Jimmy Fricke: Luckbox or Boy Genius?
By Heath Cram.
Nobody could disagree that the poker gods have been with PokerStars player and 2007 Aussie Millions chip leader Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke this tournament, as he is certainly using up all of his luck quota, however I would strongly disagree with anyone who says that his performance has lacked skill.
The Aussie Millions is the second major event on the calendar, following the World Poker Tour PokerStars Carribean Adventure (WPT-PCA) event. Jimmy Fricke scored a victory in the 2006 4th Annual East Coast Poker Championship in the United States in November 2006, before cashing in the PCA two weeks ago, finishing 22nd and earning himself nearly thirty thousand dollars. He is about to eclipse both of those performances over the next two days of play at Melbourne's Crown Casino.
I am not entirely sure just how many scalps Jimmy Fricke has claimed at this major, however I do know that Jimmy has had all of his victims covered in chips through very aggressive play, pushing around experienced opponents and getting his money in "good" several times to build a stack that gave him room to move. I am well aware that there has been a huge element of luck involved with numerous eliminations and major swings to his stack on Day 3, but it was his tremendous play during 21 hours of poker on days 1 and 2 that put him in the position he is in today.
Surprisingly, people often fail to recognise or acknowledge the fact that EVERY player who is eliminated from a tournament is "all in". That means that, the same player is covered in chips by his orher opponent at the time of the all in. Put simply, Jimmy has had his opponents covered every time.
For the online players and readers who claim that "bad beats" only happen online and not in live poker, try telling Shane Schleger that.
The room was electric, with people roaring and putting their hands over their faces and on top of their heads as highly regarded young 2006 LA Poker Classic winner Shane "Shaniac" Schleger stormed off the poker room floor without signing for his $60k pay cheque. Shane had played outstanding poker all tournament and was never at any stage too far from the chip lead, shaping up as one of the players to beat from the top 20 that remained.
Shane's run ended cruelly, after getting his money in ahead against Jimmy Fricke. On a flop of Q 9 2, the action was all in post flop, with Shane dominating Jimmy, with Q J against Q 10. Fricke caught a king and a jack on the turn and river to make a Khigh straight and bust Shaniac with a brutal suckout.
Only moments later, the cries around the room escalated after popular local player Nathan Bobik was eliminated in 18th place, earning $90k with KK pre flop, against Fricke's pocket 10's, with railbirds exclaiming "suckout king", "luckbox", and "cardrack", after seeing Jimmy claim two scalps in short order.
You can't help but love this boy's bemused attitude. Midway through the day, Jimmy was asked what his stack was and before he answered, he replied, "I should have a huge stack, I just called an extra bet with a straight flush draw, but missed".
At that stage Jimmy 'only' had about 300k above the average.
If you are attending Crown, take some time to stop by the rail of Jimmy Fricke's table and watch this fearless youngster in action. Every time he has made a loose play at a pot, he has done it with a huge stack of hard-earned chips.
Jimmy Fricke headed into Day 4 with over 2 and a half million in chips, as the tournament chip leader, and with that sort of breathing room, we can expect more of the same aggressive play we've come to love about Jimmy Fricke throughout this tournament.
If you see the name Jimmy Fricke listed on the final table (tomorrow) when play concludes today, along side the likes of Gus Hansen then do not leave your seat. Expect some fireworks and excellent poker viewing.