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WSOP 2003

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ales of Team Carborundum
The discussion of the no-limit hand that lost Layne Flack the Reno tournament has me agog. It sounds like a damn ace-king coffee clutch and not one edified writer in residence is remotely interested in talking about what was really

    8th Apr 2003
Jesse May
Jesse May, multiple author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes a regular 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.

Jesse is also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the world.
Email : Jesse May

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  instructional from this play.

Layne was tired. Without being there, I can certainly say that fatigue was the most contributing factor to Layne making a mistake in the hand. Layne might have all the talent in the world, but until he takes his conditioning seriously he will never, ever, win a four day event. The extra day in the World Series of Poker final puts the world championship completely out of reach for a fellow who by all accounts has the most talent in the game today.

It’s amazing how blasé most top name players take the big event. They actually believe that after playing a World Series of Poker tournament every day for twenty-five days straight and blowing their minds out until 7am at OG’s, they think that they’re gonna show up on Day 4 of the World Series of Poker with their A-game intact. I tell you what, they are living in la la land, and it is only a testament to how big their egos are and how lollygagged their backers swoon with stars in their eyes and continue to pony up the dough for men with less than no chance.

Two years ago I saw Phil collapse on Day 5, and I saw Daniel Negreanu give out on Day 4. Not criticizing their games in the slightest. But if you saw the freshly lit fire in Carlos Mortensen’s eyes on the walk down the red carpet through the throngs and the lights on his way to the final table, and you then saw the baggy worry lines falling off of Phil’s face, the result was written in stone. Phil was so tired it took him three months to come up with an excuse. And everybody keeps talking about how the unknown faces who keep showing up at the final tables of the main event point to some broader coalition of newfound skill and luck in the World Series of Poker. Malarkey. I can tell you from last year about Julian Gardner, who came to Las Vegas for one reason and that was it. To play in the $10,000 World Series of Poker. Scott Gray, same story. The live ones were your baggy eyed favorites, my friend. It’s amazing that the same people who call poker a sport are running around plying themselves ragged with drink the night before the big one starts. That’s just how big their ego is, and that’s why they need to claim the winners are only lucky, they need it like they need a doctor on day three when the pressure gets so intense that they crack open like a can of sardines and start emitting that foul smell that pervades the whole room. I walk around the day before the final starts with a notepad, and I just start crossing names off. I know who’s not gonna win the World Series of Poker, and with all deference to John Juanda, it includes every sucker who insists on playing the five card triple draw until 4 o’clock in the morning when their destiny awaits them.
Exchange betting prices for the 2003 WSOP are posted on Layne Flack is currently 150-1. Daniel Negreanu 170-1. Exchange markets are a chance for everybody to put their money where their mouth is, and if you’re not rich you don’t have to be shy either. The real favorites are rightly people like Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey, and perhaps even the suddenly svelte figure of Howard himself, people who take themselves seriously enough to care.

By the way, I’m all too aware of glass houses. I will be covering Binion’s final event in all its gory detail as I have done the last two years, on However, last year I was drunk throughout most of the event and by the final day I couldn’t even get a pen to paper. This year I will be calling it like I see it, through 120 hours straight of unbleary eyes fueled by naught but Starbucks and corned beef, and I expect to arrive at the final table perched on a bucketful of steam. I don’t know who’ll be there with me, but I’ll definitely bet on who won’t.

Editor's note
People playing on BetDaq and entering the registration code PP1 will get 20 pounds back if their first bet is a loser.