I'm hoping Jamie Gold wins again. The sport really took off when he won - kind of a Moneymaker Redux. I remember going down to the local 7/11 the week after it was on tv and there were 3 kids with Buzz Nation hats and they were opening packs of baseball cards. One kid, really nerdy, pasty and obnoxious was so pleased with his pack that he yelled at his friends, "top top, bitches!" Brought a tear to my eye. I couldn't help but think, "that kid is gonna be the next Jamie Gold. God bless him." And poker has never looked back.
When Tiger is in contention, the ratings of normal PGA Tour events are much higher than when he's not on the leaderboard. Why? Because people want to watch someone they've heard of.
A final table with a couple of big names will generate much more buzz, and have a lot more casual people watching than would a table of unknowns.
I'm pulling for Ivey to win the ME.
I know that all of my friends and relatives will be really excited to watch a final table with big names like Phil Ivey and Peter Eastgate.
Oh, wait. Those are only big names if you are already playing and watching poker (or are the unfortunate GF of somebody like me and have to feign interest at hearing about his bracelet prop bets). For the rest of the world Lou Diamond Phillips is 10x the "name" that Ivey is. Sad but true.