Baltic Festival: Strategically late
Being "fashionably late" is the preserve of movie starlets, catwalk models and businessmen with ideas above their station. But recently in poker circles, the idea of being "strategically late" has taken off.
At the recent High Roller event at the EPT London Festival, the Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson and the high stakes online cash demon Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies both made deep runs, Sahamies all the way to the final table. Whether it was by misstep
hangover or design hangover, neither were the most punctual with their appearances on any of the opening days, but each subsequently decided it was their late arrivals that contributed to their success.
Both those guys are (understatement alert) action players, and enjoy getting involved in as many pots as possible. In the very early stages of tournaments, the blinds are extremely small compared with stack sizes, and the preferred strategy is usually to be patient and take stock of the table, instead of letting the chips fly. It's commonly accepted that you can't win a poker tournament in the early stages, but you can definitely lose one. The old adage of no limit hold 'em -- one mistake and you're out -- certainly applies.
So it is that these action players have simply decided to sit out the early exchanges instead of allowing their shaky hands to get them foolishly and perilously in too deep. They can come to the table with stacks only missing a few blinds and already pots are worth stealing, which suits this kind of player. They're also much speedier at picking up reads on their opponents, and don't need those early stages to begin the learning process. It has certainly seemed to work in the small sample size to date.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that William Thorson and Peter Eastgate have now just arrived to the action. We were deep into level two when we first saw them, but they are both now present and correct. Let the action begin.