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Divine Intervention?

Last night, my Internet connect at home finally gave up. I've been having problems with my Time Warner cable service anyway, but this is totally new. The cable modem is just not working. I'm no engineer, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with the cable connection. Rather, it is a hardware problem. Since Time Warner won't come to my home until next Friday night, and my laptop with wireless modem is not recognizing the wireless card anymore (nothing is working in my home lately), I am without Internet. It's like being in the stone ages. I actually had to look outside to see the weather! (I was too lazy to wait for the Local Weather on the 8s on the Weather Channel.)

Because of my lack of Internet, I was unable to play online poker last night. So, my goal of giving away the rest of my Full Tilt $7.50 bankroll will be postponed. That said, I think this may have been a blessing in disguise. I've been playing daily. Even when I intended on taking a day off, I played one quick heads-up game. Forced to not play poker, I had a decent night of watching poker. I've had several games DVR'ed, so I sat down to watch the Poker Stars II game between Carlos Mortensen, Chris Moneymaker, Kathy Liebert, Todd Brunson (son of Doyle), some guy named Gray, and the magician Espendiari (I'm definitely spelling that wrong). What a pleasure to watch top players without being distracted. I was able to really focus and see how each player played.

Let me start by saying that I never saw Poker Stars before. Its on Fox Sports, by the way. The setup is great. There is a roster of 20 or 30 some odd professional players that play in six qualifying matches each. Each qualifier has 6 players, with points awarded on a sliding scale for the first five places (6th place gets nada). Then after all qualifying rounds, the sixteen players with the most points move to the 16 player playoffs. Then there are the quarter finals, semi-finals and the finals (the last two are heads up matches). You receive $10,000 for each 1st place in a qualifying round, and more money for winning later playoff rounds. The winner of the whole shebang gets $400,000, on top of whatever else they've earned on the way there. Sounds complicated? It is. But that is good. The structure is made to find the top player, and I think it gives enough opportunities for players so that getting lucky is not enough.

In the game I watched, Moneymaker was pretty pathetic. In his first two qualifiers, he placed 5th and 6th, leaving him with 1 pt only. In this game, he came in fourth, but only because he played scared. I root for the guy, because I feel that everyone considered him lucky to win the 2003 WSOP. Its hard to shake that reputation of being lucky. Without respect at the table, it is even harder to play forcefully. But you have to make things happen in poker, and Moneymaker was playing like me after Vegas, a scared kitten. Never good at the table.

Mortensen is a mad man. I have some respect for his game. He came in 6th and 1st in his first two qualifiers, and took down the win in this one. He was aggressive, maybe overly so, but it got the job done. He was heads up with Liebert at the end of the game. Liebert already won her first two qualifiers, and spent much of her time at the table yapping away. I was watching from the comfort of my bed and even I wanted to strangle her. Heads up, and Liebert has maybe T200,000 to Mortensen's T1,000,000. After doubling up, Mortensen was ahead by less than T100,000. It didn't look good when Mortensen was first to act and went all in with 56o. Kathy, naturally, called with AJ. Mortensen made a straight on the river, to win the tournament. Some may say that he was lucky, but I'd disagree wholeheartedly. Before that fateful hand, Mortensen called Kathy's all-in bets (and many earlier all-in bets by other players) and lost more often than not. But the law of chance demand that he win eventually. People may think that Mortensen gave up a lot of his chips by making stupid calls, and then won the game by getting lucky. I propose that he lost a lot of chips by being unlucky a bunch of times, and he won the tournament by getting lucky once. However, by his style, he had the cushion to be unlucky, and only had to be lucky once to win it all. A bit convoluted? Sorry, its the best I can do.

I have to get some meaningful work done now. But let me just say that Full Tilt sent me an email with a reload bonus offer. Are they mocking me?

posted by Jordan @ 11:14 AM,


At 2:59 PM, Blogger Poker Gamer said...

i don't like moneymaker. i think he's not that great. Hey..i added a strategy guide to my site...check it out if you're interested.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Thanks for commenting gamer. I'll definitely check out your strategy guide.

As for Moneymaker, he may not be that great. But the man deserves a certain amount of respect. Maybe I'm biased though, because I saw in his eyes the very problem I have suffered from in the past...fear. Fear of a loss. Granted, he is no Chan, Brunson, Negreaneau or Juanda.


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