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Daniel - Poker Journal

Barcelona POKER Blog

11 Sep 2008


I felt pretty great going in this event. I slept forever, but woke up a bit earlier that I would have hopes... like 4:30am. I spent the morning having breakfast, watching an absurd film called Zeitgeist, and perused the forums at Full Contact Poker. As you should know by now I'm passionate about this election and Obama is my guy. I spend a bit of time reading my blog forum, which has essentially become the Political forum at FCP, and I just don't think it does much good.

It takes a lot of time and energy, and in the end they aren't going to change my mind and I'm not about to change theirs. Essentially it's just a waste of time and it started to annoy me and make me use stronger language than I would have liked out of frustration.

So I wrote a quick little post in the forum stating my positions, why I like Obama, etc. and entitled it "Agree to Disagree." Essentially it was my way of saying, "This is how I feel, I'm not apologizing for it and I don't expect you all to agree with me."

I ate a great spinach salad on the way to the casino, I've eaten the same salad everyday this week. I was there in time, and I felt in absolutely great, positive spirits. It may sound silly, but writing that post, just releasing myself of all that negative baggage felt like the right thing to do and it's as though I was reborn. Sounds extreme, I know, but I just felt fantastic and it showed at the table.

At the Bike I didn't have my focus at all and didn't pay attention to the play. I still made it down to 60 players or so but I never really was a contender. In Barcelona, I was a major contender from the start and focused as hard as I've focused since... well, since I can't remember.

I went in there with a thought for the day, "Watch EVERY hand and focus on your opponents." I figured that if I did that it would help make marginal decisions easy. Here is my tournament in a nutshell:

Guy sits down on my left and smells just awful. So bad that I had an extra hat in my hand and used it to conver my nose and mouth because otherwise I'd be coughing all day and we couldn't have that. The first decent pot I played went like this:

Middle position players makes it 150, an Italian calls, and I call with Jh 8h. The flop is Q J 5 with two spades. They check to be and I bet 300, the Italian called. The turn was an off 3 and the Italian checked again. I knew he was a bit loose and would take cards off weak so I wanted to protect against a draw and bet 600. He min raised me to 1200 and I folded. I later found that this guy was a check-raising machine but always had the goods when he did it. Felt fine with that play.

The next hand I played for any decent chips I min raised to 100 from early position with Ah 9h and got four callers. The flop came 9 7 5 with two diamonds. I bet 350, one player behind me calls, and a good Swedish player over calls from the small blind. The turn is a 3 and I fire 900- the Swede calls. I actually thought I had the best hand and he was drawing but was shutting down on the river unless I hit an Ace or a 9. The river was the Qd putting the flush out there and he checked. I checked... he showed QQ.

That started to whittle down my stack to the next hand. I called a raise from the BB with 5s 7s in a four way pot for 300 a man (there was an early limper and a 300 raise.) The flop came 2 3 5 with two hearts and the pre-flop raiser bet 950. I put him on an over pair and felt like this was a good board to either hit two pair or bluff a scare card. He "seemed" like the type that was trying to play tight aggressive so I was pretty confident a bluff would work if I did it right.
The turn card was a 4 and I decided not to bet in case he had a hand like AK. He checked also. The river was the Jh which looks like the perfect card for me to steal this pot. I bet 2400 into a 3200 pot and the guy tanked for an hour or so... he finally paid me off and showed 55 for a set.

That had me down to 2800 early on but the blinds were still 25-50. I beat the guy out of 1000 or so with 88 after calling his bluff, and then I picked up red Kings from early position and min raised to 100. Again it was five way action. The flop came 4-4-2 with two hearts. I bet 350 and the smelly guy called on my left- all others folded. The turn was the 10h and I bet 1000 leaving myself with 2400 and committed to calling for all of it. He thinks for a bit- and calls.

The river is the 5c and I think for a long time. Trying to decide between a defensive bet of 1000, a check and call, or just sticking it in. I finally realized that I wasn't folding if he bet but he may check a hand he'd call me with. I bet it all and he called. KK were good.

I was back to 10,000 and didn't play a hand in the 50-100 level really. During the 75-150 level I raised to 300 from early position with Kc 10c and got four callers for a 1500 pot. The flop came Qc 10s 2c. In other words- I'm not folding, lol. I bet 800, the guy two to my left makes it 2500 and now I'm certain he has me beat but I simply can't fold. I was hoping he may fold a Queen, and if he did have a Queen it wasn't Q-10 or K-Q. I moved in for the rest of my chips and he called quickly turning over 22. I missed and that was that.

It was an exit in level 3 but I was way more excited about thus event than I was with the Bike event despite going deep there. I wasn't really at the Bike, but I was definitely all there in Barcelona. I had good reads on my opponents, felt like I was in a good situation, but unfortunately the cards didn't fall my way.

No sweat. I'm in Barcelona. I'm going to read, lay on the beach, relax... and think. About all kinds of stuff. Being on a trip alone is sometimes a lot of fun.

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