Floating on Water: February 2007

Floating on Water

Monday, February 26, 2007

Quick Exit

Arriving at my new table, I see the same guy to my left that had AA vs my KK yesterday. And as it would turn out he would seal my fate. The tenth hand of the day, I opened for 6k from the cutoff with AA, and he flat called on the button. I was hoping one of the blinds would attempt some kind of squeeze play here, but they both folded. Based on my play with Edvin Davoudi, he knew I was pretty solid and normally not too far out of line. The flop came Q-10-2 with two spades, I had the two black aces. I lead at the pot for 8k, and he called. I had ruled out QQ and TT based on his preflop action. So when the turn came a red seven, I checked it to him, knowing he is a fairly aggressive player and would likely make a stab at the pot. He obliged and bet 16k, I had 57k total, and decided to move in for 41k more. He thought for a while (much like he did with KK the previous night) before finally calling and showing me pocket two's for a flopped set. I hate tournaments....

Johan Storakers'ed

Made it through day 2 today. I finished with 75k with the average being slightly less than 100k.

The day turned out to be a day of making key folds. After folding about 10-15 hands I finally picked up AQ, ace of clubs and raised from first position. The small blind, who hadn't played a pot yet either, called my raise. The flop came Q75 with two clubs, he checked I bet 3500, he made it 8500 to go, I called the 5k in position. The turn brought the jack of clubs, giving me a flush draw, to go with top my top pair top kicker. With the pot close to 25k, the SB moved his remaining 30k. I decided to dump the hand and move on. Seems like top pair is never good in this spot.

Shortly after this pot, I was in the BB and it was folded to the fairly active aggressive SB, who also was in the habit of flashing me one of his cards!!! The benefits of the normally uncomfortable 4-7 seats!!! He shows me the Q of diamonds, then limps in the SB. Now that I have seen one of his cards, I need to see what I got. I look down at two eights, and put in a little raise in position, he insta calls with his Q-?. The flop comes Q-x-x, we both check, the turn he bets out 2100 or something, and I insta fold...this hand had to look a little funny to the table who was unaware of my hole card knowledge!

I was able to fairly quickly rebound from my slow start and build my stack to slightly over 80k, when I was moved to a new table. This table featured "Bodog Ari" who raised virtually everypot, literally everypot!

One of the few pots he didn't open, was folded to me in the SB where I locked down at two kings, I raised, the BB reraised, and I moved him in. He called, and showed me to two aces, to cripple my stack to 25K.

Luckily I picked up AK 3 out of the next 5 hands, with Ari putting chips in the pot, and folding to my reraise shove. And I was quickly back up to 40k. I slowly chiped up to slightly over 50k, when I could have gotten the break I needed to build a big stack!

In th 800-1600 level, I opened the pot to 4800 with two tens from the hijack seat, the cutoff makes it 11200 to go, and now Johan Storakers, decides to make the three bet reraise squeeze !!! I was defiantly calling the first raise, but now with the normally tight Storakers putting in the third raise my tens couldn't stand the heat and had to be put in the muck. The player to my left, agonized but eventually wasn't able to bring himself to lay down his pocket kings. Storakers was in bad shape when his 3-4 was unable to improve on the ten high flop !!!! Man if he could only lay down that 3-4 one time and let me take a flop, I would have surely gotten most of, if not all my chips in and had over a 100k with my set vs KK.

From that pot on, I was able to win a few small pots and end the night with 75K. Play begins tomorrow at 330Pacific, there is around 175 left, paying 54...wish me luck, 2.2million would make for a fun summer in Boston !!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

End of Day 1

I made it through day one with an above average stack..About 400 players remain of the original 790, I have 62k with average just less than 40. There were a couple interesting hands, but I am exhausted and ready for bed...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Sickness Continues

Well, after spending a couple weeks here in LA, the Main Event begins today, and once again a shelled over the two 5k pink chips for my seat. This year I did sell a couple small pieces of myself but none the less I will be playing the LAPC Main Event in a little over an hour. Action can be followed on pokerwire, cardplayer, pokerpages and probably a few other media sources.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What Coulda Been

Day 2 of the 2500 Limit Event started with two short handed tables. My stack beginning the day was 30k, placing me in 10th place of the remaining 13 players. I blinded down a little before my first big hand took place. A small stack, an aggressive player limps utg in a 5 handed game, this set off warning bells in my head immediately but decided to call the 2 chips from the SB with 23 of hearts. The flop came perfectly 239 and I was able to bust his QQ and chip up to 45k. Within minutes we were redrawing for the final table as two players busted quickly from the other short table.

At the final table I had Joe Sebok on my right. He opened the very first pot from the cutoff and I reraised him on the button with QJ of diamonds. He immediately check folded the flop. But this was just the beginning of my battles vs Mr Sebok, as we played numerous big pots throughout the final table. With him ultimately having the last laugh.

Play at the final table was fairly snug, without many big pots being played. I lost a couple sb vs bb battles to Ralph E Porter AKA "Rep", before making a stand vs Cyndy Violette. She had been playing fairly tight, but I decided to call her button raise out of the BB with 9-10. When the flop came Q-9-x with 2 hearts I decided to make my stand with my remaining chips. I was able to fade her flush draw and double up while crippling her.

A little while later my pocket kings sucked out on Rep's AQ on the A high flop when the king spiked on the river. Then after a few small pots and another confrontation with Joe Sebok I was now chip leader with 6 remaining. But as things go at a short stacked final table, no lead is safe. When we got down to 4 handed, Rep and Sebok had 80% of the chips with Glen Cozen and I sharing the remaining few chips. I had a slight lead at this point over Glen and both of us were hoping the other would get involved in a confrontation with one of the big stacks. Eventually Rep put the nail in the coffin eliminating Glen in 4th place, in a SB vs BB battle.

Now that we were 3 handed with 525k in chips in play, and I only had 21k, with Rep and Joe fairly even. I posted 8k in the BB, Rep raised Joe called in the SB, and I reraised 5 more chips with 94 of clubs. Somehow my 94 sooooooted was able to beat of AJ and 88 and I was back in business. I turned those 63 chips into 170K over the next several orbits. I was now in second place ahead of Joe by about 40K. But all was for not as I lost a couple pots, and made my final stand with Ace Ten vs Joe's K10, but the king on the flop sealed my destiny.

Starting the day I guess I would have been happy climbing up the ladder to finish 3rd but once you get that far and don't win it leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth. If my 9-4 had lost I think I would have left much happier but to build a big stack 3 handed and not be able to finish is a very frustrating. I beat 102 people to earn 23k, but to beat one more I would have earned 25k more (48 total), and to beat two more I would have gotten 75k more (97 total). So as you can see all the money in these events go to the winner and when you have a chance to close to door everything must be done to secure victory.


Today I plan on playing the 1500 limit event, even though I am not completely over last nights defeat.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Deep In $2500 Limit Event

Were down to the final 13 people heading into day 2 of the $2500 limit holdem event. Average Chips is 44k, I have 30k. Blinds are 1k-2k playing 2-4k.

Midway through the first level, a local highstakes player on my right was trying to get someone to cross book with him. After being turned down by everyone in the room, I offered him a last longer. Feeling this tourney is much smaller than the games he normally plays, plus he was up all night, so hopefully he would just give up if things didnt go his way immediatly. Well my 5k offer was not enough for him, he countered with a 20k last longer. I was pretty sure I could have sold off peices of my action, but the bet would have been big enough to make him play his "A" game (which I didnt want). Midway through level 2 he finally got some cross book action going with someone else and now asked me if I would still make the last longer bet. He now had enough action going where this tourney wasnt a total bore for him. He had me slightly outchipped, but I still felt I was a favorite, and got him to lay me 6k for 5k. We both remained fairly close in chips for the next several levels, one scare for me, but I was able to chip up and avoid elimination....he busted shortly after the table broke....ahh life is good...wish me luck tomorrow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finally !

Today I booked my first substantial winning session of the trip...probably the only reason this blog is being written. I guess I am not really in the mood to write when I am losing day after day. I have been playing 40-80 mixed games, 60-120, 1-2 and 2-4 holdem. I am still losing for the trip but at least have some confidence back after a solid win today.

some interesting hands....

200-400 holdem, the fish limps UTG, the cutoff raises, I flat call on the button with KJ of hearts, the small blind calls, and Johnny Chan three bets in the big blind, we all call ... nothing else of interest in hand, other than Chan sitting for a while while he was waiting for his 2million -4million mixed game

40-80 mix 2-7, I raise with 2357 get two callers, I make a wheel after the second draw, I bet, get called then raised, I three bet both call, river I bet and get raised again, after about 6 more bets, we realize we both made the nutz ...

60-120 holdem, 4 limpers, the cutoff raises, I three bet on button with AA, everyone calls, cutoff caps, flop comes down Q high, we cap it again, monster pot is built, by the river only three of us are left...cutoff and I both have aces and chop....booorrring

ahh thats all for now, Im tired and ready for bed...I think I am going to play the 2500 limit event tomorrow...prolly a small tough field but seems like the only events I ever build chips in are limit holdem, so I may stick with what I have had some success with.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


My flight out to cali, pretty much could not have been worse. The Long Beach Flight was delayed coming out of Boston. Once finally on the plane, my seatmate was a gigantic dude, who decided the armrest (plus a few inches on my side) were all his. Luckily I was able to sleep against the window for a few hours. But the six hour flight was a little over seven due to "crossing the jet stream twice." At least that's what my friendly monster next to me said. His dad was a pilot, his uncle was a pilot, his grandfather was a pilot (you get the picture), he knew everything, just ask him.

I played the first limit holdem tourney on Friday. I was pretty disappointed with my table draw. There was only one person I had not played with in a cash game before. Normally you can hope to get some low limit clueless (non aggressive) people, but this wasn't the case. Luckily for me the cards did better than break even and I was able to survive the turnover and by the fifth or sixth level some of the better players had been eliminated and replaced with some of the random donkey's I was expecting to begin with.

We finally got down to the money around 1am, with average stack a little over 20k, I had 19k so was in decent shape. But once in the money I did not win another pot. Playing 1k-2k your survival is dependent on winning almost every pot you play. Anyway my KK went down to A6s, 77 down to KK, AQ was forced to check fold, and finally my KT was unable to hold off Q8. Anyway, spending almost 12 hours playing this tourney was well worth the $255 of pure profit.

Good luck today to Feming Chan who is still alive in the final 13 players...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Birthday Blog

Sorry for the long delay between blogs, for some reason I really have not been in the mood to blog. There was one blog I had in the works, then my camera crashed and erased all my crazy ski weekend pictures, so that blog was all for not...anyway...

This is the anniversary of "when it all began." I am walking around my apartment, doing laundry, looking for matching socks, charging my DVD player, looking for extra contact lenses...all the things that I do before leaving on a long trip. It was one year ago, that I wrote my first blog before leaving on this same trip to sunny California for the LA Poker Classic. Again I am very excited about this trip. Lately it has been brutally cold in Boston, so a blast of warm air and some golf could be just what the doctor ordered!

Lately I have been on a hot streak playing online poker. I had back-to-back losses at the end of January that were very big, but besides those two sessions, I have not had any other major setbacks since the first of the year! And overtime it has become obvious that the best way to make money online, is to plug away and book lots of small wins, opposed to taking shots and going for the big score.

This possible run of good fortune may be partly do to my workout regimen. I have been training for the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon on March 18th. I always feel like I play better poker when I am working out and running, and lately I have run more miles than ever before. I feel strong and confident about putting up a solid time in March Race.

While in Cali, I plan on playing some golf, playing some tourneys (not as many as in the past), and mostly cash games. The WSOP circuit event in San Diego is only a 5k event (opposed to 10k in the past) so I may make the trek down there at the end of the month. I would also like to play the LAPC Main Event, but I think I am done directly buying into these events since my track record pretty much sucks. Events played around 10, direct buy-ins around 6, cashes 0, so while everyone deserves to splurge a little and have fun, I don't think this "hobby" is worth 60k+ a year.

more updates to come from the flip side ...