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Daniel - Poker Journal

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Back in the Black, The Surreal Life, and the FCP Party

15 Jul 2005

With the WSOP now long gone for me, it appears as though my run of bad luck may be turning as well. Although things didn't go well for me at the final table yesterday, I was lucky enough to beat Howard Lederer in a heads up match following the event.

Today I had a few things scheduled. A film crew working on a new poker documentary tentatively called "Poker Faces" was at my house before 11:00am.

I hopped in the shower, and they started their "day in the life" piece by getting shots of me and Travis going over my hectic schedule. As we were doing that I did a phone interview with someone from the Canadian Press.

The crew then followed me over to Wynn where I was scheduled to meet with a Swedish poker magazine for a photo shoot and an interview.

That took me till about 1:15pm giving me a few minutes to prepare for my $500,000 Pot Limit Omaha match vs. Tony Bloom, a successful European sports bettor in addition to being an accomplished poker player.

In the early going I ceased a marginal lead of about $100,000. Tony fought back, though, and we swapped leads for a while. At one point he had me down about $200,000, but I changed gears at the right time and pulled even.

I'd already played a Pot Limit Omaha match recently against Barry Greenstein, but this match was completely different. Tony was a lot more aggressive and a lot more knowledgeable about correct heads up PLO strategy. He had me guessing on several occasions.

Anyway, with about a $100,000 lead the following hand came down:

Tony raised on the button to $6000 which was pretty standard. In the big blind I called with 6d-6c-7d-9s. Not a bad starting hand at all, especially heads up- I called.

The flop came Jh-5d-4s giving me an open ended straight draw. I checked to Tony and he bet $12,000. I'd already been a little too frisky recently so I decided to just call and see what developed.

The turn card was my absolute gin card, the 8d. That gave me the nuts straight with a straight flush draw and a higher straight draw.

I quickly checked my hand over to Tony looking for some action and he bet $30,000. When he bet, the thought crossed my mind that he very well may have the same hand as I did, but I had to have a solid re-draw unless he happened to have a higher flush draw.

I raised him to $120,000. After a little thought, Tony announced that he was all in. Now, I was excited to get all of my money in, but at the same time was worried about what kind of re-draw he may have. Two pair, a set, a flush draw, who knows.

Tony Bloom‘s hand: Qs Jd 6h 7h

This was an awesome opportunity to end the match right here. I couldn't possibly lose, but I could win with a 6, 7, or a diamond. On the river I hit the "maximum" card, the 9d for a straight flush! Wow, what a way to end it.

Tony was extremely gracious in defeat and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. He was very good natured and we joked during the entire match.
As he left he notified me that he would consider a rematch and I told him that as long as I was ahead I would never refuse him.

So with the win that puts me back in the plus. I've played nine matches thus far completing seven of them with two matches pending. I'm 3-4 in the completed matches and am leading both pending matches for a balance of +$419,000 after 79.5 hours. For those counting, that's an hourly rate of $5270.44 an hour.

That number will continue to seesaw I'm sure as I have several tough matches lined up. I'm hoping to resume with Barry hopefully tomorrow evening or possibly the next night. As for John Doe, he isn't a local so that match likely won't resume for a couple weeks.

Once the match was over it was back to my place for a lengthy interview with the film crew. I was exhausted, but I think I did a good job with the interview nonetheless.

After the crew left I plopped down on the couch and zoned out by watching some reality TV.

First I watched Punk'd and it wasn't the best episode I'd seen. Then I moved on to Real World: Austin and it also wasn't all that drama filled.

Well I shouldn't say that, Nehemiah and Rachel got into it about the war. Rachel served in Iraq and was preaching at everybody with her, "that's how we do it in the army," speech.

It started to get on everyone's nerves and finally Nehemiah made a comment he regretted. He said something like, "You weren't even there. You were a nurse."

Rachel of course flipped out, "Raaah, Raaah, Raaaaah. I'm a real soldier and how dare you say that about me!!! Bow wow wow, Raaaaaaaaah, Raah, Raah." Oh my.

By the end of the show, I knew exactly why I felt like Nehemiah was the one cast member on this new season that I could relate to.

He has common sense. He knew his comment was out of line, but rather than continue standing by that comment he was the bigger person. He wrote her a letter apologizing for the comment he made.

It obviously touched Rachel's heart, because she went over to him and also apologized for being bitchy.

As for the rest of the cast, the only person I think is somewhat cool is Danny, the dude with the busted up eye. He seems pretty level headed as long as alcohol isn’t involved.

My next stop on the dial was the new season of Surreal Life. You can learn a very important lesson from watching this show. In fact, I would suggest anyone with aspirations of being "famous" to watch this show.

What you will often see if a collection of people that have allowed vanity, self love, and fame drive them crazy and destroy them. Not always, but quite often.

First you have Janice Dickinson: The first ever real supermodel. She just happened to mention that to everyone in the house repeatedly as she mocked her roommates’ work.

This woman appears to be so self absorbed, clinging to that "glamorous" life she once led. Now she is bitter, and very jealous. There is another model in the house and Janice as she eloquently put it, said, “I’ve been modeling since before you had to pubic hair.” How nice.

Next you have Omarasa. Now, I never watched the Apprentice, but I heard this woman was supposed to be a royal bitch. After watching episode one, my conclusion? Affirmative.

Jose Canseco- the final cast member- got a grilling from her the very first night. Jose is no saint either, as this guy is deeply disturbed and fits right in.

There are some bright spots though. Carey Hart seems like a down to earth cool dude as does Bronson Pinchot. Oh, and Pepa is cool too. This season looks like it's going to be more annoying then anything with two alpha females like Omarasa and Janice Dickinson are paired together. As much as I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to get along with women with such abrasive personalities. Actually, I’ve always had trouble getting along with anybody with that personality type. That whole, “Oh no you didn’t. I can be a sweetheart, but when you cross me… oh you gonna get it! Nobody wins with me!” Oh brother, shut up already?

Watching Surreal Life is like watching a train wreck. A collection of misfits desperately trying to resurrect a career in which people idolized them.

Did any of you see that Al Pacino flick Devil's Advocate? Remember the line at the end, where Pacino says as Keannu Reaves is leaving, "Vanity, my favorite sin." Pacino was playing the devil in the movie trying to win over Keannu Reaves.

After Keannu was able to ward off Pacino's (the devil) tempting offers, Pacino came at him with his most deadly weapon.

That was an awesome movie. Such a powerful message and if you look at our society today you see how much damage the quest for fame can cause. Depression is ramped amongst celebrities. The thirst for fame can be addicting and if you aren't careful it's so easy to get wrapped up in all of it. It can become very addicting if you aren’t careful.

Watch that show. The next time you fantasize about meeting a celebrity and how "cool" that would be, watch that show. That show portrays celebrities in a more accurate light. Not perfect. Not glamorous, but in some ways... sad really.

Watch the show. Do they REALLY seem all that different from you? All the mysticism that surrounds celebrity life... it's a facade. Movie stars, rappers, athletes, and yes, even poker players are just regular people that have been promoted by the media so that you’ll view them on a pedestal and just wish you could one day meet them.

I've had the luxury of meeting some famous people. I confess, I was often a little star struck myself at first, but once you look deeper into the person you realize that you've been duped!

Actors are just people who are good at making believe they are someone else. Singers are just people who've been given the gift of a beautiful voice.
Athletes are just people with special physical gifts.

Watch that show, and think about it for a minute. You might just come to realize that you too have been duped!


The timing for this last piece of news is a little bizarre in light of what I just talked about, but here goes: The FCP Logo contest is officially over and a gentlemen named Chadwick won the chance to fly out to Vegas and get a free roll in eight different heads up games with me.

The Biz team at Full Contact Poker promised the winner a flight and accommodations for a weekend in Vegas. It sounded like a fun idea, but then I was reading through the forums and I saw how disappointed all of the finalists were to be “so close” yet still not win anything.

So, the Biz team got together one night and we came up with a great idea: why not make Chadwick’s weekend a party and invite the other four finalists! We weren’t committed to that obviously, but so what. They all sent in great logos and they all deserved to win. Well, now they all will win, sorta.

We have a weekend planned for all the guys that will hopefully be a lot of fun. For full details of the festivities check out the General Forum at www.fullcontactpoker.com. As for a basic overview, the itinerary includes:

- A Friday night get together and a free roll no limit hold’em freeze out at Wynn Las Vegas.

-A Pizza Party at my place on Saturday where Chadwick will play me in all eight games. As an added twist, I’m going to allow Chadwick the opportunity to bring in a ringer if he wants by letting him pick one of the other finalists to play for him..

-A late dinner at Wing Lei that evening.

FCP is footing the bill for everything from airfare, accommodations at Wynn, transportation, and grub.

I’m really looking forward to that weekend and think it’s just going to be a lot of fun. I’ll get a chance to kick back and enjoy a weekend without work. Oh and by the way, I do plan on going a perfect 8-0 in the challenges so y’all better not be expecting to chop me up for any dough! Bring you’re A game suckers or save some face by forfeiting now. Bring it on. Oh yeah, that’s right, I said it. Whaddya gonna do about it huh? This is going to be too much fun smile


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