Archive for October, 2006

Just SICK!!!

Friday, October 27th, 2006

(If you see my video on the WPT website with Danger Dave from day one, you’ll see me in my very warm Prada eskimo-like hat. I’m glad I remembered to pack my winter clothes for this trip!)

Day one of the WPT North American Poker Championship was Wednesday, and I felt good going into it – lots of energy and positive thoughts. (Well, there were so many players that there were two day one’s, and I played the first one.) I played very well that day – making several very huge laydowns and calling several big pots when my opponent unsuccessfully tried to bluff me. And I actually busted a player with my pocket A’s! During the last few months, my A’s have gotten cracked so many times, but they held up this time, boy was I thrilled! Woo hoo!

All in all, my chip stacks remained pretty steady through the entire first day, and I wrapped up the night with $72,300.

I had a day of rest due to the other half of day one that still needed to play, so I relaxed on Thursday. When I returned to the felt this morning, I felt very ready for day two. I made it about 45 minutes into the eighth level when I picked up a nice hand – pocket J’s in middle position. The ante was $100, and the blinds were $400 and $800. The action came around to me, and I raised it up to $4000. Two players behind me mucked, then the player in the fourth seat thinks for a bit, then reraised to $10,000. Everyone else mucked, action was to me, and I called. The flop came 6-6-2 rainbow, I checked, my opponent bet out $19,000, so I thought about it… That flop could have very good or very bad for me, but since I was reraised, I thought it was the worst flop for me. I put my opponent on one of two hands – a bluff or AA’s. It was like a coin toss because I had never played this guy before and it was too soon in the tournament to tell his style of play. I had two choices – I could muck my hand OR move all in, but calling his bet was not even an option. I finally moved all in, and sure enough, he called in a heartbeat. I knew I was beat when he called so fast, and he had the AA’s. Argh!

Even though I had him covered in that hand, I lost and was left with only $1800 in chips. The very next hand I picked up QQ’s, I immediately pushed all in. Everyone mucked except the blinds – both of them called. The flop came J-7-3 with two clubs. The small blind bet out $1500, the big blind moved all in for about $5500 with A-4 of clubs for the flush draw, and the small blind called with J-7 offsuit. The turn came a 7, which gives the small blind two pairs and the river was a blank.. And where was I? Heading to the rail!

All I can say now is that I didn’t fly all the way to Canada to watch from the rail! How did I go from big-stack poker to bad beat, bad beat, bye bye? I’ll be thinking about it for awhile, I can tell you that.

Not exactly at the final table!

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

As most of you know by following the tournament updates, I’m not going to be at the final table of the Festa al Lago main event at Bellagio tomorrow. Boo!

I went into the second day with 35k in chips, I picked up a few decent hands which I could limp in with under the gun like KQ (suited) AJ (off) but after having to lay down every hand that I had limped in with because there would always be a raise and reraise behind me which leaves me no choice but to muck my hand and lose the called bet. The blinds and antes were getting higher and my chips were getting less and less just blinding away. I had about 14k left when I picked up JQ and moved all in but unfortunately the small blind picked up 99’s and called my all-in. The board came all small cards so I got knocked out I’d say 139th or so. Yuck!! But what can u do? Try again next time 😮

So, I didn’t win a million dollars in this tournament, but there are more in my future! I think I mentioned this in my last blog, but I’m headed to Niagara Falls for the WPT event there, then off to Singapore for the awesome BetFair Asian Poker Tour (yippee!), then to my home of Vietnam to visit my dad and help the people who were devastated by the recent hurricane. I’m really looking forward to all of these trips!

In the meantime, I am headed back to Los Angeles to run errands, get everything in order for my upcoming trips, and take care of business in L.A. I only have a few days to do all of it, though, so I’ll be going a little crazy trying to get everything done! But I don’t know what I’d do if I had “spare” time or lots of sleep anyway! LOL

So, stay tuned for more updates and plays in some more big poker tournaments. As always, I’ll try to take photos wherever I am and post them here or on my MySpace page.

Talk to you again soon!

Festa Al Lago, Niagra Falls, and BetFair

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Busy Schedule!

I began playing yesterday in the Festa Al Lago $10,000 main event at Bellagio in Las Vegas, and it was a tough day! I wasn’t catching any cards for the first 6 or 7 hours – just running bad and being blinded away.

I guess I was catching some cards because I got pocket Q’s 6 times, but most of the times, a K would come on the flop, people would bet out, and I was making some tough but good laydowns. One time, I did catch the Q’s and felt good about them, raised, and I knew that my opponent didn’t have anything, so I won that pot. Whew! ? It was a tough table with lots of good players, including JC Tran, David Pham, and Kathy Liebert. During the last round, I was down to $16,000 in chips and knew that I had to make a move.

The blinds were $300-$600 with a $75 ante, and I picked up Q-J of clubs. The UTG player raised to $2500, everyone else mucked, and I called. The flop came 4-4-J, giving me top pair, and I checked.

He bet $4000, but I just had a feeling that he didn’t have a big pocket pair, so I raised all in. He called quickly, which made me nervous, but then he turned over A-K. Nothing came to improve his hand on the turn or river, and I raked a nice pot.

I finished the day with $35,000, and I’m hoping to catch some good cards today and be able to climb the leader board. May the cards be with me! LOL. Three of my Martins Poker teammates are still in, too – John, Patrik, Matt, and Claus – so I hope we can all stay in there!

After this tournament, my schedule gets crazy! John and I decided to head to Canada for the Niagra Falls tournament, so we will arrive there on October 25 and stay through November 1. Then it’s back to L.A. for a few days to regroup, run errands, and prepare for a trip that is going to be awesome – Singapore! It’s the BetFair Asian Poker Tour, and John and I are SO excited to go! This is our first major tournament in Asia, and it’s so close to our home country of Vietnam… It’s going to be great! We will be there from November 12 – 17, and I hope that other players will join us there. Finally, there is big-time poker in Asia!!! It’s about time – it’s in our blood, ya know! Poker players will be coming from all over Asia to participate in this one. Here is the Press Release for Betfair’s Tournament event…

October 18
Poker superstars return to Asia

John Phan and Liz Lieu will go to Singapore to take part in the Betfair Asian Poker Tour this November.

They are good friends and two of the hottest names in poker. Originating from Vietnam , they have built their poker careers in America .

John “The Razor” Phan has close to $3m in tournament winnings. With numerous results on the World Poker Tour (WPT) and at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), he was inches from being poker player of the year in 2005.

Liz “The Poker Diva” Lieu is a regular winner at high stakes cash game tables in Las Vegas. For a year she has been playing on the WPT, European Poker Tour (EPT) and other circuits around the world.

Both very much engaged in charity work, they will give 20 percent of future tournament winnings to charity. If either player wins the Betfair Asian Poker Tour, this could mean up to $100,000 for charity.

The Betfair Asian Poker Tour is the first major tournament in Asia and both players are pleased to be enjoying their passion “closer to home”.

“We are both really looking forward to the Betfair Asian Poker Tour in Singapore to represent our team, Martinspoker.com. It will be really interesting to follow poker’s growing popularity in Asia from close range. Asians are always good with games and that is one of the reasons why so many players of Asian origin have been so successful in the world of poker, especially in America . We would also like to find new poker players that would like to become members of our team by showing their skills on our site or in live tournaments like the one in Singapore ,” says Liz and John.

Since we’ll be close to home, we will then take the short 2-hour flight to Vietnam to visit our families. My dad is there, and it’s been awhile since I’ve been home to see him. Most of our time, though, will be spent doing charity work. Only a few weeks or so ago, a huge hurricane hit Vietnam and left tons of people homeless and without their farms. We’re going to distribute food to various cities and visit some orphanages to help there any way we can. It’s going to hurt me to see so many of my people in poverty and hurting, but it will feel good to help out.

My calendar is full! Right now, though, I’m only focused on doing well in today’s tournament at Bellagio and building up those chips. Send good vibes to me today, friends! Bye for now

Connecting With Friends Weekend

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

I haven’t been playing many of the tournaments at the Bellagio this past week. I haven’t been into tournaments lately, I guess I’m a bit burnt out and I see myself not running so well lately. This past weekend was my best friends John Phan’s birthday so myself along with about 30 other friends celebrated John’s birthday at Pure Nightclub. I was very happy to see that John was estastic when he opened up the present I had bought for him. He gave me a BIG hug and said ” I Love It… It so nice ” and had a huge smile on his face. I had bought him a Cosmograph Daytona Rolex with a black face, diamond dials, and black leather strap. I think the watch made his night . We partied till around 3am and called it a night.

Friday was another night out in Vegas for me. My good friend Joe Sebok had just won the 5000 No-Limit event at the Bellagio ( CONGRATS JOEY) and some of my friends from LA were in town so we all decided it was gonna be another night out…

How can I say no that that . So it was another fun night at Pure. We all had a blast and just being goofballs all night. After 2 nights of partying in one week, I am pooped! I played the 200-400 game online the following day and did alright, on the plus side and my plans for today is to just relax, and prepare for Bellagio’s main event tomorrow. There is one change I would like to inform everyone about is that my PPL team has decided to change our team name. Instead of ” Beauty and the Boyz ” it’s going to be ” Card Sharks ” instead. See you all on the felt. Take Care Everyone!! Here are some pics I wanna share with you all… Enjoy!!