Michael ‘The Monster’ Dyer is dominating the World Series of Poker Main Event final table. The nickname comes from his friends Tristen Sweet and a female friend who prefers to be called ‘Mo.’ The pair has known Dyer since 2012 when they met grinding cash games in Las Vegas from the $1/$2 level to where they collectively are now.
Sweet is a poker dealer at a major property on the Vegas Strip, and Mo now lives in Colorado. Their vibe fits in with Dyer’s mum table presence. Dyer asked his friends and parents when they arrive to not cheer during hands.
Mo sits on the rail behind black wayfarer sunglasses and politely declined to share her name with USPoker.com or the ESPN production team.
Meet ‘The Monster’
The empirical observation of Dyer as an introvert is confirmed by how Sweet and Mo describe him.
Dyer lives in Las Vegas, NV and plays poker online. The time spent in the lab led to this moment, according to his friends. The aggressive style was cultivated through hours and hours of experimenting for a moment like the Main Event. Dyer played other tournaments this summer but did not cash. The variance now breaks his way at the best time.
Since acquiring chips, Dyer has bulldozed opponents and won huge all-ins despite not having the best of it.
“I don’t think it’s the money at all,” Mo said. “It’s the performance. He wants to be able to see how his game stacks up against a massive field.”
“It’s worth pointing out that he’s been working on his style for a decade, something like that,” Sweet added. “For him, this is his moment to test it.”
The Main Event is the final exam for all poker players and Dyer is flourishing. Per his friends, Dyer is playing with 100 percent of his own action. $6,000 of his tournament buy-in was accumulated through lammers won in sit-and-gos run at the Rio this summer.
The real man away from the table
Dyer’s table manner is consistent with how he is outside of the game. The leaning body and imposing eyes fill in with a profile emphasized by Sweet and Mo that they don’t know much about him outside of poker.
“He’s the most terrifying person I’ve ever played poker against,” said Sweet. “What you see here, he’s that guy all the time. Playing $1/$2, whatever it is, he’s the most focused and fearless poker player I’ve ever met. It’s scary.”
Sweet notes that what the public is seeing of Dyer is how he is on a regular basis.
“This isn’t a different version of him. He’s a quiet and super calm guy and very, very intelligent.”
Interviews have been tough to attain of Dyer through his Main Event run. Brief answers and an unwillingness to go into depth about his background prove the focus on achieving his goal.
“He’s very shy and more comfortable articulating through text,” Mo noted.
Sweet describes Dyer as, “The calmest human I’ve ever met in any tight situation. He only cares about the quality of the decision in the moment.”
Where does he go next?
Before the second day of the final table, Dyer sent a piece of quoted wisdom to Mo before rolling over for another hour of sleep. In a text sent to her, Dyer said he had a dream about the final table, woke up and found a stream of thought from poet T.E. Lawrence.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
Dyer followed up the text by saying, “I like that quote. I try so hard to shape reality into what I want with my decisions. It’s difficult and something worth effort.”
The now-famous balloon hoodie shouldered by Dyer comes from the dinosaur comic strip called Qwantz. Once released, balloons fly to a freedom only they know the destination of. The $8.8 million dream is not equal and Dyer isn’t close to waking up yet.
“He will remain the same person. For him, this isn’t at all about the publicity or the prestige. For him, it’s the performance that matters.”