One of the great attractions of poker is the egalitarian nature of its strategy decisions. You or I sometimes have to ponder how to play pocket jacks in early position in our cheap, kitchen-table home games, much like Daniel Negreanu sometimes has to figure that out in the kinds of tournaments he plays.
But every now and again the pros and the amateurs part ways. There are simply some things that will never trouble our tiny minds. For instance this morning a bunch of players waking up in a hotel in Barcelona had to decide whether to dip into their wallets for €50,000 and enter day two of the EPT9 Super High Roller event. I’m not expecting to do the same any time soon. You?
Perhaps even more remarkably, however, for some this wouldn’t even be the first time they had done so. Jonathan Duhamel, for instance, was in yesterday lunchtime, out some time after, in again at another juncture, then out again. The last iteration of his personal hokey cokey (trans. hokey pokey) came today, when he bought in for a third time at noon and flamed out once more at around 3pm.
It was slightly different for Chris Moorman. He appeared at Casino Barcelona with €50,000 this lunchtime, but was actually queuing at the cage for the first time this week. Registration, not only rebuys, was open until the start of day two and Moorman was the only player to fancy joining in at that relatively late stage.
“I didn’t have a good night’s sleep before day one, and I wasn’t going to play it,” Moorman said before sitting down today. “I didn’t really feel like playing deep stacked with a lot of tough decisions not feeling at my best…But I came down yesterday and looked and thought I couldn’t really miss out.”
So it was that Moorman anted up this afternoon, when his 250,000 starting stack was about one fifth of Steve O’Dwyer’s 1.25 million. “I’m behind, but I’ve still got just over 40 big blinds,” Moorman said, “which would be above average in a lot of tournaments, especially online.”
Ah, online. Moorman is probably best known as Moorman1 at the virtual tables, where he has rarely been out of the world’s top five. He has earned more than $8m in tournament winnings and has also been involved in the staking game, backing players into tournaments (for a share of their winnings, of course).
Here is a player who thinks long and hard about his poker, and who will make correct value decisions almost at second nature. “I’m just going to play every hand as it comes today,” he said. “It’s a marathon not a sprint and it will be a long day today.”
That, at least, was the idea. And when Moorman doubled up to more than 500,000 within the first couple of levels, he looked well set for that long day. But he then had an accident in a pot against JC Alvarado, and was gone. (Moorman’s 7♠5♣ strangely couldn’t beat queens.)
It’s not actually been a great day for anyone buying in for a first, second or third time today. Phil Ivey, Negreanu, Sorel Mizzi, Duhamel, Ilya Bulychev and Philipp Gruissem have all run into trouble. That leaves precisely no one remaining who parted with their €50,000 at noon.
However O’Dwyer and Masa Kagawa, among others, who rebought yesterday are still plugging away.
The full prize pool for the Super High Roller event has been announced, and the winner will be getting €1,075,500. Eight players will be paid, with the full structure looking like this:
1 – €1,075,500
2 – €676,100
3 – €399,500
4 – €291,900
5 – €215,100
6 – €153,600
7 – €138,300
8 – €122,960