Monday, May 31, 2010

WSOP Day 3 update

Event 2, 50k 8-game, day 3: busted about half an hour into the day in a stud hand where I made a straight on 5th street and my opponent made quads on 6th.

Event 4, 1500 omaha8: Ran really good all day except at the end I lost a few pots, ended the day with 19,500, which is slightly more than the average stack. Play resumes at 3pm tomorrow.

My body still hasn't adjusted to the WSOP schedule yet, I keep getting sleepy around midnight. Hopefully that fixes itself soon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Event 2, 50k 8-game Day 2 Update

Interesting day to say the least, got my stack up over 300k 3 different times, then ran really bad in the limit games the last hour to go from about 340k down to 68,500 to end the day. The first limit will be 8k/16k tomorrow so I have enough chips for 1 or 2 hands at most. I need some serious rungood. I'll most likely play the $1500 Omaha8 (event 4) if I bust in the first couple levels tomorrow, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Event 2, 50k 8-game Day 1 Update

Ended day 1 with 187,600, from the starting stack of 150k. Didn't really fluctuate much, my low point was about 140k and my high was about 190k. Ran really good in all the limit games, especially razz, but lost a few big pots in PLO. Day 2 starts at 3pm local time (pacific), feeling pretty good so far. We'll see how it goes.

The event only got 116 people, which is kind of surprising, but I guess not that surprising given the recent downturn in the economy. I was expecting at least 150, if not more. Oh well, better odds to win a bracelet I guess. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's almost that time of year.  A poker player's Christmas-time, otherwise known as the World Series of Poker.

Unfortunately in past versions of this poker-Christmas, I've given away a lot more gifts than I've received.  I've played around 150 WSOP events in my life, and have only 4 small cashes to show for it.  Last year I played 37 events and had zero cashes, which is just ridiculous and immensely frustrating.

And even though I realize that a sample of 150 tournaments doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of my poker life, it's annoying to have that monkey still on my back.  Many of my friends have a bracelet or 2, and they talk like it's the easiest thing to just win a tournament here and there, and it's implied that I must be doing something wrong to have not won one yet.  Meanwhile many of them have won a lot less money than I have overall in poker (excluding the WSOP), but there's still a part of me that really wants to be successful at the WSOP for reasons that go way beyond money.

So is this the year that I finally break the streak?  I sure hope so, but so much of it is out of my hands.  Obviously it takes skill to win a tournament, but it also takes an incredible amount of luck (and I'd say this even if I was up a million dollars at the WSOP).  I feel a calm confidence in myself this year, as if I just expect good results.  Part of it probably has to do with winning the SCOOP Player of the Series last week.  I feel like I can compete with the best in any game (not that I didn't feel like that before, but winning the award definitely didn't hurt my confidence).  In past years I can recall being a little nervous in the days leading up to the WSOP, but I haven't felt that at all this year.  Whether that made any difference in my results is difficult to determine (I tend to think it didn't, but it's so hard to say really).

Anyway, enough rambling, first event is Friday, we'll see how it goes.

I will be updating at the end of most days on here, but if you want to follow me during the day, I will be updating my twitter every 2 hours or so with updates from whatever tourney I'm in.  There's a link to my twitter account on the right, or you can just click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WSOP Shares

Selling shares of myself for a bunch of WSOP events if anyone is interested:

Twoplustwo PokerCast

The guys from the TwoPlusTwo PokerCast interviewed me a few days ago.  We discuss my SCOOP results, what it's like being a member of Team PokerStars, and my WSOP plans, among other topics.  Here is a link to it:

My part starts around 45 minutes into the show if any of you want to skip ahead, but the whole show is pretty good.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday and Sunday SCOOP Update

Sorry these will be kind of quick as I'm a bit tired right now.

Event 34, $5200 PLO 6-max:  Doubled up early in this one, but never got much going after that and finished in the middle of the pack.

Event 35, $2600 Heads-up NLHE:  Had a really long first round match where I kept getting knocked down then I'd double up, but I finally lost after about an hour and a half.

Event 36, $2100 HORSE, Never really had much more than the starting stack in this one, and busted within a few hours.

Event 37, $2100 NLHE:  Got up around 50k from the starting stack of 10k, but then decided to turn top pair into a bluff on a 4 flush board in what may have not been a good spot to do so, then busted shortly after that.

Event 38, $10,300 NLHE:  Stayed around the starting stack for about 6 hours, then doubled up with AJ vs AK when I flopped 2 pair, then shortly after that I got it all in with ATs vs a late position raiser and he had KK.

Kind of disappointed with how things went the last few days.  Only had 1 cash in my last 23 events overall.

I'm still in 1st on the SCOOP leaderboard, and I should win it unless 'teacuppoker' finishes in the top 3 in the $2100 NLHE that's still going.  He's currently in 11th out of 98 people.  So I may have to do a little anti-sweating.  :)

And finally, thanks to everyone who followed me and supported me during SCOOP, it's really nice to see all the comments and encouragement from you guys.  And thanks to all the people who participated in my webcast today, it was really fun to do once I actually figured it all out from the technical side.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday SCOOP Update

$2100 NLHE 1R1A:  Lost my initial buyin on the first hand of the tourney when i flopped a straight and flush draw and my opponent had the nuts.  After that I built my stack up pretty good, up to around 20k, until a hand where I shoved 2.5x the pot on the turn with JJ on a KQTx board after 3-betting pre and betting the flop.  It's pretty hard for him to call with much of anything in this spot as I can have a lot of strong hands in my range.  He tanked for 2 minutes and finally called with KQ and I didn't hit, and that put my stack down to about 9k.  A few hands later I made a hero call with QQ on a king high board for my whole stack and doubled up back to around 20k.  After that I lost about half my stack on another bluff, then got it in with AK vs 99 and lost the flip.  I was in for $6100 total with rebuys.

$5200 Limit Holdem 6-max:  I was originally going to skip this tournament but I had enjoyed playing limit holdem in the mix-game tournaments and I have tons of experience in this game anyway from back in my early days of playing poker, so I decided to play it.  I felt very comfortable at my table and got my stack from 5k to 10k in the first couple hours, but then the limits got kind of high and I lost a few hands in a row and busted.

$2100 NLO H/L:  This is kind of a silly game.  It's basically about putting all your chips in with a decent hand and hoping you hit if you are called.  Basically any time someone gets a hand with AA in it, they will shove their whole stack, even if it's 100 big blinds.  So the key is if you shove, to not run into aces.  Well my bustout hand there were 2 limpers in early position, and I had a246 with a nut flush draw, about 3 spots from the button, and about 30 big blinds.  I decided to shove as it's so unlikely that either of the 2 limpers has a hand that they can call with as it's likely that each of them have an ace, but not two aces.  And even if I'm called I'm in decent shape against most hands.  Unfortunately one of the limpers had AA and I missed the board and busted.

I played a total of 9 tourneys today between the low, medium, and high buyins, and didn't cash in any.  I think today was the first day that I had 0 cashes.  Kind of sucks when I'm trying to win the leaderboard.  Fortunately the guys in 2nd and 3rd on the leaderboard didn't have any big cashes today either.  Not that I'm rooting against them...okay maybe I am a little.  :)

Live Webcast

Hey guys I'll be doing a live webcast during the SCOOP main event.  Link is here:

It will start at 6pm EST, one hour after the SCOOP main event starts.  Be there or be square!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday SCOOP Update

Event 29, $3150 8-game:  Ran pretty good early, doubling my starting stack in the first couple hours, but then went quickly downhill and busted about an hour later.

Event 30, $1050 PLO H/L:  Just a ridiculous game that people play so badly.  Got all my chips in in good spots with >50% equity 3 times and never won more than a quarter of the pot.  Busted in the first hour.

Did have 3 more cashes today though including a 11th in the $320 8-game, which puts me in pretty good shape for the player of the series award.  I should be up around 100 points after today, and winning an event is only worth 100 points, so someone would have to run really good to catch me at this point.

The complete standings can be found here:

The prizes are:

1st:  Monte Carlo package, Bahamas package, and WCOOP main event ticket
2nd:  Bahamas package and WCOOP main event ticket
3rd:  WCOOP main event ticket

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday SCOOP Update

Event 27, $2100 Razz:  Nothing much exciting here, had my stack around 10k from the starting stack of 5k, but then ran bad at the end.  Finished somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Event 28, $1050+R NLHE:  Never got much going in this one either, lasted maybe 4 or 5 hours.  Was in for $4050 total.

Good games tomorrow, 8-game and PLO H/L.

Also, PokerStars blog article about me and SCOOP:

Tuesday SCOOP Update

Really tired right now so these are going to be brief, but I had a really good day today.

Event 24, $1050 2-7 Triple Draw:  Triple draw is probably the game that I'm best at.  Also, I hit tons of hands in this one and ran really good in general, which doesn't hurt.  Ended up finishing 8th for $4550.

Event 25, $2100 Stud H/L:  Was down to about 1500 chips from the starting stack of 5k within the first 2 hours, then hit a crazy rush and about an hour later I was chip leader of the tournament.  From that point on I'm pretty sure I was never out of the top 2 or 3 in chips, and ended up finishing 2nd for $44,400.  I also finished 3rd in the low version of this event ($22 buyin) for a cash of $5137.20.

Event 26, $1050 NLHE:  Lost about half my stack early with QQ vs AA on a low flop, and never really recovered from that.  Busted about an hour and a half into the tournament.  One thing I've been quite good at in this SCOOP is either busting really quickly, or cashing.  Not much in-between.  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday SCOOP Update

Had a few decent shots today, kind of disappointing.

Event 20, $2100 NLHE (day 2):  Came in 21st in chips with 49 people left.  Had a really aggressive table, but I raised once with AA and once with QQ, and everyone folded.  My bustout hand, I raised in early position with KQ of spades, big blind calls, flop came ATx with the A and T of spades,  I bet, he minraised, I'm figuring he's got a pretty good hand, but I don't want to get bet off my hand on the turn, so I shove and he calls with AT, turn and river are blanks, and I finish 34th for $8051.20.

Event 21, $1575 PLHE/PLO:  Had a big stack for most of this tournament.  I can't remember much as far as hands go right now, but my bustout hand was all in preflop with AT vs QQ, I hit an ace on the flop, but he hit a Q to win the hand.  I finished in 15th place for $5418.75.  Also got 8th in the $162 buyin version of this event.

Event 22, 4-max NLHE:  Busted about 20 minutes into the tourney with JJ vs KK on a 9 high flop.  Not much else to write about this one.

Event 23, $1050+R NLHE (turbo):  Ran bad during the rebuy period, but then won a few hands.  Had a slightly below average stack with 48 people left, 45 people getting paid.  I shove the small blind with 96o for about 11 bb's because the big blind has about the same stack and should be calling me pretty tight with the bubble looming.  Unfortunately he called with ATo and I didn't hit, so I finished just out of the money.  I was in for $6050 total.

Sunday SCOOP Update

Event 19, $2100 NLHE Big Antes:  Got my stack up around 25k from the starting stack of 10k and hung on for a while, but lost a couple big hands late (that I'm way too tired to remember right now), and busted about 6 hours in.

Event 20, $2100 NLHE:  Had a big hand in the first couple hours when I had AK and the flop came QJT and 2 people went all in ahead of me, which was nice. That hand got my stack up to about 38k from the starting stack of 10k.  Was towards the top of the chip leaderboard for a while and cruised into the money with a slightly above average stack, but then lost a huge hand when I got all the money in preflop with QQ vs 97 and he ended up making a straight.  So at that point I was down to around 11k with about 100 people left.  A few minutes later I got moved to a different table and proceeded to win 4 hands in the next 10 minutes including 3 all in showdowns to bring my stack from 11k to around 162k, which put me in the top 10 in chips at the time.  I made Day 2 with 214k in chips which puts me in 21st place with 49 people left, with $380k for first, which wouldn't suck.  We resume at 17:00 EST on Monday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday SCOOP Update

Event 16, $2100 NLHE Shootout:  The idea of this is each person plays at a 10 handed table and that table keeps playing until one person has all the chips, then they move on to a table of other winners.  So at my first table I start off slow for the first couple hours, staying around the starting stack of 5k.  Then I got on a little rush and knocked out a couple people and suddenly we're 3 handed and I have about 12k with the blinds 100/200.  Button opens for like 480, I make it 1400 in the big blind with AK, he goes all in, I call instantly.  He has K8o, and an 8 hits the flop, but an ace hits the river and I double up.  I end up busting him soon after that and end up heads up with the other guy with about a 35k-15k chip lead.  One of the first hands of heads up, I raise the button with 44 and he reraises, and I call and see a flop.  It comes 3 spades with a 4 on the flop, so I have bottom set.  He leads into me, I raise, and he ends up going all in and I call, and he has the flush, so after that he was up about 35k-15k.  A few hands later I get it all in preflop with 66 and he has 99 and I don't suck out.

Event 17, $1575+R PLO:  Ran really good in the first hour, building my stack up to around 25k by the end of the rebuy period.  Unfortunately I never really got much going after that and just slowly bled chips, finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack. I was in for $4575 total.

Event 18, $2100 Limit Holdem Turbo:  I decided to register late as I didn't really want to play limit holdem, but I really did want to play a turbo.  I won my first hand to get up from 5k starting stack to around 15k, but then lost a couple hands after that and busted.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday SCOOP Update

Had a lil better day today.

Event 13, $1575 NLHE Ante-Up:  I loved the structure for this tournament as some people were really awful at adjusting to it.  Unfortunately I busted in level 1 when I got it all in with KK vs AK.

Event 14, $5200 Limit Omaha H/L:  Was down to like 2k from the starting stack of 5k within the first couple hours, but then went on an insane rush to get around 30k and was about 3rd in chips with about 20 people left.  Then I went completely card dead heading up to the final table and was down to 4k chips with 10 people left (the final table is 9 people, and only the final table cashes in this tournament).  Luckily I won 2 hands where I was all in with 10 people left and made the final table.  While at the final table I got my stack up over 40k, but then lost a few hands in a row and busted out in 6th place for a cash of $18,425.

Event 15, $1575 NLHE Turbo 2x Chance:  Ran really hot at the beginning of this tourney and got up over 30k from a starting stack of 5k by the end of the rebuy period.  Got a ton of big hands after this and won a few and lost a few, my stack bouncing all over the place.  Finally I get close to the bubble and have to fold a few rounds because I didn't really get any hands worth shoving, and I had big stacks acting after me so it wasn't like I could really steal much.  Finally got in the money with about 30k chips and shoved from under the gun the first hand after we were in the money with a5o and blinds 2500/5000, got called in 2 spots and I'm just praying I have something to root for.  Luckily my ace was live, but unluckily it didn't hit, and I busted in 61st place for $4580.  Also, I never used the rebuy so I was only in for the initial buyin of $1575.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday SCOOP Update

Event 11, $2100 PLO Heads Up:  First match was fairly even for probably an hour or so, then I flopped the ace high flush in a pot that was 3-bet preflop, and my opponent had the king high flush, and paid me off.  2nd round match I quickly got out to about a 3:1 chip lead with a pretty sick all in checkraise bluff on the river, but then he soon got back to even, then I had a hand where I had QQxx and the flop came AQx, and I got it in and he had AAxx and I failed to hit the 1-outer, and busted.

Event 12, $2600 NLHE Knockout:  The "knockout" part of the title means that each player has a bounty on him, so if you bust someone you get $500.  I flopped a set in the first level and built up my stack from 5k to about 8k, but then got back down around 5k.  About 4 hours into the tourney I get KK in the small blind.  Guy 3 off the button opens to 200 at 50/100, I make it 600, he minreraises to 1000.  I have a strong feeling I'm screwed but whatever I'm not folding KK obviously, so I ship and he calls with AA and busts me.  I don't think I won any bounties but I will check.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday SCOOP Update

Event 9, $2100 Mixed Holdem:  Nothing very eventful, just slowly bled chips, never had much more than the starting stack.  Busted about 3 hours in.

Event 10,  $3150 Stud:  This is probably one of my best games (either this or triple draw) so I was definitely looking forward to this event.  Unfortunately I just went straight downhill from the start and was probably about the 3rd or 4th person to bust.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SCOOP Update

A few people were asking me how my SCOOP has been going so far so I figured I'd give a quick update.

I've played every event so far in all 3 levels, so 24 events so far. I have probably about 7 or 8 cashes but they were all small cashes.

As for the high-level events in which people took a piece of my action, here is a quick rundown of what has transpired:

Event 1, $2100 NLHE: 6-max, busted about 2 or 3 hours into the tourney when the small blind made a flush vs my aces up in the big blind.

Event 2, $2100 NLHE: busted about 2 or 3 hours in when the small blind had kk vs my qj in the big blind on a queen high flop. I could possibly have avoided losing all my chips on this hand, but I was destined to lose a good portion of my stack no matter what happened.

Event 3, $530+R NLHE: busted shortly after the rebuy period, I don't remember the hand. I was in for $2030 total.

Event 4, $1575 Badugi: I was in the top 2 or 3 in chips from the time there were 40 people left until there were about 16 people left, then I lost a pat 9 and two pat 8s when we were down to 2 tables. I did barely make the final table but I was shortstacked and exited fairly quickly in 8th place. Unfortunately I final tabled the event that probably has the lowest payout of any high-stakes event. :) Total cash was for $3363.75. Was only my 2nd time playing badugi, so not a bad result I suppose.

Event 5, $1050+R PLO: I busted shortly after the rebuy period. I was in for $3050 total.

Event 6, $1050 PL Draw: I got up to about triple the starting stack at one point in this but then lost a fairly big pot with trips vs someone with higher trips, and never really recovered.

Event 7, $1575 Heads-Up NLHE: I played ADZ124 the first round. Was kind of an unlucky draw for me because he's a very accomplished shorthanded NLHE cash game player. Our match lasted about an hour and a half, one of the longer matches of the first round, but ultimately he won.

Event 8, $1050 NLHE: Won a nice pot in the first hour when I flopped top set, and had a decent stack for a while, but then I got in a huge pot where we were all in preflop and I had AK against 88. I didn't hit and lost most of my chips. The very next hand I get QQ and get all in against the same player, who has AK this time and he hits.

I will try to update my progress for the high limit events every day from now on, but try not to get too angry with me if I miss a day. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chopped the Supernova Freeroll for $80k

So I wake up this morning and I had no plans of playing poker today. But then a friend messages me with a question about the million-dollar Supernova Freeroll tourney, and I'm thinking something like "oh crap, that's today isn't it?", so I look in the lobby and there's 1 minute left in late registration, so I sign up. Then I decide I don't really feel like playing that much, so I decide to open-ship most hands until I either double up or bust. Finally I ship 55 and get called by QQ and win that one, then I play normal after that.

8 hours of super-rungood later, and I'm still in with 5 people left, so we decide to chop it up and I get $80k.

It's kind of sad in a way that this more than doubles my biggest tourney score ever, and it was in a freeroll...especially considering I've probably played at least 50 tourneys in my life with a buyin of $5k or more. But whatever, I'll take it, I'm not complaining.

SCOOP starts tomorrow, I just hope I didn't use up all my luck. :)