got 350 runners for the World Series Europe in the end. The high buy-in
resulted in a concentrated field of very strong international players. On the
second day, nobody at my table had won less than $1m in their poker careers:
Hansen, Harman, Raymer, Vaswani lined up like an anxiety dream.
first-day table was better, but the big problem was Erick Lindgren: winner of
two WPT titles, with nearly $6m accrued so far. His style is to make small
raises with a lot of hands, indicating his willingness to get stuck in and play
most pots - but not by entering them with weak calls.
I called one of his small raises (from 100
to 200) when I was on the button with 3 spades 4 spades. The big blind also
called. The flop came 6 spades 7 clubs Q spades. Both opponents checked and I
bet 500 with my flush draw and gutshot. The big blind passed, and Lindgren
raised to 1,200. I could have re-raised, but I was nervous that Lindgren might
move all in with a high pair, and it seemed too early in the tournament for
such a big race. So I flat called.
The turn came 3 hearts and Lindgren
bet out 3,200. I could raise all in, but Lindgren might already have a set or
straight, and my draw was much weaker with one card to come. Or he could have
nothing. If the check-raise on the flop was a bluff that didn't work, he'd be
obliged to bet again on the turn. I wasn't really sure where I was, so I
There are lessons here about playing draws, and there's a
broader message. In a multi-table tournament, if one player on your table is
head and shoulders above the rest in terms of skill, you might as well just
stay out of their way. Unless you have them strangled, get your chips