You’ve got to give it to Erik Seidel. He’d just been knocked out of a $100,000 buy-in tournament pretty close to the money by his All Time Money list rival Daniel Negreanu and still agreed to do a TV exit interview.
Floor producer Erik Janssen ushered Seidel to one side, the height of the towering American forcing Janssen’s pocket-sized cameraman to clamber onto a chair to achieve a vertical parity, and the usual post exit questions began. How had Seidel’s tournament day gone?
“It was a tough day but I really enjoyed playing with these guys. It’s really fun to watch these young kids. It wasn’t a good day cardwise,” said Seidel, looking particularly unfazed by the concept that he’d just lost $100,000.
Another stock question was asked to which Seidel replied: “You always have to make adjustments because every table is different.”
Janssen took a new angle, “Was there any animosity there with any of the players?” he asked. “We noticed that between you and Negreanu there was some head to head battling. Tell us about it.”
“I don’t think there was any particular animosity between us. I didn’t get involved with Daniel until the last hand,” said the high roller, looking more than a little confused, “He had two queens on the button and I had ace-jack in the small blind. The hand plays itself when you had the chips I had.”
Indeed the hand was a standard one with no fireworks or major fretting. Negreanu had opened to 22,000 from the button with Q♣Q♦, Seidel had three-bet shoved for 234,000 from the small blind with A♠J♥ and Negreanu had made a quick call. The board ran out K♣3♣6♣7♣Q♠ to knock out Seidel and boost Negreanu’s attempt to take back the top spot of the All Time Money list.
The interview ended shortly after and as Seidel sidled away I asked what all those animosity questions were about. We hadn’t seen any beef develop between the pair.
“I was getting told to ask about the handshake,” said Janssen, pointing a finger towards his headset.
Seidel had offered a hand directly after his exit, so we’ve been told, which Negreanu did not deign to shake. A TV director sort had spotted this and had understandably believed that Negreanu had taken affront of something that Seidel had done. Bad read. Fellow PokerStars Blogger Brad Willis, showing a flash of eidetic memory that hours of post-chip count relaxing should have wiped, recalled an interview with Kid Poker from 2007 where the Canadian said that he didn’t like shaking hands because of germs. Elementary, my dear Janssen.
There’s a poker lesson to be had here: the obvious conclusion doesn’t necessarily make it the correct one. And clean your hands while you’re at it.