Yesterday was a big day of poker for our spotlight players. All three were in action at the tables of the $2,500 WSOP No Limit Shorthanded event. A day at the tables with our 'Spotlight' players.
First sighting of Tony today, he tells me to relay a message to Gavin:
"Tell him I am in firm control of my table, barring any hiccups."
Did that last longer bet get renewed today?
A later pass by the table found Tony giving tips to the player who was raising his blinds.
"Why do you only raise my blinds and no one else? Have I done something to you in the past? You know I am not going to lay it down and then you have no idea what you are up against."
This, of course, as Tony is raking in the pot after calling a 3X pre-flop raise and running down AJs with his T4o. Next hand another players makes a 1X raise with Tony in the SB and Tony declares:
"See there, a nice reasonable raise and we all get to see a flop."
This time Tony wins the pot with starting hand of Q4o.
Later, coming off the Level 4-to-5 break, Tony G takes down the first four pots with nothing over a 7 in this had, including a 73o that hits a four diamond board to his three of diamonds and an outright bluff into an AT9 flop. Tony is, of course, talking the entire time and telling the table he has nothing.
He also reminds these players of his early success by telling me:
"I took out all five of the players at my first table; this should have been a freeze-out tournament."
Oh, by the way, Tony did indeed take out every player he was seated with in this short handed event, plus two more of the second seating.
Later, Tony "broke Aces" with 96o. "Broke Aces" is Aussie for "Cracked Aces". Rule 64c: Raise big with Aces when Tony G. is in the Big Blind.
First sighting of Gavin today, I told him he looked a lot more rested today.
"Was I tired yesterday? It's been so long since then….. probably it was just playing limit hold'em; it makes me tired and cranky."
A passing floor asks Gavin about his bet with Joe Sebok. The loser of this well known wager will be wearing the super-hero costume chosen the other player on the first day of the Main Event. The scoring system is highly complex but the answer to the floor's question was not:
"Gavin what's the current score between you and Joe?"
Gavin: "Zero to zero, it's been a defensive battle."
Later, the producer of the radio show that Gavin does with Joe each evening at the dinner stopped by to tell Gavin who their guest would be tonight, she also mentioned that the boys could eat before the show and then still have time to get back for the post-dinner tournament restart. Gavin thanked her for the change in the schedule and then as she walked away, he observed:
"Like worrying about when to eat is a problem, I haven't made it to the dinner break in a tournament yet…"
Balk! Gavin calls a laughing balk on a player who fake mucks his BB several times, it was a joke here as the player was laughing with Gavin and mucking a 27o to Gavin's big pre-flop raise.
I was reminded, however, of a move and countermove I saw earlier in the day. After some big betting back and forth on the flop and turn, player A moved all-in on the river to a board of AT369 and player B has a conniption, he is beside himself and takes several minutes of pained grief and some staring down to make a decision, finally he lifts his cards and moves to toss them away but holds up, player A says "Whew!" at the pseudo-muck move. Player B pulls the cards back and pushes his chips all-in. Before anyone can complain about the angle shot or question the move, player A (the Whew! Guy) shows AT for top two and Player B slaps down his AK and storms off. Was the fake muck an illegal move? Perhaps, but the great "Whew!" was a classic answer. I congratulated Player A on the move after Player B was done spitting up fur balls and had left the tournament area. Don't want no media abuse from an irate bust out, some of those poker players are large you know.
Liz broke out laughing when she saw me today and even though I am used to that reaction from attractive women, she just had to tell me that writing about her "No Dating Poker Players" policy, which I announced in an early article, has generated some interesting email. Including this one:
"I can't play poker, I don't know poker at all, I can't even spell poekure….."
Late in round three, Liz took a nasty beat when she got rivered for most of her stack. A few hands later she was all-in and was drawn out on again. She walked over to me and told me the details of the big hand that cost her all those chips. After the details, we stood there a moment and I asked Liz what she wanted to do.
"Well right now I am just looking for someone to strangle."
Although most poker media know that talking to players immediately after a bust out is typically bad form, I suggested we sit down for a chat and Liz thought that would be a good idea; she had some things to say.
"I feel like I have been hanging from a thread for three days, every tournament I am using everything I have to just hang on. I know it's a run of bad cards. I know that happens to everyone… but three straight events at the World Series!"
"You know I played my best in all three tournaments, in fact, in three days I only made one mistake."
Before I tell you what Liz felt was her one mistake, think about this for a moment. Have you ever played back-to-back-to-back tournaments against WSOP competition and felt you had only made one mistake? More interesting to me was the hand that Liz saw as her "big mistake", after you read it, see if you feel it was a mistake and if you would admit to it as a mistake had you made that play. I think we all feel we analyze our play for leaks but methinks the pros take that analysis to a whole different level.
Liz is in the BB (50) and a short stack (800) makes it 100 to go. He has been limping with any two all day and folding to raises, so Liz decides to take it down. She makes it 400 to go with Q7c. The limper goes all-in for another 400 and, of course, Liz is pot committed and calls. The limper shows KTo and wins when neither hand improves. Her analysis:
"What was I thinking going after 100 chips with 400 and Q7s? Why was I putting him in a position to fold or push in and commit me to the pot? Why was I pot committing myself with that hand and that bet? Why not just toss the 50 in and see a flop?"
Good questions all but more interesting to me; that is the "big" mistake from three days of tournament play in the World Series. I made more mistakes sitting down in the Super Satellite last night before I was dealt a hand. The professionals are just folks like us, until they are sitting at a poker table, then it's a whole different deck of cards.
BAD BEAT OF THE DAY:
This from the $1,500 Limit Event. Doug Carley makes it to round two with an above average stack of 1700. In the first nine hands of round two he picks up: KK, QQ, KK, KK, AKs. He loses all five hands, only once to Aces, and is out of the event.
Ed note: Absolutely no bad beats ever dealt out at Hollywood Poker. Ever.