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Today in the 3-Bet we find former WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson finally getting his chops into a substantial cash game, revisit the glory days of high-stakes "action" bowling and test your ability to spot the liar.
1) Merson Splashes Around on Poker Night
You'd think, with an $8m+ WSOP Main Event title to your credit, opportunities to get in on some televised high-stakes cash games would be a relatively easy task.
Not so for Greg Merson, unfortunately, who won his title in the TV poker vacuum of Black Friday.
Merson's even famously been shut out of some big non-televised live games in both Vegas and Macau, so he's been excited the last couple of days, he tells PressboxOnline, to finally be able to put some big cash down on a poker table and play a few hands.
The Poker Night in America crew rolled into the Maryland Live! casino over the past couple of days and local Merson was one of the lucky few offered a shot at putting up $5k-$20k for some old school, high-entertainment poker.
"I was really happy that they asked me," Merson said. "With the drop-off in high-stakes cash games on TV, I haven't been able to show off my skills in that type of game. It's nice to be able to splash around a lot."
The Maryland Live! stop is the fourth so far for Poker Night, which hopes to begin airing shows on a network this Spring. Other players invited this time around included Gavin Smith, Steve Dannenmann, Jason Somerville, Matt Glantz and Christian Harder.
2) Even Bowlers Look for Fish
Think poker is going through a tough phase right now? Try being a professional bowler. Or an old school "action bowler," who apparently made a pretty nice living hustling the public and private bowling lanes of the 60s and 70s.
For those who grew up in the 80s it might be hard to believe bowlers were the biggest sport stars going at one point, but according to "The Rise and Fall of Professional Bowling" on Priceonomics.com, that was definitely the case.
So much so in fact that Harry Smith, the top bowler in 1963, made more than the MLB MVP and NFL MVP combined. No, really. And, like any business where the cash is flowing, the hustlers moved in:
"In New York from the 1940s to the 1970s, there also existed a lucrative underbelly to the sport called “action bowling.” Working-class Italians from Boroughs across the city would frequent bowling alleys and challenge each other to matches for money.
"Events would often start at midnight and go until 7AM. Action bowling legend Mike Limongello explains exactly what this entailed:
“'We would all go out late at night -- every night of the week there was someplace to go -- and the action would start right after the leagues were over. Everyone would match up and bowl for money -- and there was a lot of street money in those days.'”
Ah that sweet, sweet, bowling street money. It's a great piece; read it here.
3) Think You're Good at Spotting Tells?
Sniffing out bluffs is an essential skill for any poker player. But how good do you really think you are at spotting people not telling the truth?
Take this NY Times interactive quiz and see if you can tell the difference: