Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Knocking Three Times the Charm, in Mansion Poker's Poker Dome Qualifiers: Epilogue

(In Parts I and II, your blogger recounts her attempts to qualify for Mansion Poker's high-tech televised poker program, Poker Dome. Early disapointments and frustration were replaced by a growing sense of unreality, as an unbelievable rush of cards took this blogger from the edge of early elimination to the final-table tourney lead, and ultimately to the taking down of the qualifier seat.)

I've now been contacted by Mansion Poker's marketing folks, and as it appeared to be in the software, July 29th is indeed the taping date for my episode of Poker Dome Challenge. (For the curious: I'll be the old, fat, ugly one.) I've sent off my basic i.d. and background information as requested, and now starts the scariest part --- the helpless wait as the days tick past until we can get on with this and get it over, one way or the other. The anticipatory excitement/dread has already kicked in, surely climbing to its crescendo as the day nears. We tape on the 29th and the show is scheduled to air on the 30th, meaning that any temptation I'd have to leak the results is almost moot; I'll be flying back to the Midwest that day and I plan on being too exhausted to do anything else.

Win or lose, I'll have a great couple of days. Flown to Vegas, ensconced at Caesar's, champagned and dined, with complimentary casino creds and a generous package of Mansion and Poker Dome merchandise to keep me occupied whenever the show and attendant matters aren't at the fore. Yes, I'm really looking forward to it, and yes, I'm scared as hell.

Now, think about this: My qualifier had 382 runners, and I'd guess maybe 300 of them were physically there. Cost: one penny, as mentioned previously, though a larger cash deposit was required. The travel package alone is valued at $7,000, before the prize money considerations, and the prize money for the series is $2.2 million, spread across the 216 show qualifiers, of whom 36 will cash. This means that the expected prize value of the seat I've won is a hair over ten grand, even though it's most likely I won't win anything.

So the total expected value of the package I've won is at least $17,000 (not counting the value of secondary trips if I do advance), and there were 300 of us physically there, for what was in essence a free qualifier. $17,000/300 = approximately $60... so $60 is the expected value of each try at qualifying for those actively playing the event at its current levels of participation.

That's nuts. People chase freerolls by the thousands when each seat's expected value is ten cents or less, meaning that this one is underutilized in a way I've never seen for something with such open entry requirements. Even better, all that was required was a single cash deposit, so players can try their luck at qualifying again and again and again. It took me three tries, surely among the luckiest ratios, but there's no reason others can't enjoy similar fortune.

As for me, I'll be off to the Mansion Poker Dome , where all I can do is play my best and hope the breaks continue to go my way.

Thank you to all of you who have sent along your congratulations and best wishes. Win or lose, I'll now have more stories to tell.

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