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Daniel - Poker Journal

Turning the Corner

01 Jul 2005

Being well rested, fresh, and ready to play when you get down to the tournament is probably more important than being there on time. My timing has been bad the whole tournament.

When the event was at the Horseshoe it took me about 15 minutes to get there. As for the Rio, that's a little bit more of a drive for me and sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to get there when the traffic gets bad.

Last year I was always up by 11:00am which game me enough time to get to the Horseshoe without missing a hand during the whole month. This year I've been on time most days, but have been 5 to 10 minutes late several times.

Well today I took it one step further. Last night I watched three episodes of Real World: Austin and about five episodes of the Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Man, this Real World season looks nutty! On the first night out this one dude Danny gets clocked in the face and fractures his cheek bone.

This other chick says she has a boyfriend, but from day one she is trying to jump Danny's bones. The black dude on the show seems cool. He's got a level head and looks like he won't be much drama.

Then this drunken girl goes nuts on him for trying to help her out. All the roommates rag on the dude and he literally did nothing wrong whatsoever. In fact, he handled himself perfectly... crazy.

So anyway, after watching some Jamie Kennedy before bed (I love that show too) I got to bet at about 4:30am. I'd already decided that I was going to sleep in and skip the first level.

When I got there I had 2800 of my 3000 starting stack and doubled up with AA vs. AK rather early on. It looked like it might be a good day.

Over 1000 players started and with a little less than 200 players I was in great shape with 23,000 when this hand came up:

A kid from Vancouver limped in for 400 and I raised to 2000 next to the button with Ad Kc. The button and the limper called so it was a nice pot already.

The flop came 2d 4d 5d giving me a straight flush draw. The first limper checked and I decided that I didn't want to get cute with the hand and moved all in.

The goal here was to force a player with 99 or 10-10 to lay down their hand. If they called that would be ok too. My hand would still be the favorite on the flop.

The button folded and the first limper went into the tank. The more he thought, the more obvious it became that he had a hand like 99, 10-10, or JJ with a diamond. I really didn't care if he called or folded.

If he folded I'd have 30,000, but if he called and I won I'd be in monster stack territory with 50,000. He finally says, "Let's go for it," and calls the bet.

So what did he turn over? The 10-J of diamonds! What the? What was this guy worried about, my goodness!

I ended up making a straight on the river which left me with just 4500 in chips. I didn't give up though, and by the end of the level was back to 18,000 or so.

I missed a few more straight/flush draws and was down to 4000 again when I picked up the A-8 of hearts.

I moved all in from late position and Julian Gardner called me with As 9c. The flop came Qh 10h Qs. Now I was in awesome shape to double up. The only way that I could really lose the pot was if a nine came with no heart, or two running cards lower than an eight..

I needed an eight or a heart to win, and when the turn card came a deuce, I needed a 2, 8, 10, J, K, A or a heart to stay alive. River? *Sigh* the 7c.

So now I'm at home again trying to pick myself up off the mat. On the bright side, I did come away with something from the tournament. I got some practice playing late in a no limit event that I sorely needed. I got into the swing of things and felt powerful and confident. I'm hoping it's enough to put me over the edge for the stretch drive to the final event.