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Daniel - Poker Journal

A Busy Week

16 May 2006


On May 11th I flew to Los Angeles for E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo. I planned on flying out early the next morning so all I brought with me on my flight to Burbank was a Sports Illustrated, ESPN the magazine, The Hockey News, and a few copies of Entertainment Weekly. I didn't even bring my computer bag which I always bring.

I arrived in LA at about 3:00pm and headed over to meet the "X-BOX Dudes." A good group of guys that either work with Microsoft or X-BOX. I'm never really sure, frankly, as all these titles sound the same to me. "Hi I'm Joe, VP of Executive Marketing and Accounting for the DVD division."

"Hey Joe, Nice to meet you."

"Hey Daniel, I'm Bill, Chief Executive Officer of the S Corp division of branding and merchandising for XYZ publishing and game development."

"Cool man, you know I have no clue what that means right?"

Anyway, it was a cool bunch of guys who all had jobs. That's about as much as I understand, but luckily for me, I don't need to know much more than that. What I do know, is that this group of guys were all instrumental in helping STACKED with Daniel Negreanu create such a positive buzz with the video game websites, industry people, retailers, and the various video gaming magazines.

The plan was to play a little freeze out tournament for bragging rights. I planned on playing my A game and make sure that I got deep On the first key hand I played I was the third limper with Kd 8d for 100. The big blind "meant to raise" but somehow screwed that up and accidentally checked!

The flop came K-8-4 rainbow. The big blind bet out, and I raised it right away. He called, and when the turn came a 9 he fired out another bet. I stuck it all in. My opponent, shaking like a leaf at this point, finally made the crying call with... pocket nines! Sick, so sick! No King on the river, and I was the first guy out.

These guys were good sports, though, and we decided that everyone would get to "rebuy" once. I built up my stack to the chip lead in the late stages, but when my A-10 went all in against Q-8 suited I was left short stacked and bowed out in fourth place.... oh well, while my ego was slightly bruised, at least it didn't cost me a penny!

From there, we went to our next stop at the Standard hotel in downtown LA. A very cool place. In fact, I had a lot of fun there the last time I was in LA.

So anyway, this was another "poker party" with some industry people that all know about STACKED and are anxiously awaiting the May 30th release date (for real, no kidding :-).

We set up a tournament with four full tables and on the third hand I played I limped in for 50 with 5-5. Nobody raised before the flop and we had five players to the flop: Ks 6s 5.

Sweet, a set of fives and the small blind bet 200. The UTG limper made it 500 to go and I made it 1500. The first bettor folded as did all of the other players, and then the limper made it 1000 more.

Well, we only had 5000 to start so I stuck it all in just hoping that my opponent had something to call with. He did... pocket kings!!! Are you serious? I was the first one out... again?

Once again, these guys were troopers and let me back in. This time, I got on a roll all the way to the final table. Once again I made it down to the final four before I took just a ridiculous beat.

With Js 3d in the blind I bet a flop of 9s 7s 3s. One opponent called, and the turn came the 6d. I moved all in for a huge bet and had my opponent covered. He just decided to call me with Kc Qd! No pair and no draw! Wouldn't you know, a Queen hit the river. Yikes...

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I got home in the afternoon of the 12th and... well, I don't even remember what I did so let's just skip that day shall we?

On the 13th, my new protégé Brian Fidler arrived in town and was supposed to be at my house at about 1:30pm for some last minute preparations before his big debut in the WPT event at Mirage.

By about 2:00pm the house here was complete chaos. Along with Brian and his boss, were: my wife getting ready, "MTV Guy," The Protégé film crew, and three guys from SAM Magazine over for an interview and a photo shoot, my assistant Patty, and my agent Brian.

I can only imagine Fidler thinking, "What in the world have I gotten myself into here?"

We didn't have a ton of time to go over strategy, but we were able to watch a couple episodes of High Stakes Poker- an excellent teaching tool.

From there, Brian joined me at Stacks for a dinner meeting with Mike Sexton and some WPT people. It was a casual dinner, with the topic of discussion being the WPT. Things we like, things we don't like, whatever.

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May 13th was a tough one. I'd never believe this in a million years, and frankly, I'm only kidding when I say this, but man, I used to make some hands when I was younger!

I had about 6 or 7 "homerun balls" in the tournament and just missed every one. Every time I flirted with doubling up I just kept missing my draws. "When I dun' was a younger fella I used to hit me a draw er' two."

Aside from the Circuit event that I won this year, I've been either totally card dead or have run pretty salty in these tournaments. Having said that, I was able to "escape" day one with 13,000 in chips.

My protégé, Brian Fidler, wasn't quite as lucky. Early on he increased his stack by 50% and appeared to be cruising. Then he hit a road block and couldn't hit a hand for a couple hours, giving back his early profit a little at a time.

In the end, Brian got his money in good with 10-10 vs A-Q. Had he won that pot he would have been in fine shape to make it through day one and onto day two with a chance at a score. Oh well, I really don't think he did anything stupid, he just wasn't able to win the right hand at the right time. It happens.

On day two I fizzled and didn't make it out of round one. Bad for the poker results, but good news for the golf game. "MTV" and I headed straight for Angel Park to play a round with Kirk Morrison.

Before going out I made sure to hit a few balls and stretch my inflexible back. On the course, I had an "ok" round for me, shooting a 51-52=103 for 18. That's about how I shoot, but I'm going to be shaving at least five strokes off that total by the end of the month. Mark my words, I'll be breaking 100 (Not at Shadow Creek, but most definitely at Angel Park!)

After golf, MTV (His real name is Michael), Kirk, and Mushu's original owner hung out at my place for a bit playing X-BOX 360's PGR 3 (The 360 is so sick) and then watching some of the Jamie Kennedy Xperiment.

They all just left, which means I need to get back to work. I just finished a Card Player column and a Newspaper Column. Now that I'm done the blog, I'm going to hit the sack and get ready to get back out there on the golf course again tomorrow. If I play Angel Park again, I'm breaking 100. Seriously, anything less and I'll be annoyed!

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