Archive for April, 2007

WPT Championship, Karaoke, and WIN

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

I’ve been in Vegas for about a month, and the WPT World Championship started on Saturday. It’s a $25,000 buy-in event, but I won a satellite the week before to get in for $2500. Now that’s the way to enter a big buy-in tournament! Anyway, there were two first days, and I played on Day 1A on Saturday. There were lots of huge names in the field – Phil Ivey, Jamie Gold, Phil Hellmuth, Hoyt Corkins, Harry Demetriou, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, and the list just goes on and on.

Everyone started with 50,000 in chips, so it was a nice slow day of play but not without its ups and downs for me. I had some low points, like when my set was run down because I slow-played it. But I had some good points, too. My chip stack varied from 28,000 to 58,000 during the day.

I have to mention that I made the best laydown of this tournament in one hand, and it was sick, but it had to be done. I had pocket A’s. (That already tells you how sick it was.) The blinds were 100-200, and the player under the gun limped in for 200. I raised to 700, and he smooth called. The flop came 9-9-2, my opponent checked, I bet 2500, then he reraised me 3500 more! I thought for a minute and raised another 12,000, but without any consideration, he moved all-in. Huh? I took a few minutes to think what hands he could possibly have to call my raise and hit that flop. I put him on either A-9 or pocket deuces. I laid down my A’s, and he told me that it was a good laydown, showing me the 2-2. Wow. I lost some about 19K on that pot but could’ve been sent to the rail if I called that all-in, so I saved my tournament life there.

Later in the tournament, during the last level of play for the day, I looked down at pocket J’s. A player with a sizable chip stack made it 1800 to go, I only called instead on raising because of my position and there were still 5 players behind me that haven’t acted, then two other solid players called the 1800 raise as well. The flop came 6 K 5 (rainbow). Everyone checked the flop, the turn came a “8” , the original raiser bet out 5K, now I know he doesn’t have a “K” in his hand due to the fact that three solid players called his 1800 raise so it’s very unlikely that he’d wanna slow play his hand if he were to have a “K”. I then made a raise to 10K and the two players behind me mucked and the orginally better called my raise. River comes an “A”. We both checked. My opponent turns over 6 7.. giving him a pair of sixes. I take down the pot with my JJ’s

I finished the day with 42,750 in chips, and Day 2 starts today at noon. Wish me luck and some good cards!

After the first day of the event, since we all had the day off yesterday for Day 1B to play, a group of us went to the karaoke bar at Imperial Palace. It’s a little cheesy but so much fun! Among the gathering were Lisa Cripe, Jennifer Newell, Jon Friedberg, Heather, Jay, Joy, Ships, Tiffany, Hollywood Dave, Miri, Lara, Tom, Ryan, Mariealena. I didn’t sing but some of my friends did.

I also want to mention that WIN, the organization with which I’m now involved and listing as one of my main charities, has sent out a press release from Mrs. Globe announcing my affiliation with them http://www.mrsglobe.com/media_globalupdate.htm. They are such a great group of women, and I received some really nice notes on their forum. I’ve also gotten some kind messages on MySpace. Thank you everyone for the kind words and support! Cheers!

My Charitable Involvement with WIN Foundation

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

I’m very excited about recently becoming involved with WIN Foundation, and I want to tell you a little about it. Most of my charitable contributions will now be going to WIN and organizations that help the poor in Vietnam – those are my two main focuses right now.

WIN stands for Women In Need and is a non-profit foundation that helps empower women. They offer classes, programs, and seminars on various topics like recovering from abuse, boosting self-esteem, and something they call Destiny Management, which helps women create their dreams and learn how to fulfill them. Dr. Tracy Kemble started the organization in 1996, and they offer help to women worldwide.

Here are some of the goals of WIN:
— They are committed to the emotional health, personal self-esteem, and empowerment of all women.
— They are ommitted to those who find themselves debilitated from past or current pains of abuse and to those who desire to create a life of purpose.
— Believing that abuse is not a disease but a learned behavior, they are committed to educating, inspiring, preventing, and empowering both men and women through high quality counseling programs, conferences, educational messages, fundraisers, and outreach programs. The goal is to offer repair, restoration, and prevention services.
— They believe that by healing women, the family is also healed and the final destination to healing is love and passion of life’s purpose.

I first heard about the charity from my friend LynnPhuong Frazier- former Miss Virginia Globe 2006, and when I started looking into it, I realized that it is something I want to contribute to and help in any way I can. I know what it’s like to go through incredibly tough times and have to basically start life over. This is an organization that helps women do that, and I couldn’t be prouder to endorse them. What they do is close to my heart, and after some long conversations with them, I know that this is something I wanted and needed to be involved in.

One of my first events with WIN will be the 2007 Mrs. Globe contest, which is an annual fundraiser for the foundation, and I’ll be one of the celebrity judges at the event. As other events are announced, I will announce and promote them, and I’m working closely with WIN to learn what other things I can do to help.

The first thing I’m going to ask everyone to do is visit their website, http://www.womeninspiration.net – whether you need help, want to help, or just get more familiar with the organization. Thanks for everyone’s support, and I really hope to do great things with WIN!

Vegas Grand Prix Weekend in Vegas

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Sorry that I haven’t blogged in a while, but my schedule has been crazy! Late last week, I returned from a trip to Paris and headed straight for Vegas. I haven’t had a minute to do much writing over the last few weeks!

I was in Vegas this past weekend to participate in the Vegas Grand Prix, which was a huge event that featured a race (obviously) and a charity poker tournament that I was invited to play in. The whole weekend was so much fun!

The poker tournament started with a red carpet entrance at Binions, and I was interviewed by several people, including the guy from RawVegas TV. (See attached video) There were lots of TV and movie stars there, as well as poker pros and anyone who bought in to the tournament for $2500. Obviously, there was a prize pool but most of the proceeds went to the Vegas Grand Prix charities via the Jenyon Foundation, Inc.

As far as the tournament went, I started out pretty well. The first table was a lot of fun with Hoyt Corkins, Johnny Chan, Mimi Rogers, and Danger Ehren..the actor from Jackass. Then, after the first break, I was moved to the featured table. On my first hand, I picked up A-10 offsuit under the gun. I limped in and got four callers behind me. The flop came Ac10d4c, and I checked so that I could check-raise. A guy in middle position bet out 500, Kenna James raised it to 3000, and I pushed all-in for 4950. Kenna called since he was already committed to the pot, and he showed J-5 of clubs – the club draw that I suspected! The turn was a 9c, and the river was another club. He made his flush, and I was out of the tournament.

Overall, the event was run really well, and I had a great time! I got to spend some time with good people and play poker for a good cause.

Other than that, I just had two more magazine covers and articles come out – WPT Poker Magazine and Poker Player Magazine. I’m also working with the people who are doing my website, and I’m trying to make sure it gets finished very soon. With all of that, along with business meetings, trying to decorate my new condo in Vegas, and playing poker, I’m hoping to find a few days to relax soon before the World Series starts!

Today, I’m heading over to Bellagio for the Five Star World Poker Classic $2500 event. It seems that I’ll be sticking around in Vegas through April, playing in some of the events leading up to the big WPT Championship that starts on April 21st. I hope to have some good results to report very soon!