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Daniel - Poker Journal

The $25k 6 max

30 Jun 2010

Day two of the TOC started out pretty well for me. Then with 19 players I got moved to the other table and ended up finding myself in a tough spot:

Chris Ferguson raised late and I called on the button with 77. That's pretty standard. The flop came Jc 6c 5h and he checked. I bet the flop hoping my pair was good. Again, pretty standard. The turn was the 7c giving me a set, but also completing the flush. He checked and I think I bet 4800. He had about 21,000 left. I didn't really give him credit for a flush there, because my read was that if he checked a flush draw on the flop, he'd raise rather than call me. I'm never certain of things like that, but that was my read in this situation based on Chris' stack size.
He called, and the river came the 10h which appears to be a complete blank, until he fires 12,000 at it! I thought about it for a very long time and almost called a clock on myself. He "could" have the nut flush, I guess, but I just didn't think he'd play it that way on the flop.
Problem is, I didn't think he was bluffing so I had to decide what hands I could beat. I guess I could beat J-10 or a smaller set, and also maybe Ac Ad played bizarrely. Meh, I hated the spot, really wanted to fold, then made a big mistake by calling. Chris showed 10c 10s which made perfect sense. Johnny Chan who was seated on my right said that's the exact hand he put him on. I messed up that one.
The table then broke as we got down to 18 and I was seated to the left of Matusow and I had Howard and Hellmuth on my immediate left. Things went pretty well for me at that table as I busted Dan Harrington by slowplaying Aces and getting him to move in with Qc Jc and I ended with 39,900 which puts me right in the middle of the pack with 17 left.
At the start of day two Doyle wanted to bet on the "old guys" to win the event, and I told him I'd give him action, but the problem is that the whole field was basically old with the exception of Elky who isn't exactly young in poker terms either. So instead I told him I'd take 3 guys against his 3 guys in a must win.

Pick 1
Daniel: Elky
Doyle: Johnny Chan

Pick 2
Daniel: Erik Seidel
Doyle: Barry Greenstien

Pick 3
Daniel: Joe Hachem
Doyle: Dan Harrington

Hachem had a lot of chips and Seidel was the chip leader. I liked the way Hachem was playing and although he's not a "young guy" at 44 I felt like he was playing like one on day one. He was pretty aggressive and playing well. I also took Seidel not only because of his chip stack, but also because I think his game has evolved with the times as well and I don't think he plays the same way he did 6 years ago.
Had the tournament not started yet and he wanted to take those three guys, I would have happily taken 3 young guys and went with Ivey, Elky, Cunningham, Juanda, or Antonio. All of them are under 35.

For the 6 max event, I'd let Doyle pick any 3 guys he wants over 35 and I promise to take three guys he's never heard of: Bill Reynolds, Will Molson, and Tom Marchese. He can have Barry Greenstien, Johnny Chan, and Phil Hellmuth, and I'd take my chances.

The point of this isn't to say that older players aren't good poker players, but in a 6 max format the experience lies so heavily with the younger players. There are loads of 6 max specialists and I don't think any of them are over 35. Sure it's internet poker which is different, but I think they are more advanced fundamentally than those less experienced older players.

I feel like I've gotten a lot better thanks to playing in the 100-200 NLH game on PokerStars and I'm glad I did. I worked hard to improve and I feel like it's paid off for me and gives me a fighting chance in this event tomorrow. I'm going to give it my all, that's for sure.


While playing in the game Howard brought up something I found interesting enough to share my viewpoint on. Howard is notorious for showing up 2 hours late for all events. Lots of players do that, and I think in many cases it probably is a great idea, especially in the limit events where the first two hours are close to pointless. In no limit, though, I disagree with his view about the early levels being pointless.
I think it really depends on the type of player you are. For a tight, conservative player, playing 50-100 with 30,000 in chips seems like a waste of time. As Howard said, "It's like just waiting for a cooler either way." In Howard's case that may be true because his approach to the early levels is a conservative one, electing to not gamble in marginal spots, and instead waiting for the antes to get in there so he can come over the top of people, etc.
If you are a player like Alan Goering (perfect example), Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, or any aggressive player accustomed to playing deep stacked NLH, then those early levels offer an excellent opportunity to take some chances and look to either bust players, or chop away and build up a lead for the ante stage of the tournament. I'll use an example to illustrate:

If Durr raises to 300 at the 50-100 level with 5h 7h and a player on the button re-raises to 1000, he may decide to make this call because he feels like A) he can outplay the player after the flop, and B) he is deep enough to justify risking the 700 in chips.
Often these situations only arise in the early levels, and when the average stack dips below 60 big blinds, a player like Durr can no longer profitably make this call, even if he thinks he can outplay his opponent after the flop, because the raise represents too high a percentage of his stack.

So while it's true, that for a tight player the first level is a time to pretty much sit back and waste time, for the loose aggressive players looking for an early advantage, those early levels are the only time they can successfully impose their post flop skills against more straight forward players.

****************************************************************

Today was my first off day since the start of the WSOP. That seems nuts, I know, but it's true. It's the first day I never left the house for the Rio and I vegged hardcore. I watched Rocky I yesterday and Rocky II today. I'll end up watching all 6 before the main event, a tradition for me that I think I'll do forever. What can I say, I love the Rocky movies.

I also wasted a bunch of time perusing the internet and checking twitter. A new phenomenon of sorts (actually I shouldn't say new because I don't know how long it's been going on), is to create phony twitter accounts and make fun of poker players, etc. I used to always get messages from "AsianSpa" and I was like, what's this dude's deal??? I read some of his tweets and found some of them funny enough and I have pretty thick skin so I can handle needles my way pretty good.
The other one is "DougLeePoker" and I feel like an idiot, because for the longest time I thought, "Man, I never would have thought Doug Lee would have a twitter account, and certainly not tweet the things he's tweeting?" Well, it's obviously not the real Doug Lee, just someone who took on his name to needle poker players and so I follow him too. If you know of any other good ones let me know...
I'd warn anyone who elects to follow these guys that they are often pretty vulgar and can be mean so if foul language offends you I'd suggest blocking those two!

I find the whole twitter thing to be such an odd social experiment and it's pretty fascinating. You can learn a lot about a person based on what they are willing to share and how they share it. I had one friend of mine, who will remain nameless, tell me, "You can totally tell when a chick is nuts by reading her tweets." LOL, I thought that was kind of funny.
Some people use it to tell you they did laundry or that they are watching Rocky (guilty), while others use it simply to tell jokes. Drama Queens often use twitter to... well, create some drama! I don't even know yet how I feel about twitter, facebook, and the various social sites. In some ways they can be fun, but in other ways they can be destructive or just a plain waste of time.



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