Friday, July 12, 2013

Way to Go, Vook!

Since my last two posts have been downers, I really wanted to do a feel-good post for this one.  And I do indeed have a feel-good story.  It’s not about me, but it’s definitely a great feel-good story.

Most of my readers know Paul Gordon, better known as “Vookenmeister.”  He has been a prolific member of All Vegas Poker since long before I discovered it.  He has a blog there, which you can find here.
Vook decided to try the WSOP Main Event for the first time ever this year and did very well.  He made it to day 4, which was today.  He needed to outlast a few hundred players today in order to cash.  He was short-stacked but had already made an incredible run, you can and will be able to read all the details of his great run in the link above.
Today, after a lunch and staff meeting at the AVP offices, and a quick visit to the LVH’s brand new, just-opened-today poker room to check it out for my day jobs, I decided to head over to the Rio and rail for him.
Sadly, I got there just after he busted out.  But the great news is he did indeed cash!  He busted out 538th but in the money.  As I arrived, he was just standing in the middle of the venue celebrating with a bunch of friends, including AVP’ers Benton Blakeman and Scott Davies.  His lovely wife soon joined them.  I had the pleasure of greeting him with a congratulatory slap on the back as I came over to the group.
Vook is truly one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the poker world. I would say that even if Vook wasn’t a longtime reader of my blog who has made many comments here—usually great strategy advice. He is always eager to offer help to his fellow players and he’s also a devoted husband and family man (he has two sets of twins).  I don’t even hold it against him that he loves soccer.
Vook mostly plays online, and specializes in sit-n-go’s, so he worked and studied hard to brush up on his multi-table tournament game.  And that work was rewarded this week.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
On his last hand, short-stacked, he shoved with Ace-King suited and ran into pocket Jacks.  His hand didn’t improve, but it was certainly the right move.  But as soon as he saw me, he told me of a more interesting hand when he was still on the money bubble.
“I’ve got the greatest pocket Kings story of all time for you,” he said to me.  He told me he folded the dreaded pocket Kings preflop!  Yes, yes indeed, here is a man who is good enough to fold pocket Kings.  I’m sure full details will be reported soon on his AVP blog, and I didn’t take notes as he exuberantly told us the story.  But apparently the chip-leader in the tournament was at his table and three-bet preflop before it came to Vook.  He looked down at those pocket Kings and, having read my blog for all this time, he knew exactly what to do with that dreaded hand.  He slid them back towards the muck.  Folded them.  Good riddance pocket kings.  That’s how to play those suckers.
Actually, the truth is that he just made a great read, and was also no doubt reacting to being thisclose to the money.  Now, the average poker player may have read the chip-leader’s three bet as just an attempt to bully the table and take advantage of people playing ultra tight in order to make into the money.  But Vook is no ordinary player and he sniffed out the pocket Aces that the three-better indeed had.  And thus instead of busting out with his Kings vs Aces and missing the money, he survived and had a nice pay day of over double his $10K buy-in.
Congratulations to Paul for his great run in his first ever Main Event.  It is a huge, huge accomplishment!  Awesome, Vook, just awesome.  So happy for you.  And happy to see it happened to one of the good guys!

Vook on the right, next to pro player Barry Greenstein


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Agree about the great guy part. If it is a great post, it's only because it's about a great guy.

  2. so how long is vook in town? when i left the LVH, it was about 2 and the only game going besides the tourny was $1-3 NL. im just curious if they opened other games later, was disappointed that was all taht was going.

    1. Brand new room, so it may take some time to get a lot of games going. They had a small list for the 2/6 spread when I was there, dunno if they ever got it going.

  3. Thanks Rob. To be fair I didn't soul read him for AA but I knew both UTG and him were strong. Also the payouts were so flat that busting on the bubble with my stack size would be a huge mistake. It was a painful fold. Ill share my details on my blog later. Off to the pool and hot tub with my wife and college buddy.

  4. Oh and thanks so much for the comments. This is why I love AVP so much. It is a true community. Tony -> patsy and I leave tomorrow morning.

    1. It was amazing to see so many railing for you, but that's because of the goodwill you've built up on AVP over the years. Also, you're right, the AVP community is great.

      Congrats again on the great run.

      In two years I expect you to take home the bracelet.