Daniel - Poker Journal
Bouncing to Biloxi23 Jan 2010
So in 2010 the goal is to complain less, and prepare better. On that note, I called the Beau Rivage last week to ask what their room service menu looked like. I'd been to Tunica several times and am aware that the south isn't exactly vegan friendly. Much of the food is prepared with lard, butter, cream sauces, and is often deep fried. That's caused me a lot of problems on previous trips to Tunica.
I called room service and told them I was a vegan, and they told me not to worry, they have a turkey burger on the menu. Um... ya, thanks for the effort! I don't bother with the restaurants usually, because when you play a long tournament, I think it's best to relax in the room on breaks and whenever you can.
Patty hooked me up with some dry foods that I can prepare in the room while there. I brought a big bag, mostly food options: beans, hummus, oatmeal, nuts, miso soups, etc. I'll survive. Also, the people at the Beau Rivage told me they'd do what they could to help me out, and I was very thankful for that. I get that "I" am the outsider in this case, and they don't have a major demand for vegan options in the region, so I was very appreciative that they making the effort.
This will be one of the more grueling events I've played in quite some time. In fact, I believe it is the only 4-day event on the WPT schedule. Most events these days go with a 5-day event, playing from 12pm-9pm on the first three days with no dinner break. Bellagio was the innovator of that schedule, and most places copied it since the players all seem to absolutely love it.
Finishing a 10k buy in event in 4 days is quite a task. Obviously it's going to mean really long days, and day 2 specifically could be a nightmare depending on the number of entries. You see, day 4 is set aside for the final table, and day 3 is all about playing down from 27 to 6. That means on day 2, we'll have to play down to 27 players! I'm not sure how many they are expecting, as it's very difficult to gauge with just so many events happening right now. The L.A.P.C. is off and running, as is the Aussie Millions.
When I first heard it was a 4-day event, the first thing I did was look at a copy of the structure. I assumed that they'd need to speed up the pace of the event, otherwise they'd never get done in 4 days. I was right, the structure is fast paced. So the event will be grueling in terms of the number of hours you'll have to play leading up to the final table, but there will also be a very different dynamic to the late stages of the event. It is simply impossible for it to be deep stacked poker with say, 27 players left. I predict that from 45 players until the final table, the play will resemble an online tournament in the late stages, where the average stack has no choice but to either re-raise all in before the flop, or fold. It's going to be tough to call raises in position, because the blinds will be so high.
The key missing levels include:
Outside of these levels, the structure is pretty standard with the appropriate ante ratios at all limits. I like all of that. However, taking out 6 levels will have a drastic impact on the structure. That's a full 9 hours of play, or in other words, more than a FULL day of play as compared to most events. A day and a bit has been taken out of the event to accommodate it being a 4-day event.
I assume the casino just didn't think it was feasible to run a 5 day event, and that's their prerogative. I appreciate the fact that I could find the structure online so that I could at least make an informed decision as to whether I'm going to make the trip. Also, at least now I know exactly what I'm in for, so there is no sense complaining when I got there. I got my food, I'm prepared for a marathon, and I'm prepared to play pre-flop poker in the late stages. I don't "like it," but I'm capable of adapting and that's what I plan on doing.
I'm actually very excited about this tournament for a number of reasons. I liked the way I focused and played at the PCA, and feel like, from that perspective, I have momentum going into this event. I've said it before, and I'll say it once again, I plan on having the best year of my life on all fronts. I'm happier than I've ever been, and still feel like I can handle the changing face of tournament poker and come out on top.
I feel good physically, although, a one-day flu had me off schedule work out wise, but mentally I feel VERY strong. It helps when things in your personal life are going well, and that part of my life has been great.
Despite my dietary issues with the south in the past, the region has treated me very good historically. In past years in Tunica I've had a 3rd, a 1st, and a 2nd. Who knows, maybe when I'm hungry, it makes me... um, hungry?
My schedule has been changing a decent amount over the last little bit. EPT Copenhagen is out unfortunately due to me playing the NAPT at the Venetian on February 20th. By the way, you can start qualifying for that event now on PokerStars.com.
With that time frame open, I also agreed to take part in the 12 person Premier League event at the M Casino February 12th-18th.
Other than that, on the lighter side of things, I'm actually going to see Pee Wee Herman perform in L.A. the first week of February. That just seems so bizarre to me that I thought I'd throw that in there!
Time for bed, I have an early flight to catch. No Delta though!!! Ugh, I love Delta sooooo much! Internet on planes is too cool. Good night Delta, I'm sure our paths will cross sometime soon, sweet dreams.