Poker can be a joyless old game sometimes.
Last night I was getting the worst of it in all sorts of tangles. On one hand I flopped bottom 2 pair and lost to top-pair-crap-kicker which turned into a better two pair when the river paired the turn. Then I flopped a straight and lost to a poxy overpair when the guy called my all in check-raise on the turn – beating my 56 with his pocket tens on a 7-8-9-2 board with a six on the river. Disgusting stuff.
And blah blah on it went, you don’t wanna know about my bad beat stories. Suffice to say, as you all know, in poker it never rains it pours. So after about 7 such incidents I snapped when a player 3-bet me for about the 10th time in a row. I over-shoved with a mighty K-10s to let him know I wasn’t having any more of his stealing (tilt – who me guv?) and of course he called with A-K. Whoops! But this time it was my turn to inflict the bad beat. I felt a bit embarrassed as I rivered a 10 because my opponent is a solid player and would have been shaking his head at my erratic play.
So the luck evened out that time, but my point is – in almost every pot of over 50 big blinds, the bad play won the pot. And that’s no fun, is it? All this misery being spread around….like I say, it’s a joyless old game sometimes.
So being the miserable sinner I am, I was heartily cheered to read about players who have had what we would all consider great WSOP success – yet still are pissed off with their lot. Most people probably think that the pros at the WSOP all live high on the hog, driving fast cars and counting money all day in a state of natural euphoria.
Not a bit of it!
This morning I heard an interview with Justin Bonomo as he looked forward to his semi final in the WSOP $10k heads up event. When asked about potentially winning his first bracelet he said:
“I think I’d look at it differently from other people. For me it’s like: it’s not so much that having a bracelet is awesome, it’s more that NOT having a bracelet really sucks. I want to get out of that list of people that have played a million WSOP events and still not have a bracelet to show for it”
How’s that for a slice of fried joy?
If he were to have won he could…well he could have been a little less joyless but unfortunately he lost so he’s still on that dreaded list. (To be fair he is such a good player it is ridiculous that he hasn’t won a bracelet, but I have a theory. When he first turned 21 and became eligible to play live tournaments in the States he made four final tables in his first four events and wrote a ridiculous, bragging blog modestly titled “HEAR ME ROAR”. Not winning a bracelet is God’s revenge on him for being a twat.)
And do you remember Phil Ivey coming 7th in the 2009 WSOP main event?
He was so utterly devastated he refused to do his post match interview. Allegedly he’d backed himself to win the main event at three figure prices and lost additional millions in side bets. Nothing but first place was going to do. It’s tough at the top eh?
But the best one I read this week was about last year’s 9th placed finisher Steve Gee. The headline was ridiculously titled “Steve Gee Trying To Recover From World Series Of Poker Main Event Disaster”
Disaster? He won $754,798!
In his interview he was going on like winning 3/4 of a million was the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how tough it is only winning 750 grand according to this bloke.
“In my mind, it was like I lost $8 million,” Gee said. “It was also that I was eight players away from being the world champion. How many chances are you going to get to do that?”
“He still thinks about the failure months later, admitting that it’s on his mind before he goes to sleep at night. It has also been tough for him to play cash games like he used to, because he had previously grinded out the mid-stakes no-limit hold’em games”
Ah, can’t go back to playing $5-10 can we. Times are hard.
This was the bit that really got me:
“Gee said that he erroneously didn’t consider the massive money jumps. He thinks he probably would have moved up on the pay ladder had it not been for his reckless play.”
Well he only had four months to study to pay out table I suppose. Easy mistake to make really. We’ve all done it
So when you’ve lost a couple of hundred at the tables just spare a thought for these poor souls who have made the final table in the WSOP won’t you? It’s a tough old life.