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Daniel - Poker Journal

Traveling the Globe with D-Dubya

14 Jan 2006


When I was checking in at the airport in LA I saw David Williams there and was on the same flight. We ended up being able to shuffle our seats around and have a chance to sit together.

After check-in, we were supposed to get in a line to put our bags on the security belt. Then, when they take your bags you are supposed to wait in another line until they tell you that you can go. Why? You are asking the wrong guy.

So I watch the guy put my bag back there, but notice that everyone else’s bags are coming out and they are all being dismissed. I finally spoke up, “Yo, how come everybody behind me gets to leave and I have to stand here?”

“You have to pay attention, “The rude airport employee told me.

“I am paying attention,” I said.

“No, you were supposed to pay attention because your bag probably came out already and you missed it,“ he said.

“Are you kidding me? First of all, I was paying attention and nobody told me I was supposed to pay attention. Secondly, the people behind me weren’t paying one bit of attention but the guy over there was calling attention to their bags and calling out their names!”

“Your bag is probably gone,” he replied with a yucky smirk on his face.

“So can I go then???”

“Yeah, what are you waiting for anyway,” he says.

Are you kidding me, whatever man. I left and headed to the gate with David. We chilled out in the lounge before our flight left and he went on telling me what he’s been up to. Everything from playing poker with Paris Hilton and her boyfriend at Bellagio, to his night out with Jessica Simpson, to… never mind. Let’s just say the guy has been quite the diva of late, living the “Hollywood” life. He seems happy, good for him.

So we get on the plane that was basically half business class, half economy, as well as limited first class seating. I didn’t see much of a difference between first class and business class at all and felt good about saving $3000.

The seats were OUT.. OF… THIS WORLD! I mean, wow, they call them sky beds and it had to be the most enjoyable flight I’ve ever been on. In fact, I’d rather take that 14.5 hour flight then a 5 hour flight across the U.S. The seats stretched out to the point where you could actually lie down flat like a bed. The food was good, neat gadgets, and all kinds of amenities.

I talked to David a little bit about his background in a game called “Magic” which apparently got him, and several other young guys into the poker world. Supposedly the game requires a similar skill set, but I’ve yet to play it.

I brought along my Hockey News as well as a case of various DVD’s. For about the first 8 hours of the flight I slept while David watched Donnie Darko before dozing off himself. He didn’t snore at all, but could have used a mint or two! J Just kidding.
When I got up I popped in season one of Arrested Development, a FOX show that the critics at Entertainment Weekly just rave about. I subscribe to the magazine and it seems like in every issue they have something great to say about the show.

I got through almost all of season one and while I thought it was extremely clever it didn’t quite grab me like a 24 or Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s twisted, but it rarely had me laughing out loud like I do when I watch Curb.

It seemed like, just like that, we were landing! The smoothest and most enjoyable flight I’ve EVER taken. Kudos to Qantas! (for the record, that wasn’t a paid endorsement J

When we got there our limo guy was there as well as a very cool, hip, Crown rep. who was there to greet us. She took us up to check-in area, but since our rooms weren’t ready yet we decided to grab a quick bite in the “exclusive” lounge.

The food…. Off the hook! I ate a grilled tomato, asparagus, mushroom concoction that blew me away, and the best hash browns I’d ever tasted.

As David and I headed for seconds, Andy Roddick dropped by to introduce himself and say hello. He then mentioned that he was playing a match a little later that day. What he neglected to mention was that he was in the finals of the event against Tommy Haas. The event is basically a warm up for the Australian Open which starts in a couple days.

I told Andy that we might come see him play if we bust out of the tournament and he replied, “Well, then I hope I don’t see you there.” The dude understands J

Also having lunch there were Roger Federer, Leyton Hewitt, and a few other players that I didn’t recognize by face, but am assuming are top players.

I used to watch tennis religiously but haven’t kept up since Federer started playing like an alien. I grew up loving Boris Becker and Andre Agassi. On the women’s side I was a fan on Gabriela Sabatini, but remember being 14 years old and thinking that I was destined to marry Jennifer Capriati!

These days I must say, that I still root for Agassi, but am afraid he’ll never be able to beat Federer or compete consistently with guys like Roddick and Hewitt. I also find James Blake’s story to be pretty inspiring as well, and you just have to root for that guy!

Roddick seemed like a very cool cat too, so when I finally got back to my room I decided to watch his match that he was playing against Tommy Haas. I was pretty exhausted, though , and fell asleep with Roddick up 4-1 in the first set.

In the meantime, while we waited for our rooms to be ready, David wanted to play a little bit so I let his use my KidPoker account at www.fullcontactpoker.com. He jumped into a $25-$50 limit hold’em game and was getting crushed!

It was sick, I seemed like he flopped two pair every hand. In fact, there was a stretch where he flopped two pair in four consecutive hands! Here are a few of the gems:

David Qh Jh
Opponent: x-x

Flop: Jd 3h 4h

Opponent checked, David bet, opponent called.

Turn: 9s

Opponent bet, David raised, opponent called.

River: 5

Opponent check-raises David and shows 6-7!

Next hand:

David vs. same opponent:

Opponent raises, David re-raises with 9-9

Flop: A-8-5

Opponent checks, David bets, Opponent raises, David 3-bets and is called.

Turn: 2

Opponent checks, David bets, Opponent check-raises, David calls.

River 10:

Check, check, opponent shows K-10! LOL.

He ended up losing $840, but clearly didn’t want to quit!

*************************************************************************

So now, while I write this, it’s about 6:00am here in Melbourne. I woke up not too long ago and think I’ll be just fine for the 12:30pm start. I’ve gotten to all of my e-mails already, and will be checking out the facilities later. Who knows, maybe I’ll even work out! Nah J

I will likely get a massage and I plan on catching up with a really old friend that I haven’t seen in years. A young guy who used to play in LA years ago. A young guy, who came on to the scene right around the same time Layne Flack and I and won himself a bracelet.

He was one of the few “young guns” at that time along with Juanda and Cunningham, but slightly before Ivey. You see back then, there wasn’t hundreds of young guys playing like there is today. Back then, it was “special” to be one of the few young guns, while today they are a dime a dozen! Before “my time” as a youngster, guys like Phil Hellmuth and Huck Seed preceded us. We were the “next ones” and you could count the whole group on one hand..

Anyway, he left the scene years ago and hasn’t been heard from, so I’m looking forward to catching up.

It’s funny, I just remembered an old story from back then. He won his first bracelet the same year I did and he’d often get people saying to him, ’Congratulations Daniel.” I got the same deal from An Tran, lol. He couldn’t tell us apart I guess!

Anyway… time for that massage.

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