Yes, A Poker Post

>> Wednesday

My tenure at YCS may be hitting a new low here with a poker post, but after watching 16 grueling hours of the World Series Final Table, here are a few observations.

First off, if there was any doubt beforehand, I officially have no life for watching that much poker, let along paying 20 bucks to do so.

For the third time in five years, the winner could be desribed as someone who would not be the best player in the average home game. Seriously, I beg for Jerry Yang to relocate to Chicago or Milwaukee and become a regular at the local casinos.

Remember the name Alex Kravchenko. Already winning a bracelet this year against a tough field in Omaha Hi-Lo, Kravchenko firmly entrenched himself on the poker scene as a bigtime player. You will see his name frequently mentioned in major tournaments and he should definitely win his share of bracelets before it's all said and done. If he could have won his final coin flip against Yang, he would have taken the title down.

Lee Watkinson may have a fabulous track record, but man did he piss away a golden opportunity that he will likely never have again. I have no problem trying to bully the raising small blind with a re-raise, especially with an Ace in your hand. However, when that player would be Mr. Yang, you cannot make a move without having the best of it. Yang will call you with any kind of playable hand and not think about twice about making the safe and normally correct play.

Tuan Lam showed great discipline throughout the event, but you have to play much more aggressively heads-up. You should play a minimum of 80 percent of hands heads-up, especially when you're on the button and control the action. While he got his chips in with a premium hand in Ace-Queen suited and lost a coin flip, he let Jerry run him over way too much.

Finally, this would be advice to all poker players out there, and not just the majority of the final table. You can make a raise or re-raise without going all-in. Infact, unless you're severely short-stacked, you have no reason to go all-in unless you have the very best of it and know that your opponent will likely call you. Remember the saying, the all-in play works every time but one.


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