[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]
In my last post I talked about the Doldrums which usually hit the WSOP about this time every year. We have all been at the Rio for about a month and are still several weeks away from the main event. Sure the $50K HORSE is coming up later this week. But nearly everyone is simply tired of poker. It's hard to get focused for yet another event. Three day tournaments seem like a week and the day ones just go on and on with no chance of anything but a few hours sleep as your reward for making it to day two.
I caught up with all three players on a day two 2 PM restart where they all entered the day's fray with short-stacks. Normally, you try to avoid interviewing players after a bust out, but professionals like Phil, Mike and Daniel have fairly thick skins after a month of the Series. So unless they had some horrid bad beat to end their day, I was going to catch each of them as they left the event and before they jumped into another tournament. Phil and Mike were playing side by side at the same table and between them they gave me some insight into the uneven enforcement of the new penalty rules.
Phil: "Hey Tim, here's your story for today, get this down."
Mike: "I called the floor over because David Oppenheim was f-bombing everyone at the table. I wanted to know if that was a penalty or not. I mean I got into the book earlier that day for using the F word just once."
Phil: "Oh no, you're in the book!"
Mike: "Michael Binger misread his hand in Omaha8 and got all this chips in and then he sucked out to stay alive. I said: 'You are the worse fucking Omaha player in the world.' The whole table was laughing, but the floor heard what I said and gave me a one hand penalty and put my name in the book."
Phil: "Now they have you in the book and can make any penalties you get worse in the main event. I have not been written up -- yet."
Mike: "Yeah, so later I called the floor just to check on what David Oppenheim was saying. I didn't want him penalized, I just wanted to see what another floor would say. He did nothing."
Phil: "Did you ask for a ruling."
Mike: "Yeah, that's why I called the floor over."
John Hennigan: "What did he say."
Mike: "Nothing, he just stood there and listened and then walked away."
Chad Brown: "Wait, he didn't give you an answer?"
Mike: "Nope, no ruling, no answer. Ten or twenty F-bombs and not a word from the floor. I say it once as a joke and I get written up."
At this point the entire table got into the discussion about how the new rules are aimed directly at certain players and are not being evenly enforced. I will add here that this is also the observation from many of the media. We commented even before the Series that the new table etiquette rules would be unevenly enforced and this seems to be the case.
But back to the players. Phil busted soon after this discussion and I got an exit interview with him that will run tomorrow in The Poker Mind In Depth Part XI. Shortly after that Daniel busted out of his table but quickly ran off to another tournament. I caught up with Daniel at the next break and that session will run in two days as Part XII of this series. That left Mike, who got moved to a new table with David Benyamine, Chau Giang and Huck Seed and wouldn't you know it he had one of those bust out hands.
Shrink: "Did you have as many outs on that hand as I think you did."
Mike: "Yeah, not just outs but I had a perfect read on that guy. He was drawing for the low when he checked I knew that the only way I lose the hand was if I brick on the last two cards and he hits a bigger two pair to scoop. Which is exactly what happened. Sometimes the perfect read is not enough."
Shrink: "You seem to be having a long run like that."
Mike: "Its not that I am getting sucked out on so much, but I just can't make a hand. I mean I feel like I have been playing the short stub for a week now. I go deep but only because I am keeping my head down, not because I am winning any hands. You can't play great laydown poker and win one of these, you can survive but not win."
Shrink: "Away from the poker table, you still feeling good?"
Mike: "Yes, absolutely. This is the longest run where I have felt this good in years. I am still having to tweak my medications but it's not because I am feeling bad. I just need to adjust them some more to have my perfect focus at the table. But I feel good and life is great. No negatives at all. Now if I could get some cards..."
"I won five pots in two days in this tournament. You gotta run better than that to win. Well, let me pay off my last longer bet and then let's go sign some more books."
You didn't really think I would pass up an opportunity to mention the book, did you?
Photo Credit for the Mike pix to BJ Nemeth.