Floating on Water: July 2006

Floating on Water

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Goose Egg Complete

I busted from the Main Event late last night, halfway through the final level. I was pretty happy with my play throughout the day I just ran into a couple tough spots. Early on I built my stack to 22k, then dwindled down to about 12k before I got it back close to 30K. Then in level 5 I lost ~15K back in a series of hands. My final hand, I reraised a button raise all in for 11k with KQ and he woke up with AK and sent me packing. Anyway, this completes a disappointing string of tourneys here at the World Series of Poker. I managed to not hit the board in nine events...yikes...nine events...

I did have a successful month playing cash games and covered most of my buyins + expenses, but will re-evaluate my tourney game before I go spewing anymore money in these events.

Anyway, thanks for all the phone calls and texts I have received in the last couple days, sorry I haven't answered many, but I was playing poker for about 16hrs yesterday and then just woke up from a long comma sleep, which tends to happen after a long session (especially a disappointing one).

I have a couple friends that advanced through day 1 with average to well above average chips so part of me wants to stay and see how they progress through the tourney. But part of me wants to get outa dodge and be back in Beantown ASAP.

I am going to check the flight schedule and hang around the house and mull it over today while I fire up the BBQ and watch the Sox-Angels game....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Main Main Event

Between the WPT and ESPN there seems to be a 10k event every couple of weeks. During the past year I have played 5 of these big events, but starting friday is THE MAIN EVENT. The World Series of Poker Main Event is the culmination of a 5 week stretch of smaller buy-in events, ending with a 6k+ person field. Anyway the field is so big they have to have four seperate starting days. I am beginning on day 2, Saturday July 29th...wish me luck and follow the action on pokerwire.

Lately I have logging a bunch of hours of live poker, nothing too noteworthy. I played in a shootout 100-200 holdem game. There was very little "poker" being played in the true since of the word. Most pots were 5+ handed with many preflop raises, and multiple people staying in all the way to the river and playing "showdown poker." Also played a session of BOTQ (badugi, omaha, triple draw, stud hi low regular), where I managed to spend the entire session clawing my back from an early deficit and book a modest win.

This past friday a bunch of us went to the Palms Friday Pool Party. We were able to get a poolside cabana and have a "few" Miller Lites and enjoy a fun day in the sun. Shane Schleger found a good picture of the group of us at the palms that he posted in his blog. I will leave you with a picture of the fashion show on the pool runway that the palms provided for us....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Vegas Sovineirs

The last few days there has been very little poker. I managed to squeeze a couple live sessions in with mixed results, but for the most part this past weekend was filled with a little chaos to say the least! On Saturday night we had ringside seats to the Moseley - Vargas Fight.

When attending a sporting event like this with a group of sick gambling poker players you know there will be prop betting amongst ourselves as well as all of us loading up on one side of the fight, to "make it interesting." We decided to all bet Moseley for the win.

We also bet some of the prop bets offered by the house, which included a 6th round Moseley KO at 18-1 which a friend nailed for a cool $1800 profit. Besides the fight, the remainder of the weekend was spent bouncing between different clubs and bars all over the Vegas Strip.

Random PIX
Kimshi is one of my favorite late night (earlymorning) stops in Vegas. This is a Korean BBQ across the street from Stardust that is open 24hrs a day and tends to be just what the doctor order after a long night in Vegas.

Watermellon juice served at Bellagio tends to lighten the mood a little when you are getting burried in a cash game and dont have the mountain of chips in front of you that you began the session with.

And this one is my favorite. When you register for a World Series of Poker Event one of the many "perks" is that the RIO gives you a 10$ food voucher. So after playing in 9 events without hitting paydirt, I am left with a pile of 10$ food vouchers that cost me ~23k to remember my 2006 WSOP.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vegas Update

Not sure what my last tourney update was but they have all been the same lately...blah blah blah...I am taking a few days off from tourneys. I skipped the 2500 shorthanded, and 2k Nolimit the past two days. I am also skipping the 3k limit tomorrow.

The last week or so I have been playing mostly cash games. Some 100-200 and 200-400 Holdem, 100-200 BOT, and 100-200 and 200-400 BT, with a brief stint of 10-25 PLO mixed in. My results have been great in the draw games. But I know the variance in these games is extremely high, and my recent winning may be contributed to variance...but I feel there are players in the game that are making many fundamental mistakes that can not be overcome.

200-400 2-7 Triple Draw Hand
I raise UTG with 2357 and get cold called in 2 spots and the BB comes along. Everyone draws two cards and the BB checks blind, I bet blind, everyone calls. No one improves. The BB checks again and I fire again with my 1 card draw. The first cold caller looks at his two cards and raises me. This could mean a wide variety of things, beginning with improving to a one card draw, all the way up to making a strong complete hand. The next cold caller reraises, the BB folds and I look at my hand and see I caught an 8, for a 87532. I call 2 bets cold here,then the guy that made the initial raiser 4 bets; we both call. I decide to break my 8 and try and improve. The four bettor stands pat and the other player angrily draws one card also. I check dark, the 4 bettor bets and the other player folds. I am squeezing my last card and looking to catch a 4 for the nuts, but end up catching a 6, and improve my hand to 76532 and contemplate raising but decide to only call. I am shown a 76432 and lose a monster pot, but feel like I played the hand well on all streets. This is the first time I have broken an 8 playing live 2-7 and improved my hand and still lost...ahh poker rules!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006


Soo.. the plan to play mostly cash games and a couple tourneys while out in here has completely gone down the tubes. I am already registered for tomorrows 2500 No Limit and I recently played the 5k No Limit Event. In the 5k I built my stack to about 8k in the first two levels, but then took jacks vs queens to bleed some chips away and fizzled from there to eventually be busted my Chad Brown's two tens vs my two nines. After busting out, I jumped immediatly into a cash game, which normally is not a good idea, but there was an open seat and who am I to not take it ? I made a nice score and everything was right in the world again.

Yesterday we had our 4th of July BBQ a day late. We had about 10 people over the house and grilled up some Korean BBQ and Chicken. Kudos to the cook, the food came out great!! The BBQ was obv accompanied by an endless supple of Miller Lite Cans!!

I eventually passed out with little (I mean no) intent to play the 1500 Limit Holdem Event today. But due to my inability to sleep for more than 6 or 7 hours I was up early and felt like today was the day I was going to build a stack and make a run at one of these events. Things were moving smoothly until a player was ready to give up and 4 bet the turn with an open ended straight draw and a flush draw. This is normally a great spot for someone to gamble it up, BUT I had top pair and a bigger flush draw, so what he thought were 15 outs were actually only 6. After he spiked his straight, nothing really went well for me from there on in. I was finally put out of my misery by John Bonnetti on the seven high flop when my pocket nines couldnt hold up vs his A7. ahhhh tournament poker bad beat stories; everyones favorite pastime!!

Again after busting I jumped right into a 1-2 Badugi / Duece to Seven game. Making a bunch of hands early made me feel like a genius. The we kicked it up to 2-4 and I missed a few big draws and bleed back some profits and felt like I was outclassed. These draws games are really a humbling experience; if your running good your on top of the world, running bad and you question every play you make.

Patting himself on the back
I really feel like I made a expert play today in Badagi that I will share with you. 200-400, the button open limps, I call in the small blind with A3xx, I catch a 4 and it gets checked around. I probably should have lead here, but this set up the rest of the hand. I draw 1 as does the BB, the button draws 2. I make a Q badugi, and lead, the BB calls and the button folds. Now I know my hand is best, but the difference between a Q badugi and three card 4 is minial so I decide to break my Q and draw 1, the BB also draws 1. I get my card shuffle it in my hand and "fake look" at it, then bet the river without knowing my hand for value. I know the BB is going to call with any reasonable 3 card hand here, since we both drew 1. If I stood with my Q, he would only put money in on the river when he beat my Q, but by breaking it I made an extra 400 when I missed my draw and my three card 4 was gold !!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Tourney Grind

After just missing the money in the first event, I skiped the pot limit event and played the limit event on friday. Things got off to a quick start but fizziled quickly and I was out by 5th round. Nothing noteworthy, from that event. I then decided to enter the 2k No Limit event today.

Early on I played a key pot, where I opened with Q10 of diamonds and was called by big blind. The Flop came down J84 with 1 diamond. He fiddled with his chips for a second or two and then decided to check. As a general rule this fiddling makes me believe he doesnt want me to in order to disapoint I bet 150, into the 175 pot. He plays with his chips some more and makes it 500 to go, he only has ~1700 total and I have almost 4k. I decide he either has a draw (9-10 or the same hand as mine) or a weak pair that he is willing to fold. I reraise him to 1400, leaving him with 300 if he calls. This bet usually looks much stronger than if I just moved in, since it seems like I am begging for a call, but in this case with Q high Im rooting for a fold. After aprox. 17 minutes he call (ends up having J10) as if he is saving those 300 chips for something. Well anyway the turn is a 9, and Im off to the races, with a 6k stack early on.

From this point on nothing worked really. I played down to about 250 players from the starting field of almost 2000, when I had 5500 chips and Chris Furgeson had 4100. He pushed in from late middle position with blinds @200-400 with 50 antes. Knowing he is "a real math" guy, I think his range in this spot is v.v.big. I look down and see good ol' reliable Ace Jack offsuit. I think tank it for a while...I dont think he is going to post his BB again without pushing one of the next 4 hands which means he is somewhat desperate. And if I fold, I really can only post one more set of blinds before I am in shoving mode as well. I finally decide AJ is a money favorite against his range of possible hands and call hoping to see some Ace rag hand. But he turns up pocket sevens, and wins the race to cripple me and double up. I busted shortly after when my 66 ran into AQ and matt

After playing all day today and getting close to paydirt before busting, I am not sure that I am mentally ready for another 12 hour day tomorrow of tournament limit holdem. I think I am going to hang around my house and play the sunday circuit online, and fire up the ol BBQ.

My favorite hand of the tourney...maybe of all time, this one is really great. John Pham has great table presence and can really read his opponents well. He also plays a somewhat loose aggressive style where he puts himself in tough spots and is forced to make some really tough decisions. Anyway, its folded to the small blind who limps, John's in the big blind and looks down at his cards; as hes doing this I dont think there is one person in vegas, never mind at the table, that thinks John may let this guy limp on his blind. He grabs a fistfull of green quarter chips and raises the limper another 6 or so chips. The limper calls. The flop comes 522 with 2 clubs, with the pot of 400 the limper bets 300, John raises to 625 and the limper calls. The turn is 5 of spades making two spades and two clubs on the 5522 board. The limper now bets 400 of his 1275 stack. Again John raises him to 925, and again the guy calls. The river comes what appears to be a meaningless red ten, and the limper bets his reamaining 350 and John (now nearing the felt) splashes a call into the pot. The guy says, good call, John refusing to show his hand, says "I called you." Now after both of them raising and betting everystreet, no one wants to show there hand. Evantaully the small blind shows K8 of diamonds for K high and John proudly shows the 10-8 for a rivered ten! This hand was clearly the talk of the table for the next couple orbits.