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Daniel - Poker Journal

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Hitting a Groove

23 Oct 2005

After playing till 11:00am the other night, it didn't take me too long to get back on an ok sleep schedule. I woke up at about 6:00pm, but then was back in bed by about 4:00am.

I finally woke up at about 1:00pm since I had to be down at Wynn for a 3:00pm charity poker tournament benefiting prostate cancer. The event was part of a celebrity golf/poker weekend, and it attracted celebrities like Don Cheadle, Ray Romano, Joe Thiesman, and Ahmad Rashad.

I'd met Don Cheadle at the WPT Celebrity event before, but it was the first time I had a chance to meet the others. Romano, you could tell was into poker and has been playing online. Thiesman claimed to have played as a kid, but he wasn't much of a hold'em player. Ahmad, well he didn't have a clue what he was doing, but wouldn't you know, he won his table!

I was there just to help out and coach some of the players that were totally new to the game. I floated around the room giving sophisticated advice like, "So your opponent moved all in and you have 6-3 off suit? Yes, folding that hand would be ok." Hey, they are beginners, give em' a break.

From there I had a brief meeting concerning one of my investments that I made a while back. It seems like the company I invested in is ready to roll and could be a real winner. Surprise, surprise... I can't talk about it! lol.

I got to the poker room about 7:00pm and the game was full! How bad did that suck, as I was there earlier and the game was just three handed.

I got there about five minutes too late as Barry Greenstein grabbed the last seat. They'd told me that David Benyamine went to dinner so I played over him.

Within 10 minutes he returned and I said, "I thought you went to dinner."

"No, no no, Daniel, you should know by now that when I play poker I don't eat. If I were to eat I'd never leave the table," replied David.

Good point, I figured, and waited around for Chau to go to dinner as he said he was leaving at 8:00pm.

Before that, though, my seat opened up as Ivey called it an early night. I bought in for $300,000, loaned out $150,000, and got paid back $35,000 to totally screw with my figures. I was now in the game for $185,000 and we were playing six games:

Omaha H/L
Stud 8 or Better
Stud H/L Regular
2-7 Triple Draw

The limit was $2000-$4000 and the lineup looked like:

Seat 1: Chau Giang (with Ralph Perry playing over while he went to dinner)
Seat 2: Eli Elezra
Seat 3: Johnny Chan (with Tight Jim playing over)
Seat 4: Abe Mosseri
Seat 5: David Grey
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein
Seat 7: David Benyamine
Seat 8: Yours Truly

In this session, I started out by winning my first few hands, and frankly, won almost every hand I played to the river all night long. I was catching cards, and most importantly improving upon them or having them hold up.

The Stud 8 or better was especially good to me as I played almost every hand and scooped several monsters. I approach that game in particular, differently than every other player in that game.

My strategy on third street is a little different than the others, as I like to jam the pot early even when I may be pushing very small edges. As far as I'm concerned, Hi Lo games are all about pushing small edges and I like to punish those opponents that are in there with inferior hands.

Frankly, the players I was playing against played the Stud 8 or better, Omaha H/L, and 2-7 triple draw games rather poorly. I saw a play in the Omaha that all but blew my mind!

There was a raise under the gun, a call in second position, a call from the button, and a call from the big blind. The flop came Q-10-6 rainbow and it got checked around to the button.

The button bet, and the big blind check raised, with the initial raiser and the button calling.

The turn came a 5 and there was a bet by the button and two calls. The river came an ace and it was checked around.

The button turned over Queens and Tens, the original raiser showed aces and sixes, and the check raiser from the big blind showed... J J 7 3 Badugi! (Badugi meaning all four cards were different suits)

Since the play was that horrendous, I would feel uncomfortable telling you who made it. One thing for sure, is that y'all would be shocked. Shocked I tell you!

I always knew that Omaha H/L was one of this dude's worst games, but man, that play was just awful! Playing Omaha H/L as though it was limit hold'em is a recipe for disaster.

I was running great in the Stud 8, but I was playing well too. In fact, on one hand I started rolled up with sixes. I ended up dumping the hand on sixth street figuring Chan for a full house. Benyamine won the low with a 7-5, and sure enough, Chan had kings full.

I love Stud 8 or better and find it more fascinating than any other game. There are so many variables, and so many opportunities to pin point exactly what your opponents are holding. I actually think it's one of my best games and have really missed playing it.

I couldn't play too late as I have to be up at 8:00am. Then later tomorrow I'll be flying to Grand Rapids for the day and then flying back to Vegas. Sadly, Lori's aunt Dianne passed away and the funeral is on Monday morning.

I'll be able to fly in for the funeral and then fly back in time to catch another flight to Los Angeles to tape a show the next morning. I'm doing another one of those, "Learn from the Pros" shows that air on FSN.

As for the rest of the crew, most of the high limit players are flying on Larry Flynt's private jet to LA to play with Larry for the day and then they'll be flying back to Vegas to probably continue playing that night.

I'll be missing out on that action, but will be back in the swing of things as soon as I return from LA.

The final line on the evening for me looked like: 5 hours +$165,500 Coupling that with my loss of $4000 and $147,000 respectively, it puts me at +$14,000 since Ive gotten back to playing. That, after 25.5 hours of total play. Not great results, but not all that horrible either.

Oh, and one last thing: to all of those complaining that there is no poker in the "poker blog"... happy now? :-)


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