Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Friday, July 18, 2003

Exclusive - New World Poker Champion !

I don’t read the papers much but I was leafing through the Times last weekend and I saw Danny Baker’s column. I like Danny Baker (whatever anyone says) so I read it, and he was talking about meeting Jimmy White. The Bakemeister reported “He told me that, as well as still being in snooker’s top sixteen, he was also the world poker champion, which was something I didn’t know”. That’s something none of us knew ! I don’t remember the Poker Million 2 being upgraded to World Championship status J.

Whether the Whirlwind really said that or it was just a bit of journalistic license from the Crafty Cockney, who knows. Hey, I don’t care, it’s not as though he’s stolen the title from me. And I had £10 on him to win the thing anyway ! How did he do it ? How did I know he was going to do it ?

Of course I didn’t. I just had a fair idea that with a fast clock and a No-Limit structure, any aggressive player had a chance. 10-1 was good odds. Pot-Limit I would have needed 20-1 or more. And this simple fact blows all this crap about “No-Limit is the Cadillac of poker games” out of the window. Cash games where everyone has huge stacks and 3 days to set up their opponents, maybe. Tournaments, no. People win No-Limit tournaments who wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell playing PLHE or PLO. Because when you get lucky in No-Limit, you can get lucky for all someone’s chips. All in one go and that’s them fucked.

It must be said though that at times the better players push themselves out on a limb. Ready to be sawn off. Many players are so conditioned to playing aggressively they don’t know any other way. Classic example from the Poker Million heat, Roy Brindley and Steve Davis were heads up, fairly equal chips. All Brindley needed to do was sit tight, play poker, keep chipping away and not give Davis a chance to get lucky. What he did was blast it all in with some crap (ten high or something I can’t remember), Davis found AQ, thank you and goodnight. Then in the final Joe Beevers (who ought to know better, I’m not sure about Roy) went all in with an Ace, and Jimmy called with 64 suited. At least Joe was in front, but why shove it all in and give his weaker opponent a chance to get lucky ? Don’t ask me. I don’t know.

If you ask anyone what’s so great about No-Limit they say “well you can lose all your chips on one hand, one mistake and it’s over”. Well, one bad beat and it’s over too. A good player can normally manipulate a weaker opponent into getting the chips in as a 60-40 favourite (on average). If you can beat someone 60% of the time, which would you prefer, best of five or a one-off decider ? In Pot-Limit (to simplify) you get a best of five (or a better analogy might be that you play till someone gets a 3 point lead). In No-Limit it’s all or nothing. Is the Tennis World Championships played over one game ? Snooker over one frame ? Golf over one hole ? Of course not. So why is poker so often played over one hand ?


Post a Comment

<< Home