12/09/2004

Let the People Speak

Andy Ward

Four Queens Poker Classic, Las Vegas
$500 Omaha Hi/Lo
Report by Andy Ward on Sunday, 12 September 2004 at 7:48 am

Hello from beautiful downtown Las Vegas. I like it downtown ; there's more emphasis on gambling, less on exploding fountains and tigers sawing each other in half (of course in my case I mean gambling in the tightest sense of the word). Four poker rooms right next to each other ensures plenty of action to choose from. I'm looking forward to the WSOP next year but in a way it is a shame it's not going to be downtown. As of the now though, this is the Four Queens tournament. Small buyins and smaller fields are a little easier to manage. The Hellmuths and the Hansens have bigger fish to fry, but they're here in spirit. "Hey, that's a Hansen move" the eggs say to each other when one of them knocks some poor sod off with J7. You'll be alright.

So what am I doing here, playing in tournaments that are no bigger than the ones half an hour from my door ? Well for a start this is Las Vegas, not Luton. Duh ! One of the other reasons is that, loath as I am to disagree with the Camel, I find the people much friendlier in the smaller games. Last night I was in a single table satellite with Simon Trumper and seven drunken fratboys. Great fun. Only one of them was going all in blind and finding Aces mind you (take a guess). Another reason is that, unlike back home, pretty much anything goes when it comes to table talk.

This gives the weaker players a chance to express their frustrated desires to be film stars. Some of the acting on display here makes Home and Away look like The Godfather. Single table satellites are RADA remedial classes in their own right. Here are a few virtuoso performances I have seen in just two days :

Big sigh when the river card comes, followed by reluctant bet = Nut flush

"I think I can outdraw ya" on the turn = weak pair that doesn't want to face a bet on the end

Pretend to be about to fold when another player is considering a call = 2nd nut straight

All in preflop with "You know I'm making a move" = Ace King.

And so on and so on. When you let the people speak, you let them tell you what they have. I admit I fell for one of the above, but I blame it on jet lag, and anyway Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me. Once someone shows you he's doing this all you have to do is give him a bit of a stare and he'll tell you what you need to know.

I'm not here to demand change at the Vic - I never go there anyway. But When in Rome ... combine listening with the odd "there's no shame in passing" (American tough guys can never resist the awesome hypnotic power of this mantra) and you can act all the way to the bank. Let the people speak !


(above) Barny, Bonnie, Andy and Joe

Latest News Update:
The Omaha Hi-Lo final is down to five, Ram finished 6th for his third final of the festival and Joe is still there going well having started the final as chip leader. Full Result will follow.