Gone too Long?

Gone too long?… Gamblers are allowed to slip off the face of the earth. They always pop up in some hole, years later, gambling in the new card room in Chungking, China. So if you haven’t heard from a gambler for a while, you can be sure they’re in heavy action. Or they owe you money. My excuse is Las Vegas, where I disappear about this time every year to gamble on the Superbowl, eat steak, and try to set a record for consecutive White Russians imbibed during a game of Pai-Gow. It’s crucial to return to your roots, no matter how much it costs you.

Reserve your room, Now?… I didn’t make it across the waters to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions this past month. But flying horses will have to keep me away next year. Sounded like great value from every angle. I sweated heavy from the Internet, and as I had bet my socks on England winning the Ashes on Betfair, I frankly could of used a little more in depth coverage of the Ashes final, when it all came down to Simon “Aces” Trumper. I still haven’t found out what happened, but this Australian Sammy must have played a masterful match to sew up the title. I’ve seen Aces play plenty heads-up, and he’s a pesky fly that will flit all over you.
The rest of the coverage on www.pokernetwork.com was excellent. I especially enjoyed an afternoon watching Lucy Rokach raise her way to the Pot Limit Omaha title against a tough final table that had no movement for at least forever. Lucy is the kind of player who doesn’t get very tired of raising. And if the raising is not working, her plan B is usually the reraising. She’s a fun player to watch, even on the Internet. I can guess what her match in the Ashes went like.
Poker bettors can take a lesson from this Aussie tournament, because the results provided clear evidence that the Betfair markets were haywire. In the Ashes betting market, England was one way traffic, shortened from 4/5 to 1/2, but a team of the best Australians proved they can compete on even terms with any playing nation. In the Aussie Millions main event betting, the field entry was backed from an opening of 5/1 down to 2/1, yet the field proved to be a virtual non-runner from two tables in. There are clearly some strong players in Australia, but the scene is still missing the depth of Europe, where anyone with a Swedish last name can win a major tournament. The Turnips, as we like to call them, showed up in Amsterdam in force with their crazy before the flop long looks and jerky raises, but they were mostly absent from Australia. The main lesson I’m taking from all of this, however, is that when “The Elegance” Beevers puts out a line, you better have some strong evidence before disagreeing with him.

Travel bills… Most European pros made a decision. Attend the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, or hit the World Poker Open at roughly the same time across the globe in Tunica, Mississippi. Peter “The Poet” Costa, however, recognizes no restrictions on time and space. Less than three days after winning half a million AUD’s as the Australasian Champion, Costa showed up at the final table of a Tunica tournament. I thought it would have taken him at least that long to get his satchel of money through Customs. Costa has arguably had the most impressive twelve months in the whole poker world, and while there might be some discussion as to whether he’s running hot or just that good, four corners of the globe are unanimous in the feeling that Costa is a perfect gentleman at the poker table.

Yankee Pairs… American poker television may not be as far behind as we think. Lyle Berman has reportedly struck a deal with the Travel and Leisure channel to air his World Poker Tour broadcasts beginning in late 2003. The made for television series features the final table of several big buy-in events, the bulk of which have already been recorded. Players still looking to make it on the Hollywood screen will have a chance in Paris next month, and then again in the $25,000 buy-in final event in April at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. Though the TV show does not use under the table cameras, a magnetic card reading device is employed to give the audience similar information.

A mere seven days between diaries for all of February… you can bet on it.