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Daniel - Poker Journal

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WSOP Circuit at the Rio

21 Mar 2005

I woke up right around 8:00am which is a little on the early side for a 12:00pm start but I was actually happy about it. It gave me some time to get in a couple hours of Golden Tee and NBA Showtime.

I was really strokin' at the golf and made four eagles and shot a record (for me anyway) -18. The basketball wasn't as kind to me as I lost two games at the buzzer.

It was nearing 11:00am so I decided to jump in the shower and get ready. On the way to the Rio I take the 95 E to the 15 S and get off at Flaming Rd. and head west. As I was passing Sahara I was speeding by in the left lane driving the Lexus when a Highway Patrol car spotted me, "So much for being on time." I thought.

The patrol car darted over to the left lane and pulled over in front of me. I pulled over as well and was looking for my insurance and registration. The officer wasn't getting out of his car though and as I waited I noticed that on the other side of the highway a car was pulled over with the roof up.

What an idiot I am. The guy wasn't pulling me over at all! He was just helping out somebody else who was stranded. Slightly embarrassed I waved to the officer as I pulled back into oncoming traffic and head over to the Rio.

Once there I felt a little anti-social. I really just wanted to focus and I didn't want to be hassled too much. I sort of hid in a corner till noon and then took my seat alongside Chau Giang, Alan Goering, and Alan Boston.

Boston went broke on the very first deal and Alan Goering went broke half way through the day so Chau was the only real threat left at the table for me sitting two to my left. I started well, and thought I was playing well despite being a little tired.

The room was absolutely freezing. Chau is skinnier than I am and he's from Vietnam where it's like 120 degrees everyday so he wasn't too happy about it. Everyone at our table had their winter coats zipped up and were shivering.

Except this one guy. The player in between Chau and I actually had a fan going! I looked at Chau, and Chau looked at me like, "Are you serious? Is this guy crazy or something?" I laughed out loud at Chau's facial expression, it was priceless to say the least.

As I said I was feeling a little anti-social so on the breaks I looked for an escape route to avoid the crowds. We only get 10 minute breaks and too often at least half of that break is spent waiting for someone to figure out why the flash isn't working! Normally I'm pretty good about all that stuff, but today I just wanted to do my thing.

I'm sure some people are going to think I'm a jerk now because I didn't make myself as available as I could have, but oh well. I know that I'm usually very good about that sort of thing and that's all that really matters I guess.

It was nearing the dinner break and I had my chips up to about 16,000. Then in a three way pot I made the second nut flush, Chau made the third nut flush, and third player made the nut flush on the turn. That put a dent in my stack as we head to dinner.

Unfortunately they didn't provide us with any dinner coupons whatsoever, nor did they provide us with a line pass. It would have taken at least 45 minutes just to get into the great buffet there having to wait in those long lines.

So instead I headed to the American Grill or something like that with Jennifer and Marco. I studied the menu for a long while but when I was done I'd realized, "Ok, there is nothing I can eat here." It was either pig, cow, chicken, shrimp, or crab.
Finally I did find a Portobello burger that I settled for which wasn't very good. I took about two bites before I gave up on it then I stuck to the fries.

We got back a little early so I set up three chairs inside the ropes where no spectators were allowed so that I could lay down and rest my eyes. About 4 minutes into dreamland I hear, "HEEEEEY! HEEEEEEY!" I woke up startled from my nap and was like, "What? Who said that? What happened?"

There was a fan with a beer in his hand standing over me, "HEY MAN! YOU GOTTA PLAY SOME CARDS MAN!" He had to be the loudest person I'd ever met.

I kindly asked him to just let me take a nap for a few minutes and I'd sign his hat before I got started. A couple more minutes went by and once again I hear, "HEEEEEEEY! HEEEEEEY MAN IT'S TIME TO PLAY SOME CARDS DUDE!"

You've got to be kidding me. Honestly I was pretty annoyed by this time. I was genuinely trying to close my eyes to enhance my chances in the event and this impatient youngster just wouldn't let me. I finally said, "Dude are you for real? I'm trying to get a little rest here and you are screaming in my ear? How would you like it if I came over to your house at 4:00am and yelled in your face?"

He half heartedly apologized, I signed his hat and then headed over to a different corner to try to get some rest. As I'm trying to nap there I see flashes go off. Then, once again someone shaking me asking if they could take a picture with me.

I was starting to feel like I was in the twilight zone. Obviously I wasn't going to get any rest, so I took the picture, spent the next 10 minutes signing autographs and then head back to the table.

I wasn't getting many hands but doing a good job of staying afloat by picking up antes. I was down to about 6000 when I played a key pot that I thought would really get me going back in the right direction:

Billy Duarte limped from first position for 300, and I called with two black fives next to the button. Both blinds checked and the flop came K :heart: Q :hearts: 9 :hearts:.

Everyone checked to me and knowing that Billy could have a wide variety of hands I decided to represent strength: I bet 700, about half the pot. Chau studied for a while and finally called from the small blind. At that point I decided that I had to give up on the hand since it was obvious that Chau had to have me beat.

The turn card was the J :diamonds: and Chau checked again. I thought to myself, "I need this pot. I can't just leave 3000 out there." I went ahead and bet 1500 more trying to represent the straight. Chau hesitated even longer this time and I was pretty sure he didn't have the straight. If he had the straight I figured he'd raise me my last 3500, but he didn't- he just called.

The river brought the 3 :hearts: putting four hearts out there. Chau checked again, and with just 3500 left I had to decide whether or not I should fire yet another barrel. There was about 6000 in the pot, and I decided to fire out just 2000 making it look like I wanted a call, while at the same time leaving myself with 1500 just in case.

Chau said, "I don't like that card. That card got me I know." and he folded his hand! Unfortunately the comeback was short lived as I missed a hand here, missed a hand there, and finally anted myself away with about 30 minutes left to play on the day.

Oh well, I was happy with my play and the time off will give me a chance to catch up on things.


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