These guys are...
I almost entitled this blog some variation of “Apologies from my Penis” or “Penis Apologies” since looking at the number of hits my articles get it’s easy to see that articles with either of those last two words in them entice massive (pun?) readership. Not sure what that reveals to me about you all but I appreciate the effort-- In a email conversation with my PPges editor, Konan Luce one of us suggested that to really generate an increase in readership numbers I should retitle my blog “Daniel Negreanu’s Blog”-- it is catchy—
On to the show:
The GSN WPT telecasts are way down in viewer ship numbers. I used to really look forward to watching these shows and just watched about 1/3 of the one last night and I’m now wondering who these programs would appeal to. They rarely do to me anymore. I love watching poker players on television making some sick read or figure out to play a hand in a unique way not obvious at first sight but it’s a long time in between these moments of quality lately at the WPT final tables and there’s some really poor play in the mean time.
I was reading WPT champion Roy Winston’s blog the other day which I enjoy and can extrapolate from that he is a smart, nice man. But when he wrote that he was congratulated by some of his readers for his good play they saw on the WPT broadcast last week I really was wondering what that “good play” was comprised of. I think I missed it.. Not that he isn’t a good player or that he didn’t perhaps deserve to win but I can’t recall anything he did that was well past standard.
In the telecast last night the first few hands were played so poorly that there was little reason for me to continue to watch. Eric C is obviously a good player and I am sure that a lot of what leads to his successes but its hard for me to judge the quality of his borderline reckless aggressive moves because I don’t know the subtleties of the table and his reads. If you want to become a good poker player you need to evaluate your decisions not by the results as much as the quality of the thinking behind them. So when Eric C four bet his nine-four off suit specifically against the guy who just massively sucked-out on him moments before, there is from an uniformed but poker experienced viewer like my self, some reason to consider that monkey tilt may have played a part in this particular four-bet choice.
Mostly the best these guys did was not to make total bone-headed plays. They rarely made the great read and lay down. Case in point was the hand where the “young Vegas pro” three-bet himself all-in versus the only guy at the table who had him covered. He was holding KK, and the flop was J 9 8 (I think). Yes, he had an over-pair and there were many possible draws on the board but you’ve seen Eric C calling raises pre-flop with all kinds of hands due to the deepness of the stacks. You might want to slow down. It could be that the reraise means he has one pair beat badly rather than it means he has a good draw. Do you think Daniel Negreanu would have gone broke on this hand? Well the young pro didn’t either but only because he sucked out on the river. Basically that was how to get the chip lead at this table.
A hand or two later this new chip leader with about 1.1 million in chips open raised with A7, Nam Le went all-in for 55K and then Rhine(?) did the same for 164K. The blinds were 5k/10K and antes 1K. Obviously Nam could have anything at this point though he happened to hold KQ. The chip leader mucked his A7 immediately. He had the chance to knock out two players, take a sick lead, and move up a minimum of two final table pay spots. You don’t even consider a call in this point? I do.
If Rhine had KK face up would you call? I would. QQ? I’m in. It would cost the young pro chip leader 137K of his 1.1 million and if he won he would not only knock two out but win 256K-the pot was paying him nearly two to one on his money. If he called he would have been 70% to lose to the only semi-significant stack. If I have to go any farther into this analysis there is no point in me doing so. This level of play, on a hopefully aspired to final table, depresses me when I want to be impressed.
Next hand it folded to Rhine in sb and he min raises w AA. The BB, a “cash game pro” calls with K 7 .. Flop has a seven and two spades Rhine bets out 25k and BB calls. Turn brings another spade which gives BB the penultimate flush draw, plus three kings for two pair and two sevens to make trips. Rhine bets out 60K into the pot of 145K and the BB lays it down after not much thought. It would have cost him 60K to win 205K. He’s about 30/70 to win outright, he has position and getting around 3.5 odds on his money. Easy fold, I guess. What do I know?
Not long after this Eric C. check calls increasingly larger bets on every street w Top pair K and a 7 kicker. Don’t know chip stacks sizes but it was for between 1/3 and ½ his remaining stack. He was way behind, of course. Again there might be many reasons the viewer is not privy to that would make this play more reasonable but at the same time he was losing his races and taking some beats and that might be all the explanation we need.
I’m only interested in viewing competitive endeavors where I find much of it remarkable and worthy of praise. I understand that a lot of the popularity of poker might be due to people who can delude themselves into thinking they can accomplish things without really working for them but I’m not one of them.
I love watching professional golfers play courses I’ve played on because I hit it long and I not only know where long is but I marvel at how easily most of them put it out there past me. I’ve been playing poker now long enough to know where long is in the world of poker and mostly what I see on T.V. inspires me to a response opposite of that of the PGA tag line--“These Guys are Good!”
Thanks for reading.
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