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Daniel - Poker Journal

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A Tough One to Swallow

29 Mar 2006

I got into Reno late the night before the tournament and had trouble sleeping due to a cold that I had just picked up. I was able to get down there on time, though, and on about 5 hours of sleep I felt I could still put in a good effort.

The first few rounds were very uneventful for me. I was patient, though, and maintained my starting stack, avoiding any real trouble.

I was in a bizarre state of mind, almost too sick to really think. Instead, I was surviving by pure instinct. The first key hand I played went like this:

A loose player made it 300 to go from UTG and two players called. I found JJ in the big blind and made it 1300 to go. All three players called the raise.

The flop came K-9-5 rainbow. I decided to check and see what developed. All players checked to Pete Lawson, a young player who's had some success on the WPT.

Pete bet 1700 and it just didn't "smell right" to me. I felt like he was just making a power play trying to pick up the pot. The problem for me was that there were two other players in the pot. I called, and both other players folded leaving the pot down to me and Pete.

The turn came a 4, and I checked to Pete. This time he bet 2300, and while I thought about raising him, I decided to just call. The river came an Ace and I checked again.

This time Pete hesitated for a moment, and I could see the wheels turning in his head. To me, it seemed like he was thinking about whether or not he should bluff at it one more time. He did, betting 2600.

I called that bet too and he tapped the table. Pete later told me that he had 6-7.

I then got moved to another table and made a similar play. With blinds now at 100-200 I made it 500 from middle position with Q-10. A player behind me called and we took the flop heads up.

The flop came Kd Qh 9d. I checked the flop as did my opponent. The turn was a 7 and I checked again. This time my opponent bet 1500. I now had second pair and a double gutter straight draw and called.

The river came an Ace and I checked again. This time my opponent hesitated for a second, and then fired out a big bet of 3500. Wow? I just didn't think this guy had it. I shrugged my shoulders and paid it off. Once again, my opponent tapped the table.

I was off and running. I even got VERY lucky on a pot where I had A-9 vs. 7-9 on a 9-7-3 flop. The turn and river were King King to give me Kings and 9's with an Ace kicker.

After that table broke I went to a new table and continued to build my stack. By the dinner break, I was the chip leader with 56,000 in chips.

I was still sick as a dog, but had a lot of confidence in my instincts and felt like I could cruise through the end of the night.

Then I lost a pot with set over set. which cost me about 17,000. Then I got rivered by a flush. Then I got rivered by another flush. Then I lost the key pot of the tournament for me:

I called a 1600 raise with 10h 7h. The button made it 4500 to go and we took the flop three ways. The flop came Jc 9c 8h. The first player checked as did I. The button went all in for 13,000. The first player called instantly, and I moved all in behind him. He called that bet too.

It was show time. The lady on the button who re-raised before the flop had Qc Qs. The first raiser had flopped two pair with the 9s 8s. This was a great situation for me as I was a 2-1 favorite to win the pot AND I was getting 2-1 odds on my money. The pot had well over 60,000 in it.

The turn came the 7c. I still had the lead, but now a club would kill me also. I was more concerned with a 9 or an 8, though, as the first raiser had me covered.

The river came the 10c. Now, I lost the main pot to the Qc Qs AND I had to chop the side pot with the first raiser. That left me on the short stack for the first time all tournament

A couple rounds later I moved all in again and flopped the best hand with a pair of Kings (I had K-3 of spades). The flop also came with hearts, though, and once again I got rivered by a flush just minutes before the end of play on day one. What a punch to the gut that was!

Amazingly, I've played 10 tournaments this year and the only time I've been able to get through day one I ended up winning the tournament! Oh well, that's actually pretty good for the old hourly rate, lol.

Lori showed up right before I lost that key pot with the 10-7. She considers herself a jinx, since it seems like every time she comes out I end up losing! Of course, I don't really believe in any of that.

I went up to the room tired, sick, and dejected. It was nice to have her there. Rather than get on a plane right away we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the trip. Also to make use of the awesome room we had here at the Reno Hilton.

We had a treadmill in our bedroom, a Jacuzzi, a bar, a dining room, living room, a lobby, etc. I think this room was meant for parties or something.

The tournament, as always, was run extremely well. If I had just once criticism it would be the fact that of all the places we play in the U.S. it's the absolute worst when it comes to cigarette smoke.

Players aren't allowed to smoke at the tables, but if you are seated at a table next to the rail you might as well just light up yourself because the second hand smoke is unavoidable.

Players in between hands are all on the rail smoking. Spectators are smoking. That part really sucks, and as much as they try to tell people not to do that, it simply doesn't work.


Lori and I decided to watch a movie and we played our little game. She picks five movies she wants to watch and I do the same. Then we take turns crossing out movies that we don't want to see from each other's list.

It came down to The Chronicles of Narnia or Brokeback Mountain. I won the coin toss, so we ended up with Brokeback Mountain.

I'd heard a lot of great things about the movie, but frankly, I wasn't all that impressed. It moved along very slowly at the beginning and the ending left something to be desired.

It surprised me that the film was so critically acclaimed and I can only think that the fact we were dealing with gay cowboys was what made it seem shocking. The fact that the two dudes actually kiss in the movie. Whoopie, big deal.

It was a love story, but had it been about a straight couple I hardly think that if would have gotten so much attention. The acting was excellent, mind you, but the storyline just didn't grab me.

Yesterday morning I woke up early and screwed around at FCP for a while. I decided to try and qualify for the $5000 buy in $5 million dollar guaranteed event by starting in a $1 sub qualifier sit n' go.

I came sixth in my first try, but won the second one and a ticked to the Stage 1 qualifier for $9+1. I came sixth in my first try there too, but in the second one I got heads up with an FCP regular named "cfinn" and won my seat to the Stage II qualifer for $68+3.

When we got heads up, I was actually quite surprised at how well cfinn played. Mostly a low limit player, she had good fundamentals.

Before I could get a Stage II qualifier started Lori woke up so we decided to head downstairs and have some fun. The one thing I love most about this casino is that downstairs they have this golf machine that is the most realistic golf experience you could ever have without being out on the course.

You can program the computer to play any one of 36 different courses around the world including places like Pebble Beach. Lori and I decided on Castle Pines since it appeared to be on the easier side.

As usual, Lori got really frustrated on the first six holes. She is literally the absolute best beginning golfer I've ever seen. She is a total natural. However, since she can't make par on every hole she seems to think that she sucks. By the way, did I mention she's played like three times with no lessons!

I started out bad also, but got into the swing of things on the back nine. After golf we showered up and went to the Sushi place here which was really good. I had the usual, edamame, Miso soup, Vegetarian Rolls, and Vegetable Chow Mien.

After dinner, all I could think about was the golf game. It was 10:30pm by then and the place didn't close till midnight. I played one more round of 18 holes and when I was done with that I started using the practice features. Wow, it was the most awesome experience ever.

You can hit the same shot over and over and the computer measures the distance and also the arc of your shot. That taught me so much about my golf game.

For one, I'm putting the driver back in the bag! I'm just not ready to hit that club and was averaging like 126 yards per drive. I hit my 7 iron that far!

The club for me is the 5-wood. I hit that pretty consistently and average right around 150 yards with it. I was able to hit one 186 yards.

It might have been that the clubs weren't very good, but I'm thinking it was pretty realistic. With my clubs Im guessing I could add maybe 5 to 10 yards.

I also learned that I don't hit the 8-iron as far as I thought. I used to think that I hit an 8-iron about 120-125 yards. The computer showed that I actually hit it about 105-110 yards. In fact, the best one I hit was 118 yards.

The 7 iron, which I thought I could hit 140 yards was off as well. I hit a few of them 141 yards, but I was averaging closer to 125 yards.

I HAVE to get one of those games! I found out where to get one and in my new house it will be a must. I found out that you can get them here: www.fullswinggolf.com.

If I had this thing at home I'd seriously play 4-6 hours a day. It is so addicting.


FCP NEWS: You have to check out the FCP Store and look under accessories. The online poker mouse that I use is now available and you can buy it using FCP points. If you play poker online, you just have to have this mouse.
If you do get the mouse, here is a word of advice: don't leave it on the carpet. If carpet fibers get caught in the trac ball it will make it harder to move your cursor.

Negreanu Open: Tonight, and every Wednesday night at 6:00pm EST is the $10+1 Negreanu Open, a tournament that was co-coordinated by a forum member named dna4ever.

This is the last week of play for the first quarter and the second quarter starts next week. When I play, there is also a bounty on my head equal to $1 per tournament entry. So if there are 125 entries, the bounty on my head would be $125. There is also $100 in added money in every tournament so thee is some good value there if you are a low roller. That, plus you can win prizes and stuff too. Check it out.


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