Some of my opponents

Like I said I learned a ton from many of the guys I played with. I wanted to touch on some of those attributes. Let's start with the guy won the whole thing, Mike. On a good day, I hope I have his disposition and I try to, but got to commend him he pulled it off effortlessly.

We started on the same table, and I went up and down a bit but had the good fortune to catch hands while my opponents caught hands--with mine being better and then I didn't stop rolling. At first, I rated Mike as passive player and a target as he folded everything.

Then I recognized when he did play some hands, he did so with some finesse, and saw that he was just being patient and selective. He was aware of the table dynamics and played poker with a fun spirit, even when a couple of times the deck got ugly on him.

He never, ever got down on himself. Many of my best runs are when I have the mental fortitude to not throw a pity party after a bad beat, and many of my worst are when I tilt or have the personal arrogance to deny that I am tilting. So, I admire that attribute and wish I always have it.

So later as we meet again later in the tournament on another table, as the blinds get up Mike makes a couple of solid steals and resteals with absolute garbage. And shows them to the table. Good for him, he's got every facet to his game and ain't afraid to mix it up. I thought he'd be trouble.

Of course, I started rooting for him to lose his stack. Far easier guys for me to contend with, than a likabale guy who's hard to put on a hand and never fazed when he has the best of it or the worst. Kind of Chip Reese-y, I guess.

So it was no surprise when he showed up at the final table, and wasn't afraid to get his chips into the middle. When he laid a bad beat on somebody he was genuine in his empathy. He paid me a pretty high compliment too suggesting he thought we'd be the two settling the entire thing from very early on. Maybe it was just my mamoth chip stack. Considering the abilities of the guys we were sitting with, seemed like I was the only guy without a ring or a bracelet when they did the introductions, I took it as high praise.

Also, at one point fairly early in the tournament somebody said I looked like Eric Lindgren (um... no) and after getting agreement from others, Mike chimed in "more like Freddie Deeb" and kept calling me Freddie. Funny.

Anyway, I think I picked up some important aspects of disposition from him. I also thought he was class all the way when we organized our weird chop to not engage in it if even had the appearence of collusion.

Basically, the chipleader didn't want to chop when we were five handed. The other four of us, had about one move under 10 bbs, shove. Rather than let a craps game decide it, we wanted to chop. He wanted no part of it. I said, why don't the four of us chop whatever we win four ways after it's all said and done. We are all playing for first, the ring, and the 10k seat so it's not like we'd be conspiring against the giant stack. Mike brought up that it'd still look that way. So, we simply asked the chipleader if he'd allow it... and he did. Though I can't say I agree totally with some of his sports bets, not the betting but the teams he picked, so I guess we all got leaks.

Don't know how he did on the tournament of champions but now I'm rooting for the guy in any tournament we aren't both in.

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