Magog: Unguarded
Magog: Unguarded
Swarming Around... cats living with dogs... total chaos.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Poker Nerd Blogging

Well, they are down to three tables at the WSOP and moving the action downtown to Binion's. Do I wish I were there? No, not really, unless I was in the final 27 with a big stack. Speaking of big stacks, here is how things stack (hoo hoo) up:

  • 1 Mike Matusow $ 5,140,000
  • 2 Phil Ivey $ 4,635,000
  • 3 Steven Dannenmann $ 4,300,000
  • 4 Tex Barch $ 3,900,000
  • 5 Greg Raymer $ 3,840,000
  • 6 Brad Kondracki $ 3,160,000
  • 7 Joseph Hachem $ 3,125,000
  • 8 Scott Lazar $ 3,025,000
  • 9 Michael Kessler $ 2,700,000
  • 10 Daniel Bergsdorf $ 2,550,000
  • 11 Andrew Black $ 2,090,000
  • 12 Minh Ly $ 2,050,000
  • 13 Aaron Kanter $ 1,925,000
  • 14 Tuan 'Tommy' Vu $ 1,870,000
  • 15 Tim Phan $ 1,575,000
  • 16 Oskar Silow $ 1,440,000
  • 17 Bryant King $ 1,440,000
  • 18 Conor Tate $ 1,265,000
  • 19 Tiffany Williamsen $ 1,125,000
  • 20 Joe Connor $ 1,065,000
  • 21 Tom Sartori $ 805,000
  • 22 Johnny Howard $ 730,000
  • 23 Bernard Lee $ 710,000
  • 24 Per Hildebrand $ 645,000
  • 25 John McGrane $ 575,000
  • 26 Shahram 'Shawn' Sheikhan $ 310,000
  • 27 Ayhan Alsancak $ 225,000
  • Matusow in first place is an absolute boon to ESPN. No offense to anyone in particular, but having nine placid Swedes (for example) sitting around a poker table doesn't make for riveting television. I wonder if they are going to play up the "recently got out of jail" angle. Matusow's personality and background make him an interesting story for the final table. I don't care for him much and don't know why he gets a free pass from so many players when someone like Hellmuth (who I am no fan of) is constantly eviscerated. I've read that he's a decent guy away from the tables, though and I don't know him so I won't judge. I do know that I don't like people who have to tear into others in order to build themselves up, particularly at a poker table. If that's what it takes to be a great poker player (and I know it doesn't because of the gazillion other examples of great players who are not like that in any way), then I have no interest in being a great poker player. As if that is my only shortcoming. End rant.

    Phil Ivey in second chip position has got to be terrifying to the other players. I saw on one blog that Ivey is the favorite to win at this point at 3-1. I see nothing wrong with that. A couple of things I've noticed about Ivey's play over the past day or so, bearing in mind that my knowledge is limited to those hands that are relayed on blogs and other venues, is that Ivey is doing much of the crushing of shorter stacks and, more importantly, it appears other players are afraid to mix it up with him. Here's some commentary by Paul Phillips:

    Date / Time: 2005-07-12 17:14:00 Title: Howard Swipes One From Ivey Log: Johnny Howard raises to $30,000 under the gun. Everyone folds except for Phil Ivey in the big blind. The flop comes Qd-9d-8d. Ivey checks. Howard bets $50,000. Ivey calls. The turn is the As. They both check. The river is the 7s. They both check again, and Howard turns over 9-9 for the win. Ivey mucks. After reading that he "swiped" one from Ivey I was anticipating some brilliant bluff that made Ivey lay down the best hand. Instead we see the guy flop a set in a raised pot and win the absolute stone-cold minimum. Look at how frozen Ivey has him if he won't bet the river after that action. I'd have titled it "Howard Shows He's Deathly Afraid of Ivey."

    I've seen several examples of these kinds of encounters. Which means that Ivey, even when he loses, is getting off very cheap. It's no wonder he's got almost $5 million. What puts Ivey in dangerous territory is that he isn't going to play for 3rd or 10th or whatever. Even if he is cautious about mixing it up with the other big stacks, he's going to push the edges when he has them more than anyone else, which also means he's more likely than anyone else to suffer a crippling bad beat. But that's how to win.

    Greg Raymer even being in the final 27 is just amazing. This certainly ranks right up there with Brunson and Chan's back-to-back wins and Harrington's back-to-back final table appearances. I have to admit this is the guy I'm pulling for. Consecutive wins with these field sizes is incomprehensible. Raymer is already getting a modicum of grief on some of the poker forums for being lucky, etc (the usual loser talk). If he wins he will have 7 1/2 million reasons to tell them all to sod off.

    posted by the wolf | 8:46 AM
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