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Showing posts from 2014

Christmas Retail Bliss...

Thought I hit the jackpot today...

Did an online pickup, selected wrong store by accident but it's only five minutes further away, when I arrive it's a little slice of heaven in the retail hell of xmas shopping.  Literally no customers to be seen, a row of friendly uniformed cashiers in front of their empty lines smiling desperate to ring somebody up.  Twilight zone?  What's going on here.  Mental note... shop here.

Course with an online pickup I have to go to the return line.  I decide to pick up the item from the shelves to save them the trip.  When I get back.  One lady in front of me, not bad, but she has a loaded cart of stuff.  Darn.  Wait, no she's done, that's not her stuff... this will be so painless.

She's taking her receipt and leaving, I start to sidestep the cart, then I hear, "Excuse me honey,"  and a large lady with an armful of stuff brushes me aside, steps in front of me and drops the merchandise into the cart "holding" he…

Life and Poker, running good and playing bad.

As poker players we learn to accept our fate somewhat.  We get it all in on the flop, see our opponents hands, and know what chance we have to win the pot.  In some ways, waiting for the next two cards to come is the most exciting part of poker.  It can also be the most agonizing, especially on the money bubble, or at the edge of a big money jump.  Do we need a miracle?  Do we have to worry about half the deck improving our opponent?  It's out of our hands.  The deck, or fate, is predetermined, nothing is going to change the order of the cards as they hit the table.  All we can do is wait.

To me, those moments, where the fate of my tournament life is out of my control is not only exhilarating but also  a teaching moment.  There are times in life, where there are things that are not in your control.  All you can do is wait.  What's done is done and what will be will be.  Nothing you can do in the meantime can change things.  When you become a parent, these times magnify in inte…

Post Main Event

Hard to believe I haven't posted since the Main Event.

Wanted to talk about my bust out hand, a couple of audacious bluffs I pulled off, some giant folds and the thrill of heading into to day 3 with a shot at making a run, with most of the field already out of it.  Except...  I'm not going to right now.  I will though I promise.

Currently, I'm working on a couple of writing projects, so blogging has been kind of a dreaded activity.  I find I can only do so much writing without feeling burnt.  The blog (and the website) has suffered as a result, and to some degree poker is also on the back burner.

Still, I've been following it and popping up for some tournaments locally here and there.

I was excited that my partner in crime at GCP Gene D had another deep run at the IP.  He got no love from WSOP.com despite being a past Casino Champion there.  The storyline they went with, a good one no doubt in his tournament write up, was Austin Buchanan aka SkinnyDonk trying to get hi…

Main Event Today

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First off big thanks to all the investors who made this possibly.  I'm really focused and honed in on playing as optimally as I can and will take extra care in every decision I make today.  That said, I'm not going to be tentative if I think the correct play is to be bold I will be.

Also, a giant thank you to Monkey.  I sent Monkey a text earlier in the week expressing my gratitude and he replied he didn't really do anything.  I told him he was being humble, and I respect that, but without him Josh, BJ, Kai and myself aren't an hour away from the Main Event today.  Then as the week drew to a close I know that he scrambled to make everything happen and took himself away from his family to insure we all got bought in and everything was taken care.  So thank you also to Squirrel for letting us borrow Monkey to make this happen.

Regardless, with all that effort he can no longer credibly feign a diminished role in this.  He made this happen, even when bank holidays and un…

World Cup, Poker, Monkey's Minions Millions...

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As for Poker, continue to run pretty good since I've been back.  As I've mentioned, I've won two tournaments at Harrahs, then placed fourth, and then stone bubbled day 2 at the Beau Rivage 50k guarantee and stone bubbled a small tournament at LaBerge.   Besides a couple of painful interactions with Moe Moeini at the Beau (and I mean that as a compliment to him), I've been happy with how well I've been generating chips without hands.  I think teaching at the last couple of WSOP Academys in New Orleans was just as helpful to my game as it was to the students there.


I've gotten so much out of doing those hand labs I will gladly do them every time I get the chance.  I have a great respect for the WSOP Academy and the success of its students.  One of the biggest things I've learned through teaching is to pull the trigger in spots were I might just be a little too cautious previously.  As I told the students, and really reinforced with myself, its far better to m…

All Around the Place

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I sent out the final update via email to my investors.  Went deep in a deep stack for lint, and just missed a final table in an outside the Rio tournament.  I traded well again, as I had a piece of the dude that chopped/won that tournament and had a tiny sliver of a guy that finished ~21st in the Millionaire Maker.

Tough run in Vegas, considering every package event, I lost my first big all-in hand (one time I had my opponent slightly covered) as a big favorite.  While that in itself is not uncommon to lose as a big favorite, it's pretty unlikely for those hands to essentially happen consecutively every single FIRST time.  Literally, I couldn't get anything going in any event despite getting it in great (Sets, overpairs etc. etc. etc).

Just like last year, I came back to New Orleans and played in a weekly.  I mauled it.  Couldn't miss in a 5 hour turbo with the kind of card run I couldn't get over the course of a week in Vegas.  Poker can be cruel.  It's the only g…

Headaches Real and Imagined... and thankfully some Asprin

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First some good news, which we'll explore later, but Package buyers we have 1% of a player still alive in the Millionaire Maker.  Also, I cashed 84th out of 1500+ people for some pocket lint in a deep stack yesterday.  I didn't get grossly unlucky and I feel the tide has turned a little bit.  I'm excited for the Deep Stack tournament at the Venetian.  Now the bad news.

Since, I've landed I've dealt with a fairly painful and consistent headache that fluctuates in its intensity from awful to annoying and also bouts of nausea.  At times, I've felt unsteady and on some of my down time, I've literally been in a darkened room, trying to avoid light and lying down.  It's bit like taking medicine on an empty stomach or drinking too much caffeine.  That feeling can be worse than the headache.  It sucks.

At times, on this trip, I've thought about not playing but I think making an honest assessment of myself, I've been playing really well, just been unluc…

Mistakes...

So I bricked another one of the small deep stack tournaments in my package.  I chipped up pretty quickly and despite playing at the best table I've played at so far managed to bulldoze my way to a chip stack with no cards.  I played pretty snug until I felt like I had established an image.  In late position I opened (don't remember the holding) and I ended up triple barreling a guy on a board that got wetter and wetter.  He found a fold and I wondered what he had on the turn that he couldn't call the river.

Later, I kind of fell into a hand that I felt pretty proud of... a guy in  late position to my left had been punishing the limpers, I didn't limp all day but I thought I might be able to create some free money, when predictably the UTG dude limped again.  So did UTG+1.  I was in mid position with Qd9d.  It didn't matter what I had per se, but I felt like that hand fared all right postflop if the plan I was fostering with awry.  So I limped.

As I hoped, the guy o…

Back to Vegas II...

I decided to get a good night's rest and get geared up for the bigger events this weekend and next week.  I woke up at 5am local time, can you tell I have little ones at home, and tried unsuccessfully to go back to sleep.  Planned out today, play this $75 turbo mega satellite and then play another $235 and we'll go from there.

Turbo was gross... I won't play another turbo mega.  These guys had no clue and would tank for two minutes every decision.  Levels are ten minutes short.  We literally went through two levels with the blinds increasing, without the button even making one round around the table.  It was frustrating.  I also didn't get any cards.  Just watching guys tank folding and asking for counts and then folding, and tanking before acting preflop was just ridiculous.  Half the table got it, the other half acted like they were at the final table of the Main Event and making Million Dollar decisions.

An Asian kid, who had little clue was getting run over by the …

Back To Vegas...

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I'm.... Back!

I've been to the World Series a few times.  The first time I covered the event for a now defunct online Poker site when that whole poker media/poker industry were in their infancy and there was just an explosion of companies blooming around the poker boom.  It was an exhilarating time.  I watched a number of final tables.  I saw movie star Jennifer Tilly win her bracelet.  I also saw her with about fifty players left in the same tournament get up to leave when she had hit a miracle card to win the pot but didn't see it.  The ladies called her back to the table.  I wrongly thought to myself she's not going to last too much longer if she can't read the board.  Yeah...
she won that tournament.  Nice read.

I also saw her man Phil Laak and Johnny Chan battling at a final table.  I watched a final table where Chip Jett was in contention and talked to his (I think) father-in-law and then later he introduced me to his daughter Chip's wife Karina Jett.  At…

Death sucks.

Over the weekend a couple of beloved coaches from my alma mater died in a ballooning accident that made national news.  I won't link to an article to spare you the details, but the recap was chilling, horrific and tragic. I was busy all weekend but when I finally read about it Sunday morning, it was tough to digest or imagine.  Stranded in the air with a balloon that was on fire.  Horrific.  Kind of rocked me.

Things got worse, or at least, hit even closer to home as more bad news has come out.

My Beau Rivage friends have been sharing their sad thoughts about the passing of Cincere Mason, who was a joy for all to be around.  She twice beat cancer, she's a fighter, all seemed good for her.  After the floods in Pensacola she went to help a friend, that being the kind of person she was, and she contracted a bacterial infection she couldn't beat, and suddenly was gone so sad.  

The worst news of all, for me, as I'm closer to him was the passing of my friend's child. …

Weight Loss Bet

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Just won a weight loss bet I made with my in-laws.  In two months I lost just under 29 lbs.  No exercise (three little bitty kids and always on the move--don't really have time), so all this just with a change in diet.  Essentially, I created it on my own.  Though it's very similar to atkins and other low carb diets.

Basically, I ate everything that I've read recently that helps manage weight or might contribute to weight loss (including):
-Almonds
-Probiotics
-Dark Chocolate
-Green Tea
-Chia seeds

I found healthy substitutes to foods I love.  I allowed myself one or two treats a week (though swore off them in the homestretch of the last two weeks).  That means a snow ball here, some pizza there, and occasional cookie.  99% of the time I went low/no carb/almost no sugar.   I also have abstained from alcohol entirely.

I have a sweet tooth so that was tough.  I also stayed mostly away from sugar substitutes as I've read they can make you crave sugar and drive you to eat…