Gathering momentum in the wake of the 40th World Series of Poker this week are critical comments made by one of the main event final tablers – the November Nine – who has his own plans for the most coveted bracelet in poker….if he wins it.
Card Player magazine President and COO Jeff Shulman put on an impressive display of poker playing talent to win through from an original field of 6 494 players to the final nine who will decide who is the 2009 champion when they reconvene in November this year. He is currently on a chip count of 19,580,000 – fourth in line behind chip leader Darvin Moon on 58,930,000 (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Shulman caused some raised eyebrows when he said that if he won the main event this year he would consign the bracelet to the trash can, and he has since elaborated on his views in his own publication at http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/7213-jeff-shulman-explains-controversial-wsop-comments.
“Some people are reporting that I’m upset because the World Series canceled a media deal with Card Player,” he is quoted as saying this week. “My comments have nothing to do with that, and everything to do with my disappointment in how the World Series is run. It used to be run by people who loved and really cared about poker, and had the players in mind, first and foremost. That mission’s been derailed by a few executives who now head the Series.
“This year, the WSOP locked out players who flew in from around the world to play in the main event, charged nearly $3 million in entry fees for the main event alone, continued to create an uneven playing field by giving special treatment to some, and, in general, display bad attitudes and make inaccurate decisions,” he continued.
“Look, I love poker and entered with the hopes of winning,” he says. “But, more importantly, I support making the industry stronger and better for the players, and to do this, there needs to be some major changes to the way the World Series is run at the highest level.
“Hopefully, by doing something like this, people will start talking about those changes.
Shulman dismisses the assumption that his disdain stems from a lack of media access for Card Player magazine and CardPlayer.com at the Series.
“Card Player and the World Series had a media deal in 2005 and 2006. Our opinion was that the event should be open to all media, but the World Series made a decision that only one media company would get access, and that company would have to pay for it.
“Card Player and the World Series had disagreements on the media coverage from day one, and we chose not to even bid on the deal in 2007. It wasn’t worth it, and they sold it to someone else. We were glad to get rid of it.”
“Harrah’s made the decision to auction off the media rights to cover the World Series to the highest bidder, not us. Do we like it? Absolutely not.”
Shulman added that he stood by his decision, and rather than trashing the bracelet is considering a number of alternative uses for it should he win. He is also open to suggestions. So far, he is looking at an auction in aid of charity or using it as a prize in a special tourney for those controversially shut out of the WSOP main event this year.