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Daniel - Poker Journal

On the Road, the LV Journal, and the Video Blog

04 Jan 2007

My flight was cancelled so I have a few minutes to address a few things:

1) The LV Journal printed some comments I made about Hachem's win at Bellagio. They asked me a question, I responded. I said that Joe is the best WSOP champ since Carlos Mortensen. That he is miles ahead of the others. I believe that to be true.

Joe plays the game like a pro and would do well against tough competition. WPT events are generally a better barometer of skill because of the deep stacks, slow moving blinds, and tougher competiton.

Having said that, my reasoning for saying Joe is miles ahead of Moneymaker, Raymer, and Gold, were not based on limited results, but based on persona experience or what I have seen.

I don't believe that the other three players could win against tough competition, while I genuinely beleive that Hachem has enough game to do well against good players.

Some people took offense to my comments claiming that Raymer shouldn't be lumped into a group with Moneymaker and Gold.

The Raymer makes some ridiculous post saying, "It's better to win at 400-800 than lose at 4000-8000." I post my results on my website in all games. I'm wnner in all forms of poker outside of online poker and the High Stakes Poker cash games on television. I am winner in the 4000-8000 game.

I was asked by a reporter what I thought of Hachem's play and since I was impressed, I decided to give him a little bit of praise. My intentions weren't to diss the others. I don't think any one of them should feel "dissed" by being lumped together behind Hachem. With Gold, it remains to be seen what he'll accomplish.

As for Moneymaker, he did have an impressive finish on the WPT, finishing 2nd. Raymer, obviously had that run at the WSOP ME two years running, but I've yet to see him do well against tough fields.

The ME is amateur hour as far as the skill level. The single most donk filled tournament in the world.

Finally, I have played with all of the players and Hachem's approach is the best. Gold's is similar, but he is VERY raw and makes some silly errors. Moneymaker has potential, he really does. I just think he may be a little too caught up with "other things" since winning. Raymer has holes in his game that top players will exploit. His approach to the game is more like Matusow's than Hellmuth's.

In my opinion, playing deep stack tournaments with a somewhat kamikaze approach makes it difficult to win consistently, whereas, a player with a "small ball" approach like Ivey, myself, Hellmuth, Grinder, Tuan Le, Lindgren, Hansen, etc. will get to the final table more consistently by avoiding too many coin flip situations.

2) Video blog should be up soon. You can find it at www.fullcontactpoker.com.

3) My flight on American was cancelled AGAIN! So sick. So now I'm on a layover in Atlanta on my way to Nassau. I will likely be playing day two so that I can rest tomorrow.

4) High Stakes Poker. They gave me the ok to mention that in show #2, Gabe Kaplan and I will be switching seats with him playing over me, and me going in the booth to do commentary. Those episodes will run on Jan 22nd and Jan. 29th.