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Daniel - Poker Journal

Ivey is the Best

05 Jun 2009


When Ivey got down to three handed in the 2-7 no limit event at the WSOP, he was, by far, the least experienced player at the table. His two opponents play that game regularly in LA and Ivey only plays it occasionally in the big mixed games. Both players were better than Ivey at the game, but Ivey is just a better poker player. Period.

When they got heads up, and I read that Ivey made a big call with an Ace, I knew then, that it would be over soon. I knew then that he must have picked up a read on his opponent and would play mistake free poker from that point on.

Ivey's story is similar online where some experts would question his fundamentals. He doesn't play the game "properly" and is exploitable, according to some. Truth is, Ivey readily admits that when a young kid plays him online, Ivey usually loses at the beginning... until he figures them out. Then, he just destroys all comers.

In my ESPN Fantasy Pool I took Ivey with the second overall pick. I've got some side bets on that which will help offset the $200,000 I'll have to ship Ivey for our standing bracelet bet. Last year I got one and beat him for $200,000, so we are even now with me having a shot today. There are 126 players left in the 8-game mix and I sit second in chips behind David Oppenhiem. Another poker freak who just happens to be at my table today.

My other bets are all looking good. I've cashed in two consecutive events, 10th in the Stud for 20 points and a 43rd place finish in the PLO/PLH event. It's an event I probably shouldn't have even played since I had to miss substantial time out from the 8-game mixed event, a tournament that I feel is really good for me and others who have played high at the Bellagio. In this 8-game mix I really don't feel like I have a weak game. My PLO game is much improved, so I'm not even sure what my worst game in the mix would be. Not a clue really.

Fatigue is an issue, but I'm much stronger this year than in past years. I've been going for several days straight until 3:00am and while I fade late in the evening, I'm still able to play well.

Here is a look at all of the point bets Erick and I ended up making:

John Juanda Barry Greenstien
Chris Ferguson Barry Greenstien
Jeff Lissandro Barry Greenstien
Mike Matusow and Justin "BoostedJ" Smith
Greg Meuller Matt Glanz Shawn Buchananen (Spotting them best two of three)
Mike "SirWatts" Watson Justin "BoostedJ" Smith (laying them 1.6 to 1 odds)

Of those matches we are slightly behind Lissandro and Greenstien, as well as the Matt Glanz crew. Erick and I added some more incentive to our wagers in the way we'll handle the money. We are splitting all the bets, but if we win, the person with more points gets 60% of the profit. If we lose, whoever got less points will have to pay off 60% of the bet. So far I've got 25 points to Erick's 15 points. I'm a favorite to get at least 10 points in the 8-game mix with it paying 24 spots.

So far I'm very happy with my start in terms of quality of play. I'm playing very well, never quitting, and consistently getting deep. I see myself cashing at LEAST 6 times this WSOP. Hopefully with two wins.

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