May The Fours Be With You

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

World Series of Poker, Las Vegas
$3,000 No Limit Hold'em
Report by Joe on Tuesday, 18 May 2004 at 9:25 am

It’s been a very busy World Series of Poker this year following on from the Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic for the Mob but we’ve had the last three days off to rest and prepare for our last three events. Today’s tournament was the $3000 NLH and a big field was expected as many see this as a warm up to the $10,000 Championship event. Tomorrow’s event is the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha with re-buys and I have always believed this to be the best chance of a Mob Gold Bracelet.

Six hundred and fifty one players sat down to start at Noon – well actually about 500 sat down whilst the other 150 were in a queue that went round the corner and off in to the distance. Players were still signing up nearly an hour after play had started. A small piece of advice to anyone that is going to play the main event – don’t register on the morning it starts, it will be mayhem. It is worth the trip to come up to the Horseshoe the night before or even earlier to buy your ticket. This makes sense as well as it is not inconceivable that it will sell out although I would bet under 1850 as I type.

On my table at the start today were Carlos Mortenson (great to have as he can really loosen the table up), Barry Shulman of Cardplayer, Dewey Tomko who doesn’t say much but proved himself when second in the WSOP main event and Harley Hall who was on the WSOP final table the year Robert Varkoni won it. I didn’t know Harley before that final but I now admire and respect this guy as a great player and one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet at the poker table.

Quite early on Barry Shulman decided to slow play Kings and he doubled Harley through when he flopped a set of fours but still had chips left. About two hours later Harley raised with Kings, Barry called and flopped a set of fours taking back all his chips and some. Quick as a flash Harley said, ‘Live by the fours, die by the fours.’ And then ‘ May the fours be with you.’ And he said it with a smile on his face. He tells me that he always thanks dealers when they deal him a good hand but never complains when the bad beats come, kind of like a ‘dealer freeroll’. He proved his point when he got the remainder of his chips in with Kings (again), this time against pocket Queens and the flop came down 3, Q, 3. Harley got up as if he was leaving a dinner table and wished everyone good day. A lot of players could definitely learn some table etiquette from this guy.

Barry’s son Jeff came over to ‘Mob House’ last week with his lovely girlfriend Christy and before, during and after the barbeque (we found another use for Ram after all) they interviewed the Mob. There will be a big feature in the edition after next (the first edition in June) Cardplayer magazine and then further future smaller features in copies later in the year.

Jeff walked up behind his father today and muttered something about pocket tens and his exit from today’s event. Barry told me that it was a bad year for pocket tens as if he was talking about a fine wine. He went on to say that he had been eliminated from two big finals this year and talking about the event in Tunica won by Mark Seif he told me, ‘I had the best hand (the tens) in that event... until the aces called.’ I tried not to but couldn’t help a little laugh.

I later knocked Barry out and was starting to accumulate chips. I got to about 12,000 and there were less than 200 players left. With tomorrow the one event that I have been looking forward to more than any others I had decided that I was going to try and accumulate a big stack and that there was no way I was going to nurse a short stack in the early hours. I made one re-raise too many and couldn’t outdraw my opponent when he called with pocket Jacks. Ram and Barny are still there and they both have chips (Ram 25,000 and Barny about 12,000). There are 126 players left in total and 63 get paid. I half expect to wake up in the morning and to find one of them as chip leader!