Posts Tagged ‘made in poker’

WPT Marrakech a complete success .. Bravo!

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

View photo albums of the WPT Marrakech on my Facebook

I must bid adieu to Marrakech after three amazing weeks in Morocco. I want to start off by saying the WPT Marrakech, sponsored by Chilipoker was a great success. We exceeded the number of expected entrants for every single event. Every event had the maximum number of possible entries and my Chilipoker team was absolutely amazing in the process and did a fabulous job hosting the Event. And a big applause to top international tournament director Matt Savage for his excellent work, running a perfectly smooth and well organized event.

It’s been awhile since I last blogged, but I have been super busy!! I arrived in Marrakech in early October and had a few days to relax at the Es Essadi Gardens & Resort. For starters they put me up in an amazing room. It was a huge suite with a four poster bed, black marble bathroom, walk-in dressing room/ wardrobe room, private terrace, TV area with a flat screen, Berber rugs, antiques and interesting modern paintings by local artists. If you can’t enjoy the comfort of home, well this was the next best thing!!

The first couple of days, I just waited on my Chilipoker team to arrive. I spent a couple of days at the pool, reading books and just relaxing. I went out to dinner with Alex, AH, and Ophelie. And it was really relaxing and peaceful. I wanted to do more sight-seeing but I postponed it in lieu of some peace and relaxation instead. I played a ton of poker in London and it was good to just take a few days off between the WSOPE, the EPT and now the WPT Marrakech.

Because Chilipoker was a big part of this event, I felt really excited to play all the events including some of the smaller events I don’t typically play in. There were a lot of players that qualified for different events thru Chilipoker and it was my opportunity to meet many of them and play with them in a live setting. I’ve probably played some of these guys and girls online before but it’s always good to socialize and meet people in person as well.

Lots of poker professionals came out to play as well. The French were well represented, some of the big French names included Ludovic Lacay, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Nicolas Levi, Arnaud Mattern, Bruno Fitoussi, Fabrice Soulier, Antony Lellouche and one of the November Nine (WSOP ME), Antoine Saout. Other well known player such as Tony G, Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, Annette Obrestad, Ross & Barney Boatman, Sorel Mizzi and one of last year’s November Nine, Scott Montgomery.

I competed in a couple of the smaller events which ironically, I was knocked out of by a Chilipoker qualifiers. I don’t think I played particularly bad. I just ran into some good hands when I also had a strong hand. In the first tournament of the WPT for example, I ran into a situation where I lost a huge pot to Christopher (alias ctofquestla) that ended my tournament when I had pocket Aces. Christopher made a raise under the gun. I smooth called pocket Aces from the cut off. The flop was Queen high and Christopher led out with a pot sized bet. I raised it up to $1600, 2x the original bet and after going in the tank for awhile, Christopher decides to call. The turn came the King and it was checked to me. I was pretty much pot committed so I shoved the rest of my chips in to the pot. Yep, Christopher was holding pocket Kings and caught up to me on the turn. River came a blank and out I go.

The following afternoon I played the Pro/Am Invitational tournament, reserved for 30 player with a mixture of both pros and amateurs. All the pros like Tony G, Fabrice Soulier, Alex Dreyfus, Roger Hairabedian, Severin Rasset (Chilipoker’s poker room manager), and myself had a bounty of $150 which goes to any player that manages to bust out a Pro. During the 4th level of play, both Roger and I got eliminated in a pot against Emanuel Valla from Lyon.

I pretty much played in every event including the High Rollers Event and the Main Event. Sadly, I didn’t make any final tables this time around but I am becoming a pretty good short stack player lately. There were quite a few times, I was really low on chips and I just seemed to make them last for hours and hours. Not that I really want to be a great short stack player but if I can take any positives out of London and Marrakech is that I was really able to manage my game pretty well considering the circumstances.

In poker, you’re going to run into bad beats sometimes or get cold decked and learning how to play short stack poker sometimes can make the difference between losing a lot of tournaments or finding ways to make the money. Nam Le is a great example of a fantastic short stack player. Sometimes, I see him with the smallest stack and 8 hours later he still has the same stack and managed to make the money or even get to the final table simply by learning how to survive.

I felt overwhelmed as I entered the tournament room where I saw life-sized Liz Lieu posters everywhere!! I was both surprised and overwhelmed but I understood it was as an honor to be a part of Chilipoker and representing the poker website’s name so while it was a little weird looking around the room at myself, I was glad to be an ambassador for Chilipoker and extremely grateful to Alex (Boss), and the rest of the Chilipoker Team!!

It wasn’t all poker while we were in Morocco. A large group of us, about 25 people, including other poker pro’s and the Chilipoker team, went to the dunes and rode Quads one day. I’ve had people comment on my Facebook fan page on some of the pictures of me riding a Quad and they found it surprising but believe it or not I’m actually pretty adventurous. The entire time, I tried to get off course and go faster and I had to be called back in by the folks running the facility to slow down and stay on course!! This isn’t my first time on a Quad and this definitely was a memorable experience lol. It was a really hot day however and a few of us were dying of thirst!!!! One of the interesting traditions they have in Morocco is they serve you “hot” green tea even in very warm weather. So, when our Quad riding almost concluded, they served us hot green tea!!! I just wanted some cold water but I guess hot tea is supposed to cool down your body temperature quicker?!?

At 8pm a press conference was held right before the Gala Dinner party with our CEO Alexandre Dreyfus giving a great speech and warm welcome to everyone that had arrived to support the WPT Marrakech event. All journalists, poker pros, and Chilipoker qualified players enjoyed various courses of traditional Moroccan food while belly dancers were moving to the sway of Moroccan music. The best part of the show was watching Tony G. doing his belly dancing hip shaking version along with the belly dancers. 🙂 Great sport .. Tony G’s awesome!

There were a lot of different activities going on in Morocco while the tournament was going on. One thing I didn’t get a chance to do however was enough sight-seeing. I spent the first few days in Morocco relaxing instead of sight-seeing thinking I would get a chance later but I played in almost every event and spent a lot of time with my Chilipoker team and spending time around the tournament that before you know it, time was up. But I had an absolutely wonderful time in Marrakech and the next time I come back here, I will definitely be doing a lot more sight-seeing. But for now, I have to bid adieu to Marrakech, Morocco and move on to my next destination.

A Big Congrats to Christophe Savary from France, 1st place winner of the WPT Marrakech, who took back home over €350,000, the official Tiffany WPT bracelet and his $25,500 seat to the WPT Wolrd Championship 2010.

P.S. Due to this blog being as long as it is already, I will mention a few interesting hands which I was involved in my next blog so stay tune everyone! 🙂

Au Revoir!!

“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!