Sunday, May 31, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 4: Wave Upon Wave of Demented Avengers March Cheerfully Out of Obscurity Into the Dream

Pink Floyd, 'Animals' (1977)Always been a Pink Floyd fan. Animals, that 1977 LP featuring a suite of Orwellian-themed tunes about pigs, dogs, and sheep, was probably the last album in the oeuvre that I got to, having been too distracted by the sounds surrounding the icy waters underground, the lunatics on the grass, lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, and hands that felt like two balloons.

Even after I finally picked up Animals, for some reason it took me awhile to get into it, but eventually I did, and over the years it has become the one Floyd record I tend to listen to the most. Might be because the cuts rarely turn up on the radio -- I think the last time “Dogs” was played was when Johnny Fever played it on WKRP back in 1978 -- thus making it more inviting to pop onto the turntable (or, as is more frequently the case today, to dial it up on the iPod).

Been listening to Animals a lot this week, mostly while running at the fancy fitness center where I’m staying. Still doing my regular two miles a day on the treadmill, usually doing so a couple of hours before I go to the Rio. Most days I’ve had Animals on the iPod. Maybe it’s ’cos I’m so immersed in poker at the moment, but seems like just about every lyric on this LP can be applied to the game in some fashion.

You Have To Be Trusted By the People That You Lie To

Isaac HaxtonThe $40K event swiftly made it from 23 players down to the final nine yesterday. Change100 and I were on the case, along with Mickey and Dave (two terrific field reporters for PokerNews), and we covered the proceedings fairly comprehensively. Justin Bonomo held his chip lead for a while, then slipped back after Alec Torelli then Isaac Haxton took over the top spot.

Haxton, looking less like Joey Ramone and more like Rivers Cuomo with his newly-cropped hair, made some good moves during the day, including showing a bluff or two. He also ran well. He rivered an unlikely runner-runner straight versus Ted Forrest in a hand in which he’d been betting the whole way with nothing, then backed into something good there on the end. Then he got paid handsomely on a hand in which he flopped a set of sixes versus then-chip leader Torelli’s top pair of queens.

I remember last summer that Haxton was at the first final table I covered, that $5,000 Mixed Hold’em event that Erick Lindgren ended up winning. He was the short stack at that one, though, and busted within the first orbit in ninth. (Bonomo was at that final table, too, now that I think about it.) So I’m looking forward to seeing how Haxton does today having the early advantage against Vitaly Lunkin, Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis, Greg Raymer, Alec Torelli, Justin Bonomo, Dani “Ansky” Stern, Noah Schwartz, and (a now short-stacked) Forrest.

Ha Ha, Charade You Are

Tony GOne of the highlights yesterday was when Tony G (who ended up bubbling the final table in 10th) doubled up early on with pocket tens versus Veldhuis’ king-queen.

After winning the hand, the G was joking in a light-hearted fashion about Veldhuis having called his all in with K-Q. “Now, king-jack, that would have been nice," he said. “That would have been a Ralph Perry.”

Of course, Tony G was referring to that hand from the 2006 Intercontinental Poker Championship in which Ralph Perry gambled with K-J against him, then the G dressed him down afterwards for his “disgraceful” play. Safe to say that’s probably the most-watched Tony G hand on YouTube.

You Better Watch Out, There May Be Dogs About

SheepAlso going on in the Rio yesterday was the first of the two Day Ones for the $1,000 buy-in “Stimulus Special” no-limit hold’em event (Event No. 4). Sounds like they have reached their 6,000-player cap for that one, so the parking lot was packed when I arrived about one o’clock yesterday. As was the Amazon Room, natch.

Not surprisingly he most-frequently referenced animal at the Rio yesterday was the donkey, although I found myself thinking more often of sheep. Those that know the Floyd tune know how it operates as a cynical treatise on the ill consequences of “following the herd.” It also rocks.

There are certainly some good players among the Event No. 4 field -- some “dogs” among the “sheep,” so to speak. They’ll emerge eventually. But for this weekend, anyway, we’re definitely hearing more bleating than barking.

You can follow today’s events -- including hand for hand coverage of the $40K final table -- over at PokerNews’ live reporting page.

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Blogger Julius_Goat said...

I think you are my music twin.

5/31/2009 11:10 PM  
Blogger Pauly said...

There's someone in my head, and it's not me.

6/01/2009 2:58 AM  
Blogger Littleacornman said...

And watching for pigs on the wing...

6/01/2009 6:25 PM  

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