Posts Tagged ‘las vegas’

Whirlwind October Brings Me Back to Vegas

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

The month of October was a crazy one! I didn’t have much time to blog about it, but now that I’m home in Vegas, I can relay some of the things that brought me from the food poisoning in London in September to where I am now.

After missing the World Series of Poker Europe because of my sickness, I was excited to get back to the tables and play the EPT London event. I started that on September 30 – Day 1B – and even though I didn’t feel totally healthy at that point, I was ready to play poker. But it was an uneventful tournament for me with a quiet table. I didn’t get involved in any hands until after the third break, when I looked down at Q-8 of hearts next to the button. I raised to 750, the button reraised to 2000, and I called. The flop came 2h-6h-8s, I bet, the button raised, I reraised, and the button called. I bet another 6,200 on the 9s turn and the button moved all-in. I called, and the button had pocket jacks. The river was the 4s, and I was out.

I spent the next two weeks in London, enjoying my days with the cats and spending some evenings with my girlfriend Kele Le Roc who had just gotten back from L.A. We spent a few nights at the local clubs, and the dancing and good times were just what I needed!

Kele just finished recording a music video with Tha Vill in Los Angeles for a song called “More Than Friends,” which was directed by another very close friend of mine, Shannon Elizabeth. I still can’t stop watching the video! Congrats and a big shout-out to my friends for the amazing video!

After those good times, things took a turn for the worse when I traveled to Vienna on October 14 for the Chilipoker Deepstack Open. I was excited to get there, and even though my flight out of London wasn’t until 9:50am, I left home at 6:45am to head to the airport. We hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way, and I did not hit the airport until 30 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. I rushed to the desk to check in, and the customer service woman rudely told me that the flight was closed. I was too late! I headed over to a different customer service desk and was told that I was considered a no-show and my ticket to Vienna was no longer valid…even though I was still there before my flight! On top of that, the guy told me I could buy a new ticket – for £659 one way! – but I couldn’t use my airline points because that had to be done 24 hours in advance. I didn’t believe him, so I walked away with my heavy luggage to used my iPad. Guess what? I was able to book the ticket with my points online and only paid $87!

That flight was more than five hours away, though, and they wouldn’t let me check in for that one, so I had to wait in the arrivals area. For some reason, everyone else there could access the wi-fi and use their computers, but I wasn’t able to purchase the internet access. Frustrating! I also discovered that my Blackberry wasn’t working because the trackball was broken, which meant that I couldn’t access any of my emails or do any work from the airport. I felt like the day was wasted.

My new flight finally boarded, though it was an hour and a half late, and I ended up getting to Vienna at about 8:30pm. As soon as I get to my hotel and walk through the doors to check in, the computer system at the hotel went down. Really? LOL. While I was waiting for them to figure out how to get my room key, I asked the guy if there was a place to fix my phone. He actually worked at a place but told me it would take 14 days to fix. Ummm, no thanks! Anyway, I got to my room, and I started to turn on the TV to get the internet access code to get to my emails, but the TV crashed. The guy who came to help me couldn’t help but laugh at my horrid streak of road blocks, and I had to laugh, too! It seemed that everything I touched that day went wrong, and I just wanted it to be over.

(Tourn Report and Interview with Georg Steiner from Pokernews DE)

The next day was better. I headed to the Montesino Casino to play the Main Event – €550 for 50K starting chips! – and I discovered that the tournament was very well done! Everything there felt comfortable, the staff was amazing and welcoming, and the players even had a great attitude. We chatted at the table, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I had a bounty on my head in the tournament, though, and anyone who knocked me out won a freeroll into the next DSO event, so people were definitely gunning for me. One of the big hands in the beginning was a good example. I had 7-8 from the big blind and got involved with two other players. When the flop came 7-8-3, I checked, the UTG player bet, and the other guy raised to 3500. I pushed it up to 12,500, UTG mucked, and the other player called. The 3 came on the turn, we both checked, and we checked again on the 5d river. He turned over Q-2 of diamonds for the flush.

(photo courtesy of Montesino Pokertainment Center)

The players kept coming after me, though I busted two of them and built up a nice stack through Level 5. However, I lost a lot of chips (50k+) on this hand. It started with 7-9 in the big blind and there were four of us in the hand who all called the original minimum raise from seat one (UTG position) I flopped a straight on the 8-10-J flop! I checked, seat one bet 2,500, another called, and I raised. The action got a little crazy, a few re-raises until i called seat one’s all-in on the flop, it turned out that my opponent had pocket eights, and the turn paired the ten to give him a full house. I doubled him up.

(Interview with Georg Steiner from Pokernews De)

I still had 27K or so in chips, but I didn’t see any playable hands for awhile and got blinded down. I eventually moved tables and decided to push all-in with A-K. Another player called with J-9 for ¾ of his chips, and of course the board came 3-7-7-9-3. I was out!

The next day, I played the €300 side event. That one started rough. The fifth hand I decided to play was pocket nines and hit on a 9-3-3 flop. Got my chips all-in on the flop, but my opponent had pocket aces, and an ace came right on the turn. I was crippled but made a quick turn around the very next level, doubling up twice then continued building my stack and finally ended the night with a healthy stack of 78,600 in chips. Day two started off slow, I couldn’t get much going. After about four levels of play, I finally picked up pocket J’s and went all-in, one player calls my all-in push then turns over pocket K’s. I ended up busting out in 27th place.

(photo courtesy of Montesino Pokertainment Center)

I even lost in cash games! Leon Groenewoud the head of events manager for the Montesino Casino and a few others wanted to play a friendly game of $1/$2 no-limit hold’em. At first I said I didn’t want to play because I just knew that I would lose playing such low limits, but changed my mind and played for the fun of it. And just as I thought, I lost €400!

(photo courtesy of Roy Decker)

The rest of the trip to Vienna was fun, though. One night, a group of my Chilipoker teammates and some of the tournament staff went out to a nightclub called The Box, and it was quite an impressive club! It wasn’t like Vegas, but it was nice and we had a blast. I also spent met and chatted with the CEO of Montesino, who was such a lovely and polite gentleman. He was so friendly and down-to-earth that it made me even more glad that I got to spend some time at the casino and get to know some of the people there. I will certainly be back!

Leaving Vienna was not so easy, though, because when I got to the airport, I found out that my ticket was cancelled. Since they considered me a no-show on my last flight, they cancelled my whole ticket! Unreal. I had to buy a new ticket, which I did online again, and about five hours later, I was finally on my way back to London.

I chilled in London for a few days with Kele then finally headed back to Las Vegas. The lovely Jace was waiting for me, and I can’t tell you how great it was to see my sweet cat again!

The last week, I’ve been thinking hard about what to be for Halloween, and my costumes are ready to be picked up! I have three to choose from, but it’s going to have to be a surprise. 😀 All I can say is that there will be some skin and at least one naughty outfit! 😉 I’ve already got tables reserved at my favorite clubs in Las Vegas for Halloween weekend, and the entire weekend will be a huge party. I can’t wait!

My next trip isn’t until November 17 when I head to Morocco for Chilipoker Marrakech Poker Festival, but I have another week to enjoy being home before I get on the road again. For now, I’m enjoying home and friends.

Cheers!

The WSOP is a Wrap

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Well, that didn’t go as planned. 😉

My WSOP Main Event started on Wednesday with Day 1C. I bought in earlier in the week, so I entered the Rio on my starting day ready to go. I started with 30K chips and won a few small pots early, chipping up to 41K by the end of the second level. No big hands at that point.

(photo courtesy of Pokernews.com)

Before dinner, I was in a big hand with A-Q in the small blind. On a flop of A-3-5, I checked, Seat 5 bet 1100, and I called. On the J turn, Seat 5 bet again, and I check-raised to 5200, which he called. The 6 came on the river, and Seat 5 bet 9000. I check-folded, as as he was a pretty tight, solid player that didn’t play many hands or chased many flops. so it was quite obvious I was beat when he smooth called my raise on the turn. I felt good about my laydown. But by the dinner break, I had 33,500 chips and had to do something.

I had a busy but relaxing dinner break, as I went home to feed Jace, then met up with Shannon Elizabeth and some other friends for sushi. I returned to the Rio for the last levels, won a few decent sized pots, and moved into the next level with 64K. One of those pots happened when the ESPN cameras were on my table filming so the player tried to play overly aggressive against me. Which it didn’t work out too well for him as he later said, “I bullied the wrong lady!” He got that right!

That put me above average, and I ended the day with 70,050 chips. I felt good, but physically I was struggling. I was already dealing with a head cold that made me sound rather stuffy, but the Pavilion room where I sat on Day 1 was absolutely freezing! I had to buy a WSOP hoodie jacket at one point and I felt like I was playing poker in Alaska. 😉

(photo courtesy of WSOP.com)

I came back for Day 2A on Friday with that solid 70,050 stack, but I couldn’t get anything going. I was also still sick from the day before but didn’t want cold medicine to get in the way of my concentration. But I had troubles with the cards themselves. The first big pot I lost was with pocket sevens UTG on a 2-5-6 flop, but my opponent in the big blind with 2-6 offsuit moved all-in for 21K on the flop after my raise. I mucked. The next big hand was with A-J. My opponent in Seat 3 had A-Q, and the board was A-4-6-7-K. I lost 19K on that pot and was down to 44K.

(photo courtesy of Pokernews.com)

Then the last hand happened. It was in the middle of Level 5 when I looked down at A-Q. I limp called under the gun, two other players called, and the button raised 4600. I pushed all-in with my last 30K, most players got out of the way, and the button called with A-K. The board came A-A-J-6-blank, and that was the end of my Main Event. Overall a very frustrating day!

I left the Rio thinking about how bad I ran on Day 2, getting no hands, dealing with a cold that was getting worse by the hour, and finding out that the official reporting of my bustout hand was wrong. Of course, I arrived home to the loving purring of Jace, and he listened to all of my poker hands. He really does like bad beat stories. LOL!

I try to stay positive as much as I can, but this was a frustrating WSOP! I played quite a few events and only came close to cashing once. In all the tournaments I entered I felt I played well, but I just couldn’t get a rush going and lady luck simply wasn’t on my side. There were many other poker pros who had the same kind of WSOP, and it just isn’t any fun. 🙁

Now it’s time for a break. I have to settle some things non poker related that have been weighing heavily on my mind for weeks. And I need to get healthy again, rest up, and eventually take a look at the tournament schedule for the rest of the year. The WPT is announcing some things today, I would like to go back to my home in London and play the WSOP Europe and EPT London events, and there are many more things on the agenda. But for now, I can’t think about poker for a few days…maybe a few weeks. I understand the ups and downs of poker as well as anyone because I’ve been playing for so many years, but sometimes a break is the best thing to get in the right mindset.

For my friends still in the WSOP Main Event, I wish them the best of luck! I’ll be watching it play out while I get some much needed rest.

Cheers!

Fun Away From the Tables, Readying for the Main Event

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

It’s been awhile since I blogged, but it’s also been a pretty rough WSOP for me. There’s not much to talk about when I bust out of a tournament on Day 1, which happened more than I wanted. I had very high hopes coming into the Series this year, and despite my efforts and how many events I played, I had trouble getting anything going. I had rough luck with cards, and things just didn’t go my way.

(photo courtesy of Hugues ‘Def’ Fournaise)

The good news? The Main Event is almost here! I’m planning on playing Day 1C on Wednesday, and I’m very ready for it. I’ve been working on the meditation, and I’ve tried to let go of the bad beats and discouraging tournaments that already happened. Those are in the past. Things happen in poker, and they don’t always go my way. I know this better than many pros because of my many years in the business. And the Main Event is a new tournament, a new opportunity, and I’m ready!

I do want to thank everyone who has asked through Facebook and Twitter about Jace, my sweet boy. He’s been feeling better and finally taking to the medicines. We’re still visiting the vet to make sure he’s on the right track, but he’s a strong little guy and continues to lift my spirits and give me so much joy. 🙂

And in the midst of the WSOP madness over the past few weeks, I did take the time to do something super fun! My girl Shannon Elizabeth and I decided we needed a release from the poker stress, so we went on a secret mission to a gun range and shot all kinds of guns! From pistols to machine guns, we did it all with the help of the great staff there. So much fun! And the PokerListings crew came along to film it and put together this great video of our fun experience:

I’m very excited for the Main Event, and I can’t wait to get started and see how many thousands of people show up. I hope it’s a great year for it, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Good luck to everyone playing, and I’ll see you at the WSOP tables this week!

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Cheers!

Only a Few Events into the 2010 WSOP

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

That is a positive way to think about it, right? Only a fraction of the WSOP events have taken place, and I’ve only played a few of them. There are many weeks and tournaments left to go, and things have to get better. 🙂

Before I get into my last two tournaments, I want to say thanks to everyone who has asked about Jace, my rescue cat and love of my life. He is still struggling with several infections, and we’re making frequent trips to the cat specialist to try to get his medication right and get him healthy. For now, though, he’s still sick, not always comfortable, and doesn’t sleep through the night. That means my sleep patterns have been off, and I can’t help but be worried about him. That’s not an excuse for why I haven’t gone deep in any WSOP events, but it definitely plays a part when my mind is on Jace at all times.

On Thursday, I played Event 9, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament. I was actually feeling very good about that one, somewhat rested and comfortable at the table. Several players at my table were not there at the start of action, so it was Fabrice Soulier, me, and four other players. That table went okay, but when I got moved, I had Yevgeniy Timoshenko and a bunch of other tough, young players at my table. I slowly made my way up in chips, starting with several double-ups. But then I lost more than 8K with A-Q under the gun versus A-J, and the board came A-J-6-K-7. That left me with 2,200. Ugh.

Then I looked down at A-4 in the small blind and limped in. The big blind checked. When the flop came A-Q-10, I checked, the big blind bet 350, I raised to 1,100, and the big blind moved all-in. I called with my top pair, but he showed K-J for the flopped straight. Turn and rivers were blank, and I was gone. I lasted more than four hours in that tournament but left before the dinner break. Very discouraging.

The next day, I drove back over the Rio for the 5pm $1,500 limit hold’em tournament. Limit has always been my specialty, so I was looking forward to it. But I happened to get seated at a table where a guy decided to take his shoes off during the beginning levels. Smelly, gross feet to start the tournament? Yuk! The only good thing to come out of that was that when I tweeted it, I got some hilarious responses. My twitter friends are funny!

(photo courtesy of Pokernews.com)

As for the cards, they weren’t funny at all. I was running bad and down to 1,300 when I got back from the dinner break. I lasted almost another two hours on the short stack but finally pushed with pocket eights, but my opponent had pocket kings. The flop was 7-8-9 for the set! But the king came on the turn to give my opponent a better set. I was gone.

Now it’s definitely time to take a few days off. I planned on it anyway because the next event on my schedule isn’t until June 8, but I do need this time to do some relaxing, meditation, and positive thinking. I know there’s a lot more of the WSOP left to go, and I’ll be ready! After a couple days of peace and no bad beats, that is. 🙂

Cheers!

Taking Care of Jace and Setting WSOP Schedule

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Many people in poker understand the feeling of wanting to lay low before the World Series of Poker. For nearly two months, we’re playing tournaments, being social, lacking sleep, and keeping our schedules full no matter how hard we try to do otherwise. So my sparse updates on this blog lately are mostly because I’m trying to take some time for myself and relax in Las Vegas before the WSOP starts.

The other thing taking up much of my time is by beloved new cat Jace. You’ll remember that I adopted him earlier this month from the Nevada SPCA. He’s already been such a blessing in my life, such an amazing companion with so much love to give! I even noticed recently that the brown markings on either side of his body are each in the shape of a heart. Look at the pictures! My friends are shocked that the markings are so obvious, and it only serves as one more sign that we found each other at the right time in our lives. He’s just the most loving little boy.

Jace is not in the best health, though. He’s over two years old and he’s been living in a shelter, so it’s not surprising that he has health issues, but the vet we’ve been going to hasn’t been able to help. Jace was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection/virus, ear mites, and most recently an eye infection that the vet says is a result of the infection spreading. The ear mites have been taken care of, but the infection isn’t going away despite the antibiotics, eye drops, and steroid shot to help clear his breathing.

Yesterday, I finally got fed up from seeing my boy suffering so much, and I took him to a veterinary hospital that specializes in cats. He was admitted to the hospital overnight so they could properly monitor him and diagnose the problem. Waiting to hear back is very hard! And going home without him was sad, though I know he’s getting amazing care and I look forward to bringing him back home soon. He’s very happy here with the big windows and so many fluffy places to lounge around. 🙂

In other news, I’ve decided on my WSOP schedule! I looked over the schedule and picked my events. It looks like I’m setting myself up for some long grinds, but I’m mentally and physically ready to bust my ass and do well this year! Here’s a look at the events I plan to play:

Event 3 – $1,000 NLHE
Event 5 – $1,500 NLHE
Event 8 – $1,500 NLHE
Event 9 – $1,500 PLHE
Event 11 – $1,500 NLHE
Event 17 – $5,000 NLHE
Event 18 – $2,000 LHE
Event 23 – $2,500 LHE Short-handed
Event 26 – $2,500 NLHE Short-handed
Event 29 – $10,000 LHE World Championship
Event 32 – $5,000 NLHE Short-handed
Event 35 – $10,000 NLHE Heads-Up World Championship
Event 36 – $1,000 NLHE
Event 38 – $10,000 PLHE World Championship
Event 39 – $1,500 NLHE Shootout
Event 42 – $1,500 NLHE
Event 44 – $2,500 Mixed HE
Event 47 – $1,000 NLHE
Event 49 – $1,500 NLHE
Event 53 – $1,500 NLHE Shootout
Event 54 – $1,000 NLHE
Event 56 – $2,500 NLHE
Main Event – $10,000 NLHE

That was exhausting just making the list! Yes, there are 23 events there, though the list may be shortened or changed when I make Day 2s and final tables of some events, preventing me from playing others. 😉

The WSOP is just a few days away, and I hope to see a lot of friends at the Rio this summer!

Cheers!

The Joys (or Not) of Travel

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Airline travel is not a fun thing, plain and simple. There are the security lines, limits on baggage weight, limits on the number of checked bags, and rules about what can be in your carry-on bags. Everything is so complicated!

Packing alone is a chore, especially when trying to pack for a few months. It’s hard to know what clothes and accessories to bring. How do I know how often I’ll be going out to nightclubs or nice dinners? I have to consider clothes for those occasions, for my new exercise routine, for casual days around the apartment, sleeping, casual lunches with friends… And speaking of exercise, I really wanted to bring my bike, , so I had to check with the airline about how much it would cost to check it on the plane and how to pack it, then I had to go to the cycling store to have them disassemble it, box it up, and help me get it back to my place before going to the airport.

Getting to the airport with all of my bags is another task, and once I get there, I had to deal with checking all of my bags, paying the fees for them, and only then could I go to the security line. Those lines are never fun, especially when you have to remove shoes, belt, jacket, and jewelry that might make the security alarm buzz. I take the computer from the carry-on bag, remove baggies full of liquids, throw away my bottle of water before going through the line, and remember to hold my boarding pass. After passing through security, it’s time to put everything back in their packed places, put my clothes and other accessories back on, and then trudge to the gate.

Oh, and once I arrived at the gate, they informed me that my flight was two hours late. Times like this is when first class tickets really comes in handy. 😉

I guess I shouldn’t complain. I am going to be spending a few months in Europe in the springtime. It just used to be much easier to fly. And most people thought that by 2010, we’d be flying around in little space-mobiles like the Jetsons, right? LOL.

Anyway, I’m safe in Europe with my luggages, bike, and everything else that took me days to pack. Twelve hours later, I was back on the road headed to the airport again, hopping on the another flight to my second destination.

Cheers!

Travel Sky High with Chilipok’air

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Quick blog update. Big news out of Chilipoker headquarter’s!!! Breaking new grounds, Chilipoker.com is now the official partner of XL Airways and Go Voyages and its brand new direct flight from Paris, France to Las Vegas.

I am excited there will be a direct flights from to one of the cultural hubs of Europe to Las Vegas and also about being a part of a company that is continuing to push the envelope and get involved in strategic new business partnerships. As you know, Chilipoker.com sponsored the first WPT event to ever take place on the continent of Africa. I recently played in that event held in Marrakech, Morocco. I cannot reveal what other business dealings are in the works but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect Chilipoker to continue to grow and become a household name among poker enthusiasts. Read the press release for full details of the Go Voyages partnership.

“Chilipoker.com becomes the official partner of GO Voyages for its new direct line from Paris to Las-Vegas”

Press release

Malta, 28 October 2009

The Malta-based company, which is celebrating its 3rd birthday, has signed a partnership agreement with GO Voyages to become the official partner for its new direct line from Paris to Las Vegas, operated by XL Airways, which will take off on 23 May 2010.

There will be twice weekly flights departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle, on Thursdays and Sundays, leaving room for short trips of 3 or 4 days as well as stays of a week, 10 days or longer. The departure and arrival timetables mean that travellers from all over Europe can be transported, and Paris will be established as a direct gateway to Las Vegas.

As well as innovating with this exclusive partnership, Chilipoker.com is installing a free VIP counter in Las Vegas for all its European customers. This will offer a dedicated multilingual team in charge of helping tourists and poker players prepare their stays in Las Vegas, especially with reservations for restaurants, shows or limousines, or visits to the surroundings of Vegas, etc.

“Las Vegas is one of those destinations people dream of, but which appear inaccessible. As an online poker site we felt it appropriate to offer an answer to these dreams by offering all non-English speaking Europeans, and in particular the French, a chance to enjoy a unique experience,” states Alexandre Dreyfus, the French founder of Chilipoker.com.

We hope that with the future regulation of the online gaming market in France, which is set to become effective before 23 May 2010, Chilipoker can occupy a significant place in this new market. From now on, Las Vegas will form an integral part of our marketing strategy in Europe for 2010.”

To celebrate this agreement, Chilipoker will refund 75 Euros to all Chilipoker.com account holders for each ticket* reserved between 15 November and 31 December 2009.

In this way Chilipoker.com intends to assert itself as a partner for the “poker destination” of Las Vegas and in particular for the French community, as we have already been for 2 years in Marrakesh. It will mean an investment of several hundred thousand dollars for us,” explains the director.

* the full terms of this refund and information about this partnership are already available in on the website:

About Chilipoker

Launched in 2006 by French Internet entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus, today Chilipoker numbers 40 staff of 13 different nationalities distributed across its various offices in Malta, London, Costa Rica and Hungary. Since 2007 Chilipoker.com has also sponsored one of the best women poker players, the American Liz Lieu (The PokerDiva), who is based in Las Vegas. In 2009 the company signed an agreement with the World Poker Tour to organize the WPT Marrakesh for 3 years, the first edition of which was held on 16 October.

Cheers!

“Bang” to “Bust” to “Bang” again…my July in Vegas Part II!

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Greetings everyone! I hope you all are doing well.

As you may have read in my last blog, I ended by telling you that my July ended with me getting the most bang out of my buck and I sure did. I went and saw the UFC100 at the Mandalay Bay and quite honestly, I can only say one thing about this sport…

I LOVE IT!!!

I had ringside seats and it was amazing and unbelievably exciting to see that kind of…(umm how can I phrase this appropriately and ladylike?)…well I really can’t so I am just going to say it…that kind of raw, unedited, bone breaking, blood gushing, intense A$$ KICKING live! My heart was pounding so hard and even though I was not in the ring fighting, I still felt like I was a part of it. I could hear the punches and smacks as if the fight was happening right next to my ear. The adrenaline that goes through me when watching the UFC is so similar to the adrenaline I feel when I’m on the felt playing poker. Maybe that is why I enjoy it so much? Or maybe (most likely) I enjoy the UFC so much because, when I get a ridiculous bad beat…I just want to smack my opponent upside the head and knock him/her out! Hehe…I am kidding of course…ok, maybe not… 😉

But really I do enjoy watching that crazy sport and I would recommend to anyone (that doesn’t faint at the sight of blood) to go see the UFC if given a chance.

After my bangs and busts in Vegas, I headed to Los Angeles for a few days before I was off overseas. The drive out there to let me clear my head and do some thinking about life in general and the things I have lined up for the next couple of months. Sometimes driving is the best alone time for me. I enjoy the cool breeze and quiet time I get from them. When I got to LA, I was able to get some business work done as well as a chance to catch up with a couple very close friends from So. Cal. which is always nice. Then, I was back on an airplane for my six weeks trip around the globe .. I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog.

Cheers!

“Bang” to “Bust” to “Bang” again… my July in Vegas!

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

What is she saying??? Well like many of you, my July began with a BANG of fireworks. As you may know, I spent Independence Day living it up Vegas style which meant fireworks under the Bellagio skies, drinks and dancing at my favorite clubs and enjoying the holiday festivities with my close friends. It was a very nice 4th to say the least.

I was well rested and prepared for the main event on July 5th, however the overall outcome was not what I hoped or strived for. I grinded it out the whole time and never hit any rushes. I wanted to be physically and mentally prepared and ready to drag in pot after pot at the event. Unfortunately, that was not the case at all. Well the dragging in pot after pot anyways. I was prepared and rested but I busted out on mid Day 3 of the event.

I started off Day 1 of the event dropping about 7500 in chips the first hand I played. I flopped two pairs and lost to a straight and a flush, which left me about 20000 in chips. But right before the break, I got pocket Q’s and went heads up against pocket 10’s. I knocked that player out and was back up to 34000 in chips. I was feeling good at break but by the time we ended Day 1, I was back to 14600 in chips.

(photo courtesy of Made In Poker)
(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)
(photo courtesy of Pokernews)

I began Day 2 grinding it out and staying focused. I didn’t get too many good hands but managed to build my stack back up to 47000 by the end of the day. I was feeling really good and confident. In between the banging and busting, on Day 2 of the main event, I did get a chance to unwind and spend some quality time discussing business with Alex (CEO of Chilipoker) and Fabrice. Alex came out to Vegas for 8 days this month and as usual, he spent 6 of those 8 days tied up in business meetings. How does he do it? I don’t know but I do know he is a great businessman and the fact that Chilipoker is growing as fast as it is, is proof of his determination and hard work. I could not be happier!

(photos courtesy of Pokernews)
(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)

As good as I felt the day before, Day 3 was definitely not my day! I was pretty much short stacked the entire day3, winning three all in’s to keep me alive till mid day. When the blinds got to 1000-2000 ante 300, I went all-in again with my last 30k picking up pocket 9’s on the big blind, and was up against an opponent with pocket 10’s. Needless to say, I did not hit my flop, turn or river.

(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)
(photo courtesy of Made In Poker)

It’s okay though, things like this happen and I will continue to remain focused because I know my “rush” is coming soon!

After busting out of the ME, two days later I played in the Dream Team Poker event hosted by DPG. My Chilipoker teammates Matt Waldron (Life’s a Bluff), Anh Tran (my beautiful girlfriend), and I had so much fun playing team poker while poking fun at the other teams (and ourselves). We did not place but it was a day filled with laughs and jokes. I ended up busting out with AQ(off) when I my opponent’s 22’s! All I have to say on that note is, “I retired my jersey”. Haha.

(Chilipoker Team)

But those events are now the past and my motto is to move forward and learn from yesterday and that is what I intend to do. I am truly looking forward to and will remain focused on getting prepared for the upcoming APT Celebrity Charity and ME in Macau, and Chilipoker’s WPT Marrakesh Event this October. It is going to amazing in Morocco. A beautiful city with unbelievable scenery is going be filled with top notched poker players from around the globe. This event is going to be the best of the best playing to win and I look forward to the challenge the felt in Morocco is sure to bring.

Anyways, it hasn’t just been poker in Vegas this month. I did find time to get the most BANG out of my buck… to be continued in “Bang” to “Bust” to “Bang” again… my July in Vegas Part II!

Cheers!

Looking forward to the “Big Pay-Off”

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

So much going on!! Sorry everyone for the long delay between blog updates. I’ve been busy running bad and trying to figure out how to run better! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not really having a very successful WSOP this year!! Ugghhhh. Since my last update, I’m down another $25,500 in buy-ins. This is getting yucky!!

Even more amazing is that I’m not even really that upset. Can you believe that? I actually feel pretty good about life. The way I see it, part of life is continuing to do the right things and no matter how many setbacks you have or how long you run bad, eventually the cards always break out even. Or at least get better!! At this very moment, I’m just doing the best I can and patiently waiting for my ship to come in.

So what exactly is going on? To be honest, I’ve been playing very well the past couple of weeks. I couldn’t really say that for the first two events of this year’s WSOP. I looked back and just cringed at how poorly I played in terms of all of the little things. Luckily I went home and realized some minor leaks and focused on strengthening a couple areas where I felt I played weak during the first two events I played. I will post some key hands and my experiences at the tables on my poker blog over at PokerListings soon, so keep an eye out for it.

(photo courtesy of PokerListings and Pokernews)
I feel comfortable with where my game is at after a very rough start this month in LV. I think the single biggest thing killing me lately, is just bad timing and a little bad luck. I’ve been the favorite in so many hands and not really getting the positive results to show how well I’ve been playing. I cannot even count how many times somebody caught a 2-3 outer against me. I could probably count them but that would be depressing!! Ha.

Hopefully, all of this bad luck is building up and creating a situation where everything needs to even out and I have a crazy run of good luck at the Main Event this year. Wouldn’t that be nice?! But again, I just need to weather the storm and be confident there is a big pay off down the road. Sometimes the most successful people aren’t the most skilled or the most intelligent. They were just the most persistent. The ability to move forward when everyone else gives up, sometimes it’s the single most successful decision you can make in life.

Anyhow, moving away from Poker, it hasn’t been all poker for me in Vegas! I’ve had friends come in and out of town all month. I’ve been catching some shows and going out to the clubs with different girlfriends of mine. I’ve played some cash games on the side and trying to mix it up and keep every week fresh and new. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in Las Vegas if you let yourself.

Interesting fact. I did go through a stretch where I battled some insomnia in the middle of the month. That was fun. =) Thank goodness I’m over that! OMG, I actually had to skip some events because I wasn’t able to fall asleep until the sun was coming up. I am not even kidding. I had plans to play at noon and it was 10am and I was still awake from the night before!! Not really a good recipe for success if you want to play against the best poker players in the world.

Anyhow, looking forward to the 4th of July and partying with some good friends that are coming into town this Friday. I have a few days off before playing in Day 1 of the Main event on the 5th. And will go out to TAO and XS with my friends. We’ll definitely be doing lots of bottle popping and just enjoy life and celebrate Independence Day.

I look forward to having some of my support system in town this week and I think this positive vibe will carry forward. And maybe give me some good luck, perhaps? I know poker players usually say “luck” doesn’t apply to poker and they are correct, in the long run, there is little luck involved and it’s a very skilled game. But in the short term, luck can play a huge factor in a single tournament.

All I can do is get my head straight. Stay physically and emotionally healthy and do my best next week. Play at my highest skill level. Not worry about the luck factor but at the same time if “lady luck” wanted to visit me next week and stick around for a little while, I won’t complain!! The Main Event has a very good structure. Deep chip stacks with lots of plays because the blinds only go up every 2 hours. So, I am pretty confident that if I play my “A” game and dodge some bullets, I can do really well.

I really hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day!! I look forward to relaxing and enjoying this 100+ degree Las Vegas weather. Is that possible?! Honestly, I just look forward to having my friends and Alex arrive in town. I’ll go out to some dinners with them. I plan to hit the clubs but not get too wild or crazy. I hope everyone else surrounds themselves with family and close friends on this 4th of July Holiday as well!!

Cheers!