Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shipping out to the World Series of Poker

Tomorrow I'm leaving to cover Event #2 of the 2010 World Series of Poker, the $40,000 Buy-In Players Championship. I couldn't be more giddy. I've been beside myself with glee the last week or so about it as it's come close and closer to taking place. I can't wait to shake hands with the players, conduct interviews with them, and meet the other members of the poker media. This event will be a big one too, as it's one of the 3 events to be televised on ESPN. So all of the crews will be there covering the mele that will ensue.

For me, it simply is a place that I feel like I belong to. Last year, when we went to Las Vegas for Robert's bachelor party, we made a stop at the Main Event, which was busting players like crazy right after the money bubble had burst. I can't even begin to describe how awesome of a sensation it really was, walking down the corridor of the hallways leading to the conference center. The walls and ceilings hung banners and signs of the World Series of Poker. The booths of PokerRoad, and PokerNews, and all the other poker outlets were there. And just outside of the Amazon Room, we ran into Men "The Master" Ngyuen, who was chatting it up with someone. It felt like I belonged.

Upon entering the room, Joe Hachem got tangled up in a hand, busting Surrinder Sunar when Joe's J-9 made a straight, and we watched it happen. We watch Joe and Peter Eastgate tangle a few times at the secondary feature table. At the main featured table, we watched Phil Ivey mix it up in a few pots. Then we surveyed the rest of the room, bumping into the likes of Kenny Tran, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mike Sexton, and eventually Phil Hellmuth, whom we watch get busted as he had the third best hand with his Aces.

When we left the event, I knew I'd be back. I have a feeling that there is great purpose for me in Las Vegas this summer, though I haven't really clearly Identified exactly what that is yet. For now, I'll be covering the events as a Media Member, watching the players mixing it up, and conducting player interviews. I hope to socialize, network, work, and learn. I plan on doing a lot of listening, and absorbing as much of it as I can.

I wish that I could attend more of the events. June is going to be a difficult month to make that happen, as the kids bridge in Girl Scouts on June 12th, along with my sister-in-law's graduation from UCSD on the same day. Then my kids graduate from grade school on the 17th, and my wedding anniversary is on the 20th. I'm sure that there will be more things on the home front, but for now, I know that I'll be in Las Vegas for the next 5 days, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I hope that some of my freinds run deep in some events, and win a couple of braceletts. I'll be sure to be there for the final table when that does happen, and it wouldn't shock me as I have some many people that I've befriended since getting plugged into the game. All in all, I'm really looking forward to the entire experience.

I'll be writing a ton of news articles for Poker World Daily this summer, and a ton more for Poker Table Ratings. Maybe, with the extra cash from the events, I'll be able to win a seat, and not have to just cover the events from a media perspective. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I made it. 63,647 later, I hit Iron Man. Predominantly at the $10 NL Rush tables, and for an average of 2.5 hours per day, I made the mark. My bankroll hates me. My wife misses me. My children have probably found another dude to call dad. But hell, I made Iron Man. Cool status.

Now that I've done it, I'm not sure what the hell I'm going to do with the bonus medals just yet. But one thing is for certain, I'm going to step WAAAAAAAAY back in the volume that I've been playing. Had it not been for winning more than $700 in tournament play, I would have had my bankroll completely squished, as I was down nearly $600 in cash games over the trek. But I'm very pleased with myself for having completed the volume, and accomplished something that I had never done before.

I intend on enjoying the month of June with Iron Man status and having players at the same table as me in my S&G's and tournaments note that little chip next to my Avatar. Goodbye May online poker. Hello World Series of Poker, and hello June. I'm looking forward to increasing my bankroll by a lot now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Home Stretch

I've got 2 1/2 days to go before I qualify for Iron Man status and I can't wait for this thing to be over. I know for certain that I won't be doing this again.

I've played an insane number of hands (it will be nearly 70,000 hands by the time that I'm done), and I've had a terrible downswing from it all. I really have no desire to try and finish this thing up, but I really want to complete the couple of days for the simple aspect of having completed it, and finishing what I started. But I will be very happy to have all of this behind me.

The biggest problem that I've faced is the sheer volume of hands that I've had to put in. Its too much for me. Roughly 2,500 hands per day on average, and many more losing sessions than winning ones. 2 hours of 4 tabling Rush poker at a time is grueling, and I really now understand the term Grind. I think in many respects, its changed me as a player, and I'm not certain if that's for the better or not.

I do intend to continue playing at a much smaller volume in the coming months, but I want to again focus on multi-table S&G's and MTT's where I find much more fun. Cause really, that's what poker is about. But I am also curious to see what obtaining the Iron Man chip will do for my table image when I start to play tournaments in the month of June. I don't know what kind of impact that it will have, if any at all. But I'll be content for a period of 30 days to see that mark next to my avatar.

I'll provide a graph for the entire session when I'm all through to see the horridness that has been the abyss of my journey through all of these hands. But I'm happy that the end is near, and am excited to take a little breather from playing poker for a while.

Meanwhile, Friday approaches and I'll be heading to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. I'll put up a new blog on that one tomorrow.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A big online win

Last night at the home game, Tim got the best of me heads up to take first place and the money. He began the heads up with the chip lead, which he gathered after just catching fire in 3 handed play. I evened the stacks out, even taking a slight chip lead at one point. But I went completely card dead, and Tim got the best of the match. In the end, I shipped my last 130 w/ A7 and Tim snapped AIPF with 99. No ace on the board gave Tim the win.

I've been running much better of late online, playing a ton of hands. My cash poker game hasn't been fantastic, but I've seen a positive uptick in the bankroll, so I'll take it. I'm just 4 days away from completing Iron Man status on Full Tilt, and I'm excited about that one.

But my biggest news of the poker week was a win in a $5 MTT. Check this one out:

I played really solid, doubling up early and then in level 4 finding another double that gave me the chip lead in the tournament. I maintained the top 5 chip count until about the bubble when I slipped out of the top 10. At the final table, I was 7th of 9 in chips, and I got a big boost when I shipped 88 UTG, and found a caller from MP w/ AQss. I won the race by flopping an 8 and turning another, so quads put me in the top 4 again, and then I played well, eliminating a few players along the way to the chip lead and the eventual win. Very happy about this one.

I also wanted to throw a plug in for the World Team Poker event that I went to last Tuesday. It was a great event in which I attended as a media member, and got to interview the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Jen Harman, Johnny Chan, Jeffrey Lissandro, and Tony G. The last one was cool as I was able to conduct a 1 on 1 asking Tony about the June 1st deadline with the implementation of the UIGEA. It was a cool experience. Later in the evening, I bumped into Joe Beevers and was able to shake hands with him, and thank him for his support of the Bad Beat on Cancer tournaments and playing with us. Also got to shake hands with Maria Ho. But the highlight for me was meeting the Godfather himself. Not much else that you can say about Doyle Brunson other than he's an incredible guy. I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity, and he was really gracious with his time.

So today, I'm off to Magic Mountain with the family. It's Emma's birthday on Thursday, and for her party we're letting her bring a friend to an amusement park. The other kids brought 1 to Disneyland, where we have season passes. But Emma had to pick a place to go that made it ridiculously expensive for us to go to. Sigh. Thanks to Jack though, who works at the Mountain, and was able to score us 4 free tickets. Otherwise, we'd have definitely needed to do something else.

Finally, on Friday I leave for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Can't wait to get plugged into the events, and I'm really looking forward to event #2, the $40k Players Championship. Should be a blast. I'll write a little bit more on that in a blog by itself later in the week. That's it for now. - P

Monday, May 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I missed the Friday night home game for the first time in as many home games as I can remember, but the game went on anyway. Rumor has it that Andrew took it down. I however was letting loose my inner girl scout (I believe that every dad with 4 daughters has one), and camping with my oldest girl's troop. It was fun (for the kids) and I so glad that I'm now home. I enjoy the comfort of my bed, my couch, and my recliner. It's awesome to sit down, watch ESPN from the comfort of my living room, and play online poker.

I got back on Sunday afternoon, exhausted, and it showed in my play. I dropped 4 buy-ins at $10 NLHE pretty quick, and then proceeded to finish 3rd in the WSOP $40 qualifier, my 6th failed attempt in 6 opportunities to finish 1st and advance to the $200+16 event. Overall, I still think that I've made money on the satellites, thanks in large part to finishing 2nd in this twice. But I really want a win. We're in week 8 of 10, so I've got 3 more shots at getting into this thing. I really want this package, but am having my doubts that I can make it in.

If I don't ship it, I'm hoping that Lee Childs (acumen53), Mike (4get 2 4bet me), Tracy (astro_pup) or Geoff (cprpoker) win it, in that order. I think that these would be the players best suited to represent the TPT for a bracelet. I plan on going out to Vegas to sweat whoever it is that represents the group, and I hope that they make a deep run. I think it'll be great for the group.

I'm also contemplating running a bounty on me on all of the Satellites this week, but I'm not going to be able to participate in Tuesday nights event because I'll be in Vegas. I'm still undecided, and if I don't take it down tonight, I may do it. More on that later.

I leave for Las Vegas tomorrow to cover the media event for World Team Poker. I'm excited to have the oppotunity to interview the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and Annie Duke, as well as get the opportunity to network with Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, Erik Siedel, and Allen Cunningham, among all the other top tier pro's that are expected to be there. I'm hopeful that I'll get some decent sound bytes, and that I'll be able to chat about the TPT with the Full Tilt Pro's, possibly talking them into playing with us on a Thursday night, and joining us on the TPT Live. It'd be a really great thing.

Thats it for now. I may post some photos from my trip to Vegas here, but likely will just upload them to the TPT Site.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Does ANYONE want to win $2,000???

I'm just now starting to feel better after having been slaughtered by the flu bug for the last few days. 48 hours straight of being either between my bed or the toilet hasn't exactly been fun, so needless to say, I'm happy that thats over.

I was intending to write a little about the Friday night game where Jack and Traci ended up heads up again at the home game for the second consecutive week. Last week, it was Traci emerging with the vitory with her flopped two pair bettering Jacks pair of aces. But this week, Jack came in with about a 2.5 to 1 chip advantage that he'd extend quickly, and then ushered the knockout blow for the win. Congrats to Jack on a good win.

I have to rant a little bit about the Twitter Poker Tour's World Series of Poker Satellites, and how they aren't attracting much attention. Frankly, I don't get it. I would've assumed that this would be something that the TPT community would rally around, and play religiously, vyeing for an opportunity to win $2,000. I mean, for someone that regularly frequents the $5 buy in events, you would think that a $2k hit would be a good one.

So we set up these super satellites to the main event in June, and we run them daily with Monday and Thursday a $2+1 Rebuy event, Tuesday and Friday a $5+1 (2R+1A) event, and Wednesday and Saturday a $10+1 Double Stack event. The winner of each event is GUARANTEED (which means that if the event happens, then the TPT will GUARANTEE that we get a prize paid, regardless of how much money is in the pot) a seat to the Sunday $40+4 Double Stack Event Step 2 event. That alone is pretty cool. I finished runner up in 2 of those weeks, and the spill over money for the runner ups ran to $248...not so shabby.

Finally, if you win the $40+4 event, you get entry into a $200+16 event in June where the winner is GUARANTEED $2,000. Yup TWO THOUSAND BIG ONES. Ideally, the winner is going to represent the TPT at the 2010 WSOP at one of the $1,000 buy in events, of which there are 6 of them, and use the other $1k for traveling expenditures and lodging and such. But really, they are free to use it as they choose.

Here's the problem that I have....we're having a difficult time getting people to register for the freaking events. In fact, last Friday, I was the only one registered and the event canceled because you need at least 2 to play. How in the world is there not at least ONE OTHER PLAYER ON THE PLANET that is interested in playing for TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS on a $5 buy in??? I JUST DON'T GET IT.

Regularly we're having to pony up (and by we...I say it loosely as its coming out of Geoff's pocket from the TPT Expenditures, and not mine) money week after week for people not showing up so that we can meet the guarantee. It was expected, and it was budgeted for. But really, I am shocked at the lack of participation from the TPT group as a whole, and frankly UBER disapointed that there aren't more players participating in this event. I don't know what the real reasons are, but I would hope its simply that they don't realize how much money that is really on the line.

I'll play in some of the events to make contributions to the prize pool when I've already won my seat to the next step....just part of my giving back to the group. But I think it's an awesome thing that the TPT is doing for the group, and it makes me REALLY glad that we didn't aim for a $12k package to the Main Event, like Geoff and I had talked about earlier. We would've had to guarantee SO MUCH MORE. I'm glad that we went the route that we did considering the lack of participation.

I guess that I'm really dissapointed and totally surprised at the numbers. I really thought that this would be a way to increase our player base by reaching out to a broader number of people. There's still 3 and a half weeks to go, so there's still time, but really, I don't know how many people have failed to get the message at this point. I hope some more will actually join in and help us play. Who knows, maybe a sudden influx of players will show up randomly over the next couple weeks to help us guarantee 2 seats, and I'll eat some crow. But as for now, I'm kinda pissed about it.

Anyway, I'm currently on day 12 of seeking Iron Man Status, and I'm 12 for 12 on days of 200 Points or more. 13 more days, and I'll meet my goal. I'll be interupted this weekend with a Girl Scout getaway that I'm going on with my daughters. They're heading on a boating excursion to Castaic Lake, and I'm along for the ride for an "Adult Volunteer" so that they have the proper Adult-to-Child ratio in order to go in the first place. It's another weekend of little sleep and putting up with little girls, all so that my kids can have a joyous experience. The things that we do for our kids.

Thats it for now. More later. And if you haven't felt compelled to win $2,000 yet, check it out on the TPT Site already. Jeebus.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remember Pablosplace?

When I first started Pablosplace, it was to be a blog recapping the Friday Night games here at my house. The group is my closest friends, regularly convening at my place to throw cards and splash chips, drop "that's what SHE said" as many times as possible, and laugh until our sides hurt. It's a $5 buy in, and a great way to spend the evening.

The site spilled over into a few other areas for me, talking about my online gaming as I began to play more online, and also about the Twitter Poker Tour, and finally about my working with charity events for the Bad Beat on Cancer. Basically, its been my poker life, which now consists of much more than just the Friday night game. But I've just simply neglected to write about my personal stuff over the last 5 months at all. Either I'm writing about poker for the TPT, or for Poker Table Ratings, or a new site that Geoff and I created (Poker World Daily), or I'm not writing at all. It's grown slightly tedious, and I just haven't wanted to do it....till this afternoon.

I realized that a blog is simply an outlet. A way to express my day, and what's going on in life. I don't really need this site to measure up to any one's standards other than my own. If you want to stop by and read, please feel free to do so. But I'm not really of the opinion that this will be the next Pokerati or anything like that. I just want to sit down here from time to time, and post about stuff that I want to chat about. So, ending my 5 month silence, I write a little bit about life.

Health has been a major driving force in my life, along with unemployment. Its been a great time for the last few months, being at home with Traci and being able to take her to the doctors appointments, pick up the kids from school without the need to have someone else help us out. And all the time, Traci's health is steadily improving. I'm thankful for her and my kids daily. They bring great joy to my life. I probably don't tell them that enough, but they really do.

With so much time being spent at home, I play a lot of online poker. This month, I've made it a goal of mine to reach Iron Man Status on Full Tilt Poker. Basically, you need to hit 200 FTP's per day for 25 days in the month of May to get to it, and so far, I'm 5 for 5. I've been 4-tabling the $.05/.10 NLHE Rush tables, and after about 2 hours, I usually have about 2200 hands or so, and thats enough to get me the necessary points to reach my goal. I'll be excited to see what my rakeback checks are going to be for the month of May. Should be fun.

I'm somewhat satisfied, and somewhat irked at where the TPT is at. I would have assumed that the WSOP satellites would help the site grow. I'd like to see more players. Currently, it doesn't make anyone any money. It continues to be a lot of fun putting together the TPT Live show every Thursday Night, and it really gives me something to look forward to. I am thrilled to have had the guests that we've had, especially Lee Childs for the 2 times that he joined us, and Andy Bloch for the 2 times that he joined us. These are guys that I respect a great deal, and I feel privileged for having had the opportunity to chat with them. I'm humbled by the time that they've taken in joining us. I also want to thank Rafe Furst for joining us for the BBoC event this past February. The bracelet winner spent the duration of that show with us en Route to taking first place in the $5 buy in event. But it's also been cool to interview Andrew Feldman of ESPN, Joe Navarro, and Randy Kasper of PPI, and most recently, Alex Outhred. Its kind of weird to think that this is something that has some real value to others, as its something I do simply because I enjoy doing it. I hope that this continues, and that the guests that we get stay consistent.

For me, I'd like to grow the TPT still. Having just 40 people per week is pretty lousy to me, and I'd love to double that number consistently, but more than that, have in excess of 100 players on a regular basis. I don't know why this isn't reasonable, and I'm not really sure how to get that done. But it's definitely a goal of mine.

That's all for now. I'll write a little bit more over then next few days as the mood strikes. Don't be too surprised if the majority of it is talking about how my online days went. It'll probably revolve between that, and my excitement over the upcoming World Series of Poker. I'm really excited about going this year.