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Sweatin The Pros

I took a tough beat tonight heads-up. I had my opponent up against the ropes, but ultimately found myself in the losers position. I was the Blue Bomber and my opponent - my 4 year old son - was the Red Rocket. We were playing Rock'em Sock'em and somehow he kept knocking my head up like I was Jerry Cooney and he was Ali. Good to know while I'm taking a break from poker I'm doing well with other games...geez.

Last night I decided to let my DVR do its work and record the WPT Aruba event. I could have probably watched it live, but I like to skip the commercials and I knew my wife probably wasn't in the mood to watch poker last night. So instead I watched some random shows with her and decided to catch up on my blog reading. During my perusal, I read a cool post by Dr. Pauly about Phil Ivey spanking a fish for $22k.


That enticed me to pull up my Full Tilt account and see if there were any pros worth sweating. Immediately I was able to find a table with David Grey, John Juanda, and Hoyt Corkins. John was sitting out so I never got to see him play, but I enjoyed sweating the other 2. Hoyt spanked a dude for $5k when his 10's in the hole became trips helping him take down flopped aces. I just can't imagine losing $5k in one hand. Reminds me of DoubleAs and his recent April Fools post that totally had me. I was just about to blow chunks on his behalf until I read the comment from BadBlood. Speaking of BadBlood, we played at the same table for a while at the last WPBT event and I enjoyed his company. Cool dude. I'm gonna add him to my links list this weekend. I think he had a little fabrication to his April 1st post as well. Good stuff.


Well I've gone astray here so let me get back to my original thought. While sweating Corkins and Grey, Mike Matusow entered the game. This kinda caught me off guard cause I knew he was one of the players on the Aruba WPT event on TV at that exact moment. So he's on one of the best poker shows, on a brand new event being shown on the Travel Channel, and rather than celebrating with friends or taking it all in, he's playing 25/50 NL on Full Tilt. It just seemed pretty lame to me. I never saw any memorable hands from him, and after about 30 minutes, he bid everyone farewell and said he was off to a party. Hope the party was for him...it's not every day your on TV ya know.


One thing I noticed while sweating the pros, the Observers don't let them have a moment to play without asking a question. Every 2 seconds there was another question for Hoyt. Eventually, I think he turned off his Observer chat so he could play in peace. And as for Matusow, that dude was taking hit after hit from the Observers chatting. I can't count how many times someone typed, "I thought you were in jail" or "Didn't you go to jail for doing drugs." Now I'm no Matusow fan, but give the dude a break while he's trying to play some poker for friggin sake.


After getting home today - and on the heels of watching Matusow play on Full Tilt last night - I decided to go ahead and watch the Aruba WPT event. If you haven't seen it and don't want to have info given away, stop reading now. The theme of this show was some serious tough beats. Matusow puts an extreme bad beat on Layne Flack when he pulls a black jack on the river to take a hand where Flack was a huge favorite. This kept Matusow in the game and he made sure everyone knew it. He kept yelling "Vindication!", and basically made an ass of himself. Flack kept his smooth demeanor and really impressed me.


With it down to 3 players Matusow took a bad beat of his own when Erik Brenes - Humberto's brother - caught a 6 on the river to make 2 pair and put Matusow near the felt. He made another big scene saying it was typical for him to get bad beat...guess he quickly forgot that he should have been eliminated earlier save for the bad beat he put on Flack.


But the ultimate beat was what Brenes put on Flack. It wasn't necessarily the worst beat because of the number of outs or the size favorite Flack was, but because of the timing of the beat. This one came on the last hand, where they both had all their money in and the championship would come down to that hand. Flack was able to get Brenes all-in with pocket 9's vs. Brenes' pocket 2's. A 2 came on the turn and just like that, Brenes took 1st place and an extra $500k. You could see the pain in Flack's eyes, but he took it like a man.


I really have learned a good bit about playing with class these last few weeks...or to be exact, after watching TonyG in Paris and Matusow in Aruba, I've learned how not to act. I don't know what makes people act the way they do, but they just come off looking like ultimate asses when they show their ass like that. On the other end of the spectrum, I've always had a lot of respect for Layne Flack's play, and after watching the Aruba event, I respect him even more. He showed that sometimes, even when you are on your best game, the cards don't always go your way. But beyond that, he showed that no matter what, he was not going to sink down to Matusow's level. Don't get me wrong...Flack can act up at the table and be a prankster, but there is a big difference.


It makes me think of a tournament I played in last year. It was a $50 tournament with over 60 entrants. I had played great that day and was chip leader most of the tournament. After taking a runner runner beat from a guy who had no reason to call my all-in, I found myself back to a medium stack when we got down to the final table. With one person left to bubble with no money, I was all in with A Q spades vs. my opponents K 10 spades. When the 10 hit on the river I went ballistic. I stormed out of the building and threw my drink in the parking lot. The guy that beat me was a good player and I actually had gone to high school with him. When I got home I thought back on my behaviour and vowed to never act like that again when being bad beat. It's a part of the game...a big part of the game...and it's just something that I had to deal with. I've decided to try and take the high road when things don't go my way. You can gain so much more respect when you don't act like an ass when things don't go your way. I'm trying to live that way now, after my little outburst.


O.K. one more thing before I go. I tried to reply to Felicia's most recent Poll Fun post, but I've had troubles...so I'm just gonna put my comments here. Thanks for your comments on my previous post Felicia. I agree with your thoughts...good stuff. As for Killer Poker, I'll have to check it out, though it won't be from my FPP's...I wasted those on a WSOP qualifier that didn't pan out. Oh well!


So here are my answers to her poll...

1) Most underrated player? After the last year of watching poker on TV, I'd have to go with Joe Awada. That guy has great instincts and knows his stuff. I enjoyed watching him. Also, though I don't know much about him, it seemed like I saw a lot of Max Pescatori this year and I always liked his play. But that hat has got to go.

2) Most overrated player? Matusow...when you call yourself the best hold'em player in the world, when you clearly are nothing but a whining chump, you lose my respect. I really didn't want to put anyone on this list, but it's easy to add people like him.

3) Play heads up then get a lesson from? Probably sounds crazy, but I'd have to say Raymer at this point. He seems like such a nice guy, but also knows how to hold his own at the table. He's obviously put a lot of time on his game and I think I'd enjoy playing heads up with him. I also think he'd have plenty of good things to teach me after the game. I realize there are so many bigger names that I could pick, but Raymer was the first guy I thought of for some reason.

4) If no hold'em, what would I play? Definitely Omaha 8. I dig that game.

That's it for me...I gotta go to bed.


posted by TripJax @ 2:43 AM,

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