Since last we spoke Pt.6 Bracelet come down, Hellmuth rants, Polar Bears & PPCs
After the 10k PLO wrapped up, I sat in my car, and did some last minute selling for the 50k Players Championship already underway. Nearing 40 hours of being awake I was feeling a mix of delirium and relief, and while you are able to late register Day 2 of this event, the 50k is Christmas morning to me. I figured I'd be awake all night reading the Day 1 updates regardless, so I may as well hop in now when the blinds are relatively inconsequential, and decompress while playing this thing that I love. I remember two things about this experience:
1- Phil Hellmuth going out of his way to seek me out, shake my hand, and congratulate me on my PLO win. I'm expressing this as a testament to the character of Phil. Funny thing for me is back in 2012, a few years before he and I would ever meet at a poker table, I remember getting up from my Stud 8 game to congratulate the winner of the Razz event taking place on the stage across the Pavilion Room ( not that anyone would or should care ). For a number of years I specialized exclusively at heads up Razz online, thought I was among the best at that format, and with this being one of my first WSOPs I was curious to get a look at the winner. I wound up shaking Phil's hand that day, for the first time, when he took that event down.
As it turns out, we would have a few less pleasant exchanges at the table between 2014 until this point in 2016, when I made it clear that you cant use playing at the table against me as an excuse to express things to me you wouldn't otherwise say - I see it as a betrayal of my personal relationships with people, as I'll always put my friendship before the game in every ethical sense.
Him finding me upon entering the 50k was a stand up move I thought, and since 2016, Phil has gone out of his way to be extremely mindful of his conduct while playing alongside of me, which aligns with the things in my code of ethics that I value unquantifiably. Poker is supposed to be a competitive but enjoyable experience, and I'm thankful and appreciative of all of this.
Also worth noting that Rob Mizrachi ( right of me ), Wass ( left ), and Cory Zeidman ( far left ) were fucking hilarious throughout the course of this blowup.
2- I played with David Grey for the first time that night, and wished I'd chosen bed. Don't misunderstand, I legit love David, but here are a few things you should know about him - He's nicknamed The Rave, top 5 handle for sure, because the man is a talker. Incredible storyteller, however on zero sleep, just trying to process a hand of poker, playing next to him was impossible. He also plays tight solid poker, contrary to his gregarious personality, so if you're expecting otherwise it's going to be an expensive lesson.
Similar to when I late registered the Razz back in 2014 after winning my first bracelet, I played abysmal poker, and it was a party for anybody at my table that night. I still don't think David's ever seen me play a reasonably solid live session. Few have.
I never got anything going in the 50k this year, and just tread water maintaining starting stack throughout Day 2, before my fantasy owner, Daniel Alaei, put me out to pasture early on Day 3 like the boss that he is. What a drag.
After busting the literal best event of the entire schedule, a theme to boost morale is 100% mandatory. This was the birth of the $1,500 Polar Bear Stud 8 Event as a tradition. I think the misconception was that I was making some passive aggressive statement regarding the infamously frosty temperatures that actively contradict the name Amazon Room, but I'm from Chicago so you can toss that. Everything about me mostly boils down to just being a huge weirdo.
The plan was to wear the Polar Bear getup for as many days as I'd last, and enjoy the ride. I remember late Day 1 going into an annoyingly long tank on whether to flat or iso a specific 3 card hand with an awkward stack size. I don't know that my raise changed the outcome of the other player's decisions, but we did play the hand heads up, and the boards ran out in my favor for a crucial double. There's usually at least one really pivotal hand that my brain processes as less normal that will stand out to me from a tournament, and this dumb third street spot happens to be the one that sticks out the most. Before long the Polar Bear prophecy would be fulfilled, and my better half found himself at our second Final Table in less than a week!