Cooler Squared

Day four and I was cruising with the chip lead. Early on the day disaster hit: A young internet play goes all in for 250k from early position and Ryan Daut makes it 500k. I picked up KK on the button and shove. First guy has KJ, Ryan… AA. That cost me a huge pot and forced me to adjust my strategy as I was now below the average. I stayed steady until my final hand. Everyone folded to an aggressive player on the button who makes it 90k. The blinds are 15k-30k with a 4k ante so I need to call 60k with Ac 4h. I could also shove, but with about 900k that seemed excessive and I don’t mind playing flops out of position. I’m more confident than the average player out of position I would imagine. The flop comes Ah Jh 8h giving me top pair and a flush draw. I check to the button and he bets 100k. His range here is as wide as it gets. He’d likely make this bet with any hand he raised with. I’m not only a big favorite to have the best hand on the flop, but even if I don’t, the only way I could be in bad shape were if he flopped a flush, or had an ace with a bigger heart. That’s extremely unlikely. I move all in for 700k more putting the pressure on him. If he has an A-10, or A-Q with no heart I think he’d consider folding. Actually I’m sure of that because he considered folding A-8! I firmly believe that my last hand was a worse cooler than the AA vs. KK hand, seriously. As it turned out I could hit a Jack to split and a heart to win, but nothing hit- and I hit the rail. I just played arguably the best tournament I’ve ever played outside of the Championship Poker at the Plaza event in 2004. I’ve brought my game to a whole new level the past few months and I’m excited about playing more events in 08′. In the meantime, I’m going to relax at home till the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 3rd. It’s a tournament that will be chalk full of amazing young players and I feel as ready as I’ve ever been. I’ve focused more on tell reading recently and I got loads and loads of new stuff I’ve picked up on player tendencies. As it turns out, the tells are most prevalent in online players! I can’t share obviously, but I will be looking for “it” in every tournament I play now. What’s most interesting is that the tell I’ve picked is one that I’ve caught myself doing in the past and because of that, I KNOW what it means. This week I’ll be back to working on more PokerVT stuff and also resting my back a bit. The chiropractor I went to yesterday informed that it’s definitely a ripped muscle in the back and the scar just needs some time to heal. He said it could take anywhere from four days to three weeks. In the meantime, as much as I hate it, I am going to have to refrain from using my new simulator until my wound heals. I can still chip and putt though!!! For Christmas I’m hoping to have my family, Mike and Ornella, fly out to Vegas. My mother would put on one of her monster feasts and my extended family would also be there. Speaking of “extended family,” yesterday after being eliminated I went to the chiropractor, got a haircut (finally), and then went to an awesome Thai restaurant for Jamie’s 7th birthday! Happy Birthday Jamie!!! No one was happy to see my there, but I was really happy that I could make it. Not happy that I got knocked obviously, but those types of things are really important to me. Jamie is my good friend Sam’s daughter and there were lots of friends and family at the party. After the party we went to Ted’s house for a little while to shoot some pool and hang out. Ted just had a baby too, really cute kid. She makes this face that Ted makes when he is arguing about how many strokes he should be giving me on the golf course. He crinkles his face, “Three a Side??? No way!!!” It should be a good holiday season and I have a full plate with family and friends along with finishing the book in time for the WSOP, getting PokerVT stuff done, and also sharpening my game online at Stars. Speaking of which, I’m headed there now… ]]>