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Daniel - Poker Journal

I know Five

14 Jul 2008

WSOP Stuff: So there are 27 players left in the main event of the WSOP and I actually recognize 5 of the names!

1. Tiffany Michelle. We all know Tiffany as the PokerNews chick who does interviews. Apparently she plays poker too, who knew?

2. David Reem. Only reason I know that name is because they added the nickname "Chino" and I know that thug- he a gansta' yo.

3. Brandon Cantu. I know him because he laid me 5-1 to win a bracelet last year but didn't find me this year, doh!

4. Scott Montgomery. Met him this WSOP actually, he seems like a good dude and I like the fact that he is more than just a hold'em player.

5. Phi Nguyen. Dude can play for sure, super nice guy too.


As for the other 22? No clue who any of them are which is pretty typical of the best value tournament of the year. The tournament is super juicy, and this may seem contradictory, but it doesn't seem all that hard to win with the low caliber of play.
What I mean is that in order to gather a large stack of chips you hardly need to depend on expert play in order to out think great players, instead, you can simply wait for them to make major blunders because they will. It's not surprising that Hellmuth did as well as he did with his careful approach.
I made two pretty deep runs the last two years but was out early this year losing with set over set, but even this year I felt like I was playing in a super easy game. Would never fold a set in that spot for sure, but if I didn't lose that pot I could see getting to 100k pretty easily at that table barring some awful luck or another cooler. It's just really easy.
So who is going to win it all this year? I have no freaking idea, lol.

UB stuff: There has been a ton of buzz surrounding the UB scandal recently and while I haven't paid a lot of attention to the whole deal I did listen to a bit of Annie Duke's interview on PokerRoad Radio.
She was explaining a bit about how the company worked and who is most likely at fault. It seems pretty clear, to me anyway, that the new owners are the losers in all this, hoping to buy a legit company and make things better. Have to feel a bit bad for them.
What I gathered from what she said is that a company called E-World holdings is where the shady things really started. So my question would be pretty simple: who is in charge of E-World holdings? It would seem like that would be the best place to look to find out where the super user problem really started.
No other large site has had this type of problem. Sure every site has dealt with issues of collusion and multi-accounting, but that's a far cry from people involved with the company creating super users.
I wouldn't put any of the blame on people like Hellmuth or Duke, I don't think for a second that they had anything to do with any of this and empathize with the difficult position they now find themselves in.
When UB first launched I knew many of the people involved with the company. I never signed a deal with them nor did I ever receive any money from them or buy a piece of the company. I considered it, but chose to go a different way because I wasn't all that comfortable with some of the people I heard may be involved with the company.
Anyway, as I mentioned at the top, I haven't followed the entire scandal but based on Annie's comments I think that if you can find out who is in charge of E-World Holdings you'll be on the right track towards finding the people responsible for the super user accounts. You also might want to look into who was in charge of policing the bigger games from a security standpoint. If there is a connection there then you might have something.
It's all really bad for poker, no question about that, but hopefully there will be a silver lining somewhere and the people responsible are held accountable and persecuted in some way.

Hellmuth stuff: Lots of talk of Hellmuth's penalty than the reversal of that penalty. I don't know the details of the reversal but wanted to throw my two cents at the implementation of penalties. I would guesstimate that about 50% of Hellmuth's tirades are worthy of a penalty from the tournament director. When he mumbles to himself about his own bad luck or things of that nature I'd leave him alone completely. As soon as he starts calling people idiots and stuff like that- he'd sit if I was the TD. It's just that simple. Insult the other players at the table and you sit.
Apparently he called Christian Dragomir an idiot at the end of play. Now, since they haven't been enforcing this rule during the event up until then, it is slightly unfair to enforce it all of a sudden. Hellmuth definitely has a point.
If I were going to call these types of penalties on Hellmuth, they'd be done right away, early on day one. That way the precedent would be set and any further infractions would result in further penalties. He can say things like, "Keep playing like that and I'm going to bust you," but it's not cool to start calling people idiots and/or personally insulting them.


Golf stuff: I have a new record round! Played a solid week of golf and ended it with a sick round. Strangest thing, though, is that every time I have a record round it seems like I have to leave town and can't play for two weeks. Happens again as I'm in Toronto for a couple weeks.
The day l left for Toronto we played a very fun and cool match up against Patrik, Nick, and their superstar anchor Jimmy. It was a scramble match: those three from the blue tees versus me, Christian our ace and my coach, Zvi, the Russian bear who can do a few things well, Ted "The HORSE idiot" Park who is supposed to be our short game guru and putter, and finally Sam S. the duck hooking longer hitter on the team.
The twist is that we play from the whites, but only get to use four balls per shot so one of our team members must sit. I'm the shortest off the tee so I didn't tee off at all. I'm also not all that long on average but am pretty good with my wedges and short game so I played only from 120 yards in, while Sam S. would hit drives and shots outside 120 yards, then sit.
We couldn't play a sevensome so we rotated who went first each hole and then waited at every tee box. Patrik always went first for his team, followed by Nick than Jimmy who was amazingly key for their team making some huge putts and approaches for them.
For our team, Ted drove first, then Zvi, Sam, and our ace Christian. My team, I just know was worried about Christian. Back to back days he shot a dismal 81 from the white tees! Luckily for us, he went to the range and got himself fixed in time to make some incredible shots on the day.
The bet was 50k a hole with an additional 5k carry over skins game. Hole 1 we both birdied and hole 2 we blew an 8 foot putt! I didn't exactly miss my putt, was dead on line but it was slightly uphill and I left it a bit short. After 2 I was down 60k.
Hole 3 is a par 5 and Patrik's team was forced to play a bunker shot from 190! Patrik hit a safe one, Nick didn't get out of the bunker, but the ace Jimmy crushed one onto the green. They two putt for birdie.
Christian decides to rip one over the carry, about a 280 yard carry giving us a monster short cut to the green just 150 out. Unfortunately only Zvi hit the green and we missed the eagle putt.
Hole 4 we really blew it. Christian was long and left so we ended up using Ted's ball. No one hit the green! We chipped up and in for par, but Jimmy made a nice approach and birdie putt so I was stuck 120k.
We both birdie #5, once again Jimmy drained a snake putt to save his team. On #6 Christian bombed a drive and we we had 65 yards to the pin. Christian and I both stuck one pretty close and we made birdie to get back to stuck 60k.
Hole #7 was a push and we screwed that up royally. From 95 out only Zvi hit the green and we barely missed the putt. Luckily they parred the hole too.
#8 was the all Christian. About a 25 foot breaking putt for birdie after all three of us missed and Christian drained it! Patrik's team missed the green and made par so we were all square.
#9 was a par 5 and we are supposed to be dogs on that hole. They hit a bad drive and had tree trouble. Played a shot from behind the hole then they really blew the chip and putt making par. Christian bombed a monster drive then stuck an iron to about 5 feet from the pin. We up 55k after shooting 30 on the front to their 31. (We missed the unimportant eagle putt)
#10 we handed to them on a silver platter. From 60 yards out we all came up short and missed the green! I almost chipped in for birdie, just inches short, but we lost the hole. There was a ton of blood throughout the match and that wasn't expected at all.
It was really tough for me and Sam to stay in a groove. Both of us are used to a fast paced round and this one was extremely slow with lots of waiting time, and we were also splitting shots. I went sometimes 45 minutes without hitting a ball!
After #15 I was up 2 holes and $115k, but their eagle on 16 cut it to a $60k lead. We both birdied 17 and on 18 we'd be first. We hit a bad approach leaving us a 35 foot uphill putt that broke left to right. Ted missed, Zvi missed and it was up to me. Miss this putt and unless Christian drained another bomb we'd be even on the day. Finally, though, I didn't leave one short and drained the putt. Almost immediately after I hit the putt Christian, for the first time all day, said, "count it." They made birdie as expected so we won one up shooting 60 to their 61. It was an absolute blast and a pleasure to play with those guys, true gentlemen. Can't wait to do it all again.


Toronto Stuff: I'm in Toronto for two weeks shooting commercials. Got here early the morning of the 13th and my sleep schedule is screwed. Woke up at about midnight and ran into William Thorson at the restaurant downstairs. We had a few beers and talked about life and "stuff." He's a good dude and I was so happy to hear that he signed with PokerStars. We actually have a lot in common and he's also a terrific player. Not as well known in the U.S. but he's a "pretty big deal" over in Europe :-)
I've spent the day doing, well, nada really. Sleep, MSN, watching CNN and golf. Very lazy day. I haven't had a strawberry sorbet in like, forever, but today I had the sickest craving for one and couldn't find one anywhere. I felt like a pregnant woman! lol. It was so strange. Anyway, time for bed y'all.

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