11/12/2004

A Gander of Geese

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

Five Diamond Poker Classic, Las Vegas
Report by Joe on Saturday, 11 December 2004 at 11:47 pm

We’ve been here a few days and the Poker Santa hasn’t been handing out too many presents. The best I have managed is 14th in the $2500 PLO and the Europeans haven’t fared much better. Some of those here include Dave Colclough, Keith Hawkins, Kevin O’Connell, Marcel Luske, Harry Demetriou, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Johansen and Erik Sagstrom. Erik managed to make the $3000 No Limit Hold’em final second in chips but bowed out in eighth. Kiril Gerasimov managed a third in the PLO and apart from Londoner Cameron Angus cashing twice (one final table) let’s hope that the Europeans are saving their best for the main event.

I have just been knocked out of today’s $3000 NLH event which left Ram as the last Mobster still in. There were over 400 entrants which will make for a big first prize even though with over 400 they pay 50 places! This is the same for the $15000 main event that starts next Tuesday providing they get the numbers. Personally I think that that spreads the payouts a little too thinly.

On my table today was the flying Dutchman, Marcel Luske. I have long been an admirer of the way he thinks and plays and today was no exception. He had been in a few pots and his 6,000 starting stack was down to 4,675. He raised UTG to 500 and a solid, stocky, young American made it a total of 1,500. Marcel called and it was heads up. The flop brought Ks, 9s, 4h and Marcel checked. His opponent bet 3,100 more or less setting Marcel in. Marcel thought for about 30 seconds and announcing that his opponent had pocket tens moved all in. His opponent threw the additional 75 chips in and rolled over…pocket tens. Marcel had jacks! It is this sort of play that has won Marcel many titles as well as European Player of the Year 2004 at this weeks’ Poker Awards at Casino Ray in Helsinki, Finland. Marcel told me that with his opponents bet he was very unlikely to have A,K and he wouldn’t have been trying so hard to push Marcel out with pocket Queens so he had to hold a pocket pair and tens were most likely.

With no final tables I’ve been playing a fair amount of side action. This year the action here is the best I have seen for a few years and much better (for me) than the last WSOP. All tables are full on a fairly regular basis. There is even a PLO game with $25/$50 blinds, often with a $100 straddle put on by the winner of the last pot. This game can often become $50/$100 or even $100/$200 in the early hours of the morning. As well as this game the $25/$50 No Limit Hold’em has seen some great action and very long waiting lists. There are a number of guys here from Dallas who like to Gamble (yes with a capital ‘G’) and the games are very lively with an average pot size that would make most games blush. I found myself in such a game last night. Josh Arieh (third in this year’s WSOP main event with a $2,500,000 cash) was sat in the centre of the table wearing his bright red LongHorn baseball shirt and ordering Grey Goose and Red Bull like it was going out of fashion. He sat fairly deep and the vodka slowly worked it’s magic making his bankroll disappear. I saw him make such plays as calling a $700 raise from the small blind and then betting $2000 on the K,9,7 flop with pocket deuces. Those of you who have watched the WSOP on ESPN will know that he didn’t do himself too many favours in the personality and popularity stakes and I have heard many players call him unflattering names. I must say though that where as many drunks can be rude or obnoxious Josh can be amiable and funny (most of the time). The dealers probably didn’t mind too much because whereas they usually get $1 a pot Josh was happily parting with $25 and $100 chips – he even encouraged one of the Dallas boys to tip a $100 after winning a pot by agreeing to match it.

Players in Vegas get comped all sorts. Most basically eat and drink for free. Josh was trying to get me off the water and asking me to drink with him so I order a fresh orange juice. The waitress came back laden with MGDs, Grey Goose and Vodka and Michelob Lights and handed me my orange juice. I tipped her $3 and she told me that the orange was five bucks! I asked why and she said that she had to get it from the bar. I asked her where the Grey Goose bottle lived and she just smiled. It seemed a bit strange but she was right – Josh could drink a whole bottle of Grey Goose for free but the juice had to be paid for. I told Barny the story and he just looked, smiled and said ‘Work it out Joe’.

For a full list of results so far from the Third Annual Five-Diamond World Poker Clasic at The Bellagio, Las Vegas Click Here.