British bookmaking concern Paddy Power, one of those places that offers odds on just about anything, has now put up its initial line on two aspects related to the World Series of Poker. The first are the lines on total entries into the 2007 WSOP Main Event, but not as a simple over/under. Instead, the odds on the total entries falling within a series of groups are as follows:
Under 2000 20:1
... which seems to reflect accurately the general consensus within the poker world. The end points sure look like sucker bets, and Paddy expects the most action in the 4,000-4,999 range. Still, I think the '07 Main Event entry total may well sneak into the 5,000's by the time everything's added up.
Of more interest are the initial odds on individual players making the final table, which start with Phil Ivey at 18:1 and climb higher from there. Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson and Daniel Negreanu are on Paddy's board at 33:1 each, and all other players are 40:1 or higher.
Still, it's easy to see that the odds are designed to spread the money, not necessarily reflect the truest odds. (You can see the complete board by clicking here.) Following are some comparisons between individual players, served up to highlight the point. You may not agree with all of these choices, but if you had to choose between one of each pair in the following in terms of making the final table, which bet would you make?
Chris Moneymaker (66:1) or Joe Hachem (80:1)?
Amarillo "Slim" Preston (66:1) or Doyle Brunson (80:1)?
Antonio Esfandiari (50:1) or Barry Greenstein (66:1)?
Lyle Berman (66:1) or Jennifer Harman (80:1)?
Phil Laak (50:1) or Allen Cunningham (66:1)?
Always good coffee-table --- or poker-table, rather --- argument starters. As for me, I'll be putting my money on... oh, wait, Paddy doesn't accept wagers from U.S. residents.