July 6: World Series of Poker predictions
It's prediction time on the blog today. I think the pros have had enough of the recent amateurs (Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer) at the World Series of Poker, so I expect some big-name player to take everyone down. That said, I sure hope it's n...
It's prediction time on the blog today.
I think the pros have had enough of the recent amateurs (Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer) at the World Series of Poker, so I expect some big-name player to take everyone down.
That said, I sure hope it's not the Hooded One, Phil Laak.
Speaking of Phil, I'm going with Ivey to win the main event.
And that other Phil, well, he had his run at the National Heads-Up tournament and I doubt Hellmuth will make any kind of splash at the WSOP.
But the big question is how will our North Dakota boys do?
Derek Melicher, the Dakota Poker League champion, probably has some butterflies right about now as he heads out to Las Vegas. Mitch Schock of Minot, a regular on the Dakota Poker Tour, also has high hopes.
If Derek cashes, it'll be a huge -- scratch that -- HUGE deal for the DPL, a free league that had its inaugural season early this year.
On the flip side, if Derek somehow - by all of the world's strangest occurances - makes the final table, DPL organizers Brook Lyter and Jason Drake will be drooling so much they might expand their league all the way to Alabama.
Fargo has already produced a moneymaker. Thomas McCormick won $53,339 in four events at the World Series of Poker in recent weeks. He pocketed $27,070 for eighth place in a seven-card stud event and $14,734 for eighth place in a seven-card stud high-low tournament. He also won $7,780 in six-handed no-limit hold 'em and $3,755 in the Seniors World Poker Championship no-limit hold 'em tournament.
Randy McKay of Finley, N.D., collected $3,470 for 82nd place in a no-limit hold 'em event.
There might be a chance those two will be joining in on the main event fun.
I think Derek has the patience to survive for a while. But with a record number of entrants expected, he'll need loads of luck, too.
I finally got a chance to play against Derek last week during a game at Hagge's in Mapleton, N.D. About the only thing I can say is I outlasted him on the table as he was felted by a better flush held by another player. About 10 felts later, I went out at the final table when I went all-in with A-10 suited and got calls from four others.
One aspect that might hurt Derek is his lack of big tournament experience.
No more pennies, nickels and dimes for the recent North Dakota State grad.
But, realistically, there's been stories upon stories about players who haven't played live before that have made the final tables on televised tournaments.
Derek got plenty of live experience this season, even in a free league and playing with his buddies.
If there's any sort of strategy Derek is pondering on the plane, let's hope it's not making that return ticket reservation for Friday.
Until then, there's hope that he'll come home in a week and have a story straight out of "Rounders."
He took down Johnny Chan.
Rob Beer, The Forum's design coordinator who doesn't fold 5-2 offsuit and is fighting the duck-hooks on the golf course, can be reached at email@example.com