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Daniel - Poker Journal

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A Bizarre Day

05 Jun 2005

The room wasn't as packed today as it was yesterday, "only" 1200 or so entries for a pot limit hold'em event! This is nuts. If anyone makes more than three final tables at this years WSOP it might just be considered the greatest poker accomplishment of all time.

I was bounced on hand #5 or so. I played JJ from the big blind, calling a 100 raise. The flop came A-Q-6 and I dumped my hand on the flop. Then two hands later I called a raise with 88. The big blind re-raised and I called that bet also.

The flop came A-A-10 and I was pretty sure that my opponent had A-K, K-K, Q-Q, or maybe even AA or JJ. He checked and I checked. The turn was my gin card, an 8. Or not... the dude had four aces! Goodbye.

Barry was also out early so we decided to continue our Stud match. Before I left I went ahead and bought in for ALL of the remaining events. That way I'll avoid the hassle of the long lines.

The fans were pretty cool today, nothing as crazy as yesterday. Maybe it was just so busy yesterday because it was the first event and all.

I headed over to the Mandalay Bay to get my haircut. I got there a little early and decided to sit on a bench in the mall there and finish my lunch.

It wasn't a bench exactly, it was a very long seating area that easily could have fit 20 people. There were two women on the left side and a young, bearded, black guy sitting on the right side.

As I went to sit in the middle, maybe a little closer to the black guy, but still at least five feet from him, he gave me a very odd look.

I genuinely wasn't sure if he was hitting on me or not. Hey, it wouldn't be the first time! He looked intelligent. His beard was neatly trimmed, had on a designer cap and a strangely unique pair of baggy pants on. He was also carrying a knapsack with him. An odd sense of fashion, but a sense nonetheless.

He was staring blankly out the window behind him and I couldn't tell if he was homeless or just bored. I started eating my lunch and he looked at me strangely again. I smiled politely and started to make a phone call.

Then he said, "Can I ask you for a favor?" The person on the other end had just picked up, but before I could reply he said, "Never mind. Forget it."

When I got off the call I asked him what I could do for him. Then out of nowhere he says exactly this: "Your presence here is making me want to throw up. Could you please go somewhere else and leave me alone?"

No kidding! It became obvious to me that this man was a little disturbed and I was curious to see if there was anything I could do to help him. "Is there something I've done to bother you" I asked?

"It's just your presence. Could you just go! I'm just asking for a simple favor!." He started to get very annoyed and gave me tons of attitude.

At this point I was genuinely worried about the guy. He seemed so upset, so I asked him, "Are you ok? Is there anything I can do to help you?"

"Am I ok?" he scoffed. "No, I'm not ok."

Again I asked him, "Anything I can do to help?"

Then he said, "The only thing that can help me is money."

"Money I've got" I replied.

"So are you offering me money then?" He sounded even more angry now. Like my last comment offended him. I started to wonder if he may have been a little racist. I wasn't sure, but in case he was I wanted to be kind to him in the hopes that his heart would warm a little bit towards white people.

He continued, "If you are offering me money I'll tale it. I'll take your money. Do you want to give me money, is that what you are offering?"

I didn't even know what to say to this guy? I was trying to help him out and he was getting more and more forceful with me.

Finally I responded, "Not with that attitude my friend."

"Are you going to leave or what" he said. This time really hot and bothered.

"I have an appointment very soon and will be leaving in about 10 minutes ok?" I said politely.

"Fine, you know what. You ask someone for a simple favor. Forget it, I'm going" and with that he stormed off.

As he left I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Something horrible had to be going on with him for him to act that way. I didn't do anything that I can think of to disturb him. I wondered if he was a street person.

Based on his tone, demeanor, and expressive nature the thought crossed my mind that he may have been a troubled gay prostitute. He seemed so hurt, tortured and angry.

I really wanted to help him, but he just wouldn't really let me. He wanted to hate me. He wanted to be repulsed by my "presence." The whole thing was really sad, I wish there was more I could have done.


After my haircut I fought traffic on my way over to Wynn. Barry and I were scheduled to play at 4:30pm, but we didn't start till about 5:00pm since we were both late.

Throughout the match I felt like I was suffering from "flush deficiency." I just couldn't make one to save my life!

There was a pretty bad trend arising in our match. When I made my two pair he'd make a straight or a flush. When I started with the best pair hed catch 4's and 2's. When I had a pair and a flush draw, or a straight and a flush draw I'd blank off again, and again.

The cards were certainly not co-operating. Normally I'm a cool customer during rough stretches like that, but after losing about three consecutive hands that looked like sure winners it finally got to me a little bit, "Are you serious?" I said. "This is getting a little bit ridiculous."

I had all the confidence in the world that I would win this match, but I just couldn't fade the cards. It was truly brutal and I wouldn't wish that anti-rush on my worst enemy!

So that puts me down a match 1-0 to Barry. He will determine what our next match is going to be, but I'm actually hoping he chooses Stud again. I have the right to veto a rematch in Stud, but I wouldn't exercise that option. Despite losing that first match I still feel like a favorite in Stud and would gladly play another Stud match if he was willing.


Overall since about February I haven't been running too hot. That'll happen to every poker player. During those stretches it's extremely important to focus intently on playing well. I still feel like I'm playing very well, but it's important to not let back luck affect one's confidence.

That hasn't happened to me. I'm still extremely confident about the WSOP this year as well as the remainder of my matches with Barry. If you can't handle some adversity in this business, well then you are simply in the wrong business!


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