WSOP WRAP UP... And One Boob More...

WSOP:  A Bad End


The World Series of Poker did not end the way I would have liked.  It also didn't begin or "middle" the way I would have liked either.  It was a bit like I'd imagine it would be encountering a three-boobed woman from Total Recall.  At first I'd be like "Hmmm... two are nice... three must be better" so there was all that awesome anticipation of the WSOP and the National Championship.  Then I'd get there and start to think besides the convenience of one being in the middle what's all the fuss about--it's the world's softest poker tournament series and there are still bad beats.  Then, you'd recognize, it's just one more boob, and besides the extra curve boobs are really for babies.  The World Series is in itself a trap.  Hundreds of good players run bad there every year.  Some bad ones run good.  Then finally, I'd be looking at the three boobs, thinking it's actually kind of gross... get me out of Vegas.

I sent an email of bad beats and coolers to my backers but I will spare the readers of this blog that misery other then one below.  I don't need to share that far too often I ran into idiots trying to gift me their money, when I was a huge favorite, only for my hand not to hold.

Pretty bad time for a downturn in variance.  Course I had a great year pokerwise so I shouldn't be complaining too much.

That being said, I learned a lot this summer and actually feel more emboldened in my belief I'm pretty good at extracting max value from bad players.  I can't wait to get back to the World Series... it is so soft.  I just needed my hands to hold.  There is a three boob joke in there but I'm not finding it.

I Called With Ten High

I think I played well this World Series... see this hand I blogged about for PokerBlog:  I was three for three with hero calls, so I didn't call light except when I was right, usually a pretty good indicator for me when I'm playing good.  Two hands, I kinda wish I had back:  I got semi-coolered once with AQ v. AK but maybe should have found a fold.  And I ran KK into a set of 9s on a 9 high board and paid off a river bet that I think I could have folded to as well.  Those nag at me.

Monkey Bananas

I was encouraged to see Monkey run good in the Main Event and go deep.  I had a lot of fun pulling for him and Blake Barousse.  Monkey and I had a conversation in Vegas prior to the big one, about our mutual fears in letting down our friends and backers.  He also ran a package when we had both mostly whiffed in the run up to the Main Event.  His luck changed... mine didn't.  And when I say luck, I'm not referring to getting lucky, more not being unlucky.  I think there's a big difference there that most of us poker players grasp.

Overpairs Overrated

To Monkey's critics saying if they had AA 11 times in the Main Event they'd definitely make the final table I simply laugh at them.  I was out there for ten days I couldn't get overpairs to ever win (in an important pot), no matter if they improved to sets on the flop or whatever.

Overpairs guarantee you nothing.  Here's the sole bad beat I warned you about and only to be illustrative of how bad I ran with overpairs.  In a battle of the blinds, I trapped a shortish stack by just completing from the small blind with JJ.  He shoved for way too much with 82.  I called and he runner-runner-ed a flush (another theme for me this year in Vegas runner runner flush).

AA, KK, QQ, are just pairs and even when they improve to sets they can still be fools gold... Three boobed hookers can still carry the clap.  

How to Sweat

I added another pet peeve to my ever growing list when I sweated Monkey's Main Event run via facebook.  One of his friends criticized his play, in a spot where he was clearly wasting mental energy focusing on the possible miscue, and others jumped on board.  He was in the middle of the Main Event... deep in the Main Event.

It's my belief that when sweating a friend in poker you should do three things.  1.  Always stay positive.  2.  Educate them later,  and 3.  Never, ever critique a bust-out hand until at least a day or two later  (I will probably clean this up and use it for a blog over at so don't be surprised if you see some similar material over there--definitely minus the three boob theme).

By the way I'm not talking about the whole thing with Little Hold'em aka Chad Faded into Obscurity aka the new Chad Burns.    That's a beast of another matter.  Seems that kid has finally taken his fair share of run bad and is now jealous of any players success.  Attacking them on facebook seems to be a monthly occurrence.  He leveled his sights at Monkey most recently.  See Monkey's blog for more on that.  

I'm just talking about debating the way a player played a hand... even if coming from a good place must be done at the right time.

Stay Positive

I'm of the mindset that in-game coaching is about living in the moment.  There are times for teaching and times for putting mistakes behind you.  I'd wager even the most stern coaches like Bobby Knight did a lot less teaching in National Championship games than they did in any other game.  Nor do I think playing in the Main Event of the World Series with a chance to win 12 milly would ever qualify as a teaching moment.  If your friend, who you are sweating, is dwelling on a misstep don't pile on.   

At the point in time Monkey was critical of himself when he didn't call with deuces (I think) and a big pot developed and he would have won with a set.   He seemed to be falling under the trap of counting the chips in another player's stack as though they should be his and not moving on to the next hand.  It's hard not to when you are in that situation.  I know I struggle with it.

It's all perspective in poker.  You can be sitting at 20k after losing a massive pot and hating life.  However, that same 20k could be before you and you could be loving it, after getting down to 200 in chips a level earlier.  I always try to remind myself that at every break to look at my chip stack like it's a luxury no matter the count or how I got to it.  Because in truth, chips are precious, in any tournament no matter the situation.  Focusing on chips that aren't yours and never were yours is only going to create additional mistakes. As a sweater you should always help your friends move on to the next hand.

Educate them Later

Guess what poker fans.  The guy you are sweating is doing a lot right or else you wouldn't be paying attention.  Don't worry about trying to teach them the things you would do in their spot.  You aren't there.  Maybe for a reason.  Live poker is about getting into a flow, and sometimes players can do that with unconventional plays.   Poker isn't the Daytona 500,  it's like a race through downtown New Orleans, dodging potholes is sometimes more important then winning the lap.

If you think any pocket pair with a deep enough stack in position should call, in Monkey's position... tell him that a week after the main event.  Telling him in the moment is only going to make him question himself.  You don't win in poker by questioning yourself.  You don't want to think you did one thing wrong and then start asking are you doing other things wrong?

Bust-out Hands

I have a buddy who always ask me my bustout hand right after it happens and shares an opinion immediately.  He says, "I would have played it different or I would have done the same."  Really...  even if I ask for an opinion it's not the moment for me to receive a useful one.  If I just busted from a big tournament and I made a mistake and I know I made a mistake, I don't need confirmation of it.  If so, salve it with you know it was a tough spot, and focus on the positive.  I already feel like poop, why do I need to also be embarrassed about the fact others think it's a mistake.

If I made a mistake and don't know I made one, I don't need it pointed out right as I'm coming to grips with the tournament still going on without me (Educate Me Later).  What you should do is treat it like I just got coolered or bad beated.  Pats on the back and all that.  Certainly don't patronize me but save the insight for a day or two.  If was terrible tell me then and I'll appreciate the candor.  Telling me after it happens feels like piling on.  After the World Series Main Event maybe a week or two.  By the way, this has nothing to do with Monkey's bust-out hand--sounded like a cooler and nothing more, but just is good advice when sweating friends.

There's always the World Championship of the World

Course for people like me that whiffed in Vegas, and for people like Monkey who won something there is always another poker tournament around the corner.  Sounds like there is some tiered poker tournament going on in Biloxi run by the tournament director pictured with the two sunglasses.  Maybe a chance to recoup some of my WSOP losses.  Except I'm going to a wedding so I can't play in Kai Landry's invitation only invitational.  I want his hubcap trophy badly (check out his blog).  I am jealous of everybody attending and will be doubly of the man or woman who wins.

Juices Flowing

I don't think Kai is charging a juice like the WSOP-Circuit is.  I just saw a schedule for the IP and an early tournament is $365 ($300 + $65).  I'm assuming in their fine print they are taking out their standard 3% as well.  So 291 goes to the prize pool and $74 dollars doesn't.  WTF?  I'm considering not playing and boycotting their entire event.  I'm also considering possible website suicide and discussing with Gene D, the idea of GCP leading a boycott of the event and convincing everybody we know to stay away.

This has gotten out of hand in gigantic proportions and the Circuit or the operators are just getting greedy.  I asked last year how much would be too much... and for me I might have found my limit.  25% isn't even a joke.  If we don't take a stand together I don't know if we ever will.

That would suck I run so good at the IP:

Was that rant just a veiled attempt to brag?  No.  The bragging was just an extra bonus.  By the way, spoiler alert, I'm probably too much of a coward to lead a boycott of the IP but I will guarantee you this, if I do go at all, it won't be for much of it.

Random Links

-Dr. Doom predicted the financial collapse a few years back.  I read some of what he wrote and surprised many of my friends in the financial industry by repeating his predictions before they happened.  Of most pertinence was his insight into how far reaching the mortgage crisis would grow when many people (my friends included) thought the contagion would be limited to the lower class or middle class.  Anyway, his doom and gloom is back.  He shares an opinion that I've gleaned from reading between the lines of many others.  The recovery ain't what it appears.

-Some happier thoughts, My family just got back from a trip to Venice Beach, FL.  Fossilized shark tooth hunting is great there.  My wife's sister found one easily worth 2k .  It's a megladon tooth.  I usually am bored with just sitting on a beach, but adding in the slot machine like thrill of tooth hunting and giving me something to do makes it a lot more fun.

 We also made a day trip to Disney World.  Got hooked up big time there thanks to Brian H.  My son loved it.  So did I.  Don't know if I was proud or not when my little two year old broke the rules and went to a prohibited part of the park (climbed on the locomotive of the Dumbo's train in the new little toddler water park area at fantasy land after figuring a way through the metal fence).  He later said "I'm sorry for fussing mommy... but I'm not sorry for getting on the train at Disney World."

The entire trip was great top to bottom and ended way to quickly.  We were greeted on the drive home by a double rainbow.  What did it mean?  What did it mean?  One of the two was the best rainbow I'd ever seen and hopefully a sign of better things to come.  Course today I spied this rainbow on the Internet which is better if only because how cool it is--almost doesn't look real.

-GCP may have some copyright and trademark issues we have to deal with.  And no for those handful of people who have asked if they can tattoo our logo on themselves it's not you (yes I said handful).  From you all we want is for a picture to put on the site.  It's some other stuff.  As it is, I wish we were as big, as rich and as powerful as Jack Daniels so we could deal with our issue as awesomely as they did theirs (pssst... click jack daniels to find out).

-After the shooting in Colorado my wife is scared to go to the movies.  Don't know when I'll see Batman or Total Recall (three boobed girl from above)... which sucks because I want to see both.  I almost feel guilty for thinking that.  People died yet I'm pissed I won't get to see a movie in a timely fashion.  Kind of like 9/11 it was about a year before people started complaining about security at the airport wasting their time.  For the record I still don't.  Nonetheless, I wonder when can I start resenting this crazed murderer ahole for f'ing up my mundane life without disrespecting the dead?

Tragedies always inspire these secondary controversies of appropriateness.  The couple that brought their baby to a midnight showing are idiots.  It's okay to say that.  No, they weren't big enough idiots to deserve to be in a massacre, and you shouldn't say that, but you can say they were idiots.  They are.  If some guy in there was wearing jhorts he's an idiot too.

Then you got the twitter jokes, for example one was... "Other than that how was the movie" (referencing the old line "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play") and the playmate that made the joke something along the lines of "I heard Batman was to Die For."  When is it too soon to joke?  Clearly not the next day.  And clearly it should be a good joke.  But maybe... never?  Generally cancer, genocide, 9/11 and massacres don't translate to funny.  

Alright... if that blog post was all over the place... my apologies had some catching up to do...   


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