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Daniel - Poker Journal

Fighting Fatigue Through Day 1 at the PCA

07 Jan 2008

It's about 4am here and I just woke up. Not good. I did the same thing before day 1 also and got back to bed around 6am and woke up again at about 9:30am. I'm going to have to try and do the same thing again tonight.

Since I got here I've been napping in the afternoons and I napped at the table during level 5 and level 6. Luckily I was able to wake up in time for a nice rush to end the day and finish in 36th place with 500 odd players left.

I had a decent table today. I was tied for the oldest guy at the table at 33 years old and busted the guy who was a month older than me to officially make it the first time I've ever been in a tournament where I was the oldest guy at the table. My table wasn't too young, though, we had no under 21 guys, mostly mid 20's which I guess you could call "has beens" these days :-)

I found my table pretty easy to play against. By level 3 I had a pretty solid read on all of my opponents and they essentially let me do whatever it is that I wanted to do with very little resistance. I played at least twice as many hands as anyone else at the table and I certainly limped in more than the whole table combined.

I ebbed and flowed between bets of 2.5 times the blind and straight limps. I wanted to be involved in as many pots as possible, especially when the antes were introduced, because I felt like I had "+EV" after the flop with a wide variety of hands.

Strangely, I'd never play like that online in a tournament or a cash game which goes to show you some of the differences between the two animals. I posted a response to a question on Pocket Fives about something along those lines and basically said that, "There are simply more +EV situations when playing live versus online for players that have good post flop skills and people reading skills. With that being true, it widens the range of hands that can be played for a profit significantly."

I firmly believe that. As you know by following my blog I've been logging a lot more hours online and learning more and more about the online players psyche in the hopes that it will allow me to find some holes and possibly exploit them in the live, deep stack tournament scenario. It's working. I had a good finish at the Bellagio using my newfound knowledge and am feeling really comfortable in this tournament as well despite facing so many unknowns.

The upper echelon of online player is still one that can be extremely difficult to face as their patterns aren't as easily detectable, but I find the average to good online players fall into similar styles of play that I've been able to exploit.

My whole approach to poker is at a new level, and I owe that to playing online at PokerStars on a more regular basis. I've said in interviews before, "The day you stop learning is the day you get worse as a player." I'm happy to say that I'm learning something new everyday and it's making me a much tougher opponent to face. Not that I was ever an "easy" target, but I'm thinking about the game on a higher level now.

Anyway. my table for tomorrow looks to be a little tougher than the table I had on my first day, but I'm not sure who some of these guys are. Here is my table for tomorrow with chip counts:

1. David Redlin 25,550
2. Erik Cajelas 54,100
3. empty
4. Sean Brudler 12,850
5. Rhett Buttler 81,800
6. Daniel Negreanu 93,950
7. Joseph Elpayaa 72,800
8. David Benefield 53,550
9. Justin Rollo 75,450

As you can see I'm the chip leader at my table but surrounding me are a couple of healthy stacks. I recognize a few names, Erik Cajelas and Rhett Buttler and I think I may have heard the name Justin Rollo from the online world but I'm not sure. Aside from that, I have no clue who the other guys are at all, but since I'm up early I'm going to do some research and see if I can find out anything at all. It's great when you have time before facing a table to figure out a game plan.

I think one of the other reasons I can't sleep is that I've been dreaming about poker. Just had a really weird one too: I was in a poker game with a terrorist, Barack Obama, and a few young children. The terrorist was trying to recruit me to collude with him against Hillary Clinton when she busts in the door with troops. They were trying to get the terrorist dude, but I ended up defending him for some odd reason.

Then I had this long skinny hair in the palm of my hand that I couldn't rip out. I kept trying but couldn't do it. I started talking to the troops and the powers that be and was attacking Hillary for something, I can't remember. Barack agreed with me and then John Edwards did too.

Eventually I fled the scene when a snowmobile crashed right through the building and caused a smokescreen. I then followed the women and children to the hills for cover.


Hey, it was a dream, no one ever said they have to make sense, lol. In the hills I ran into Annette_15 and we were going over a hand. She was vehemently defending her play to five bet a guy with 10-J suited and I wouldn't budge. I kept telling her in the dream that a play like that would endanger the world and she needed to come to the good side of the debate. Barack Obama agreed with me that at this point in time we can't think about making a play like that, it's too risky, especially when we are leading in the polls.


So where did all this stuff come from? Well, all I have been doing since I've been here is:

Playing the tournament
Chatted with Annette about that exact hand!
Watching CNN and the New Hampshire debates
Talked briefly with Sorel Mizzi (the terrorist :-)


Where the hair on the palm thing came from I'll never know... I probably don't even want to know! LOL.

Anyway, got to try and get back to that dream, I just know Hillary has something up her sleeve and she's going to find me. Luckily Barack and Edwards have my back.

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