Posts Tagged ‘poker tournaments’

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over to a different customer service desk and was told that I was considered a no-show and my ticket to Vienna was no longer valid…even though I was still there before my flight!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!

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!