Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!
Here's my quickie observation about ESPN's Main Event coverage. Who do you remember from the 2003 WSOP? Moneymaker, obviously. Sammy Farha. Dan Harrington. Freddy Deeb and his shirt. OK, let's try 2004. Greg Raymer and those shades. Josh Arieh. David Williams and Marcel Luske. Dan Harrington, again. OK, how about 2005? Mike Matusow. Steve Dannemann. Andy Black.
My point is, did it seem like Joseph Hachem barely made an appearance in the tournament he won? We really didn't see him at all until he reached the final table, and once there he pretty much avoided the fireworks until the very end. It's not that he was a milquetoast at the table (Pass the sugah!), but I guess he wasn't involved in that many big hands. He was short-stacked during much of the final table broadcasts, and as he caught up we saw other, more dramatic stories taking shape (notably Black going from first to out in a brutally short amount of time).
It's no reflection on Hachem, and perhaps not of ESPN either. That's just the way the game shook out. I'm sure Hachem doesn't mind too much.
The hand that crippled Matusow...wow. What a brutal, brutal beat. To get pocket kings, get it all in, and find out you're up against aces. And then flop a miracle king. And then get killed by a runner-runner flush. Just devastating. The fact that he bounced back to win the Tournament of Champions helped ease the vicarious pain.
That was a lot of money they put on that table. I think that's about as understated as I can make it. A bathtub full of cash, that's what I'd do with it.