Making poker fun again was something of a movement this summer, and it began long before Mickey Craft came to the attention of the poker world in the Main Event. It's as if the Poker Gods answered our prayers and sent us Craft. He dominated Poker Twitter, the live stream and the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog with his unconventional play and his over-the-top personality.
"I like to have fun when I play poker, and I feel like I do better when I'm having fun," Craft told PokerNews this week. "The money does mean something. Anyone who says it doesn't is crazy. But, the fun in poker means more than anything money can ever buy."
"The fun in poker means more than anything money can ever buy."
Craft finished 146th in the Main Event, busting on Day 5 despite holding the chip lead only hours early. Craft is very aware that he is probably not the most skillful player at the table. You're never going to find him fighting to conserve his chip stack. When Craft sits down, you better believe he came to gamble.
"If you got a lot of chips and aren't playing a lot of hands, you might as well get out of poker. Of course, there are way better players than me. There's no doubt. If I get to the final table and there's Daniel Negreanu over here, Jesus Ferguson over there, and whats-her-face over there ... I'm going to be the one with the beer in my hand."
Drinking seems to be a popular past time for Craft. PokerNews' Sarah Herring caught up with Craft to find out the scoop on arriving an hour late and with just 25 minutes of sleep with a healthy stack in the Main Event.
"We met up with friends, got a bottle of tequila. We had one drink. Then two drinks. It was the never ending bottle of tequila."
PokerNews caught up with Jack Sinclair during a break on Day 6 of the Main Event. Sinclair played with Craft all day on Day 4 and was one of the few players who was able to successfully get Craft to fold. He gave us his account of playing with Craft.
"I had Mickey Craft at my table on my direct left. That's an experience I'll never forget. Mickey was just completely insane. When we got moved to the secondary feature table he calmed down. He was much calmer than he was for the five hours before. I couldn't believe he was on my left. That was tilting.
"I did manage to double up through Mickey three times. In between each double, I got quite low on chips and then doubled up and then got low. I did increase my stack a decent amount on that day. If I were on Mickey's left, then I would have probably won the tournament by now. Mickey's a great guy. It was actually the most fun I've had at a table, possibly ever."
And that's why Craft is good for poker - he makes poker fun, even if you're not used to having it.
Michael Ruane played with Craft on Day 5 and was also able to take advantage of the loose-aggressive play. Ruane eliminated Craft when the wily amateur got his remaining chips in with seven-deuce offsuit.
"I was just thinking that this would just be like some twisted Divine Comedy situation where this guy’s destined to hit a two on me,” Ruane said about Craft’s bust out. “I mean you just play the game, but this guy is obviously the most crazy fun dude in the tournament and he’s getting a lot of attention and he’s just all in with seven-two off. And I’m like all in essentially and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, this is like written in the stars that this guy is going to hit a two."
Craft didn't hit a two and his chips were sent to Ruane, but he wasn't gone ... yet. He came back to his table bringing a tray of shots, of course.
@Roothlus @Stapes @ToddBrunson @SavagePoker How do you go out with class? Instead of snap getting on a plane home,… https://t.co/CCRc7P9iQv— Daniel Clarence Wolf (@wolf_clarence)
Calls for more Mickey Craft dominated our Twitter stream for the last few days.
The hero we need, but don't deserve. #MickeyCraft #TeamMickey #TeamTequila #MakePokerFunAgain https://t.co/vvoauEiKcs— Danielle Andersen (@dmoongirl)
Can we petition to allow Mickey Craft to rebuy? https://t.co/ND1aCmu5fk— (@Donnie_Peters)
Say what you want about Craft, but he's got his priorities straight. In his exit interview with Kara Scott, Craft mentioned he had a great time in the Main Event. He said of the tournament, "This means absolutely nothing," and regarding his fiance, "I have her for life."
Nobody can sum up Mickey Craft better then Craft himself. From the PokerGo Live Steam of Day 5, "I may be outmatched in poker, but I'm never outmatched in fun. There's no doubt about that."
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