Merry Christmas!

I’m currently in Grand Rapids with Lori and her family celebrating the holidays. We did Christmas at my mother’s place with friends. 12 people there, and my mother cooked enough to feed 60 people easily- no kidding. Anyway, this is going to have to be a quick one as we are about to head out to dinner, but I thought I’d give you a quick run down on the last event I played and what’s coming in January. I’m disappointed in the 3rd place finish, but whatever, it wasn’t horrible or anything. I made a bad call of 900k in one hand that was silly, but aside from that, when we got three handed I fell dead and my opponents seemed to hit every flop. Either that, or I was getting bluffed big time but I highly doubt that. This isn’t a good excuse at all, it’s kind of silly actually, but it is true so I may as well share… I couldn’t count my chips! Seriously, I was having so much trouble figuring out how much I had and how much my opponents had because we had so many denominations that made it confusing: 100k, 25k, 10k, and 5k chips. I had so many of the small denomination chips that I really think caused me to lose track of where I stood, and when I finally realized it I was forced to push with K-10. Oh well, that’s just the way things go at WPT final tables. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. If often becomes a lot more about who catches cards at the end in a WPT event as you don’t get a ton of time to maneuver with the fast moving blinds. I’m ok with it, though, as it’s fair for everybody. I know that I’ll get there more often than other players so I’ll get more chances to roll the dice and get lucky. I’ve been pretty lucky overall with two firsts, a second, and two thirds along with a seventh place finish. In a recent interview I did Phil Gordon asked me about the WPT final tables (he doesn’t like them) and I thought I made my position pretty clear. That’s the way it’s always been, and nobody complained in the beginning when Howard Lederer designed the final table structure for the events. They wanted a 4-6 hour final table, and that’s what they got. When you buy in to a WPT event, the structure is available for all to see. There is more play leading up to the final table than most any other tournament in the world. When you get there, though, it’s going to be fast action poker. Looking ahead to January it’s the busiest month of the year for me as I won’t be in Vegas at all. On January 2nd I fly to LA for the day to do some voice over work for season three of High Stakes Poker. Then the next day I fly to Bahamas for the WPT event there. Straight from there, I take the longest flight in the world to Australia. From Australia, I’m headed straight towards Tunica for their WPT event. From there, it’s off to Atlantic City for the WPT Borgata event. Once I return home on February 1st, I’m scheduled to play on Poker after Dark, a new show on NBC that airs late night. Busy, busy, busy, but I’m looking forward to it. I made the same trip last year, cashing only once, a win in Tunica, but this year I’m coming in even stronger after two consecutive money finishes on the WPT in 600 player fields. A 27th in Foxwoods followed by the 3rd place finish at Bellagio. I’m expecting to have a monster year in 07′. My goal is to play the WSOP and as many of the $10,000 events as possible and try to break my record set in 04′ with close to 9,000 Card Player of the Year points. I won’t play small tournaments to try and do that, though, outside of the WSOP. I’ve developed a new, not really new actually, but more advanced way yo play in deep stack events like the WPT that I think will allow me to be a lot more consistent. It’s high risk in certain areas, but low risk in others. I’m also writing a book that should explain in detail how “small ball” really works. I want to make sure it’s a solid book, so it’s taking me a little longer than I would have hoped, but when it’s finished, I think you’ll really learn a lot from it. The other book I wrote is out now and you can find it at It’s a different fomat than the “big book” and it should be a much easier read. Essentially it’s a tips book, with 50 tips that should help your Hold’em game. What else… oh yeah, I’m once again going to try and stick to a New Year’s Resolution that I’ve never been able to stick to past January: getting my body in shape by working out on a regular basis. If I want to do better in tournaments, I am certain that a healthy body will help me stay more focused for longer periods of time. Other resolutions: -always bring my headphones to tournaments
-wake up at least two hours prior to a tournament start time
-no drinking alcohol the day before a tournament
-bringing soy protein with me on the road
-get more organized
-play more video games
-read more
-finish my writing responsiblities ON TIME
-learn a few more languages
-end world hunger, lol. just kidding. ]]>