Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Blog Is Back

So I've decided to write on my blog again. I guess I got bored with it for awhile there but a lot has happened so I thought I would recap the last few months.

After Australia it was off to Borgata, where I planned to play the 5k and 10k events. I played the 5k event, went broke pretty early - the big hand I played was against Kathy Liebert where I had KQ vs her TT on a KQT flop. After that I ended up getting sick so I skipped the 10k and went home to rest.

Not long after was the 5k WSOP Circuit Event in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This was another really early bustout, in the first level in fact. I ended up getting semi-coolered on the 772 board with 76 against 22, we got it all in on the turn and I missed my 7 outs on the river. This was really a lowpoint, it had been a very long time since a meaninful cash, (nothing over $16k since New Orleans - May '06) and nothing seemed to be going right.

A week or two later I headed to San Diego for the World Series Circuit Event there. I ended up winning the event for $280,000 - my second World Series Circuit title (and my 2nd championship ring). I was the chip leader at the end of the first day and I don't think I relinquished the lead for more than a little bit the rest of the way. The key pot to my tournament came at the 400/800 level. I went to open for my usual 2400 raise but grabbed the wrong color chip and made it 4400. It was pretty obvious to the others at the table that I made this mistake. It folded to a guy a couple to my left who was new to the table who made it 13000 to go. I had QQ and approximately 40k chips to start the hand. After some thought I moved it in, my opponent called, and I flopped quads and beat his AK. From there the last level was crazy, I won a couple of huge pots in weird spots and got coolered in one with KK vs AA, and then sloppily lost a few others. But, as I said, I had 130k chips after the first day and lead the tournament.

Day 2 was about the most fun I've ever had playing poker (well, until Day 3 I guess). I had a huge stack and didn't lose a significant pot all day. I bullied my table mercilously at the bubble, accumulating probably 120,000 chips over the one and a half levels that was the bubble. When we got into the money at 18 players I lost a few small pots but ended up coolering someone with AA vs AQ to get up over 400k in chips. When we got down to 9 players I was still the chip leader with 444k. The final table had many good players, David Matthew, Gavin Smith and Shane Schleger came in as short to middle sized stacks and Gavin Griffin (just today the EPT champion), Eric Cajelais and Danny Wong came in with big stacks.

Day 3 was just an incredible day of poker. I held many huge hands - I eliminated Gavin Smith with 77 vs his AQ, won a few big pots off of David and Gavin Griffin with sets - and never really lost a big pot. I made a big move against Danny Wong with 66 on a 432 flop that could have been trouble had I lost - but he folded to my all in raise on the flop. Eventually, David and I got heads up, me with a small advantage in chips.

David is an interesting guy and sort of a tough guy to figure out sometimes. He is capable of making some great plays but I think also capable of making large mistakes. I had to change my game to play against him - normally I am an aggressive player who will take advantage of spots where I can bluff and semi-bluff, especially heads up. With David, I had to wait him out because he likes to make big calls and isn't easily bluffed. Eventually, I flopped a huge hand vs him when the board came down AKT two spades and I had AK. I bet the flop, he min raised, I three bet, and he moved in and I eventually called. He had A4 and when a blank came on the turn he was drawing dead and I won the tournament.

The feeling of winning another tournament was pretty amazing. I hadn't had a big finish in a long time and doubts of my ability and/or the validity of my first win began to creep in. I played well, ran really well, it just all came together for me again and I feel very fortunate that it id.

Next up was the LAPC WPT event. I have never felt comfortable playing at Commerce for some reason - and this year I signed up fairly late and drew an outside table. I guess I have no real complaints about the atmosphere in the outside tents - but the day just did not go well for me. I had Daniel Alaei two to my left and Jordan Morgan across the table and lost about 7k of my 20k stack in the first level and a half never playing a big pot. On my bustout hand I re-raised Jordan with QQ and him and another guy called. I bet the jack high two diamond flop and got check raised all in by the second caller - I eventually called and lost to KQ of diamonds when the flush came on the river.

A week or two later I was back out in Vegas for the Wynn $10k. This tournament also did not go well, I was down to about 11k of the starting 20k stack when I got it in with 555 vs TTT on a KT5 flop vs Sam Grizzle. I missed my one outer and was sent packing. A few days later I went to San Jose for the Bay 101 WPT. I had an amazing first day, getting my 20k stack up to about 155k by the end of the day. A couple of key pots :

A bad player open limps on the button, I complete SB with QhTh, Kent Washington then raises from the BB, both of us call. Flop is J high all hearts checks around. Turn is a blank, I bet, Kent raises, button folds, I jam, Kent insta calls with black aces drawing dead. I then double up someone with AA when he flops a set against me. Then I smooth call an EP raise with QQ, the flop comes Q high and I all but double against an overpair. At dinner, I have about 75k when this hand comes up... I open with 96o on the button, Clonie Gowan defends the SB, the BB also calls. The flop is K78 two hearts and Clonie bets out 3500, I make it 10k because we are deep (build pot) and I would like a free card on the turn if I miss. The offsuit T rolls off on the turn giving me the second nuts and Clonie bets 15k. I move in and she finally calls with KQ, drawing dead, and I win a monster pot to take the clear chip lead at 145k.

Later on I lose a huge pot to David Williams with J9o vs KJo on a QTxxx board, with David somehow calling a 20k river bet. I began to semi-tilt off a bunch of chips when I got pretty fortunate in a hand vs Shane Schleger to bust him - and finished the day at 150k as I mentioned before.

The second day was a pretty miserable day of poker for me. I got it up to 180k at one point but lost a big pot to Erik Seidel, then got caught on a re-steal vs an unbluffable player to get down to about 70k. I then doubled up Lee Markholdt on a J high flop with J8 vs AJ. I was quickly down to 17k with the blinds at 1k-2k. I buckled down and eventually finished in the money cashing for $15,000, winning three times with the hand before busting out with KJ vs AJ.

After Bay 101 it was on to Foxwoods where I played the 2k, 3k, 5k and 10k tournaments. It was a miserable time at Foxwoods also - I never made the fourth level in any of the tournaments. In the main event I went broke in a marginal spot with KQ vs 55 on a KQ5 board - where I probably should've gotten away from it.

Tomorrow I'm off for the Indiana Circuit Event - my first try and getting my third championship ring. Wish me luck.


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