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Daniel - Poker Journal

Summer Birthdays

26 Jul 2005

In grade school I attended lots of birthday parties with cake and the whole deal. None of those birthdays were my own, though, because I had a dreaded summertime birthday.

Each summer most all of my friends were at camp, away with family, or basically doing their own thing. It was tough to get everyone together in the summer since you didn't see each other everyday like you would at school.

So my birthday has always been something Iíve always dreaded rather than get excited about. I think many people find that this supposedly joyous occasion leaves you more depressed than anything else!

Well, today is that day for me as I just turned 31. It's weird, when I was 23 or 24 I used to think to myself, "I'm going to be a good poker player when I'm 31." Strangely enough, though, I'm 31 and still feel like I've got a lot to learn about the game- and that's a good thing I guess. The day you think you've got it all figured out is the day your game goes down the tubes.

Yesterday I continued a match with "John Doe" in pot limit Hold'em. Coming into the match I was already up $26,000 after 8 hours of play. John Doe didn't want to play traditional freeze outs, though, and wanted us to each start with $500,000 each. Considering the situation, I was more than willing to compromise.

To make a horribly long story short, we played for 12 hours and he made some full houses in very key spots:

I flop nut flush- he make full house on river.
I turn nuts straight- he make full house on river.
I flop nuts straight- he make full house on river.
I flop top two pair- he catch runner runner for full house on river.
Last hand: I flop nuts straight- he catches runner runner and makes flush on river.

Hey, that's poker right? I'm not worried about that match at all. I feel like even though I lost on the evening, that I could of, or should have lost a lot more if he bet those hands correctly.


Meeting Joe Hashem- I had the pleasure of running into our new World Champion Joe Hashem at Wynn earlier this week as he was entertaining his wife and some friends in the lounge there.

I was there with Lori and Amy watching them play Casino War. Yes, they actually offer War in the casino now (and you thought it was just a bad joke from Vegas Vacation.) Joe came up and introduced himself and asked if I would have a drink with him and his friends. I excused myself from the War table and sat with them.

I found Joe to be a gentleman in every respect. At the same time, I worried about him a little bit. With so many people now wanting to tug him in every direction that can cause a whole new group of problems for him.

Joe actually asked me for some advice on how to handle it and I told him what he already knew. His wife and family should be his number one priority. Whatever he plans on doing media wise, he needs to run it by them first.

He wants to be an ambassador for poker in every way that he can, but I ultimately said to him, "You don't owe anybody anything. Do what you feel is right."

My guess is that he will be yet another excellent ambassador for poker in the mold of both Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer before him.


So anyway, I'm sitting on the couch right now writing a blog that's somewhat overdue I guess. When Lori comes to town I tend to abandon most of my responsibilities so that I can focus on her.

What are my plans for today? Well, I have absolutely none. Lori and Amy flew out this morning. Jennifer is in Lake Tahoe. My mother and brother are in Toronto. E-DOG is playing a tournament. Carlos and Cece are in Paris for the WPT event. My "other brothers" Oren and Regev live in LA. Evelyn is leaving for Pechanga tonight. Ivey just left for LA a couple days ago.

Holy flashbacks Batman! The good news is that I'm used to it. I'd tell you one story about my 13th birthday, but it might just come off wrong... ah, so what! I always get some flack for what I write in my blog, but I always promised myself and the readers that I wouldn't allow it to make me hold back:

When I was 13 years old I took a bus to the movie theater. All of my friends were out of town and I just didn't want to stay home. The plan was to go see "Summer School" starring Mark Harmon. Unfortunately, when I got there they'd told me that I had to be 14 years old to see the movie unless I was accompanied by an adult.

Man was I bummed. A few older guys heard what was going on and decided to help me out. They bought me a ticket and let me go into the theater with them.

The movie pretty much sucked, but I still remember it well. It's the only time I ever went to the movies alone.

I'm definitely not going to any movies tonight! No chance. Instead it looks like I'm just going to hang around the house and get some stuff done. While that might not sound too exciting, it really doesn't phase me. A birthday just doesn't hold very much special meaning to me anymore. I know that it bothered me when I was a kid, but these days it's like... whatever.