Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Main Event

Tomorrow is my Day 1 of the $10K Main Event. I'm getting pretty excited and it would be really nice to catch some cards and run good. I haven't blogged in a while because poker has been pretty brutal over the past few weeks and every time I started to write a post it would come out extremely negative and I'd scrap it. Who needs negativity? Tomorrow, I start with a clean slate and I think it could be a lot of fun. I feel really calm and confident. One time, poker gods, one time.

Here is the Shaniac post about the poker scene and why it sucks. I'm really lucky that I have a great group of friends within the poker community who also have a lot of interests outside of poker. Together we can escape the weird world of poker for games of beer pong, pool and darts. I can't wait to get back to Seattle and start the next chapter of my life: heading back to school and trying to figure out another source of easy money. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Cliff is in town for a few days and, like always, it's really great to see him. He's moving to Germany in 2 weeks and will be stationed there for 3 years. I'm going to try to visit him in mid-December when it's cold as hell and he can't make me go running. He's driving back to Seattle on Sunday morning and I kinda feel like going with him if I get knocked out of the tournament tomorrow. Since they knock out 2/3 of the field on each day, I think each individual might be a dog to make it past Day 1. I guess if you're twice as god as the average player then you're a favorite to be in but it's still kind of a toss-up. Whatever, no negativity. I'm going to be playing poker for two more weeks and once I win, my life will become just like Entourage but waaaay cooler. Vinny Chase ain't got nothin' on me.

Bedtime. Everyone pray to whomever you pray to for me to run good. I'll pay you back once I'm living the Entourage lifestyle.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gooooooo Carl!!!!!

Carl made his first WSOP final table in the $2000 No Limit event. He's 5th in chips out of the 9 players remaining and 1st place is around $840,000. I'll be courtside for this one and hopefully can vibe some good cards his way. Gooooooooo Carl!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Got in to Vegas at 2 AM, supposed to arrive at 11 PM. The weather in Vegas was bad to we flew to Ontario, CA, refueled, then flew back here. I'm tired and I'd skip tomorrow's $1500 NL event if I wasn't already registered for it. Wish me luck.

Today, from 5 PM to 6 PM Pacific, ESPN will be airing the New Orleans Circuit Event won by my friend Peter Feldman for $500K and change. Be sure to catch all the action. If I bust tomorrow, I hope it's before 5 PM.

Tired. Soooooo tired.

Oh yeah, my phone works. Sweet!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Going Going Back Back to Vegas Vegas

It's been a fun little vacation but I'm heading back to Vegas tomorrow night and I'll be playing in the $1500 NL tourney on Tuesday. Tuesday is my birthday so hopefully the poker gods smile on me and let me go really deep.

Getting out here was quite the debacle. I had a short layover in Chicago and we boarded the plane on time, ready for the short flight to Boston. We stop mid-taxi and the pilot informs us that there will be a 2 hour delay because of the weather in Boston. Apparently, there was a lot of fog in the morning and all flights throughout the day were pushed back. It would have been nice to know about before boarding the plane. We end up waiting for about two-and-a-half hours and I wasn't a very happy camper.

Once I finally got to Logan I rented a car for the weekend and drove to Cambridge to pick up my mom. A tunnel on I-90 collapsed a few days before and traffic was horrid. I had to take a wicked detour and would have never found my way without my trusty GPS. Greatest purchase evar. My mom and I ate a late dinner at Legal Seafoods then went to the top of the Prudential Tower. There was a line for tables so we snuck a quick peek at the view then went back to Justin's place for the night. Thanks a million to Justin and Caitlin for letting us stay at their place. I didn't know where they were registered but they had a ton of Crate and Barrel boxes in their house so my mom went online and we bought them some champagne glasses. I figure they can think about their alkie friend Brandon every time they drink champagne.

In the morning I went to a laundromat to wash all my clothes. I refuse to pay the prices at the Rio($5 to wash a t-shirt!) so I flew to Boston with all my dirty laundry. I wanted to get a haircut but the dryer at the laundromat was horrible so I didn't have time.

THe drive up to Vermont was pretty nice. I really like the lush green hills of New Hampshire and Vermont. We stopped in Concord, NH for lunch and saw the domed capial building. We got a bit lost on the way to Killington, VT, where the wedding took place, and drove about an hour north to Montpelier. It was cool to see our second capital of the trip and we pretended like the detour was intentional. Did you know that Montpelier is the only state capital without a McDonald's? Now ya do!

The resort in Killington was pretty nice. It's a skiers destination but they have weddings there in the summertime. It was hot and humid as crap and I was sweating non-stop. The wedding was short and sweet and the reception was long and awesome. Open bar from 4-10 PM, does it get any better than that? Ramsey brought a pint of Goldschlager to the table since they didn't serve shots at the bar and we had a grand ol' time. At the end of the night I was so sweaty that my clothes were literally sopping wet. I went to the room to chang and then headed to the pool for more beers. I ended up getting pushed into the pool and my phone may be dead forever. I'm still holding out hope that it'll work once it dries but I'm not very optimistic about things.

Today my mom and I woke up at 6 AM to go hiking. I birched and moaned the whole time and ended up turning around after about a mile. I had a wicked hangover and there were a ton of bugs and I was sweating like a stuck pig. Not fun. I slept in the car as my mom finished the hike and we got out of there around 11. I tried to get to Boston in time to register for Pokerstars' big WSOP giveaway but I missed it by about 15 minutes. We headed to the airport to return the car but all the hotels out there were too expensive to we drove back to Boston. The whole debacle took a ton of time because of the collapsed tunnel and the traffic was as bad as I've ever seen anywhere. What a horrible time to be in Boston.

We're staying in a hotel a few miles north of the city and we're going to do some touristy stuff tomorrow before I fly out at 8 PM. We have a car but I might just park it in Cambridge and use public transportation to get downtown.

I can't wait to get back to Vegas. I feel like I've been playing better and better with each tournament that I play and I think I want to make a final table someday soon. I've been working on a new strategy: getting it in with the best of it. It hasn't worked so far but I think things are bound to turn around. I'll give it another few tournaments then I'll go back to my old strategy of getting it in bad and sucking out.

Tomorrow I finally get to move into our sweet house. I'll take some pictures there and finally post some. If you're in Vegas, I'll see you soon. If you're in Seattle, COME TO VEGAS!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I'm staying up all night to make sure I make it to the airport on time for my 6:30 AM flight. I just lost almost $2K playing 5/10 NL on Party and it wasn't much fun. Here are some random links:

Zidane game

Seal Dribble

Jean Carlos Chera

Thank Allen Barron for the Zidane game. I think it's hilarious. That Chera kid is 5 years old in some of those clips. He's pretty insane.

This is a well written blog entry by Shaniac that does a good job explaining why I could never travel the poker circuit full time. Shane's a great writer and his blog is awesome when he has the motivation to write.

Well, it's 4 AM so I better finish packing. I'm going to try to play a bit online this weekend but I have a feeling that I'll drink too much. Ramsey and Damon had better watch out. There I go, talking about drinking again. Carl told me that people who know me obviously know I'm not an alcoholic but from reading the blog people might think differently. Well, I'm also going hiking this weekend with my mom. Hiking is good. I will drink water.

The 2003 WSOP was on TV tonight and it was pretty funny watching Moneymaker suck out on Humberto. It's the worst feeling, having the maniac at your table, patiently waiting to get your money in with the best of it, then watching him suck out.

OK, seriously, time to pack.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Poker is Stupid

I went pretty deep in the $2K Pot Limit event yesterday but I took a rough beat and couldn't win an important coinflip near the bubble and I busted around 63rd place with 54 people making the money. I could care less about finishing 63rd compared to 54th but I really want to go deep in one of these suckers. I tilt very rarely but I've never lost in a live tourney with KK to KQ all-in preflop and it stung quite a bit.

After the tourney I was really disappointed because of the bad beat so Carl and I went to Treasure Island to play a drunken 2/4 mixed game. The mix was 2-7 triple draw, A-5 triple draw, Badugi and Stud/8. The play was loose and the drinks were flowing and I soon forgot all about the stupid WSOP. We stumbled out of there around 5 AM and crashed hard back at the Rio.

Today we did absolutely nothing and it felt great. The only time we left the room was to eat lunch at the Rio's mediocre Carnival World Buffet. We watched a few episodes of Arrested Development and I took a nap around 6ish. Laziness rules.

Tomorrow I fly to Boston at 6:30 AM. I'm meeting my mom at 7 PM EST and we're driving up to Vermont for Justin's wedding on Friday afternoon. By the time I return on Monday, everyone will have moved into our house and we won't have to put up with life at the Rio anymore. Casinos are pretty depressing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The $1K tourney went OK and I actually got my chips in with way the best of it for a change. I just need to work on making my good hands hold up.

Today is the $2000 Pot Limit event. The $1500 PL event was the first ever live Pot Limit tournament that I've ever played and I really enjoyed the additional mental challenge of counting the pot and figuring out how much to raise. It's cruel and unusual that the Rio starts all these tournaments at the ungodly hour of noon. I need my sleep!

I fly out of here on Thursday morning, headed for Boston to attend my friend Justin's wedding. I've stayed with Justin and Caitlin in Boston on 3 different occasions and I'm really happy for them. I don't know how a loser like Justin pulled a girl like Caitlin but she's definitely out of his league. I credit Justin for turning me into a wining poker player so I'll refrain from calling him a "loser" in the future. Congrats, you crazy kids.

Time to shower and get my butt downstairs. This is the last tourney that I'm playing before leaving and I'd like to get ahold of some chips. Sayonara.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Wait 'til Next Tourney

The first time I made it to day 2 in a WSOP event I lasted 4 hands and finished in 64th place. This time I lasted 3 hands and finished in 65th place. The first hand UTG pushed for 13,500 chips, exactly the same amount that I had. I looked down at K5o and decided that it wasn't big enough to look him up. The next hand it's folded to me in the cut-off and J3o is plenty big enough to stick in my chips. Everyone folds and I'm up to 17,000 after posting the 200 chip ante and I look down at 77 in the hijack, again plaenty big enough to jam. Sadly, the button had AA and IGUTPON. I've cahsed in 2 out of 3 tournies and actually lost about $2000. Like they used to say in Brooklyn, Wait 'til next tourney. Monday is the $1000 freezeout so I won't find myself making it into the money and actually losing money. It would be really nice to go deep in one of these things but I need to stop bluffing off all my chips. Bleh.

I'm still shocked over the Zidane head-butt. I don't know what to say. He's one of the last athletes that I'd ever expect to do something like that in such a huge spot. Now Italy get 4 stars on their jerseys, boooooo.

The MLB All-Star break is upon us. The Mariners sit at 43-46, better than expected. They're in last place in the West but only 2.5 games out of first. Don't count the boys out just yet. Gilbertino Meche is pitching really well and we finally got rid of Everyday Eddie. If the bats can be more consistent I like our chances. I wrote this team off during the first week of the season but they've been a pleasant surprise.

I fly to Boston on the 13th and back to Vegas on the 17th. It'll be nice to get out of here again but once I'm back, I'll be here for the long haul. We'll have the house at that point and I'll be able to stock up on grapefruit and cereal. Carl and I were sitting in our hotel room this morning, wistfully yearning for a simple bowl of cereal. One day, Carl, we WILL get our cereal. One day.


I got my chips up to 42,000 then ran a big bluff on the bubble that got called and now I'm down to 13,700 going into tomorrow. There are 66 people left and the blinds will start at 800/1600 200a and I'll be moving my chips pretty early. I tried to find a spot tonight but just couldn't do anything. I have the button to start the day tomorrow so I guess there's one thing to be happy about. If I bust first out tomorrow I get $4Kish and I spent $5K on this event. I actually need to get all the way to 54th place before I turn a profit. Oh well. I'm tired and my bed is calling. The World Cup final is tomorrow at 11 and I'll be rooting for France. Allez le Bleus!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Treo Update

4th break in the $1000 rebuy, I have 23,500 chips and the average is 21,245. 114 left, 72 get paid. We're playing 2 more levels before breaking for the night. Blinds moving up to 400/800 100a. I'm at a tough, aggressive table. Let's pick up a hand. One time.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I busted 4 hands into the 2nd level today. I'm pretty sure that's a record for me. I felt really good during the first hour, getting a lot of medium pairs and suited connectors and splashing around a bit. I missed most flops but won some pots in position and I had around my starting stack of 2500 chips going into my final hand. With blinds at 25/50, I raised to 150 UTG+1 with KK. Bernard Lee, 13th in last year's Main Event, moved in behind me for about 600 or 700 chips and the button, who had me covered, instantly moved in. I felt pretty good about the spot, hoping to see an AQish type hand for Bernard and AK for the button. Unforunately, Bernard had AJ and the button had AA. Bernard flopped 2 jacks, jumped out of his seat and kissed the picture of his kids. It was pretty funny. I thought to myself, "If you can give Bernard two jacks, I know you can find me a King," but the turn and river blanked off and IGHN. Whatever.

I think I'm going to head over to the Venetian and play some 3/6 limit to blow off some steam. Tomorrow's the $1000 rebuy and that'll be a lot of fun.

Pictures coming soon, I promise.


I busted 4 hands into the 2nd level today. I'm pretty sure that's a record for me. I felt really good during the first hour, getting a lot of medium pairs and suited connectors and splashing around a bit. I missed most flops but won some pots in position and I had around my starting stack of 2500 chips going into my final hand. With blinds at 25/50, I raised to 150 UTG+1 with KK. Bernard Lee, 13th in last year's Main Event, moved in behind me for about 600 or 700 chips and the button, who had me covered, instantly moved in. I felt pretty good about the spot, hoping to see an AQish type hand for Bernard and AK for the button. Unforunately, Bernard had AJ and the button had AA. Bernard flopped 2 jacks, jumped out of his seat and kissed the picture of his kids. It was pretty funny. I thought to myself, "If you can give Bernard two jacks, I know you can find me a King," but the turn and river blanked off and IGHN. Whatever.

I think I'm going to head over to the Venetian and play some 3/6 limit to blow off some steam. Tomorrow's the $1000 rebuy and that'll be a lot of fun.

Pictures coming soon, I promise.

I hate poker

This morning, Carl got a phone call from Cliff around 10:30. We were both pissed that he would call so early but he had flown into Vegas and wanted to have brunch. When I say "he flew into Vegas" I mean it literally. He came with two warrant officers in a sweet gray military plane and they called it "training". Carl and I had gone to bed around 6 AM but I managed to throw on some clothes and meet Cliff and his friends at the Bellagio Cafe. He had to leave around noon but it was a nice surprise.

After brunch I ran a few of my errands then drove back to the Rio around 1:30 PM. Carl was still sleeping in the room so I woke his punk ass up and we headed downstairs to sweat the $5K NL final table. We got there just as it was starting and the crowd was just too big. It was a star-studded table and the railbirds were out en masse. It actually may have been bearable if the smelliest man alive wasn't standing right next to me. He was about my height, 350 lbs. and smelled like rotting flesh. I picked up the smell immediately, looked around for a second and immediately knew it was him. I watched one more hand then left the area. I bought into today's $2500 NL event and headed back to the room with Carl.

Around 4 PM we headed to an Italian place off the strip called Carmine's. I wasn't terribly hungry but Carl convinced me that I should eat. We met my friends Mike and Brian and had a pretty nice meal. After linner, Carl and I headed to Mike's house to watch the latest High Stakes Poker and Entourage episodes. I love both shows and have decided that Tivo is the greatest invention of all time. At 6 PM I entered 4 tournaments: 3 WSOP qualifiers and the $30 rebuy on Paradise. I spent a lot of monry on the $30 rebuy but went pretty deep and busted in 17th. I felt like I played well but ran into some big hands at inopportune times. Ah well. I went deep in one of the WSOP qualifiers and busted in 6th place with 3 seats awarded. It was pretty painful, especially because I don't think I played very well. I have some sort of mental block when it comes to satellites and I definitely boched a few hands. I need to get it into my head that it's just another tourney until you have enough chips to fold your way in. Bleh.

I'm excited for tomorrow's event. It'll be nice to have 2500 chips and I enjoy live play much more than online poker. Here's hoping that I run good and play decent.

Al's in town and I'm excited to say hello. I'll probably throw back a few SoCos if I get knocked out early. Pauly is still going strong with his WSOP updates and there's no place better to get your news. I actually like his personal blog better but I think the first link has most of the poker stuff. Here's Carl's blog again and here's the website of the house that we're moving into next week. It's so sick. I can't wait.

Tomorrow I finally play in my second event of the year. Carl's cashed in 2 out of 4 events so far and I'd love to go 2 for 2. Hasta.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back in Vegas

I'm back in Vegas for about a week. Updates should come more often.

I really appreciate comments like the one from DeAnna. The reason why I feel so confident that I'm not an alcoholic and not addicted to gambling is the fact that I'm very self aware AND I'm blessed with a great family and great group of friends who aren't afraid to tell me when they think I'm screwing up. They definitely keep me honest and I don't think they'd allow me to fall that far down the addictive slopes. With that said, I really do appreciate their input and I appreciate the random comment from someone that I've never met. It takes a pretty special person to put forth that much effort and have that much concern for someone she's never met. Thanks, DeAnna. It's people like you that will keep me under control. I try to keep this thing light hearted but I'm not afraid of confronting serious issues if I have to.

This weekend was a lot of fun. I hung out with my little bro most of the time and there isn't anyone else on this earth with whom I'd rather kick it. He drank pretty heavily on the 2 nights that I didn't see him so he was recovering most of the time that I saw him. He's probably going to drive through Vegas during the Main Event before heading off to his duty station in Weisbaden, Germany. He'll be there for 3 years and I'm definitely going to try to get over there a few times.

Tonight I played a bit of online poker, winning about $300 in the 3/6 NL on EuroBet. Around 12:30, Carl and I went to the Bellagio for some 5/10 NL action. He's definitely a lot better than I am and I think I play too tight. I'm not comfortable opening up but I think that will come with experience. It's not a terrible way to play but it's pretty easy to play against weak-tighties like me and I'd like to find ways to loosen up. Luckily there was a big Laggy donk at the table and I stacked him once, ending the session up $800.

Tomorrow is an off day. I'm going to try to run some errands but there's a sick final table that I might try to sweat. Vinny Vinh, Phil Hellmuth, Marcel Luske and Isabelle Mercier are the 4 chipleaders in the $5K NL event. Those characters will definitely put on a good show. I have to get to the bank to get some cash but I might put off washing my car and pressing my shirts.

It's late. I'm boring myself with this crap. Hopefully I'll have something fun to talk about tomorrow.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Congrats, Rizen

I spent all day today sweating my friend, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, at the final table of the $1500 Pot Limit tourney. He was chipleader 3-handed but suffered a few brutal beats and busted in 3rd, winning $104,544 in the process. The final table was pretty exciting and featured a ton of 2 and 3-outers. It'll make for great television, October 3rd, on ESPN. Congrats, Eric, you played really well.

Last night I won my biggest ever pot in a cash game, stacking a guy at 10/20 NL. Here's the hand history:

BB ($1806)
UTG ($1495.83)
UTG+1 ($1203)
SchaeferBeer ($1940)
MP1 ($1923.48)
MP2 ($1429.76)
MP3 ($2244.50)
CO ($1950)
Button ($3565.29)
SB ($3535.50)

Preflop: SchaeferBeer is UTG+2 with Qd, Qs. SB posts a blind of $10.
1 fold, UTG+1 calls $20, Hero raises to $80, MP1 calls $80, 3 folds, Button calls $80, 2 folds, UTG+1 calls $60.

Flop: ($350) 9d, Qh, Kd (4 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $270, MP1 calls $270, Button folds, UTG+1 calls $270.

Turn: ($1160) 5s (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $860, MP1 calls $1573.48 (All-In), UTG+1 folds, Hero calls $713.48.

River: ($4306.96) 3s (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: $4306.96

Results below:
Hero has Qd Qs (three of a kind, queens).
MP1 has Kh Jh (one pair, kings).
Outcome: Hero wins $4306.96.

I was pretty worried about JT but I wasn't folding. It's pretty fun when you can find people like this at stakes as high as 10/20. When I bet that much on the flop and turn, KJ is good exactly 0% of the time and I'm probably not folding. I guess KJ gets there 9% of the time but anyway, I'm excited. I won more in that pot than I did for my tourney finish. This was the third time I've ever played 10/20 NL and winning a big pot was fun. Carl recommends a site called Card Runners for NL instruction and I'll probably join. $20/month is insanely cheap for good lessons.

I'n flying back to Seattle tomorrow to spend the weekend with my family. I'm excited to see my brother, sister, pop and mom. On the 4th I'm heading to an apartment near Mercer with a great view of Lake Union and the Space Needle. Beers will probably be consumed. I come back to Vegas on the 5th and my schedule looks like this:

July 7: $2500 NLHE
July 8: $1000 NLHE (rebuy)
July 10: $1000 NLHE
July 11: $2000 PLHE
July 13: Fly to Boston
July 17: Fly to Vegas
July 18: $1500 NLHE
July 19: $2500 PLHE
July 21: $2000 NLHE
July 22: $5000 PLHE
July 23: $1000 NLHE (rebuy)
July 24: $1500 LHE (shootout)
July 25: $1500 NLHE
July 28: $10000 NLHE

That's $41,500 if I play all those tournies, assuming $6K in each $1K rebuy event and I don't satellite into the Main Event. Hopefully I'll make some day 2s and maybe even a final table. If I don't cash in any more events I will be BUSTO by the end and my poker bankroll will be gone. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

I'll try to get some pictures up soon. I'm excited to come home. Peace.