Daily 3-Bet: Moneymaker Shlep, Antonio Float, JC Wonders

JC Tran3
Even with the right play, hard not to wonder.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a first-class ticket to Hong Kong, a comped hotel and a date waiting with a beautiful companion. You just need to bring these bags through afternoon poker news customs.

Got a tip for a future 3-Bet? Drop a note in the comments and we'll take a look.

Today in the 3-Bet we find an old PCA smuggling story involving Chris Moneymaker and a bag of buttons, Antonio Esfandiari basks off the Australian coast and JC Tran explains the reasoning behind a controversial hand deep in the Main Event.

1) World's Highest Paid Button Delivery Man

Chris Moneymaker
Mind taking this bag of buttons to the Bahamas?

Love good stories from the early days of the poker boom?

"smalltalkdan" Goldman, VP of Marketing for PokerStars from 2002-2007, has a great one up on his blog today featuring the beginnings of the much-heralded PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker and a bag of dealer buttons. An excerpt:

"I should mention here that I spent a fortune that particular year to get PokerStars some positive exposure in the mainstream press. Poker was red-hot, and we were one of of the biggest poker businesses in the world; I wanted us recognized along with the other big names in the business.

"So I dedicated a huge chunk of my budget to bringing mainstream media to the event. Over 100 reporters and columnists were attending PCA that year, mostly on PokerStars' dime.

"I went from concerned to alarmed that this tiny thing would become a focus. We had every tiny detail right, but we blew it on something that costs $5."

There are plenty more great stories posted too, including this one about getting a death threat from "Armadillo Tim." Be sure to check the archives.

2) Antonio Does Blue Steel on a Boat

There are plenty of reasons we're envious of the great Antonio Esfandiari - not the least of which are that he gets to pal around with Phil Laak all the time and, you know, he won the richest poker tournament of all time.

We can now add the fact that he's driving a nice boat off the coast of Australia these days and we're, well, we're doing this. Not 100% jealous of the pose though tbh...


3) JC Tran: Main Event About Minimizing, Not Maximizing

As we've said before there was no one we were rooting for more at a Main Event final table than JC Tran.

One of the most genuine guys in poker Tran had been on a downswing over the past few years and, with a new kid on the way, needed a bit of run good.

He definitely got it, although it ran a little dry at the final table and he ended up busting fifth for just over $2m. A great score, sure, but hard not to wonder what might have been.

One of the sad things about the final table, though, was the doubt that arose about Tran's play - particularly a hand with 26 players left when he flopped the nut flush.

Plenty of armchair critics have attacked him for not maximizing value but, as JC explains in a great post on All In Magazine, that's not exactly what the Main Event's about. And if he had to play the hand over again, he'd probably do the same.

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