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Daniel - Poker Journal

I Played my Heart Out

22 Apr 2005

I really struggled for two days. I was a little surprised how many novice players entered the event. On both day one and day two I was at awesomely weak tables. If the cards went my way I could have amassed a ton of chips, but I ran pretty awful both days never getting any real momentum.

I fought as hard as I could, but the right situations never seemed to come up. I was at a table where if I could just beat top pair one time I'd double up. As I said, my table was full of novice players that overplayed their hands and couldn't get away from them either.

I wasn't looking for any major cold deck really. If I could have just hit a straight here, or a flush there I would have been ok. There was one player in particular that was so incredibly lucky for two days, overplaying hand after hand and never running into any hands along the way. It might have been one of the most amazing runs I'd ever seen really.

I was playing great. Despite getting my head kicked in hand after hand I kept my composure, stayed patient, and waited for good opportunities that just didn't materialize.

My final hand went like this: with blinds at 600-1200 with a 200 ante Tam Nguyen limped in under the gun. I followed suit with the 4-5 of diamonds. The three seat also called, and then former WSOP champion Jim Bechtel raised it 7000 more to 8200.

I looked at Jim and felt like he was trying to pick up the dead money. He'd been doing that for the last hour since he came to the table and my senses told me he was weak.

The easily exploitable yet "lucky" player called in position, and Tam Nguyen also called the raise. There was now 30,800 in the pot and I would have to call 7000 more to try and hit a lucky flop. I felt like my cards were live in this pot and it was my chance to get back into contention- I called.

The flop came 9-2-3 rainbow and Tam checked to me. At this point I had 35,000 in chips with my open ended straight draw. I genuinely felt like Bechtel was just messing around, so unless he hit the nine on the flop there was a good chance that I could pick up this pot. I moved all in.

Jim studied for a minute and then finally went all in himself. All others folded and he turned over the 9-10 of clubs. I knew it! I knew he was messing around on this hand and I felt pretty unlucky that he had a nine in his hand.

So after the flop my hand was about a 2-1 underdog against Jim's. An ace or a six on the turn or river and I'd have a nice stack with over 100,000 for the first time in the tournament.

Blank, blank and that was that. I left the Bellagio immediately, a little disgusted. I wanted this tournament really badly. I prepared the best I could, played as good as I could, but sometimes even that isn't enough. You really can't just will yourself to win. All you can do is try to be as prepared as possible and hope to catch a few breaks. Breaks, I didn't catch... oh well.

On the way home I decided to take the long route avoiding the highway. I was hoping that shopping may take my mind off things a little bit and it did.

I picked up a baseball glove and some balls to practice for the first pitch I'll be throwing out at an upcoming Blue Jay game. It was originally slotted for May 6th but I just got word that it might get moved back a little but I won't know until tomorrow.

So since then I've been relaxing at home, catching up on my MTV... Boiling Points, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Punk'd, The Surreal Life, and Survivor: Palau.

I think the plan for tomorrow is to finally get out there and do some golfing. E-DOG is out of the big one now too so we will probably hit some balls tomorrow morning. It's been a long time for me and it should be fun. That is... if I'm able to wake up!

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