Indirectly, via Negreanu's forum, I noticed that Roy the Boy has been embarrassing himself again. Now I'm the first person to say don't put poker players on a pedestal because of the odd play, a couple of results or even plain reputation, but neither should you cast them down on flimsy evidence. If Roy, or anyone else, wants to criticise Chan or Lederer based on their own experience of playing against them over a period of time, fine. However, to do so based on one hand taken out of context on TV is ludicrous. It is also completely baseless to claim some kind of European superiority of America as a result of World Series results. Only the best European players are going to make the trip (plus a few tourists like me), to play against the whole American poker population from A to Z. His other "evidence" is that half a dozen Americans couldn't win any of their 16-runner heats in the Dublin WPC. So what ? Proves nothing.
Poker is an individual game. Setting it up as Europe v America is pointless. I'm all for a bit of camaraderie when you're on foreign shores, but often you hear people say something like "good luck to all the Brits against them Yanks" and I think why ? There are plenty of British players on whom I wouldn't piss if they were on fire. Conversely there are Americans I have played against who have been nothing but friendly and likeable - Chip Jett, Frankie O'Dell and (briefly) Paul Phillips for example, and I'd always root for them.
Patriotism aside, if you really want to know how good someone is, play against them, live. If you can't do that (and fair enough, we can't all sit down in that Bellagio game just to find out how good Ivey really is), then listen to what they say and read what they write. Chan is clearly a "coaches in the car park" man, nothing wrong with that, but Lederer's trip reports on RGP are top notch and show a deep understanding of the game. I can't say the same for Brindley, who first caught my eye with a "Play of the Month" report in Poker Europa in praise of a pathetic piece of angle-shooting, and has never impressed me since.
As for me, I enjoyed myself so much in Luton the other night I'm going to switch my focus back to live play for a while. I've made $4,000 in three months online but god damn it's been boring, and at times very frustrating. We'll call that proof of concept, and should I ever hit the skids (even if only in poker terms) it's there to play. I am in the process of booking for the Bellagio WPT finals in April ; between now and then I'm going to work on my game as an intellectual challenge, and any money I make's a bonus.
I guess that was quite a ramble ! Why not though on a lazy afternoon, at least until my appointment with the nurse to have my ears syringed. Don't say I never write anything personal on here. And watch out next time I play, because I'll be able to hear you muttering "43 ? What kind of hand's that" !
Half an hour later update : Another titbit I have to share with you from my afternoon of surfing. Here's a hand Simon Trumper descibes in his diary.
"During the first level of 25 50 I made it 250 to go with TT. One limper called, flop was 9 T J, both checked, turn Q, he bet 200, I called, river 8, he checked as did I. He had called my raise with K8. I knew if I had bet the flop he would have called as later I saw him call a bet on the turn with K7 on a flop of 3 9 7 T. He caught a K on the river to win."
This is what you're up against with the real top players. They can see into the future and read you based on what you're going to do in a later hand ! Just kidding Simon, I think I know what you meant :-)
Later that day I can now hear like Amarillo Slim (I'll tell ya boy I can hear a mouse pee on cotton). Insert own joke about what Amarillo Slim likes to hear. Moving right along. It's giving me a headache to be honest. I'm like that guy in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, much more of this and I'm going to go back and ask them to put it all back in. No really it's much better, and maybe the headache is actually due to reading too many of Roy's exploits over the past few months. I have often wondered what exactly it is that sponsors get for their money. Usually they can rely on at least a bit of glad-handling of the Internet qualifiers. Our man's above all that though :
"I’d already decided it was not prudent to find any of the thirty or so Ladbrokes qualifiers on the flight, as the prospect of a hyper-excited millionaire candidate bashing my ear for the duration of the flight talking flops, sets, straights and slow-play was a little too much to digest considering the seven day card fest ahead.
Poker Million seat winner and now WSOP qualifier Mark Wallis says “hi” as he scrambles back to 34F (sounds like a desirable bra size) but, desperate to avoid talking poker, I sink back in my chair head bowed searching for one of those caps I hate so much."
And the amazing thing is he writes this in his own column on Ladbrokes' website. I don't know. You think the guy in Luton who calls your raise with J4 is the biggest mug in the game - he's nothing compared to some of these sponsors. Enough already. The time I spent ploughing through these was rewarded in the end by the revelation that Roy thinks people from Manchester speak with a Manchurian accent. I'm still chuckling at that one. I know, I'm such a bitch !