WSOP 2011: Tom McEvoy takes it steady
Tom McEvoy finishes reading his newspaper, folds it up and puts it neatly to one side. From his pocket, he takes out a wide, reflective eye shade, a barrier to his inner soul, and puts it on just as the dealer distributes the first hand after the dinner break. It's back to business, and once again McEvoy sets off to chase his dream of joining the likes of Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Johnny Moss as a double WSOP Main Event champion (Stu Unger won three titles).
With all the attention these days on the young guns from the internet poker generation, I'm glad my colleague Brad Willis wrote on Day 1A about the need to remember and respect the poker heroes of years gone by.
You can easily add McEvoy to the giants of the pre-internet boom. An accountant from Grand Rapids in Michigan, he decided to throw in his comfortable job and chase a living playing cards in Las Vegas. Soon after, in 1983, he was the WSOP World Champion, claiming $540,000 in the process.
To go with that title, he added three more WSOP bracelets to his name, has written countless poker books, and has become a respected poker coach. He's also a very proud member of Team PokerStars Pro.
These days he is quite happy to be described as an elder statesman. And he won't mind me pointing out the comic irony in him being the only Team PokerStars Pro playing today--and there are many--to have taken up the offer of a free pair of slippers from one of the tournament sponsors.
Being a senior representative of the game is something he enjoys. After winning the WSOP Champions Invitational in 2009, when all previous WSOP champions played off against each other, he told me: "It was important to me career wise and for me personally knowing I had beaten all my peers. Later I saw Doyle Brunson who told me he was so glad I had won and that the old guard beat up on the new guys."
Beating up the new guys is something McEvoy is trying to do once again today. As the dealer prepared to roll out another hand, he informed me of his progress: "About 32,000 and change," he said.
It's not the most exciting of starts to his Main Event, but as he would be the first to point out, many of the aggressive young guns are out already.
McEvoy is a determined man and is planning to go deep, and that means late nights here at the Rio.
At least he's got his slippers
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PLAYERS WHO COULD LEAD TONIGHT BASED ON PREVIOUS DAY LEADERS HAVING FOOD NAMES
(Fred Berger led Day 1A, Ben Lamb led Day 1B)
BAD KARMA OF THE HOUR
A man in the small blind had checked a T♥7♦8♣ board. The big blind bet 3,000 and the button called. That's when the small blind moved all-in, covering both players. The big blind thought for two minutes before calling all-in. As the button pondered his decision, a waiter arrived with the big blind's hot tea. The big blind took the drink and tipped the waiter. The small blind threw a dollar on the waiter's tray and said, "You have my coffee." Apparently the waiter had forgotten it. He said he'd be right back. "Can I have my dollar back then?" the big blind said. Seconds later, the button folded. The small blind tuned up T♠8♥ for top two. Mr. Can I Have My Dollar Back revealed a set of sevens. Turn? 8♦. Three big expletives and a pair of thrown eyeglasses later, Mr. Can I Have My Dollar Back looked like he might understand the meaning of karma.
CHEWING GUM CHOICE OF THE HOUR
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW THAT ANSWER BETTER THAN WE DO QUESTION OF THE HOUR
"Do you know where Hoyt Corkins is sitting? I'm his assistant."
LIE OF THE HOUR
"Yeah, I'm Greek" --Peter Hedlund, Swedish