 'em.

August 2017

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