Did appreciate the extra half-hour, mostly taken up with the heads-up battle in which Joe Cada outlasted Darvin Moon. Actually by the very end of the show I was starting to feel like it didn’t really need to be much longer than it was. Perhaps having followed the action so closely as it happened made me less eager to see every hand again, but I think two-and-a-half hours of this sort of thing is probably plenty.
Liked the sportsmanship at the very end quite a bit. Also thought Phil Ivey came off as the coolest cat ever.
Was also thinking quite a bit during the show of the whole “luck-vs.-skill” contest once again, wondering now and then how it all might have appeared to those less familiar with what happened during the 364 hands and/or those who are less versed in poker, generally speaking. Did the selection of hands make it look like poker was a game of skill? Or did it come off as a drama-filled series of coin-flips in which chance ruled?
One of the most interesting aspects of poker, actually, is how difficult it is to say definitively whether in any given hand “luck” or “skill” prevailed. Outcomes are driven both by players’ actions and the cards dealt. In fact, two people watching (or playing) the same hand may likely come away with differing opinions about whether a hand was skillfully played or “played itself.” And it goes without saying that a person’s judgment is also highly influenced by his or her own poker-playing experience and knowledge.
I made a note last night of which hands were being shown. Of the 364 total hands, we got to see 32 on the telecast. Not going to rehearse all of the details of each hand here (you can read about them further on the PokerNews live blog), but here is a list with hand numbers and brief reminders of the action. You decide whether in each hand “luck” or “skill” seemed more important:
So what was your impression? Or your impression of how other viewers might have seen the show? Does poker look like roulette, or chess?
Hand No. 11 -- Moon limp-reraises with from late position, forcing Schaffel to fold pocket nines in the big blind Hand No. 14 -- Ivey’s all-in shove with pocket kings forces folds from Cada (pocket tens) and Shulman (pocket fives) Hand No. 44 -- Akenhead survives going all in with K-Q versus Buchman’s A-K by spiking a queen on the river Hand No. 45 -- Moon’s crazy play with A-4 versus Saout’s sorta crazy play with J-2 in which the latter fortunately flopped two pair; “I messed up big time,” said Moon afterwards Hand No. 53 -- Cada’s loses a lot with versus Moon after flopping a flush draw, then not getting there Hand No. 54 -- Schaffel doubles up with pocket aces versus Akenhead’s pocket kings Hand No. 59 -- Akenhead eliminated when his 3-3 can’t catch up to Schaffel’s 9-9 Hand No. 68 -- Schaffel eliminated with pocket aces versus Buchman’s pocket kings when a king flops, then Buchman makes quads on the turn Hand No. 90 -- Moon’s crazy flop fold getting 8-to-1 or something versus Begleiter (see discussion here); Moon did have , it turned out, and Begleiter (overs, straight outs, and nut flush draw); and did Moon tell his wife he had queens afterwards??? Hand No. 92 -- Shulman folds pocket nines to Ivey’s all-in reraise with K-Q offsuit Hand No. 106 -- With ace-high, Ivey pushes Begleiter off his pocket sevens on the river after a scary group of community cards had arrived Hand No. 112 -- Ivey raises UTG with pocket jacks, Saout reraises from the button with pocket sevens, and Ivey folds (I believe this was the very last hand before the dinner break) Hand No. 122 -- Shulman takes a big chunk from Cada when his A-K outlasts Cada’s A-J Hand No. 131 -- Cada survives with pocket fours against Ivey’s Hand No. 153 -- Saout and Begleiter get all of the Frenchman’s chips in on an flop; Saout has the flush draw, and Begleiter a pair of eights; the flush comes Hand No. 175 -- Moon’s A-Q eliminates Ivey who had A-K after a queen flops; loved Ivey’s line when the turn brought a trey: “Close.” Hand No. 187 -- Moon again uses A-Q to eliminate Begleiter, whose pocket queens turned to mush after an ace came on the river Hand No. 195 -- Cada survives, spiking a set with pocket treys versus Shulman’s J-J Hand No. 199 -- Cada’s pocket rockets survive versus Moon’s K-9 offsuit Hand No. 236 --Shulman eliminated when his pocket sevens lose race to Saout’s A-9 Hand No. 259 --Buchman wins a big chunk of Saout’s stack after heavy betting on a ten-high flop; Saout had a ten, but Buchman had the better hand with A-A Hand No. 264 -- Buchman loses a bunch back to Saout with A-Q versus the Frenchman’s A-K Hand No. 271 -- Moon () eliminates Buchman (), turning a king Hand No. 272 -- Cada survives, spiking a set with pocket deuces versus Cada’s Q-Q Hand No. 276 -- Saout eliminated with pocket eights versus Cada’s A-K after Cada rivers a king Hand No. 277 -- Moon slowplays pocket queens in first hand of heads up; ends up winning a decently-sized pot versus Cada’s 9-9 Hand No. 288 -- Moon check-raises with air on flop, then turns a queen to make top pair, ends up getting Cada to call a big value bet on end Hand No. 293 -- Cada turns top two pair with and forces Moon to fold his fourth-best pair on the river Hand No. 323 -- Moon pushes Cada off of his A-Q with a preflop four-bet; Moon says “I had a monster,” but it was A-J Hand No. 347 -- Moon and Cada both have J-9 offsuit, but Moon’s aggressive betting gets him the pot on the turn Hand No. 356 -- With the board , Cada makes the big call with all of his chips with ; Moon has , and Cada’s hand holds up Hand No. 364 -- Cada wins the bracelet when his pocket nines outlast Moon’s
(Photos courtesy the great FlipChip, natch.)