Wow Internet players are bad.
Watching the early stages of the Main Event is a valuable tutorial on how not to play tournament poker.
At table 39, we watched as a guy in mid-position raised to 300. The button (wearing a Party Poker hat) flat-calls. The blinds fold. It‚Äôs two-way action. The flop comes K-K-6. Both quickly check. The turn is another 6. The mid-position guy bets out 600. The button calls. The river is a 3. No flush on the board. The mid-position guy bets 1k. The button calls. The button flips over pocket Jacks. The original raiser flips K-Q. In other words, the button, in the best possible position in poker, does not re-raise his Jacks pre-flop. He never bets on the flop to find out where he stands. He doesn‚Äôt re-raise on the turn (say another 600, which ultimately would‚Äôve saved him money if HE was re-raised again‚Ä¶he could‚Äôve just folded then). Instead, he just calls down the worst hand, which started as the best hand and likely would‚Äôve won had he re-raised on the button. Terrible.
At table 47, we watched a 30k pot go down between three guys (who had all limped into the hand). With a flop of 10d-9d-6s, the button bets out 2500. He is raised5000 to go. Chops caught the third guy‚Äôs hand (who wears a Poker Stars shirt), which was 7-6d (so a non-nut flush draw and a gut-shot straight). He calls. The original raiser then moves all in. He‚Äôs called by both guys. The original raiser flips over pocket 9‚Äôs (a set). He‚Äôs up against 10-9 (two pair), and the Poker Stars‚Äô kid who is on a non-nut flush and gutshot straight draw. The river is a blank, and the trip 9‚Äôs hold. Leaving the table, the Poker Stars kid says, ‚ÄúHad to do it.‚Äù What? Risk your tournament life when there‚Äôs already a straight possibility on the board and when you don‚Äôt have the non-not flush draw? Folding early means he‚Äôd still be in the tournament. The bets indicated he was beat. We think looking back, he‚Äôd do it differently.
You won‚Äôt find much bad play though at this great stretch of tables: Howard Lederer (44), Doyle Brunson (45), Huck Seed (46), John Juanda (36), and Phil Ivey (48). We watched Ivey masterfully play his button position to take down a 2k pot, and he sits with around 15k right now. Seed has over 20k. Lederer around 18k. Brunson is hurting though, hovering around 6-7k.