Daniel - Poker Journal
Tampa Bay, Golf, and the Biggest Goof in WSOP History11 Sep 2006
First, to Tampa Bay. I woke up pretty late in the afternoon and screwed around on the internet for a bit. Well that, and I was also on the phone for hours talking about some stuff that... well, I can't talk to y'all about! It's all poker related, and it's all very exciting stuff.
Anyway, we were scheduled to meet in the celebrity suite at 5:45pm and I thought I was going to be late. For one, somehow I forgot to pack any black socks and went on a wild goose chase in the casino looking for a pair. No luck, so I had to pull a Hellmuth and sport the white socks, black shoes look.
I made it there just in time and when I got there I was... the first one there! Doh, I hate it when that happens. Not too long after, though, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards walked in as well as some others.
We talked some hockey, poker, and even some tennis since that was on at the time. Another 15 minutes later and the room filled up. Mostly athletes, the likes of Matt Geiger, Ruslan Fedetenko, Phil Esposito, Martin St.Louis, Marc Denis, and Dave Andreychuk.
Denis, I've had in my hockey pools ever since he was a rookie, but won't have him this year. When I met Fedetenko I let him know that I was forced to trade him last season. When I told him it was Chris Drury he said, "At least it was for somebody good."
At 7:00pm we all headed down towards the poker room to head to our respective tables. We were all introduced, one by one. I also noticed a few of the WWE girls, Dave Andreychuk, and of course, Antonio Tarver whom I played golf with back in Vegas. He's one of the few guys that I'm up money on! (He gave me a stroke a hole)
Anyway, when I saw Tarver at Shadow Creek a while back he didn't mention he was doing movies now. I'm a big Rocky fan obviously, and Tarver tells me that the movie is going to be pretty good. I can't wait.
As for the tournament, I was rocking it right off the bat! It was a rebuy tournament, but I won the first few all-in pots and never had to rebuy. Instead, I rebought for some other people at the table.
Two guys donated $1300 a piece to the Vincent Lecavalier foundation for the chance to be at my table, so when either of them went broke I fired a $100 at the dealer and got them a rebuy.
I went broke right after Lecavalier did, so we headed over to the party together to do an interview. It was him, me, and a radio personality that calls himself, "Cow Head."
At the party I was having a good time talking hockey with Marc Denis and Nolan Pratt. Denis is new to the team, and after last year's ridiculous goaltending there will be a lot of pressure on him to be "the guy," but he seemed really happy about the position.
I talked at length with Andreychuk as well, what a warrior that guy is, man.
Martin St. Louis made the final table, the last celebrity standing and joined us at the bar. The ultimate winner of the event, was one of the guys who paid $1300 to sit at my table so I could tell him, "Stop limping with garbage. Don't play so weak. Here, take another rebuy!" The dude was ecstatic to win, you could just see it all over his face.
As things started winding down, we headed to the Lobby bar for a few drinks. After a couple hours there, Vinny had a few limos pick several of us up to check out his relatively new pad.
His house was off the hook. There was a sitting area, all antique stuff that he said he's never actually sat in. Oh, and that it's probably not a good idea to drink red wine on those couches!
His backyard was right on the water which made for an awesome view. The party was a blast and I really enjoyed hanging out with everybody. I was treated with respect and never felt uncomfortable for a minute.
By that time, 5:00am was rolling around and I realized that I had a flight to catch! I had one of Vinny's cars take me back to the hotel so I could get my bags and I went straight to the airport from there.
Ok, this might be a little on the "bummy" side, but when I got to the airport I was so tired that I just plopped down on the floor and laid to rest on my knapsack. I feel dead asleep, and almost missed the flight!
That day when I got back to Vegas I was too tired to do much of anything, but I had to run an errand. I needed to hit the bank for a buddy and take care of some business. After that, I was in bed trying to watch 24, season 3.
I was on hour five, and usually I watch it straight through. No chance, though, as tired as I was. I watched one hour and didn't wake up until the next morning at about 10:00am.
Golf time! I went to the course at about noon and met Tyson, Sam, and Ted for a round.
I've become more consistent off the tee than anyone that I golf with. Dead straight, and anywhere from 215-240 yards down the middle. It makes golfing so much easier!
Anyway, on hole #3 I decided to use some of the tips that I received in the Daniel's Blog forum after writing my last blog.
I hit my tee shot about 230 yards towards the right side of the fairway. On my next shot, I went up the right side with my rescue club and had an approach shot of about 128 yards.
It's over junk and a bunker, so I figured it would be better to be long than short, and hit a full 7-iron to the back of the green. Two putt from there, and voila, a par!
The front went pretty good considering my putter wasn't on at all. I shot a 48 on the front. On the back 9, my grip and mechanics fell apart on a few holes. Actually, every hole! I didn't even make one bogey or better on the back. 48-58=106.
After golf, we headed to Bella Luna for some Italian. After dinner, we headed over to Ted's for more gambling fun. First, Sam and I played three games of Mille. If you don't play this game your life will never be complete. It is without a doubt, the most fun gambling game I've ever played that combines skill and luck. Itís also is a game where "tilt" can happen very easily. Much like poker, managing your losses is essential, and maximizing your winnings is the way to go.
I destroyed Sam, so I figured I'd give him a chance to get even on the pool table. He is a better player than I am, but not by all that much. If I play well like I used to, I can give him a game.
He laid me 3-2 odds on each game of 8-ball. We played exactly three games before he finally cried uncle. Yours truly, won all three games.
The next morning I was on the driving range at 11:30am for a 1:00pm tee off. I felt like I worked out the kinks and was about to have the round of my life if I could get my putter working.
Then on hole #1, I hit a perfect drive once again. I was about 160 out from there, but skulled a 4-iron into the trees on the right. I had a crappy lie and little place to go. I hit the ball about 15 feet. Behind another tree, I hit my next shot to the right of the green... into a bunker. I sailed a bunker shot over the green and was now lying five.
I chipped on, and three putt from there for an opening 9! Yuk. From there I made 8... then 4. Near hole #7 I started to pick it up, though, making birdie on a par 5 without needing a putt.
We started on the back, so it was hole 13 I believe. I hit driver 250 up the right side. 3 wood up the right side to about 150. The wind was in my face big time, so from there I hit my rescue club, a club I'm usually hitting 170. Then magic... on the green, and six inches from the pin. Birdie!
I ended up shooting a dismal 55 on the front (it was the back actually), but I felt like it was coming together. Oh and was it ever...
Hole #1... Par. Hole #2... Par. Hole #3, the hole I "used" to have trouble with, I was 15 feet in two, but three putt for bogey. Hole #4... bogey. Hole #5 is a 155 yard par 3. The wind was acting up so I decided to hit a 7-wood. As soon as I hit it I knew it was all over the pin. I hit it to within a foot and made my second tap in birdie! Wow, that was fun. Hole #6... bogey. Hole #7... bogey. Hole #8, another par 3. The pin was way in the back and it was into the wind so I hit 5-wood. Unfortunately, I chunked that one, and was lying 3 off the tee. From there I made an ugly 7. Hole #9, perfect drive off the tee. Second shot 3-wood to just short of the right bunker. Third shot 8-iron, I came way over the top of it and landed it short into the left bunker. From the bunker, I landed on the green and two putt for bogey.
A 44 on the back, my best 9 ever. I don't want to be too greedy, but man, if only I didn't goof up on hole #8! Oh well, I'm still happy with the way I'm hitting the ball now. On the green in regulation most holes, chipping much better, and putting average. Tomorrow the course is closed so I'll have to find a new place to bury my friends. I'm thinking either TPC Canyons, or maybe Angel Park or something.
A mistake was made at this year's WSOP main event. A really, really, big mistake that is totally inexcusable.
There was an extra $2 million chips in play during the main event. I read a three part article today that clearly shows that this error was one made by the floor staff during a color up.
In the article, it explains that the most likely scenario was that the floor person in charge made a mathematical error when coloring up the $5000 chips. A rack of $5000 chips equals $500,000, but the theory is that the floor staff were giving people two stacks of $25,000 chips rather than one. That adds up to a million!
It's an interesting article and you should definitely take the time to read through all three parts.
I hate to say it, but this debauchery didn't surprise me. Earlier during a WSOP event, one of the floor men made such a poor decision in regards to missing chips, yet he wasn't replaced. I mentioned that event previously, when a player showed up and no chips were present, the floor man just decided, "Oh well, let's get him a fresh new bag of chips."
We actually played for a solid 15-30 minutes before anyone realized that there was now an extra $100,000 plus in the tournament. All the floor man would have had to do was stop the tournament and count the stacks. There were 39 remaining players, and by adding these chips, there were now 40 stacks. It's not rocket science, but when the players as a whole fork over more than $5 million to Harrah's to run the main event properly, it's important that the staff is qualified to do their job properly.
Some of the floor staff did a wonderful job with this year's WSOP, while others were not qualified to run a lemonade stand, yet they were on the floor during the largest cash prize pool in history.
It's appalling in every way. Mistakes like these just can't "happen." This isn't an, "Oops, looks like I made a boo boo there, oh well," situation. No, this is absurd.
I'm confident that next year a better system will be put into place. I'm also hoping that next year, the floor staff in charge of millions of dollars will be more qualified than this year's cast.
Sometimes good people have to get fired. I don't know who made the mistake, but when you goof up big, really big, sometimes you just need to go. Plain and simple. I hope they find out who's fault this was and those people are no longer going to be in a position to taint the biggest event in poker.