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Daniel - Poker Journal

LA, Survivor, Paula Abdul, WPT, and Poker

23 Dec 2005

There is an old saying that goes, "A good hold'em player makes for a good poker player, while a good stud player makes for a good stud player."

Well, the thing with poker is that if you don't play enough your skills WILL get a little rusty. The more you play, the more in tune you are with things you are doing right and other things you are doing wrong.

Of late, I've been a little obsessed with poker- which is a good thing. I've been playing, studying, and learning how to use some of these new software programs to track play online.

Most of you guys probably already have that software on your computer already, but it's all new to me. It's insane how much information you can get!

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So anyway, yesterday I committed to flying to LA for the afternoon for a video game show on Spike to talk a little bit about STACKED with Daniel Negreanu

Before that, though, I had to head to the dreaded bank one last time. I got to the bank right at 9:00am so I'd have enough time to make my 10:55am flight.

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To make sure I woke up, I watched Survivor till about 8:00am before getting ready! I was just watching season one, where Rich did an awesome job to win.

Some of the others on the island apparently felt as though, "Rich thought he was smarter than everyone else," or that he was, "Arrogant." Well the truth is, he may have been both.

Rich DID feel like he was smarter than everyone else, but he WAS! Rich knew that for a fact, and sometimes it's inevitable that you are going to come off as arrogant in a situation like that.

I really feel like I could connect with Rich, "But not in a homosexual way," as Rudy would put it :-)

Rudy had to be one of the funniest guys I'd ever seen on television. He wasn't trying to be funny mind you, but his deadpan responses were so pure, so genuine, and ultimately so hilarious!

He was "old school," in that he served in the army for 45 years and was a true hero. He didn't curse, believe in marriage out of wedlock, didn't talk about sex, or anything like that. He was also someone you knew if he gave you his word, it was gold.

I found the relationship between Rich and Rudy to be fascinating. Rudy, an old school army guy who referred to gay men as "Queers," and Rich, a gay man you who didn't fit society's stereotype of what a gay man looks like, or even acts like.

In the end, it seemed as though while they probably didn't agree on much in terms of sexuality, or even right from wrong, but developed an admiration for each other as "men." It was nice to see.

I've always had a problem with "hate crimes" of any kind. They make me angry, whether they be racially driven or directly related towards homosexuals, the ignorance infuriates me to no end.

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So anyway, back to the bank where I was depositing a check and sending a wire. IT... TOOK... FOREVER! Finally, after tons of phone calls they were telling me that they STILL had to put a hold on it.

I threw a "hissy" and finally told them I had to catch a flight, but would leave everything with them. They handled it, and I think the wire went out today.

I recieved a couple e-mails letting me know that Wells Fargo is the absolute worst when it comes to holding checks. That in fact, they hold the checks as long as possible to earn as much interest as possible on each one. Hm, seems shady to me.

I get to the airport just in time and jump on a Southwest flight- Southwest is the nuts! A gentleman coming towards the back of the plane asked if he could sit in the vacant seat next to me.

He was with two friends who sat in the seats next to me on the other side. He seemed like a nice guy, but there was something different about him. Rich from Survivor I never would have pegged as being gay, but the gentleman who sat beside me clearly was.

He introduced himself, and then asked me what I did. So I told him I was a poker player and he was fascinated. He yelled, "Hey Paula, this guy is a poker player, how cool."

She leaned over, and I noticed it was Paula Abdul! Ok, that's a little bizarre. She said hello, and was very pleasant to talk to. A lot more friendly and down to earth than I would have expected.

She had bags of ice behind her neck, and when I asked her what that was about she explained to me that she was in a lot of pain after falling down the stairs. Ouch!

We talked about random stuff for a bit and then both got back to our reading. I found it slightly strange that she was reading US magazine, and there was a picture of her in it. Not all that strange, but kinda weird yes?

The LA trip was quick and painless and I was back on a flight home by 3:30pm. I landed in Vegas at around 5:00pm, called down to the Bellagio and found out that there was a game going on.

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So I headed straight for Bellagio, a little tired but still itching to play, and willing to play a short session. The game was six handed:

Seat 1: Doyle Brunson
Seat 2: David Benyamine
Seat 3: Me
Seat 4: Gus Hansen
Seat 5: Chip Reese
Seat 6: Ming Ly

We were playing a "min" version of the big game, playing 10 games but everything limit wise was cut in half including the cap:

Hold'em
Stud
Stud H/L
Omaha H/L
2-7 Triple Draw
Limit Omaha
Stud H/L Regular
Pot Limit Omaha
No Limit Hold'em
2-7 Single Draw NL

The game seemed pretty dead for some reason. I played for about 4 hours and won a "peanut," or $24,000.

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Today I played for a little bit online at www.fullcontactpoker.com with "Pokergirl" $100-$200 limit hold'em, heads up. It was back and forth for a while and then I finally quit after winning $500 and change.

I later checked my e-mail and saw one that was from Steve Lipscomb. The tone of the e-mail was very positive, and I agreed with most of it, but there was something written in there that is... well, horrifying.

Steve wrote: "But, the story does not end there. The World Poker Tour is a business. We value our relationship with WPT players and have always acted with great care and deference when using player images. The few players now trying to stir up controversy around player releases are lost in hypotheticals not reality.

A perfect example occurred recently. Without my approval, a banner ad featuring three prominent players was used by a WPT affiliate to drive people to our online poker site. Within an hour of hearing about the ad, I had it removed not because we were legally obligated to, but because the players asked us to and we take their concerns seriously."

The scary sentence? "I had it removed NOT BECAUSE we were LEGALLY obligated to, but because the players asked us to and we take their concerns seriously."

That right there, is an assertion that the WPT would have had the legal right to use that banner if they chose to. In other words, according to Steve, they would have the legal right to put Doyle Brunson, mine, and Gus Hansen's picture on an online banner for WPTonline.

If that is in fact what he is saying, then there is simply NO WAY I could play on the WPT if they expect me to sign a release that gives them the right to use my name and likeness to promote the WPTOnline.

It's important to note that I DO trust Steve Lipscomb and Lyle Berman enough to know that they would never do that. What I don't have, is a guarantee that for one, it's solely up to them, and two, that they would NEVER sell the WPT to someone else.

If an outside entity took over the WPT they could use these releases and then we'd all be knee deep in legal bills.

Personally, if it went to court, I don't think that the WPT would stand much of a chance, but I seriously hope that day never comes.

However, until further notice, based on that scary e-mail, I just don't think I'd be able to play on the WPT and that would really, really suck. I love playing on the WPT and hope that something can be done in time for Bahamas.

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