It’s been a good World Series of Poker for repeat bracelet winners. Right out of the gates, Vanessa Selbst won her third bracelet, then Dominik Nitsche did it, and now Dutch Boyd is the third to get a third, winning Event #33, one of several no-frills, $1000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournaments at the series.
Boyd is a controversial figure in poker. He certainly has his fans, but his is also a life embroiled in scandal; his poker site, PokerSpot, failed back in 2001, with $400,000 in player funds never having been refunded. Understandably, many in the poker world are still angry about this, and his detractors are no less vocal, and probably more numerous than his supporters.
The win comes at a convenient time for Boyd, who has just released an autobiographical book about the early days of the poker boom, titled Poker Tilt. PFO’s own Steve Ruddock, despite an avowed dislike for Boyd as a person, has reviewed the book very favorably, describing it as “poignant,” and “a story that needed to be told,” about an era no other poker book has covered. There’s no doubt that getting his name in the headlines this way will help boost the book’s sales.
Boyd played solidly for most of the final table, but nearly self-destructed when down to three players, losing most of his chips making an all-in bluff with nothing but a gutshot, in a spot that seemed unconvincing both to two-time bracelet winner Joe Cada, who was commenting on the live stream, and to his opponent, Steven Norden, who snapped him off with middle pair. His error was compensated for by a few good run-outs, allowing him to chip back up and get back on his A-game.
Norden, who eventually finished second, was an interesting character in his own right. A complete unknown, he described himself only as “a very boring person” to reporters when they attempted to find out more about him, and conveyed an amateurish image with awkward body language and unusual attire. He turned out to have very strong poker skills, however, and impressed Cada, who declared him to be his “new favorite player.” It has since come out that Norden is one of the first people who figured out how to beat video poker, a grind he’s been on for some years now, but has recently started playing live poker. He clearly knows how to play, and we may see more of him in future.