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Daniel - Poker Journal

The ABC Pro-AM

26 Sep 2006



How bizarre was it that the first heat of four pro players included all of the members of my monopoly game: Lindgren, Ivey, Juanda, and myself. Also joining us, we had Cheryl Hines (how can you not love Cheryl!), and Jose Canseco, that guy from Surreal Life.

Despite the fact that it was 10:30am the set had the feel of a late night party. Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, and all kinds of late night fun.

The mood was really loose and everybody was having a good time. I ran into Phil Gordon and we talked law for a bit. Not too much law, mostly golf and how he is going to bust me up on the golf course. I can't hit an iron to save my life so that's probably true.

When we got seated, I fully expected to have Erick Lindgren to my immediate left. Every time we've played together on TV he sits directly to my left. On the cruise when he won and I came second, he was right on my left. On the PPT final table, on my left. Then, even on High Stakes Poker... right on my left.

This time I was in the 2 seat and E-DOG was in the 6. On my left was a different kind of pushover, that Ivey dude.

Going into the event I had only one goal on my mind, win first place. Anything less and you get nothing. On hand #2, Cheryl Hines raised to 15,000 on the button. The blinds were only 1500-3000 so it was a pretty big raise.

I looked down at 77 and went all in for 97,000. She thought for a long time and finally folded. The next hand I played was 77 again. I raised to 10,000 on Erick's big blind and everyone folded.

Then things went bad in a hurry. Canseco limps for 3000, Juanda limps, and Cheryl limps from the small blind. I checked in the big blind with Jc 3c. The flop came Js Jh 9s. Cheryl hesitated for a bit and then finally bet out 15,000. Another big bet as there was only 12,000 in the pot.

This felt like a very dangerous situation for me with two limpers yet to act behind me. That's a board that hits lots of limping hands. I just called to see what developed.

Jose folded, and Juanda went all in for 70,000 more. Cheryl folded and it was back to me. If I called I wouldn't have been all in, but I'd be very short stacked. I looked over at John and he just didn't look like he was bluffing.

I thought to myself, even if he was "bluffing" he probably had a hand like Qs 10s, or Ks Qs, Ks 10s. Since that was my best case scenario I decided to fold the trip jacks on the flop. It was very unlikely, I thought, that John would limp in with a Jack that didn't have at least a 10 kicker with it.

When I folded, Juanda showed me the Ks... doh! A little needle there which was funny, but he later told me that he did have the K-J. Ivey and Lindgren bet on it. Erick thought John had a draw, but Ivey bet on him having the Jack.

Now I was sitting on 98,000 again and picked up 44 from the button. All folded to me and I raised it to 8,000. From the small blind, Ivey made it 28,000 to go.

It felt to me like Phil was trying to take the pot away from me. If he had a hand like A-7, I figured there was a good chance I could get him to lay it down. I went all in for 70,000 more and Ivey went into the tank.

He thought long and hard about the call, but eventually felt as though he was pot committed. He called me with Ac Js. The flop came Q-10-8... yuk. I was still "ahead" but I was a big dog to win the pot. The turn came a 9, and the river was a Q. That was that, I was the first one out.

Although it was a very short period of time, I was very proud of every decision I made.

After getting knocked out, I was "instructed" by Ivey to head to a golf course and he'd meet me there after the thing was over so I headed to Angel Park to see if I could figure out what's wrong with my iron play.

It's all grip related and I know it. Yet still, I've been having trouble getting it right recently. After hitting about 200 balls I got to where I could get the ball up in the air again, albeit, way shorter than normal.

Phil and I ended up playing about 12 holes before it got dark and I didn't play too well. Summerlin was closed, but I plan on heading out there tomorrow to work on my swing. Golf is the most frustrating game ever. Just when you think you have it all figured out, poof, you can't hit the ball anymore *sigh*.

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Today I'm headed over to my agent Brian's office to do this thing called, MTV's Game with Fame. Basically I'll be playing STACKED online using my avatar. Pretty cool.

Then right after that, I'm heading out to a little get together for my assistant Patty's birthday. Her birthday was ages ago, but this appears to be the first opportunity we had to celebrate it.

Aside from that, I've been working hard on trying to finish my book. I'm hoping that we can have it ready by Christmas but that's no guarantee! Also, I have been spending lots of time on my hockey pool. Our draft is on September 30th and I'm flying to Toronto for the draft. I love that freakin' hockey pool!

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An a side note, remind me to never discuss politics in my blog again. After reading through the forums, I was shocked at how impossible it seems to have a civil discussion about that sort of thing. People either totally HATE you or they agree with you. It's so black and white, there is no middle ground in this country. It's more divided than it's ever been. You are either blue, or you are red. If you are neither, like me, you just don't belong it seems.

In some of the posts I read people go as far as to say, "I used to admire you, but now I despise you." Is that normal? You went from admiring someone to despising them because they don't share the same political views as you do? Wow, I just don't know how to even respond to something like that?

I should say that I should have made it a lot more clear in my first blog that I didn't support the Iranian leader and agree that he is obviously a nutcase. I should have said that, but I felt like it was so obvious that it didn't need to be said. Apparently I was wrong, so no, I don't support the dude, and agree that he is a nutcase. I also don't support the current president of America. I just don't think he has done a good job.

If you happen to disagree with my views, I promise, I won't hate you :-)

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