I'll be the first one to admit that the advent of Twitter has made the willingness to take the time to blog practically...well...old news. The ability to relay your thoughts and actions on a minute-by-minute basis is something that we never could have dreamed of just a few years ago. Never the less, I thought I would update everyone on my last three months.
I made my 5th annual trek to the WSOP in late June. I have seen the WSOP evolve since I first went and watched them at Binion's in 2004. This year, I played in a $2,000 NLHE event (the same one I've played in the last two years). I won't recount all of my tweets from the event but I did get a chance to played with "Wretchy" and "TitanTom" from online fame, Allan Le (Nam's brother), Tiffany Michelle, and Joe Serock. I lasted until after dinner break and when I returned, I picked up K-K in the SB on the 2nd hand. An early position raise allowed me to shove for about $9,750. He hemmed and hawed for a bit and called with A-K. Four bricks and an ace on the river later and I was out. Tough way to go out but not a whole lot I could have done different.
I played in two more RIO nightly tournaments and a $500 Venetian Deep Stacks event. All of them ended in various heartbreaking fashion as I just really didn't run well that week. I know that's going to happen from time to time and I just picked a bad time to run bad. I had a fantastic time sweating my favorite players until 2 or 3 in the morning each night and also got to meet a lot of people I had met online via PokerRoad.com.
Last week, I went back out to the RIO to play in the first WSOP DreamTeam Event. I played in the event with my friends Andrew and Robin and we were "Team Willing2Die." There were 122 teams entered in the event and we finished in 19th place. Unfortunately, the top 10 teams cashed so once again I was shutout. It was a fun tournament although the structure is pretty shallow and really collapses after about 5 or 6 hours. The picture above is me laying down K-K on an A-Q-10 board to Dan Michalski of www.Pokerati.com. He showed me an ace so it was another $%^&ed hand at the RIO :):).
After a lot of online play over the past 30 days, I have made a commitment to play less online and more live. I'm hoping that it will put a little more fun in my poker game as well as giving me a little more time with the family (and wife) during the week. My limited live results really haven't been half bad as I have 3 cashes in 8 career WSOP tournaments, 3 cashes in 7 Chumash tournaments with buy-in's of $200 or more, and I took down a Saturday daily tournament at Caesar's Palace. Unfortunately, this year has been relatively horrible as I'm 0 for 6 in live tournaments. I'm hoping to turn that around over the next few months as I'll be hitting the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino and a few tournaments at the Commerce.
I plan on getting another blog in over the next few nights as I talk a little football and share some thoughts on my poker career and what the future holds for me in the coming months and years.
Today was one of those days that pacifies the diehard NFL fan during the off-season. 2nd only to draft day, the release of the NFL schedule gets me pumped up and also allows me to plan out my Qualcomm Stadium attendance for the coming season. It looks like my schedule will be as follows:
Home Opener vs. Baltimore (Tailgating with my wife) Monday Night Football vs. Denver (Going with buddies from work) December 20th vs. Cincinnatti (Weekend trip with the kids/Tailgating) January 3rd vs. Washington (Tailgating with friends)
I'm so pumped....the Cutler trade to Chicago has pretty much handed the AFC West to us for the next couple of years so we really need to take advantage.
Anyways....I have not been playing a ton of poker lately. I'm looking to ramp up the volume in the coming weeks and win a WSOP Main Event seat. My current economic conditions don't point to me dropping ten dimes for an entry this year so if I don't win a seat, I'm pretty much screwed. If it gets to that point, I'll play in a couple of mega-satties when I'm in Vegas (6/18-6/21) but I think the best value is still winning one on Full Tilt.
I have lots of other thoughts to convey but I am literally busy day and night so I'll have to carve out an hour to drop some more deep philosophy on you. lololol
I took 2nd in the Full Tilt Big Double-A last night for around $2,500. It was my fourth 2nd or 3rd place finish since my last MTT win almost 10 months ago. I usually find myself with a big chip deficit when I reach heads-up and last night was no different....to the tune of a 11-1 deficit.
I ended February up around $3K for the month and am up around $14K for the first two months. Not bad for a "recreational player" If I may say so......I figure I'm getting geared up for the WSOP :):).
Stephen, commonly known as Virge, is a great poker mind and a helluva nice guy. I encourage everyone to check out the article and if you're looking for some cash-game coaching, please consider Virge as a worthy candidate.
2. I have been putting a ton of time in at the Pokerroad Forums and am running a couple of different contests for the LAPC Main Event. I spend most of my time in the "Live Tournaments" section of the forum so I again encourage you to first check out Pokerroad , then check out the forums and especially the Live tourney section. I am, of course, Willing2Die on the forums.
Things have been going real well the last couple of weeks as life continues to be a fun journey. After my two big online cashes on January 13th, I was even for most of the rest of January and ended January up over $11K. I started February off with a bang as I took 3rd in the Full Tilt $23K on Wednesday night for a little over $2,900. I have now played only 28 MTT's in 2009 and I have four cashes with three of them being a 3rd place and two 2nd's. It is vastly different from what was occurring in 2008 where I was having a ton of cashes with no deep finishes. There is definitely a calm and controlled aspect to my end game where I just let things come to me and don't make as many "fancy" plays as I used to. The caliber of play is still sub-standard enough that you can allow others to make mistakes for you. After Wednesday night's score, I told my wife that I was calling my shot right now...I guarantee I will win a WSOP $10K entry this year.
The Super Bowl lived up to every expectation anyone might have had. The 4th quarter was undoubtedly the greatest quarter in Super Bowl history and Harrison's play was clearly one of the Top 5 plays in the history of the NFL. There may have been flashier or more difficult plays but for the context under which it occurred (Super Bowl...:00 on the clock...14-point swing), they don't get much bigger. Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
UFC 94 ended up being underwhelming. I went 6-4 on my predictions although I think I got hosed on the Kim-Parisyan fight (That was one of the worst fights I've watched in months). Jon Jones was the most impressive fighter of the night. Considering he's been training MMA for about a year, I'd love to buy some stock in that guy's future. The main event was disappointing as GSP was just too much for B.J. "Vaseline-gate" has overshadowed his dominant performance and just today there is talk about GSP-BJ III. I'm not even sure I want to see that. (See my UFC Fight Night predictons below)
The 2009 WSOP schedule came out and, as usual, I'm excited for those 45 days of the year. I hope my job doesn't mind my brain being somewhere else for that month-plus. (just kidding lolol). I already booked my flight for June 18th-June 21st. I'll be playing the $2K on 6/18, maybe the $1,500 on 6/20, and hopefully Day 1C of the Main Event. I've cashed in 3 of 7 WSOP events I've played so I always feel good going out there.
The pokerroad gang played one of my voicemails on the 2/5 PRR episode and Joe Sebok even said "I love Willing2Die" on the air. If a 38-year old married father of three gets giddy over that, I think he has serious problems.
Here are my predictions for UFC Fight Night (Feb. 7th): Joe Lauzon v. Jeremy Stephens (I'm going with Lauzon even though I'm not a big fan of his talents. A Stephens KO wouldn't surprise me)
CainVelasquez v. Denis Stojnic (Cain by 1st degree murder/He's the future UFC heavyweight champion)
Mac Danzig v. Josh Neer (Danzig wins a tough decision)
Luigi Fiorivanti v. Anthony Johnson (Johnson by head removal)
Kurt Pellegrino v. Rob Emerson (Pellegrino is very under-rated...he takes this one)
Dan Miller v. Jake Rosholt (UFC debuts rarely go well...Miller submits him)
Matt Grice v. Matt Veach (I'd be pompous if I said I knew anything about these guys but it's Veach's UFC debut...that means Grice wins)
Gleison Tibau v. Rich Clementi (I'll go with the guy who over-achieves over the guy who under-achieves...Clementi wins)
Nick Catone v. Derek Downey (Both are UFC debuts...Catone takes his Sadollah-related frustation out on Downey's head)
Steve Bruno v. Matt Riddle (No fighter should smile as much as Riddle does and I don't think he'll be smiling after this one)
I've been a diehard MMA fan since UFC I was televised while I was in the police academy in 1993. I've seen hundreds of cards from Dream to Pride to Strikeforce to EliteXC to UFC to Affliction.....but I have never been so pumped for an MMA card as I am for UFC 94 tonight. I'm a big B.J. Penn fan and am hoping he takes it but I have a ton of respect for GSP and just want to see an historic fight. I thought I'd take my shot at some prognosticating for tonight's card:
UFC 94 Matt Arroyo v. Dan Cramer ARROYO Jake O'Brien v. Christian Wellisch O'BRIEN Chris Wilson v. John Howard WILSON Manny Gamburyan v. Thiago Tavares TAVARES Jon Fitch v. Akihiro Gono FITCH Nate Diaz v. Clay Guida GUIDA Karo Parisyan v. Dong Hyun Kim KIM Stephan Bonnar v. Jon Jones BONNAR Lyoto Machida v. Thiago Silva MACHIDA B.J. Penn v. Georges St. Pierre GSP
As you can see, I love B.J. but I picked GSP. If I was betting on the fight and could get +160 or +170 on B.J., I would definitely go that route. At this point, I think GSP's wrestling is going to be the difference but I'm praying for an epic B.J. performance.
I'm heading to the Commerce on Sunday to play in the LAPC $335 event at 1:00 P.M. Just another example of why my wife is the best woman in the world..she didn't bat an eye when I told her I was going.
My goal for the year is to read twenty (20) new books and I've already powered down two of them. I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. I highly recommend both of them. I've compiled a reading list for 2009 which so far includes the following:
According to Doyle by Doyle Brunson The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo Just 2 Seconds by Gavin Debecker The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
I'm always looking for recommendations so if you know of any "must-reads", please let me know.
I'm a 38-year old law enforcement professional with a wife, 3 kids, and an English bulldog. I juggle friends, family, and work with an obsession for poker and a borderline degenerate gambling habit. I hope you enjoy my adventures!