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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

An Accident Waiting To Happen – Day 20 Of The WSOP

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12:30 p.m.

As I'm driving into the Rio, there is a Rio security van blocking the roadway and I see a big bus up ahead and it looks like it hit a barricade. A security guard sends me on a brief detour and I pass the bus and notice that a taxi has hit it. This doesn't surprise me because if I've learned one thing about Vegas, it is that their cabbies are absolutely insane. I think they took all the bad ones from New York City and sent them here.

The first event of the day is the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with rebuys. The media was flocking to certain areas (not me) and making it difficult for the chip runners to get to tables so the tournament director kicked them to the edge of the tournament area until the rebuy period is over. I'll try and get a glimpse at what is going on but it initially might be tough.

1:45 p.m.

If you are a degenerate gambler, I have the perfect World Series of Poker event for you. I thought the $1,000 NLHE with rebuys was crazy but it pales in comparison to all the money flying around in today's event. It's not uncommon for four or five people to jam it pre-flop. As Jared Hamby said, “You can always come up with an excuse for calling in PLO.”

At one table, J.C. Tran is raising it pre-flop blind every hand. Tran and “Crazy Marco” Johnson plus one other player got it all in blind. The hapless soul in the middle revealed his hand. He had flopped bottom two pair but the board had paired 8's on the river giving him 8's and 6's. Tran and Johnson started revealing their cards one at a time and Johnson's A-Q high looked like it was going to be good enough to scoop the sizable side pot. Tran revealed his last card and the A-Q-J Johnson had was good. Johnson turned over his last card and he smiled, excited, as he revealed another jack to give him a bigger two pair.

At another table, a French man was telling Jamie Gold that no one would pass his lifetime WSOP winnings in the next ten years. Jamie said he would bet any amount that someone would. I wanted in on that action as well. The French man backed down though. A better bet, I think, would be three years. That would be a tougher one to accomplish.

6:30 p.m.

You know you are struggling to find something to write about when the most exciting thing you've seen all day is a player tripping over a chair and dropping two racks of chips after his table busted. The player, two floor people, and a member of the media scurried to gather all the chips. It was like watching ants go to work on a piece of food... that's how efficient and fast they were.

The last week they've been running the re-starts in the Brasilia room which is a couple hundred feet from the Amazon Room. Right now they are playing down the NLHE event to the final table and the Stud 8 event to the final table. There are still quite a few big names left in the Stud 8 event including players like Mike Sexton, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, and Annie Duke. I recognized very few people in the NLHE event and the one person I did know really well, Beth Shak, busted right after I walked over there. No, I'm not bad luck, it just appears that way. There are still 60 players left in that event. They are in for a long night.

If a player hasn't busted out of the PLO or Stud 8 event, chances are they are playing in the $1,500 7 card stud event that started at 5 p.m. There is only one final table going on right now and Italian kid phenom, Dario Minieri, who looks as if he is about 12 years old, is running away with it. There are three players left and he has approximately half the chips at the table.

8:00 p.m.

I ate dinner in the Poker Kitchen and sat alone, listening to the players talking amongst one another while eating. It was the same conversations I'd heard a million times before.

“I didn't have any choice, I was pot committed.”

“Can you believe he called my raise with that?”

“I haven't had a hand all day.”

I got to thinking why is it that people play poker? The easy answer is the money. The allure of the big score...of turning $1,500 into $500,000. Is that the only reason? Sometimes I think it is and that's the part of the game that saddens me. Anytime there is money on the line, it is understandable that people take something seriously. This doesn't mean you should forget about who you are and what you are though. Too many poker players lose themselves, not just at the table, but away from it. The never ending grind takes its toll and they forget the person they were before they played poker. The laughs and smiles disappear and they are replaced with the never ending worry of trying to get even... of trying to get back everything they've lost. It's why I think bankroll management is one of the most under appreciated skill sets of a poker player. If everyone played within their means, poker would be a lot more fun, there would be a lot more laughter and smiles. People don't though. They lose and try to get it back quick and only dig themselves deeper and deeper into a hole.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you're going to play poker, whether it be at the $20 home game level or $10,000 WSOP level, be smart about it. Play within your means. Enjoy the game. Not only will you find more success playing this way, but you won't get burnt out on the game you love.

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