Everyone is not entitled to an opinion!

Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. A version of this entry was originally published (1991) in Card Player magazine.

This is a column about opinions. My opinions. The two opinions l’ll express here are ones I’ve voiced in the past. They aren’t intended to make anyone mad, but they might. Last week I received a surprise letter from Saddam Hussein. While much of it is sensitive- and the full text is now in the hands of the State Department- I’ll quote from it in part:

Dear Mr. Caro:

I am the ruler of a poor nation with no running water and no electricity. We don’t even have an army to speak of. You are the only American journalist I regularly read and respect. Most recently, in the mother of all battles, I stood up to America for several minutes. But now there’s nothing left … for me to accomplish. So, I’ m thinking of playing poker for a living. What do you think? I respect your opinions.”

I wrote back.

Said I:

“You have the makings of a deceptive player, Saddam. You’ve shown that you can find many unexpected ways to lose your chips. Hope to see you in a game sometime”

The Mother of All Opinions. Well, golly, it’s good to have my opinions respected. So let me start by presenting the Mad Genius’ Mother of All Opinions. Despite what you’ve heard, everyone is not entitled to an opinion. It is specifically such nonsense that gets democracies in trouble. We put complex issues on the ballot and then go door to door begging ignorant people to vote. That’s ridiculous. We should be encouraging them not to vote, simply because their opinions don’t matter. If you ask me, we should encourage people to study f1rst; later, they might form a meaningful opinion.

So, simply, my Mother of All Opinions is that people are not necessarily entitled to them! Having so uttered, l will now give you a heartfelt gambling-related opinion. I think I’m entitled to it, but who knows? Anyway, you might hold a contrary opinion, one that you are genuinely entitled to because you’re informed and have done your own analysis. But if you haven’t yet formed your own opinion, please feel free to adopt mine …

Rebuy Poker Tournaments. If you enjoy comfortable-limit poker toumeys, take five days off and go to the Bicycle Club (Bell Gardens, California, near downtown Los Angeles) starting March 17. lt’s $330 to enter each event. The 17th is Sunday, featuring limit hold’em; it’s lowball on Monday; seven-card stud on Tuesday; a hold’em shootout (the winner of the table advances) on Wednesday; and a lowball shootout on Thursday. All starting times are l p.m. Best of all, there are no rebuys.

You know about rebuys, right? Once upon a time, you entered a poker tournament and when you lost your chips, you were out. That’s the way Mother Nature intended it, right? Well, about 10 years ago, some biscuit (I just made up that term, but it sounds right) decided that if players buy in again after they go broke, they’ll stick around longer and the prize pool will grow.

Just Don’t Call Them Tournaments. Now, listen to me, 1979 tournament innovators. You dorks! Don’t you understand the object is to eliminate players, not to keep them in? And don’t you understand that to get a larger prize pool, just raise the original buy-in. Sure, I know the rebuys tend to build slightly bigger prize-money pools, because some players are teased along one buy-in at a time. And sure, I understand you don’t want to make your customers feel sad about going home after only a short time playing.

But we’re talking about a tournament, for godsakes! It’s not a showdown to see who has the most cash in his wallet! You’re supposed to pay your money up front and then take your chances. You play for pride and you play for money. Both. Now, how much pride is involved when one player who buys only once gets eliminated in the 10th hour, while another player loses all his chips in 10 minutes, rebuys, loses his chips again, rebuys, and then wins the toumament? Some proud champion, huh?

Anyway, my opinion is that there can be rebuy events.


Just don’t call them tournaments. — MC

Published by

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. I totally agree. It makes me mad these so called re enter tournaments,, its a joke for deep pockets to play!

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