Tuesday, April 27, 2004

$1500 Stud WSOP Event--Part II

The guy in the eight seat was trying to raise virtually every hand. Anytime he had a face doorcard. Anytime he was the first in, anytime he was the last in. Guess he just wanted to play. He was the first of us who was all-in, and that chain continued until he was all-out.

The handlebar mustache guy didn't seem to like women. He criticized all of the female dealers, both in their presence, and behind their backs. He was overly critical of anything "female." He never said "boo" to me, but it was clear that if there was anyone at the table he wanted to "take out," it was me. One time I raised in LP with nines, king kicker. He called and/or raised me the whole way, only to sigh exasperatingly when I called his final bet and tell me he only had Ace-king high. I never improved, but I had a hunch that he was bluffing. The old Mike Caro giveaways; throwing chips into the pot forcefully, not paying any attention to my cards, nor his own cards, virtually screaming for me to get out of "his" pot.

I wasn't sad to see him busted.

The seven seat was mad, like I said in the beginning. He griped about almost every dealer. He griped about almost every player. Most of it was under his breath. He didn't seem to like anything, or anyone. No one seemed upset when he got busted.

The Frenchman in the two seat was very pleasant. He had a nice accent, but didn't talk much, and decided to listen to his Mp3 player instead. He wasn't a good player, played draws almost every time, for any amount of money, but he was super sweet, and I shook his hand when he went out.

It didn't take Ted long to realize who could play at our table, and who could NOT. Quickly he and I started in on a series of nods and smiles. I appreciated his style and ability, which was probably quite clear to him, so he humored me with a bit of attention when I acknowledged his world class play.

Ted was playing so casually. He was almost flirting with us, just testing the waters. He completed, then folded to a raise. He bet to the river, just to fold for one more bet. He mostly looked at his hole cards when he was the bring-in, yet sometimes failed to look, chucked some chips into the pot, only to raise when the bet was completed and action got back to him. I guess for him the early levels were "fun." He played around with us, never in danger of being eliminated, yet always aware and on top of the table.

One strange play happened when I was a severely short stack. This was hours into the tournament, and I had just taken a big beat. I was lucky enough to be the bring-in on the following hand, lol. Ted limped in, my only competitor. On fourth I immediately caught a second nine, to go with my nine in the hole. Ted also had a nine doorcard. Ted bet out. I figured it wasn't going to get any better than this, so I immediately raised. Ted studied me for quite a while. I'm not easily intimidated, so I just watched him, as well. He knew how short I was, he knew I couldn't even get through this hand.

Finally he said, "I don't want to try to eliminate you with the worst hand. I want you to stay right here. All I have is a draw."

I have no idea if he was serious. It seems that he might say the exact same thing if he had me beat. He is tough to read.

Some of the yahoo's at the table started criticizing his play. He refused to even engage in their conversation, much less defend himself. Like me, he pretty much had no use for what anyone else might think of him.

I asked him why he wanted me here. He said he enjoyed having me at the table. I dropped the subject.

Later, Glenn asked me why I thought Ted said that. Sure, Ted could have been bluffing with his hand, or betting on a draw, or betting to get the bring-in to fold with nothing. Yes, all of those things could be true, but it would have cost him virtually nothing to try to knock me out. So why didn't he?

Well, naturally I could be wrong, but my opinion of why Ted kept me in is that I was no threat to him. I was shortstacked, very tight, and playing predictably. When I completed his bring-in, I almost always had something. Even if I was on a steal, my steal hand was usually better than his bring-in hand. If he completed and I raised, he knew I had him beat. I would fold my bring-in's to him if I had nothing. I would raise if I had him beat. He had good control over me, he knew where I was at all times. So why eliminate the predictable person at the table? Who knows what kind of opponent might take my place? Another WCP? A loose cannon? Surely not many players would be more welcome than me!

We still had about 150 participants left, so we weren't anywhere near the money. Having me around was safe. I used to do it all the time at the Belle. At the final table, I wasn't gunning for the safe, predictable opponent whom I had outchipped 5:1. Why would I want to eliminate someone who was no threat to me?

I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Ted wanted me around. Shoot, I'd rather have Ted at the table than all of those other yahoo's we had at first. It makes sense, it's logical, and I'll go with that theory.