Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tournament of Champions

I, like many of you, watched the ESPN WSOP Tournament of Champions last night. I, like many of you, have thoughts and opinions on the show. Without further ado, here they are:

Doyle's chiding of Phil Hellmuth was amusing. I have a theory on Phil that states he is a master marketer. Granted, he's a fine poker player too; but I maintain that much of what we see of Phil is an act, put forth on the viewers to ensure his personality continues to make him additional money. Paul Phillips disagrees with me on this, but you know what? Fuck him. Kidding :)

Raymer's play near the end was a bit suspect. I know it's his style to be aggressive, but either he was on a bit on tilt or just got unlucky when he chose to push. Still, I was rooting for Greg because he's shown nothing but class during the entire WSOP.

I applaud both Annie Duke and Howard Lederer for playing against each other as if they were not brother and sister. When Daniel Negreanu pre-flop raises and Annie puts him all in with a re-raise, we see that Howard has K,K. He goes all in, just as he should. Not only is Howard a great player, he obviously has much respect for the game.

For this next thought, I'm donning my flame-retardant suit. I know a bunch of you really like and are fans of Annie Duke. I'm not so sure I fall within this camp. To me, she's simultaneously somewhat of an arrogant player, yet at the same time plays up the "I'm just a girl schtick." For whatever reason, that rubs me the wrong way. I grant that she's a fine player and have no problem with her being at that table. It's just that some of her personality gets to me. I'm sure she really cares about what I think of her too.

A co-worker brought up an interesting point. Both he and I believe that given this tournament's payout structure, there HAD to be deals made to share the prize money. Who made deals with whom? I have no idea. But it was interesting that Raymer seemingly gave away his chips to Annie on some rather suspect plays. It was also interesting to note that while Annie and Daniel were in a big hand, Raymer rather uncharacteristically chimed in with his "Is this a bad time to ask you for your autograph?" question. Was he trying to throw off Daniel a bit in an effort to help Annie? This is all very much conjecture, but I would not be surprised if there were deals made between any of the players. It's just too much prize money to ignore that possibility.

I have to admit that was the most entertaining tournament I've watched in a long time.

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