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ales of Team Carborundum
24th April 2001
Jesse May
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.

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
    Shut your mouth and play poker. The word came from down on high in the first hearkening to Vegas' past since the One-Eyed Jack left town. The players will cope. This is business, not some silly dream hyped up by the media that reached its frilly frenzy late last May, one clear voice over a hushed crowd, "Camera four, give me Jesus." There'll be a lot of money in town, and it's up for grabs. Bad stock market news and barrings don't stop the gamblers. Gamblers always come up with dough, storing money for years in a mattress and then heaving it all in one wild week. The action games at the World Series of Poker have always been the biggest and the best in the world, and don't look for that to change. There's a lot of money in town for the World Series. What has changed is that the medium high limit Hold'em games have gotten tough, you need a pretty sharp game to be expecting to win your meal ticket at 50-100 Hold'em. The action games will be pot limit Hold'em and Omaha, and limit Seven Stud. Unclear if the big money games will be at Binion's or The Bellagio, but look high. There will be a lot of money in town.

It's clear that the Bellagio gym will be a prime sighting place for poker players. You want to find out who's focused? Check out who is on the treadmill at eight am. And who is eating oranges in a bathrobe in the lounge. Three weeks is a long time to keep it together, and letting off steam will be an all over town kind of proposition.

Poker is business, and poker players look at the situation, see what the angles being shot are, and make their play. That's all there is. Were a complete book of poker ethics to be written, a professional code of conduct, it would be like the Jewish Talmud with 813 dense pages only on the vagaries of chopping pots. Or 2000 years of a running discussion on making loans. Today's poker greats didn't ask to be leaders, but most of them wrote the book on ethics. We sit at home and scratch laws with our quill pens and our comfy pillows, while high stakes players live the life. They live a million decisions a day in the world of high limit poker, and don't think that it's easy. Talk about the best way to play top pair in a triple raised pot doesn't stack up with the ethical pressures of the everybody wants something from you and trying to find out how deep you are and how far you'll go blinding intensity of a big stakes poker room. Just figuring out who to talk to can be a life or death decision. Some pros make their bones on their own and then stay that way. Others fling together in packs, alternating wolf's and sheep's clothing from game to game, with the golf course in between. Drive you to drink? It'll drive you there and then cannon ball you over it. Head pain, head ache, sore throat, sore all over. That's how you usually feel in Vegas when you get out of bed from the third week on. The first two weeks are all right, maybe even a thing of beauty. But getting out of bed that third week takes two tries. Until there's nothing else to do.

If form continues, beating Tim Henman at Wimbledon is going to take a quality player playing top tennis. A recent split from his longtime coach has seen Henman sprouting the wings of freedom. Henman's a smart guy. Let him figure out his own strategy for a while. While it would be bizarre to win Wimbledon without a coach, it's not like Henman doesn't know the courts. Always a tough customer on the Queen's green grounds, Henman will just await form judgments from Andre Agassi, Pat Rafter, and Pete Sampras before an easing of his price.

With the clay court season just starting up, Team Carborundum has gone mad betting against tennis players who are slow out of the gate. The ball is just going to be moving too funky for wheezy Marc Rosset in his first clay court match of the year. TC plunged on the tough as nails Croatian Ivan Ljubicic to stultify Rosset on clay. Young Ljubicic is a fast swinging run you all over the court son of a gun who was shipped off to Italy at age twelve to live tough and learn tennis.

Team Carborundum also switched allegiances on young French Renaissance man Arnaud Di Pasquale, who's lately talking about eating more boiled rice. Each day he shall try and enjoy as that same day with peace of mind and calmness, he says. While TC applauds Arnaud for his Zen efforts and admires him for his life loving flair, the man is a nice choice against when it comes to betting big time tennis.
Editor's note

The Queen's Club, West Kensington 11-17 June 2001
The 2001 Wimbledon Championships 25th June - 8th July.