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Daniel - Poker Journal

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Poker Night in Canada!

03 Dec 2005

I called up my limo driver here in Toronto, Gord "Andretti", and organized a group of my brother's friends to come out to the game in Hamilton with us.
Including Gord, we had 11 people with us and crammed into the box of one of the owners who had food and drinks there for us all.

I talked to the crowd a little bit about the party on December 6th and then signed a bunch of autographs for the fans in the crowd.

The Marlies won, which was bitter sweet since I'm a Toronto boy sitting in the box with the Bulldogs owner! I was also wearing a Kostitsyn jersey, a player I drafted on my fantasy team years ago that just got called up to the Canadiens the night before.

Also in our box was a group of guys from Fallsview casino in Niagara Falls. After the game, they invited all of us out the casino to check out the poker room, etc.

I walked through the poker room for a bit and signed a few autographs before turning my attention to the craps table. My brother and his friend wanted to learn how to play so I bought in for $5000 and was betting $50 on the Pass Line.

I started out throwing the dice and won about $300 on my roll. Then a lady at the other end of the table got a hold of the dice and started to get on a heater!

I had the "bases loaded" with a six point and all of the numbers covered. She rolled for at least 20 minutes and I took a $4000 win. Once a seven hits, the game is no longer fun for me so I headed to the poker room, lol.

I went to sit in the "big game," a $10-$20 no limit hold'em game with a $3000 max buy in. I sat with a couple familiar faces, but for the most part I had no idea what I was in for!

I bought in for $3000 and started out by playing in the dark, making it $100 to go. I ended up having tons of all-in confrontations:

Hand #1: Three limped or $20 and the player next to the button made it $160 to go. From the small blind I made the standard play with the J2 of clubs... and went all in!

The original raiser ends up making a terrible call with two kings and that started me off $3000 in the hole.

I, of course, rebought for the full amount and got involved in my next big hand:

Hand #2: I raised blind once again to $100 and a young Vietnamese girl re-raised me from the small blind to $400.

It was heads up, and I had position, so I decided to go ahead and make the call blind. The flop came Kh 6h 5h. She bet out $500 and I sweated in my first card... paint.

I then sweat my second card and it was a "two across diamond," meaning that it was the 4 or 5 of diamonds. I looked back at the paint card, and it was a King!

Unfortunately, my next card was a 4d, but nonetheless, I decided to go all in anyway hoping that my pair of kings were good.

She thought long and hard which made me feel good about my hand. She then flashed me the Jack of spades, so I immediately said, "Jacks huh? Question is, do you have the heart to back it up?"

She acknowledged that she did, and after a couple minutes she finally called with her pair of jacks, jack of hearts. The turn was a heart, and now I was down $6000.

Hand #3: Once again, "the sucker" rebought and also decided to start looking at the cards before betting. A couple players limped for $20 and I made it $100 on the button with 7-8. We took the flop five ways:

9-10-J game me the dummy end of the straight. Everyone checked to me and I bet $200. The Vietnamese girl check-raised to $1000 and one of the limpers called. I wasn't about to fold, so I went all in behind him. The girl folded, but the other player called with Q-J. The turn was a King and I was toast again! Oh brother.

Hand #4: I went all in on a 8d 7d 4c flop with the Q 5 of diamonds. My opponent, called the bet with the 9-10 of diamonds. The last card was a 9, and it was rebuy time!

Hand #5: Since I couldn't buy a pot, I thought I'd try something new. Three players limped in and I went all in from the small blind with J-8 off suit for my last $1590. That's literally, all the money I had with me.

All folded to the last limper who says, "I'll give you some action," and calls me with Q-2 of hearts! I won that pot, and was off to the races.

Hand #6: I made it $100 to go with J6 of clubs, and one more time, the Vietnamese “terror” re-raised me from the small blind to $500. Now that I knew it was possible to win a pot in Canada, I was happy to play!

I called the raise and the flop came 8c 5s 2c. She bet out $2000, and from the little I gathered from her play I knew she might do that without a pair. She had an additional $2300 behind her, and I felt like there was a good enough chance that she might fold to a raise, so I stuck it all in.

She hesitated, and now I felt great about it. If she had ANY pair she would have beat me in the pot. At that point I told her, "Wow AK? You really think I can't beat an AK? Here is your dilemma, against a set you'd be dead, two pair dead, and even if I have a pair of 2's you only have six outs."

I continued, "Best case scenario for you is that I have a flush draw and even then, you'd be an underdog to my hand." With that much money in the pot already, even though I was a favorite on the flop I didn't want her to call at all.

I finally talked her out of calling her and asked if she wanted to see my hand. She said yes, but didn't want the other players to see it. I showed her the hand and she said that's what she felt I had, but asked if she should have called anyway.

So, I explained to her that even though she was an underdog on the flop, after she'd bet $2000 she was getting a great price to call. I went on to explain to her that her first mistake was over betting the pot so much on the flop. Once she did that, she forced her hand and was committed to a call. Had she bet $600 to $1000, she could make the lay down much easier.

She was genuinely thankful for the advice and her friend next to her agreed with it.

Hand #7: Now that I had money in front of me and had some luck on my side, things really started to cook. With the 3-4 of clubs on the button I made it $100 as I'd been doing the whole time. A few of the limpers called and the flop came Kc Js 6c.

It was checked to me and I bet $200. One player called me, and the turn card came the Jack of clubs. That figured to be my "gin" card as it was a card he might have hit for trips. He checked, I bet $600, and he went all in.

I called, and he had a lot of outs with the Jh 9c. Any club or board pair and I was toast. A brick on the river, and I'd won another monster pot.

Hand #8: There was a tight player at the table that reminded me of my buddy Tyson. An Asian male that played pretty solid. He limped, and another player made it $160 to go. I called with the 10h 8h as did a few others.

The flop came Jh 8d 7c. There was a $500 bet on the flop that was called in three spots, so I took one off also. The turn card was a 6h and out of left field, the Tyson clone bet $1500.

I was the only player that called, and knew that I desperately needed a heart.

The river came the Qh and my opponent checked. I saw that he had about $6000 in front of him, and decided to bet it all. He thought for quite a while and finally called. I showed my flush and took down a monster.

The Tyson clone later claimed pocket aces...

So in about a two hour session I was down to the felt and rebounded for a pretty nice win of $8000. It was 2:00am by then and the boys were ready to make the long drive back to Toronto. We didn't get home till about 5:00am after Gord dropped off the whole gang.


I got to bed at about 6:30am and needed to be up by about 9:00am to go over to the TSN studios to answer phones for the Special Olympics Canada telethon.

I was there right on time and they prepped me on what I'd be doing. I was kind of nervous since it seemed like a "real job" and I haven't done anything like that since I was 17 years old and tried telemarketing for precisely ONE day!

The instructions were easy, though, and I really got the hang of it. The phones just wouldn't stop ringing and it felt so good hearing how much money people were willing to donate to such a great cause.

I've donated money before, but there is something even more satisfying in actually doing "work" to help out. It's easy to write a check, it's another thing to put in time with the kids, answer phones, and be a part of the event. It left me feeling really good.

I was supposed to sit in the Press Box tonight for the Leafs game, but I was spent. After several late nights in a row I decided to stay home and prepare for a busy week ahead with the FCP party coming up in a few days.

So now I'm at home, or at my mother's place watching the game from my bed. So far, it doesn't look too good for the boys in blue, man I should have been there, they would have won!


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