Mouth + Raymer Redemption Spotlight Tonight’s WSOP Coverage

Day45Sure, Joe Hachem won the $7.5 mil WSOP ME first prize in a grueling heads-up battle against the Weaz.  But the real focus of this year’s WSOP, the topics that everyone wanted to discuss, revolved around two totally different forms of redemption from two totally different players: Mike "the Mouth" Matusow and his 2004 nemesis, Greg Raymer. 

Tonight, both get their-fair-share-of-face-time with ESPN’s continued WSOP coverage.

Matusow spent six month in the clink before coming out and playing the best poker of his life during the WSOP ME.  Expertly working his way through the massive field, Matusow rebuilt his rep as one of the best NLH players in the world.

Maybe because of the glasses, maybe because he was an Internet-qualifier many thought would flame-out like Chris Moneymaker, but Greg Raymer never gained the full respect that some of his 2004 final table opponents, such as Josh Arieh and David Williams, received.  However, Raymer’s overall 2005 WSOP performance was even more impressive than last year’s world championship bracelet victory.  Raymer cashed in three 2005 WSOP events (including a final table appearance), and if not for a river suck-out, would likely have cruised to another ME final table.  Best of all, when he wasn’t busting every player in sight, he was threatening to bust a weirdo spectator’s head open.

While Matusow occupied the featured table for much of Day 4, the best action was actually at the REAL featured table, which included Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Howard Lederer.  Lederer eventually was sent to the rail, but Juanda and particularly Ivey came out with an arsenal of chips.

Salz1_1_1Tim Phan continued building an impressive stack on Day 4.  And a host of foreign players showed that poker is right up there with futbol and the planet’s favorite past-time. 

While Day 5 saw Russell Salzer continue to receive history’s longest massage, most of the talk centered around the top pros building mountainous stacks of chips, including Greg Raymer.  Raymer was joined at the Day 5 featured table by the sole remaining chick with a chip, Tiffany Williamson.  The chip lead changed hands several times during the day, but when play completed with 27 remaining rounders, Mike Matusow sat with the biggest stack.


7 Responses

  1. snake

    November 2, 2005 9:20 am, Reply

    what a difference between raymer and the headband wearing schlub who got all hellmuth on the guy who called his all in on the flop (the schlub had pocket twos and the other flopped aces). When Raymer’s preflop all-in got called by Tiff with him holding pocket Kings and Williamson with A-Jo, you could see him immediately glance over to her and think to himself “You frickin crazy lady …what the hell are you thinking calling a 1.3 million dollar re-reraise with A-Jo). But in typical Raymer fashion, he kept his mouth shut with dignity and let the board play out, eventually to his favor. No drama. No bitchin’. No playing to the camera about how the only thing between him and a second title is stupid calls by amateurs. Well done Raymer.

  2. snake

    November 2, 2005 9:49 am, Reply

    and oh yeh, now we know what she was holding when the Sheik reraised her all in. ESPN did a good job editing and showing how long her decision took under the restraints of a hour broadcast … when we were watching it as it happened live…it seemed to be like 20 or 30 minutes total. can’t believe she took that long with K-J …. perhaps the Sheik prevented a Williamson suck out (which wouldnt be a pleasurable thing no matter how you read into that) by reraising all in with his pocket Aces.

  3. BlackSpy

    November 2, 2005 11:13 am, Reply

    That she made it to the final table is a disgrace. Maybe it’s selective editing, but she plays like a moron. She even takes longer than certain WCPT regulars.

  4. snake

    November 2, 2005 12:13 pm, Reply

    yeh if you go back to some of the wsop reporting we did you can see some instances where lady luck was on her side. it’s understandable though and you almost always see a newbie at a final table or in the good money who got there by pushing it all in preflop ’cause they know they can’t outplay the pros after the flop.

  5. YCO123

    November 2, 2005 12:20 pm, Reply

    Playing dumb, loose, crazy, ‘amateur-ish’…whatever you want to call it, is not a bad strategy in the late stages of tournaments when you know you’re way over-matched. If you’re gonna get beat eventually, take dumb-ass chances and roll the dice. Don’t underestimate the amount of luck she had on her side for 5 days. And as most gamblers would agree, I’ll take luck over skill anyday.
    Also, although I doubt this was her motivation, I’ve seen the 10-20 minute call/fold delay in large $ tourneys used to perfection in pissing off a table-there can definitely be some tilt inducing effect with that move.

  6. snake

    November 2, 2005 12:59 pm, Reply

    yeh agree…was what i was saying and it definitely works on occasion and is often the only choice for them if they’re going to repeatedly get taken off good hands after the flop (see the guy folding pocket tens to Matusow’s all in with the straight draw). And seeing it first hand, it wasn’t her motivation but it did work to effect somewhat when she went up against the Sheik afterwards with the A-7…not that the bet/call was induced by the previous match up but it stung more for the Sheik when he lost the hand considering he was already chapped with her.

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