Looks Can Be Deceiving
Cory Carroll's win this week in the WSOP Circuit Event in Las Vegas came as no surprise to people who know the best online players. Carroll, who plays under the handle 'UGOTPZD' on several sites, was described by Shaniac (Shane Schleger) as one of the best players that no one's ever heard of. He's also been described as a nice person with a rich sense of humor and a deep well of intelligence... and there's no doubt he plays poker damn well.
The characterization, however, goes in contrast to what I've seen of Carroll's online persona, which tells you just how much fantasy and pretense is involved with playing online. I've seen Carroll in action at several big online final tables, and while I've never met him in person or played against him myself online, my third-person impression of the guy is that he invariably comes across as an extreme tool at the table. It may be that he's trying to be darkly funny and I'm just not getting the schtick. It's very subjective, of course, but he's one of the few players I can remember whose table antics and chat actually annoyed me. And I wasn't even the one playing.
There's also the chance that it's a wonderfully calculated act by Carroll, one with obvious potential benefit. Poker players should be looking for ways to get their opponents off kilter, though I personally tend to do it in a rather more respectful way. But I'm curious. Without the fan-boy stuff, what's the truth on Carroll? Which part is real and which the act?