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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

August 17, 2004

2004 WSOP Episodes #13 & #14

by Luckbox

Well, as you guys may have, or will, notice, I did not live blog the first two episodes of the Main Event. I was occupied at the time (while watching, thankfully) and could not do the blog thing at the same time.

In the end, I'm glad I didn't try to because these episodes did not have the same kind of storyline the previous final tables have. It's difficult, however, because ESPN was attempting to put an entire day's worth of play into one hour. That's not an easy thing to do.

So, here are some thoughts from Day's 1 and 2...

Because of the 2500 entries, the WSOP was forced to split the opening session of play into two days. Half played day 1 and half played day 2. That's what made up the two one-hour episodes we saw tonight.

Only a fraction of the time was actually spent at the "featured" table. Much of the time was spent checking in on some of the most familiar faces in poker.

It didn't take long for Chris Moneymaker to bust out. I almost felt bad for him. He had a tremendous amount of pressure on him. He's been the face of poker for a year, although he's obviously parlayed that into a lucrative celebrity career. The hand he went out on was bizzare. He bluffed a K-K-x flop with AT off. His opponent had the K and Moneymaker was dead.

I felt real bad for Men the Master. He was the first superstar we saw get knocked out. He had Pocket Rockets against KQ of hearts. The flop brought two hearts and Men went all-in and got called. The heart on the river knocked out the Master.

Daniel Negreanu went home early. I like watching him play and was sorry to see him go. The problem with his play is that he apparently decided to play the players instead of playing the cards. He took stabs at pots he had no business being involved in. You can rarely bluff bad players off marginal hands. When Negreanu's KQ went up against AQ after a Q hit the turn, it was all over.

I don't think we got to see it, but Phil Ivey went home very early as well. Scotty Nguyen joined him on the rail, but I'm not sure how. Sam Farha also hit a run of bad luck and his 99's lost to quad Aces. I guess if you're going out might as well go out to that! I also saw John Juanda go down, but I don't remember how.

Even with those names going home, plenty are left. Howard Lederer, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Paul Phillips, Dutch Boyd and Scott Fischman. There's plenty more and I anticipate the coverage getting better and better as we approach the final table.

ESPN had to give us a taste of these huge names because if they didn't, we'd all wonder why we never saw them. With that expectation, there was no way for ESPN to develop any kind of cohesion in the coverage. As we whittle down the players, we'll start to see some of the poker we want to see.

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