The Mouth That Roars; and Glad I Missed CNN Again

Friday, July 15th, 2005, 10:31 am

Even I don’t know why I want Mike Matusow to win the World Series of Poker. Maybe to read the book that will inevitably be written about how Matusow spends the next year and the $7.5 million that goes to the champion. Maybe its because I watched some instructional show that Matusow co-hosted, where he came across as a calm, rational, even insightful person. And maybe its because a Matusow victory would once again make a lie of the saying “There are no second acts in America”. When last we saw Matusow at the WSOP he was rocking back and forth in tears. To see him would would, indeed, be “vindication, baby”.

I’m thankful that I haven’t been reading John Walters’s coverage of the World Series. I might’ve had to go to Atlanta to demand why the hell they sent someone who doesn’t understand the subject to cover the biggest event in its history. His previous articles were appalling, but I just read something I couldn’t believe. This is from his Day 1 coverage:

During one hand Gale, the aggressive Brit, goes all in with $11,500 after the flop comes J-7-2. Another player at the table was also all in with a smaller chip amount. The bet comes to Travis Brennan, a 21-year-old amiable New Yorker.

Brennan says, “I’m gonna fold,” as he shows his cards: Ace-Jack. That is, Brennan folds while HOLDING THE NUTS. (boldface and capitalizaion mine)

The turn and river change nothing. Gale, holding an inferior hand (10-7), takes the pot. “You’re a terrible player,” Gale tells Brennan, matter-of-factly.

“I’m a terrible player?” Brennan replies, but with a smile. “I thought you had pocket jacks. No use risking it. There’s seven more days in this tourney.”

“What makes you think,” asks Gale with a smile, “that YOU have seven days left in this tournament?”

I will credit that you instantly realized that, on a board of J-7-2, holding Ace-Jack is NOT the nuts. Incredibly, Walters did not realize that. Nor, and this is absolutely astonishing, he didn’t even realize it after Brennan explained why he folded his hand. Brennan folded his top pair, top kicker because he feared Gale was holding the REAL nuts, pocket jacks. Un-friggin’-believable.

Another Walters gem:

“One player held 9-10 clubs, his opponent held K-Q, also clubs. The flop came 10C-4D-5C. Then the turn came JC. Both players had drawn a flush before the river (5 offsuit), but K-Q had the higher kicker”

No, John, the KQ had a king-high flush, not a higher kicker. The kicker is the card that breaks the tie when two players make a similar hand. AK beats AQ on a board of A-J-7-3-2. I know I’m being pedantic, but he needs to learn this stuff.

(As do I. As Ian points out, the ten of clubs is used both in a players hand and the flop as Walters relates it. I must’ve been blinded by rage or something)

“Defending champ Raymer is looking more and more like a sure thing to make the final table. He has more than $1 million in chips and is either first or second overall right now.”

Uh, you think Raymer thought he was a sure thing at that point? And Walters calling him Greg “Everybody Loves” Raymer is ghastly, popular tho he may be.

“…and Phil Ivey, who has four bracelets to his name.”

Which was true until June 28th, when Ivey won his 5th bracelet in the $5000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys. Perhaps Walters would’ve known that had he been covering the whole shebang a la Pauly and Otis. Perhaps.

“…Annie Duke (the world’s best female poker player)”

Methinks Jennifer Harman, Cyndy Violette, Kathy Liebert, and a number of other female players would quietly dispute that.

That’s enough. I have to crank out some work the next two hours and then its off to the Finger Lakes. And I’m thirsty, baby.

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4 Responses to “The Mouth That Roars; and Glad I Missed CNN Again”

  1. Ian Says:

    “One player held 9-10 clubs, his opponent held K-Q, also clubs. The flop came 10C-4D-5C…”

    I think I’d call for a new deck after that flop.

  2. Mean Gene Says:

    Cripes, I didn’t even see that.

  3. Easycure Says:

    Me thinks YOU need to send ESPN a resume, sir.

  4. Mourn Says:

    No kidding, one can only imagine how the assignment conversation went.

    “We need you to cover the WSOP.”

    “The what?”

    “The World Series of Poker.”

    “Baseball players playing poker?”

    “No, it’s the championship of poker, here, read this book and brush up. Talk about nuts and kickers a lot, it’s an easy game?”


    “Yeah, it’s a really good hand or something. Good luck, I have another call.”

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