It’s tough to be The Runner right now. They’ve got people all over the United States, watching their videos frame by frame to figure out where they got gas. Every little breadcrumb they drop is being analyzed under a microscope by very smart poker players.
But they do have one consolation: each of the extremely clever people chasing them has every reason to not share what they learn. After all, if somebody posts to a public forum, “Hey – they’re at Foxwoods!” [They’re not. Ed.] then whoever is in/near Foxwoods catches the Runner and wins the Platinum Pass. Which means that rather than being chased by a pack of hounds, The Runner is being chased by a bunch of lone wolves, each of whom is keeping their own counsel about what they know and what they think.
Or are they?
I’m a member of hand history group called the Hand History Lounge. Mostly we spend our time discussing poker hands, and how we might have played them better. I find that reviewing hands on a daily basis keeps my mind focused and my poker chops sharp. And having multiple smart people look at a hand helps me think about different ways I could play it.
Well, when the Lounge got wind of the Runner Runner promotion, they started discussing how they could team up to catch the person. Since I work for PokerOrg, I’m not only forbidden to participate in the chase, but I can’t provide assistance to anybody – that’s in the rules. But I’m having a good time watching the others discuss it.
One thing they had to decide was, “Who would be the actual bounty hunter?” Whoever catches The Runner is the person who will go play in the PSPC in the Bahamas. So there’s been debate of who would be the person nominated to tag The Runner and play the seat. Legendary O.G. poker vlogger Andrew Neeme is one of the founders of the community – everybody thought he’d make a great choice. But Andrew is up to his eyeballs in other commitments. Furthermore, I tried to imagine Andrew sneaking into a poker room to surprise an unsuspecting Runner. Yeah, sure – he walks in, is swarmed by selfie-seekers, and the Runner quietly exits the room, stage left, safe as Jackie Robinson stealing second.
But the Lounge members found a great substitute in
who will do a dynamite job representing the Lounge at Baha Mar, should the consortium manage to crack the case. And that person is standing by, ready to be on a plane to wherever they find the Runner.
They’ll also have to work out some kind of equity-sharing arrangement, but believe me, that’s the best kind of problem to have. I have complete trust they’ll come up with a with a fair solution if they get
that lucky there first.
But what strikes me are the parallels between analyzing poker hands and figuring out where the Runner is. Both really are a marketplace of ideas, where good ideas rise above bad ones. More importantly, good ideas are honed into a great ideas by iteration and fine-tuning.
Al: “You want to call here.”
Brenda: “No, you want to 3-bet because…”
Charlie: “Okay, I’ll buy a 3-bet. 2.5x?”
Dave: “3x. That sets us up to get stacks on favorable run-outs.”
Al: “I think they’re in California.”
Brenda: “No Texaco stations in NorCal – gotta be SoCal.”
Charlie: “Can’t be California at all. Gas hose doesn’t have a vapor return hose.”
Dave: “Good point, let me get after that vegetation.”
Furthermore, these folks are using the right tools. Just before I pressed “Send” on this article, one of the members posted a Google Earth map, with a 700-mile radius circle drawn around the Runner’s last known sighting, and markers for all the legal poker rooms within that circle.
So pity the poor Runner. Lone wolves everywhere tracking them, as packs of hounds crowd-source their chase from elsewhere. In the words of the bluegrass classic, “Like a fox [like a fox, like a fox]… on the run.“