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Daniel - Poker Journal

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Poker, Blackjack, my Father and a show called Unan1mous

23 Mar 2006

One show I didn't mention, of course, was Survivor All-Stars. It took me three evenings to watch the whole series, and wow, I was totally blown away.

Boston Rob played flawlessly. Not only did he "win," but he also got the girl in the end, plus a big time wedding. And how about Rupert getting a million too? How nice.

Anyway, so yesterday I went over to my mother's house with Lori for dinner. It was a special dinner, remembering my father who passed away 10 years ago on the day.

I really miss my father. Leaving my mother's house and driving to Bellagio it really hit me how much I miss having him around. I just wish he could have made it out to Las Vegas, just once, before he passed away.

I wish just once, that he could have been there at a final table when I won. He would have loved Vegas. Hanging out by the pool, having a glass of wine, listening to Dean Martin bolt out, "Vooooolare, woah, oh....."

He would have loved the weather. He'd be out there all day turning into an Indian. Most importantly, he would have loved to be here and see what I accomplished out here.

He must have worried about what I was going to do with my life when I was a teenager. Skipping school, playing poker, and getting into mischief.

It just hit me hard on the way down there. Man, would he have loved Vegas...


So I got to Bellagio at about 9:30pm and sat down in a six handed game of $3000-$6000 mixed games with a $75,000 cap in the no limit games. I was stuck a peanut in the first 30 minutes, but from then on I was ahead the whole night.

At about 12:30am with me ahead $146,000 we all decided to kick the stakes up a bit to $4000-$8000 with a $100,000 cap. I was doing just fine and at about 4:00am I was ahead $220,000 overall.

That last hour was a tough one! I went through a 10 minute stretch with the following happening:

We were playing three handed at that point, when I raised to $8000 on the button with Kd Qd. David Benyamine capped it, making it $100,000 to go, and sensing a "play," I called.

We decided to run it twice, with two separate boards. The first one came 3d 4d 5d Kc Qs so I was free rolling on the next board. The next board came 3-4-5-10-10. David won that board with 9-10 off suit!

Oh well, no big deal. Yet a few hands later playing Pot Limit Omaha I was dealt 7-8-10-J in the small blind and called a button raise of $6000. David re-raised to $24,000 from the big blind and we both called.

The flop was K-Q-9 with two diamonds. I bet the pot, $72,000. David folded and the button capped it. Once again, we ran it twice. I flopped the nuts straight, and my opponent had K-Q-10-9 for three pair and a gutshot.

He filled up on the river by hitting a 9. Yuk! Luckily, he missed on the next one and I split that pot.

About two hands later: I called David's button raise with A-K-4-6. The flop came 3-5-7 with two hearts. I checked, David bet, I raised the pot, and he capped it with Ah Qh Qc 9s. All he had was a flush draw. We ran that one twice, and on the first run he hit a heart on the turn AND the river.

Amazingly enough, he hit a heart on the next one too, scooping the pot as a 2-1 dog. Hey, it happens.

Two hands later, I raised on the button with As Ac 10s 5h to $6000 and both players called. The flop came Ks-9s-4s and David bet out. The other player called and I raised it up.

The turn card was a 9, and I lost that pot to K-K-x-x. Yikes! We ended up breaking the game at 5:00am and I left down $164,000.

I really didn't feel like going home yet, so I decided to let off some steam by going into the pit. I can't remember the last time I played blackjack. Even when I did it for fun, I never bet more that $100 a hand.

I just "felt like it" so I walked over there with $20,000. I started out by betting two hands, $1000 on each. That soon became $2000 on two hands, which became $2000 on three hands, then four hands, until I had the hole board covered, betting a total of $12,000 a deal on six hands.

I was up as much as $120,000. That's when I decided to push a little more, betting $3000 a hand on six spots. I lost a couple in a row, and ended up quitting after winning $80,000.

Don't worry people,. I have no illusions that I know what I'm doing! In fact, I made so many rookie mistakes it was unreal! I kept doubling down with 10 against a face card. I split 6-6 against a face card, lol. I wasn't hitting 12 against a 2. I mean you name it, and I broke every "rule." Hey, what do they know :-)


Tonight I played in the "Negreanu Open" which is a weekly tournament held on www.fullcontactpoker.com for the FCP forum regulars every Wednesday night at 9:00pm EST.

It's a $10+1 buy in tournament and FCP adds $100 to the prize pool each week. Also, when I play I add a bounty to my head that equals $1 per entry. So, if 121 players enter, the bounty on my head would be $121.

In this case, there were 133 entrants. Early on I was dealt Aces and played a heads up pot with "seacucumber0." The flop came A-8-9. The turn was a 5, and *sigh* I needed the board to pair, doh! It didn't, and 'Pocket3s" dusted me off to win the bounty of $133.

It's a fun little tournament they run. They actually have a leader board based on a sophisticated point system that carries over for the whole year. Anyone can enter, so if you want in you can find all the details at www.negreanuopen.com.


So since I busted out there, I decided to veg and watch some TV. I heard about a new show called Unan1mous on FOX that was supposed to be pretty good.

The concept has 9 perfect strangers locked away in a sealed off room underground. They have ZERO human contact with anyone but themselves. There is $1,500,000 on the line, but here is the catch: no one can leave the room until there is a Unanimous vote as to who should get ALL the money!

There is actually a professional poker player on the show named Adam, who frankly, comes off a little sleazy I think. Then, they have this black woman on their who calls herself a minister. She is horrible. Horribly mean and preachy.

It's funny, because I just finished watching a 10 minute sermon by "Pastor Rob" which I ordered off of www.nooma.com called "Bull Horn."

In it, you see this chubby dude with a megaphone going out on the streets yelling out to people, "REPENT! YOU WILL GO TO HELL IF YOU DON'T." Naturally, nobody stopped to listen to what this guy had to say.

Pastor Rob goes on to explain, "Put the Bull Horn down. It doesn't seem to be working out so well." Basically, he is echoing the sentiment that I share with most people in this world. Nobody wants to be yelled at like that.

Anyway, this woman was chastising Rich, a 38 year old gay man, letting him know that he was going to hell and that God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

How hurtful? SHE is a minister? SHE is supposed to be representing Christ? She was rude, condescending, preachy, and all things people in this world despise.

Who does she think she is to tell Rich that he is going to hell? What about her sins? Last time I checked, there was also a verse in the Bible that said, "Thou shall not Judge."

When someone yells out their beliefs in a mocking tone, they turn the world off. I feel sorry for this woman, because I just don't think she gets it. Yelling at Rich with, "YOU ARE A SINNER AND YOU ARE GOING TO HELL," is not the way you are going to bring people to God.

It was so frustrating for me to watch. Women like her really do give Christianity a bad name and it doesn't surprise me why so many people are turned off by it.

Nothing gets me angrier than gay bashing, racism, or Bull Horn Christians who think it's their God given right to scold others for what they are doing wrong. People: look within yourselves. Worry about your own walk with God before you cast out judgments on others.

Anyway, this woman isn't going to get the money, that much I can all but guarantee. As for Rich, he seems like a good person in every way. He's obviously hurt and offended by what the black lady said to him- and I don't blame him.


I'm taking a day off from poker today. I'm a little tired after getting home at 9:00am this morning. Tomorrow, I have to do a voice over for that poker movie "Lucky You" over on the east side of town at 12:15pm tomorrow.

Then at 2:00pm PST I'm doing an ESPN chat.

Hopefully I'll be fresh enough to head back to Bellagio to put in a solid session.

The next day, the WSOP Advisory Board is meeting once again to discuss issues dealing with the upcoming WSOP. This will be our second meeting and we plan on covering a wide variety of topics.

The most pressing topic for me is maintaining the integrity of the WSOP by making sure that it doesn't become the WSOH.

Other than putting in some hours at the tables, Brennan and Rob, the guys who won the first ever Amazing Race are coming to town so we'll likely paint the town one night.

Then, it's back to tournament poker. Off to Reno for the WPT event there. Then, off to Toronto to be a part of the Tournament of Champions that is being run by the Red Hot Poker Tour .

I'll only be in Toronto for a day or two before flying to England to represent Canada in the World Cup of Poker. A fun format pitting 16 countries against each other. Each country will be represented by two professionals and one professional soccer player.

Team Canada will be myself, Evelyn Ng, and Jason de Vos. Our first round match is against Australia which is led by the infamous Tony G. Oy! Oy! Oy!

In Canada we have a different cheer that goes something like this: "Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey... good bye!" :-) It should be fun.

From England we fly back to Foxwoods, then back to Vegas in time to gear up for the WPT Championships. Iím going to make that final table. Seriously, Iíll be thereÖI can feel it.


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