Well, that’s only half true – I do have a flight later this evening, but my bags aren’t quite packed yet. I guess I do everything last minute. Wes and I won a scotch doubles 토토사이트추천 pool tournament a few months ago, so we get to go to Vegas for free and represent the Triangle area in the national tournament. So basically I have another excuse to go out to Sin City – for the third time in two months. I’m sure we’ll be spending most of our time taking money off the other pool players at the Riviera poker room. Hell, we might even be doing so well that we totally forget about the pool tournament. Just kidding, wouldn’t want to have to forfeit the money given to us. And given both of our competitive natures, I don’t think we’re physically capable of forfeiting anything. One of the days I’m out there, I’ll definitely make the trek up to the Bellagio to play in their daily tournament (either $500 or $1000 depending on the day). That’s always a good tournament, unlike some of the other smaller buy-in, super-fast structured tournaments at other hotels. Plus I might get to check out some of the crazy action of the $4,000/$8,000 blind mixed game that the big name pros play there. Pool and poker in Vegas for a week – not a bad way to live.
When I went to log into PokerStars yesterday, I had to install the new version of software. This usually happens once every couple weeks or so, and most times I can’t even tell what changed. But this time it was easy to see – PokerStars is now offering H.O.R.S.E. and H.O.S.E. ring games and tournaments. That’s pretty exciting. I’m not sure why – I’m not that experienced in any other game besides Holdem, but hey, I can act like a big time pro. For those of you who don’t know, H.O.R.S.E. is a combination of games – Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud, and Stud Hi/Lo. H.O.S.E. is all of those except Razz. I actually entered a H.O.S.E. tournament yesterday – 192 players and I was happy to finish in 20th place. Unfortunately, only the top 16 paid, but I felt good about my ability to win pots in games that I don’t play every day. Maybe I’ll improve enough to enter next year’s $50,000 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event – yeah, and maybe the Lions will win the Super Bowl too.
At that point, Binger and Wasicka’s stacks were dwarfed by the stack of Gold. But due to the slow moving blind structure, it was still anyone’s game. They had to take chances though to have a chance to win. Which brings us to the aforementioned other boneheaded play of the final table. Gold had the button and limped in. Wacicka called in the small blind. Binger then raised it up. Both Gold and Wasicka called. The flop came out Tc-6s-5s. Wasicka checked and Binger followed up his pre-flop raise with a bet of $3.5M. Gold immediately moved all-in. Wasicka was then clearly upset and kept muttering to himself, “This is sick. This is sick. This is disgusting.” He thought about it for a few minutes before folding. Binger then immediately called with A-T and Gold turned over a straight draw with 4-3. Binger was the big favorite, but Gold had eight outs. And the turn came with one of them, 7c, and Binger was eliminated in 3rd place receiving $4.1M. Now what was so boneheaded about that hand? Well, it wasn’t the play of Binger or Gold – Gold put the pressure on with outs and Binger was able to get his money in with the best hand but got unlucky. No, they both did what they had to do. But it was Wasicka’s play that was mind-boggling. He could be lying, but after the cards were turned over, Wasicka said he mucked 8s-7s for an open ended straight flush draw. What in the world was he thinking? With an open-ended straight flush draw, he had 15 outs twice. Looking at the odds on CardPlayer, he was over 50% to win the pot. With all that money in the pot, it should have been a no-brainer. Maybe he figured Gold was on a higher flush draw. But still, why not try to win 1) the pot, 2) potential first place money (almost $6M more than 2nd place), and 3) the friggin’ Main Event of the World Series of Poker! I just don’t get it. By folding that hand, he practically secured his spot in 2nd or 3rd. The river was actually Qs, which would have given him the flush. Binger would have been eliminated, and Wasicka would have had an actual chance to beat out the big stack heads up. Of course, maybe the cameras will show that Wasicka didn’t in fact have that hand.
So going into heads up play between Wasicka and Gold, Gold had him outchipped $79M to $11M. Only seven hands into heads-up play, Gold talked Wasicka into calling all-in on a Q high flop with T-T. Gold in fact had a Q, and Wasicka failed to improve on the turn or river. Jamie Gold won the 2006 Main Event, winning $12M. Wasicka finished in 2nd, taking home $6.1M.
Gold was absolutely ecstatic, hugging his mom as the crowd chanted, “Gold! Gold! Gold!” He then called his ailing dad and left a message saying, “Believe it or not I won. I love you dad. I hope you’re proud of me.” I hope you’re proud of me? Sounds like Gold’s been trying to please his dad his whole life without much success. Or maybe he’s just really insecure. Either way, that was a bizarre thing to say. Nevertheless, his play the whole night was phenomenal. He played great big stack poker. Maybe he talked too much at the table, but he got most of the players (except for Cunnigham) to do what he wanted them to do. It will be interesting to see how ESPN portrays him – if he’ll be a jackass or a great player. He definitely had some Hellmuth-esque moments where he felt like he was the best player in the world, saying, “I can’t play any better. I can’t play any better than this.” Maybe he’s right – he has the bracelet and the fat check to prove it.