No, we're not talking about the check these players are going to get from Harrah's. We're talking about the fight in the shadows, the one we usually don't hear about. The game behind the game, where it's all about what (or who) you wear.
Dr. Pauly, professor of poker blogging and medicinal herbs, gives us a fascinating post titled The Battle for Tiffany Michelle's Breasts that shows us just how difficult it is to play this game.
But this all brings me back to a discussion on this very blog just two months ago...
The Final Table Delay
As a friend (who can out himself here if he likes) pointed out to me, this decision is great for the nine people who make the final table. They will have four months to get the best possible sponsorship deal. However, this friend pointed out a less obvious consequence: the final 40 or so people in the tournament are going to lose a lot of sponsorship value.
Now that we're approaching the Final Nine, the question I have for those on the scene, is: Was Otis right?
Are the final 40 or so losing out on sponsorship value? A quick check of the fine photography from Flipchip is quite a mixed bag. Some are patched, some aren't. (Side note: I checked the fine photography from Wicked Chops, but I was having a hard time seeing the players, not that I'm complaining.)
We know there is going to be a fight for Tiffany Michelle. She's near the tops in chips (although 27 is a looooooong way from 9!), she's the hottest player left and she's virtually unaffiliated. For some crazy reason, she slapped a UB logo on her breasts, but there's plenty of suggestion that may not last.
But what about everyone else? Some of the minor pros are already hooked up. By today, I'd guess that almost every remaining player shows up with at least some kind of logo.
What this delay has allowed the final 27 players to do is, if they're feeling risky, negotiate a deal for just the next couple days of poker while leaving themselves open to renegotiate for more at the final table. Will that happen? I don't know. I DO know that the players have the leverage right now. Every poker site wants the next champ.
Oh, and as far as Tiffany Michelle goes... I'm kinda rooting for PokerStars.