Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mish-Mosh Part II

First things first let me clarify my position on a previous statement I made. Hoy makes a point regarding my usage of the word "unimpressed" when talking about my experience with Vegas, so I intend to clarify my position.

First the backtrack: He does make a point that maybe "unimpressed" was the wrong word, but I only went there with one goal: playing poker. So I played lots of poker, there just wasn't any desire to do any actually exploring, although I'm sure there are loads of good stuff to see that I missed.

Im not really a nympho so that side of Vegas didnt appeal to me.
The only show I would have wanted to see was Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine but ironically he was in Boston when I was in Vegas. So the only thing left was gambling, and to be frank I can drive 45 mins anytime I want and be in Mohegan's poker Room. While keeping in mind I didn't see the Bellagio or Mirage poker rooms, only the Venetian really could compare to Foxwoods poker room, and without knowing the exact table number I think Foxwoods was still slightly bigger.

Was it really neat to see places I've only read about or seen on the TV? Absolutely. Ask TJ or SmBoatDrinks I was a total fanboy when it came to actually stepping inside the Rio and the Amazon room. I was in awe of the place more so than the millionaire poker players I've come to admire, respect, or despise. Although I did take a lot of pics of them, mostly Harmon because Liss is a huge Harmon fan. I loved the WSOP, which is why I said if I came back it would only be to play in another WSOP event. But my feelings were that if you moved the WSOP to Foxwoods, I'd still love it just as much. No offense to the Rio, Vegas or whatever.

So anyway thats what I really meant, maybe it was more correct to say I was unimpressed with the gambling since thats only what I did/wanted to do. If I go back for a second glimpse my perception could change, but until such time if I had to grade it I would leave the expierience as "incomplete".


I, for one, am glad they traded for Lee instead of Halladay. This Lee trade was perfect for the Phils, we pick up a reigning AL Cy-Young award wining player who is still in the midst of a decent season and an extra bat for the bench where the Phils are hurting the most. And what did we give up? 4 prospects that do not include Drabek or the top outfield prospect. Big props to Reuben Amaro, Phils GM.


KC camp opens on Friday and boy am I friggin ready to give up all free-time on Sundays. Im excited for my team and I think 6-10 is a realistic goal with the slight chance we go 9-7.


As I was getting my ass kicked live in Vegas, I also managed to drop $250 at 2/4 limit on Full Tilt in one night (more like 4-5 hours). My head is still is in shambles and I find myself struggling in live NL since I've been back in CT. Ive stuck to 1/2 S8 and HORSE online and im down about 30 bucks since 07/03/09. So im not doing well and going through this funk.

Thats pretty much it, I'll post more when I can think of stuff to say.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mish-Mosh of Thoughts

Some left-over thoughts from the Vegas trip:

I usually never toot my own horn (because theres rarely anything to toot) but I handled the pressure of a major poker tournament like a pro. Never once did I feel over-whelmed or over-matched. I'd like to think that its because I went into it telling myself, yeah this is a big deal but its just a poker tournament, just like when I play the Friday 11am tournies at Foxwoods or whatever, only the size and buy in change.

Table talk is very strange at the WSOP. Discussion topics ranged from country of origin, to a discussion regarding wisdom teeth removal to the guy who knocked me out claiming he was a posterboy for a Flomax commercial. I like light-hearted table banter personally.

I've gotten puzzled looks from friends regarding my assessment of Vegas. I know I touched on it in my previous posts, but other than the WSOP and being at the Rio where the magic happens, Vegas did not impress me at all. Is this because I live in the state with the biggest casinos in the world? Possibly. Is it because I wish Alissa could have been there with me? Absolutely. I will probably return to Vegas, but it would ONLY be to play in another WSOP event.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The WSOP Event That Never Was Part 2

Been slacking lately so I apologize for my tardiness, but here I am to finish my story up.

Side note: Props to Hoy for his 51k cash, if I had to do it all over again I might have pocketed the extra 1k and did the Venetian, see below for why.

So I'm sitting at the cash game in the Rio when I hear Jeff Pollack over the PA system announce to someone to "let the players in". Didn't even realize what time it was, 11:45am, 15 mins to go time.
The doors opened and a flood of people just poured into the Amazon. I respectfully got up from my cash game, went to the window to cash out my chips and wondered over to my table: Blue 24 Seat 7.

Seat 1: Think I remember his name was Jason, dude had an identical twin who was also a poker player, thought he said "Craig". Felt like I should know this guy but I couldn't place him. Played extremely well and became the table leader early on.

Seat 2: Danish guy, reminded me of the lead singer for the Presidents of the United States of America (PUSA).

Seat 3: Thought he might have been a Scandi internet pro. Sterotypical large headphones, bed head, weird face etc etc. Played pretty well but someone asked him if he was Scandi and told us he was Danish.

Seat 4: Another guy I felt like I should have recognized. Bald head, grey hoodie and sunglasses. Didnt talk at the table at all.

Seat 5: Young kid. Nothing much on him at all, didnt get involved in too many pots.

Seat 6: Angry Aussie. Cleary he was Australian, you could tell by his accent and the huge bowie knife he used as a card top...I kid. But he seemed pissed off for some reason and it didn't get much better for him playing poker.

Seat 7: Your Hero. Sporting my Ron Burgundy "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" t-shirt and listening to techno, I was ready and in the zone.

Seat 8: Disheveled Southerner. From the way he talked about the tournament circuit, this dude, I guess, must have been a pro. Although he was always slouched in his chair (think like getting a permanent massage) and bore a striking resemblance to Jay Cutler.

Seat 9: Best I can describe this guy was Indian (feather) guy with a white hoodie, shades, and a huge square band-aid on his left cheek.

Seat 10: Typical bald poker player with shades. Is he staring right at me OR is he staring right through me?

Listened to "Sultans of Swing" as I had planned until the fated moment where the legendary words "Shuffle up and deal" were uttered. I was locked and loaded baby!

First hand I am in the SB and it folds around to Angry Aussie on the button. He raises 3x BB and I peek to find A-Ko. Not one to play coy, I reraise him 3x his bet. BB folds and grumbling and mumbling the Angry Aussie folds. I win my very first hand I have ever played in the WSOP, not a bad start!

Table was pretty tight considering it was a donkament, and I had fairly good reads on most of the active people.

I folded until it got around to me in UTG, and I looked down to find 6-6. I limped and it folded around to MP who raised it 3x BB (raises were anywhere from 2.5 to 4x the BB). Folded back round to me and I just called.
Flop came 3-4-5 rainbow and I checked. MP bet a little more than half the pot and XR him right here thinking it was just a standard continuation bet. It bothered me a little when he called. Turn was a 9. I figure I am probably good here and even if I'm not I have straight outs, so I put a pot size bet in here on the turn. MP thinks about it for awhile then mucks 10-10 face up. I was feeling good baby.

I counted my stack and somehow came up with 8900 the first count, what can I say im retarded, but realized I really had 6900. Which was still good 30 mins in. Pretty much the rest of the level I spewed chips on suited connectors that never came in.

When the 2nd level started I was in the 5500 range and I continued to spew. The only hand I remember from this level is I had 8-9o on the button, identical twin raised from UTG+1 and I called. Flop was not favorable, as it was A-K-Q.
Twin c-bet this flop but I wanted to see if I could incite a fold so I re-raised him the standard 3x his bet. He thought and thought, looked me up and down and eventually re-raised me so I had to let it go, at that point I fell my closest back to the starting stack with 4900.

The break came right after I scooped a big pot with A-K on a K high flop. Got called all the way to the river by Danish headphones and he mucked.

During this time there was a weird hand I was involved in with Angry Aussie and Indian guy.
Indian guy was the BB, Angry Aussie limped, I limped from the button, and Indian guy checked. Same thing happened on the flop.... or did it?
I must've been distracted for a second because I had no idea what was going on. This is what I know: There was a bet in front of Indian guy, he was claiming he was not given the option to check or bet and the dealer had thought it was a check round, Angry Aussie was vehemently sure that the dealer never brought in Indian's Big Blind and it was not a bet. Normally not a big deal but the dealer had burned and turned.
The floor was called and the dealer was explaining to the floor the situation but Aussie kept interruprting and saying the dealer was wrong. The Floor says in the dickest tone I've ever heard a floor boss say, "Mike (the dealer) is a workd class dealer, he dealt the final table of the Main Event last year and is one of the highest rated dealers on my staff. Now who do you think I'm going to listen to in this case you or Mike?" Naturally that set Aussie even further. They removed the 10 that had been dealt and restarted action from the flop. This time Indian checked, which kinda pissed me off a lil I wont lie for wasting my time, and Aussie bet. I folded, Indian called. The new turn was a 9, and Aussie bet again with Indian calling. They both checked the river and Indian wound up up winning with a pair of 9s. Aussie showed a 10 that would have won him the pot had the original turn played.
I bet you would not be surprised to know who got busted from our table first, cursing and mumbling the whole way.
The second person out was baldy shades who I bluffed with my sixes, he couldnt get anything going and finally just shoved with nothing and got bounced.

The break came and I checked in with home base on the stats, Pokernews was reporting that Identical twin at my table had 12k. I had around 5500.
Got to see Men the Master rush past me when the break came and Liss filled me in on the rest of the pros that were spotted playing in that event.

Before play resumed they did the bracelet ceremeony redeux playing the correct version of "God Save the Queen" instead of the Sex Pistols version, at the time I had no idea why they were apologizing and re-playing the national anthem. Then they presented the bracelet to the Iranian guy who won in a touching tribute to his homeland.

Back to play, 2 new guys joined the table to replace those who got bounced. I won another hand early in the round, although I cant recall specifics to get my chip count back up over the 7500 threshold.

To wrap this up, about halfway through level 3 the following hand occured:

UTG+1 & 2 limp, folds around to me in the SB and I see A-Qo. I raise 3x BB to 450. UTG1 folds UTG2 calls.

My read on UTG2 is weak player, he made a horrible laydown 2 hands earlier against young danish dude when for the umpteenth time he pushed all-in as a short stack.

Flop is Ax-5x-8x

Flop is a good flop for me with no possible draws of any kind. Since im OOP I throw a half-pot bet of 600 out there. UTG2 quickly raises to 2500.

The raise confuses me because I dont think hes that strong to limp UTG2 twice. If he had a set here would he raise me that much? Would he limp A-K twice? I decide he hs to have A-10/A-J. And after a pause, I push all-in.
Dud starts tanking hard, mumbling "what did I get myself into? You dont have two pair. You raised pre-flop and bet 600 on the flop...."
At this point I know my read was absolutely right, A-10 or A-J. I almost started to say "your a-j is no good here" but i stopped myself.

After 5 mins of agonizing deliberation he calls and flips up A-J.
Anyway, so the river was a Jack and my heart dropped out of my chest. I sat motionless realizing that my WSOP had ended on a 3 outer. Well not ended, I still had 500 in chips but I was done, mentally was fried.

Finally busted 2 hands later when I ran my 10-9ss into 10-10.
I got to take the walk of shame for my first and possibly last time. On my way towards the cab area at the font of the casino I passed by Chris Ferguson again and waved.

Some things I forgot to mention was LJ stopped by to wish me well, was nice to finally meet one of the most famous bloggers out there. Also got to meet Al as he walked up and down the rows. I'd also like to apologize to both of them as I didnt really even say goodbye when I walked out the Amazon, too stunned to really talk.

The rest of the trip saw my NL holdem skills diminish, my head was done and I basically ended up losing what I brought with me, the flight home could not come soon enough.

So in review, I absolutely loved everything about the WSOP. The atmosphere, the people.... Vegas, however, left me unimpressed and unfulfilled. I would say its because I was a big loser, but even Thurs and Fri I wasnt getting the hype. I will say the other cool thing was meeting TJ and Mike, and getting to play at Binions(lasted 10 mins in their tourney btw).

Maybe I went hoping I'd come home and wouldn't have to go back to my shitty job, maybe I just tried too hard. For now my Hold'em brain is off, I dont know what to do to get back and I'm rushing this post so maybe I'll get into details I skipped over these last two.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The WSOP Event That Never Was

Maybe one person out there thought I fell off the face of the Earth, but I assure you loyal reader the reports of my demise are sorely mistaken.

So I made it out to Vegas on Thurs the 25th and the first thing I did after checking in to my IP room was to obv go play poker. I met up with Tuscaloosa John and SmBoatDrinks (Mike) downstairs in the IP poker room where the blogger mixed game was supposed to happen. It did not, so we decided to move on and we ended up going to the Venetian to play. We didn't wait long as a 6/12 HORSE game was starting up and with us 3 added we completed the 8 person table.
Hung around for 2 hours and I ended up only losing $37, not bad.

After that I dropped my phone off in my hotel room to charge, and I met John downstairs and we headed over to Ceasar's poker room where Mike was sweatin his buddy who was in a tourney. After that we headed over to the Rio....

My whole plan was to register early for event 51 because I knew it was the last big donkament before the ME (there ws one on Monday but the weekend events usually draw pretty big.)
Before I did that of course I had to see IT. IT being the Amazon room, the place I've seen in my dreams and on TV, IT did not disappoint. Right off the bat I brushed by Chris Ferguson who was signing some autographs for fans. Also got to see Allen Cunningham sitting directly to the left of Barry Greenstein. Hevad Khan walked u and stood right next to me (all my mind kept thinking was "BULLDOZER", like Im sure he doesnt get that a lot) dude is a lot taller than I thought he'd be. Say the main man himself, Hellmuth, smiling and getting a massage. Looked like he was doing well in the O8 tourney he was in. I don't get starstruck, but this was about close to the pros as I have gotten in my 7 year poker obsession.

Then it came time to register which I did and had no trouble doing, and after that I was super tired and left John and Mike to go get some sleep.

Friday, I got my AA cracked at the IP poker room which was good for 100, then I met up with my buddy Eric and his girlfriend Hope, or rather they met up with me at the craps table and we headed off to get some lunch and walk around the Strip a lil bit. Around 4pm Hope took off to some class and me and E went to play sme blackjack at O'Sheas. I will note that BJ is a lot different in CT than it is in Vegas. A lot of places pay 6 to 5 for a blackjack and a bunch use automated shufflers, which I absolutely detest, and finally soft 17s seem to always be hittable. I did not do well at this adventure, but O'Sheas did have a good cover band that played while we were losing money. After that we headed to Outback for dinner, Hope got sick and went back to their room and me and E played some more BJ at the IP.

Saturday (A day that shall live in infamy) was THE day. Naturally I couldn't sleep very well the night before but unexpectedly I was wide awake. I headed over to the Rio early (like 8-9amish) with the intention of getting in line for Brunson & Caro's seminar but instead I was drawn into actually playing a Rio 2-5NL cash game. I got seated with a lively bunch, consisting of 3 Scotsmen, a Fillipeno, and by the looks of it some tired Americans.
I spent the first 30-45 minutes folding and watching how this game shook out. The Euros were loose and crazy as was the Fillipeno, and the Americans were tight. I decided the first hand I actually raised and played with had to be sub-par for fear of getting no action. So I got J-8 on the button and I raised 3x BB and picked up one caller a crazy scotsman. Flop was A-J-x and I led out into it maintaining my tight image of only playing the nuts. Scotsman called and we checked the turn & river. I showed my J and he mucked. Won my first pot. Later on got the Fillipeno to fold a K on a A-K-x board with my pocket Js. I was up a good 200 before I gave it all back and then some, mostly on a hand where I had QQ with a raiser in front of me I bumped to 150 and got 4 callers. Folded when someone pushed on a A-K-Xhh flop and someone called. Flush draw vs top pair, flush got there when the Qh hit on the turn, and my quads would have come in with a Q also on the river.
Ended up my cash game session 200 down but feeling very confident about my Hold'em playing, then Event 51 started....

To be continued....