In typical Party fashion, when the play in the WSOP freeroll got close to the bubble (20 spots get some kind of WSOP seat; 20->11 get a $2k seat, 10-2 get a $10k seat, 1st gets a $50k seat), several remaining players start asking what the prizes are. One player believed this was a satellite for a big online tournament. Another asked where the WSOP is. Others get into an argument about whether or not hotel expenses are included with any of the prizes (they are not). Pretty funny stuff considering it was more or less bubble time.
I was fortunate to be in good chip stack shape from 30 on down to the final table, so it was not that stressful because there were so many shorter stacks that were letting themselves get blinded off. Inside the bubble, someone at the other table convinced a player that expenses were included in the $2k prize, but not the $10k prizes, so that he deliberedly busted early. Good stuff.
There really did seem to be a considerable percentage of the players that were very concerned about the expense of attending the WSOP. Understandable I guess, particularly as some players were from outside the US.
When the final table was reached, the undecided question in my mind was whether or not to play for the $50k seat. I hadn't given the topic enough thought in advance because before the start of the freeroll it seemed like too ridiculous a subject to spend time thinking about. During the first half of the MTT, I was preoccupied with 2 tabling $10/$20 6 max, and during the later half I was giving my full attention to the play at the table. (okay, this is a lie. I was frequently punching numbers into a spreadsheet calculating things like my tournament equity; bad habit, I know...)
At least 3 of the final tablers (and perhaps 4), did decide that they absolutely did not want the $50k seat as they pushed early and often with absolute trash. When we were down to 6, it did seem like everyone else was playing for 1st. As I hadn't made any decision, I was purely in small stakes SNG autopilot mode. Somewhere along the way, I settled on the argument that with 4.5 months left, I would probably have more chances at a ME seat, but pretty unlikely to have another chance at a HORSE seat. At that moment I remember having 20% of the chips, so my "decision" didn't really mean that much because any edge that I might have had probably didn't mean I had any more than a 25% chance of taking first.
Anyway, long story short, I eke out the victory to claim the $50k HORSE seat.
In retrospect, dumping off for the $10k ME seat was the better thing to do from the $EV POV. Despite the 1/5 size of the buyin, I'm almost certainly more than 5x more likely to cash in a NLHE MTT than a high skill required HORSE event (granted my chances of cashing in the ME are also pretty slim).
From a poker/lifetime experience point of view, it will be quite a thrill to likely be playing at a table filled with poker greats. Talk about Dead Money. In the ME, you'd expect (and hope for) lots of table time with donk internet qualifiers.
From a logistics standpoint, it will be easier for me to schedule time off work to play in the 3 day HORSE event.
Which would you choose - ME or HORSE? and why?