2006 WSOP Final Thoughts
I finally finished watching the 2006 WSOP main event. Despite the fact that I already knew Jamie Gold won, I was rooting for him to lose every hand he played for the last five or six episodes. There were so many other likeable guys in the tournament; it’s a shame that an asshat had to win. He certainly wasn’t the most obnoxious guy playing, but he continually did things that would have really pissed me off if I was playing with him. Maybe that was by design. I worked for him either way.
While Gold was undoubtedly catching more than his fair share of cards, I think that other people’s perception of him getting lucky, and his assholedness combined to cause the perfect situation for him. Even with his cards, I don’t know that I could have done nearly as well as he did.
People kept commenting that players were just giving him their chips. I think in many situations where he busts a player, that same player would have gotten away from the hand were they up against anyone else.
Everyone thought Jaime was getting lucky. What do you do when you see some luckbox at your table with more chips than he knows what to do with? You figure you can outplay him, and loosen up your play a bit. You think he’s not smart enough to get away from his top pair even though your raises are giving him every reason to believe you have two pair. In your excitement over the thought of taking the sucker’s chips, you don’t consider the possibility that he might actually have you beat, and you run that two pair right into his set.
Now add on to that the fact that you don’t like the guy. I don’t know how other players felt about Gold, but I’d have to think he rubbed some of them the wrong way. Your pot odds might not be quite good enough to call, but the satisfaction you would receive by winning a pot from that guy seems to make it worth the chance. And before you know it, you are suckered into a tough situation, and you’re on your way home.
Repeat that a process a few hundred times and we have the new champion. Give Gold’s cards to Allen Cunningham and he’s not going to make nearly as much out of them, because people aren’t anxious to get into a pot with him. Gold’s antics made it so that his opponents were just begging to get into pots with him. And they lost because of it.
Shenanigans or not, lucky or not, I think Gold played fairly well. You can’t not play well and win a tournament that size. He had a big stack and he abused people with it. Congratulations to him.