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    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Caesar's Poker Classic/WPT Festa Al Lago

    I just got home from an eventful weekend in Las Vegas. It started wonderfully by my wife and I losing $1700 in the first 5 hours we were there. That dampered my spirits a tad but I've been there and done that as far as ups and downs in Vegas so I wasn't sweating it too much. We made reservations for YellowTail, the sushi bar at the Bellagio, and I headed over there about 2 hours early (by myself) so I could rail the final two tables of the WPT Festa Al Lago going on in the Fontana Lounge. I've railed many tourneys there and I love it every chance I get. I was especially pumped this time because my favorite pro, Joe "Seebs" Sebok, was still alive and big-stacked. I was able to represent with "PokerRoad" gear (see picture) and got to meet B.J. Nemeth, Ali Nejad, Shronk, and the rest of the PokerRoad gang. I'm 37 years old but still get a little giddy when I see the guys that I follow so closely on the website and the podcasts. Sebok was able to finish strong with 12 players remaining and looked to be in good position for Saturday's run to the TV final table.

    On Saturday, my wife and I slept in until around 9:30 which marked the first time I've slept in past 7:00 since my trip to Jamaica. I have refereed soccer games at 8:00 every Saturday morning for the last two months and I go to church at 8:15 every Sunday morning so you have NO idea what it feels like to sleep in just ONE day. :):):) I headed over to Caesar's where I registered for the $550 buy-in Caesar's Poker Classic. I sat down at my table and saw a few different pros in the field such as Bryan "Devo" Devonshire, Barry Shulman, Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, and Men "The Master" Nguyen. My table seemed relatively weak and I was able to chip up through the first level and a half from $5,000 to approx. $7,500. I got my foot stuck on the gas pedal, though, and a couple of guys either check-raised me or took pots from me in position and over the course of about 20 minutes, I got myself down to around $3,800 when the following hand came up:

    With the blinds at $50/$100, a guy that had just come to our table with a huge stack and a "lip ring" (I'm not kidding) raised it up to $275. The previous hand he had said, "Get out of my way boys" so I pretty much gave him no credit for a hand. A guy in middle position called, the button called, and the SB called. I was in the BB and looked down at two black Kings. I felt like my table image was extremely loose and I'm sure they thought I was steaming over a fairly big hand I had just lost with two Queens. It was a great spot to make it look like a squeeze and maybe induce someone to come back over the top (careful what you wish for....). I raised to $1475 leaving me only around $2300 behind. The original raiser folded quickly but the first caller shoved and had me covered. This was the same guy I had lost to with the two queens so I figured he thought I was making a move. I really thought he had something like A-K or maybe two 10's. Ummm.....I was wrong. I obviously called with that much of my stack in there and he showed me two Aces. That was that.....

    I enjoyed being able to represent PokerRoad with the hoodie and hat (see picture) but I was especially proud to wear a patch for everyone to see. I recently met LASD Deputy Scott Diamond on the PokerRoad forums and have talked with him a lot about the Charity he started for the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. This is obviously a cause that I hold dear to my heart and it was a pleasure to represent his noble cause in the Caesar's poker room. (

    After busting out so quickly, I headed back over to the Bellagio to find the final 12 of the Festa Al Lago playing in the Bellagio Poker Room. It was a horrible place to hold such a big tournament (the noise from the Sportsbook was ridiculous) but it provided me a great spot to stand literally 4 feet from Joe Sebok and Michael DiMichelle. I was able to sweat both of them for around two hours and got to talk to Seebs at one of the breaks. He appreciated my support and liked the fact that I was wearing the PokerRoad stuff. He looked to be in real control of his game and I ended up leaving when they broke it down to one 10-handed final table. At one point, Seebs was the chip leader at that table but, alas, he lost a big coinflip A-K v. 7-7 and eventually was eliminated in 9th place. I've been spending a lot of time on the PokerRoad forums and he had quite a support base there. We were all pretty heartbroken that he didn't make the TV final table.

    I eventually left the Bellagio, went back to NYNY, and played Pai Gow and drank myself under the table for around 5 hours straight. My wife and I continued our horrific run of cards and added to the weekend deficit. We had a great dinner at Gallagher's Steak House before calling it an early evening due to excessive alcohol consumption.

    As we got ready to drive home today, my wife wanted to play one more hour of Pai Gow while our friends got ready to leave. I was against it but eventually obliged and we went and grabbed a couple of seats. What a DAMN good decision that was....we ran like two Jamaican sprinters for around an hour and literally couldn't lose a hand. We made around $700 in that final session which definitely dampered the pain of the other weekend losses. We eventually got on the road just in time to listen to the Chargers game....yeah, you heard me....THE F$%&KING CHARGERS GAME!!!

    To quote Dennis Miller..."I don't want to go on a rant, here". This has been the most frustrating season I've ever experienced as a fan of any team. The Chargers lost their fourth heartbreak game of the year (and fifth overall) today and it was mind-numbing to listen to. Vincent Jackson has long been touted as having tons of potential but I can tell you that I don't think Jerry Rice or Marvin Harrison have ever dropped a ball like he did today. 14 PENALTIES???? Give me a break....I put that squarely on Norv Turner's shoulders. And let's not even start with the defense. They had ZERO SACKS IN OCTOBER. Are you kidding me? Ted Cottrell-What the hell are you doing? GTFO if you can't come up with a scheme in the NFL that puts some pressure on the quarterback. OIU h'oihd'aosifc ha'iodc hfa'oihdg'aviohgf'ihgf'knv'c ..........

    Okay...I'm done. Needless to say, I'm very frustrated with their season.

    Overall, it was another great weekend in Vegas. I forget sometimes the charge I get from playing live, big buy-in tournament poker. It really is fun and you have to make sure you remind yourself that while you're playing because if you only have fun when you do well, more often than not, you're going to hate it.

    I've played 12,600 hands of $.50/$1 NL the last 45 days and have won at a clip of 6.42BB/100. I don't know for sure but I think that's somewhere between okay and average. Anyways, I should be putting in a lot of hours the next two weeks so maybe I can report back with a big score (or two).

    Thanks for reading,


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