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Daniel - Poker Journal

Dodging the Ivey Bullet and the Presidential Debate

26 Sep 2008

After I was eliminated from the HORSE in 14th place I sweated the progress of Phil Ivey online and dodged a bullet when he didn't win it either. That saved me a cool $200k.
I did play in the Pot Limit Omaha tournament, but was eliminated in the second level. That's actually a good thing since I really needed the rest time after two straight tournaments of getting very deep. Another deep run would have taken a toll on my mind and body and affected my chances in the main event. The two hands I played in the PLO went like this:

Hand #1: I limped with Kh-6h-7h-8 for 100 and a player behind me raised to 450 and I called. The flop came Kd 10h 8h giving me two pair and a straight flush draw. We got it all in on the flop and I lost to A-K-10-9 when a 10 hit the turn.

Hand #2: vs the exact same guy I min-raised with 10-10-6-7 and he called from the small blind as did the big blind. The flop came Q-10-6 with two diamonds and we got it all in again. This time he had Q-Q-9-9 and I was pretty much dead.

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I got back to my room and turned on CNN when not long after, the "Breaking News" banner flashed up on the screen and it was John McCain. He said a few words before declaring, "I'm suspending my campaign to go back to Washington to help deal with the financial crisis." When he said it, I seriously thought of the Mighty Mouse cartoon when he would say, "Here I come, to save the daaaaay!"
This political race has been so much fun to watch and just when you think there are no surprises left, bam, check this out! The first time McCain started to dip in the polls he threw a hail Mary to Sarah Palin and that worked for a little while. They are doing their best to keep her from speaking to the media, but recently she did her third interview, this time with Katie Couric, who wasn't nearly as mean and Charlie Gibson was.
In this interview, she defended her foreign policy experience, by essentially reiterating the fact that she can see Russia from her house! After watching this interview, for the very first time, I genuinely felt sorry for her. The confident woman that roared onto the scene was gone and what was left was a confused woman desperately trying not to screw up. I think they have made a mistake by locking her up for 30 days instead of letting her do what other politicians in her position are expected to do and answer to the media. That way she'd have more practice and be better prepared when asked these questions again and again.

As for McCain's political stunt, I thought it was a stroke of genius! Most people who follow the race on a regular basis see this for what it is, a political stunt, but that doesn't mean it won't be effective. There are enough McCain supporters who actually bought it. The funny thing is that it was Obama who called McCain that morning, privately, to talk about releasing a joint statement. McCain calls him back saying it's a good idea, and then like 15 minutes later McCain calls out Obama on national television telling him he needs to suspend his campaign also and come with him to Washington.

This year, no other U.S. senator has missed more votes than John McCain. Obama ranks third in that category, and the guy who is second, is well, dying. Neither candidate has spent much time in Washington this year and neither is on the committee that is trying to negotiate the bailout deal. There really isn't much either of them will be able to do aside from injecting presidential politics into a very important matter. Of course, while the Democrats see it as a distraction, the Republicans support McCain's decision and believe he can be helpful in bringing both sides together.

The real reason I thought this was such a brilliant, yet transparent move for McCain is that he was, in fact, slipping in the polls and it was time to go all in again. McCain would be a very aggressive poker player to say the least. Anytime his stack dips below the average he shoves. It was an effort to make it seem as though he can fix the financial crisis single handed. That he is a leader, more interested in putting "Country First" while Obama is out there pandering for votes with the country in crisis. Hey, it's worth a shot and some people will actually be convinced that it's true.

McCain has said he won't be at the debate tonight unless progress has been made. I think it would be a mistake for him to skip this debate and in the end he will show up. I did find it a little funny that he asked to move his debate to October 2nd to replace, and postpone the Biden-Palin tilt which should be a doozy. If I was McCain's campaign manager I'd look to delay the VP debate as long as possible to give Palin more time to prepare.

I do find it puzzling that the McCain campaign doesn't feel comfortable letting Palin speak to reporters yet they feel she is ready and prepared to be president if something were to happen to McCain.


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Aside from watching CNN I also finally finished my hockey research and even made a trade yesterday. If you don't know hockey, you likely will have no clue what this means, but I traded Jussi Jokinen for a 1st and 2nd round pick in 09-10 and also $3.00 in cap space. I like Jokinen, but also have Ryan Malone in Tampa Bay and in our pool you don't really want two forwards on the same team. It was my second major trade of the off season. In the first trade I sent Alexei Kovalev packing and got John-Michael Liles in return. The move made sense for my team, Liles is younger, signed to a cheaper contract, and the biggest weakness on my team is defense. Besides, I also own Andrei Kostitsyn and he is ready to start on the Cheap Thieves this season.

I came up with a list of only 60 prospects as this will be one of the weakest NHL drafts in quite some time. Normally I can find 100 prospects, no problem, but this year it's slim pickings. There are only 8 available players that I would call legitimate first round picks in our pool. Guys like Zach Bogosian, Joe Colborne, and Jordan Eberle. Most of the top picks have already been taken in last years draft (Stamkos, Dougherty, etc).
This is the first season in our pool where we are implementing a new rule to disallow the drafting of players under the age of 18. Otherwise guys like Crosby and Tavares end up being drafted at age 14! That actually makes it more difficult for the bottom end teams to build through the draft since the top picks are usually already taken so they'd either have to go with a younger player themselves, or take a less talented player in that year's entry draft. For example, next season's projected top two picks, John Tavares and Victor Hedman have already been scooped up.

I just laughed out loud thinking about non-hockey fans reading this and thinking, what in the world is he babbling about?

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As for poker, I feel like I'm playing ridiculously well and my level of confidence going in the main event is very high. I totally expect a deep run, once again, and then I hope to get lucky in the later stages on the way to a win. It's funny what trying your best will do for your level of confidence, who woulda thunk?




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