Daniel - Poker Journal
The Super Bowl , Stacked Photo Shoot, and the PPT09 Feb 2005
Itís Super Bowl Sunday and I have no idea who I want to bet on. New England is just scary. Bill Belichek just might be the smartest guy on the planet. Give me one week with him and this guy would win every poker tournament in sight!
So naturally Iím thinking that New England is going to win this game, but I donít know about laying 7 points. When New England faced Indy the talk was all about how Indy will put up a ton of pointsÖ they scored 3! Against Pittsburgh the focus was on a tough Steelers defense that you just canít score onÖ New England scored 41!
Iíd planned on watching the game at E-DOGís ultimate bachelor pad- itís become a yearly tradition. So knowing that Erick liked the Eagles plus the points I wasn't about to spoil the party by betting the other way. I took the Eagles plus the 7 for $5000.
I watched the Super Stars Invitatinal on NBC where the "Eight Best Players in the World" battled it out wondering, "Why, I didn't know that these were the eight best poker players in the world until today? Guess you learn something new everyday!"
By about 3:00pm I got to Erick's house and the place was buzzing. A couple people playing pool, others in the backyard shooting hoops, some playing online poker on one of the big screens, while others ate, talked, and enjoyed each other's company. It was the Super Bowl party to be at that's for sure.
The Eagles looked good early despite a couple key turnovers and I was already getting on Erick's case, "Every time I listen to you I lose money. Belichek can't lose, we're doomed."
Then at the half with the score tied at 7 we saw that the halftime line was N.E. -4.5. "You wanna reload on the Eagles D?" said Erick.
"Sure why not, give me another nickel plus the 4.5" Why not I figured, I don't ever bet on sports but this is the Super Bowl after all.
Luckily for Erick he didn't have to hear my whining after the game as the Eagles covered both the second half spread and the game line. Belichek won of course but I could care less- I was $10,000 richer. It's kind of sick really when you don't really care who wins the game as long as you cover the spread.
After a late night of partying on Super Bowl Sunday I needed to get myself together in a hurry to not only pack a bag for LA, but to actually drive there as well. Both Evelyn and Jennifer couldn't find flights out in time to make our scheduled photo shoot that night so I took them both along for the ride.
We got in to LA around 5:45pm giving us about an hour to prepare for the night's photo shoot. At 6:45pm the gang met in the lobby and we then head over to the studio. Jennifer Harman, Evelyn Ng, myself, Josh Arieh and his wife, Erick Lindgren, Carlos Mortenson and his wife, and finally David Williams and his girlfriend all hopped into a limo with the publishers of STACKED.
I felt like I was on a school trip. A bunch of rowdy kids listening to the teacher's instructions on how the "field trip" is going to work. For those who listened, they heard a lot of inside information as to how STACKED is going to work as well as how it's going to be marketed.
We got to the studio and I was very impressed. It looked like it could have been a nightclub. Food was ready for us when we got there, wine, beer, champagne whatever your heart desired.
I schmoozed a little bit with some very important people in the video game industry while the others went through wardrobe, make up, and hair. It was a really fun setting unlike any photo shoot I'd ever done. There was a videographer there capturing the moment and doing interviews along the way. Everything about the photo shoot screamed of high end.
We all did our individual shots and then finally did a group shot. It was a very loose and fun environment which I think helped everyone really feel comfortable which made for some great shots.
I left the studio feeling like the luckiest guy in the world. Not only did I associate myself with an awesome new video game, but I got to do it along with a great group of friends.
Noon was the scheduled start time for the first day of the PPT but we didn't get started till about 12:20pm. My first table had a real "old school" feel to it and the play was extremely drawn out and boring.
Over three FULL levels into play the biggest bet ever called at my table was 1700. 1700! At E-DOG's table he'd already busted like five guys on his own and the chips were just flying.
The first player we lost was Howard Lederer at about level five. I remember joking to some of the producers, "It's a good thing you didn't have this table as the featured table, it's been a real snooze fest."
Things weren't going well for me either. I was down to about 2900 and fought back to 4875 when they decided to make our table the featured table. Phil Hellmuth filled Howard's seat and joined us with a ton of chips.
That didn't last long though as Phil played rather poorly on two consecutive hands and was out shortly after that. Scotty Nguyen who was on my left was in rare form. For a guy as skinny as Scotty is he sure can handle a lot of beer! Unfortunately, despite an early rush the alcohol got the better of him and he blew off his chips as well.
It was almost a theme of the day. Later I was moved to Chris Ferguson's table and watched him blow up as well - firing his last 20,000 into a pot where he was drawing slim. It must have been something in the water, I dunno.
I struggled all day with my short stack, but honestly don't think I made one clear mistake the entire day. I waited and watched as other great players went the wayside, and after winning a pot here and there ended day one with a respectable stack of 48,500.
Erick Lindgren who has been really playing well lately is still in there with a similar sized stack, and the always dangerous John Juanda is on the prowl as well with less than 40 players remaining.
You know I think I played very well today but I can't think of any one hand that I played "spectacular." I just plugged away, avoided confrontations if I could, and was lucky enough to win two coin flips, once with JJ vs AK and the other time with AK vs 55.
If I can continue to play the way I did today, I really think I can make a run at the PPT title. We shall see...