|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
Three WSOP - The Day of Respect
|Jesse May in
There are some things you can't
control at the World Series of Poker. You get all your chips in with a pair of
queens against an ace-king, and you'll know what it feels like to have no
control. All time stops while tournament director Bob Thompson declares "Player
all in," and the cameras cluster around like a gaggle of geese and that big
boom mike comes swinging over the table so the whole world can catch your
screams of pain or war whoops of victory in the eleven years that you age in
the freeze frame of the flop, turn, and river of your destiny. There are some
things you can't control in the World Series of Poker, but that doesn't stop
Day Three from primarily being a Day of Respect. Because that's when everybody
sees what you're made of.
It's nice to dream about becoming a World
Series of Poker Champion. You can dream about it, talk about it, and get eleven
testimonials as to your skill and edification in the science of Hold'em. But if
you wake up on Wednesday morning with chips and a chair, if you wake up at all
because you're fortunate to have gotten to sleep in the first place, it's then
that you realize that if you want to win the World Series of Poker then the
only one who can turn the dream into a reality is you. It's not what you think,
it's not what you say, it's only what you do. And for a lot of people, that's a
terrifying concept. Because on Day Three everybody sees you for what you are.
You wanted to be a poker champion, well here, let's see it. It's enough to make
a guy start hugging the porcelain goddess.
That's why poker champions
of today have almost no false laurels. There's no champions by committee and
there's no prize money for players who don't put up the goods. And when they
pared down the field from one hundred twenty players to the final forty-five,
when they played down to the people who'll get a minimum $20,000 return on
their $10,000 investment, you could hear the mantra of the great poker
philosopher Cong Do, it was ringing out as if from a loud speaker, as he tells
me again and again, "The battle is from within."
There were a lot of
gutsy performances turned in on Wednesday. One was by Barney Boatman, who along
with Mike Sexton became one of only two players to finish in the money this
year and last. Barney started the day under tremendous pressure, with a very
low stack and lots of glad handed advice to just stick it in early and hope for
the best. Not Barney. He folded every hand for the first hour straight, before
finding the 7-8 clubs in a three way pot with an ace-four-five and two spades
on board. Barney sensed weakness and shoved all his chips in the center of the
table, practically a stone bluff, but his timing was perfect and his opponents
folded up shop. Now with forty thousand in front of him, he calls Caliente
Aaron for ten thousand dollars with the board showing queen-seven-four-deuce. I
knew what was gonna happen, and apparently so did Aaron. Because when a five
hit on the river he sat and thought for over five minutes before checking the
action to Boatman. No sooner had Aaron's hand touched the felt before Barney
said in a clear voice, "All in," his thirty thousand moving towards the center
with the same speed that Caliente's cards flew towards the muck. "Ace high,"
Boatman whispered to me later, "I knew he had nothing." And then how Barney
proceeded to survive for the next nine hours, I'll never know. He always had a
short stack, he never had a hand, and yet when the day was over Barney was
still in the tournament. Some guys just refuse to lose.
Two players who
didn't make the final forty-five, but not for a lack of trying, were Padraig
Parkinson and Diego Cordova. Both of them busted out on the bubble in the wee
hours after the dinner break on Wednesday night, but they responded to every
gut check with the stuff of champions. They should both say to themselves, I
tried my best, I'm proud, and I'll be back. And they impressed a hell of a lot
of people along the way.
I tip my hat to the final forty-five players
left in the 2001 World Series of Poker. Respect.
|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 three tables, 27
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.