|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
||The Brits are descending. Team Carborundum has
been talking to Joe Beevers, the member of the Hendon Mob they call "The
Elegance", and he says the boys are getting ready to leave. They'll hit Vegas
for the last two weeks of the World Series of Poker in a quest for the big
money. A look at the schedule shows the $2,000 pot-limit Hold'em on Tuesday,
May 8, the $3,000 no-limit Hold'em on May 10, and the championship $10,000
no-limit Hold'em event beginning on Monday, May 14, as the three events best
suited towards the Hendon Mob's talents.
It's good to see The Mob giving
themselves a chance to play the main event. Joe Beevers is showing the best
recent form, with about six final table placings in the last month and the kind
of dead on mindset that has him eating bananas before he plays. "The Elegance"
is a stayer, a steady builder who likes to accumulate chips without putting
them in jeopardy, and he's good at it, usually ending things neat and quick
while holding the best hand. My experience in sweating "The Elegance" is that
he's always there. When they get down to two, three tables, Joe is always
immaculate in his black silk sport coat with the open collared shirt while
gurgling a bottle of mineral water, and then cool as a gangster afterwards with
his leather jacket and low slung Porsche.
Barney Boatman is "The Humor".
He's always coming at you with these quizzical looks, half smiles ready to
break into a laugh. His play is funny too, as he lives on the edge and thrives
there. Barney relies on his timing and after the flop play to accumulate chips
and he's got that gear to dominate, like when he was second chip leader out of
twenty-seven left after Day Three of the 2000 WSOP. What people learn early on
when playing with "The Humor" is that he's liable to have anything. He got
caught bluffing by Captain Tom Franklin, I think, to send him out of last
year's World Series in sixteenth place, but he's developed a lot since then, a
tighter gear for when it's required. And like a young hundred mile an hour
fastballer who's making it with just one pitch, as soon as he develops that
change up or curve ball, even if the second pitch is average, the hurler
becomes unhittable. I wouldn't recommend that anyone else model their game on
Barney Boatman's, you'd need his brain for a blueprint. Barney is wildly
unpredictable, but he also produced this year a massive percentage of final
tables made out of Hold'em events entered. Barney knows how to put the
decisions on others, and that's why I love to watch him play. Because they're
always sitting there looking at him, while his eyes are dancing, his mouth is
in a half smile, and he's ready to break out in a laugh.
The third link
of the young travelling poker crew they call the Hendon Mob is "The Cool", Ram
Vaswani. Ram broke on through when he won the big one in Amsterdam two years
ago, and like the other members of The Mob, his results have been outrageous
over the past two years. Ram defended his EPPA Championship title this year in
Dublin, a repeat victory narrowly escaping him when he ran second. Ram is
always flash, from his dress to his manner to his way with the women. Ram's
favorite play is the double up, made by trapping his opponents or inducing them
into making moves. Ram's not a good guy to try and bluff. He'll call you
quicker than the operator.
The fourth member of the Hendon Mob they
call the "The Actor". Ross Boatman is the younger brother of fellow Mob member
Barney, but famous in his own regard as well. A former cast member from the UK
television show "London's Burning", Ross has also been successful at the poker
table, with tournament cashings from all over the world. All four Hendon
Mobsters are TV stars, having each made the final table of "Late Night Poker",
the popular television series in which they regularly participate, but Ross has
been the highest finisher with a second place result. Ross is particularly
effective at picking off other people's hands before the flop. If you can't
stand a raise, don't bet into Boatman.
As far as European results at
the World Series so far, it's been mostly Devilfish. Dave Ulliot capped an awe
inspiring silver medal performance in the $1500 pot limit Omaha event with
another masterful second in the pot limit Hold'em, the same event that he won
in 1997. One of the premier talents concerning pot limit poker is the ability
to play after the flop, and the Devilfish has demonstrated himself to be second
to none in that regard. One hand that they are all talking about when The Devil
bluffed Freddy Deeb out on the river with an ace high is a prime
We've yet to hear any noise from the Irish, and they're all
there. Parkinson, Bennet, Betson, Mckeever, Rogers, Furlong. I look for Liam
Flood to make a strong showing in the $1000 Seniors event, which he's qualified
for by the skin of his teeth. With strong recent results on the UK mainland and
a top flight tournament game, "The Gentleman" may finally break through this
year in Vegas.
Phil Hellmuth won his seventh career bracelet in last
week's limit Hold'em event, an achievement nothing short of incredible. Say
what you want, there's no disputing this guy can play tournament poker. There
are players that are better than him at individual games, but at tournament
poker he's the champ. The thing is, he knows it.