In Your Head

I love Humberto Brenes. In a heterosexual poker fan kinda way. Humberto is a complete fucking lunatic, always good humored, and still manages to get into his opponents’ heads.

Contrast this to Eric Molina, who is a complete fucking cocksucker. Eric Molina is the definition of doucheball: a 21 year old punk who has zero class, and has the potential to ruin the game of poker. Former New York City poker staple Shaniac wrote about his run-in with Molina, which was also shown this week on ESPN’s Main Event broadcast. Here’s the thing: it’s one thing to talk trash to an opponent, event to bait him while you’re in a hand, but Molina is the first guy I’ve ever seen who blatantly taunts opponents when he eliminates them!

What a classless little fuck. I was on TILT just watching him on tv! I was seriously worried that if I found myself at the table with him, I’d punch him in the face. I can handle trash talk, but if Molina busted me, and then told me “terrible call,” as I got up to shake the hands of the other players at the table (which he did to at least two opponents in this week’s broadcast) – he’d better be ready to rumble. Leave it at the table: don’t taunt a guy after you’ve already eliminated him!

Prahlad “Spirit Rock / Mahatma” Friedman chose a different needling tact – very calmly, quietly, and persistently getting deep inside Jeffrey Lisandro’s head by repeatedly suggesting that Lisandro had failed to post his 5,000 ante, and that the player next to Lisandro, Dustin Holmes has posted the ante twice. Prahlad refused to drop the subject, nonchalantly bringing it up 3 times over the next 3 hands, and then telling Lisandro that Lisandro was trying to “rob” Holmes of 5k, and that “Frankly Sir, I don’t trust you.” Lisandro went ballistic, threatening to “take his head off,” as Prahlad coolly plead his case to the floorman, with his hands in the air making the “I didn’t do anything motion.” Now THAT is how you effectively get in someone’s head: you don’t have to taunt them and bash them repeatedly like Molina. It turns out that Prahlad was wrong about the ante too!

I also thought Jamie Gold did a great job keeping his cool when he got into a bigger dick contest with Molina during a hand, which ended with Molina saying “fuck” and Gold immediately pouncing with “PENALTY!” as he called the floor and was successful in imposing a penalty on the young dickeater.

As for the actual poker, I’m absolutely stunned by how bad the level of play is. Never mind the maniacal Dmitri Nobles, granted, you can’t judge a player soley by the plays ESPN shows him making, but the amount of dead money is absolutely staggering, which is also why it’s so fucking hard to survive these days: you simply cannot avoid putting your chips at risk against these internet/homegame maniacs.

The most shocking double-doucheball play this week benefited Erik Friberg, who open raised with KK, and was re-raised by TT. Doucheball2 cold called the re-raise from the BB with AK, and Friberg immediately moved all-in, for a larger-than-pot-sized re-re-raise. Doucheball1 thought for about 5 seconds before calling with his TT, and Doucheball2 thought for the same amount of time before calling with AK! Friberg tripled up, and rolled on to the final table.

Finally, what’s up with players thinking that “gambling” is the object of poker? Molina repeatedly stated that he was a gambler, as if it was the most important trait in a poker player, and showed off for the cameras as he called an opponent’s all-in blind preflop. In a previous hand, Lisandro moved all in with the nuts on the turn against his opponent’s two pair. His opponent thought for 20 seconds, and said “Well, I came to gamble,” as he called off all his chips and lost. It’s one thing to call with two pair and run into the nuts, but it’s the “gamble” philosophy that seems to be firmly ingrained in the World Poker Tour generation – they don’t realize that a normal poker tournament is not like the final TV table of a WPT event.

Lisandro said it best: “You came to gamble, I came to win!”

until next time,

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