Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brandon Cantu Humiliates Himself On Camera

Wow- Even though many people criticized his seemingly crude strategy of constantly moving all in on opponents several years ago, I had actually liked it, because it took inherent advantage of fear equity, which could be especially powerful when faced with humiliation in front of television cameras broadcasting a potentially stupid decision worldwide.  But...I have no idea what strategy he does or does not employ these days, nor am I interested in it.

Admittedly, I clicked on the link to watch this video not because I wanted to hear someone whine about a second place finish worth over $100k because he was a brat and was only satisfied with a first place finish.  In fact, I am probably in the minority in believing that such feelings are justifiable, especially in such instances where said player has already made his millions.  I did it out of a simple morbid curiosity.  However, I was disgusted to see that he was complaining that his opponent was getting an advantage, that he was also receiving.  

Although perhaps somewhat better than complaining about the sort of bad luck that is also evenly distributed through the population, he was complaining about such things as his opponent getting an additional day of rest, as well some "internet kid" being able to sift through hands and discuss strategy with all of his friends.  Presumably, Cantu's objection about waiting an extra day to conclude the tournament is that he has more stamina than his opponent.  Naturally, anyone in this position would make the argument that serves their purpose the best.  Although I can't say that I fault him for doing so, he must realize that this is a business and, for all intents and purposes, a show, so the people putting on this show have a vested interest in keeping it interesting- both for audiences and not unlikely, for themselves as well.  To quote Cantu's own words, "he could barely keep his eyes open".  Yeah man....that's the match I want to watch!    

Although some people may have a legitimate complaint about people sharing online databases (an argument I won't touch right right but also disagree with) the idea that it is disdainful that people will discuss strategy with knowledgeable friends away from the table is ludicrous.  This is warfare, with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake. In fact, this might be more telling about Cantu's personal life than his strategy decisions, and if this video is any way indicative about the Cantu away from the cameras, it is quite likely that he doesn't have many respectable poker friends with which he can even discuss high level strategy.  Or it is even possible that not a whole lot is known about this "internet kid" for much to be discussed.  It is something that Cantu really needs to get a grip on: if you are king of the hill, and more specifically, wish to be known as king of the hill, groups of people will necessarily collaborate on ways to knock you down and fill your spot. 

In the end, I wasn't interested in writing this to criticize Cantu, no was I doing it to scold or condescend to him.  I wanted to do it as a warning for all of you who are new professionals or aspiring ones.  I want to stress to all of you that you need to take your lumps with dignity.  If you aren't happy with certain rules, don't play in that game or setting and don't endorse their events by buying into them in the future.  Cantu is basically arguing that he didn't lose.  If you feel that you beat someone out of every single pot, this is obvious to anyone who watched you play- and in particular, to the person who got hammered and then sucked out.  If you hold your head up high and he wants to proclaim that it was his rightfully earned victory and not the byproduct of luck, well then...he is embarrassing himself!  

Final note: although it doesn't necessarily apply to this commentary, this is something I have been thinking about a lot.  You can't proudly proclaim to everyone (particularly those who object to your career path) that your job is legitimate because it is a skill game and then turn around and complain that you aren't doing well because of your poor luck.  In fact, those who complain most about always getting unlucky are probably taking too much personal credit for all the good luck they receive.  Poker is gambling...this is a fact.  A skill game most definitely, but that doesn't mean it isn't gambling.  It is ruled by many variables and most of those are outside of your control.  Just work hard to control that ones that you can.  If your opponent is getting an extra day of rest, sleep longer than him or have a healthier meal the next day.  If he talks strategy about you, talk to everyone that knows him or even offer money to loosen the lips of those who know but don't care to talk to you.  I'm not implying that you should be happy about this or take it with a smile on your face or even be comfortable with it.  But you do need to accept it.  

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