Played the second Day One (of three) at the Isle of Capri yesterday, and imagine my surprise to arrive at my table to find Mike Matusow, Chino Rheem and two Mizrachis. Was this the table from hell? Was I the only non-pro? As it turned out, Matusow was seat 10 and I was in 9…the other guys were just hanging with Mike, but seated at other tables. I really wanted to be focused for this event, The Florida State Poker Championship, and the chaos wasn’t helping. I generally have the table figured out and am relaxed and in sync within one round, but with all of the attention to our table, people taking pictures, asking for autographs, etc., it was difficult.
There’s definitely a reason Matusow is called the Mouth. He pretty much took over the table talk-wise, and at first I tried to resist, headserts blaring some 50 Cent, whatever I could do to manage the mayhem, but finaly had to go with the flow. Matusow is in town to give a seminar today on deepstack play, and I really felt like I got a private coaching session. As often happens with table neighbors, Mike shared his every thought, many privately with me. I appreciated his tips regarding my game and was super-impressed with the way he breaks down a hand. His managed control of betting had an influence on our table and got people in line with the blinds, so rather than betting $700 pre on a 50 BB level, people were making it a more reasonable $150, maybe $200. Mike said the biggest mistake he saw at the table was players not understanding bet sizing. The two guys who were willing shovers were quickly gone which was crazy at a format this good.
I didn’t play my usual game, but one of the great things about poker is, it’s never the same. One must constantly adapt, and this was a really different table for me. I probably wasn’t aggressive enough, folded to three bets too much, and in my defense, hit very few hands. That said, I made it to Day Two (tomorrow), although not with a very good stack, although many of the other players who made it until the 10 p.m. cutoff were in the same boat. We’re starting tomorrow at the 800 BB level, and I’ve come back from short stacks to cash before. Hopefully tomorrow will be one of those days.