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Daniel - Poker Journal

Poker on the Brain!

15 Feb 2010


I had the day off in the Premier League today and will be playing in the final two heats and need to put together some points after a disappointing start. With 8 players left I didn't have much of anything go right for me to start, until my AQ beat AK all in before the flop. I could have easily had a double goose egg! Instead, with 5 players left I grabbed the chip lead and looked poised to bounce back with a solid finish until...

I made it 48,000 with Ks Qs and Benyamine went all in from the small blind for about 200,000. I had close to a million in chips so it was an easy call for me. David showed A-8 off and then I hear two players at the table say that they folded an Ace. Well that's good news! The flop came K-6-3, the turn was a 9, and so I was one card away from a monster chip lead and 2 more points with just one card that could kill me.... DOH! Ace hit the river.

Later I raised to 42k or 48k, I don't remember, with the Qc 10c and Ian Frazer re-raised me from the big blind to 120k. I felt VERY strongly that it was a bluff and that I'd win this pot on the flop. I called the raise, and the flop came J-9-7. He checked and I went all in with my draw. He called... and showed 9-10 off suit! Ahhh, my instincts were spot on that he was making a move, but he outflopped me so I needed a K Q or an 8. Nope.

Now with about 280k and blinds at 15k-30k all folded to me in the small blind. I looked at A-6 and moved all in. Giovanni Safina called after looking at just one card, an Ace. His other card was a Q and I got no help. Out in 5th! Ouch that hurt, just 4 points after two heats. Here are the current point standings along with the number of heats each player is yet to play:

1. Phil Laak 48 (1) 3 straight wins!
2. David Benyamine 35 (1)
3. Giovanni Safina 21 (1)
4. J.C. Tran 17 (1)
5. Yevgeniy Timoshenko 16 (1)
6. Roland de Wolfe 14 (1)
7. Luke Schwartz 12 (2)
8. Vanessa Rousso 12 (1)
9. Ian Frazer 10 (1)
10. Phil Hellmuth 6 (2)
11. Tony Guoga 5 (2)
12. Daniel Negreanu 4 (2)

The key now for me is to crack the top 8 and have a shot at the final table. I think a 3rd and a 4th in my next two heats will do it. I'm guessing the Mendoza line is right around 16-17 points. Here is what you get for each spot:

1. 16
2. 11
3. 8
4. 6
5. 4
6. 3
7. 2
8. 0

I did commentary for today's heat and was impressed by Benyamine and Schwartz. I thought both played really well. As for Laak and Safina? Lucksacks!!!! HAHA, but also playing well.


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Immediately after this event is the inaugural NAPT event at the Venetian on Feb 20-24. The event is going to be a monster! We are expecting about 850 players. It's been a while since Vegas has hosted an event that big (outside of the WSOP). The NAPT has a lot of momentum and I'm excited to get started.

Not only that, but possibly one of the coolest new events to take place in quite some time will also be televised on a prime U.S. network. A bounty shootout! So fun, I can't wait, and I love it! It's an invitational event with a $25,000 buy in.
There are two unique aspects to this tournament:

1. For every player you knockout, you win $5000. If you are the bounty king, knocking out the most players, you get an additional $100,000! That money does NOT come out of the prize pool, it's been ADDED to the prize pool
2. It's a pure shootout. Win your first table and you'll at least double your money. Make the final table, and while all of you are guaranteed a profit, the final table players will be playing for it ALL! That's so much different strategy wise to a typical tournament where you look to climb up the pay scale. In this event, there is only one spot to strive for and everyone better be playing to win.

The field is going to be stacked with many of the big names you know, including some of the young internet superstars who are trying to make a name for themselves. I think this event is going to be a big hit with the players, but obviously at $25k this event isn't for the low rollers... kiddie game is down the street :-)

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I'm going to win some stuff soon. There is precisely zero doubt in my mind. I've played three events this year and was deep in all of them and put in a solid effort. I'm trying my best, and I know how poker works, when I do that... results come. I'm not one to dwell on bad luck at all, it happens to all of us who play this crazy game! I am wise enough now, though, to gauge when I'm on a bad run versus me not playing my best. I've been unlucky in key coin flip situations, but that's out of my control and I'll have my fair share of luck too. I feel like I've been lucky in other ways this year.

Overall, just a happy boy. I've been very busy with all kinds of poker related stuff, but I'm enjoying it. I've been playing poker, watching WSOPE and HSP, studying poker, and even grinding harder at my micro limit challenge. Oh, good news there... I FINALLY broke through the $0.10-$0.25 games! I'm now officially out of micro limits and am up to $0.25-$0.50 which are considered low limits. It's kind of fun, similar to passing a level in a video game. I can't wait to get started on passing this level and just hope it's not as big of a grind as the last one.










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