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  1. #1
    CC FIDE Master Dozy's Avatar
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    Chess, Poker and the WSCP

    We’ve been missing a lot of regular faces at Rooty Hill lately. I’m sure the same thing is happening at other chess clubs.

    Two years ago we mustered eight teams for the Grade Matches. This year we’ve managed only four teams for the Western Suburbs Chess Premiership and those teams have a rather cobbled-together feel about them. (In my U1600 team we have three players and four reserves. Of the three players one will be away on holidays for four weeks and I’ll be away for another two.)

    But it’s not just the Rooty Hill U1600s who are struggling. The whole WSCP is in trouble.

    Division A has only three teams from two clubs: Koala and Parramatta.
    Division B is almost as bad: three teams from three clubs—Rooty Hill, Mounties and Parramatta.
    Division C in another year would be in bad shape but this year is the strongest of the divisions. There are five U1600 teams—from Liverpool, Mounties, Parramatta, Ryde-Eastwood and Rooty Hill.
    Division D also has five teams, but from only three clubs. They are Parramatta U1300 and U1400, Rooty Hill U1400 and U1500, and Wests U1400.

    So what’s the common denominator? Apart from the normal ebb-and-flow of players in and out of the game we’re facing a strong new competitor. Poker.

    It’s growing in popularity and, let’s face it, poker is a fascinating game. The current version offers good prize money for a limited outlay and seems to be sponsored by more and more licensed clubs. You can have a night’s cheap entertainment and, with luck, win a cash prize.

    If money is the criterion by which we evaluate a game’s worth then chess can’t hope to compete with poker—the money isn’t there and never can be. Even so, I’d like to think there’s more to playing chess than winning cash.

    Maybe we need a gimmick of our own. We might even pinch one from poker itself. Like Strip Chess. I’ve never played it myself but I understand it’s fun when you get mated. But perhaps not. After all, most chess players are blokes . . .

    Anybody got any ideas?
    Visit my chess blog: http://blog.chess.com/Dozy

  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master Sutek's Avatar
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    Dozy So what’s the common denominator? Apart from the normal ebb-and-flow of players in and out of the game we’re facing a strong new competitor. Poker.
    Well a top Australian correspondence chess player with one GM norm very recently just won A$150,000 playing in a poker tournament!

    It’s not surprising with this sort of prize money why people would want to play poker!

    QAPLA!

  3. #3
    CC Candidate Master Sutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    Lets not forget Poker,is gambling, and with gambling ,there are many more losers of money,than there are winners.
    Hi Axiom,

    Not sure I undertsand your comment.

    In a poker tournament people pay an entry fee, compete against each other for a prize list.

    Isn't this exactly what chess players are also doing?

  4. #4
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutek
    Well a top Australian correspondence chess player with one GM norm very recently just won A$150,000 playing in a poker tournament!

    It’s not surprising with this sort of prize money why people would want to play poker!

    QAPLA!
    It's so good to hear that this player has so kindly decided to make good use of his fortuitous windfall by becoming the much awaited gold sponsor of the Sydney International Open ... NOT!!!

  5. #5
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
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    Ok

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutek
    Hi Axiom,

    Not sure I undertsand your comment.

    In a poker tournament people pay an entry fee, compete against each other for a prize list.

    Isn't this exactly what chess players are also doing?
    ok, yes ,i withdraw,under that arrangement, fair enough.

    I'm just bitter about poker's incursion into the chess playing population,clouding my view.

    So it comes down to sponsorship, yes?...........back to that eternal challenge for chess ,to attract that type of heavy sponsorship(as i assume the 150k,didnt come only from entry fees?)

  6. #6
    CC International Master Kerry Stead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    ok, yes ,i withdraw,under that arrangement, fair enough.

    I'm just bitter about poker's incursion into the chess playing population,clouding my view.

    So it comes down to sponsorship, yes?...........back to that eternal challenge for chess ,to attract that type of heavy sponsorship(as i assume the 150k,didnt come only from entry fees?)
    Poker is almost entirely entry-fee funded, so I wouldn't be surprised if the 150k was from entry fees.

    One of the differences is that there are ratings and divisions in chess, unlike poker, so a relative newcomer to chess can play in an event and do well enough to win a prize if they can outperform their peer group. There is no such comparisson in poker.

  7. #7
    CC International Master Watto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozy
    We’ve been missing a lot of regular faces at Rooty Hill lately. I’m sure the same thing is happening at other chess clubs…
    So what’s the common denominator? Apart from the normal ebb-and-flow of players in and out of the game we’re facing a strong new competitor. Poker.

    It’s growing in popularity and, let’s face it, poker is a fascinating game. The current version offers good prize money for a limited outlay and seems to be sponsored by more and more licensed clubs. You can have a night’s cheap entertainment and, with luck, win a cash prize.

    If money is the criterion by which we evaluate a game’s worth then chess can’t hope to compete with poker—the money isn’t there and never can be. Even so, I’d like to think there’s more to playing chess than winning cash.
    Dozy, chess is such a rich game that I can’t see why droves of people would leave it permanently for poker (have to admit that some have). From what I can see there are quite a few who are choosing the best of both worlds, and enjoying both. Maybe we can make something of this? (I'm not sure how)

    As an aside, one real positive I’ve noticed for the tournament chessplayers turned poker players I know is that they’re used to analysing and improving their game. They’re also used to stressful competition and concentrating for hours on end. Provided they have the right temperament for poker, this all gives them an edge over the average poker player…
    Last edited by Watto; 02-03-2007 at 03:37 PM.

  8. #8
    CC FIDE Master Dozy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watto
    Dozy, chess is such a rich game

    . . . provided they have the right temperament for poker, this all gives them an edge over the average poker player…
    It may not be permanent, Watto. Poker is enjoying a fad which may or may not continue at its present level. But I've already conceded that it's a great game. I'm not so decrepit yet that I've forgotten some all-night poker sessions, but that was away back when...

    But great game or not, it's currently making inroads into the number of people playing chess -- as must happen whenever two activities compete for our (limited) available recreation time.

    As for chess giving card players an edge, and notwithstanding your good point that poker players need the right temperament, I remember playing in a 500 tournament once. My opponent and I weren't doing so well -- I reckoned he was incompatible -- and when we were eliminated he said, "I don't understand it. You're a chess player, I'm a chess player. Why did we do so badly?" And I told him, "Joe, we weren't playing chess."
    Visit my chess blog: http://blog.chess.com/Dozy

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