Friday, December 22, 2006

Bellagio & Stars $150

I didn't make it out of Day 1 of the Bellagio $15k. I drew a difficult starting table, sandwiched between KramerTM and ImSoLucky0 (Jordan Morgan) both of whom I know from playing on the internet. Also at the table were internet player Roothlus and pros Ray Faltinsky and John Duthie. We started with 30k in chips - I was down to about 25k when this hand came up: Jordan raised UTG to 300 and I just called with KK in the BB. The flop came 9 high and I checked, he bet 500, I made it 1500 and he quickly called. The turn was a blank and I bet 2000 and he called. The river was another low card, and I really felt like he had JJ or QQ and I bet 5000 and he thought for a minute and called, saying he had QQ.

In level 2, I remember a weird hand against John Duthie. He limped UTG which he did a lot, and I had been playing pretty tight so I made it 900 with 98o in MP. Duthie made it 1500 more and I decided to call. The flop came T92, and he quickly checked and I checked behind. The turn was a 7 and he bet 1600 and I called. The river was a blank and it went check check and I won vs his AKs. I was up to about 40k at this point but that would be the most chips I'd have.

One bizarre hand that I recall was when I limped behind a couple of limpers with JsTs. The flop was J45 one spade and one of the limpers bet into the field and I called. The turn was the As and he quickly checked and I decided to check behind. The river was a 4 and he bet out almost the size of the pot for 5k. I really didn't know what to make of this bet, it felt like he was betting a ten and we were chopping with the board paired and the ace on board. I decided to call and he had 2s3s for the turned wheel. Its interesting if another spade would come on the river... because if he bet out on the spade, I wouldn't have the nuts, but in reality what spade draw could he have? Would he really bet into the whole field of limpers with KsQs on that flop? I don't think so, no one would even make that play as a bluff. My point is, I might have just called if the spade hit on the river, but I would definitely want to raise there because there is no bigger spade draw he could logically have...

I just burned through my stack in the last few levels of the day. I'd raise preflop and get re-raised and fold, or I'd get called and played back at on the flop. And I wasn't picking up any big hands preflop. Finally, a fairly bad player opened for 3000 in the last level of the day (300/600 blinds) from middle position. I had AQo in the BB with about 13000 chips. This player hadn't opened a ton of pots, but I think the fairly large raise here meant a good but not premium hand, like 99 or TT. I decided to stick my chips in there and he called fairly quickly with AdJd and he hit a flush on the turn to eliminate me from the tournament.

I got home on Sunday morning after 2.5 weeks in Vegas. On Monday night, I fired up some tournaments online. When the night was over I took down the $150+12 tournament on Stars for almost $33,000. I (finally) ran really well at the final table, coming back from the shortest stack with 5 or 6 left to be a big chip leader when it got heads up. My opponent played pretty well heads up and we went back and forth quite a few times. I got lucky a few times and eventually took it down. So satisfying to have a big win on Stars, I have run so bad on that site for so long, it finally seems to be evening out.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stars Sunday Tourney

Well I finally put together a decent run in a Sunday tournament. I got 7th in the Stars $200+15 tournament out of 6680 people for $22,710. The big hand was the 15million chip pot I played at the final table with AK all in preflop vs AQ against the eventual winner. I lost the hand and went out the very next hand.

You have to run really good to make it that far, so I won't even start to complain about my luck. I'm at a high point for the year as far as earnings go, and that is always nice. Hopefully this gives me some momentum heading into Thursday's $15,000 buy in at the Bellagio.

Monday, December 4, 2006

More of the Same

I skipped yesterday's $2500NL at the Bellagio to play the Sunday tournaments and sweat fantasy football and the BCS. Of course, the BCS wasn't a great sweat as Florida got the nod to play OSU in the national championship game over Michigan. I have mixed feelings on this, I really wanted Michigan to get another shot, and I don't really understand how Florida moved up so much with a win over Arkansas. If Florida's schedule was so much tougher before they played Arkansas why weren't they ahead of Michigan already? Urban Meyer really started jockying for the Gators to be #2, and Lloyd Carr said pretty much nothing... and I think the national media fell in love with the Gators partly because of that and it all snowballed. Now Michigan is stuck playing USC, a very talented and probably motivated team, practically playing on their home turf. It might be Carr's most difficult coaching job ever to motivate Michigan to win the Rose Bowl.

As for the Sunday tournaments, I had some chips on Stars, ended up blinding off and finishing inside of 300th or so for $1200. I also cashed on Full Tilt, but got 306th out of 306 paid spots after I got crippled with KK vs AJ right near the money.

Today was the $3000NL at the Bellagio. My starting table had Shannon Shorr to my right, Cliff Joesphy, Jimmy Tran, John Phan to my left. Not what I would call a great starting table. I saw the funniest, worst laydown ever in the first orbit. The two seat is a player I've played against a bunch of times but don't know his name, he's really aggressive... and had been bullied a bit early, I know him to be a bit of a steamer. So its a limped pot, and he bets the KQ8 two club flop and the button raises to 800, and seat 2 quickly calls. The turn is a queen, seat 2 check raises all in, and the button, getting like 2.5:1 folds 88 faceup...Seat 2 shows K5, lol. So, I don't get dealt anything early, as usual... blind off... open a pot to 150 with A7, get re-raised, call, check fold. Shannon opens for 300, I call with Ah6h, flop is K32 one heart, chk/chk. The turn is the 4h, he checks, I bet 300, he makes it 700, I call, I miss the river (surprising), he bets I fold. I open for 300 in MP with KJ, the SB goes all in for 700 total, he has TT, I lose the coinflip obviously. I open for 300 in LP with AK, SB makes it 600, I get a bad feeling that he is huge. He is giving off all of the signals, and he is a beginner type player. I decide to just call instead of jamming my last 3300 in the pot, flop comes T87, he bets, I fold.

I finally catch a break when I limp in a multiway pot with QT, John Phan leads from the SB on the T43 two club flop , I raise to 1000, he jams and says "you got me". Now I'm totally confident that he has the best hand, but I just dont have a fold in me, I call, and he has T9 and I double up to 6000. When we came back for level 3, I was really confident that I would get something going, but it didn't happen. I opened for 600 with AQ and got re-raised. Again, I thought the guy had a huge hand, and he re-raised small, so I called, missed the flop, and folded to his bet. I open for JT one off the button, the Sb makes it 2100, leaving himself about 2000, I have to fold. I open for 88 UTG, the SB asks how many chips I have, and decides to just call. The flop is J45, he checks, I bet 900, he makes it 1900, I think for a minute or two and fold. I really am not sure about this spot, I think he can have 66 or 77 here, or even something like A5. He had been pretty active... but I don't have enough chips to get him to lay down a better hand, and am dead if I'm called. Really a tough spot with what looks like a great flop for my hand. From there I blind off, with no good spots to put in my chips. I'm down to about 1700 when in the SB, I find A4 after a button raise by Roland DeWolfe. This isn't a great spot, but I jam, he has 67, and I lose.

So I decided to play some online tournaments and those have gone just the same. I'm not sure I've ever run this bad for so long playing tournaments. Its getting really hard to stay positive - and I hope I catch a break or two sometime soon.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Not a good start

Friday was the $1500 NL at the Bellagio. I arrived around 11:55, having never had a problem registering at a Bellagio tournament before. Of course I had never played a $1500, so it was very busy and I ended up 38th alternate. I wasn't seated until 9:00 left in the first level. The first pot I played was when a LP player open limped, the button made it 150, and I defended the BB with T9. The limper called and the flop was T94, it was checked around. The turn was a 7, I lead for 325, both players fold.
A few hands later I am on the button with 54 and limp behind a bunch of limpers. The flop is KQ7 rainbow and its checked around. The turn was a 6, and the BB lead out, one other player called, and I called. The turn was an 8 it was checked to me, I bet and they both folded. So I was up to almost 3700 or so at that point from my 3000 starting stack.
During level 2 (50-100 blinds), David Matthews open limped UTG. The player to my right also limped, I made it 550 with AsKs, folds to Matthews who jams for 1050 total. The other limper folds and I of course call and he has AhQx. The flop is all hearts with a queen, and obviously I lose the hand. I've played with Matthews twice and I have yet to be impressed with how he has played one single pot. You know, its only 1050 chips, but instead of 4700 I have 2700, and I spend the rest of the 50/100 level just blinding away, until I have 2025 going into the 100/200 level. Now I'm in push or fold mode, but when you are at exactly 10 big blinds with no antes, its very hard to justify being real push happy. Ideally you'd like to push in overtop of a raise with a monster hand and be isolated against one player that might have a pretty big range of hands. So I basically folded a lot of hands, down to about 1600 or so, I did open jam with QJ and won the blinds... Then I blinded down a bit more, again to 1600. A player limped under the gun for 200 and I had K9 and decided to go with it. He figures to have a lot of small pairs here as well as JT/QJ type hands, and I think he might fold a lot of the time. Of course, he insta calls with KQ and IGHN.

Today's $2000NL was even worse. I never found a rhythym at all. We were playing 5 handed at first, and the 5 seat opens for 250 and I fold QTs behind. Later, on the button, he opens for 325, and I fold A8s in the BB. I'm not sure about this. It seems obvious that these could be dominated hands , and not worth putting like 8% of my stack in preflop with. But when things are going bad maybe I have to re-evaluate ??? So, finally it folds to me and I have KQ and open for 150, and the BB makes it 550 and I fold. The next hand, I get AQ and make it 150, an Asian player behind makes it 775 and I fold. Am I running into aces every hand or playing way too tight? So maybe 5 hands later, the very active 5 seat makes it 225 after a limper. In the SB, I make it 725 with AK. He thinks for a bit and makes it 1500 more. I think the previous hands of folding to the re-raises and how active this player was already really factored in, I ended up jamming which is probably a marginal play, and of course he has two aces and I bust.

I'm really struggling in these preliminary events. I have never cashed in one, and I just feel lost. When the structures are bad (Bellagio smaller events and the World Series events), it feels like I am playing too tight, but whenever I loosen up I get punished. Maybe its just running bad, but I'm sure my play can improve also. Anyway, tomorrow is $2500NL hopefully that goes better.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I'm off to Vegas tomorrow to play in a bunch of Bellagio tournaments. They start Friday with a $1500 buy in, and the prelims continue through December 10th... and then the $15k buy in starts on the 14th. I'm feeling good about my chances to make a final table at the Bellagio - I'm looking forward to it.

Things have been going a little better but nothing spectacular. I took quite a few days off last week but on Sunday, Monday and tonight I played in a bunch of tournaments. I've had a few close calls, getting deep in a few tournaments but I just can't seem to break through. On Monday I finished 5th in the Stars $150, which with the reorganization of the poker sites has become a huge tournament. I made $7600 for that score, but I really ran poorly at the final table. One of the first hands in I had AK vs AJ and lost, if I had won I would have 600k to second place's 300k with 8 players left. Then a super aggressive small blind moved in on me for about 8.5 big blinds, and I had A2 and I thought for sure I had the best hand, despite hating calling off a bunch of chips in that spot. The SB flipped up the huge T4 suited and of course hit a ten on the river. I was down below 100k after that but two people busted in the next few hands so I got to move up before I busted.

I have also been playing a few satellites for the Stars Bahamas trip in early January. This is a fun goal for me to have, I will probably go on the trip anyway but I sure would like to win a seat. Its a tight schedule but the day after the Bahamas trip I will be off to Australia for the tournament down there. As soon as I return from that the tournament circuit is pretty busy in the states - I'm looking forward to it.

Take care readers. I'll try to put some tournament reports together from the Bellagio.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

USPC Final Table

(No, I didn't make the final table) but two of my poker friends made it. Shane Schleger and Jordan Morgan both made the final table of the $10k buy in at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Jordan comes in as the chip leader (where he's been for most of the tournament) and Shane definitely has enough chips to do some serious damage.

It will be quite a day sweating Michigan/Mich St football, the Tigers and the final table in Atlantic City. Good luck to both of you and I can't wait to see it on ESPN.

Monday, October 2, 2006

US Govt

On Friday, Congress passed the Port Security Act, a rider on that piece of legislation was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Bill. Basically, the bill is designed to stop all Internet gambling by Americans that isn't a lottery, horce racing or fantasy sports. It does so by making it illegal for banks, credit card companies and online payment processing places to do any business with online gambling sites. As bad as this sounds, I didn't believe it was time to panic. Written into the law is a 270 day period in which the regulations will be set forth for the banks and credit card companies to abide by.

The text of the law is here (with the text of the law starting on page 213).

Unfortunately, last night, it was rumored the parent company of Pacific Poker was going to announce that they were pulling out of the US market immediately. The parent company of Pacific Poker is a publicly traded company in London, as is Party Gaming which controls (I believe) the world's largest cardroom (Party Poker). Now we've found out that Party Poker is pulling out of the US as soon as the law is signed by the President (which will be sometime this week most likely). Pokerstars, another huge online site, is rumored to be doing the same, but no formal announcement has been made.

I'm amazed at how quickly this is all happening. It could very well be that by the end of the week US players will not be allowed to play poker on the two biggest online sites. I'm not worried about being able to withdraw my money from these sites, although probably the initial rush will cause things to be very slow - And I have personally been trying to keep my balances on the online sites small.

At this point we still have to wait and see what happens. Maybe some of the large sites will stay open to US customers like Full Tilt, Ultimate Bet, Bodog, etc. And maybe there will be some legal workaround to the funding problem on the sites. Also, the legality of the legislation could be challenged...

I'm on my way to Atlantic City today (Monday) for the US Poker Champs which start at the Taj Mahal on Tuesday. Boy would it be nice to put a large check in the bank with all this happening...we'll see!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Borgata $10k & Annoying Bubble

I was out just after the dinner break at the Borgata main event. I drew another tough table with John Phan and Barry Greenstein to my left, and many other good players at the table. I was pretty much card dead, getting up to 28k or so from the 25k starting stack just a couple of times. I lost a big pot to John Phan before dinner bluffing the flop and firing another barrel on the turn which he called - after dinner we were playing 300/600/75 and I had under 10k and got it all in preflop against John with AdKd vs As9s and lost.

I played the usual array of Sunday tournaments and cashed in only one (the UB $200 for $500). Its been pretty ugly for me this year on Sunday, whereas last year I had a couple of big wins.

Tonight I played in the WCOOP event #3 which was Pot Limit Omaha $300+20 with rebuys. I spent $920 and cashed for over $1600. Just cashing for me was pretty amazing as I never play PLO (I may have played one or two PLO tourneys before). I also played a $1,000 super satellite for the Aussie Millions on Full Tilt. Yes, I already have my seat but I can play further satellites for cash ($18,000 to be exact). Tonight they were giving away two $18k seats and $2,000 cash for third place. When we were down to 4, I was the shortest stack but caught a break when 3rd place busted in a tough hand against one of the bigger stacks. When we began three handed here were the stack sizes :

Seat 4: EdStar (43,248)
Seat 7: Bukowski (61,637)
Seat 9: Nordberg (9,115)

Obviously, I was in trouble - but EdStar didn't seem to figure out that he shouldn't play against the big stack at all and at one point we became tied at 20k for 2nd. Then I got short, then doubled through the big stack to take a little bit of a lead on 3rd. Then this hand came up :

Seat 4: EdStar (14,410)
Seat 7: Bukowski (76,859)
Seat 9: Nordberg (22,731)
EdStar antes 125
Bukowski antes 125
Nordberg antes 125
Nordberg posts the small blind of 500
EdStar posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [Ad Jc]
Persy (Observer): you've got it nord
Bukowski folds
Nordberg raises to 22,606, and is all in
EdStar calls 13,285, and is all in
Nordberg shows [Ad Jc]
EdStar shows [Kc Tc]
Uncalled bet of 8,321 returned to Nordberg
*** FLOP *** [2c 6c Qc]
*** TURN *** [2c 6c Qc] [Td]
Poopy Pants (Observer): wow
*** RIVER *** [2c 6c Qc Td] [2d]

I think this was a marginal call by the big blind - but that's the way it goes. I ended up third a few hands later for $2,000. I won't complain too much because I already won a seat and I got really lucky to do so - but man, it still stings getting that close and losing.

I'm home for a couple of weeks before heading back to Atlantic City for the US Poker Champs $10k, then its off to Vegas and back home for a day or two before heading to Niagara.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I apologize for the lack of updates...

On Monday I made the trip out to the Borgata in Atlantic City for the last two of the preliminary events as well as the $10,000 WPT event that starts on Friday.

Tuesday was the $2500NL and I drew a starting table that included Scott Fischman. I had a tough hand early when I got a free look in the big blind with A3o and the flop came A43. I bet out into the field of preflop limpers, the UTG player called and then the SB basically min raised me. I was really stuck in a weird spot here, because generally I think three betting the flop will only get rid of hands I crush, but I think folding is a bit weak. Anyway, when I just called and the 4 came off on the turn it made my decision easier.

I had about 8500 (we started with 10k) when my final hand came up. At the 50-100 level, two players limped to me and i limped behind with 8h9h, there was another limper and then the button made a somewhat strange raise to only 400 - everyone called. There was no 2000 in the pot and the flop came down K94 two hearts and it was checked to the preflop raiser on the button. He bet 1600, the under the gun limper called, and I decided that even if the under the gun player had bigger hearts I thought this was a good spot to semi-bluff all in. I really put the button on AK or AA and I thought they would both fold and I would pick up a nice pot. The button ended up calling with a set of 9's and the under the gun player indeed fold a bigger heart draw and I missed my flush draw and that was it.

Note : Congrats to Joey Brooks (JOEYTHEB online) for winning the $2500nl and besting a very tough field.

On Wednesday I played the $5,000 buy-in. At my table were familiar faces JohnnyBax, Gavin Smith and Nick Schulman. I finally got to witness Gavin's game from the first level of a tournament and let me tell you its impressive. He accumulated a huge stack in the first four levels and really only got his money in bad once when he outdrew and busted Nick. Meanwhile, I took a lot of flops and never really got anywhere. I lost a small pot to Bax with KT vs AT on a T9223 board - at the first break I think I had $13k (we started with $15k) and when I got back things didn't get any better. In the third and fourth levels I played (and lost) 3 key hands. In a limped pot, I flop bottom two pair with 56 on a 567 board, I bet the pot and get one caller. The turn is a 7 and he leads into me and I fold. I flop a flush with 7s6s on a Ts9s2s board, I bet into a huge field and get one caller who is loose/bad. The turn is the Tc and I bet again and he calls. The river is the As and I check and he jams for my last 7500, I eventually fold. A fairly tight player opens for 450, I make it 1300 with QQ, leaving myself 3500 or so, he calls fairly quickly preflop and when the flop comes AT8 he bets into me and I fold. I hate giving up so easily here but I really have no chips to blow him off the best hand, calling him down will cost me my whole stack, and I really thought this guy would simply bet out with the ace.

Finally I doubled up when I pushed overtop of a bunch of limpers with AJs and got called by KJ. Then in the fifth level (200/400/50) I received no hands and blinded off from 6000 to 4700 when I again pushed over a bunch of limpers with ATs and got looked up by Gavin's KQ- the board came KJxxK and IGHN. (Can't I ever win a meaningful 60/40 vs Gavin? Oh wait...)

As much as I'm looking forward to the $10k buy in on Friday - I sure hope I play better and run better. It seems that I haven't even had a chance in these first two tourneys, I've been below starting chips almost immediately.

I did have an amazing day online after busting from the $2500NL, winning about $15,000 in the 10/20nl game. I gave a little of that back last night but still, its been a winning month overall which feels good.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

LA & Cash Games

The $10,000 buy in at the Bike did not go well for me. I busted late in the first day with TT vs JJ on a 9875 board.

The last few days I've been playing a lot of cash games, mostly 10/20 NL on Full Tilt. I think I am playing quite well for the most part but I don't seem to be running well at all. I have attached some of the brutal hands (all of these are from today).

FullTiltPoker Game #960533269: Table Tartan (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:42:03 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: Nordberg ($5,803.50)
Seat 2: Glen Eichenlaub ($2,115.50)
Nordberg posts the small blind of $10
Glen Eichenlaub posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [Ts Th]
Nordberg raises to $60
Glen Eichenlaub raises to $380
Nordberg raises to $5,803.50, and is all in
Glen Eichenlaub calls $1,735.50, and is all in
Nordberg shows [Ts Th]
Glen Eichenlaub shows [3d 3h]
Uncalled bet of $3,688 returned to Nordberg
*** FLOP *** [4h Qs Jd]
Nordberg: lol
*** TURN *** [4h Qs Jd] [3s]
Nordberg: gl
*** RIVER *** [4h Qs Jd 3s] [7c]
Nordberg shows a pair of Tens
Glen Eichenlaub shows three of a kind, Threes
Glen Eichenlaub wins the pot ($4,230.50) with three of a kind, Threes

FullTiltPoker Game #960438775: Table Tartan (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:05:17 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: Nordberg ($2,212)
Seat 2: PimpOwnage ($2,108)
Nordberg posts the small blind of $10
PimpOwnage posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [8c Ac]
Nordberg raises to $60
PimpOwnage calls $40
*** FLOP *** [2h 8h As]
PimpOwnage checks
Nordberg bets $120
PimpOwnage raises to $480
Nordberg raises to $2,152, and is all in
PimpOwnage calls $1,568, and is all in
Nordberg shows [8c Ac]
PimpOwnage shows [6h 9h]
Uncalled bet of $104 returned to Nordberg
*** TURN *** [2h 8h As] [3h]
*** RIVER *** [2h 8h As 3h] [6s]
Nordberg shows two pair, Aces and Eights
PimpOwnage shows a flush, Nine high
PimpOwnage wins the pot ($4,215.50) with a flush, Nine high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $4,216 | Rake $0.50
Board: [2h 8h As 3h 6s]
Seat 1: Nordberg (small blind) showed [8c Ac] and lost with two pair, Aces and Eights
Seat 2: PimpOwnage (big blind) showed [6h 9h] and won ($4,215.50) with a flush, Nine high

FullTiltPoker Game #960611645: Table Tartan (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:10:48 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: Nordberg ($1,956)
Seat 2: studd7card ($2,751.50)
studd7card posts the small blind of $10
Nordberg posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [5h 3h]
studd7card raises to $40
Nordberg raises to $150
studd7card calls $110
*** FLOP *** [6h 2h Ad]
Nordberg bets $300
studd7card raises to $600
Nordberg raises to $1,806, and is all in
studd7card calls $1,206
Nordberg shows [5h 3h]
studd7card shows [Tc As]
*** TURN *** [6h 2h Ad] [Js]
*** RIVER *** [6h 2h Ad Js] [6d]
Nordberg shows a pair of Sixes
studd7card shows two pair, Aces and Sixes
studd7card wins the pot ($3,911.50) with two pair, Aces and Sixes
Nordberg is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $3,912 | Rake $0.50
Board: [6h 2h Ad Js 6d]
Seat 1: Nordberg (big blind) showed [5h 3h] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 2: studd7card (small blind) showed [Tc As] and won ($3,911.50) with two pair, Aces and Sixes

FullTiltPoker Game #960382628: Table Flame (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 12:42:05 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: PimpOwnage ($1,949)
Seat 2: Nordberg ($2,049.50)
Nordberg posts the small blind of $10
PimpOwnage posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [As 5s]
Nordberg raises to $60
PimpOwnage calls $40
*** FLOP *** [Ah 3c 4h]
PimpOwnage checks
Nordberg bets $120
PimpOwnage raises to $350
Nordberg raises to $1,989.50, and is all in
PimpOwnage has 15 seconds left to act
PimpOwnage calls $1,539, and is all in
Nordberg shows [As 5s]
PimpOwnage shows [2h 9h]
Uncalled bet of $100.50 returned to Nordberg
*** TURN *** [Ah 3c 4h] [Ks]
*** RIVER *** [Ah 3c 4h Ks] [3h]
Nordberg shows two pair, Aces and Threes
PimpOwnage shows a flush, Ace high
PimpOwnage wins the pot ($3,897.50) with a flush, Ace high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $3,898 | Rake $0.50
Board: [Ah 3c 4h Ks 3h]
Seat 1: PimpOwnage (big blind) showed [2h 9h] and won ($3,897.50) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 2: Nordberg (small blind) showed [As 5s] and lost with two pair, Aces and Threes

FullTiltPoker Game #960559347: Table Tartan (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 13:51:38 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: Nordberg ($3,747.50)
Seat 2: studd7card ($976)
studd7card posts the small blind of $10
Nordberg posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [Tc Th]
studd7card calls $10
Nordberg raises to $80
studd7card raises to $140
Nordberg calls $60
*** FLOP *** [5d Qc Qd]
Nordberg checks
studd7card bets $200
Nordberg raises to $3,607.50, and is all in
studd7card calls $636, and is all in
Nordberg shows [Tc Th]
studd7card shows [4d Td]
Uncalled bet of $2,771.50 returned to Nordberg
*** TURN *** [5d Qc Qd] [Kd]
*** RIVER *** [5d Qc Qd Kd] [6c]
Nordberg shows two pair, Queens and Tens
studd7card shows a flush, King high
studd7card wins the pot ($1,951.50) with a flush, King high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1,952 | Rake $0.50
Board: [5d Qc Qd Kd 6c]
Seat 1: Nordberg (big blind) showed [Tc Th] and lost with two pair, Queens and Tens
Seat 2: studd7card (small blind) showed [4d Td] and won ($1,951.50) with a flush, King high

FullTiltPoker Game #960745139: Table Effort (heads up) - $10/$20 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:58:19 ET - 2006/09/02
Seat 1: Nordberg ($2,622.50)
Seat 2: ellwood2 ($780)
ellwood2 posts the small blind of $10
Nordberg posts the big blind of $20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [Ad Kd]
ellwood2 calls $10
Nordberg raises to $80
ellwood2 calls $60
*** FLOP *** [5h 6c Ah]
Nordberg bets $160
ellwood2 calls $160
*** TURN *** [5h 6c Ah] [8s]
Nordberg bets $2,382.50, and is all in
ellwood2 calls $540, and is all in
Nordberg shows [Ad Kd]
ellwood2 shows [3h Qh]
Uncalled bet of $1,842.50 returned to Nordberg
*** RIVER *** [5h 6c Ah 8s] [4h]
Nordberg shows a pair of Aces
ellwood2 shows a flush, Ace high
ellwood2 wins the pot ($1,559.50) with a flush, Ace high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1,560 | Rake $0.50
Board: [5h 6c Ah 8s 4h]
Seat 1: Nordberg (big blind) showed [Ad Kd] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 2: ellwood2 (small blind) showed [3h Qh] and won ($1,559.50) with a flush, Ace high

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Aussie Millions

Tonight I won a seat to the Aussie Millions tournament in Melbourne (worth $18,000) in January 2007. It was a $1,060 satellite on Full Tilt and I took it down along with Shaniac (they gave away two seats). I ran pretty ridiculous at the final table, running AJ through JJ, AT through AK and 89 through AT on the last hand where the board came ATx99 to eliminate third place.

I also played in a $500 satellite for the Legends WPT on Paradise Poker. I ended up getting 4th for $1500 when they gave away 2 $12,000 seats and then cash to the next three spots. I was a bit unfortunate to go out with AK vs Q5 in a big pot all in preflop that would have given me a very good chance for the seat.

I couldn't quite pull off the double, but I was pretty lucky to win one of them. I also had a very good day in the cash games winning almost $11k so this week is off to a great start.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Home Again

I got back from Vegas a little over a week ago. I guess I never even updated about the $10,000 buy in at the Bellagio. Here is what I remember...

I had a really tough starting table with Carlos Mortensen, Mark Gregorich, Don Mullis and Ali Eslami. Fortunately, they were all to my right but Carlos makes life difficult wherever you are on the table. After Mark Gregorich busted the Grinder sat down - but that was only a little before our table broke.

Some hands...
Carlos opens and I call with the 5s6s, the flop comes 78Q one spade, he check calls. The turn is Qs, he check folds to my bet. I limp behind Don Mullis with the KT no diamonds. Bad player to my left calls on the button, flop comes KQ9 all diamonds, checked around. Turn is a blank, Mullis bets, I call, button calls. River is a blank, Mullis checks, I check, now the button bets? Mullis insta-calls and I tank. I'm fairly confident the button has nothing and that Mullis is calling with a little less something than I have so I call and my hand is good. (That was a big pot at the time). I open in the cutoff with 95o last hand before a break, only the bad SB calls. Flop is 623, he check calls. The turn is a 4, he check calls again. The river is a 5 and he best like 1/3 of the pot. I call, he has KJo. This one I can't figure out. And it appeared on the river that he thought it was a valiant call on my part. Ali opens, I call with 7c4c, Asian player whom I've seen before but I don't know his name calls from the blinds. The flop is 253 one club. This is a bit of a weird one, this is a really good flop for my hand but its checked to me. I was concerned at the time about getting blown off my hand, but in retrospect I should have bet and three bet all in if raised. Anyway, I checked behind and the turn was the Jc. The blind bet out, Ali called, and I just called with my zillion outs. The 6c came on the river and they both check folded.

In the last level of the day (300/600/75) our table broke and I had about 28k up from the starting 20k stack. My first hand at the table I re-raised someone with AKs and he folded. The next hand I opened with A8 and won a small pot. Two hands later I pick up AK again and raise and have to give it up unimproved on the flop. Toward the end of the level, I'm up to about 31k when Men the master open limps in late position. The SB completes and I check with 55. The flop is K43 and its checked to Men and he bets 2k and I call, pretty confident that I have the best hand. The turn is a 5 and I check to Men again and he bets 3k. I make it 10k, and then Men makes it 10k more. I strongly suspect I'm beat but Men could also play 44 or 33 this way, so I decided to stick the rest of my stack in there. As soon as my chips were in the middle I said "at least he hasn't called yet", which means it was a bit of a slowroll when he (finally) flipped up the 76 and I went home after I missed my full house on the river.

After I got home I started playing a lot of NL cash games. Mostly 10/20 but some other games mixed in as well. Through the first 25,000 hands everything was going really well. I fired up some tournaments this past Monday and was really frustrated in them, playing for what felt like smaller stakes and being frustrated with the lack of cards and pace of play. I began to wonder if I would ever get back into tournaments...On Tuesday night, I again entered the normal 9pm tournaments but this time got in a groove in the $150+12 on Party and by 5am won it for $35,000. I was really proud of the way I played at the final table, I only made maybe one mistake and that hand was a bit of a cooler. I think it was my second biggest score online and it was definitely my best weeknight results-wise in my poker career.

On Wednesday I again crushed the cash games, to the tune of almost $15k. One of my best days ever. It feels so simple when you're running good like that, hitting hands and getting paid off. Of course, the next two days were then horrible, losing almost $22k. Obviously, this is a totally different feeling, like how the hell can I ever win at poker again? I got beat up on the 10/20 tables on Stars and decided to only play lower stakes there until I get better or used to it, or run better, or whatever the problem is.

Today I played in most of the major Sunday tournaments. I didn't fare well in the early ones but in the $200+15 second chance tournament on Stars I finished third for almost $17,000. I made a blunder at the end and one with a few tables left but otherwise played very well (and ran really really well). At one point right after the bubble burst I had 135k and second place had 70k... that is a pretty rare situation with 120 players left.

I also played in a 4,000 FPP Satellite to the EPT London tournament. I bring this up because I bubbled in a pretty unique fashion. The chip leader had 110k, I had 57k, the other two players had about 45k. Two players get the seats worth $8,500 and the other two get nothing. I was in the SB with Ks8s and the other two players folded. I completed, the BB min raised (which was not uncommon for him) and I called. The flop came down JsTh9s. I was double gutted with a flush draw, a pretty big hand in this spot. I checked and the BB bet around the pot, 6k. I thought this was a perfect time for a semi-bluff all in, because he is virtually guaranteed a seat without playing any major pots so he can only call with very few hands. So I raised all in and he called almost instantly with QJ. Personally, I think this is a very bad play on his part because he is risking losing his comfortable stack, and I could very well have him beat. Anyway, his hand held up, unfortunately for me and I was out in fourth and he was the huge chip leader. Any thoughts on this hand? My read on him was that he was a tight player, too, it was pretty surprising.

That's about it for now. I'll try to update more regularly. This weekend I'm off to LA to play in the $10k buy in WPT tourney at the Bike.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Adios WSOP

I busted in the main event yesterday a hand before the dinner break. A new player to our table had opened the first two pots since he sat down and I made it 17.5k with KK on the second pot. He thought for a bit and moved me in for about 75k more, I called, he had AK and the A hit the river. I'm obviously ok with how I busted but I think I played a little sloppily during the day. I was at 93.2k at the beginning of the day and slipped down to 22k before building back up to over 100k when we got into the money.

All in all it was a very poor WSOP results-wise for me with only one cash but as it turns out I did very well online during that time so it all worked out pretty well. I'm still undecided on the Bellagio $10k which starts Monday. I made just head home tomorrow to Detroit.

Thursday, August 3, 2006


I made it to day 3, along with about 1150 of the 8700+ starters. I have around an average stack wtih 93,200. I had it up to 115k at the first break and had a great table before it broke and i ended up at the TV table with Negreanu. He played well and made it very difficult to get chips uncontested (actually he made it impossible). I slipped to 53k at dinner after some poor play but had a nice last level and a half to finish the night on a good note. I am off of Negreanu's table for Friday and think I will have a better time of it. We'll see. About 300 players more until we make the money...

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Day 1 Hands

My first Day 1 table was table 18. The only player I knew was Matt Russell from my final table in New Orleans...pretty ironic since we played together all four days in New Orleans and now were at the same table again.

Early on I lost with a jack high flush to an ace high flush and was down to about 8400. I later called a raise from Matt with KQ, flopped a K, called his flop and turn bets and then rivered a queen. I should've raised but the board was a bit scary so I just called and he had AK. I played the hand poorly and got lucky. The very next hand Matt limped in and I made it 225 to go with JJ and only Matt called. The flop came Axx and he check called, the turn went check/check and he bet small on the river and I called and he had A5o. A few hands later I limped with QsJs and someone behind me raised and I called. The flop came QJ4 and I checked, he bet 375, I made it 1275, and he thought a bit and called. The turn was a T and I bet 2000 and he called. I was pretty sure he had KK at this point and I planned to bet the river if it wasn't an A, K, 9, T or 4. The river was an awful T and I checked, he jammed for my last 5k and I folded. A few minutes later he told me he had me beat the whole time, flopping a set. So pretty lucky river as it turned out, if he's telling the truth.

Soon I was down to 3900 and pretty frustrated. I had played pretty poorly up to that point... I was then in the BB with AcQc and someone opened from MP for 200 and I called. The flop came 985 two clubs and it went check/check. The turn was Tc and i bet, got raised, and figured I should just jam. Its hard to put the guy on a hand at that point, I figured he slowplayed a set and wouldn't fold or just had nothing. I probably misplayed the hand here as well as he thought for a bit and folded. A few hands later a player opened and I called in position with 93o. I thought this player had a tight range and would overplay his hand if I hit. The flop came 876 and he bet and I raised and he called. The turn was an A and it went check/check. The river was a 5 and he checked, I bet 1000 and he called. I chipped up to 7700 at the first break.

After the first break things went bad again - our table broke to make way for a table of alternates... I took about 6k to my new table. A few hands in, i had about 5500 and the cutoff opened for 300. I made it 1000 from the SB with ATo and he went all in - I was getting about 2:1 to call so I called and he had AA and I lost. I was now down to about 2700. I opened with KK, got three callers, the ace flopped and I check folded. I opened with JJ and got two callers and won a decent pot. At the end of level 2 I had about 5400.

I got up to about 6500 when I raised two limpers to 1100 with AdQd and the 8 seat cold called and the limpers folded. The flop came JT9 and I bet about 2500 leaving myself 2975. He thought for a bit and called. The turn was a K giving me the nuts and I checked, he jammed with 88 and I doubled up. I finally had about 13500 and was feeling good. The rest of the level went really poorly though. I lost a bunch of small pots and made some marginal decisions and ended up at 8500 or so at the dinner break. I was pretty frustrated with my play up till that point but was determined to come back from dinner and play better.

A few hands into level 4, the SB raised my BB to 700 and I woke up with AA. I decided to just call and the flop came AQx. The SB bet 1000 and I called. The turn was a J and he went all in and had me covered! I made the easy call and he had KQ and I dodged the T on the river. This time I had about 15000. I chipped up really well for a little while, up to about 22000 when I hit another snag. A tight player opened for 700 and the player that I doubled before with AT vs AA cold called. I had JJ and made it 3000. Everyone folded except Mr Aces who went all in after cold calling, I had to call as I was getting a huge price but he had AA again and I lost. I finished the level with 15000, and again I felt frustrated -

The next level got off to a great start when I limped behind some limpers with 54o and the flop came A23 and I got it all in vs a short stack who had 33. His hand did not improve and I busted him, getting up to about 23k. I won a few pots including this one to get to about 32k. I opened for 900 with 66 and the 8 seat made it 3000. He was pretty deep and I thought I would get paid off if I hit my set so I called. The flop was A43 and it went check/check. The turn was an 8 and I really thought he had TT or JJ so I bet 4500 planning to fire again on the river and he folded. I ended level 5 with about 34k.

I chipped up early in level 6, winning a few small pots, then opening to 1100 with AK. The button called and the 8 seat re-raised to 3400. I had played with this guy long enough to know that he probably didn't want a call, and really wanted to make it to day 2 and AK was a huge hand in that spot as I had been raising a lot so I re-raised again almost putting him in. The button quickly mucked and the SB thought for awhile before folding 99 face up. A few hands later I opened with T9o, the woman to my left jammed and I lost to her 77. Shortly there-after a short stack raised a limper, I re-raised with 88 and he went all in with AK and I won. Then I opened on the button with Q9o and defended when the BB re-raised. The flop came T9x and he bet 3500 and I called. The turn was a T and he check folded. The very next hand a new player opened to 1500 and I re-raised with TT. My table image wasn't great but I figured he would fold a lot of hands as we were closing in on the end of day 1. He eventually went all in and I beat his AQ. I now had about 61k and chipped up to 69650 by being aggressive (and the tight players to my right gave me a walk a couple of times).

Day 2 for me is Wednesday and I think I am the biggest stack at the table by quite a bit...

Main Event Day 1

I ended the day with 69650 chips which is in great shape. What a contrast to last year when I finished with 12k after being above 20k most of the day. Today, I was down to 3900 in the first level, 2700 in the second level and in the last two levels I went from 15k to 70k without getting my chips all in.

I was actually only all in twice during the day, once with my opponent drawing completely dead and the other time he had 4 outs with one card to come. When you are short stacked that's pretty amazing. I'll write more tomorrow if/when I get time. I don't play again until Wednesday.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Day 1D and the TV Show

Well, Day 1D of the World Series starts tomorrow - its pretty bizarre starting a tournament after about half the people playing have busted. I'm excited, but on the other hand I don't really know what to expect. There are so many inexperienced players that I think its really hard to know where some people are. Don't get me wrong, its also an excellent opportunity to get a bunch of chips early without making a really strong hand... but there's also the good chance that I make a totally bad decision. We'll see.

As far as the ESPN airing of the New Orleans Event I am pretty happy overall with the way it turned out. I knew they would show the 43o hand, and I knew I wouldn't like it. It was a pretty bad line to take, and I figured I had a good chance of getting looked up, but I decided to try it anyway. I think it was good in terms of putting myself through a big bluff in that situation - despite not being successful. I think the whole problem with the hand was just never value betting a hand like that - (which by the way, would work really well against Gavin). Overall, its pretty funny they labelled me as Mr. Conservative, when in reality, I definitely played more aggressive when I knew I could. With Gavin's big chiplead there was no way I could play aggressive anyway...

Other than that, I have been playing a lot of no limit ring games on Full Tilt lately and it has been going really well overall, especially in the 10/20 game. One other really neat thing is I believe I am close to getting a backer. I think this will be a great opportunity to play the schedule that I'd like to play this fall but not have to buy in to all of the tournaments myself. Nothing is final yet, but I think it will happen. After the main event, I think I will play in the Bellagio Cup $10k, the Legends $10k in late August, and then hopefully the Borgata and EPT London in September.

Good luck to everyone still in the Main Event or those that haven't played yet!

Monday, July 24, 2006


I flew back to Vegas on Wednesday evening... excited to get back to the WSOP and the $5k shorthanded NLHE event.

I flopped a set against Jason Strasser in the second level and ended up busting him when I filled up on the river and he called my all in. I was off to a great start at greater than 9k. From there everything went wrong and I was quickly down to 2k. I doubled up with AK vs J2 and I chipped up nicely to 9k again when my table finally broke. My new table was much tougher with Howard Lederer two to my left and Blair Rodman two to my right.

Lederer was very aggressive in re-raising me, and I never defended and I never had the goods. I think I played quite poorly in retrospect. A while later ridiculously good online player H@llingol took Rodman's seat. I was short stacked and pushing and re-pushing often. Finally, my bustout hand came when I started the hand with about 4800, posted the 300 BB, had KhTh and got it all in against H@llingol on a KJ4 two heart board against QJ and the J on the river sent me packing. I had no regrets how I played the last hand, just got unlucky. It would have been a huge pot for me putting me at 13k.

Next up was the 2k NLHE. I got up to 3300 early when I won a nice pot with AK vs QQ on an AAxxK board and QQ called the river bet and showed after not re-raising preflop. That was quite an interesting line. Of course I missed everything after that and got down to 2k or so. I blew 1k of it with 77 vs both blinds when I fired a continuation bet and had to fold to a push. I doubled with KK vs TT back to 2k, then lost 1k of it wtih 44 vs QQ, got all the way down to 450 at the 50/100 level and then chipped up to about 1500 again. Gavin Smith came to my table (first time I had really talked to him since New Orleans) and he ended up doubling me and then busting. I ran low of chips though and ended up pushing with JT and ran into AQ.

The next day was the $1500 Razz tournament. I had never played a 7 card stud game live so it was a bit of an adjustment, but I think I played pretty well overall. I ran pretty well and had my chips up to 4k by the second break then about 4400 by the dinner break. After that I went on a rush to 7500 or so... and then I really kind of ran out of steam. I ended up misplaying one hand against JohnnyBax when I defended my bring in when he was in the last position. I ended up making a T on the river and paying off his 9 - then eventually he busted me, about 15 spots from the money at 3:30am. Really, another frustrating finish. My friend Chris (blog to the right) ended up 11th and JohnnyBax got 4th, congrats to them, they've both never played Razz before.

Right as I busted from the Razz tourney my friend Carl Olson was making the final table of the $2k NLHE tournament. That gave me something to do yesterday (and a good reason to skip the $1k rebuy and Sunday tourneys). The final table was filmed for TV and Carl did very well, finishing in 6th place for over $130k. I know he wanted to do better, but he is one of the best players out there and just didn't get the cards he needed.

I only have one event left before the main event, and that is the $1500NL tomorrow. The main event starts on Friday but I don't play until Monday. Going to be playing a lot online (which has been very good) and I also might play a Bellagio $1k here or there.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Back Home

My last two WSOP events were really pretty boring. I'll see if I can recap them although they are not as fresh in my mind as usual.

I got off to a decent start in the $2500 NL. My table was fairly easy except for David Chui to my left and John Phan a few to my right. Early on I limped with Ah5h and David Chui raised behind me and I called and flopped the nut flush. I check raised the flop (he bet 125 I made it 400), he quickly called. The turn was a blank and I bet 600 and he called. The river was another blank and I moved in for 1050 and he folded.

I went card dead for awhile then made a pretty loose call preflop against a guy who raised from early position. I had QJo and the flop cames JT9. He bet 750 into a 600 chip pot which was a bit strange and he only left himself with 1300. My read on the player was that he would not bet here with like AK but in such a short stacked tournament I had no chance to put my chips in. He thought for quite a while before folding which surprised me.

Toward the end of level 2 I goofed up in a pot. I made it 150 from EP with AhJh, I had been rarely opening. I received a bunch of callers and the flop came KK7 two hearts. I checked because there were so many people in the pot - it was checked around and a small card came off on the turn. Again I didn't bet and probably should have and the tight player to my left bet. It really felt like he was protecting a hand like 88 or 99, but before I could really figure the whole story out I figured I was too weak to represent the king so I just called (I was priced in). I missed on the river and it went check/check and he had 99.

At the end of level 2 I had about 3500 (started with 2500). The hand after the break I posted the 100 BB and the button moved in for about 1000. I had AJo and decided to call and dodged his 76s. We broke the table the next hand and I moved over feeling pretty good about my 4600 chips. My new table was pretty tough. I folded most hands for a couple of orbits and then probably got a little impatient. I opened twice and had to give up to re-raises. I then limp/called with 87s and then check / folded the flop. I think I was down to about 3000 when two players open limped and I had AQo. It was the biggest hand I had seen all day and I wanted to make a large raise to take the pot down so I made it 600. Stan then moved in behind me for about 1050 more. The limpers folded and despite the knowledge that STan is a tight player I knew I had to call given the 2.5 to 1 or so odds I was getting. He had AK and I was down to about 1300 or so. The blinds then doubled to 100/200 and I started open pushing a bunch.

I finally got down to about 1200 in the 100/200 level and had to push over a min raiser with 44, he called with AQ and I made running diamonds to win the pot on the river. Again, our table broke and I took my 2800 or so chips to my new table where I found Mike Matusow and a bunch of people I didn't know. I treaded water for a few rounds - and then a couple of close decisions came up.

We were playing 100/200/25 and the cutoff opened for 700 and the button cold called. I looked down at 44 in the BB and had about 3000 chips or so. I ultimately decided to muck. It turned out that the cutoff had KK and the button had AQ and I would have ended up losing for sure.

A few hands later Matusow open limps with a big stack, the player to his left limps, the button makes it 900 and I look down in the SB with 77 and about 2700 chips. Another tough decision I think - I really thought that the button had a big hand, and probably one that was a bigger pair because I figured he would raise larger with AK. I ultimately folded and the BB moved in for 2900. Matusow then cold called, and the then button over pushed for like 8000 more. He had Matusow covered... Matusow took a minute or two and said something like "I've only folded this hand 4 times in my life" which means he has KK - and he actually folded face up after too much thought. The big blind ended up having AJ and the button had only AK! What an interesting situation had I pushed with the 77 and gotten heads up with a big overlay vs AK having KK and AJ out of the hand! The button had AdKd and flopped the nut flush draw and then rivered an ace for good measure so I would've lost anyway. (And Matusow would have busted as well and I believe he ended up making the final table).

I then got nothing. I felt really frustrated at the 100/200/25 level because I had about 12-16 big blinds the whole way which is a really awkward stack size for opening pots. I opened for 600 in the cutoff but the button called and I flopped nothing and gave on the turn - Eventually the blinds went to 150/300/25 and I open pushed with J7o for about 1500 chips and ran into 33 and lost.

The $1k rebuy was the next day. I again drew Greg Raymer (also Kevin Song and Shawn Sheikan) at my table and was happy because I figured he would be a rebuy donkey and I could spend little and build a big stack. It turned out that I was the rebuy donkey and spent all the money I had on me, a total of 7k to end the rebuy period with only 3050 chips. Meanwhile Raymer spent 4k and had about 8k chips. I was actually quite frustrated by the end of the rebuy level because I had run out of money to rebuy with (and only had the 2k chips for the double add-on). I almost gave up and quit because its tough to play the tournament with less than 4k at the break.

Anyway, after the break, I finally got TT on the button and raised....and of course just won the blinds. I blinded off a bit down to about 1700 or 1800 with the blinds 100/200 and jammed from the button with J8s and the BB looked me up with A9. I lost, but had 50 chips left, which I lost the next hand with K7 vs AJ.

I had already planned to come home two days later and I was looking forward to the break. I played 8 events, didn't make a dinner break, didn't cash and spent $25,000. Not a great start.

Throughout my trip out west I had started to play speed sit and goes on Party. I had a great run in the $200 turbos, I played 250 of them and had a 32% ROI (return on investment) which is running phenomenal. I of course wanted to move up to the 500's, so I did that and of course ran way worse (and of course they are tougher). Overall I've played 570 of the $500's and am happy with the results. I think I have run slightly better than normal overall, but if I can keep my ROI in the ballpark I am fairly certain that I have a higher EV in the SNGS than anywhere else. We'll see.

I won't be playing much in the next week - next Tuesday ESPN is airing the New Orleans Circuit Event that I won. Its on from 8pm-10pm, hope you all enjoy it. Wednesday I return to Vegas for the rest of the World Series. Take care everyone.

Edit : Oh! I almost forgot. Here are two entertaining sit and go hands from tonight.

NL Texas Hold'em $530 Buy-in Trny:25944575 Level:3 Blinds(50/100) - Wednesday, July 12, 23:48:36 ET 2006
Table Speed Stiff Ripples (Real Money)
Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 8: Nordberg ( $1660 )
Seat 9: herpes4l1fe ( $1575 )
Seat 2: acerattata ( $2925 )
Seat 5: HuseYourDadi ( $1850 )
Seat 3: Donkey ( $2533 )
Seat 4: rozazalm ( $5707 )
Seat 6: robert07 ( $1730 )
Seat 7: Kapiti ( $2020 )
Trny:25944575 Level:3
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Nordberg [ 7d 7c ]
rozazalm folds.
HuseYourDadi folds.
robert07 folds.
Kapiti did not respond in time.
Kapiti folds.
Nordberg raises [300].
herpes4l1fe folds.
acerattata folds.
Donkey calls [200].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 5d, Td, 2s ]
Donkey checks.
Nordberg bets [500].
Donkey calls [500].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3h ]
Donkey checks.
Nordberg is all-In.
Donkey calls [860].
** Dealing River ** [ 5s ]
Donkey shows [ Jh, 4s ] a pair of fives.
Nordberg shows [ 7d, 7c ] two pairs, sevens and fives.
Nordberg wins 3370 chips from the main pot with two pairs, sevens and fives.

NL Texas Hold'em $530 Buy-in Trny:25944575 Level:4 Blinds(100/200) - Wednesday, July 12, 23:53:36 ET 2006
Table Speed Stiff Ripples (Real Money)
Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 8: Nordberg ( $2470 )
Seat 9: herpes4l1fe ( $1275 )
Seat 2: acerattata ( $1202 )
Seat 5: HuseYourDadi ( $1700 )
Seat 3: Donkey ( $2746 )
Seat 4: rozazalm ( $6007 )
Seat 7: Kapiti ( $4600 )
Trny:25944575 Level:4
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Nordberg [ Ah Kh ]
rozazalm folds.
HuseYourDadi folds.
Kapiti raises [555].
Nordberg is all-In.
herpes4l1fe folds.
acerattata folds.
Donkey is all-In.
Kapiti: 10s
Kapiti folds.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 4c, 8s, Ts ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 6s ]
** Dealing River ** [ 2d ]
Donkey shows [ Qc, 3c ] high card queen.
Nordberg shows [ Ah, Kh ] high card ace.
Donkey wins 276 chips from side pot #1 with high card queen.
Nordberg wins 5595 chips from the main pot with high card ace.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006


Yeah, I've slipped in updating, I know.

Its depressing to talk about bustouts day after day, but here are the reports.

The $2k NL was over really fast for me. I don't think I made the first break. I got down to 1200 on this hand... I am in the BB with A8o and there are about 4 players to the flop. The flop comes 853 and the SB bets out 50, I make it 200 and the first limper cold calls and the SB folds. The turn is a 3 and I check and the limper checks. The river is a 9, and I made a bad play and bet out 300 and he raised and I had to fold... I think he either had 67 or a full house, becuase the way it was played I don't know what other hand he could have.

So I blinded down a bit, and then re-raised all in preflop with QQ and my opp folded. I finally got all my chips in with Ks4s vs KQ on a Kxx two spade flop and lost.

The 3k Limit was next and I really played poorly. Even after I got some chips I felt like I was playing too loose and then got frustrated and had no cards and forced the issue a bit too much.

The 5k NL was today... really looked forward to this one. I don't think I've ever seen such a tough field. At my table at the beginning were Dewey Tomko, Men the Master and Steve Danneman. Eventually Greg Raymer, Matt Hilger and Ben Roberts filled in when people busted (Men was the only big name to bust). I played a really uneventful couple of levels. The only big hand I won was with JJ when Danneman raised up front and myself and another guy called and I won the pot with a turn bet.

When I returned from break I had about 5000 and this hand came up... A guy who has been raising alot makes it 600 from MP. I call from the BB with 77. The flop comes 622 and I check, and he pushes all in for 3550. Normally this kind of overbet screams "I don't want a call" but I had played with this guy in the 2500nl and thought like 88 or TT were possibilities also. Plus it was almost all of my chips. I eventually called and he showed 55 but rivered a 5. That was horribly frustrating...but nothing I can do about it. So I was down to 775 with 100-200 blinds.

Raymer doubled me up when I jammed with A3h and he called with 22. Later I doubled with AA vs 77 to get to 3000. I got down to 2300 when Matt Hilger open limped, Dewey limped behind, I jammed iwth ATo and the BB woke up with JJ and busted me. My next tourney is the 2500nl on Friday.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Event #5 $2500 NL 6 Handed

I got off to a great start in this event... despite drawing Jennifer Harman and Ralph Perry at my starting table. I won a few pots early and had it up to about 3300 when this hand came up in level 2... UTG makes it 150, Ralph calls on the button, I call from the BB with Kd3d. Its a loose call preflop - but when the flop comes 339 you look pretty smart. Anyway, I had played pretty aggressively

Friday, June 30, 2006

Event #4 $1500 Limit

Today was Event #4, $1500 Limit.

I got off to a quick start in the first level making a full house then winning with AA to get above 2400 chips. The rest of the first level and the second level were bad though and I was down to 1700 at the break. I caught a rush right after the break, flopping a set of aces against a pair of aces, then abusing the player to my left in quite a few pots. Come

Event #3 $1500 PL

Event #3 was over for me pretty quickly. I lasted just over two levels and was short stacked pretty much the whole time.

I got my chips in with AQ vs KK and lost despite flopping a queen.

Two people from my links on the right made the second day with decent chips, Brandon and Eric, GL to them.

Today is the $1500 Limit...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Event #2 $1500NL

I drew a rather ironic starting table for the $1500NL. One my left was Steve Paul-Ambrose who won the Stars WPT Event this year and on my right was John Gale who won the same event the year before!

Steve was out early when someone took most of his stack with an oddly played 5 high flush draw (putting in almost 400 preflop against Steve's AA).

I played too loose at the beginning and got down

Monday, June 26, 2006


The TOC came and went pretty quickly for me. My table consisted of (from 1-9), Brad Kondracki, Chris Ferguson, Mike O'Malley, Clint Baskins, me, Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, Scott Lazar and Darrell 'Gigabet' Dicken.

I had a rough hand come up early when I raised two limpers to 250 with JJ and only Clint called. The flop came T64 and Clint check called. The turn was a 7 and it went check check

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Here is my final table recap... it will probably have some spoilers so if anyone wants to see the TV show and be surprised, best not read on!

The beginning of the day was really frustrating. We were supposed to start around 2 and that meant 3 with all of the TV delays. I was second in chips but knew that was a precarious spot because some of the other stacks were right near mine and they would double up or bust shorter stacks and I could easily be passed.

A few hands in it seemed like the short stacks would hang around as both of them doubled quickly. Gavin was raising a lot but he also was getting re-raised by the shorties and he couldn't seem to bust anyone. I raised with ATo and AQo and won two small pots to get around 250k. One thing I want to mention is how uncomfortable it was at the final table when we had 10 people. We had been playing 9 handed the whole tournament and now we were 10 handed at the TV table (which has a high rail to it) and only so many cameras. I'm used to looking at my cards in front of my chips and I had to do it off to the side - its a small thing but it was annoying at first. One important thing that happened is Ben Gordon who was in second place at the time went to war with 77 vs Gavin's AK and lost. He re-raised preflop and then called Gavin's push and I didn't think that was a very good situation. Gavin wasn't going to bully with a bad hand in that spot and I think he would have been better served calling with the 7's and trying to flop a set.

This was a key - Gordon was to my left and I didn't like him being there. he was unpredictable and aggressive and I figured I would have like AQ or something and he would re-raise me and I would have a very difficult decision. That happened at a break and when we got back there were 7 people left and I believe I was in third.

Right after the break a key hand came up. Allie Prescott moved in for 72k or so with the blinds 3-6k and I looked down at AJs. I had about 200k and after a bit of a think I decided to move in behind. I was fortunate Allie had A9o and I busted him and got up to second in chips I believe.

From there we lost Dana in 6th place and Gavin really started to bully the short stacks... one time he opened and I actually mucked AJ from the BB. A hand or two later I had QQ and re-raised Gavin and he folded. I think I won a pot against George also in the blinds and had over 300k. A few hands later I found KK under the gun and made my standard raise to 18k. Gavin moved in behind me with Ajs, which is a huge overbet, but its an ok play since there were a couple of very short stacks still. I have to muck quite a few hands there. I instantly called with my KK and doubled through to now a close second with Gavin. Here's the thing about that hand. If Gavin flat calls (with AJ, 56, or two random cards), I'm still so deep that he can pressure me more after the flop - if the flop comes 865 for instance and he pushes all in overtop of my flop bet I have a very difficult decision. Preflop, the decision is way easier for me (I think I call there with QQ-AA, AK). This was obviously a huge hand for me and I really felt confident I would get heads up with Gavin now.

A few hands later came one of my best hands of the tournament. Matt Russell raised to 30k leaving himself about 80k. And Kenny Brown was in the BB with only about 20k or so. This means that I can pressure Matt because someone is about to go broke, and I feel like he will fold all but really good hands. I look down at KJs and decide to re-raise to 100k. George to my left folds, Gavin folds and Kenny goes all in with 77. Matt instantly folds and I flop a jack to bust Kenny. Incidently Matt folded KQ and Gavin folded AJ. As Gavin said I walked on water that hand but it was perfect timing and I had setup that play vs Matt in my mind for three days (having played with him every day).

Now we were down to 4 and I was pretty much even with Gavin and George and Matt were both under or around 100k I believe. I knew Gavin and I would chip away at them and it would only be a matter of time. First, George busted with A2 vs AQ for Gavin in the blinds... this left us three handed but it was a bit of a pain for me now because Gavin had position on my 2 of 3 hands. I decided I was going to pretty much raise every button to exploit the fact that Matt would give me respect and Gavin would not want to play out of position and he would not re-raise me very often. In the SB I would open limp a lot and try to keep the pots small. I won a few pots and Gavin won a few (in fact I think he won more than his share when he was in the BB). He is a pain in that spot because he gives up his hand on the flop very rarely. So you have to figure out when to bet your missed hands, when to follow through on the turn, when to let him take the lead, etc. One thing I will say is that Gavin calls a lot, rather than raising and that helped keeping the pots small. I also felt like he didn't think he needed to be making a lot of plays. So in reality, even if he was chipping away at me, I wasn't being put in a lot of tough spots, which was certainly ok with me.

Finally, Matt busted when he pushed with AT from the button, I folded A7 from the SB and Gavin called with AK. We were now heads up and I was behind, maybe 1mil to 700k.

I really thought Gavin and I would get heads up. I figured if I could get to even 400k I would have a shot at him with the structure so good as it was. He made it clear before the day started that he does not make deals so a deal was never discussed.

Thanks to the very good WSOPC structure, we played a few hands at 4k-8k before moving to 5k-10k. Very early on I raised a pot and then bet the flop and got called and folded on either the turn or the river to give Gavin a head start. Then I found KK and re-raised when Gavin opened and he thought for a minute before re-raising again. I thought for a minute before going all in and Gavin finally called with 44. I'm not sure what he was doing with this re-raise. Maybe he thought he good bully me around or picked up weakness, or maybe a pair is just big heads up (I certainly thought so a little later, lol). Anyway, I was fortunate and dodged a 4 to win a huge pot and get ahead.

I really felt confident now. He started folding a lot more when he was short, taking a lot less flyers on speculative hands. I also was very aggressive raising in position almost every time (and I think that surprised him and it took him a minute or two to adjust). I also tried to mix up my play when he open limped on the button , leading into him with good and bad hands equally. The next big hand I remember was when he completed on the button and I checked with 92 in the bb. The flop came Q95 and I check called. The turn was a 2 and I check raised his 60k bet to 200k, he went all in and I called right away. He had 95 and doubled through me.

I honestly don't remember how, but from what I remember, I chipped him way down again, to where he had only 300k or so. One hand I remember was when I had 92s. The flop came 853 two spades and I check raised and Gavin called. The turn was a 4c and Gavin lead into me and I called with the flush draw/wheel draw. The river was a spade that paired the board and Gavin check folded to my large bet on the river.

Finally, we got it all in preflop when Gavin limp re-raised all in with A4 and i had AQ. He apologized in advance for the bad beat and he indeed flopped a 4 to double through. One thing that immediately came to mind is the beat did not phase me a bit. I didn't get up and curse, and Gavin didn't hoot and holler and celebrate. This is always how I hoped I would act in that situation and exactly how I hoped my opponent would act. Maybe ESPN doesn't like this but I sure did.

Anyway, I still had a bit of a lead but it was back to work. Gavin really started rolling though. On my button I raised with 43o and he called. The flop came AJ8 and I bet 40k and he called. The turn was an A and I bet 60k and he called. I knew Gavin didn't have an ace and thought he might lay down an 8 or a J so I planned to bet the river also. The river was a 5 and I bet 140 or 150k. Gavin probably had it in his mind that I had never really value bet a hand this way, and I knew that also, but I still thought he would be put to a tough decision if I bet big on the river. I just tried to remain as still as possible while he thought it out... he said he couldn't beat anything but he finally called and won a huge pot.

This was a really tough time for me. I felt like it was slipping away and I remember that horrible feeling I had at the Borgata when Edog looked me up in a similar spot. You just want to run and hide when someone owns you like that but I knew I had to regroup.

A few hands later I really screwed up again when Gavin re-raised my button opener, I had 66 and I pushed all in and he had KK. I really deserved to lose at this point but I sucked out with quads to have another big chip lead. It was then when i finally had a beer with Gavin (who had had a few drinks at that point!).

Gavin went into his shell of small ball again and I chipped away with aggressive play. He did however raise or re-raise all in a few times and I had to fold. One time I had 9T and the flop came KJ7 giving me a pretty good, well disguised draw. I bet the flop and Gavin called, and I thought about checking behind on the turn when I missed but I bet again and he c/r all in and I had to fold. I finally c/r all in on the turn on a X655 board with 47 but Gavin called me with J5 and doubled through again. Again though, I chipped away and he had about 400k when he limp re-raised me all in with KQ and I called with AJ and finally won the title!

The feeling was pretty odd. It was a relief and it was great to shake hands with Gavin and I really believed that I had earned it. But also I didn't know how to act. I was nervous for the post game interview and photo opps and really was exhausted - all I wanted to do was get my money and get away from that casino honestly.

I really wanted to thank my parents who came in for the event. They always said they would come and even though my Dad had just returned from Europe they made the trip on almost no notice. I also wanted to thank online players SamENole and PartyPSucks from sweating me the last two days. Just to run over to them during the breaks and get encouragement was really helpful. And it must have been sooooo boring for most of it.

To wrap up this already too long entry - this victory earned me a berth in the Tournament of Champions at the Rio before the World Series and I am really pumped for that. The field will be ridiculously hard (27 players total, top 9 get paid) but the stakes are huge and its a freeroll! I'm excited and also excited for the World Series.

I returned home to Detroit on Monday morning - and by Monday evening I was back playing poker online! I managed to win my third WSOP seat (this time on Full Tilt) and finished 4th in the Party $150 for over $9k. All told I won $20k! I guess I'm still running good. Thanks for reading...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

New Orleans Final Table

Well, I made my first TV final table today. I got into the final 10 2nd in chips to Gavin Smith (who has more than double my stack). It was a really interesting day, I chipped up nicely and had a great table with 19 players left but I got moved to balance the tables - my new table had all of the stacks that were over 200k at that time. They were also all to my left - and that made it challenging.

When we re-drew at 18 players I was sure I would have a better draw but it was worse. The same three players to my left with only one short stack in between. After Gavin Smith busted Phil Ivey Gavin became an even bigger problem to play against. I'm glad the bubble burst when it did, and even though I still have Gavin to my left tomorrow, he's a few more spots to the left than he was today.

I've been running really well the whole tourney... i don't think anyone has doubled through me and I've busted a few people with the worst hand. That really helps, hopefully I can keep that going tomorrow.

Friday, May 26, 2006

WSOPC New Orleans - Day 1

I won my seat into the $10k New Orleans Circuit event in a $1k mega satellite yesterday. It was a long trek, running about 10 hours. I was pretty short at the 100-200 level but beat KK with A3 and then I was off and running. I actually did get short one other time but then kept jamming or re-raising and then finally hit two really big hands to get some chips. With about 3 tables left (there were 17 $10k seats given away) my seat was pretty well locked up. I got aggressive near the bubble and tried to bust people and ended up busting the guy on the bubble with A8 vs AA.

I got to my seat for the $10k and didn't recognize anyone. Soon enough I found out I had one lady that was crazy at my table. She liked to min re-raise preflop, or sometimes she would make a 6xbb raise. Totally random, she didn't know what she was doing. On one hand, the board read (on the river) AQJT7 three clubs, and she bet into a guy for 600, he made it 1600, she made it like 3600, and he went all in for about 5000 more, he flips up 8c9c and someone asked to see her hand and it was Q9o. But it was impossible to put her on a hand, so I just decided that I would try to make a hand vs her and play it fast and hope she calls me.

After the first level I had 8k after raising with QQ and folding the turn on a scary board. A few minutes in I found AA in the cutoff and made it 300. The SB and BB called. The flop was Q64 two clubs and the SB lead out for 1000. I really thought he had a hand like KQ here, so I thought I would call and help disguise my hand a bit. The turn was a 2 and he bet 2000. I had about 6800 left and pushed in and he called (amazingly enough) with Q7 and my hand held up.

I treaded water for quite a while until the 100-200 level when I opened in Mp with Kh2h. The crazy lady from the BB called and the flop came 3h4h5h. She lead out for 1000, and I had no idea what she had but figured she would call a raise so I made it 3000 and she called. The turn was a 6c and she lead out again, for 4000. She had about 6000 behind and I really thought she was coming with me so I jammed - but she folded. Getting to 23k without a showdown was nice enough though.

From there I busted a short stack with 66 vs KJ to get to 27k or so... then in the last two levels I just chipped up slowly, winning more than my share of blinds and antes while almost never getting played back at. I ended the day with 37775 chips which is above average going into tomorrow.

We are playing down to 27 tomorrow (57 left for now) and then 10 on Saturday for the ESPN TV table. They are only paying 18 spots so we won't be down to the money tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No News is Bad News

The Heartland Poker tour event came and went quite quickly for me. In the fourth level I had about 16k chips and got it all in after the flop with KhKd vs KsQc on a Js9s4s board and lost (I was only 53% to win).

I got in the car and drove home the nearly 5 hour drive just in time to start most of the Sunday tourneys. A really bad idea as it turned out. I should've taken a break or a nap and just played when I got up but instead entered a million tournaments like normal and ended up having a pretty brutal day.

Even with my extremely good weekend of three significant cashes my monthly MTT ROI (return on investment) is only 42% or so which is less than my year to date.

My first 120 sit and goes at the $200 turbo level have done pretty well with a ROI of 25%. (I think this is quite a bit above what I will expect over the long run but we'll see).

Tonight I played in two tournaments where I had very high hopes but fell short of anything worthwhile. In the $1000 WSOP satellite on Full Tilt (which I won a one table to gain entry to), I had a bunch of chips with 12 players left, in 2nd or 3rd place (with 6 12k seats given out), then I lose with AJ vs JJ (where I was getting 2:1 after raising in late position) and then I run into AA with AKs (table was 6 handed). Just a brutal sequence to finish 11th for no money.

On Stars in the $150, I misplayed a hand in the blinds to lose most of my stack at the 75/150 level, leaving myself with 505 chips. Somehow, when we got to the money I had it up to 44k when this hand came up :

A late position (big stack) open limps , I complete in the SB with T9 and the BB checks his option. The flop is J99 and I bet 2k into the 3600 pot, only the late positon limper calls. The turn is a 5, I bet 6k this time and the limper thinks for a bit and calls again. On the river a 6 came off putting a backdoor flush on the board and I bet 11k and my opponent went all in for 13 or 14k more. I was sick, I really didn't think I had the best hand anymore, and was really upset for betting the river. I was at least going to think things through before probably calling. Just when it came time for the timer to hit the screen, my hand went into the muck and my opponent got the pot! It turns out I had used my time bank earlier in the tournament without knowing it. At one point I thought Pokerstars was frozen (but I asked someone else if Stars worked for him and he said yes) so I shut stars down and re-opened it and everything was fine. Well, this episode got rid of my time bank and that really cost me.

My opponent said good fold that he had flopped 9's full, but you never know for sure. It either cost me a massive chip lead or saved me 13k. From there I lost AKs to QJ from a short stack then raised with ATo and had to call against JJ. From there I had only a couple of big blinds and busted in 28th a few hands later. Really frustrating finishes.

I'm off to New Orleans tomorrow for the WSOP Circuit event, I hope things come together down there.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I apologize for taking so long to update.

I won another tournament this past Sunday, this time a $30 rebuy on Paradise for $13k. Its the third time I've won that specific tournament in 5 weeks.

This week nothing special has happened. I had two frustrating near misses today in the Party $30r and $100 40k guaranteed. I finished 11th in both of them! Nothing worse than getting close like that but not reaching the final table. In one of them I had 88 vs AQ and the other I lost with AJ vs T3.

I have started playing some turbo sit and goes this week. I've been playing mostly the $200+15's on Party and that has been going pretty well. Its a nice change because I was getting a little bored playing multi-tables all the time. Its nice to be able to play for an hour or two and then take a break and re-focus again.

Tomorrow I'm headed up north in Michigan to the Heartland Poker Tour event in Traverse City. Its a $1500+150 buy-in with the final 6 televised (its bascially public access TV here). Its an event in which I think there will be a lot of novice players so I made this last minute decision to go.

I will be back on Sunday and then home for a day before I head to New Orleans for the WSOP Circuit event.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Out of my slump

After getting back from the Bahamas nothing seemed to change. I was still running really badly and just couldn't put a whole tournament together.

I finally got on track yesterday. I got second in the Party $40k guaranteed ($109 buy in) for $8500. I also made it heads up on Bodog for one of the WSOP prelim events. I had my opponent all in with AK vs TT but he won the coinflip and then I busted later with flush under flush which is pretty rare headsup. So instead of a package worth $2500 in that one I ended up with $0.

Today has been an even better day so far. I just chopped the Party $300+20 for over $18,000 which puts at a high for the year for profits. Nice to be back in that spot (its been weeks).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Two Outed...

Here is my report from the Paradise $5k in the Bahamas.

Started with $10k in chips and the levels were 60 minutes, 25-50, 50-100, 100-200, 100-200/25.

The only player I recognized at the table was Aaron Kanter who made the final table of the WSOP Main Event last year. It was clear early on that there were some inexperienced live players at the table and I planned to take them on as often as possible.

I struggled through the first level, not hitting any flops and not having any big starting hands, I think I was down to about 8300. Finally a hand came up in the second level. Kanter limped utg, I limped behind another limper on the button with 77 and the blinds came along. The flop was 733 two spades and Aaron bet 200, the second limper made it 500, I called, Aaron then made it 1300, the second limper who had made it 500 folded and I called. The turn was a red 5 and Aaron bet 2000, I called again. It was pretty clear that he had either AA or A3 and I made a mistake by not raising the turn. The river came another 5 and he check called 2000 and I scooped my first significant pot of the tournament.

I won a few small pots right in a row - picking on the weaker players at the table. I had that rare feeling (for me anyway) of being in pretty good control of my opponents. I did make one pretty big blunder where I sensed weakness from a player on a 98J flop and check raised with nothing. He called, then the Q came on the turn and he called my bet again (he checked down the river with a straight, AT). We went to break and at the beginning of level 3 I chipped up again to about 16k.

It was then when this hand came up. A bad player made it 400 utg (blinds were 100/200) and I called in position with 77. The small blind called and Kanter called in the BB. The flop was J73 two diamonds and the SB bet out 500. I thought the SB was a pretty bad player really. He had shown a pattern of min betting and/or min raising and I was pretty sure that he was never bluffing. He bet out 500, utg (who raised preflop) called, and I made it 2000 with my set of 7's. The SB then min re-raised to 3500. Normally I would just call here, but I felt he really liked his hand. I honestly couldn't put him on an overpair because he had just called preflop but a set of 3's seemed possible. I didn't want a diamond to hurt our action on the turn, so I just pushed all in. To my surprise, he called instantly with KK. After he put in the 3000, he called all in for 8600 more (I had him covered). All told it was about a 26k chip pot. I had a very nervous feeling about sweating the last two cards for some reason, and there it was, right on the turn, a king for him and I missed the one outer on the river. Instead of having 30k, I had 3500.

It was one of the most disgusting feelings I've had at the table. The same thing happened to me at the Borgata (where I had a set and someone called all in with one pair then hit an overset) but the pot was much smaller and I had a bunch of chips left when I lost. This one stung bad - you just don't get many opportunities to get chips in these tournaments and rarely do you have someone drawing so thin. But I knew I had to regroup, and I was still at a pretty easy table.

I won the next two pots, then blinded down for awhile. Then the player to my right made it 700 in the cutoff seat and I looked down at TT. I actually had him covered at the time and I had a pretty easy push and he folded. I raised a hand or two later with KQ and got re-raised and folded and was shown AK. Then I won a few small pots to get back up to 6k without showing down a hand.

Soon afterwards I spewed some chips. A tight player min raised utg and I had AQ in the SB. Against the right person I would be all in preflop but I figured he was huge so I called (mucking might have been better). I missed the flop and he showed AK. Then I called a raise with 7s8s in a multiway pot and missed completely. Finally it was folded to me in MP and I decided to raise with K5o. The players to my left were all pretty tight and I figured I had a good chance to win the pot preflop. The player to my left in Seat 1 called the raise and we saw a flop of K86 heads up. I really didn't know what to do now, there was 1900 or so in the pot and I had about 4200 left. My opponent had bet often when checked to so I checked and decided to probably check raise all in hoping he might fold a hand like even KQ. I was a bit surprised when he checked behind. The turn brought a 7 so now I'm open ended. I decided to bet 800 and he quickly made it 2000. I really didn't know what he had but I thought hands like 78 or even a bluff (or semibluff) were possible so I decided to jam. He had a set of 8's and I missed my 8 outer on the river.

I met up with some Internet players later and we played some of the evening tournaments in the lobby at the Atlantis resort. I made the money in the dise $100r before losing a coinflip, then final tabled the Stars $150 for probably the first time ever and finished 8th for $2k.

I'm at the airport now waiting for my flight back to the States and then back home. I hope to get rolling a bit on the Internet in the next few weeks before I head down to New Orleans for the WSOP Circuit event.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Can't find the big score...

The last week or two my tournament game has been terrible. I've been playing higher than ever before (meaning more tournaments and higher buy-ins) and I just can't seem to close in on any big wins.

Over a span of 58 tournaments I cashed for only $500 or so while the buy-ins totaled almost $12k (wow, yuck!). And then on Saturday night it looked like I might hit a big score in the $100r on Paradise. I was the chip leader for quite awhile but it a rough streak when we were down to 2 tables. When I finally got to the final table I was almost last in chips. I finally won a big coinflip at the final table, and then won a few smaller pots to get to third place or so. Then a really strange hand came up. Two to my left was a really bad player with a ton of chips. I'd watched him from 20 players and he was playing a ton of pots but flopping huge hands (he had 4 sets in the final two tables). It was folded to me on the button and I had AQ, which is a huge hand in that spot. The blinds were 4k/8k and I had about 120k. The small blind was very short, posting half of his stack in the SB. I contemplated just moving in, honestly, because I knew the big blind was going to call any raise. I decided in the end to raise to 24k and the SB folded (figure that one out) and the BB of course insta-called. His range here, in my mind, consists of all broadway combinations as well as suited connectors and smaller pairs. The flop came 556 and he checked and I decided to bet figuring he would fold most of his hands. Of course hs insta called again. The turn was a blank and I checked behind him. The river was another blank and I figured my hand now had very good showdown value so I checked behind (with about 50k left in my stack while the pot had about 120k). I was shocked when he flipped up AK and took the pot.

My opponent's play here is really strange. I would expect a re-raise from him (I would have called all in or moved all in) and I never really expected him to smooth call with AK. I guess I should consider myself lucky that he didn't re-raise preflop or we didn't flop an ace because I am going broke for sure. But that pot made it very hard for me to recover and I ended up 7th for $2300 or so.

So I woke up on Sunday ready to get a hot streak going. I played the $300 on Party and hit a few nice pots early - and had people play really bad against me in a few spots to chip up nicely close to the chip lead. Then around the bubble I got pretty aggressive and the big blind took a stand against me in one spot and I doubled him up. Then on the absolute bubble I was involved in this hand :

Seat 3: ProCappers ( $26603 )
Seat 5: SlashMcGirk ( $22250 )
Seat 6: SilverBu11et ( $18154 )
Seat 7: nsxowner ( $7677 )
Seat 9: amielle ( $3415 )
Seat 8: marcolina ( $8230 )
Seat 4: Monghood ( $17855 )
Seat 10: GameThief ( $47828 )
Trny:23210992 Level:10
ProCappers posts ante [50].
Monghood posts ante [50].
SlashMcGirk posts ante [50].
SilverBu11et posts ante [50].
nsxowner posts ante [50].
marcolina posts ante [50].
amielle posts ante [50].
GameThief posts ante [50].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to SlashMcGirk [ Ah Tc ]
SilverBu11et folds.
nsxowner folds.
marcolina folds.
amielle folds.
GameThief folds.
ProCappers will be using his time bank for this hand.
ProCappers did not respond in time.
ProCappers folds.
Monghood is all-In [17005]
SlashMcGirk calls [16205].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 6c, 3d, 4s ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Kd ]
** Dealing River ** [ 7d ]
Monghood shows [ Qd, As ] high card ace.
SlashMcGirk shows [ Ah, Tc ] high card ace.
Monghood wins 36010 chips from the main pot with high card ace with queen kicker.

I thought it was a pretty clear call - the SB in this hand hadn't been very tight, but my table image was probably really loose. I know that if I were in the SB in this spot AT would be a fairly easy call against me - perhaps I made the right decision and just got unlucky that he had a bigger hand. But I lost the hand and it ruined my tourney. I was very short, made the money, won a showdown against a shorter stack then lost with 88 vs AQ. Again avoiding any real good money ($18k for first I finished in the high twenties for $500).

After that I made it deep in the Pokerroom $300+20. I was one of the top three stacks from 3 or 4 tables left until the final table. Then, with about 7 players left I raised in EP with 33 (I almost mucked it too, but I had a decent table image)... someone came over the top and I had to call getting about 2.2:1. I called, he had AK, but I lost the coinflip. I folded a few more hands then was dealt 77 on the button. The cutoff, an active, good player, raised to 11k and I re-raised all in with about 55k. I ran into KK - but I turned a flush draw and a straight draw but couldn't suck out. So I ended up 6th for $3300.

I also made the money in the Party $200, but just barely and lost AT vs KQ. To summarize some other tourneys I played yesterday : $100r Playa on Dise, lost all in with QQ vs 77. $100r on Stars, had 11k at the break, then ran QQ into AA for $10k after I got it to $14k. I survived for awhile, won a coinflip (wow), then lost on a re-steal from the blinds. $200 on Full Tilt, with about 180 players left I lost the following hand :

Full Tilt Poker Game #621154955: $200,000 Guarantee! (3778087), Table 47 - 300/600 Ante 75 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:32:09 ET - 2006/05/07
Seat 1: Nordberg (10,550)
Seat 2: felt2svelte (5,057)
Seat 3: Apeeln (17,600)
Seat 4: Cylon Empire (6,130)
Seat 5: MrNeverNuts (19,363)
Seat 6: MilesFromEarth (45,232)
Seat 7: NYSEGUY1 (13,470)
Seat 8: SainT-MichaeL1 (6,480)
Seat 9: dtbman (10,605)
Nordberg antes 75
felt2svelte antes 75
Apeeln antes 75
Cylon Empire antes 75
MrNeverNuts antes 75
MilesFromEarth antes 75
NYSEGUY1 antes 75
SainT-MichaeL1 antes 75
dtbman antes 75
Apeeln posts the small blind of 300
Cylon Empire posts the big blind of 600
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Nordberg [6d 6c]
MrNeverNuts folds
MilesFromEarth folds
NYSEGUY1 calls 600
SainT-MichaeL1 folds
dtbman folds
Nordberg calls 600
felt2svelte folds
Apeeln has 15 seconds left to act
Apeeln raises to 6,000
Cylon Empire folds
NYSEGUY1 folds
Nordberg has 15 seconds left to act
Nordberg raises to 10,475, and is all in
Apeeln calls 4,475
Nordberg shows [6d 6c]
Apeeln shows [Qh Kd]
*** FLOP *** [8s 4h Ad]
*** TURN *** [8s 4h Ad] [9h]
*** RIVER *** [8s 4h Ad 9h] [Kc]
Nordberg shows a pair of Sixes
Apeeln shows a pair of Kings
Apeeln wins the pot (22,825) with a pair of Kings
Nordberg stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 22,825 | Rake 0
Board: [8s 4h Ad 9h Kc]
Seat 1: Nordberg showed [6d 6c] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 2: felt2svelte (button) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: Apeeln (small blind) showed [Qh Kd] and won (22,825) with a pair of Kings
Seat 4: Cylon Empire (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: MrNeverNuts folded before the Flop
Seat 6: MilesFromEarth folded before the Flop
Seat 7: NYSEGUY1 folded before the Flop

I might not normally play here but I felt like he didn't have a pair with the huge raise from the BB. I also thought that maybe I was dominating a week ace - again I just couldn't have my hand hold up to get a stack going. In the $200 HORSE I lost all of my chips in limit holdem with AJ vs AT when AT hit a flush on the river... in the $200 WSOP qualifier on FUll Tilt I lost with AK vs KJ.

Anyway, I hope I start running better soon. I'm on my way to the Bahamas today to play in the PAradise Poker Conquest which is a $5k buy-in. I'm not sure if I start Tuesday or Wednesday -

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Not much to report

Not too much to report. I haven't had a very good go of it lately - with the exception of winning another bracelet race on Full Tilt Poker on Saturday night. This time it was in Limit Holdem. I now have $3,000 in tournament chips waiting for me at the World Series of Poker to use in any event I would like. I'm trying to accumulate more entries as I would like to play a pretty good number of preliminary events (although I don't have my schedule figured out quite yet).

On Sunday I got fairly deep in two tournaments but was still a loser for the day. On Interpoker I was 14th for 500 Gbp which is around $900 and on Stars I was in the top 100 in their $500 tourney for almost $2000.

Here is a very entertaining 15/30 hand I played yesterday... if my opponent had half a brain I would have made far more money on it but he decided to check call with middle set then quads.

Dealt to SlashMcGirk [ As Ac ]
POLICE5150 has joined the table.
xyz2u raises [$30].
SlashMcGirk raises [$45].
mes44 folds.
zongur folds.
hammer166 folds.
xyz2u calls [$15].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jh, Ad, 4c ]
xyz2u checks.
SlashMcGirk bets [$15].
xyz2u calls [$15].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Jd ]
xyz2u checks.
SlashMcGirk bets [$30].
xyz2u calls [$30].
** Dealing River ** [ Ah ]
xyz2u checks.
SlashMcGirk bets [$30].
xyz2u raises [$60].
SlashMcGirk raises [$60].
xyz2u raises [$60].
SlashMcGirk calls [$30].
xyz2u shows [ Jc, Js ] four of a kind, jacks.
SlashMcGirk shows [ As, Ac ] four of a kind, aces.
SlashMcGirk wins $443 from the main pot with four of a kind, aces.