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Daniel - Poker Journal

Be Like Water

18 Apr 2011

OK, so by now unless you've been living under the rock you know what happened on "Black Friday." While sites are running business as normal internationally, US customers have been blocked from playing online. It all happened suddenly, and it took the poker world by storm. Just when I started getting the hang of online poker, it's been blocked in the US.

My plan leading up to the WSOP was to workout (P90x), golf, and then play online in the evenings. Well, I can't do that now. I can still workout, golf, and play poker, but it's just going to look a little different over the next, who knows how long.

I haven't commented on Black Friday, not because I haven't been following the updates via twitter, but because any two cents I would add at this point would be pure speculation and I don't think that offers much to those that have been affected by this. That, plus I've been advised to not discuss the matter at this point which makes perfect sense to me.

So, since black Friday I prepared for change. I figured there might be more cash poker to be played in casinos, so I'd spend 6 hours a night going down to Aria, or wherever there are games going. For three straight days my day looked identical:

12:00pm Wake up and read twitter follow the news
1:00pm P90x
3:00pm Golf 18 holes
8:00pm Play poker at Aria
2:00am Quit the game
3:30am Sleep

Today, I didn't golf, the course is closed Mondays, so I decided to write this blog before eventually going down to Aria. I did do my workout, and even chipped a little in the backyard, but took the day off golf. Feel like I needed a bit of rest anyway.

I've played three sessions so far down at the Aria, and so far I'm very disappointed in the lack of action. The game plays $300-$600 or $400-$800 and there hasn't been a hint of anything higher. An even bigger problem is the rotation of games. They play:

Badeucy
Badacey
Badugi
2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Single Draw NL
2-7 Razz
Limit Hold'em
Omaha H/L
Stud H/L
Stud

I don't mind playing any games, as far as I'm concerned you can make it a 16 game mix and that won't bother me at all. The problem with this game is two fold 1) Not enough big bet games (PLO, NLH, PLO8) 2) Split pot triple draw games like Badeucy and Badacey are so slow that you'd barely get 15 hands an hour in during those rounds. It's worse than that. Since the game plays 6 handed, two players sit out. With 8 hands of Badeucy and 8 hands of Badacey, you've just burned up an entire hour of play and were dealt... 12 hands. Blah, that's not all that attractive to any new blood looking for action.

I'm still hoping we'll see some bigger games with a wider variety of big bet games, but there doesn't seem to be anything happening anytime soon which is disappointing. I tried to get a game together with Sammy Farha, Sam Stein, and BenB the other night, but it played super small. $50-$100 NLH/PLO. I genuinely thought there would be more action this week, but maybe I'm just being impatient. I just really want to play poker, but I don't want to play 12 hands an hour either.

I'm going to continue to go down there and play 5-6 nights a week, 8pm-2am, but if nothing really materializes in terms of higher limit poker, I'll have to find some other games somewhere. I'm sure some games will pop up somewhere, I'm just anxious to play.

The game in Bobby's Room at Bellagio died a long time ago due to online play, and I'm not sure if the game will resurface. If it does, I don't even know if it would happen at Aria or Bellagio at this point. It seems like there should be enough players to start a $1000-$2000 mixed game, I just have no idea where they are? Where is everyone? Come to Vegas and I'll start whatever games you want, provided we don't play more than one round of Bad.. anything.

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My next and last trip before the WSOP is going to be Madrid for the EPT Grand Final. I've never been to Madrid, but absolutely loved Barcelona so I'm hoping it's a similar vibe. While the US has obviously taken a hit in terms of poker, the game is thriving internationally and I expect to see a decent sized field in Madrid. Possibly down from last year, but I don't think the numbers abroad will decrease too much at all. In the US, I definitely think the numbers for events will shrink. The WSOP, for example, will see a massive decline in the number of entrants both in the daily events, and especially the main event. The number of players for the main event will likely revert back to 2004 type numbers in the 3000 range.

Not a lot of great news in the poker world of late, and my heart goes out to all the families that this will effect, both from the media side, as well as the professional poker playing grinders who are supporting a family. This can't be easy to deal with.

As bad as things are now, I am hopeful for the future. For those of you struggling to figure out "What now?" it's time to dig deep and "be like water." Adjust, survive, and thrive. The game of poker is loved by so many people across the world and that's never going to change.

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