Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hiatus Over

Ok, so it has been nice to just be a couch potato but it's time to get back to work.

A whole bunch of just stupid everyday costs that always seem to pop up have popped up again as well so making some money would be a good thing. The latest cost was our 1994 pickup failing its smog test and needing to pay like $800 to get some stupid part. The emissions from the car are actually really low but it failed some fuel evaporation test. I am not a car person, so I have no idea, but the whole thing just seems like a big racket to me. And although we usually don't need 2 cars, today proved that sometimes we do when I went to go play in my live poker game and Charmian called me frantically saying she needed the car to check on some patient at a hospital she needs to drive to.

Anyhoo - I should pick up the pick-up tomorrow and then get at least an evening session in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just chillin'

So I have written a check to all of my backers except for the three who have not yet responded to my messages. I am a little surprised at just how wiped out I felt from Vegas especially since I came home early, took a weekend off, and wasn't there that long. Last night I was invited to play in a lowstakes homegame which was just fun. No pressure, a good varied group of players, and actually talking with people face to face is a good thing. I still haven't gotten around to cleaning the house up or to getting back to the grind, but at some point soon I will get so bored that it will happen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back home

I only had 3 more events that I was scheduled to play and none of them were that intriguing to me and they were spread out with the first one starting this Wednesday, so I decided to pack it in and head home. I had a profitable WSOP and it feels good to be home.

I started writing the first batch of what is going to be close to 40 checks to pay off my stakers today and once I get all of their info, I will send the rest of this week. This week I plan on just relaxing, cleaning the house up a bit, and getting all of my paperwork in order. I will get back to the online grind when I feel like getting back to it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick exit

Quick exit for me. I got there a little late and by the time I got to the entrance doors the mob from the $1.5k event were on their first break so I had to swim upstream against that crowd and missed probably the first 6-7 hands that were dealt. No big deal, I sit down and first hand I am in the BB and indariva raises my blind. I look down to see AQ and 3 bet him. Flop comes rags, I bet, he raises, I call. Turn is a K, and I have to decide if he is bluffing or has me crushed since close to half my stack is out there and I would be calling 4k more. I fold and am left with 11k ish.

I then 3 bet another guy w/99 and his AJ outflops me, but I lose just 4k on the hand.

I win the blinds from Negreanu with TQs and chip back to maybe 9k.

David Baker raised from EP and got 3 bet from the guy next to him. I wake up with 77 in the BB and have to decide if I want to go with it there or fold. I fold (correctly to Baker's AA) and the pokergods deviously grin on me when the board comes 689T.

Last hand I only hand about 6-7k left and I get AJ and lost to 66. Oh well. Gl Chris. I am going home.

Should be a fun day.

Today will very likely be my last WSOP event for the year so I am going to do my best to make it a good day and have some fun as well. My wife will be excited because her favorite player, Daniel Negreanu, is going to be seated directly to my left (although there will be the dealer between us). Shannon Shorr is also a well known pro, and the guy in seat 5 is an icon at parttimepoker.com which is the site where I arranged my backing for this Series.

Seat 1: Daniel Negreanu - 14700
Seat 2: Shawn McBride - 32700
Seat 3: David Baker - 72100
Seat 4: Simen Sagstuen - 58400
Seat 5: Chris Tryba - 17300
Seat 6: Rob Breeden - 21100
Seat 7: Shannon Shorr - 16900
Seat 8: Erle Mankin - 23300
Seat 9: Adrian Dresel-Velasquez - 16300

Made it to day 2 of the $2k Limit Event

I start tomorrow with 16k with blinds at 500/1000 so I need some run good early if I want to cash.

I played pretty well today. Again, I am surprised that I am still in it with how unlucky/poorly I actually ran. QQ ran into KK, KK ran into AA, I took two other bad beats when I was way ahead pre, and yet I still somehow have chips. It will probably take somewhere around 2 hours to make the money tomorrow and with just 16 BBs, I need some good mojo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Playing well again

Today the suckout gods decided to hit my opponents. I somehow made it to the dinner break with just over 20 BBs even though my QQ lost to 99, my AK lost to AT, my A8 lost to JJ on an 882 flop, my TcQc lost to 4c5c on an Ac2c3c flop, and my AK lost to JJ. First hand back from the dinner break and the same kid who busted me at my final table busted me again when I ran into his AA when I had A4s.

Yesterday I ended up getting pretty schnookered with my neighbors downstairs from me, which was fun, and the night before I finally met up with Jerry from Pokerpwnage and had a real good meal. So all in all I am happy.

I am playing the $2k Limit event tomorrow and if that doesn't go well, then the $1.5k on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another early exit

I didn't even make it to level 2 today. But I played fine so I am not upset. I iso raised AJo against a short stack and ran into AA from one of the blinds. Oh well. My next event will be on Thursday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ruh Roh

I made a bad bluff today in the $2k and I went out with a decent stack right before the dinner break.

I feel like I made mistakes throughout the whole hand - I should have raised pre instead of flatted; I should have given up when he called my raise on the flop; I never should have tried to take the pot down on the turn; I acted way too fast. A lot of it comes from the fact that I don't mind losing as much anymore as long as I lose well and I felt like I lost poorly today, which I don't like. In the end, I am probably being a little hard on myself - I was correct that my opp was weak pre; my play would have worked against any other hand, etc. But in the end, I should have played my hand better, conserved chips, and at least given myself a better shot at getting deeper.

Tomorrow I am playing the $1500 event, and vow to take my time with every decision so that I will not make a mistake.

Back in Vegas

I had a really nice relaxing weekend in Santa Barbara. My wife's family always treat us like royalty when we go down there - meals made for us, dishes done for us, etc. We did some urban hiking to see the fire damage, I played some tennis while Charmian did some shopping, saw The Hangover, and even got to have a nice lunch with my sister and her family and my L.A. family who were on the way up to drop off my niece for soccer camp.

I am playing the $2k event today and plan on just plugging away this week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fun Night

So the radmins from FTR, which is the forum where I first started really learning about poker more in depth, arrived yesterday for their yearly weekend of debauchery. Even though I have been on the site for over 4 years now, I had yet to meet them, so it was cool to finally hang out with them.

We basically just chilled out, drank a little but in their suite with a group of ftr guys, went and had some dinner and then played some drunken 1/3 NL cash. I am not a cash game player at all, so all I really wanted to do was not lose everything. I ended up making my cabfare home which just made the night that much better. I also hit the perfect level of buzzedness where I had no problems falling asleep last night but also feel perfectly fine today.

Today I am planning on just hanging out again, hopefully having some dinner with the ftr guys again and then coming back here and go to bed since I leave super early for Santa Barbara tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quickest finish

Out very early in the Venetian. AK
I am hoping to hang out with the FTR guys tonight and then just bum around tomorrow, maybe play some online and then just relax this weekend with my wife and her fam in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Back to it.

I came in like 190th out of 600ish today. Picked up a nice stack early and then my AA were cracked by JJ to bring me down to like a 12k stack. Blinds at 200/400 I raised to 1100 from the HJ w/TQo and both blinds called. Flop comes Th7h2x and it checks to me. I bet out 2300 and get c/raised all-in by the SB. He had been playing pretty ABC poker, but the way stacks were I felt he was easily making a move with a draw or a mid pair, so the only hands I was really worried about were a set, JJ, or TK/AT. I felt he would have re-raised pre w/QQ+. So we got it all-in and he had JJ and even though the turn gave me 8 more outs with another heart giving me the Q hi flush draw, I bricked the river and that was that.

Tomorrow I play the Venetian and then I'm off until next Monday where I will be playing the next WSOP event.

I is famous!

So the rumors of being able to watch me play at a final table are true. If you have access to ESPN360.com, you can watch me play. Click on Schedule/Replay/and it's the Saturday June 6, 3 pm EST WSOP $2000 nlhe event. You need to forward to about the 1 hr 56 minute mark to watch the coverage of my final table. I am the guy in the Fat Albert t-shirt and the brown UCSB hat.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Day Off

I had a really good day today. Two of my bentrilo buddies picked me up this morning and we volunteered at a homeless shelter in the Vegas ghetto where we helped serve lunch. It just took an hour but it felt good to get out and actually help out a bit. We then headed back to golfer's house, played some RockBand and then headed off to play some golf. Golfer was a onetime golf pro and I have not played golf since highschool, so we were obviously a good match. It was fun just to get out and whack the ball though. Tonight, I went to Target and bought an alarm clock which I think will make it easier for me to get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I am going to go deposit my check, and then head off to the RIO to play the $1500 PL Holdem event.

I am surprising my wife by flying to Santa Barbara and meeting her there this weekend. I told her I wouldn't be able to come because there are too many good events this weekend, so it should be a nice surprise. I think it will give me a nice break from Vegas as well and will let me recharge the batteries and end the month raring to go.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

WSOP Event #11 Recap

** Warning ** This post is going to be long and have a lot of poker hands in it. **Warning**

I will try and recap as best as I can, but to be honest after three days of play and little sleep in between a lot of the hands that I played have been merged/forgotten. All of the WSOP this year start with 3x your buy-in in chips. So I started day 1 with 6k in chips and very early on chipped up. I was paid off w/AA, flopped a set of 88 against AK on a K8x flop, and picked up a flush on the river against what I am imagining was either a set or two pair against Court Harrington within the first two hours. So I was quickly up to somewhere around 20k in chips when I had my first table move.

My next table had Michael Craig, a FullTilt pro, seated two to my right. I know his game pretty well since I have played with him quite a bit online. I quickly bled chips away at this table due to bad beats and lost races - my 55 lost to 44 and TT lost to TKs all-in pre against short stacks, so I was pretty quickly down to like 10k in chips with blinds at 200/400 when I finally won a flip against Michael Craig when my JJ held against his AK all-in pre. Bill Gazes, another well known FullTilt pro, was then moved to our table and after basically just maintaining my stack I was able to almost double through him when my 88 won a race against his TJ all-in pre.

My last table move of the day placed me directly to the right of Tom McEvoy who won the Main Event 20ish years ago and is a pro for PokerStars - he also recently won the Tournament of Champions. We never really got involved in many hands. I must say that all of these pros/higher profile players were all extremely approachable and seemed like decent guys - guys who almost anyone would enjoy having a drink with and just shooting the shit. My big hand at the new table was fairly soon after I had been moved to the table when the button who had about an even stack with me raised and I was dealt TJs in the BB. I am guessing blinds were at 400/800 and both of us were probably right around 25k in chips. He raised to like 2500 and I reraised to somewhere around 8k with the thought that I would often take the pot down right there, or I could shove almost any flop if he called as a bluff. Instead, he put me all-in but I was getting right around 2:1 on my money (probably a little better) and since he had me covered he could easily be using his stack to try and bully me so I really thought that my hand had over the 33% equity it needed to justify a call. I called, he had 66, and I won that race which propelled me to my ending stack that night of somewhere around 65k.

Day 2 began with just over 200 players and 171 got paid. I got a very fortunate table draw because I was the chip leader so I was able to bully the table quite a bit, especially as we got nearer and nearer to the money bubble. When there were only 177 players left I was able to force a guy with about 25k in chips to fold QQ preflop when I had AJ just by using my stack as a weapon. After he reraised me, I put him all-in and he wasn't willing to take the risk of busting out with only 6 players. So by the time we hit the money and our table got broken up I was probably up to about 100k in chips.

My next table was very very chip rich, the player immediately to my left is an internet wonderkid named benba who had me outchipped and he used his stack very very aggressively - which meant if I wasn't willing to play a marginal hand against him, it was better just to open-fold. I chipped up a bit against him when he 3 bet me and I 4-bet jammed him with AQ. He then got involved with another very aggressive German guy named Olav directly to my right in a huge pot where Olav got sick of benba's 3 betting and just jammed with QKs only to have benba turn over AA. Unfortunately for benba (and fortunately for me) the flop came 3 diamonds and Olav flopped his flush. Soon thereafter I won a big pot when I hit a set of 9s against another good internet kid who either had a big pair or trip Qs on a 9QxxQ board. I then won a couple of nice medium sized pots and just maintained a decent stack for the next couple of hours. By the time we were playing the last couple of levels we were down to like 36 players and had been playing for over 10 hours. I had made two marginal calls against shorter stacks and run into better hands so my stack was down to about 200k when another good young internet player who had been playing very tight openshoved for 15 BBs. There was quite a bit of drama in the hand because Olav did not hear the all-in declared and no chips were pushed forward so when it folded to him he raised a small amount and was forced to keep those chips in the pot even though he did not know that there was an all-in player in front of him. He folded but was pissed and began arguing vociferously with the floor and basically telling the dealer she was a stupid old cow. Meanwhile, I wake up with AJs and had a really really tough decision. I know that if I can put the all-in on a range of hands like A8s+/any pair/QK/some suited broadways that my AJ is ahead and should call. However, he had been tight, so if his range was more like AT+/88+ then I should fold. I took quite a while and ended up calling. Hand wise it ended up being a bad call as he flipped over AQ but I think I ranged him well. Results wise it was a great call when I binked a J on the turn. That was basically it for that night and we played down to 25 players. At 3 am we bagged our chips and were told to come back the next day at noon. I ended the night with just over 400k with blinds starting the next day at 8k/16k.

We only had about 7 hours to sleep that night (since it took another two hours to drive there and back, shower, and eat) but I was pretty amped up and nervous so I only slept like 4 hours. I finally realized that I would not be able to get back to sleep so I just woke up, and continued what had been my daily routine the past two days - I went for a 20 minute jog, ate a bagel and some fruit, took my shower, and headed off for the final day. I was tired, but I knew that the adrenaline would pull me through, and it did.

There were enough short stacks to start day 3 that players dropped pretty fast. And pretty easly on I should have been one of them. The button opened raised and I woke up with 99 in the BB. I reraised which was about 1/3 of my stack so when he 4 bet me I couldn't fold and was not a happy camper when he turned over QQ. The late suckout karma came through for me though as a 9 was the first wheel card on the flop. That hand propelled me to 800k and gave me enough chips to lose a bad beat against a shortstacks 79 when I had AK and then win a race with AQ versus another short stacks 88. Before we knew it, we were down to 10 players and off to the big lights of a tv final table.

I guess the final table was televised on ESPN360.com and from what some people have told me, I had quite a few people railing me and cheering me on. I have been asked if I was nervous but I really wasn't. The whole thing was sort of surreal. I knew that it was a big deal, but for whatever reason it didn't stress me out at all. I was really focused on just playing good poker and letting the results happen. Somewhat early on at the final table I picked up 88 in the cutoff and the very aggressive kid who had come into the table as the chip leader raised from early position. Blinds were 15/30k and he raised to 80k. I had just under a million chips and decided to take a flop with him in position as I felt I could outplay him postflop. The flop was 2x8cTc and he checked to me. He had bled quite a few chips and I knew he was waiting for a good spot to get some back, so I decided to bet small because I felt it was likely that he would check/raise me. He complied and reraised my 100k ish bet to 275k. I was then left with the decision of whether just to call or shove all-in. A call had the advantage of allowing him to keep spewing if he was bluffing, but if he wasn't bluffing and had the T or an overpair or a flush draw, then I could very well lose value by calling because he would call a shove on the flop with those hands but might fold them if a club, a non-club or overcard came on the turn depending on what he had. Anyhoo, I decided to shove and he folded so I think it is pretty clear he was bluffing and the better result would hav been to call, but that doesn't mean my decision at the time was wrong. I maintained that stack for a while but then was coolered when a short stack woke up with KK when I had TT and that took me down to a stack where really all I could do was wait to reshove on what I thought were light raises or fold. I never got that opportunity and the blinds increased so I was then forced into a push/fold stack with 20 BBs because 4 of the 5 other players at the table had about the same stack as I did and I was not willing to raise/fold at that point. On my 3rd openshove I was finally called with TT when I had QK and I wasn't able to win that last race and out I went in 6th place.

Other than 2 marginal calls (which really weren't that bad) I think I played the tourney pretty mistake free so I am very happy with my result and my play. I had to get very lucky to make the final table (two suckouts late in the tourney) but I also had to withstand quite a few bad beats (AK lost to 79, 55 lost to 44, TT lost to TK) and lost races along the way as well. So I feel the luck factor evened itself out (although I did get lucky when I needed it most), but I also made some really good plays.

The aftermath is just a really nice boost to my bankroll and confidence. It is also a nice boost to my reputation on parttimepoker which is the site I used to get my financial staking. I know from my previous big score that it takes me a couple of days to settle back down, so even though I was exhausted last night I still only got about 6 hours of sleep. So I just was super lazy today and surfed the web, I am watching the Lakers game now, and will get a better night's sleep tonight. Tomorrow I am planning on playing an event at the Venetian because I just don't have it in me to grind 3 more days in the $2500 WSOP event which starts tomorrow.

I would like to give a big thanks to Adil, christaborg, and scgolfer for railing me the whole way yesterday. And although Adil might have enjoyed himself a little too much on Friday night he gets an even bigger shout out for railing me from Friday night all the way to the end. Quite a few of the posters from flopturnriver and parttimepoker also came by to rail me at the final table and I really do appreciate that as well. Lastly I heard I had quite a contingency following my progress online - the reason I even bother with this blog is for you guys so I hope I put on a good showing.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

WSOP Final Table!!


I made my first WSOP final table today and ended up in 6th place for just over $92k. I am being staked for this series so I don't get to keep all the $$, but I get a nice chunk of it and am very happy.

Supposedly I made it on internet tv as well. I am just relaxing with some of my poker buddies from ventrilo who railed me at the final table today and being a karaoke master playing rock band.

I will try and do a big update tomorrow detailing the whole experience.

$2k event update

I have made it to day 3 of the $2k event with a little over an average stack. I have 411k with blinds starting at 8/16k tomorrow. It starts at noon tomorrow and it is 3:30 now, so I am going to try and get some zzzs.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Made it to day 2 of the $2k event

I made it to day 2 of the $2k event.

I have just over 65k and the average stack is just over 40k. Blinds are 600/1200 to start tomorrow so I have some wiggle room. I think we are somewhere around 70 from the money - there's like 240 left and 170 get paid.

I played with Court Harrington, Bill Gazes, Michael Craig, and Tom McEvoy today.

I am tired and want to get a good night's sleep for tomorrow so I'll try to recap today when I wake up tomorrow.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A little longer but still no dice

I made it to level 5 yesterday. I made one bad/marginal call w/TKs but played fine other than that and lost a race when I was down to 20 BBs w/AJ < TT.

I am in the 2k event today which means we start with 6k in chips so it should give me some opportunity to play some hands. Hopefully I can keep getting a little deeper in each tourney I play until I finally take one down.

My friend from ventrilo, Adil, has made the money in the 6 max tourney which started yesterday and he has a decent stack heading into today so hopefully he can get through one more day and get a nice Final Table.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Quick first day

I met up with a whole bunch of PTPers this morning before he fun began which is always nice. When I actually got seated I had a sort of a fun table to start off. Doug Lee and Humberto Brenes were both at my table but we really didn't mix it up much (Humberto squeezed me at one point early and I mucked 88).

I got dealt AA very early on and it was my only raise pre that actually took down the blinds. I actually chipped up to a little over 6k at one point just by outplaying (and flopping) my opps postflop.

My bustout hand was AdTd during level 3 which I raised from the HJ and got called by the HJ who was a bigstack and tried to outplay me everyhand postflop and by the button who really didn't mix it up much.

Blinds were 75/150 and my stack was the smallest of the 3 with about 5k. I raised to 450 so the pot was like 1500. Flop came 4d5s8d and I checked, the CO also checked and the tightish button bet 400. The play is so bad in these things that I really didn't know if he had a monster or nothing and it didn't really matter with my hand either so I raised to 1800 which left me with maybe 2500 behind and he pretty instantly put me all-in with a set of 5s and I didn't hit my diamond.

Tomorrow is a 6 max $1500 tourney.

Busting sucks, but it does feel good to be back and see how bad the play is. I got most of my chips from the old guy to my right who was a classic limp/caller. And there was another guy who made a "world series" fold when he minraised me pre when I had raised from the CO w/A6s and the guy who could never fold on my left came along as well. I actually folded the A6s to the minraise because he had so few chips left but the guy to my left didn't. Flop came 9TQ and the minraiser put in over 1/2 his chips and then folded to a shove w/JJ and I just sat there smiling.

I will probably play online tonight and then back at it tomorrow.

Let the run good begin!!

Since my younger brother woke me up everyday when I was in L.A. around 7 a.m. I am back on a getting up early schedule so I got up around 8 today (I normally wake up around 10) and have already got a run in and plan to take a little swim before I head off to play.

I don't feel nervous like I did last year, but I will admit that I am amped to play - I have been having dreams of making a final table. Hopefully I am not getting my hopes up too high.

Since I am an unknown it is very unlikely that any of my hands will be mentioned unless I am up against a well-known pro, but you can try checking at pokernews.com. Otherwise I will try and update here daily.

You can also click on the WSOP RAIL in the upper right hand corner of the blog to check on how I am doing overall.

Monday, June 01, 2009

In Vegas

I made it to Vegas with no real problems. My rental for the month looks nice and is just a 5-10 minute drive from the Rio where the WSOP is held. I have already registered for tomorrow's event and am getting excited to play now. I will be at Table 112 in the Amazon Room tomorrow to start if anyone is looking to do some live railing.

Tonight I am just planning on getting some groceries and hopefully a good night's sleep.