As announced on PokerNews on Jan. 21, 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, ESPN WSOP anchor Kara Scott, and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel appeared on national TV in the country of Georgia on Tuesday to talk about the game and promote the upcoming WSOP Circuit event that kicks off in Tbilisi on March 3.
After a meeting with a delegation of Georgia's media, the trio appeared on the national TV to spread the word about poker and help the growth of the game in a country that many consider being right on the verge of its own poker boom.
"No matter where the WSOP is, this is 'the event' that you want to be in," Eiffel said about the upcoming WSOP Circuit event.
Asked about the reasons that convinced a prestigious brand like the WSOP to bring a poker event to Georgia, Eiffel spoke about the cooperation with the country's leading online poker room, Adjarabet, and reflected on the history of the WSOP.
"I honestly believe [Georgia] is going to become one of the best destinations in this part of the world for poker." — Kara Scott
"It all started about 10 years ago when we began expanding the WSOP outside of Las Vegas and we started taking it to new places," Effel explained. "Over the years, we eventually filled up all our places within the US and we knew that it was time to start expanding throughout Europe. We launched the WSOP Europe in 2007 and ever since we have been expanding and growing through our strategic partnerships."
"This is the first time I came to Georgia, and I had an amazing trip," added Scott. "I honestly believe [Georgia] is going to become one of the best destinations in this part of the world for poker. A lot of people are interested to see what happens here with this tournament. People love to watch poker on television and going to new markets opens up so many new eyes to this great game. I expect the country of Georgia to be watching but the rest of Europe and the world, too."
Speaking about the game, Duhamel also shared his experience on the way he turned a $10,000 buy-in into a $9,000,000 cash prize back in 2010 - "it's something that changes your life completely" — and went on to reflect on the main skills a player needs to have in order to succeed in poker.
"Poker is like any other sports [and] you need to practice as much as possible to become a good player." — Jonathan Duhamel
"The basics of the game are mathematics and psychology," Duhamel said. "[Mathematics] is an important factor because with cards there are a lot of numbers — and you need to be able to think and take decisions. Psychology is important because you need to be able to see through some people's face and understand if they are bluffing or not, if they are just selling you a story or not."
"Poker is like any other sports [and] you need to practice as much as possible to become a good player." Duhamel continued. "You need to be able to play a lot and practice your game as much as possible."
Questioned about the role that luck plays in the game, Duhamel explained that "it is a factor too, but luck is something you cannot control."
Right before the end of the TV interview, Scott had also the chance to share her thoughts on the role of women in poker and said that "it is slowly changing. In every live tournament, women are account for about 3 to 5 percent of the field while online we see more women playing."
WSOP Circuit Tbilisi: 19 Events, $700,000 in Guarantees
If one was to judge from the attention that Georgia's national media are paying to the event, the country's first-ever WSOP Circuit event is set to become a true milestone for the poker industry in the region. Built around a 19-event schedule, the WSOP Circuit event will run March 3-9 and will distribute more than $700,000 in guaranteed cash prizes — the biggest one ever offered in the region.
The highlight on the schedule is a $300,000 guaranteed $1,100 Main Event running from March 6-9. Other marquee events include the $330 Adjarabet Championship (March 4-6) featuring a $100,000 guarantee and the one-day WSOP Warm-Up opening event that guarantees a $30,000 prize pool for a buy-in of just $110.
The schedule includes also a $50,000 guaranteed $2,200 WSOP High Roller on March 8, a $15,000 guaranteed $30 Low Roller event on March 3, and a €15,000 guaranteed $200 WSOP Pot-Limit Omaha running on March 5-6.