Main Menu
WSOP 2002
Daily Report
Jesse's Report
2001 WSOP
2002 WSOP
2003 WSOP
2004 WSOP
2005 WSOP
Top of Page
Top of Page
Top of Page
Top of Page
Top of Page
Betfred Poker
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Diary   | News   | Email
World Series Of Poker
 Jesse May Reports
April 19th - May 24th, 2002

Other Jesse May Reports : Warm-Up - Thirty Hours To Go - Jeez !! - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Days 4&5
- The Final Action
Jesse May in
Las Vegas
#5 Day Two

And then there were less. In the beginning there were 631, and day number one saw them falling like flies. On the first day of the World Series of Poker pretenders get lopped in giant bunches, leaving the tournament like clumps of hair. But yesterday was day number two. And the second day is the fat getting trimmed. As the field for the 2002 WSOP slimmed down yesterday from 357 to 131, we were seeing the outline of what will be, and who it is that will be the ones doing it.

There aren’t too many excuses for going out on day one. You got trapped with your stack, you played too many hands, Johnny Chan was on your left. You can whinge all you want, but there aren’t too many excuses for hitting the rail on day number one.

Now a lot of good poker players hit that wall on day number two. And while it’s possible to be a pretender and still be there, it’s just not very likely. Because by the end of day two you’ve played sixteen hours against the cream of the crop. You checked your guts at the door and stuck your heart on the felt. And if you’ve found yourself one of those 131, then my hat’s off to you. Because you’ve just gone and done a lot of things right.

From peak to peak goes young Julian Gardner. With 199,000 he’s the current chip leader, in torrid form. He’s skinny in his blue checkered button down with the ice cold sunglasses and a ramrod spine. What’s Julian Gardner doing? He’s raising the shit out of everything. He’s scaring them back to prehistory, taking people off their game like derailing trains. I seen him bust a man for forty thousand with a ten and a deuce. And listen to the hand because it was poetry in motion. The action is folded around to a hotshot in the small blind, who raises Julian’s big blind to two thousand dollars. Julian calls for a flop of ten-seven-four, at which point the raiser leads out for two thousand more. Julian sticks a toe in the water, with a tester raise to five thousand straight. Now the hotshot does the double deep reach, and reraises all in for thirty-five thousand. Julian thinks, and Julian calls. Julian calls thirty thousand more with a ten and a deuce. Top pair, bottom kicker. And it’s good . The man has ace-queen, no pair, and he stuck in a fortune because he knew Julian couldn’t call. Or maybe he just doesn’t know Julian. Because if the kid gets an inkling, he’ll back it to the hilt. And that’s a key in no limit Hold’em.

Who else has chips? Well, David Chip Reese. One of the games old timers is in with a vengeance, a star of the seventies who’s still got game. He’s got 176,000 and thirty years of desire. Because the World Series Championship is the only spot missing on one of the top resumes in the whole poker world. And this may be the best chance he’s ever had.

The pride of the Irish is now Alan Betson. And with 130,000, he’s in a nice spot to keep on cruising. Early yesterday and Betson’s pissed off. He comes flying out of the room and sucks down half a cigarette in one breath, cursing himself in Irish epithets. “Got myself in trouble, I did,” he muttered in that thick mustached accent. “Cost me six thousand, it did. I didn’t have to do that. I could have just seen a free flop with those two damn nines. But I went and tried to win it from the big blind.” The hand set him back to about thirty grand. And all the while he’s pacing, back and around in the little anteroom between the tournament area and the bathrooms. It ain’t like he’s not missing hands. But two things were more important - the cigarette, and he had to regroup.

And regroup he did. Because he went back in and just got busy. For the next four hours he raised every hand. He was like a mosquito, buzzing around in every pot. He made a guy lay down two queens before the flop. In a raise and reraise against a dude in an eggplant shirt, Betson stuck it all in to the tune of 23,000. Long pauses and deep stares, and while the eggplant sweats, Betson is cool with a sip of his water. And over the course of what I later found out were four of the longest minutes of Betson’s life, the man in purple became convinced that Alan could beat two queens, and he flipped them up and threw them in. I ain’t saying what Betson had, but the fact is that he made a man lay down two queens. That’s not just strong. I call it stultifying.

Don’t give up. The cards can run as salty as a sea lick, but if you don’t give up you still got a chance and things can turn on a dime. And sometimes the short stack exhibitions are the most impressive of all, because the grim reaper is breathing down your neck at every second, and if you even so much as turn to glance, he’ll slay you cold. Keep your head front and don’t stop fighting.

Just ask Jack Fox. The Nevada lawyer has been sixteen hours and always short chips, but he’s still one of the 131. Jack Fox may be mild mannered, but that’s deceiving. He’s crumpled in a gabardine suit, and his little hands are still double the size of his pifflerous stack. But his heart is as big as the whole damn room. He could have stuck it in and had a hundred excuses, but the plain fact is that he wouldn’t go out. Down to 4300 early yesterday, he managed to stay one step ahead all grueling day. And the 16,000 he’s got now is the most he’s had since the tournament began. Hey, at least he’s still in.

Yeah, day two is a great divider, and it’s not only the big stacks who attract the attention. Everybody who’s still in has a got a story about avoiding the hangman’s noose.

One hundred and thirty-one players will enter day three, and only forty-five will survive. Still being in it is a tremendous accomplishment, but as Chris the Greek says, “It’s a lot of work from here. It’s like you just started walking from Las Vegas to Atlantic City - it’s just that far.”

Other Jesse May Reports : Warm-Up - Thirty Hours To Go - Jeez !! - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Days 4&5
- The Final Action
Home | Index | Links | Information | Film Review | Columns | Diary | News | This Week | Email
Lotteries | Casino Gambling | Games | Betting | Spotlight | Book Review | Glossary | Advice

This document maintained by GGGwebmaster.
Material Copyright © 2000 - 2012