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Daniel - Poker Journal

WSOP Day One and Match 1 vs. Barry Greenstein

04 Jun 2005

I was out of the tournament in the second level. I just never really had a hand, and with only 1500 in chips you need to make some hands or you become short stacked in a hurry. In fact, I was never above the 1500 mark in the 1.5 hours that I played.

As a testament to that, Erick Lindgren, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, and a host of others were out even before me. Barry Greenstein was also out early and called me to start our challenge matches.

We headed over to Wynn at about 3:00pm and started right away. The game was 7 card stud, $4000-$8000 limit, and the amount we'd be playing for was $500,000.

For most of the way I was getting crushed. I got some big hands beat and was down as much as $300,000 at one point. Then I started hitting a few hands myself and staged a comeback.

Barry and I both agreed that we'd play till midnight regardless of the result. At close to 10:00pm I took the lead after being behind for more than six hours. I was feeling good the whole way and felt confident about my chances even when I was behind.

I have a friend who is a good stud player and he gave me some pointers on the intricacies of heads up stud. They were powerful tips for me and I think that the minor adjustment helped me a great deal.

Going into the match against Barry I felt like he was the favorite in 7 card stud. It was the game I was most worried about After playing him for nine hours, though, I still feel as though he is probably a better stud player than I am- but not heads up. I personally feel like I have the best of this match.

At one point I was up as much as $164,000, but when midnight hit I was ahead $73,000. It's not the final result that leads me to believe Iím a favorite, it's just the way the play went that makes me feel that way. I could be wrong of course.

In fairness, he was extremely tired and that became obvious to me. I was happy to see that he honored our agreement to play till midnight. We will stick to that in each and every match. No quitting early if you are tired. If you aren't up to playing, then don't start.

So tomorrow we are both playing in the pot limit hold'em event. If we are both out by 6:00pm we may head back over to Wynn to continue the match.

As for the WSOP, the buzz was pretty crazy. People everywhere, both players and fans. Now, normally I'm really good about taking pictures with people and signing autographs, but it's gone to an entirely new level this year. It is genuinely distracting.

Gone are the days when I can just walk through the room and head to my table freely. Those walks take much longer now. To be totally honest, I'm not liking it all that much. There is a time and a place for mingling with other players and fans- it's not this month. I really want to be a hermit and avoid crowds, but it's not in my nature to turn people away.

That's part of the problem. Once you take one picture, or sign one autograph, it becomes a full photo shoot! Today while eating Monnyís cooking I was interrupted repeatedly.

I hesitated even writing all of this, because I realize how it sounds. Hey, I'm just being honest. I love what I do, and I love being a part of the poker world in a big way. I fully realize that this is just "part of the deal", but it's honestly becoming a little overwhelming.

If it continues to get worse, not just for me but for all of the other prominent players, I think something needs to be done to give the players some space during the breaks.

When I get knocked out of a tournament, I just want to get out of there! I can't do that anymore. Well that's not entirely true. I could, by just blowing people off, but that's not in my nature. Most people are very nice and friendly and don't mean any harm at all. It's just that the sheer number of poker fans at the tournament this year has made things a little hectic.

Man, I just know I shouldn't be writing this blog. I just know that I'm going to hear flack for it. It's just that I live by this motto, it's a quote that I've always liked, "Say nothing, do nothing... and be nothing." Iím really not big on pulling punches or hiding my true feelings.

I really hope that people don't take this blog as being arrogant or ungrateful, but I know that inevitably some people will. I guess I can live with that, since I know the truth in my heart.

The truth being: I want to be accommodating. I want to be friendly. I want to make myself available. I have trouble saying no. Yet all of these things are clearly not always in my best interest. I think Iím just going to have to learn to say, ďNot right now sorry, Iím a little busy.Ē

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