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Daniel - Poker Journal

The WPT Championship

27 Apr 2007

I haven't gone on tilt in a very long time, but there is no question about the fact that I blew the WPT Championship because I was steamed up and lost my cool.

Early on day two I started with about 60,000 or so. In the first 30 minutes, though, I busted a guy with KK versus QQ and that got me up to about 115,000.

I couldn't get much going, and that's when I went away from what I know is good poker and started to get overly creative in big pots for no good reason. Here's how the downfall started:

Several limpers and I limped with Q-J. The flop was Ac Jc-7s. It was checked around (there was only one player behind me.) On the turn came a 5d and Rob Holnik bet out 3500 from the big blind. A player from early position called and I felt that neither player was all that strong. I didn't think I had both players beat, but I also didn't think either player had a set or aces up.

Instead of making the safe play (folding) I raised it to 14,000. Holnik thought for a long time before calling. The other player folded. The river was a 4 completing a possible 6-8 straight draw. Rob checked, and instead of following through with a big time bluff on the river, I dogged it and checked also. Rob showed J-5 and took down the pot.

That got me under 100,000. The next hand is what set me off: Loi Phan made it 2500 under the gun and I called in second position with QQ. A player in 4th position re-raised it to 7500. That's kind of a scary raise so I was just hoping to flop a Queen and get it all in. Loi called and I called.

The flop came 10-9-7 rainbow, a dangerous flop in a lot of ways. Everyone checked the flop, and at that point I felt great about my hand being the best hand. The turn came a 10, which looks like a pretty innocent card considering the circumstances. Loi checked and I bet 10,000. The re-raiser folded and Loi went into the tank, before finally calling

The river came a 3 and Loi checked again. I bet 15,000 hoping for a call, and Loi called quickly, turning over A-10 off suit? That hand really annoyed me for some reason. I just can't imagine why Loi would want to play A-10 in that spot? It's an absolute junk hand in that situation considering the action.

Now I was a little steamed up for no good reason, and raised to 2000 from under the gun with Ah 3h. It ended up being five way action and the flop came 2d 2s 3d. I fired out 6000 hoping to pick it up right there. Holnik called me and then the player next to him raised it to 22,000.

It came back to me, and at this point I was losing my mind I guess. I kept trying to convince myself that he had a hand like 99 or 10-10 and was trying to see where he was at. If I played past this point, he'd have to fold to any future bets. I just didn't think he had a 2 in his hand, but Rob could, so I didn't want to do anything on the flop. I called! UGLY. (Rob folded)

The turn was a Qc and I decided to fire my last 37,000 into the pot, thinking that was a good card for me and that my opponent would have to fold now. He went into the tank and I started feeling like a genius. Apparently he was worried about Queen's full, though, and finally called me. At that point I know I'm dead, and he turns over 2c 5c. The river was another Queen and I just eliminated myself from the tournament.

About 87 seconds later I was on the highway, getting myself out of there as soon as possible. It's just the dumbest thing I've done in a tournament, like ever.

Since being eliminated, I've been sweating my buddy Kirk Morrison online. He cashed in his fourth straight tournament and is now sitting pretty at the final table with a good shot at $4 million. That would be so sweet! Kirk quit playing poker for like seven years, but when he left the game, he was part of a small group of talented young players that included Layne Flack, John Juanda, Allen Cunningham, etc.

Kirk's been back for about a year now and until recently was struggling a bit with the "new game." The way the game is played now is nothing like it was when Kirk left, but I knew that he'd figure it out eventually.

This run he's on had to be a little bit frustrating until now, getting deep three straight times, but not enough steam to make it all the way to the final table.

It's an interesting table. My other good buddy Carlos Mortensen is also at the table and he's been playing great lately. You also have Mike Wattel, a good guy who I consider a friend despite not being close or anything like that. You also have Guy, the creator of Cirque du Soleil who has been a regular at the Bellagio for quite some time now. Another fun guy, Tim Phan, is also at the table. As for Paul Lee, I don't know anything about him, aside from the fact that there are better spots to bluff your chips off than this guy! Wow.

I'm just about getting ready to go sweat the final table, and then tomorrow I'll be participating in a special WPT event for Poker Authors. On the home front, I'm so happy it's indescribable. I've been using my Bowflex, what a machine. I am now fully committed to being in the best physical shape of my life.

Just today, the coolest new addition... my pool table arrived!!! Woohoo. It is a real beauty to say the least. Oh, and one other cool addition, I have been playing the Nintendo Wii and that is an unbelievable system. You can bowl, play tennis, golf, whatever and it's all pretty realistic. The Tiger Woods golf game is pretty sick.

Anyway, enough of that, I really have to get going...