Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WSOP Coverage elicits a walk down memory lane

While reading through the blog roll today, F-Train revealed that ESPN would be airing it's first episode of the 2009 WSOP tonight. I made a pact to stay inside today until the sun goes down, because it is 95 degrees out and we don't have AC, so I'm holed up in the basement watching the 2009 coverage right now.

There are a few really interesting aspects of the $40k final table for me. First, I know the results, but it is still interesting to see how it goes down, or how ESPN wants to show it going down. The commercial breaks are freaking ridiculous, and eventually I had to bring my laptop into the room, because I couldn't stand watching the same four commercials after every... single... hand.

I like watching Greg Raymer play. He reminds me that there is much more to the game than just playing poker. There is a gentlemanly aspect to the game that a lot of people ignore, but I think Greg places importance on both being a good poker player and a good person. I would like to emulate that. Playing live at Tulalip yesterday, it became very apparent to me that being nice to other people at the table would benefit me better than being cold towards others. A lot of the older players at the table were there for enjoyment primarily, and to make money second. By being friendly, I keep them happy, and I probably make more money off them in the long term because of this.

Justin Bonomo brings back memories, because I stayed in a house with him during the 2007 WSOP. Also in that house was the first event winner of 2007, Steve Billrakis. My friend, Brandon Schaefer, was also in the house and playing plenty of events that year. It felt awfully strange to show up to the rental mansion on my ninja and see the dining room table full of computers, and know that these guys must be at least a little weary of me showing up... an unknown in the house of millionaires. While I was staying with them, Justin Bonomo had a large chip lead going into a final table, and ended up crashing and burning to finish 7th or so.

As I type this, Justin just got knocked out, at the hand of Isaac Haxton. Isaac Haxton elicits another few memories. The first is that at the mansion in Vegas during the summer of 2007, these poker geniuses I was staying with were watching a taping of the... 2007 PCA where Haxton was heads up. Here's one of the hands I remember them watching on TV:

The guys in the room were having a great conversation about the hand as it occurred, and most of the guys went nuts at the end of the hand.

Another interesting thing about Haxton is that he is the nerdy cock-sure type of gamer that I despise. He knows he is good, and to me it seems like cockiness, not confidence. Internally, I'm not sure how different he and Greg Raymer are, but to me the difference between Greg's confidence and Isaac's cockiness is very apparent. He reminds me of a lot of the Magic the Gathering players I have met over the years, and it is kind of funny that the WSOP coverage says that he and Justin both still play Magic.

Having just read a murder-mystery book, he also seems like the socially awkward guy capable of being a serial killer like the one in the book I just finished last night. In an ESPN interview with Justin and Isaac, Isaac admits that he is socially stunted, in contrast to Justin. I'm not sure if Isaac doesn't value social interaction, has never been good at it, or what his deal is. I don't think having a social life is the best trait in the world, but there is something about being socially awkward, knowing it, and not really caring... it is kind of spooky.



Blogger DrChako said...

That's why I've always respected the pros who only celebrate when they win the whole thing. Phil Ivey comes to mind. Very calm, even when dragging a huge pot - or watching one go the other way.

I'm the same way at the tables (usually). I think it's lucrative, too, but I don't have the stats to prove it.


11:25 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I am really glad to see you posting every day. It reminds me to check out the butt pic. Thank you for your wonderful posts.

8:11 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

How come I do not have you on Facebook? lol. I mentioned you in relation to my gout problem:

Marshall Howland I am tired of sounding old.. so from now on.. "I was mountain climbing with MHG and his sexy bitch. I looked up and saw my clip pulling free of the mountain. So I kicked out with my foot and broke my toe, swinging over to the ledge just as the clip snapped off and dropped my rope to the floor below"

6:05 AM  

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