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The Admiring Throng

September 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Yes, that is singular.  And funny. Oh, throw in honest for a change.  It started with a comment. Luckily, I get all emailed to me.  I was taken to task for being dumb.  I'll cop to that too but I'm not so sure here.  Seeing that most will never see the comments from last July 12th blog, I figure I'll move us both here to prime time.


The post in question dealt with a hand at the bubble and was reported on PokerNews.  The hand was nakedly aggressive with – being generous – less than premium cards.  Nothing wrong with that AT TIMES. Here, I'll stick with “Dumb as a monkey on a rock.” or whatever the catch phrase de jour is.

Interestingly, we all just watched the ESPN bubble boy hour this week.  They showed a lot of pros stealing the blinds but they didn't quite live up to Brett's idea of true professionalism.

Let's review the hand:

  • The Pro has 92 suited and is out of position
  • The bubble boy has a single chip and is in the pot with his last 500 in ante

From early position, “The Pro” raises the pot with 93 and there are two callers

  • The Pro” totally misses the flop and leads out which drives out the other two hands
  • Now the cards are revealed and THE PRO is actually ahead and goes runner-runner to drive that home

Brett takes me to task for Poker 101 thinking.  Brett misses the point:

  • 92 is anything but a premium hand and an out of position bluff here is hardly a level 5 move

  • The Pro has no idea what bubble boy holds when he drives the other players off the pot

  • Conclusion: Professionals don't care if they are ahead or behind.  Stealing the blinds trumps that six ways from Sunday and in every possible way.

They actually showed the hand Tuesday night.  The commentary was non-plus by the move and sure weren't quoting Brett's thinking of it as pure genius.

Brett, you told me the guy was a pro twice like that resolves all issues.  Well, I hate to pop your bubble but there are “PROS” out there that are sponging their next buyin and going broke with regularity.  Not all are the power house of say … an Eskimo Clark. 

When I replied, I started off salting the comment with your interest in that month old post – even if it is timely.  That got me a bit of added info.  At least enough to make me curious.  So I went googling too.  It appears you were the “Pocket Fives Live Reporter” so I headed there. Either they don't give you a byline or they deleted your stuff.  I did track down posts there  under your online name and when I searched there for that I got some hits.  The recent ones were all in the off-topic forum.  You remain a quandary that my weak-tight mind just can't get around.

But, I do want to compliment your movie review.  Your “forgetting your wallet” and sticking your girlfriend with the tab was the naked aggression your fellow pros so admire.  I'm sure there is much more but I didn't have time to browse all 5,213 forum posts.  Let me throw in a well done for winning the 2008 media event – even if I can't locate the media.

BTW, my bubble problem is playing too aggressively  rather than “weak-tight” – especially short stacked as many are at that point.  It is a flaw and has bit me in the ass more times than even you'd guess.  That bit of fluff about “I play to win” is a pile of crap about 90% of the time.  I am above average in that respect and closer to 98%.  Thanks for letting me know that it is a professional trait.



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  1. September 24th, 2009 at 05:42 | #1

    WordPress really doesn’t like bullets, does it?

  2. September 24th, 2009 at 11:28 | #2

    I’ll have to remember to never piss you off. 😉

  3. September 24th, 2009 at 14:41 | #3

    Well, B … I can get acerbic at times. But, I really wasn’t going for the jugular on this one so I’d guess is is one of the milder ones in the rant department.

    Typically, I jaw at my friends and ignore enemies. But this clever dude’s 2nd comment got read at 3:30 this morning when I couldn’t sleep over another matter. I guess I was primed.

    There were a couple of really funny things I found of Brett’s on the net if I had been jugular bound. I decide to leave his nether parts intact.

    P.S. How goes the fishing? I envy that. Was always a trout fisherman. Fished most of Michigan’s streams. Also, Two Hole, Snake, Madison, Firehole and few others out west. Would love one more float for the stone fly hatch. Wading is out.

  4. Brett
    September 24th, 2009 at 16:52 | #4

    So to attack me you went searching through an “Off Topic” forum, where everything is said in jest? Bravo.

    Yes, I worked for PocketFivesLive during the summer at the WSOP and also write for PokerNewsDaily as a strategy columnist. I’ve done interviews with some of the best tournament players in the world — players who understand when to pick +EV spots to add chips to their stack on the bubble.

    I came across your post while googling Reed Hensel because I’m going to be interviewing him about the hand in question. I’ll send it along your way if you like, because clearly it’s way over your head.

  5. September 24th, 2009 at 19:13 | #5

    When I originally commented, I didn’t notice that it was a raised pot, so I understand why he bet as he did. There is still the question of table image and the price he’ll pay later. Turning over a 9-2 isn’t conducive to stealing blinds later on.

    Question to Brett: If you think it was a dumb post, so what? I don’t get it. If a man walks out into the street and is run over by a bus, are you mad at him for being stupid?

  6. September 24th, 2009 at 19:40 | #6

    Word is they’re biting…

  7. September 25th, 2009 at 06:31 | #7

    Dave the pot was raised and then bet by the second worst hand at the table. I understand stealing blinds. I understand squeezes. I also understand making your bed. He’s out of position and either of the two he drove out could have had part of that flop or a host of other reason to proceed from ahead. If that was so and he didn’t go runner-runner, he was going to bleed chips. If that is smart poker, it is the most dangerous variety.

    No, I read more than the one post. You are a 27 year old wise ass that is too full of his perceived excellence. You came here and attacked an old post of mine. You started it and now you are whining that I’m picking on you. Get a life.

    The bubble had gone for 2 hours and produced 13 hands. It was to everyone’s benefit to move ahead. I really don’t have a big problem with his squeeze play. But like they say on Broadway, “Timing is everything.” One can do something well in one circumstance and look the hero and in the next look like an angle shooter.

    I did finally find your stuff. It is decent. You like talking about key hands and that can be interesting. Looks like schtick but it works. As to interviews of professionals, the best I’ve encountered were by Craig Cunningham. Instead of a key hand taking presidence, the player did.

    The ‘pros’ you are interviewing are your contemporaries. And many are impacting the game. Interestingly, we’re also seeing balloting for the poker hall of fame going on. There are pros and then there are pros. People have their moment and life moves on and elsewhere. Sam Grizzle comes to mind.

    So, you are going to interview the pro that played it that way and get his thinking. OK, it salable. I think the interesting one would be to interview seasoned, tested pros and see if they’d have even gotten in that hand — let alone raised it.

    Look position is often far more important than the cards. With it you can be inventive. Your boy couldn’t have been playing from worse position. That is being reckless when you don’t have to be. The only way to call it a smart play is in hindsight.

  8. October 3rd, 2009 at 13:53 | #8

    I love blog fights.

  9. October 3rd, 2009 at 17:44 | #9

    I have to agree with the wife. Ruffles some feathers, gets the adrenaline going.

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