No Mercy Monday February 1

Once Upon A Time: When I Learned The Word Patience

Last time in Once Upon A Time, Isabelle previewed her upcoming return to Las Vegas and the things she loves more about the Gambling Capital Of the World. But, even in Vegas, you need to be patient and patience is the theme of this chronicle.

When we ask an online poker player why he prefers to grind behind his screen rather than sitting at a casino table, one of the most frequent answers we receive is related to the slowness of the live versus the speed of the game online!

And indeed, between 12-tabling in 6-max games with a mouse in your hand, while comfortably installed on a Secretlab Omega versus mono-tabling in a full ring live game, we are in two worlds that have absolutely nothing in common… 

A Dilemma to Handle

A bit like in the good old movie The Matrix, here we are faced with a binary decision. We can take the blue pill and we are then plunged into a virtual world where we will only have a few tenths of a second to make a decision on each hand (we are in the poker matrix par excellence).

Or instead, we take the red pill, the one that makes us see poker as it is in reality, and there Neo will be able to take a little snooze in between each hand and fall into the arms … of Morpheus, obviously. 

When you play multiple tables online, you can hit 1000 hands per hour (and much more if your name is Elky). Live, it will oscillate between 20 and 30 hands per hour, if your croupier is diligent and if the players do not take three weeks to fold their jack-two in UTG! 

The Grand Championship WPT Finals

If I am making this preamble on the differences in speed between “online” and “live”, it is because while discussing with a friend the other day about our worst times spent at a table, I remembered this tournament day, when I had hardly played a couple of hands during the entire Day 3! 

Time Machine! Here we are on day 2 of the grand championship WPT Finals at $ 25,000 entry. It’s April 2008, and I’m telling you about a time that today’s young streamers certainly haven’t known.

I remember the structure was incredibly slow, and we were playing five levels of 2 hours each during the day. 

Old-School Poker

We were a long way from having wifi-connected iPads or iPhones at the tables. Moreover, we were perhaps even in this period when “phones” were categorically prohibited at the tables! 

Yes … as old school as I am, I actually lived the times when we had to get up and move away from the green carpet to be able to consult our cell phone, under penalty of sanction that could go as far as being excluded from the action for three round tables!

Nowadays, guys can actually watch a movie on their computer, while multi-tabling on the internet, in addition to interacting on social networks, while making a 3-bet live in a tournament in which they are participating… 

To sum up, in 2008, there was nothing to do in between two hands, apart from watching the other players, or… having a drink. This WPT Finals tournament took place at the Bellagio (Las Vegas), in the defunct Fontana Bar room with a view of the fountains.

There was at least that; a superb view with privileged access, a little cooler than the kitsch decorum of the Rio… There was also Chris “Jesus” Ferguson at my table, all smiles (put in context, we are before the Full Tilt scandal). He had hardly played a hand of the entire day either, which reassured me. 

I think on that day we broke the record for the longest Bubble in the world. It lasted hours and hours each hand.

Isabel Mercier

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

The croupiers of each table had to get up at the end of each hand, we had to wait until they were standing up to hear Jack McClelland’s “Next Hand” on the microphone before moving on to the next hand.

As soon as there was an “All-in” announced, a herd formed around the table in question, and everyone wanted the smallest stack to lose the blow so that we could finally pocket a considerable amount of money and go back to a normal tournament pace. 

For the records, it took hours and hours to reach the ITM, but I wisely folded, even that very tempting Jack-eight who shouted at me “Play me! Play me!”.

In the end, my patience brought me $52,000. I learned that day that a part of poker is all about patience. Especially when playing live…. 

Meet me at the tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Open yourself a CoinPoker account today.  

Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier 

WPT Winner & OFC “Progressive” World Champion 

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