|Jesse May, multiple
author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes
a bi-weekly column.
|Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his
colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the
widely respected novel, Shut Up And
Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced
21st Century Cincinnati Kid.
also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to
the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the
||This week begins what is unquestionably the
greatest tennis month of the year, beginning with the French Open and
concluding with Wimbledon. To win one of these tournaments a player has to win
seven consecutive best of five set matches over two weeks. Its a minimum
of twenty hours of hard fought tennis, and usually a good deal more.
One reason the Grand Slams make such great betting events is because of
the sheer size of the fields. With 128 runners, the first rounds feature
sixty-four separate betting matchups, twice the number of matchups that they
have in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, known as March
Madness. If you cant find some good betting opportunities from sixty-four
possibilities taking place over two days, then its better to change the
Rather than look for the really good players sure to get
through to the next round for a bet, Team Carborundum strives to identify the
absolute worst players in the field, the last out of 128, and bet against them.
Like in last years US Open, when wildcard Malivai Washington was playing
the last professional match of his career on knees that were not necessasrily
his own. If youre injured and youre playing French Open baseline
tennis, where there are very few quick points, and you have to run back and
forth and hammer shots from both sides of the court, well, lucky net cords
aint gonna win the match.
Byron Black has been on a very limited
schedule for the last four months, and TC figures he must be injured. The only
tournaments hes showed up for besides Davis Cup are the Masters Events in
Indian Wells and Miami, which have nice paychecks even for first round
knockouts, which he was. Black is playing Israeli Harel Levy, who could as soon
run the Annapurna circuit as play his first round match. This guy is fit, and
hanging with the likes of Gustavo Kuerten cant be bad for his game.
Poor Paul Goldstein cant seem to get anything right. Hes
had trouble to win even a set this year, and the likelihood of him getting
through to the second round on clay is dire. Hes from New Jersey, but it
wont help. Memphis man Chris Woodruff is playing a qualifier in the first
round, but Team Carborundum will try a random guy whos just won three
qualifying matches to steamroll the Tennessee Cough.
Now you have to be
gutsy to win the French Open. Its not like at the US Open, when Pete
Sampras vomited in the corner and then hit a second serve ace in the corner of
the box to win the tournament. In the French Open, you have to vomit in the
corner and then play a twenty-seven stroke rally with two diving recoveries
from overheads. You dont want to peak too soon. In 1999, Andre Agassi
practically got knocked out in the second round against Arnaud Clement before
going on to play his best tennis at the end.
The French Open always
seems to be one by a guy who just starts running and just wont quit. Like
Agassi, Chang, and Kuerten. But Kuerten may be susceptible in heart stopping
five setters, and his draw is tough. The young Spanish phenom Juan Carlos
Ferrero declared two months ago that he would play every match in every
tournament leeading up to the French Open, if need be. And hes
practically done that, playing himself out of the tournament in the process. A
leg injury and not enough rest lead to a slim chance of winning seven matches
in a row.
With the 2001 World Series of Poker now in the books, I got
news for people who count their fingers twice after they wash their hands.
Binions Horseshoe were gracious hosts. Thats a fact. The young
Benny Behnen and the Binions staff went out of their way to make the
event accomodating for players and spectators alike, the comps were fast and
furious and closed circuit big screen TV coverage of the final table was
provided for all spectators. Its clear that Binions Horseshoe is
serious about continuing the thirty year tradition of the World Series of
Poker, and thats the way it should be.