|World Series Of Poker
2001 Jesse May Reports
May 14th - 18th, 2001
|Day Zero -
Day One -
Day Two -
Day Three -
Day Four -
Day Five -
Final plays -
Explain it all.
Four WSOP - The Day of Mute Incomprehension
|Jesse May in
I'm not the only one that spent Day
Four of the World Series of Poker in the throes of mute incomprehension. My
first memory is of opening my eyes from no sleep to see my roommate JC staring
at my mangled face. "What time is it?" I asked him.
"Eight o'clock," he
"Day or night?" And I had absolutely no idea at all. Because it
catches up to you. First your stamina runs out, then your second wind leaves
you, and then your body goes into a state of shock, good for twenty-four hours
extra. But sooner or later it all catches up to you, and then you find yourself
in the throes of mute incomprehension.
The problem is if you're one of
the forty-five players left in the 2001 World Series of Poker. It's no time to
be tired, and it's no time to forget where you're at. You're in with the chance
to be the poker champion of the world, so you better have all your faculties
intact. And just because you made the money doesn't mean it's over. For the
champions, the fight is just starting.
But mute incomprehension could be
seen all over the room on Day Four, and it wasn't just because my eyes were
bleary. With only minor prize changes from forty-fifth place to fifteenth,
players were lining up in an eager queue to get their chips in for a gamble,
with the logic being that you were going to have to get lucky to get to the
final table. When the smoke finally cleared about ten pm, we were left with the
nine players with the coolest heads and the most game. Interestingly enough,
the top four chip leaders at the beginning of Day Four have all made the final
table, an indication that the players who are getting the chips are the kind of
people who have no plans of giving them up any time soon. And when you look at
the makeup of the final nine, one of whom is going to be $1.5 million richer
come Friday evening, the common quality I see is "tude", attitude. The attitude
that has the big picture all locked up and comprehends the magnitude of the
prize, the attitude of a champion.
Hellmuth, Matusow, Diaz, and Henry
Nugget strike me from the same mold, so full of confidence that it bursts out
of them. Not exactly humble, but that's their game, and it makes them play
better. Steve Riehle is revelling in the role as the unknown bumpkin, a country
boy in the spitting image of Catfish Hunter who drawls slow and plays himself
down. Don't be fooled, several people said to me, I don't where that guy comes
from or who he is, but he's got game. A whole big bunch of it.
Tomko is the old timer, a lifetime of experience in the big games and now he's
close to the prize that's always eluded him. And Stan Schrier, a wild card, a
successful poker grinder who's on the big stage now, with a chance to show his
wares. Exciting? I'll be there with bells on.
For the final three I'm
thinking Hellmuth because of talent, and Riehle and Mortensen because they have
the hardest looks on their faces. But at the end of the day it's all about
desire, and I think tomorrow's champion is gonna win this thing through sheer
force of will. Deal.
Editor's Note : Dewey Tomko is the man in fourth spot for all
time finishing in the money in the World Series Of
|World Series Reports -
|The World Championship -
|Jesse is reporting
on The World Championship which runs 14th - 18th May. Its the last of a month
long series of poker tournaments that are known collectively as the World
Series of Poker. The buy-in, or amount of money each player has to pay to play,
is $10,000. Last year there were 512 players which produced a prizepool of
$5,120,000 and 1st prize of $1,500,000. This year there are 613 players, 12
short of the number required to get a $2,000,000 1st prize. Second prize here
is in fact the fourth biggest prize in history.
The game these top
players are playing is Texas
Holdem and the betting rules are defined as No-Limit. This means that when
its a players turn to bet, they may bet anything that they have infront of
them. It is also a freezeout tournament, which means to say that when all of a
players chips are gone, they are out of the event. Until next year.
each of the five days, players are slowly knocked out of the tournament and the
numbers gradually reduce. The fourth day will see the final five tables,
45 players, play on until there
are only nine left. These
players will be those that make up the final table to play to a finish on the
fifth and final day. The last person standing will be the new World Champion.
In thirty years three people have successfully defended their world title.
Doyle Brunson '76&'77, Stu Ungar
'80&'81 and Johnny Chan in '87&'88.