Palm Beach WSOP: one for one

Poker from a woman's point of view

Gave myself two tries to see what I could do at the WSOP Circuit Events at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. Played the $550 huge turnout game (Event #1) and a $345 (Event #4).  Terrific format if, like me, you prefer many levels with decent amount of time vs. big chip stack. Certainly both is better, but at that buy-in that’s a lot to ask.  Didn’t play my best game at the $550 which would have been the one to cross the money line since it had around 2,600 runners.  I thought about my mistakes, mostly format related, and did better next try, although not good enough coming in 32 with 45 cashing.

On the day of the $345, several games were running at once in addition to ours: the last day of the 1MM event, the second day of a previous $345, second day of HORSE, and satts for the ME.  I think the Palm Beach Kennel Club did a good job of juggling so much action keeping a good balance of order and fun. Harrison Gimbel was the favorite for first place in the $550 and lost a sick hand against another big stack.  I didn’t hear any whining about it at the game or on Twitter.  So many guys would be retelling that hand for a month.

I was at about 8 tables during the $345 and at least 70% of the players were really good. As usual, the young guys were killing it IMO, but not for the usual reasons of aggression, but of knowing when to keep the pot small, when to fold, and being very adept at determining just how much they could get away with. The older guys play with so much more ego, which ultimately makes them easier to beat. Since I play mainly at the Hard Rock and the Isle when in Florida, it was great to have so many people I didn’t recognize, and vice versa.

Loving Twitter for WSOP.

This is the first year I’ve used Twitter to follow the WSOP and it’s been terrific. Basically it’s like customizing your own poker channel with your favorite reporters.  I follow some people to see how they think about poker (Jimmy Fricke, Tom Dwan, Justin Bonomo and Shane Schleger), some for what’s going on in Vegas and the poker lifestyle in general (taopauly and brokeliving.), and some for kicks (Doyle).  Aside from good poker minds, these guys are very funny and intelligent and make terrific observations. I even got the name of a good doctor. I’ll probably keep following them even after the event.

If you want to try this, look for players you like, then see if they tweet a lot (you don’t want someone who tweets once a week..you want someone really into keeping up). Then follow them, and if you don’t like what you see (i.e. I just drank Gatorade), unfollow.  You can add to your list by checking out the retweets of players you like. I’ve discovered some people I didn’t know that way.  And at some point, if you have a good feed, you can join the conversation.

Pros and poseurs on the WSOP.

Watching the recent televised WSOP event with Phil Hellmuth was enough to make me question playing poker at all. And Beth Shak didn’t help. She’s living proof that anyone can make a final table. It seems that the true ambassadors of poker these days are the really young players who show skill and polish way beyond their years.

Hellmuth :

His constantly running to Phil Ivey to make side bets that totaled over $80,000 focused on a scary part of the insatiable need gamblers have for action….and to lose. He and Ivey are like poster boys for Gamblers Anonymous.

Really, are Dan Shak and Phil Ivey so close. How much did that cost? (Or Johnny Chan and Jamie Gold for that matter.) This is a new form of hookerdom. Buy a pro for the night.

Hellmuth is a boring guy. Why in the world do producers continue to give him air time?. Most viewers come to watch poker, and when he’s on that’s hard to do. What am I missing here? We know…he’s won bracelets, but there are many better players that make for better viewing and certainly showcase a more interesting part of the game. Producers: Give us a break. Don’t insult our intelligence. We like poker, not listening to people we wouldn’t even have lunch with.

Beth Shak :

Did she ever actually think about a hand..you know, analyze it. Like, what might my opponent have?. Watching her said, poker’s basically a mindless game. Hey, I can do that. I’ll get a hat.

Did she have a clue about how to bet? She couldn’t seem to figure that out. Instead she had the basic move recommended for all amateurs when they don’t know what to do i.e. “I’m all in” with the threatening hand wave. Lot’s of posing, but not much playing. She even bought some friends to bring and paid top dollar for the right to high five them I’m sure.

Why wasn’t she penalized for acting like a 12 year old and yelling “I’ve got them” to her husband while another player was in the hand trying to decide whether or not to call? She was embarrassing to watch and set a bad example for how to behave, but she got away with it.

The good examples at the table were the young guys who outplayed the bracelet winner and tolerated the wannabe. At least Norman and Lon were informative and entertaining as usual.