Posts Tagged ‘chilipoker deepstack open’

Where Does the Time Go?

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Where has everyone been? Haha, just kidding. I haven’t done a blog post since December, but time sure flies. It started out with the holidays – they always get hectic – and then between poker games and tournaments, a new cat, and a super busy work schedule, the time really just disappeared. But I’m back! 😉

January was mostly a blur, with lots of travel, work, and personal business to take care of. February was a time for me to play some poker but also take some personal time. Everyone needs time away from the internet, time to focus on the important things in life, and I did too. But February was also a time for some private poker games. Vegas doesn’t seem to have the games I’m looking for in the casinos, but with juicy private games, though, I certainly played a good amount of cash poker, which was nice.

I also participated in a great charity event on February 19. It was called Raise Your Hand for Africa, and it was hosted by the Starkey Hearing Foundation at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. I am so glad I attended! It was not only a great event to raise money for a good cause – and I met celebrities like Steve Martin, ‘Mini Me’ Vern, and a handful of NFL Pro Player! – but I connected with the foundation. I found out that they took a trip to Vietnam in 2010 and gave hearing aids to thousands of kids, allowing them to hear sounds for the first time in their lives. And they’re going again this year, so I spoke to Starkey about their plans, and I’m going with them! I’ll be able to combine the trip that I wanted to take to deliver food and other help to the poor in Vietnam, and I can help Starkey donate hearing aids to children, too. I’ll have more details on that as we plan the trip.

After playing that poker tournament, I hopped on a flight back to Los Angeles for the WPT Invitational, which was the same night. I made it in time to play, though I busted out of the event on the first night.

A few days later, I played the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, which I play every year. Things started slowly, without much action at my first table. Lee Markholt was at my table, but I didn’t know many others. I had an up-and-down day that ended with 42,250 which was a little above average.

Day 2 started with an exciting table, one that included several good players like Nenad Medic, Joe Hachem, and a few others. I have to say that Joe is completely hilarious! He had our table laughing for so long. The best joke of the day came when he said that he figured out why the young kids wear glasses at the table…because they’re all high. Maybe you had to be there, but it was so funny! For poker, I started off the day with a big double-up. On the second hand, I woke up with pocket kings UTG, so I raised and got one caller. I checked the flop of K-J-8 with two diamonds on the board, but the guy bet 5K, and I just called. The turn was a 5, not a diamond, I checked, he bet 6500, and I raised to 15K, which he called. The J of diamonds on the river came, and I went all-in. He called with A-Q of diamonds, and I had a nice double-up to begin the day. I took a hit at the end of the night, though. With 35 minutes left to play, I looked down at pocket aces UTG. Wanting to make the most out of it with my table, I simply limped in so there was 4 of us in the hand. The flop came 9-9-2 rainbow, the blinds checked, but when I bet 2200, the BB made it 6800, and I called. It was heads-up, and the turn came 8. He bet 10K, and I called. The river was a blank, and he pushed all-in for 32K. I was pot-committed but thought I was beat, but he was new to the table and I didn’t have much of a read on him. As I was thinking about my decision, he called the clock on me after less than a minute! He was very nervous, even shaking, and I finally called. He showed 9-6 suited. Yuck, I lost 55K in that pot. Even so, I ended the day with 50,700.

(photo courtesy of Matt Waldron)

Day 3 was a tough one. I had no cards in the beginning of the day and aside from stealing a few blinds, I blinded off some of my chips and was down to 31K. Allen Cunningham joined the table and played his first hand. He raised it up to 6K, and when I looked down at K-Q in the BB, I shoved all-in. He called with pocket jacks, and I never improved on the blank board. I was out. It felt good to go so far in the event, but obviously it sucked to bust on Day 3 before the money.

What else is new with me? A few things…

I was informed in January that I won a great award. It was in the 2010 Maven Awards that the public voted for several categories. I was nominated in two and won the Humanitarian Award, which was great because I was up against Annie Duke and Linda Johnson, and both of them do a ton of charity work too. I am grateful for the award and recognition, even though I do all of my charity work each year for the people who benefit from it. But thanks to Woman Poker Player and the tens of thousands of people who voted in the awards!

I also wanted to mention a very cool, creative person I met a year ago who has the most positive energy. Her name is Gabriela Pomplova, and she’s an artist, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and painter. A few media crew and poker players had approached me and asked about the cute necklace I recently bought from Gabriela that I wore through the LAPC, and I felt that it kept me in a good place no matter what the cards were.

Finally, I want to mention a couple of things that Chilipoker is doing. 2011 is going to be a big year! After a very successful first season of DeepStack Open tournaments around Europe and Morocco, they announced Season 2, which will have 7 stops – Costa Brava, Cannes, Marrakech twice, Paris, Malta, and Vienna. Buy-ins of €550 are the same as last year, but they will have cheaper side events and cash games at every stop. Players can still qualify on Chilipoker for all of the stops, and they can also get cheap flights and good hotel rates through DSO specials. Not only can players win their way into tournaments in some of the best locations in the world, but they have a chance to win a full DSO sponsorship for 2012 as part of the Chili DSO Team! The first stop is Costa Brava, Spain, and I hope to see you at one of the stops on the tour soon!

I’ll be going to Paris to play in the Team Poker Cup at the Cercle Gaillon. I’ll be playing with partner Xavier Niel, CEO of Iliad, and there will be 20 teams. It should be a real fun tournament.

March is going to be a busy month, but I’m going to try to keep my blog updated so you don’t think I fell off the face of the earth. 😉


Recovery & Back to the Tournament Trail

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The last week in London has not been a great one for me. I’m finally feeling better, but the week of food poisoning not only kept me from playing one of my absolute favorite events of the year (WSOPE) but even forced me into the hospital for a few days.

It all started early Wednesday morning, the day before my starting day for the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. I was registered and ready to go. So, I went to bed on Wednesday night feeling absolutely normal but woke up after a few hours with serious pain in my stomach. I tried to lie there and hope it got better, but it only got worse, to the point that I was doubled over in pain and very afraid that something major was wrong. I called down to the front desk and asked them to call me an ambulance, and while I waited 2 hours for it to arrive, the hospital called me with a million questions to ask me on the phone. I was practically begging them to hurry with the ambulance while they were asking me my date of birth and lots of other information. When they finally arrived, they didn’t bring a gurney and forced me to walk downstairs and out to the ambulance. Then we sat in the ambulance on the cold London early morning – with the engine off! – as they asked me even more questions! That seemed to take another hour, and they finally decided to start up the vehicle and take me to the hospital.

The waiting time gets worse as we go through this story. I’m still shocked by it all.

Once in the emergency waiting room, I waited another hour to see a nurse and it took 2 hours from there to get someone to come in with painkillers. Unfortunately, they came in with pain pills and I told the nurse that taking pills would be impossible because I couldn’t keep anything down, so how could I take pills and not throw up? They finally decided to give me a shot of liquid painkiller, however to obtain this, most of my veins were poked and prodded for what seemed like eternity until they eventually found a suitable vein to inject the IV. I was pretty horrified by the difficulty that it took for the nurses to get in the IV line and my bruised arms are a testament!! After laying there for more than three hours, the pain didn’t get any better. The doctor, who looked like he couldn’t have been more than 21-years old, came in after taking x-rays and told me that all of the test results were negative. He thought it could be an ulcer but then again could also very likely be food poisoning, so he suggested I drink water with the instruction that if I became sick again I should return back without the added worry of waiting around for hours on end.

I did leave and went down the hall to buy medicine, but I was still doubled over in pain and decided to head back to the hospital. I demanded that they treat me because I was afraid to go home with such severe pains. That time, I waited about 5 hours to get a room, and even when I did get one, I was ignored until another doctor finally came to see me. They gave me lots of anti-nausea medication, which started to work, but they tried to feed me horrible hospital food which only made me sicker. I stayed a total of 3 days in the hospital, and when the doctor said I should be healed because nothing showed up on the tests, I finally was released to go home.

I have to say that I couldn’t believe the terrible medical system in London. It made me really appreciate the caring doctors and nurses and great facilities in the United States! Being sick away from Vegas where I’m most comfortable was bad enough, but having it happen in a hotel in London was even worse, but the medical care I received was the absolute worst part of it all.

I was also extremely disappointed to miss the WSOP Europe Main Event. After my deep run there last year, I was so excited to do even better this year. My mind was in a great place, and I was feeling good about my game. And I just love the structure of the WSOPE, so to miss it was a huge disappointment as I’ll never know what would’ve happened if I had actually played it.

I’m finally feeling a little better today, and I don’t want to miss another great tournament opportunity, so I’m going to play the EPT London on Thursday (Day 1B). I’m hoping to put all of this sickness behind me, try to eat some solid food today, and get ready for a long first day in the tournament.

Looking at the calendar, I see that it’s almost October. OMG! Where did September go?!? LOL. Anyway, that means that I’ll be heading to Vienna, Austria in less than two weeks to play in the Chilipoker Deepstack Open at the Montesino Casino in Vienna. The buy-in is only €550 for the Main Event, and we get 50,000 starting chips! There are two starting days – October 14 and 15 – and I’m not sure yet which one I’ll play, but I hope to see a lot of Chilipoker players there! Satellites are running on Chilipoker and giving players a chance to qualify for a lot less than the buy-in, so I’m sure there will be a lot of qualifiers there. And anyone else hanging out in Europe should head on over to play, too! 🙂 Hope to see you there!


My Great Start, Bad Ending at the Chilipoker Deepstack Open

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

A couple days ago, I headed off to France for the Chilipoker Deep Stack Open. I was very excited not only to get to the tables but to spend some time with my Chili friends. It was sad to leave London because I knew I would miss my cats – Moyo and Byni – terribly, but I knew they would be well taken care of in my absence. And I had been looking forward to this France/Italy/Monaco tournament excursion for some time. I headed to the airport with so much energy, feeling amazingly positive mentally and physically. I haven’t felt this great in years!

(Moyo & Byni)

The airplane ride was followed by a car ride to the Pasino d’Aix-en-Provence, and my team and I were very excited to walk in to the warm welcome by casino staff and players. Everyone was excited about the event, and I simply couldn’t wait to get on the felt.

I had a very solid start to the tournament. My positive energy was flowing, and I grabbed 20K in chips on the first hand I played! I thought it was a sign of things to come, but in fact it was a very up-and-down day. I lost 5,500 chips on the second hand I played, and then I lost a big one. It started with my pocket aces. I raised to 300 preflop and got four callers to see the 4(h)2(h)10(c) flop. I bet out 2,000, and Seat 3 was the only caller. The turn produced the Q(c) and I bet 5,000. Seat 3 check-raised to 13,700, and I called. The river brought the K(c) and Seat 3 pushed out 19,000 with only approximately 6,000 behind. With the clubs on the board, I decided to muck but the player turned over a little pocket pair of threes. Doh!

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

But I didn’t let it get me down. I was ready to play, ready to gamble, and I kept my positive attitude going. By the end of Level 2, I rebuilt my stack to 38K. And by the end of Level 4, I was up to 57K, simply by executing a couple of key check-raises and winning some pots. Then I woke up to pocket kings. There was a lot of action going to the 5(c)6(s)8(c) flop, at which point Seat 1 bet 8,500 and I moved all-in. Seat 1 called, and I had him covered. He showed pocket queens, and the rest of the board blanked. I busted the player for 32K, and I was up over 85K.

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

Not long after that, I got into a bit pot with another player. I had 10(s)7(s) and put in 5,000 preflop. We both checked the A-10-2 flop, and when the 7 hit on the turn, I bet 8,000. The player called, and the 3 came on the river. I bet 20,000 with my two pair, and the player called with pocket kings. My two pair were good, and I was up to about 110,000. My exact word on Twitter was BoYakKaSha!

(photo courtesy of Jules Pochy)

A little later, I lost a 55K pot when my A-J flopped a jack, and I got involved with another player all the way through the river on a J-7-9-5-7 board to find out he had pocket queens. Oh well, I accumulated a few more chips and still had 83K when the average was around 60K. But then, the big pot went down. I started with 9-8 and hit two pair on the 3(h)8(h)9(c) flop. I got all my chips in against A(h)3(h) and the flush draw. That flush didn’t make it, but the K(c) and A(c) cards gave him the higher two pair. That 220K pot hurt. Bad.

My last 45K went all-in four hands later when I looked down at pocket fives. The Seat 3 player called with K(h)10(h) and flopped a ten. My fives never improved, and I was out of the tournament after thirteen hours of play on Day1.

Overall, I was happy with my performance in the tournament with the exception of the last key hand. Could I have made a better read on the pocket fives? Sure. But I have to remember that it is poker, and one bad play can destroy an entire day of good plays. For most of the day, my reads were right on, and I felt that I was in the groove.

What to do now? Heading back to the casino today to play a couple side events. Explore the beautiful region of Provence and do some shopping! I’m going to enjoy the rest of my stay here until I leave on Tuesday for San Remo, Italy. I can’t wait to play in the European Poker Tour event there, and I’m really looking to make a solid run there before heading to Monte Carlo for the EPT Grand Final.

I wish the best of luck to everyone still playing the Chilipoker Deepstack Open! It would be fun to see an internet qualifier take it down for only a few Euros invested. It should be an exciting finish to the tournament. And I’ll see some of you in San Remo next week!


Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

I just wanted to take a moment today to wish everyone a happy day! Whether you celebrate Easter in a religious way or enjoy a day with a family get-together or simply organize an Easter egg hunt and eat up the goodies that the Easter Bunny brought this morning, it can be a fun holiday to celebrate. And no matter what, it’s a good opportunity to take a moment to contact those of importance in your life and tell them that you love them.

I spent my Easter in the company of two very loving, sweet cats – Moyo and Byni, who have brought so much joy to me in London. There is no love like that of a furry companion. 🙂

London is treating me well but I’m anxious to head to France in a few days for the Chilipoker Deepstack Open. I feel like I’m in top-notch shape physically and mentally, as the diet and exercise plan has been tough but beneficial. But day after day of rain can be a little depressing, so I’m hoping for some real spring sunshine and warmth in France!

As a side note, I just heard about the earthquake in Baja, California. It was a 6.9, which is pretty major! I’ve been checking the internet for updates, and I can’t find any reports of damage, though people seem to have felt the quake and its aftershocks all the way from Los Angeles to Phoenix. Sending good thoughts to my friends in that area today!

Happy Easter to everyone!


Mystery Travel

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It’s that time again, time for me to get on the road. Technically, in the air, but you know what I mean. 😉

I have made my travel plans for the next few months, and all I can really say is that I’ll be in Europe. Why no specifics right now? Well, I’m not giving exact dates or exact locations because there are people who care a little too much about what I’m doing. Sorry stalkers! You’ll have to do some guessing on this one! LOL.

The only thing I can be specific about is the Chilipoker DeepStack Open, which I already mentioned in my blog. I wouldn’t miss it! It is scheduled for April 9-11 in France at the Pasino Aix-en-Provence, and the €550 Main Event looks to be a massive one. And there are two side events running as well, both freezeouts, one on April 10 with a €300 buy-in and the other on April 11 with a €150 buy-in. I probably won’t play the side events because I’ll be doing so well in the Main Event, of course! 😉 But there’s plenty of poker to be played at the Aix-en-Provence that weekend, so come join me!

Don’t forget that qualifiers are running now at Chilipoker for seats into the Main Event, and players are winning seats for as little as €1.1 through March 31. In order to help spice up the tournament, Chilipoker has launched two new concepts for all the Chilipoker qualified players and for those registering to the Main Event via their Chilipoker account:

·    Extra-Ball: You’ve kicked everybody out of the tournament and you are our final lucky winner? Chilipoker rewards you even more by adding 50% of your winnings to the prizepool: the first half is yours and the rest will be shared between all the Chilipoker qualified players of the Main Event! This is what we call the Chilipoker Spirit!

·    Knock-Out Insurance: You’ve busted out of the tournament, finished with no money but kicked at least 5 players out? Don’t be disappointed, Chilipoker wants to reward you for your action on the tables! We invite you to another Chilipoker DeepStack Open stage and will pay for your buy-in to the Main Event!

Chilipoker Deepstack Open (DSO) – Statut DSO VIP

There are other events going on over the next few months, and I plan to do some appearances for Chilipoker as well as take care of some business meetings. But I’m also really looking forward to the change of scenery! I’m so excited to get back and enjoy my next few months with coworkers and friends, and immerse myself in the culture before coming back to the States for the 2010 WSOP.


Life Sometimes Gets in the Way of Poker

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

My plan was to come to L.A. last week and play the Monday tournament, but when I got to town the week before, life had other plans.

It started with a weekend call from my cousin in Vietnam. She told me that my aunt was in the hospital again but for an unknown reason. Of course this worries me and there’s nothing I can do from the U.S. except stay updated and make sure my aunt is getting the best care possible. Besides many phone calls to Vietnam, my weekend (and most of my week) ended up being filled with work and meetings, though I did fit in a quick trip to Rodeo Drive in L.A. to do a little shopping.

But poker was set aside for a few days, which means I didn’t play the LAPC preliminaries. The good part of that is that I’m saving my great poker for the Invitational and Main Event! 😉  I will be heading to Commerce Casino on Saturday for the red carpet welcome party and the tournament that starts in the evening, and I plan to play through the day on Sunday, too, on my way to the final table. Then I’ll take a few days off before the start of the WPT LAPC Main Event that starts next Friday. I’m still feeling great about my game these days, so I’m looking for great results at Commerce!

Speaking of poker, if you missed my last post, check out the information on the Chilipoker DeepStack Open coming up in April. Players are starting to sign up, and a lot of Chilipoker players are already winning their seats. This looks to be a great event!

In the meantime, I have to send out a BIG congratulations to my friend Quinn Do, who announced his engagement to Gale Mah earlier this week. I’m so happy for them! And it is refreshing to see love in the air – so positive and powerful. Wonderful to see Quinn has found his true soul mate!

(photo courtesy of Anh Van Nguyen)

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you will ever meet. They will come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you. Someone that will mirror you, show you everything that is holding you back … a person who will bring you to your own attention so you can change your life.

May your engagement be the beginning of a lifetime filled with special love & happiness!


France in April? Oui Oui!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

This is very exciting news! I made mention of a trip to France in April, and this is what it’s all about. The Chilipoker DeepStack Open by Partouche will be taking place at the Pasino of Aix-en-Provence from April 9-11. Everyone is welcome to join, and the Main Event looks to bring players from all over the world with its €550 buy-in (and starting stack of 50,000 chips!).

I love the deep stack tournaments because the massive number of chips allows you to really build up momentum and take your time in the beginning stages of the tournament. It takes a little while to size up your opponents, get the feel of the action, and put your strategy into action. And having so many chips allows you to take a bad beat or two but still have a solid chance of playing on. When Chilipoker announced a DeepStack series, especially one that will take us to places like France, Ireland, Morocco, and the Czech Republic, I was thrilled!

The French stop on the Chilipoker DeepStack Open tour is open to all players. And for those looking to qualify, there are tons of opportunities on, as online satellites will run through March 31st. There will also be live satellites running at Partouche Pasinos. Everyone has a chance to meet me there! But there’s no time to waste, as the tournament is capped at 500 players, so space is limited.

I seriously cannot wait to head to the Provence region of France in April, which should be a beautiful time of year there! Representing Chilipoker is a treat all the time, but when I get to spend time playing poker tournaments in places like the South of France, and in an event with such a great structure, I have to let everyone in on the opportunity to join me. Let me know if and when you win your seat, and I’ll see you in less than 2 months! 😀