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Daniel - Poker Journal

18 Left...

17 Dec 2007



Best day of poker I can ever remember playing on so many levels. I'm not going to spill all my secrets here since I know there are some "internet guys" still left in the event, but let's just say that I've added several new weapons to my arsenal that should help me deal with problems when they arise. As I've mentioned before I do live text updates in the General Forum at www.fullcontactpoker.com and here were today's updates:



Daniel's starting table

seat 1: Daniel Negreanu 844,000
seat 2: Paul Kraus 190,000
seat 3: Vivek Rajkumar 429,000
seat 4: David Ulliott 240,000
seat 5: Bill Kontaratos 1,119,000
seat 6: Daniel Shiff 424,000
seat 7: Kenneth Rosen 702,000
seat 8: David Baker 352,000
seat 9: Daniel Donati 340,000

GL Daniel!!

3:50 EST - "At 740k now after a couple failed blind steals. Haven't had a hand yet but haven't played many"

3:59 EST - "just bluffed Devilfish and told him I had QQ. I had 85 he folded top pair I raised with 8s 5s and got 3 calls. Flop 10 7 7 two spades. I bet fish folded 9 10"

4:25 EST - "Crazy turn of events. Flop J 8 5 guy bets 40k I call with J 10. Turn 10 he bets 80k I raisr 200k more he calls. River A he bets 200k I call. He shows KQ"

4:26 EST - "I'm down to 210k next hand AA all in vs KQ win"

4:27 EST - "450k"

4:42 EST - "Back to 623k just played QQ well I think. Kid raised to 36k from EP I call sb with QQ bb calls. Flop 997 two spades. I check call 65k. Turn Js I bet 90k. I didn't have the spade. Kid folds 10s 10d. I had him beat but he had 15 outs I don't want him to have. It's the safe way to play the hand but that's what you need to do in tournaments."

5:01 EST - "36 left redraw. Gus Hansen Devilfish Huck Seed"

5:24 EST - "Sitting on 575k now"

5:42 EST - "Over 1.1 mill now. I raised to 38k with 88. Aggressive kid makes it 140k I call. Flop 10 8 4 he goes all in for 407k I call. He has AK turn J river 2"

5:51 EST - "1.45 mill now. Busted a guy with KQ vs A10. He was short"

5:52 EST - "Michael Thuritz joined the table"

6:18 EST - "1.6 mill. Used my knowledge against Joran Rich. He made it 46k I call with 8 10 hearts. Flop Kc Jc 4d. He bets 80k I make it 220k he folds"

6:34 EST - "1.577 Mill at the break"

6:55 EST - "1.8 now and cruising at a soft table. Raymond Davis and Todd Brunson"

7:15 EST - "Over 2 mill"

7:17 EST - "Just played AK beatifully. Flop A 7 4 turn 6. Guy had 67 and I didn't lose any money on turn or river"

7:45 EST - "2.25 mill"

8:02 EST - "I'm playing sicker than ever. Abusing peoples pot flop bluffs with bluff raises and check raises. I have tells on all of the internet kids and when I see weakness I pounce hard"

8:06 EST - "2.7 now after a great value bet vs Raymond Davis"

8:19 EST - "2.725 end of level. We play down to 18 then done for the day"

8:27 EST - "Arguably playing the best poker I've ever come close to playing. Putting in hours online has helped me immensely in terms of exploiting the younger guys"

8:41 EST - "Got caught on a bluff by Raymond. He's nuts lol"

9:10 EST - "2.3 now lost a few small pots with no betting"

One More Player To Go
With 19 players left in the field, play will continue until one more player is eliminated.

9:24 EST - "Just had AA but no action and I slowplayed it too"

9:39 EST - "2.279 mill end of day at 18 players"

Play resumes tom at 3:00 EST.


The one hand that was most interesting to me was the QQ hand I played on the 9-9-7 board. It's a testament to how the small ball approach can help you avoid dangerously marginal situations. I think most players would have made the decision to play a bigger pot in this hand and possibly won more than I did, but the key difference is that I minimized my risk of ruin.

Totally unrelated to that, and this may seem odd, but after having played so much at PokerStars this month online, being able to see people has enhanced my people reading ability immensely. It's like, not only can I focus on betting patterns and such, there are all these other little things I can pick up on to make better decisions. Stuff you might neglect to realize unless you have been without it for some time.

There are lots of great players remaining, most notably for me being my buddy Erick Lindgren who historically has caused me lots of problems. I'm really not sure how I'll handle him if we meet, but one thing is for sure, my focus will be intense and I'll be trusting my instincts.

My routine has been different during this event than it's normally been. In fact, the night before day one I was out with my buddies having a few drinks which breaks two of my rules. Then going into day two I had a party at my house with my good buddies from LA and Toronto. It was a cool vibe, guys playing backgammon, pool, golf on the simulator, Golden Tee, etc. They let me get to bed at about 2:00am which has been standard for me.

Wake up at about 10:30am as the dogs hear my mother pull in with food for me for the day. She's there every morning and waits for me to get up. Shower, throw a hat on, and leave the house at 11:30am which gives me plenty of time.

Then every break I pretty much do the exact same thing. I sign a few autographs and take some pictures then I head to the little boy's room. From there, rather than go back to the hectic tournament area I have a semi-secret telephone area that's always empty. I go there every break... and pray.

No, not like Jerry Yang praying for his hand to hold up, but other things. For example, I may pray for anything from focus, energy and strength to get me through the day. I may pray for some of the people I'm playing with or my family and friends. I pray that I'll behave in such a way that God would approve of. I pray to never lose sight of the importance of treating all of the people there watching with respect, even when they sometimes are a little bit intrusive.

I pray that whatever happens that God has a plan for me- win or lose. It ends up being a long conversation that crosses over many things going on in my life. It's a 15 minute break which leaves me a good 7 minutes to myself so I figure, who better to spend it with than God?

It grounds me, humbles me, and makes me feel lucky and grateful for all the wonderful things I have in my life. It's something I do every year at the Bellagio in December... Which begs the question, why don't I do that all the time? Hey, there's an idea!

Funny story from the other day when I was in there: I was in the middle of praying when a security guard tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Sir, there is no sleeping in this area. You are going to have to move."
I was like, "Dude, I'm not sleeping, I'm praying!" He looked perplexed and was like, "Oh in that case, pray on." It was just such a weird encounter, guess you had to be there, lol.

Time to watch Survivor and get some zzz's. No golf tonight, my back is in a lot of pain and as much as I want to play it's just too stupid of me and I have to stop *sigh*

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