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Daniel - Poker Journal

I need to catch my breath

21 Dec 2004

I realize that I haven’t posted a journal since winning the tournament, but there truly wasn’t 15 spare minutes to get it done. I threw a big party at the Bellagio after the event, and when I woke up the next day I had a photo shoot with… well I can’t tell you it’s a surprise J

Then at 5:00pm it was time for the special “Young Guns” edition of the WPT. I loved the concept, but it does feel strange not being considered a young gun… I’ve always been a young gun! Well, I guess it’s time to pass the torch on to a new group of young guns looking to make their mark in the poker world.

I was very pleased to see that the WPT chose a classy group of young players for the event. David Williams, John D’Agostino, Thomas Keller, Joe Cassidy, Scott Fischman, and… doh! I forgot the last guy’s name. Oh well, he seems like a good guy too.

I was really too tired to watch poker, but I’d promised to be there to support David Williams in his rooting section. It wasn’t a testament of me rooting against anybody- I had several friends at the table. It’s just that I knew David’s mother and girlfriend couldn’t be there and it can feel kind of lonely if you have no one in the audience there to cheer you on.

Back in 1999 I won the US Poker Championships on ESPN. After I’d won it I looked to the crowd to high five someone… there was nobody there. All of my friends had left early and while I was ecstatic about winning it would have been sweeter if I could have shared it with my mother or close friends.

Well I didn’t bring David any luck at all. David played a huge pot with a set against a gut shot straight draw and lost that one. Then on his last hand he flopped a set and got that beat by top pair! Yuk, an early out for David and an early out for me to get some much needed rest.


Today I had two appointments scheduled, unfortunately I’d scheduled them for the same time. Oops. I had to do the voice over for two shows on the Ultimate Poker Challenge and also agreed to do an audio track for the WPT’s second season DVD set with Erick Lindgren.

I knew that my UPC appointment was for noon but thought the WPT appointment was for 8:00pm. More than enough time to get it all done. Then I realized I was supposed to be on the other side of town at 2:00pm! Oops.

I was able to reschedule the WPT commentary till 4:00pm which meant we would have to get two UPC shows done in record time. I did the first show with Matt Savage and we ripped right through it done by 2:00pm. I’d told Evelyn to be at the studio at 1:00pm but it was 2:00pm and she was “on her way.”

Now I was worried, how am I going to pull this one off! Evelyn showed up and I was like, “Get in the booth, we gotta move!.” The set with Evelyn went great and at 3:57pm I was on the road. I gave E-DOG a call telling him I was almost there.

I guess I should have waited till I passed through Flamingo and the strip, the traffic was nuts. Isn’t that always the way when you are in a rush? Then I looked down at the gas meter and noticed the yellow light. Oh no. My range meter said I had approximately 7 miles left in me, so I punched in the address on my navigator to see if I needed to stop for gas. I was 6 miles away… plenty of gas!

I got there at 4:30pm, apologizing for being late but everyone seemed ok with it since I’d called. I was really looking forward to this commentary with Erick. The first show we were doing was the Party Poker Million when we got heads up. The set up for the commentary was so relaxed. Picture the director’s cut when you buy a DVD. Basically it’s like watching the show with the director and hearing what he was thinking. This worked so well with poker.

Erick and I talked poker, golf, players, playing styles, etc. I honestly believe that you’ll get enough enjoyment out of the bonus features in season two’s DVD set that it’s worth buying for that alone. I am not being paid anything to say that either, I promise you that if you are a poker fan you will enjoy it. I had so much fun doing it.

Of course we weren’t done there. We then did the Poker Stars cruise that came down to Hoyt Corkins, myself, and Gus Hansen. By this point I was a little tired, I’d been talking poker for eight hours doing four different sets.

I really think Erick and I had awesome chemistry and really nailed it. After that we head to the Kona Grill to catch up on things and have dinner. After dinner I had zero energy and head home… so that’s where I’m at now. I’m trying desperately to get to as many e-mails as I can, but it’s going to take me a few days to get caught up. Tomorrow I plan on finally sleeping in with no appointments. Can you say relief?