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Daniel - Poker Journal

Poker Live, Poker Online, and poker on TV

30 Mar 2009


Before I get to the poker stuff, I thought I'd let you guys all know that I decided to join twitter since my facebook account got disabled. Literally five minutes after I opened my twitter account, my facebook page was reinstated! Sweet. Anyway, my twitter name is REALKidPoker and I'll be updating from tournaments and on all sorts of randomness as well.

So yesterday was a long day. I was at home playing some $400-$800 8-game mixed on PokerStars and I have to say, having the ability to play a different game every six hands thoroughly increases my enjoyment in terms of poker. I just love playing all the games and can sit longer because of it. I ended up winning about $30,000 online and then just felt like getting out of the house.

So I headed down to the Bellagio to play in a $3000-$6000 mixed game:

Limit Hold'em
Omaha H/L
Stud H/L
2-7 Triple Draw
Pot Limit Omaha with a $75,000 cap

That's what Sammy agreed to play so I guess that's how they came up with the mix. At most during the session I was up about $100,000 and stuck close to $70,000. I lost back to back hands in limit hold'em when the game was down to just three players, me, Benyamine, and Sammy so I decided to quit and take a win. I had KK on the first hand and Ac Qc on the last hand on a flop of Q-7-8.

I hadn't played meaningful live poker in quite a while so it was kind of fun for me and I thought I played really, really well. I stole some sick pots in both PLO and in Stud 8 or better that just aren't easy to execute. In the PLO it was all about bet sizing properly and really understanding what I could represent. In the Stud 8, it was more about really knowing exactly what my opponent HAD to have and following through with a line that made sense for me to have him beat. Both players worked perfectly.

I ended up winning $40,000 in the game and had one really kind of crazy/interesting hand I wanted to share:

The game was just three handed at that point with me, David and Sammy. It was Stud 8 and Sammy raised with the Qc, I called with the 9 up and 8-8 in the hole and David re-raised with a 6s bring in- we both called.
On forth street:

Me: (8-8) 9-10
Sammy: Qc-3s
David 6s Jd

Sammy bet on fourth street and we both called. Fifth street:

Me: (8-8) 9c 10h Jc
Sammy: Qc 3s Kc
David: 6s Jd 6d

David checked and Sammy bet. I decided that since I had the low board against Sammy, and I didn't want David in there anymore, that I would raise on fifth street with the intention of taking a free card on sixth street if I didn't improve. It's a "stud thing" where you can do that in position, and if position happened to change with me pairing, I wouldn't mind betting two pair anyway. David totally surprised me when he called two bets cold and Sammy also called:

Me: (8-8) 9c 10h Jc 7h
Sammy: Qc 3s Kc As
David: 6s Jd 6d Ad

I absolutely hated the card that David caught, as I worried that he could have two baby diamonds in the hole making a flush, which would have me dead. David checked, and Sammy bet out. Well, I wanted to find out how strong David was, and decided to raise it once again with the intention of folding if David re-raised. he can NEVER re-raise me on sixth street without a flush or a full house there. Again I was surprised when David called.
Now it gets crazy. Sammy re-raised! I'm like, "huh?" This is where a game like Stud 8 gets fun for me. I have to figure out if Sammy can have the J-10 here. So, I go back a couple streets. I have the Jc so he couldn't have had Jc 10c in the hole for the royal flush draw. He could possibly have the J-10 of spades, but would he really go nuts on fifth street against me? As I thought about that, then I realized, "Ok, never mind, he can't have J-10 because he bet fourth street and wouldn't do that with 10-J-Q-3 against two opponents.
I love Stud 8, such a beautiful game. Soooo much information available to you each hand to be able to make pin point, accurate reads. Sammy's hand was a set, absolute guarantee.
So now with David just calling on sixth street, I ruled out him having me beat so I figured he must have made a loosey goosey call on fifth street with a hand like 5-7 in the hole with one diamond. That would give him a low draw and a flush draw, and Sammy sitting on the set. I had the pot scooped at this point, and knew it, so I re-raised to 4 bets.
Strange hand right? Because if David three bets six street I would have folded, but instead, I am putting in FOUR bets against Sammy! What a beautiful game.
So on the end David bets out into this monster pot and I know he can never be bluffing. My heart sunk a little bit as I know was certain I'd only be in the running for half of the pot at most. Sammy smartly folded his set, and I paid off David. David turned over 5d 7h... 3. I had his hand read perfectly and we chopped up a sweet pot.


So my night didn't end there. My buddies were at Bellagio so we went to my favorite little bar in the Bellagio and had some Fushions, a fruity vodka drink that is uber tasty. We laughed, had fun, and then it got pretty late. Most people went home... I went to go play $30-$60 limit hold'em with Sam. I started out playing normal and trying, then noticed that Sammy and David were still playing. I'd be drinking, though, so that wasn't really an option. Sam asked me what I was doing and told me I needed to start gambling!
So I did. I started playing in the dark, still drinking at like 9am and having a great time with the people at the table. I don't think I've ever seen a rail like the one that developed at 9am that morning... around a $30-$60 table! I was stuck about $5000 at one point, but then went on a monster rush and got close to even I think.
Then Patty and Lisa came to pick me up. I've been a really, really good boy about drinking. If I drink, I have Patty drive me home. Anyway, I was chit chatting with everyone, and decided to let Lisa play my chips for a while. She normally doesn't ever play limit, and when she plays no limit, it's not higher than $2-$5. I don't think she likes limit as much, but I think she got a kick out of playing with $10 chips. I let her play for over an hour. In the meantime I noticed a girl at a $2-$5 table getting crushed. So, when she stood up, I just sat in her chair and took over trying my butt off to win back her money. I think I won back about $10, lol, oh well.

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I woke up about 7:00pm and watched High Stakes Poker on GSN. Yup, some great memories I got from that show, I'll tell you what! I counted the number of hands I won in the last two episodes. The grand total is two: one where I flopped trip queens and the other in a limped pot where I flop the nut flush, bet the flop, and get NO action! Brutal.

There is one hand I played where I went broke and many people just don't seem to "get it." I raised to $3000 with 9c 10c, Durrr called with 7-8 and Eli raised from the blind to $11,000 and we both called. The flop came Q-2-4 with two clubs and Eli bet $17,100 and I decided to raise it to $44,100. Now, no matter what Eli has, he just knows I don't ever have one pair of Queens there. It's just not really a hand I'd play that way. With a Queen I'd probably call. So, he has to know he is either facing a draw... or a set, or maybe even two pair. There is just no other hand I could have, maybe a pair and a flush draw too.
In any case, that's not a good spot for him to be in. Against the draws he may only be a small favorite, but against the made hands he's basically dead. So he re-raised me again, and I shoved him all in hoping that maybe he'd fold for his last $100,000. He called and showed AA.
Now here is what a lot of viewers don't get. Most people on the show run it twice in all in pots. Knowing that, when you do have a drawing hand you can be a bit more aggressive with it since even if you are called, you will usually have a decent chance to chop the pot. It makes aggressive plays with draws easier to make, and allows you to semi-bluff more pots away from an opponent. Essentially it makes semi-bluffing slightly less risky.
So I missed, not one of the four cards was a club and I never picked up any backdoor outs on either hand which is hard to do. Any 8, 9, 10, J, or K would give me additional outs in that hand.

I enjoy playing on HSP and will play again in season six if they'll have me. When you play poker for a living you have to understand that sometimes you are just going to run bad, and you just have to try and focus on how you are playing rather than the back luck. I've been uber likely in lots of scenarios, HSP just doesn't happen to be one of them.

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In the morning I'm flying to Toronto to spend some time with my mother. She is still in the hospital and will likely remain there for at least a year it looks like. Just this week she started breathing on her own and is out of ICU in a step down facility. Her vitals seem to be improving, she is also less swollen, but the main objective, getting her brain to kick in, is simply not happening right now. No one is giving up hope, but at the same time, we also realize that she may never regain the ability to speak or even be responsive. I'm hoping and praying that she can talk to us again some day.

While in Toronto, I'll be visiting the hospital and then playing in the SCOOP series on PokerStars. I'm looking forward to the high buy in events and hope to do well.

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