|Jesse May, multiple
author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes
a bi-weekly column.
|Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his
colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the
widely respected novel, Shut Up And
Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced
21st Century Cincinnati Kid.
also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to
the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the
|Losing streaks are funny
things. And if youre a gambler youre gonna spend about half your
time in the midst of one, so you better get used to them. If youre really
really good, you might cut that figure down to 25%. Thats if youre
great. If youre the best that ever was, you might only have to spend 25%
of your time giving it away, just emptying your pockets like youre Kerry
Packer. Thats still a lot of losing to get used to. And as a gambler,
thats where you usually make most of your money. When youre losing.
How youre losing.
Now one things for certain is that
theres a lot of ways to lose. Theres the guys who show no emotion.
The stone faced lip curlers who can swallow a one outer with one brief shudder,
the pain goes down inside like theyre flipping back a tequila shot. That
stuff comes back to haunt you, you can only leave the gas on for so long before
somebody strikes a match. Theres the berserk maniacs, weve seen
them in action, who throw cards, dishes, and verbal taunts in one giant belch
up of a losing fit. They dont exactly make the most pleasant dinner
The logical way to deal with a losing streak is to figure
out what youre doing wrong. The scary thing to do is to consider it bad
luck. Whipsaw Greg says to the Man Magee, Man, Ive been losing too
long now. What am I doing wrong?
Man Magee looks Greg straight in
the eye and says, Greg, everything is fine. Its just bad
But Man, thats the worst thing, says
Whipsaw Greg, Because, I think Im cursed! And thats the
irony of the losing gambler. If youre doing nothing wrong, then its
entirely possible that you might be cursed.
Now into the second week of
Wimbledon, two things are clear. One thing is that John McEnroe is the best
sports commentator currently in broadcasting. The other thing is that the
sixteen gentlemen left in the gentlemans draw are the sixteen big time
players who entered this tournament. Somethings happened to the courts
this year, and Wimbledon is a shot makers tournament. The shots are the
aces, the touch volleys, the lobs, and the back hand crosscourts that hit the
chalk. The image is of Lleyton Hewitt getting a one hundred thirty mile an hour
serve back across the net, and three impossible recoveries later turning the
point into a winner.
The major matches, the matchups everyones
rooting for, the tennis that will have you glued to your seat with a ramrod
spine are, in the upper half of the draw, Henman beating Sampras and Rusedski
beating Ivanivesic to lead to the all British Henman versus Rusedski semifinal,
which could go five sets, with a 22-20 game frame in the fifth. In the lower
half of the draw, Agassi versus Hewitt is the greatest matchup so far this
millenium, Agassi will be a slight but not overwhelming favorite. The final
should include a Briton, and the home crowd advantage will be deafening, the
tabloids cranked up to a fever pitch, John McEnroe on the box twenty-four hours
Blue Square Odds (www.bluesq.com) have
broken new ground by opening up a betting market on the European Poker
Championships, to be contested beginning the seventh of July at Victoria Casino
in London. The event is 2000 pound buy-in, and with the field limited to 130
runners Blue Square is actually offering some competitve value. And for punters
who fancy their chances in playing, Blue Square is offering some better odds on
their money than theyll get for winning the thing. Swissman Hans Pfister
just beat thirty of the best players in Europe when he won the Superbowl in
Dublin in April, so at 66/1 hes far from unfair, and if playing
hell likely be sourly strapped in there at the end. Mickey Finn taught
survival techniques to a whole legion of European poker players, but hes
still the Master when it comes to hanging around in a No Limit Holdem
tournament. With ¼ odds first four places, its hard to see him not
being value each way at 50/1. The Irish mob has been spotted by the bookmakers,
Betson, Parkinson, Flood, and Magee all in at 20/1 or less. Some fool has been
talking about them too much, because the secret is out about the Irish playing
No Limit Holdem.
Its good to see Blue Square entering the
sport, even if the maximum bet is a modest $100, its the most competitive
poker book since Bet-Ex ran a book several years ago on the Superbowl in Dublin
that proved disastrous because of then unknown Hendon Mobster Ram Vaswani.
Poker tournaments are a great betting sport. In addition to outright markets, I
can see group betting options or head to head matchups evaluated on total
performance over a week or several months. Team Carborundum is thinking about
Barney Boatman because hes so underrated, and a mens Wimbledon
final of Andre Agassi versus Tim Henman, because you can only get what you want
if you ask for it.