George Lind on his TCOOP win (and running hotter than the sun)
George Lind has an explanation for his triumph in TCOOP event 15 this week. It's nothing he ever learned, and yet it's probably something any pro would opt for in his place as evidence of life lived right. It was nothing technical, in fact it was simple. "I was running hotter than the sun," he said, and sometimes nothing beats that.
Of course, that'll only take you so far. Seldom will it take you all the way. Talent has to fit in somewhere. And then there's dedication to the job at hand, or what exponents of this sort of thing might call "flow", that state of mind in which things just go right and things start to click. Whatever it is Lind had it.
"I definitely had that feeling like I was going to win every hand no matter what I did," said Lind. "It's really fun to play when you have that feeling."
So for Lind it must have been a lot of fun as he topped a field of 2,172 on his way to a first prize of $72,113 (6-Max hold'em hyper-turbo). If you've read the final table report on the PokerStars Blog you'll know it was a volatile finale, not least for Lind who took the lead in a pivotal hand with deuces against jacks. Lind considered the hand pretty straightforward.
"I made the only play I could make with the hand by shoving and got called," he said. "Obviously I was in terrible shape but I got really lucky, as I did a few other times in this tournament. And really luck has to be on your side to win a tournament of this size."
That hand set Lind up for the win, but also went a little way to helping Lind play as he did, calling on all the confidence a player of his stature can after years at the highest level. Never more did that show through than when the opposition first talked of making a deal. It might have seemed wise to some. Lind flatly refused.
"I turned down the first deal because I know that pretty much no one in the world is better at short stacked tournament play," he said. "I mean after all I have played over half a million SnG's in my life. I think I asked for about $4k extra over the ICM chop and I think that was probably close to fair. I know I wasn't going to take any less than $60k though."
His opponents didn't budge, so Lind simply picked up where he left off, letting the others watch him as one-by-one they made their way to the rail.
When it reached heads up play tycon87, perhaps sensing how this one looked likely to play out, took another shot at some sort of truce. He asked for a deal. Lind agreed, and moved all-in as he did so. A deliberate attempt to unsettle tycon87?
"Yeah, I figured I probably had a little extra fold equity since he wanted to do a deal. I don't remember what my last hand was but I remember it being slightly -EV to shove if he is calling optimally, but I had a feeling he would fold some marginal hands to try to make a deal."
Lind's hand had been queen-three off-suit, and tycon87 didn't fold. He called, ahead with ace-five of spades. But the script for this event had already been written. Tycon87 hadn't read it. Had he done so he might have noticed G. Lind III was its author, and that he'd written into it a three on the flop, and a second COOP title.
End of story.
Being a father of three, Lind is used to a house full of noise, so had there been any kind of vocal celebration it would likely have merged into the sound of children playing with toys and running around the house. But you sense Lind isn't the jump up and down type. Instead he celebrated in the traditional poker way.
"I just kept playing the rest of the day just like any other day," he said. "I actually had a terrible day other than the tourney win, but I can't complain!"
Lind now plans to finish TCOOP by playing all the bigger tournaments through to the Main Event this coming Sunday. He started the series with few expectations, other than to grind full days, play well, and count on a little luck. That's three out of three then.
"My days are just like any other days throughout the year but the games I play are bigger during the COOP series," he said. "I'm not really thinking ahead to the tourneys that much. I pretty much just play the ones I feel like playing throughout the day. In fact for this tourney I actually late registered with one minute left. I'm pretty glad I did that!"
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.