Saturday, October 31, 2009

The November 9 Approaches

As the days inch closer to the re-start of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, the Final 9 players remaining in the field prepare for their shot at more than $8 million, and the chance of being called poker’s next world champion.

After play halted in July, and carrying over into August, I profiled each member of the November 9 in a series on Pablosplace. As we now sit about a week away from the poker history, I thought that it would be kinda cool to bring this back to the front, and let my readers catch up again on the men that made the journey through this giant field, and read the pieces on each player to find out more about them. I’ve linked each player below to their respective profiles. I hope you enjoy.

Darvin Moon
Eric Buchman
Steve Begleiter
Jeff Shulman
Joe Cada
Kevin Shaffel
Phil Ivey
Antoine Saout
James Akenhead

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bad Beat on Cancer - And a run good for me.

Some days are just simply better than others. There’s just no two ways about it. Yesterday is a day that I will forever remember. I wrote earlier that a good run was just coming. I could feel it. And yesterday was the day that it really came together.

I was asked by professional poker player, and co-founder of Bad Beat on Cancer Rafe Furst, to be a member of the Bad Beat on Cancer Advisory council. I so graciously said yes. Let me tell you how this all happened.

It began with a special project that I’ve been working on with the Twitter Poker Tour. I haven’t announced this yet on Pablosplace, but I’ve helped put together a second Bad Beat on Cancer Charity Poker tournament on Full Tilt Poker. Here are the tournament details:

Tournament Details
Place: Full Tilt Poker
Date: November 15th, 2009
Time: 6:15PM EST
Cost: $10 ($5 entry plus $5 donation to BBoC)
Tourney ID#: 113220604

I’m extremely excited about this tournament as I’ve been able to learn so much from putting together the last one, and I’ve been able to get a ton more people involved, especially, the pro players from Full Tilt Poker. Already joining the tournament and registered for the event are professionals Andy Bloch, Dave Colclough, Joe Beevers, Lee Watkinson, Amanda ‘Mandy B’ Baker, Michael Craig, and Richard Ashby. Given that we had 5 pro’s last time, and already have 7 currently registered, I’m beside myself with joy. In addition, I’ve had a half dozen other pro’s that said that they’d also join, and a couple more that said that if they’re online, that they’d play as well.

My goal is to receive 500 participants and to raise $2,500 for the BBoC. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we exceed that number, and I hope and pray that we do.

In an effort to promote the BBoC event, I had a discussion with @cprpoker from Twitter, who is the President and co-founder of the Twitter Poker Tour. I threw out the idea of having a writing segment on the TPT web site, whereby I could profile the different pro’s that have registered for the event. You can check out ‘Coolwhip Corner’ and the different profiles that I’ve already done. Geoff made it happen and walked me through how to post content on the site, and all this week I’ve been adding new articles.

Its been a good amount of work, but I think that the results are pretty positive in appearance and in content. I haven’t received a ton of feedback on it, but from the people who have seen it and provided some, it’s all been positive, and encouraged me to change absolutely nothing.
Yesterday’s piece was extremely unique, as I had the opportunity to interview with Rafe Furst and Phil Gordon, the creators of Bad Beat on Cancer. It was a surreal moment for me as these are two professional poker players that have had so many successes, and two individuals whom I admire and respect, both for their accomplishments within the game of poker, and for their involvement with the BBoC and other charity’s. I posted the interview on ‘Coolwhip Corner’ yesterday, and the feedback was tremendous.

Just before the start of last night’s Twitter Poker Tour, I received an email from Rafe again, and this time it was an invitation to join the BBoC Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is a group of 30 individuals (now 31 with me), who are entrusted with the duty of acting as Ambassadors of Bad Beat on Cancer to local and national business communities, and to other individuals to assist in advancing the mission of the Foundation through fundraising, public relations, and marketing efforts. It’s a big pledge, and one that I’m elated to have been selected for.

I will be serving on the council for a period of 2 years, and likely attend the annual June meeting of the Prevent Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. Needless to say, I will be working fervently to drive more revenue into the Prevent Cancer Foundation in hopes of making a positive impact on this dreaded disease. For anyone who has read this blog, and knows me and my story, you know how committed I am to this cause.

The fact that I finished in the money in last nights Twitter Poker Tour with a 4th place finish just seems like such small news to me. It really is the icing on the cake, as it was truly a remarkable day. I look forward to whatever might be in store for the days and years to come as I entrench myself firmly into this new endeavor.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A full table again for the Homegame

Last night's home game again produced a full table of 9 players, and this time it would be Andrew would end the night with all of the chips.

It was a great night of poker with some really solid play, and only a few suck outs. For the most part, things really fell as they should. With 4 players remaining, Tim had the most chips, with over 300. Andrew and I had about the same with about 270, and Jordan was shortest with just under 200. So it was pretty even.

That was until things spun out of control for Tim in 3 consecutive hands. The first one, I min 3 bet from the SB after Tim limped 8 from the CO. Tim made the call of 24, and we saw a flop of K-6-4. I led for another 24, and Tim made the call. The turn was a 7, and I checked, with Tim checking behind. The River was an Ace, and I bet 60, with Tim making the call showing KTos. I showed Ad-Kd for the Rivered 2 pair, and scooped a big pot.

On the very next hand, Andrew opened for 32 and Tim made the call, and they both saw a flop of Js-8d-5d. Tim checked and Andrew shoved all in. Tim thought for a few seconds before making the call with Jd-Td for top pair and a flush draw, and drew tossed over Ad-Qd for a bigger flush draw and two overs. The turn came the Ace of hearts, and the river bricked, which Doubled Andrew, and crippled Tim to about 50 left.

The next hand after that, I open min-raised, and Jordan folded, and Tim moved all in from the SB for his last 50. Andrew folded and I snap called with AA, and Tim flipped over KK in disgust. The board didn't help either of us, and the AA held, and Tim was out in 4th place.

Jordan was the next to go after a few rotations. This time, Jordan shoved with AK and Drew snapped off a call with AA. Both and Ace and King hit the board, but the set was better than Jordan's 2 pair, and Jordan was eliminated in 3rd place.

Heads up with Andrew, I was at a slight chip disadvantage, and our play swung massively in my favor after about an hour of going back and forth. In a hand with a big lay down, Andrew was left with only 220 chips. He would get all the way down to 180, and then find his double as we shipped the chips all in pre flop. I showed Ac-3d, and Andrew showed As-2s. But the flop would help Andrew as he flopped a flush draw with 2 spades on the flop, and the turn would double him when a 9s fell.

This about evened the score. And in another hand with heavy bets preflop and post flop, Andrew shoved it all in again with the board reading J-T-8-T. I held A9, and Andrew said that he had 170 behind, but upon recount, it was actually 270. I let go of my draw, and Andrew showed 9-7 for the two pair, which was good enough to give him a slight chip lead.

The final hand came shortly after that when Andrew called my preflop bet of 60, and the board came J-3-2. I bet another 60, and Andrew moved all in. I called and showed 6-6, and Andrew tossed over 3-2os for two pair. I called for a Jack, but the turn fell with another 3. The river gave me my wish a card too late as another Jack fell, and gave Andrew the winning full house and the home game win.

Thanks again to everyone who made it. Next week looks good to go. See you then.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Freeroll Crushes Team7Deuce

If it is possible, we got really smacked around tonight.

Tim, Jordan, and I all went to the Bicycle Casino as we qualified for their freeroll tournament for Big Poker October. In fact, we all got home so early, that the tournament is running as I write this. It was an interesting structure, as every player who played at least 1 event in any of the 17 Big Poker October events, received entry into this freeroll.

One of the interesting twists was, you began with 3000 starting chips, and for every tournament that you played in, you received a bonus 1000 tournament chips. So if you played in 8 tournaments for example, you got your 3k starting stack, plus 7k additional to start with 10k. I had played in 2 events so I began with 4k, and I was sandwiched in between a guy with 12k on my left, and 15k on my right. Pretty gross.

On level 1, I went bust. This is pretty unusual for me, but I did get my money in good. Three players limped into the pot when I was on the button, and I called for 50 chips with Tc-7c. The SB came along, and the BB checked. The flop came out Ac-Qc-5c, a very good flop for me indeed. I watched as the SB checked, the BB bet 200 into the pot, UTG called, a fold, and then the guy to my right raised to 600. I figured, this is about as good as I could hope for and shipped it all in for 3850. The SB asked for a count, then made the call, and everyone else folded. He showed Ad-Kc, and the turn came 3c to send me to the rail. It was only 6 hands in, so that was disappointing.

Even more dissapointing was that about a minute and a half later, Tim opened raised from middle with AK, and found a caller from the button. The two of them saw an A-2-3 flop, and Tim bet it. His opponend shoved and Tim called with Top pair, top kicker, only to find himself drawing basically dead to his opponents 4-5os, and a made straight. The turn and river were of no help, and we headed to the cafe playing Gin Rummy till Jordan joined us just after the break with his bust out.

So at 9:00, the three of us left the casino, not really having lost anything significant, unless you count our pride. Looks like the big score will have to wait for another time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Something's Coming

The last few days, I've been really feeling a big score coming my way. I don't know if you've ever really felt that way, but I just have this sense that if I continue to play poker the way that I've been, I'm going to hit a big cash VERY soon.

Last night I was disappointed that the home game fell apart. Really, we only had 2 other people (besides Traci and myself) that were able to play, so we scratched the home game. Tim and I came up with the idea of going to the Midnight Madness at the Bicycle Casino, which is a $40+10 buy in NLHE deepstack event. I was gung-ho about it, until Traci stressed her unease. I don't want to lay hate on Traci in anyway, because she was quick to point out what I've spent on poker recently, and she felt really uneasy about me spending another $50. Add to that the feeling that she had of being ditched in order to play the role of babysitter and missing out on the homegame, and I took my mancard out, and flushed it to make her happy.

I stayed home and watched the Angels lose Game 1 on the ALCS to the Yankees, and played in the TPT Late Night event. I finished 2nd of the 13 entries for an $11 cash. I felt that I played pretty well, even though I made a few mistakes to a very good player. I got tangled in more pots than I would have liked to, out of position with a very good player @Widmayer. He's an excellent player, who had shipped the TPT event on Thursday night, and a hyper loose aggressive player. I've seen him turn over completely random cards on me after getting my chips all in many times, and last night I was fortunate to come out on the positive side of more than a few gambles.

But late in the tournament was where it mattered most. I won 2 flips against him, where I doubled up with A5os when we were 3 handed vs. his pocket 4's. And then I KO'd him when my Pocket 4's held against his A5. I went into heads up play with @brooklynbeast in a virtual tie in chips with about 19k each. But 1 hand swung the tournament and 1st to my opponent. I called and all in bet with Ac-Jc and he showed AKos. When the flop produced the K, I was basically eliminated. It was a fun tournament, as the TPT always is. Congratulations again to @brooklynbeast.

Tonight, I'm meeting up with some friends for Wii Nightm and tomorrow I'll be taking advantage of my freeroll entry at the Bicycle Casino, courtesy of the two events that I played in during their Big Poker October. I'll be interested to see the structure and the turnout for their $10k freeroll for sure.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting to know what you don't know

There have been many times in my life as a poker player where I've sat at the table, seen a few rotations, and thought to myself, "Excellent! I'm EASILY the best player here." I can't even begin to count the number of times that this has happened to me. But being the best player doesn't always lead to success. It takes you 1. playing really well, and 2. taking advantage of the other players not playing well, and 3. picking your spots in doing so.

The last month or so has been an interesting poker ride for me. I've had very few good runs in tournaments for the most part, which has led me to doubt myself as player. This lack of confidence obviously showed itself in my game as I haven't really been able to get anything consistent going. It's been frustrating me to say the least, to the point where I've beat myself up over losing, and thinking that I've been playing well. That might be the hardest part, is that I've THOUGHT that I had been playing well. It's hard to fix something when you don't know what's broken.

So in my step away from the game, something that I figured that I needed to figure out was how to assess what is wrong with my game, and have someone else assist me with that.....a coach.

I sent out a tweet and it was responded to with mainly laughter. I don't know if it was because people assumed that poker coaching was just a joke, or that they thought that I was such an elite player already that I was far beyond stooping to having to be coached (I came back 5 minutes after writing this sentence to finish because I was laughing so hard: for the record). But I did get a response from @Imanoth, which gave me a link to a poker coaching website There, I browsed through the different coaches that they had, and looked for someone that could assist me at the levels that I played at.

At my first thought, I came to the conclusion that it was just too expensive. I was looking at the prices and thinking to myself "why on earth would anyone spend THAT much on a poker coach?" But in my heart of hearts, I knew that what I really needed was to assess a part of my game that had a fatal flaw.....I did not know what I didn't know. And it was the not knowing part that led me to Jennifear.

Jen and I chatted a little bit about my story and whether or not she thought that she could help me, and her assessments immediately perked me up. I thought that maybe, just maybe, she might be able to plug a leak in my game.....just a small tweak here or a little adjustment there, and POOF!!!! Like magic, my game would be fixed.

It doesn't work that way. Poker is not a game that has an easy solution. Its not rocket science by any stretch, but there is a large degree of math that I never even considered until I talked with Jen. In her first assignment, she shot me a basic problem with the question "What hands would it be ok to shove with?" And I was stumped. What I realized at that moment was, there is still a TON to learn about this game, and I have no clue what the correct answer is.

Our session lasted 4 hours in all, and I'm not going to give away the big changes that were made to my game, but I can say this....Jennifear's session was worth a lot more than the amount of money that I paid for it. She was VERY knowledgeable about tournament poker, and changed a great number of the ways that I approach the game. It was a FANTASTIC session with keen insight on my playing style, and I think completely changed the way that I play poker.

I know that this seems bold, and that you may ask yourself, "how does a 4 hour session change everything that you've learned?" Well, the easy answer is, I felt that I was missing something, and something big. I have just begun to apply the skills that she has taught, and there is still a TON of material to fiddle through that I haven't even touched. But the big lesson that I learned is that as a poker player, you must ALWAYS continue to learn to keep your best game your best game.

Let me repeat that for dramatic effect:

YOU must ALWAYS continue to learn to keep your best game your best game.

If you're not learning from the game, then it WILL catch up to you. I still have a ton to learn about this game. After hundreds of thousands of hands, I still have a ton to learn about the game. But I really took a lot of valuable information from the session that payed immediate dividends. Using the styles and applying them, I took first in a 27 person S&G on FTP, and then I ran deep in the Daily Dollar Tournament online, losing a MONSTER pot, calling an all in for about 260k vs. another all in of about 259k, and losing KK to AA. And I felt good about it. Because for several hours, I played mistake free poker. I lost my share of pots, but I didn't get away from the new stuff that I'd learned, and I played REALLY good solid poker.

I'm hoping to keep this up in the weeks to come and continue my bankroll building online. I have a lot of faith that with a renewed sense of identity, that I'm ready to take on all comers, and prove a point, that when I'm the best player at the table, I'm not going to be afraid to get it all in to get your chips.

Thanks again to Jennifear, whom I would recommend to all of my readers for a session or two. Trust me when I say, you're getting your money's worth.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I got Coolered

Last night, I played one of the best poker tournaments of my life, only to end up 10 players short of the money. Tim and I waited till the last minute to commit to going to the Bike to play in their Big Poker October $60 buy in event. It started deep stacked at 7PM, with 6000 tournament chips, and a massive field of 766 players total. It was quite the event.

I opened play at a table that was endlessly frustrating. I had two absolute maniacs at my table that were playing all of their hands either all in or folding. They would show cards like AQ, AK, and one time, 9c-7c. It was pretty disgusting. But I started off so card dead, that I really couldn’t afford to make a move. So I chipped in a downward spiral for the first 90 minutes of play, until I found 7-2os UTG +1. I opened the 100/200 blinds with a bet of 500, and only the BB came along. On the flop of Ac-Kd-8s rainbow, the BB led out with a bet of 500, and I quickly called it. On a turn of the 5d, the BB checked, and I fired a 1200 bet into him. He deliberated a while, and finally made the call. The river came out with the 5h, and the BB again checked. I immediately shoved my whole stack of about 2500 left, and the BB made the laydown, showing the Ace of spades. That was the turning point of the tournament for me, as I began my chip up. I ended the first three levels of play with 5100 chips, and felt good about where I was at on my table.

Tim met me at the break after having hit the rail before the end of level 3. After losing a big pot (AK > KK) he shipped the last of his chips again with Qd-Jd only to again find an AK caller, and he was done early. We shared some stories and some strategies, and I said, I just want to get 1 double before the next break. And I did.

A few hands into level 4, I found myself with Ad-Kd from the SB, and action folded to the cutoff (the same guy that I’d bluffed previously, who was now shorter stacked), who raised the 200-400 blinds to 1000. I shipped it all in at that point, and the BB deliberated before making the call. The original raiser folded, and we turned our cards, with my opponent holding Ah-Qh. The board bricked out for both of us, and my AK held as I chipped over 10k for the first time. When they finally broke my table at around level 5, I was between 8k and 9k.

At my new table, I was taking advantage of my new image of being an aggressive player. I stole a few blinds in route to chipping up to around 15k. I didn’t see a single premium hand, and I didn’t get involved in any real confrontations. I avoided showdowns, and was happy with my profit. That table was broken by the end of level 7, and I was moved to table 3 with about 15k.

Here, I established myself through table banter as a math geek. We started talking about the number of chips in play, and what the average was going to be at the bubble. With 766 players all with 6k chips, they were paying 72 places, which meant that chip average would be about 63k. That was my goal. With blinds at 500-1000, 75 ante, I found KQos in the SB, and had a raise to 4k in front of me from the cutoff. I insta-shoved all in, and when it came back to him, he said “nah, you’re too good at math. I fold.” I knew that I’d have to use that image.

A couple hands later, the same thing happened with the same player going to 4k, and this time, I found AQos. I asked him for a chip count, and including the 4k, he had another 19k behind him for a total of 23k. I shipped my stack all in to try and price him out, and he tanked. He verbally went through the range of hands that I could have, and eventually decided to call, tossing over AQos as well. As expected, we chopped the pot. Then, my table was broken again with me holding about 25k.

At my new table, I immediately liked who I was sitting with. I gave a preflop shove with KQos from the BB to a preflop raise again, and the gentlemen asked for time, counted out his stack, and realized to call that it would only leave him with 5k behind. He made the laydown claiming pocket 6’s. I then scooped a pot showing AA when I pre-flop raised the 1k-2k blinds to 6k, and action folded around. I wanted people to know that I wasn’t raising with crap.

The big swing hand came soon after with me on the button. Action folded to me and I found Ah-Qh, and I raised to 6k. The SB folded, and the BB shoved his stack. I could immediately sense his weakness and snap called, much to his dismay. He turned over Kc-5h, and I had him crushed when the board paired my Ace, and had two hearts to boot. The 7h on the river sealed it, and I was sitting on over 55k. Then action went dead for me for a little bit.

After the third break, there were only about 100 or so players remaining. My goal was not to min cash, but to run deep. I was playing really well at that point without getting any real premium hands to speak of, and I really wanted to establish an image at the new table as the guy that the big pots were going to have to go through. I wanted the people that were interested in just cashing to fold their marginal hands to me, and chip up big. But it just didn’t work out that way.

With blinds at 1500/3000, an early position player raised to 12k, with only 6k behind. I announced all in squeezing pocket 10’s. Action, folded around back to the initial raiser who counted the last of his 6k, and made the call with KK. When the Kc hit the flop, I was basically drawing dead, and I lost some momentum. A few hands later, I min raised to 6k with Ad-Tc, and found 1 caller from the Button. Both blinds folded, and we saw a flop 8d-6c-4d. I checked, and the button moved all in. I asked how much more, not really wanting to call anything, but when he said “it’s not much more” I thought for a minute. The dealer announced 6k more, and I calculated that I was getting 4 to 1 on my money. I said “I think that I’m behind right now,” and he said “I know you are.” I reluctantly made the call saying, “I think that this is a donation” as I put 6k into the pot and he tossed over Kd-Jd for nothing but a flush draw. The turn was the 7d, and the river was the 3c, giving his flush the winning hand.

After the blinds passed me by, I got lucky again from the cutoff, when I woke up with KK. I shipped it all in preflop, and found a caller from the button with AJ. The board flopped a K, and I doubled my stack to a little more than 45k.

Then, the doom switch hit with 82 players remaining. From early position, I 3 bet to 9k, with KQos, and found callers from the Button and the Small Blind. That meant that there was 34,500 in the pot, and it was go time. The flop came out Kc-6s-4s and the SB checked, I shipped it all in for 35k more, and the button made the call. The small blind passed, and the Button showed As-Js for a flush draw. It was not to be my day as the Ad hit the turn, and an 8c hit the river, and I was covered by a mere 9k in chips.

I still question as to whether or not it was a good idea for that guy to flip it for his tournament life right there. I don’t think that I could’ve called off the rest of my chips on a draw like that on the bubble. But he did make the call, and it hit, and I went home at about 1:30 in the morning short of the money. It was truly frustrating.

I’m thinking about giving the bike another go on Wednesday night where the structure is identical. I don’t know that I could’ve played much better than I did, but I have to believe that I would get more hands to play, as I certainly couldn’t fare any worse in that department. Hopefully I can continue my solid play, and make it result in a good cash this time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 down and 1 to go

Its been an awesome weekend, starting with Thursday. I played some really fantastic poker Thursday night in the TPT, culminated with a runner-up finish, that leaves me thinking "What if." With 6 players remaining, I held more than 70k, and my closest opponent held only 11k. But I got unlucky twice, and doubled two different opponents, and I would go into heads up play with a 54k to 45k disadvantage, and then went card dead.

I would eventually stick it all in with A3, and got called by AK, and with the K on the turn, my evening was complete. Still, I was happy with my overall play, and I don't know that I really made any mistakes. The one hand that I could've played differently was calling the all in of the eventual winner with 88. He showed A7 after the pre-flop shove, and flopped his 3 out Ace for the hand, and chipped to almost 30k. But still, I'm very content with 2nd place.

In the home game on Friday, I'm not sure who won, because I got bounced in 8th place. I came into the evening feeling pretty miserable with cold/flu like symptoms, and it got progressively worse as the game rolled along. I made a bad early read with J-T as 6 players limped into my BB, and we saw a flop of J-8-4. I led with 8 (1/2 blinds) and action folded to Jack who raised me to 24. Action then folded back to me, and I went with a read of AK, and stuck it all in. Jack snap called and showed 88 for the flopped set, and I was toast. I would re-buy, and get bounced a second time when Gary made some hero calls, and he was right. And the third time, I'd stick it all in with KTos, and got two callers (Tim and Robert). Robert's post flop re-raise got rid of Tim, and he showed A3 for the win (no ace on the board, but no K or T either).

Then last night, still feeling crumby, I played in the annual Charity event benefiting Devonshire-PALS. It was a very cool venue as it was at Nancy Cartwright's (the voice of Bart Simpson) home. Everything was set up outside, and they had 20 tables which had 9 seats each. They filled everyone of them, and also had a ton of alternates for the tournament.

Something that I wasn't expecting was the lousy structure of the tournament. First, it was a re-buy event, which makes sense given that it was for charity, and they were trying to raise cash. There is a lot less emphasis on which player plays the best to get the prizes. But we began with 2k chips, and 15 minute levels. The tournament was scheduled to begin at 6PM, but cards didn't get in the air until almost 6:45. You could re-buy 2k chips if you were below 2k in your stack for $50, and double re-buy for $100 4k chips if you were down to the felt. I really had to open up my play in order to accumulate chips, and after the rebuy period ended (after level 6), you had an add-on option of 4k for $50, and 8k for $100. Once the rebuy period was over, I was sitting on a stack of 10k with nary a re-buy.

There was one spot at our table that had yet to be filled, as seat one remained empty for the first level. At the end of the level, our table was joined by Pro Poker Player Marsha Waggoner. Marsha was terrific, and complimented me several times on some moves that I made. She doubled early with a Ah-Jh when she flopped top pair, and two other players shoved, she called and hit the flush on the turn to scoop the pot. Later, it was Ac-Jc and she'd double again, flopping a flush.

Things flew by very fast at the end of the rebuy/add-on period because they needed to speed things up. I overheard the staff talking about how last year, the tourney ran beyond the city ordinance of 11PM, and that this year, they weren't going to let that happen. So they skipped the 400-800 level 7 and the 500-1000 level 8, and jumped all the way to level 9 of 1000-2000, 100 ante. It was a giant leap, as everyone in the tourney practically became short stacked. 15 minutes later, I was sitting with a stack of 9500, and blinds had crept to 2000-4000. Kirstie Alley took a seat next to me as they were breaking down tables at a rapid rate. Very cool. Then, doom struck as In the small blind, I squeezed A6os, and went with it. A player had limped from UTG for the 4k, and I stuck my 9500 in from the SB. Alley folded her BB, and the UTG player announced a call with AQ. I didn't get any help from the board, and was eliminated with about 8 tables left.

Because I was still under the weather, I made an early exit at around 9:45 or so to go home and crash. It was an incredible experience though, and was a lot of fun. I got to take pics with the likes of Alex Outhred, Jose Canseco, and Main Event Champion - Jamie Gold. Jamie had pointed to the Twitter Poker Tour T-shirt and found that awesome enough that he asked about the TPT. I gave him the details, and he said that he'd check us out. He asked me to email him, and I got his addy. Hopefully, he'll be playing with us on Full Tilt.

It was an awesome event, and it did raise an incredible amount of money for a VERY worthwhile charity. 5 players ended the evening with WSOP Main Event Satellite tickets at the Rio Hotel, valued at $1k each. Additionally, a number of raffle prizes, silent auction items, and other festivities (live band with a dance floor, Catered food from Outback, and a whole host of celebrities that I didn't get a chance to say hello to) happened throughout the evening to make the event a true success story for Devonshire PALS. It was a great evening.

For tonight, I am on the fence as to whether I'm heading to the Bike to play in the $60 NLHE event. I'm still not 100%, but the tourney doesn't get started till 7PM, so we'll see what kind of shape I'm in later in the day. A full night's sleep definitely helped, and I'm feeling slightly better. I'll give you the full rundown on that event either tomorrow or Tuesday. Until then, cheers! P

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Weekend Packed FULL of Activites

I've got 4 straight days of poker events coming up.

First, tonight is the First of the new edition Twitter Poker Tour, relaunched into a month long format. The TPT had for the previous 4 seasons, been broken into 12 week seasons. After season 4, it culminated with an 18 player event for an entry into the Sunday Brawl on Full Tilt Poker (a $256 prize value from a $5 + $1 buy in). I played in that event, and got busted by the eventual champ - @_desperado. In the hand, I made a preflop raise with AQos to 2.5 the big blind from Middle Position, and only GoofyRooster came along from the BB. The flop came out T high, and was checked to me, I fired a continuation bet of about 60% of the pot, and was called. The turn brought the doom card for me, which was a Q, and action was again checked to me. I again fired another bullet, only this time, I was re-raised. I shoved my stack with Top pair, top kicker, and got insta-called my GoofyRooster who flipped over QT for two pair. The river bricked, and I finished in 9th place. Congrats to @_desperado on the win!

Tonight however, the TPT is going to change things up by going to Month long leaderboards and giving out a bunch of cash added incentives to TPT players. In fact, more than $300 is planned on being given out this month through cash added events and prizes given to the winners of the events and the top players on the leaderboard. It should be very well attended, and I suspect that we will begin to see the TPT grow steadily.

Tomorrow night, we resume the home game activities, as we should have a full table of people. I anticipate 10-12 players tomorrow night for the home game at Pablosplace.

On Saturday night, I'll be playing in the Monte Carlo Night Charity Poker Tournament to benefit Devonshire PALS. I have no idea how big this event will be, but I am extremely excited to be participating. The tournament benefits an incredible cause, benefiting the youth here in the San Fernando Valley, and also features a HOST of Celebrity's and Poker Professionals. Some celebrity names include the likes of John Travolta, Brad Garrett, Camryn Manheim, Sinbad, and the host of the Party Nancy Cartwright, best known for being the Voice of Bart Simpson. Poker Pro's expected to participate include WSOP Main Event Champions Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang, Pam Brunson, Todd Brunson, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Kenna James, Jennifer Harman, and Sammy Farha.

I have to thank everyone on Twitter who participated in helping me attend this event. Through your donations (and a little help from my friends), we were able to raise the $250 for this charity to participate in the event. What a success!!! Thanks are in order to, @4get24betme, @cprpoker, @pokerplasm, @stevebrogan, @_desperado, and @thekeylime from the TPT for their donations, as well as Team7Deuce members @slayernyte, @skulllead, and Tim. I hope to represent the TPT and Pablosplace well with my play in the event, as well as send regular updates with Twitpics through my @coolwhipflea twitter account.

Finally, on Sunday I will be playing at the Bicycle Casino as part of the Bike's "Big Poker October." The tournament schedule for their 7PM tournaments feature 18 events with varying buy in's (from $60 to $335) of NLHE tournaments, culminating with a Player Participation Free Roll event on October 18th. In order to qualify for the free roll, you need only play in 1 of the first 17 events. I'm looking forward to these deep stack events and hopeful to have a good deep run (finally).

That about sums up the weekend that will be. I'm excited about the action to come. Additionally, if you would like to help contribute to the Devonshire PALS charity, please use the Donate Button on the top Left of Pablosplace, and I'll make certain that every penny gets donated directly to the charity. Thanks in advance for your help! Cheers, P