Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WSOP Day 1

Event 2, 25k Heads-Up NLHE:  In this structure we start with 25k chips at 200/300 blinds and can add on for 25k chips twice during the match.  I drew Steve Billirakis in my first match, who goes by MrSmokey online.  I've played lots of sngs with him over the years and he's a very solid player not the kind of player I'm really hoping for with this structure.  The match started off slow and for the whole first level (levels are 20 minutes) most pots were won preflop.  He won about 5k chips off me in a decent pot where I laid down 3rd pair, but other than that not much happened.  So we go to level 2 which is 200/400.  One of the first hands of this level I raise the button to 800 with a6dd, he 3bets to 2500, I call.  Flop comes TT6 with 2 spades, he bets 3200, I raise to 8k and he shoves and I call, he flips over KK and I don't suck out.  So now I use my first addon chip, and maybe 5-10 hands later I get KK and get it in and he has AA, and I don't suck out.  Now I'm down to my last 25k.  We get into level 3 which is 300/600, I minraise the button to 1200 with A7, he raises to like 4k and I shove for like 25k and he calls, flop comes ace high so I'm in good shape to double up, but a 5 comes on the turn and I'm done in about 45 minutes.

$1500 Omaha8 at noon tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2011

WSOP Time Again

Well it's that time of year again.  I don't really feel like I have much different to say about my attitude going into the WSOP than I did last year, so I'll just link what I wrote last year:


The one key difference obviously being the baby.  I hope he is a good luck charm.  I promised him I'd win him a bracelet this year so I have to uphold that.  Luckily he's probably slightly too young to remember just in case I don't happen to win one.

First event is tomorrow, the 25k Heads Up event.  I'm playing pretty much every event, basically signing up for the next one when I bust, just like I have the past few years.

I will try to blog every night like I did last year but I'm not promising anything.  I will definitely update my Twitter a lot if you want to follow me during the events.

Also I'm not on PokerStars Team Online anymore as of a few weeks ago, because I didn't want to relocate right away, and I may not want to relocate at all.  I wasn't ready to commit to all that yet, having just had a baby and having bought a new house.  I'm not going to worry about any of that stuff until after the WSOP is over anyway.

I have nothing but good feelings towards them still and am happy to have represented them for the the last year or so.

Now time to put up some good results for once at the WSOP!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black Friday & Other Ramblings

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I actually had a blog post mostly written out the day before Black Friday and was going to finish and publish it on that Friday, but then deleted it because it would have been a silly post in light of what had just happened.

It was mostly about NAPT Mohegan Sun, where I got on the feature table with people like Daniel Negreanu, Victor Ramdin, Vanessa Selbst, and Andrew Li who is one of my best friends in poker and goes by the name of azntracker.  It was my first feature table and it was a really loose fun atmosphere and probably would have made for great tv, but who knows if it will ever even be edited into a broadcast at this point.  I'll be sure to link to it if it ever shows up somewhere on the internet.

After we both busted from that tournament, Andrew and I spent a day together that started with going to breakfast at Mohegan Sun with Kevin Thurman, who goes by WizardofAhhs on PokerStars and needbeer on twoplustwo.  It was supposed to be a quick breakfast because Andrew and I were planning on going on a road trip around the New England area that day, but the breakfast ended up lasting around 3 hours because we were having such a good time talking about poker stuff.  Ironically one of the bigger topics was how we all were putting in a lot of volume the last few years on PokerStars since you never know how long the games will last and you might as well make as much money as you can while you are still able to.  Little did we know the games would be unavailable to Americans just 2 days later.

After that Andrew and I drove around Rhode Island and went into Newport and toured a few mansions which was really interesting, then the next day we drove to Boston and had lunch at a restaurant inside Fenway Park. I've been to quite a few baseball stadiums over the years but there really is something majestic about Fenway. It's funny coming from Arizona where people definitely enjoy sports, but people only really care about the teams when they're doing good.  It's just not the same as a city like Boston where everyone is fanatical about it and every radio station talks about sports all the time, even the music stations.  I kind of enjoy that culture where people are so passionate about things like that.

So after Fenway we had a few hours before we had to catch our flights, so we went visit my friend Sam and hung out at his apartment for an hour or two, talking a lot about poker stuff.  It's almost sad thinking about those conversations now, because we were so naive about what was about to happen.

Well then we flew home and the next day, Black Friday happened.  I won't go into the details because many other people could give better accounts of it than I can, but basically the 3 biggest American online poker sites were blocked for Americans by the Department of Justice.

My first reaction was that I was dumb for leaving so much money online, but then I pretty much instantly realized that PokerStars would never screw over its players like that.  And true to form, they initiated payouts about 10 days later, while a certain 2 other sites haven't even begun payments yet 3 weeks later, one of which just filed for bankruptcy.  So much kudos to Stars for the way they've handled the situation so far.

As for me, after a few days of trying to comprehend everything that was happening, I started trying to figure out what I wanted to do now.  If it was possible I wanted to try to relocate in time for SCOOP, so I could attempt to defend my Player of the Year title (and win some money hopefully).  I was really close to getting a place in Vancouver and then in Costa Rica, but it was just stressing me out way too much to try to relocate with a kid and a dog and get set up in a new country in a span of 2 weeks, so a few days ago I decided to just hold off and relax for a while, and it was definitely the right choice.  I'm in a good enough spot financially right now where it doesn't make sense for me to rush into anything.

So now the plan is that we are going to go to Cleveland in a couple weeks and bring the baby to visit with my wife's family, and while we are there we are going to make a road trip to Toronto for a few days to see if it's somewhere we'd want to relocate.  We definitely won't actually relocate until probably August at the earliest though.  Since the WSOP is coming up in a few weeks it really doesn't make much sense to get a place now then come back to Vegas for 6 weeks immediately after that.

We aren't even sure we want to relocate at all yet anyway.  If I can find a way to, I'd rather stay here in the Phoenix area since we just bought a house and we do really like it here.  I might try playing some live cash games after WSOP and see how that goes.  Honestly I don't even know what kind of cash games go in the Phoenix area anymore as I haven't played cash games in the casino since 2004.  I could always fly out to Los Angeles for a few days at a time and play some games at Commerce too.  I don't really know yet, but I'll worry about that after the WSOP is over.  For now I'm just going to relax; no use stressing about it now.

Besides this all just gives me time to hang out more with this little guy, and that's definitely not the worst thing in the world.  :)

One last thing...I have no idea what my future is at PokerStars and with Team Online, but no matter what happens I've thoroughly enjoyed representing the best online poker site in the world.