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Daniel - Poker Journal

Negreanu Goes Platinum!

31 Dec 2007


No, not platinum blonde, although I did get a haircut recently and got my highlights redone. Iím talking about Platinum status in the VIP club at PokerStars. It was a long month of play, some good rushes and some back luck too, but in the end I was able to survive and am officially a Platinum VIP!

I would like to thank God, my family and friends who supported me throughout the process, and I canít forget, my dog Mushu who was there with me through it all. He was a real trooper as I was four tabling the limit and no limit games at PokerStars.

Near the end of the month I chose to make the switch from the $25-$50 no limit games to the $100-$200 limit holdíem game. There were actually a few reasons I decided to make the change:

1) Speed- the hands are a lot faster in limit
2) Game Quality- I found that the limit games were a little softer than the no limit games
3) Limit is Great Training- I firmly believe that if Iím playing limit holdíem well, Iím playing poker well. It helps my no limit game a great deal.

I do much better in the limit games too, itís always been my bread and butter game and I just think I play limit much better than I do no limit. Itís the game I cut my teeth on and have the most hours in. In tournaments I do even better in limit, way better in fact, but I donít play many limit tournaments anymore- only at the WSOP. The first 8 tournaments I won were all in limit holdíem. I had 8 wins, no seconds, thirds, fourths, or fifth place finishes too. It was quite a rush. I won my first at the Heavenly Holdíem in 1997 at the Commerce, then closed out the year at Foxwoods winning back-to-back limit holdíem events there.

This month Iíve been working harder on my overall game. Iíve always said that itís important to continue to learn or youíll lose ground to new players that are learning everyday, so I figured it was a good time to take some of my own advice. Playing online, my focus has been more so on the mathematics of the game, while during the WPT event at Bellagio I focused solely on looking at my opponents, focusing hard to pick up some tells, and then base my decisions on what I see. Iím becoming a better player everyday I think.

Iíve also posted a couple hands in the Strategy Forum at www.fullcontactpoker.com.

There was a specific hand I played that I thought was pretty interesting for many reasons. I discussed the hand in the forum with some of the regulars and they brought up some interesting points as well. Here were the details of the hand:

$25-$50 no limit holdíem, UTG limps in, button limps in, I call from SB with Q8 off suit, BB checks. Flop Qc Qd 4d. Checked to button who bets $150, I call, UTG limper calls. Turn 10s it gets checked around. River Js I check, UTG limper bets $400 button foldsÖ.I fold.

If you want to hear my thoughts on why I laid it down check out the threadÖ

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

1. Become a Supernova. For those that donít know what that is exactly, itís a the level about Platinum in the PokerStars VIP club. You need to acquire 100,000 VPPís to become a Supernova and itís a lofty goal for me but one I want to attain. I think playing on a regular basis is something I need to do in 08í if I want to be at my best.
2. Golf Handicap. Iíd like to chop my golf handicap in Ĺ by the end of 2008.
3. Vitamins and Diet. Iíd like to make sure that I take a multi-vitamin every day. That and also avoiding unhealthy foods. Being a Vegan on the road can be difficult as your diet is often very high in white bread, etc. More juice, more protein, etc.
4. Stretching and Exercise. IĎve already committed to stretching everyday for quite a while now, but Iíd like to take it a step further and get into some more intense stretching. I did it today and it feels great. Also, itís January again which means I start working out again. Hopefully that doesnít stop once February hits as it normally does.
5. Learn from Chip Reese. Narrow the gap between my D game and my A game.


WHAT IĒVE BEEN UP TO:

Last week I played in the Sunday Million at PokerStars and had my best finish to date, coming in 82nd. The last hand I played felt a little unlucky. The massive chip leader raised from the cut off and I went all in from the button with AJ figuring that he was highly likely to fold. The big blind woke up with QQ and that was that.

During that tournament, twice I had KK against AA! One time it was actually me with KK, one opponent with AA, and the other with KK. Iíve had a really bizarre December with that particular cold deck. It happened to me at the Bellagio, twice in the Sunday Million, and then FOUR more times in my next three sessions playing no limit cash games online! Creepy, creepyÖ

My back is pretty much healed now. Iím still taking precautions by icing it after I hit balls for an extended period of time, but it feels good. Practicing with my simulator helped me learn a lot about how to lower my scores. Iím pretty good from 60 to 85 yards so in cases where Iím playing a long hole or didnít hit a good drive, now I just hit a shot to abut 70 yards and try to get up and down from there rather than trying to hammer a 3-wood on the green. That way I can all but lock up a bogey with a shot at par.

This week I havenít left my house but twice. Once for dinner with Tyson and the guys for his girlfriends birthday. By morning we ended up at the Palms playing $2-$4 limit holdíem for kicks. The other time was to go bowling with Ted, Tyson and the kids. Not my kids, there kids.

Aside from that Iíve been playing online, watching movies (nothing great) keeping up with my Tivo, and playing a few rounds of golf on the simulator. Tonight Iím going to get out of the house for New Years, but am staying far away from the strip. In fact Iím headed about two minutes down the road for a party with Jenn, Marco, Todd, and some other people, Should be fun, but I donít think Iíll stay too late.

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