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Daniel - Poker Journal

The Blog about Everything

24 May 2010


As mentioned in a previous blog, I'll clearly title any blog topic so if you don't care at all about it, you can skip past it:

GOLF: I did it! YES! It truly feels amazing to set your mind on a goal and then work hard at it, grind everyday, and then execute. No one in their right mind gave me any chance of ever shooting 80 from the back tees at TPC Summerlin except for me and my caddie/coach Christian. Well, eat somma that!
The timing of it is both a stress release and kind of lucky for weather reasons. I woke up early Thursday morning, about 6:30am, and got straight to work. My first 5 holes gave me a real chance. I started out with two birdies and three pars! With just four holes remaining I just needed to play bogey golf. Then disaster hit. I hit behind a 6 iron and ended up with a tough bunker shot. I ended up making a double bogey going into the final three holes, the longest and toughest on the course and now I'd need a par.
Well, on the next hole, with the guys I bet against watching, I drained a snake putt for par! From there it got scarier. Around the green on the next hole in 2 I hit a bad pitch leaving me 18 feet for par. Missed that putt and had to make a 5 footer coming back.
Same thing on the last hole! Close to the green in 2 I hit my pitch long and left leaving me a tough two putt for 80. I knocked it past the hole about 4 feet and needed this putt for 80. I was nervous, felt like my grip was a mess, was thinking a million things I shouldn't have been, and finally just decided "Hit the dang ball!" I knocked in the putt and was so relieved!

Then the boys wanted their money back so we played another 18. My opponent said he was going to shoot 100 and asked for 7 a side lol. I gave him 5.5 on the front and shot my best front 9 ever, a 41, and he shot... 43! What a joke, I was down 4 holes. We adjusted to 4.5 on the back, I shot a 40 and he shot a 47 for a 90. I ended up LOSING 1 down even though it was my second best round ever. It could have easily been an 80 but I made a double on #10 when the putt was meaningless and I didn't think about it.

After that 18 we scrambled. Me, Christian, and Ted the Idiot, vs that guy, his guy, and a PGA Tour Pro. The Pro played the back tees, the others played the whites, and me and my opponent played from the reds. We shot a 29 on 9 holes thanks to Ted the Idiot making some putts, and they shot a 32. The PGA pro called Christian a ringer which I don't really get. It's no secret Chrisitan, though 130 lbs soaking wet is a scratch golfer.

In fact, I think Christian was just as happy as I was. It annoyed him that no one thought we could do it and I think that just motivated him even more towards the goal. It's pretty amazing to go from 116 to 109 to 101 back to 109 then down to 80 in about a month! Very satisyfing.

Anytime someone has challenged my ability to grind I've shown that when push comes to shove, I do have that extra gear and will work hard to achieve a goal.


The next three days were so windy and we played the member-member tournament. Christian played well, but man oh man, the wind just destroys my swing! I shot 102 on Sunday. If I hadn't shot the 80 on Thursday I'd be stressing hard coming up to the WSOP.

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POKER: The $50,000 8-game Players Championship is literally just days away now and I'm super excited. Oh, and by the way, if you want to play a satellite for it they are running them at the Rio at 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm on the 27th. It will be interesting to see how many of the young internet players will play in it. I think there will be more than a few who feel their NLH and PLO game is strong enough to make it worth playing.
As for me, my strategy is to play super aggressively in the NLH and PLO portion and try to accumulate a bunch of chips. I plan on really trying to push people around and take them off hands if the situation warrants it. Not really afraid to go broke, I just want to get a hold of some big chips. (That's my lame attempt at a blog bluff)

I haven't fully decided how much I'm going to commit myself schedule wise to this years WSOP. I haven't made any points bets and it doesn't look like I'll have any big action there. I think it's better that way. I don't need any extra motivation and this way I can take some time off if I feel burnt out. We shall see though...

FANTASY POKER:[b] There is the annual freeroll on Full Contact Poker again this year that's up, and I also did the ESPN Fantasy draft which I literally crushed the field in last year with a team that looked like this:

Phil Ivey
Jeff Lisandro
David Chiu
Huck Seed
Danny Alaei
Jennifer Harman
Alexander Kostritsyn
Freddy Bonyadi

This year I had the second overall pick and decided to take myself (Ivey went first):

Daniel Negreanu
Scotty Nguyen
David Chiu
Justin "BoostedJ" Smith
Todd Brunson
Freddie Deeb
Brett Richey
John Monnette

I think I have another really strong team and made some side bets accordingly. Later this week, we are doing a high roller auction draft and I'm really looking forward to that. Auction drafts are just way more fun than snake drafts and require way more skill. I have my spreadsheet all ready to go for that and there is decent money on the line.

[b]POKER NEWS:
Catching up on some poker news I came across something that, while not shocking, just makes me go hmmmm.... The Cereus Network, or UB/Absolute got hacked again! Just boggles my mind that anyone would want to support that company after what's happened, but man, you'd think they'd actually focus intently on their security since they'd be under a microscope. Apparently, from what I've heard, in order to crack their software all you needed to have was a Windows calculator! That's unreal.
About 10 years ago when the company was created I walked away from them because of Russ Hamilton's involvement. He had a checkered past, and wasn't trust worthy at all. I wanted no part of it and walked away, never having done a deal with them ever.

This company is just a bad apple in our poker community and I couldn't imagine supporting them in any way. I said this 10 years ago, and since then I've only been proven correct by the huge scandal, and then again recently when they were aware of the security hole, but chose to keep the site up and running. If you know your software can be easily hacked, isn't that the precise moment where you shut down for maintenance and fix the issue?
There may be new ownership trying to "right the ship" but how is anyone to know who's been let go from the company and who's still there from the days of the scandal?
Feels like one of those fool me once shame on you, fool me twice same on me situations. I realize that there are loads of players who wear their patches and endorse the site, but I just haven't heard any of them explain to me how they justify that endorsement in light of what happened in the past, and then what's just happened recently? Are you really OK with how this recent issue was handled?

I listened to The Poker Beat where Scott Huff said that we should talk about this stuff, and I commend him for doing so on his show. I always listen to that show, it's really good. So, as I was listening, I decided he was right. I shouldn't ignore it, I should share my thoughts on it regardless of the flack I'd receive. Being a PokerStars Team Pro obviously puts me in an awkward situation when it comes to talking about the competition, and you can obviously make the case that I have vested interest. Point taken.
Having said that, I've always been one to speak my mind and I've always spoken out against UB and my track record proves that. Long before I had any sponsorship deals, long before poker was big time, I outed the fact that UB lied to the WPT about the prize pool guarantee for their Aruba event. I never, ever attended the Aruba event despite it being on the WPT, and I could never bring myself to support them in any way.

I've spoken to, and only heard great things about their new guy Paul Leggatt, but this is a pretty big deal in my book. Dude, if you knew about this security issue, why, why, oh why didn't you shut the site down immediately to fix it? I thought about that overnight, and couldn't think of even one good reason not to shut it down until the site was secured. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't imagine what that would be.






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