1.23.2006

I'm Your Host, Monty Hall

When we got down to three-handed the shortstack wanted to talk deal. I was all for it. If we'd done a deal for chip equity -20K at that point I'd have been guaranteed about 60K. I was co-chip leader with about 700K in chips, but third place was 28K and I wasn't relishing the idea of a 32K bad beat. Considering where I'd started the day I understood full well that anything could happen. I didn't think I was the worst player at the table but the shortstack definitely had a lot more experience, great reading skills and good instincts for when to gamble. But my co-chip leader was having none of it, rejecting the idea as "too confusing". "Let's play a little more," he said, a decision that ultimately cost him at least 32K. The shortstack doubled through him once, I stole his blinds, and a few hands later I button-raised to 100K with 33. He shoved all-in for a little less than 200K more. I had him well-covered and thought it through. Big unpaired cards twice as likely as an overpair, meaning the math weighs closer to a race than a huge dog situation. I have plenty of chips left if I call and lose. He's only still alive because he made a move with a dominated hand and got lucky. I pushed out the stacks and said, "All right, I call," four words that did very well for me that night. He had KQs and missed and he was out. People were eliminated from the final table so fast that it was hard to adjust, to accept what was happening. I looked over my shoulder at change100 and made a "what the fuck is going on?" shrug. I was ready to talk deal. Even though it arguably cost me money, I gotta say this: If you ever find yourself in that situation, make a damn deal. Yeah, I was in the chiplead, but your final opponent in a huge MTT almost has to be a dangerous player in one way or another, and absolutely anything can happen. The chiplead can change in one hand and if you didn't make a deal on the previous hand you could cost yourself a lot of money that way, too. We played one hand heads-up because the dealer had already put the cards in the air and then called over one of the directors to stop the clock and talk details. I have never been in this situation before, obviously. Fortunately I'd let the director know previously that this was my first big tourney. At the final table she'd announced that a deal was only allowed when we got down to fourhanded and that she'd only allow a deal if it was fair to all parties. I suggested the same deal that had been on the table before - chip equity after we took 20K off the top. My opponent agreed. I asked the director, "Is this a good deal?" and she said yes. "Okay," we said, and she went off to run the numbers. A few minutes later she came back with an adjusted payout sheet - 80K for me, 73K for him, 20K for first place. We shook hands. I've been in Hollywood for a few years but I've never made eighty grand by shaking hands before. I gotta say it feels pretty good.

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