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Daily 3-Bet: 20 Yrs a Grinder, SirWatts CBC, Bots Aint Loyal
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a rent payment to make, alimony to pay for and the stones to not chase the afternoon poker news pipe dream.
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Today in the 3-Bet we get a glimpse into grinding a living in Vegas, Mike Watson gets some hometown CBC shine and poker AI Libratus wins Twitter.
1) Mark Gregorich = Joey Knish
Even the most hardcore poker fan would struggle to recognize the name Mark Gregorich.
His biggest live tournament score - over a 20-year+ poker career - is $139,158 for finishing 4th in a $10k WSOP 8-Game event in 2009.
He'll likely never play in an event like the $300k Super High Roller Bowl or even a $25k High Roller at the WSOP.
But for a lot of us who got into poker during the early days of the poker boom, he's spent the past two decades living out an old-school version of the poker dream.
After moving from Washington state in the mid-90s when he got laid off from his job as a teacher, Gregorich has made a living playing cash games in Las Vegas. And not the most glamorous games either.
But he's made it as a professional poker player. Raised a family. Bought a house. And still, to this day, spends 5 days a week playing poker instead of grinding a 9-5.
He's also gained the respect of some of the most notable players in the game over that span including Daniel Negreanu, who dedicated his latest podcast to interviewing Gregorich about it. It's a great listen:
2) Started in St John's, Now He's at the Top
Speaking of understated, respected pros who might not get recognized in a poker room let alone walking down the street ... Mike "SirWatts" Watson is, by any estimation, one of the best live and online poker tournament pros in the world.
You might remember him from winning the PCA Main Event championship in 2016, or the WPT Bellagio Cup in 2008, but his track record of major live and online scores ($12m+) goes well beyond those two big ones.
He's not the loudest or most outspoken guy at the table. You wouldn't guess he plays some of the highest-stakes tourneys in the world by looking at him.
But he's definitely a poker boss. And after a 10 year career, Watson finally earned a bit of mainstream pub from his hometown bureau of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, aka the CBC, in St. John's, Newfoundland.
They even managed to avoid referring to him as "all in" during the piece - although they did call it "Texam Holdem" in his How-To bit. You win some, you lose some. Check it out below:
3) Overbetting the River and Giving No Fs
It's been utterly soul crushing surprising to see just how thorough a beating the No-Limit Hold'em AI Libratus has laid on four top poker pros in the Brains vs. AI Challenge so far.
At last check in the bot was up almost $1m (Note: Dong Kim is actually up $13k on the AI while the other 3 are down huge) and with about 1/3 of the Challenge to go there's no hope of a comeback.
If it wasn't so funny, the fact its parody Twitter account is owning so hard, too, would almost be too much to bear. If you can't beat 'em, tho ...
Americans, don't be influenced by my actions. Poker is a game of chance, and rightfully illegal. I'm lucky. These 80k hands are very lucky.— Libratus (@BotsAintLoyal) January 26, 2017
Have no fear. At Carnegie Mellon Poker, we keep player funds segregated. There's money that's ours. And money that will eventually be ours.— Libratus (@BotsAintLoyal) January 25, 2017
Am I worried about a comeback? Not really. But I guess The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead after going 73-9 with the unanimous MVP.— Libratus (@BotsAintLoyal) January 24, 2017