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Daniel - Poker Journal

Feelin' It

14 Apr 2008


The thing is, following my own advice is often very taxing and if I'm not physically able to do it I can't be at my best. I'm talking about simply paying attention and focusing on EVERYTHING I see at the table.

Thanks to following all of my "rules" my mind and body are in great shape and that's allowing me to see subtle things I may have been missing. Subtle physical tells that help me make better decisions. On Day 1 I picked up some tells that were just gold. Some very obvious ones, some that were a little more obscure.

I am not one of the chip leaders after day 1, I ended with 26,475, but based on the cards I was dealt, etc. I'm extremely happy to be close to average in chips after the first day and feel like I have more than enough chips to drive to the finish without having to making any major adjustments to my game.

I climbed carefully and slowly on day 1, at most getting to 40,000. Late in the night I lost my biggest pot on the following hand: Paul Testud raised to 1100 and I called from the button with Qs 9s and we took the flop heads up. The flop came Q-7-4 with two diamonds. Paul bet 1000 and I called. The turn was the 9d and again Paul bet 1000. With top two pair I decided to raise it up to 3500 and Paul called. The river was a Jack and Paul fired 3000 which I quickly called. He turned over Ad 10d for the nut flush and that got me back under 30k.

I played "my game" all day, re-raising before the flop only once. I twice limped in with AA then KK in late position after a few players entered the pot hoping to set a big trap. I wasn't able to get anyone to bite pre-flop, but won both hands in small pots. The hand I re-raised was just totally read based as well as based on the fact that I have a super solid image in terms of pre-flop re-raising. Since I basically never do it, when I do, I get credit.

The hand went down like this: A player from Quebec raised to 800 and I had about a million tells on him and knew that he had a marginal hand- not AA, KK, QQ, JJ, 10-10, 9-9, or AK. The button just called, and based on that I knew he couldn't be all that strong either. From the big blind I looked down at A-8 off suit and re-raised another 2500, essentially risking 2500 to win 2050. Both players folded.

It was tough to win a lot of chips at my table, it was a real tough table. Unless you've played in Europe this table may not seem all that tough, but it was:

Paul Testud (loose, limping French player- he's tough)
Chad Brown
Fabrice Soulier
William Thorson (busted)
Good internet player on my left (busted)
David Stieke (APPT Final table appearance)
Christer Von Haller (used to grind 400-800 cash games against him at Bellagio when I was coming up)

The table started with two bad players but they went broke quickly and were replaced by some pretty tight players that knew what they were doing. Today I hope to get a softer table so that I can get some donations, etc.

Anyway, it's 11:00am here now and I'm about to have breakfast, stretch, go run on the treadmill for a bit, and then head over to the casino for the 1:00pm start time. I got this one... seriously, I'm about to go on a sick tournament run here, Bellagio, and then the WSOP. It's so much about mental state, and I'm as confident as I've ever been...

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