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Daniel - Poker Journal

The Million Dollar Mark

27 May 2006

It's probably been about eight years since I was truly grinding it out at the poker tables, playing upwards of 40 hours a week. Since then I've played more tournaments, done more writing, and played much less in the cash games.

When I'm getting old and gray in about 20 years from now, though, that's where you will find me- in the cash games. Not exactly "grinding it out" exactly, but competing at poker's highest level on a regular basis.

This is a pretty exclusive game we are talking about here. Not because you wouldn't be able to play, but the sheer stakes keep lots of excellent players out of the game. It's gambling at it's highest where the fish are few but sharks abound. Man, I just love it!

I've played the last two nights till the early morning and I plan on playing again tonight, and for most of the rest of the month. Only thing that playing this much takes me away from is golf, but I have a tee time tomorrow to play with Mike Sexton, Chip, and Matt Savage.

Last night's game started at around 9:00pm. At it's peak I think we were six handed but played four handed and three handed for most of the way.

By about 1:00am I was on fire, making lots of hands and winning a couple of capped pots. I planned on quitting at around 3:00am but I was running too good to leave, despite the fatigue setting in.

At 3:00am I was up almost $400,000. An hour and a half later playing three handed, I was up close to $900,000. Finally, at 6:00am I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and I called it a night. I don't think the others were too upset about it, especially since you can quit anytime and I did play for nine hours already. If I wasn't so tired I would have played straight through till morning, but at 31 years old, I've already noticed that my level of stamina isn't as strong as it was when I was 22.

I'm sure I could regain that stamina and it's important to do so. When you play in the big game, sometimes you have to be ready to set up came and fight through a 30+ hour session if things are really going your way.

It looked like I was finally going to hit the million dollar mark in the session, but then I lost a capped pot and a few other hands and gave back some money before quitting.

The final tally was 9 hours for a $528,000 win in poker, plus another $56,000 in Chinese Poker. That put me over the million dollar mark this year in the big game after about 70 or so hours.

It made me feel a lot better about my decision to skip the New Orleans tournament. I just can't do them all. I've got to pick and choose now, especially with the WSOP fast approaching. I want to be on the road as little as possible so that I can get into a healthy routine for that grueling month.

All this poker playing takes a toll on my TV watching, poker writing, and other responsibilities, but it's what I want to do right now. I chose poker as a career so that I could do what I want, when I want... why change now?

(All of my poker results from January 2005-present are accessible here)