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Daniel - Poker Journal

Poker and Golf... Life is Good

19 May 2006


No poker tournaments, interviews, appearances, TV stuff, writing, FCP stuff, STACKED stuff... just me, doing what I want when I want.

Mind you, these "breaks" are costly sometimes since they get me behind on some responsibilities. Mostly phone calls, e-mails, and all the writing that I do. If I don't take these breaks, though, I'll go insane.

So recently I've been focusing hard on my golf game, playing a little online poker, and also took a trip down to Bellagio.

Online, I played in the Wednesday night Negreanu Open and showed up about a half an hour late because I had to be with Lori. She was getting Lasik surgery on her eyes. Now she sees in high def, but they didn't have the picture in picture option available.

So anyway, within the first round of play (for me) I pick up JJ. I raise the minimum, and a guy moves all on me with A2. He beats me, but that wasn't the worst of it.

In the chat box, one of the players at the table says, "Cool, the "blanks" won the Amazing Race!" I was fuming at the time. I tivo everything and watched the whole season of Amazing Race. The finale hadn't even aired yet on the west coast, but now I know who won.

There should be a new internet poker rule: No revealing the winner of Reality TV shows. C'mon people, this is the Tivo age! Oh well, at least it was the group that I wanted to win.

So after I got knocked out I felt like "goofing around" for a little bit. I decided to sit down in a $25-$50 blind NL Hold'em game at FCP. Normally when I play I buy in for the maximum, but I thought, let's try something new?

So instead, I sat down with the minimum buy in, of $500. On hand #1 I got dealt As Qs and won a couple hundred. Within 25 minutes, I ran that $500 into over $6000! It was an unreal rush and a lot of fun for me.

Along the way, I took down AA with Ad 2d when I made the nut flush, sweet!

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Thursday was a great day all around. The kind of day that I look forward to when I'm getting old and grey. I woke up at around noon and got a call from E-DOG. He let me know that him and Ivey were headed over to TPC Summerlin.

I hopped in the shower and headed right over to hit some balls before the round. Ivey and Erick were already there hitting balls when they let me know that we'd be playing a five some. Joining us were Barry Greenstein and Doyle Brunson.

The fun all started before the round when we were figuring out what the strokes should be. Ivey gives me five a side and Erick gives me twelve a side. It was nine a side but Erick beat me so we adjusted a few times.

Barry agreed to give me a stroke a hole, and Doyle gave me five a side. We all played from the white tees except for Doyle. Doyle plays from the red tees and also has a few other stipulations to make things fair. On his second shot, Doyle can tee it up from anywhere. Also, since he has a bad hip, he doesn't have to hit out of the sand. Instead, he drops behind the sand, no closer to the pin.

The amounts we were playing for I won't tell you, but with this crew, it's safe to assume that we weren't playing for $20 a hole!

Doyle amazed me. He chips and puts so well, even at age 72. As for me, I had a great day. We played the back nine first and I shot a 53. One of the holes really annoyed me:

On number five I hit a decent shot, a 7 wood a little too long that landed on the cart path, nestled between the concrete and the bush. No sweat in a typical match where you'd get a favorable drop, but we were playing "Gamblers rules."

I hate gamblers rules, it's just too cut throat, even for me. Anyway, I was lying 2 about 30 yards from the hole, but had no shot. Even worse, if I wanted to take a penalty drop, I'd have to hit it off the cart path! I lost that hole and was fuming.

I closed out well making par, and then started the front nine going par, bogey, bogey! That's huge for me. A 50 on the back, and I shot a good score (for me) of 103.

I did everything well. I was hitting it pretty fair off the tee, I chipped and put well also. I could have hit some better approach shots, but frankly, a lot of the great shots I hit were TOO good. I hit some 5-woods off the fairway that went longer than I thought I could hit it and landed in bunkers.

The two best shots I hit, though, were out of the bunker. I like the sand, just call me "Mr. Sandman." From about 110 yards in the sand, I hit a 7-iron onto the green- twice!

After the round was over I went home to take a quick shower. Then at 9:30pm, a few of us met down at Bellagio to play some poker. The game started out as a $3000-$6000 mixed game with a $75,000 cap in the pot/no limit games.

We kicked it up after about 4 hours, though, and eventually the game was $4000-$8000. Eli went to the drawer and grabbed all the games:

A-5 Triple Draw
2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Single Draw (no limit)
7 Card Stud High-Low Regular
Pot Limit Omaha
No Limit Hold'em
Hold'em
Omaha H/L
Razz
Stud
Stud H/L

A total of 11 different games. THAT"S poker ladies and gentlemen. You want to be a legitimate player, you are just going to have to learn all of the games. You'll also probably have a ton of fun with it too.

Right off the bat I won virtually every hand of Stud H/L and was up about $140,000. On the next round, though, playing Omaha H/L I proceeded to get scooped almost every hand and lost back about $100,000.

Although I was tired from golf, I feel like I played awesome. I made some great moves, lay downs, and had a good read on my opponents. On one hand of the No Limit Holdem round a hand came down like so:

I limped in for $2000 with KK. Two others limped, and five of us took the flop. The flop came 10-10-4. The big blind led out for $8000 and I called. There was already $10,000 in the pot, so I was getting 2.5 to 1 on the call.

Everyone else folded and the turn came an 8. The big blind checked, as did I. The river came a 2, and once again the big blind checked. Something smelled really fishy to me about that check, though, so I decided to check figuring that my opponent was way too good to call me with a pair of fours in that spot.

He turned over K-10 and although I lost the pot I felt great about my play on the hand.

I really played well in the A-5 triple draw. That's a game few people play, but it's one of my favorites. Most people are so used to playing 2-7 triple draw and sometimes fail to understand how the hand values change in A-5.

I made a couple great moves in that game and earned myself two significant pots. By the end of the night, at about 6:00am I couldn't keep my eyes open and quit for the night ahead $95,500. 4 hours of $3000-$6000 for -$39,000 and 3 hours of $4000-$8000 for +$134,500.

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I woke up a little later today and hung out with Mushu. We played outside while I cleaned the pool area. As we speak, I'm watching Lebron and the Cavs attempt to close out the Pistons.

Later tonight, my cousin is coming to town for a few days with his girlfriend. I may meet up with them, but I also plan on playing poker again tonight which might make it difficult.

Tomorrow, an old high school friend is getting married. All of these guys I haven't seen in 10 years are in town for the wedding. I'm looking forward to seeing them again. That's always a little awkward, but I'm looking forward to it.

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