News talk 2014-01-07: WPT — a Monster mistake?

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Tuesday → 

January

7

2014

Held over

Did World Poker Tour
make Monster mistake?

WorldPokerTour.com ↑

Mike Caro says:

Below is quoted from my blog…

Today the World Poker Tour announced a sponsorship deal with Monster. This deal makes me sad, because I’ve always been a fan of the WPT, made TV appearances on their behalf, and even taught twice at the poker Boot Camp in Las Vegas bearing its name. And I’m enthusiastic about Monster, too. That’s a company that makes superb audio necessities and headphones.

From the article at the WPT website announcing the deal: “With poker being the only televised sport where players regularly wear headphones during competition and use music to help their focus at the table, this is the perfect partnership.”

No, it’s not

No! This isn’t “the perfect partnership.” It may facilitate poker partnerships, though, because electronic equipment at the poker table has the potential to be exploited by sophisticated cheats. I’ll leave that technical discussion for another day. But those of you who have followed my crusade to promote poker ethics know what I’m saying. I have confidence in the WPT staff and my friend Mike Sexton, in particular, to be alert to that.

So, the main issue I have with headphones while at the table is that it detracts from the game of poker and interferes with tells and psychological competition that defines true poker. In fact, that’s what makes poker a unique game.

Headphones worn by players at the poker table don’t “help their focus at the table,” as stated in the article. They harm focus and make it difficult for opponents to focus, too, thus changing real poker into some hybrid competition far removed from the original intent.

Tolerating headphones is arguably bad in itself; encouraging them is terrible. And that’s why I’m calling this one a Monster mistake. — MC




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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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  1. Players are going to wear headphones. I don’t want to discourage anybody from playing. While I respect online poker for it’s potential to teach and develop poker strategy and cultivate interest in the game, I certainly want those players to come play with me live. If they need headphones to do that, then I tolerate it. I support these kinds of sponsorships for WPT, WSOP, etc., as long as it brings money into the poker community.

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