The November Nine is Coming

The final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event will conclude Nov 6th -8th, as the 9 remaining players return to battle it out for the bracelet.  It’s possible that they are all just hoping to be super super lucky, although I’m guessing that most of them have been studying the game and their opponents for the past several months, since, well, you know – poker is a game of skill.

I’ve played a lot of live poker in my life, and I shutter just watching these young guns wield their chip-stacks like lethal weapons in tournaments these days.  Guys will 5-bet bluff you, or 6-bet shove all-in on you – and then show you rags.  Brutal.   Second and third level thinking (second level: “what does my opponent have?”  third level: “what does my opponent think that I have?”) have been replaced by 6th and 7th level thinking – recursive cycles of mind games based in game theory.

It’s less about “luck” than ever.  Although I do not personally know any of the finalists, I have a pretty solid inkling that video poker is not playing a huge role in their training arsenals.  They’re probably not pulling a Cerrano from Major League and praying to voodoo dolls:

Praying to Jobu is not the answer

Nah – I’m guessing that the November Nine will be looking at the hours of footage that ESPN aired on the main event – tearing through the coverage too look at hands that their opponents played, try to pick up tells, study betting patterns.

Or, they might just be hoping to get lucky..

-KD

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