I’m going into day 4 of the WPT championship tomorrow. It’s already felt like a long tournament, but it’s not even half way over. Sure, we’re though half the field… but that doesn’t mean much.
It’s interesting watching players hit their walls. In a week-long main event tournament like this one, there comes a time for every player where they run into it. I’ve heard the same phenomenon occurs in marathons. You reach a point where you just feel like you can’t go further. You can see it in their faces… they lose a pot, get down from their high-water mark, and implode. You don’t see that same thing happen in a normal event… but in week-long tournaments, it’s everywhere.
I don’t really have much to say about the tournament except two things…
I don’t consider myself the best at many things… but I do think I am the best in the world at being able to spot poker talent. That was pretty much what the crew was all about… being able to see somebody in a 2-4 game and know that they are the next Johnny Chan or Phil Hellmuth. Godt, today I spotted such a talent in a young poker player named Yevgeniy Timoshenko. The kid has more raw talent than I’ve seen in a very long time. I’ve never played with him before today… never even heard of him. And granted, this isn’t a 2-4 game, so it’s not as hard to make predictive calls about young players in this one being great. But I’ve played with a lot of bracelet winners and poker champions in this one, and he was the best I’ve played with so far. He was also really polite and likable. And what was probably most impressive was that the kid TOOK HIS TIME. He didn’t rush any decisions. I don’t think he’s going to win this event… I’d bet against it at the odds his chips are giving him. The reason I think that is because he’s playing this tournament like somebody who doesn’t know the feeling of busting out of a major, once-in-a-lifetime (or at least once-in-a-season) turnering. So he’s reckless… he’s not afraid to call all of his chips with pocket tens (which is how he busted Bonomo, who I definitely consider to be one of the greatest players to ever grace the game). He overplays his hands and he’ll get trapped… not by me, because I’m not going to be at his table. But by somebody. Dog, I will say this definitively… I would be willing to bet even money that within the next five years this kid has won a WSOP bracelet and has a poker magazine cover.
I am one of the luckiest poker players left in this tournament. There are really only four players who can credibly give advice on how to win the WPT championship event, and I have one of them coming over right now to review some tapes on my competition tomorrow and help me spot some tells. Yep… Mr. Low-key himself, Joey Bartholdi. Time to wrap this blog up… I gotta roll one and start finding videos on Jennifer Harman and Mark Seif.