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Daniel - Poker Journal

I'm Still In!

25 Jan 2006


Well, the day started out the same as every tournament had been starting for me- with me missing monster draws! Up against Alan Goering I had Ac Q clubs and the board was Qd 2c 3d 4c. I missed that pot and lost the pot to Alan's trip deuces.

I thought to myself, "Here we go again. Time to check flight times out of Tunica so I can get some food somewhere."

Seriously, the food here has to be the absolute worst I've ever seen. It's on par with being isolated in a prison camp and being forced to munch on cockroaches and rats. Good preparation for Survivor, but not my idea of a nutritious meal.

Each year Memphis and Houston are neck and neck for the most unhealthy cities in America and I can see why. Frankly, I really feel deeply sorry for some of the locals here. Many of them grew up with an unhealthy diet and because of the limited choices, it makes it even more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

When I see people walking around that are 200 pounds overweight it hurts my heart. I can only imagine how much harder their lives must be when simply “walking” becomes a chore.

It made me wonder why it's legal for people to destroy their bodies with unhealthy foods, yet smoking marijuana is illegal? What do you think is worse for you, marijuana smoke or living on a fast food diet? It's not even close.

Enough about that, though, every time I come out here I get worked up about it. It just makes me so mad that healthy food is scarcely available here.

As for the tournament, I was able to get my chip count up as high as 58,000, but ended the day at 38,500. Above average, and it definitely feels good to finally make it through to day two.

Before the dinner break I played an all in pot with my buddy Carlos Mortensen. I'd recently been moved to his table and he was clearly in control until I got there.

Immediately, I re-raised him before the flop on three consecutive hands to let him know that, "things have changed." He wasn't going to be able to run over the table with me sitting two to his left.

The hand right before the dinner break Carlos raised on the button to 600. The blinds were 100-200 with a 25 ante, so I called from the small blind with Ah 3h. The big blind also called.

The flop came 4h 5d 7h giving me a double gutshot straight draw as well as the nut flush draw. Me and the big blind checked to Carlos who bet 1600.

With a flop this big, I was prepared to play a big pot if necessary. I called the 1600 and raised it 2400 more. Instantly, Carlos motioned with his hands towards the middle of the pot, moving all in. I called in a heart beat.

There was about 40,000 in the pot now, and I had to outrun his two pair, 4's and 5's. The turn was the Jd, and on the river I "finally" made a draw by catching the 6h.

That was the last hand before the dinner break and about two minutes before that I asked Carlos if we could use his car to go to Subway. He was visibly upset about losing the hand and I genuinely felt bad for him.

We are friends, though, and he understands that, "Business is business," and was a man about it. He actually discussed the hand with me and felt as though he misplayed it. Erick and I agreed that there was a better way to play his hand, and I think that's what upset him most.

Since Carlos said that he put me on a big draw, the correct play would have been to CALL me on the flop, rather than go all in.

When we got to Subway I was so insanely hungry I ordered two foot long Veggie subs and scarfed them down in about 10 minutes or so. All day I'd been eating sunflower seeds that Layne Flack gave me the night before. That kept me alive, but it was nice to put something in my stomach.

I'd like to have room service tomorrow morning, but I looked at the menu. I'm drawing pretty dead on selection, but I'll figure something out.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited right now. It has truly been a long, long time since I've been in the running in a major tournament. I actually think playing $50-$100 NL online with stockrader4 and Sindy over at www.fullcontactpoker.com has helped me with my confidence. I'm probably playing more aggressively now than I ever have. Hopefully I can keep my foot on the gas without hitting any major obstacles along the way.

So far I did have a few bumps in the road, but that's all part of the bigger plan. The plan being: amass a dominant stack and then cruise to the final table as one of the chip leaders. We'll see...

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