The final event of the third season of the World Poker Tour ended a few minutes before midnight at the Bellagio resort here in Las Vegas. The $25,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event played the final table Sunday at 4:00 pm and played on and on until only one was left. Tuan Le survived the field of 452 players and seven days later was crowned the WPT Champion. The six players going into tonight's final table was a representation of some of poker's toughest competitors, so the action was top rate. Phil Ivey was the first to go out in sixth place collecting $264,195 on the way to the door.
The fifth day of the WPT $25,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Championship event finished this evening a few minutes before 8:00 pm when Tuan Le took out two players, Bo Sehlstedt and Mark Rose, to trim the field to seventeen. Both Bo and Mark received $75,465 in prize money. My long shot pick to win the event, Isabelle Mercier, collected $56,615 for her 28th place finish. Isabelle played a solid game, held her own with the guys and was the last surviving female so I expect to see her finishing in the money in many future tournaments.
Some of the craziest and most outrageous things are said or happen in a game of poker. The following is a list of some of my favorites:
1. Amarillo Slim Preston has been quoted as sayingIf a woman ever wins the main event of the World Series of Poker, I'll cut my own throat." I approached him a few years back and asked him if he really said that. He claims he stated,If a woman ever wins the World Series, I'll eat my boot." As a female contender for this title, I hope to hand him a knife and folk on that fateful day.
I mentioned in a column a while back that I had started to play on line with some money sent my way by the generous folks at Party Poker (Hey, if you're the most successful on line poker site you can afford to be generous, no?). It was nice to play with funds that were, literally, House Money. I figured that, at worst, it would be interesting experiment in on-line play.
Well experiment I have - with low stakes Stud and Hold Em games, large tournaments and the one table variety called Sit and Gos. It's been fun and remunerative.
Often we are so focused on one thing that we miss an opportunity. That's true in the game of poker as well as in life. Here's an illustration I presented to my advanced poker class at the Claude Pepper Sr. Citizens Center.
You are in a late position and are dealt a pair of 8s. There are no raises preflop with three opponents in the pot; you call, hoping to catch a third 8 on the flop. The flop comes down-Your first reaction: Oh, shucks, I missed! I didn't make a set of 8s.
Don't be surprised; after all, the odds are 7-to-1 against it.
During our last lesson we began to explore the fascinating and profitable world of poker tells. We started with the basic concept that many players try to disguise their hands by acting in ways intended to deceive you. Tells aren't just cold, mathematical calculations and strategies; they also involve powerful psychology. And when you understand that psychology and your opponents don't, their money becomes yours.
In trying to close the gap between the player I am and the player I want to be, I often find myself bogged down in complicated and conflicting strategic advice. One way out of this mire is to try and reduce complex concepts to trivial one-liners. Here are a few of my favorites:
Have you ever had the experience of doing or saying something that was just like one of your parents? In fact, you may have not only sounded like one of them, but you were being them. This is referred to as your "Parent Ego State." And, wow, does it ever show up in casinos.
Dealers are trained to take charge of their tables. So, if they had recorded very critical and demanding parents in their heads, who's likely to show up? Yep, you will suddenly see their parents taking charge, correcting you, supporting you, being tolerant, being impatient, being chastising, or whatever.