Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:04 AM
Sorry for the delayed response, but I was in beautiful Winnipeg immediately following the trip. I lot of this is repetitive, so I apologize in advance.Background: This is probably the first time you’ve seen this screen name, yet I was fortunate enough to take part in the weekend festivities with Daniel and the FCP crew. In some of JASON BO’s pics I am the Asian guy with the omni-present beer sitting to Daniel’s immediate left in the poker tournament. I was able to take part because of my friend/colleague JEFFGEN and his wife who gracefully bowed out of the actual “prize” part of the weekend. This allowed me to slip into this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I thank them for it. Though this is my first post, I have been following Daniel and his progress since well before the revamped FCP/Forum even existed. So keep in mind that even though I don’t have hundreds of posts to the FCP site, it doesn’t make me any less of a fan of what Daniel has and will accomplish in the poker world. Just lucky to have a talented buddy with an understanding wife. Thanks again!This was certainly a very surreal and unforgettable experience, as I sit here and wonder…did that 48 hours really take place? Below is a synopsis of how the weekend went from my perspective. Some of this may be repetitive, so I apologize in advance.JEFFGEN and I actually had to attend a company meeting Friday morning across the street from the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field. Yes, we were about to miss our annual company Cubs outing. Which as you can probably imagine is one of the more entertaining and decadent outings our company partakes in. With the realization that we were just hours away from sitting in a freeroll tournament at the Wynn, playing against Daniel Negreanu, I think we were both getting a little antsy to hop on that plane and get to Sin City. The Cubs game would have been fun don’t get me wrong, but in the end, we are both White Sox fans anyhow, and a super exciting weekend lay ahead.Our flight had us landing in LAS at about 5:30PM PDT. JEFFGEN hopped on the phone and got in touch with Sky from team FCP. Arrangements were made and we worked our way down to the passenger pick-up area. As we waited we were told that LV traffic would have us waiting a bit more, and that DCSPORTS would also be coming along.DC tracked us down and after a short wait outside we were greeted by Sky and Chris of team FCP. Both were very cool, and made us feel welcome right off the bat. Chris, who I think had been making several laps around the Vegas airport and the Wynn, looked like he was ready for a few drinks. Navigating the hustle and bustle of the apparently unfamiliar LV streets will do that I suppose. But alas, you got us there!The Wynn:We arrived at the Wynn at about 7:15, and Chris checked DC and JEFFGEN in. We were running short on time as the tourney was to start at 8:00, so we just went up to the room, (JEFFGEN took some pictures) changed, and came right back down. I wasn’t staying at the Wynn as JEFFGEN’s wife already had dibs on the king-sized bed. I would be staying at The Ho down the road a bit. (this could be a 4-page entry by itself). I’ll leave it out for now. Let’s just say the dynamics of clientele and the surrounding areas couldn’t be more polar opposites of the Wynn. Oh my.We went downstairs to the packed poker room and entered along the ramp that went directly to the High-Stakes area. A quick glance around and there was da man. It was a bit chaotic meeting Daniel, the rest of the FCP crew, and the other winners of the contest, who by the way I didn’t even know by screen/forum name at this point. Brief introductions were made, FCP hats were given out (sweet hats by the way –thanks again!) and it was time to start the tourney.The Tourney:Since this was a 2-table tourney, I actually drew the best seat I could possible hope for. I was sitting next to my buddy JEFFGEN and Daniel. I just happened to be on their left as well, so I had position on them all night. Within the first 20 minutes, I think I got labeled as the Rock of Gibraltar. My cards were laughable. 63o, J2o, 83o, and I’m not even kidding that I got a variation of 9 rag about 9 times IN A ROW. I thought the shuffler might be broken. So I basically lived in the muck for the first half hour. I didn’t really care because Daniel was in plenty of hands early, and it was awesome just to observe, and watch him progress through a hand. That also gave me time to try and figure out where the hell I had seen CHADWICK and his wife Holly before. I had a serious case of Déjà vu. I simply could not remember in what context I had seen them before. It was later confirmed the next day that my inclination that they had been on one of the MTV reality shows was right on. I was a little surprised that I beat Daniel to that revelation. Ask JEFFGEN, I knew by 3:00am! LOL.Back to the action, in a hand against Brian, after a pre-flop raise by Daniel and a call by Brian, the flop came J-high rainbow. A bet by Daniel on the flop and Brian flat called. Right after the call, Daniel announced to the table that Brian’s pocket 9’s were no good. Check, check on 4th and Daniel bet a little something on the riv. Brian called and flips up pocket 9’s losing to Daniel’s top pair. Nice call on the 9’s Daniel. Brian was left a bit dumb-founded and demoralized. It was classic.I got mine too. With the deck still laughing at me, I was in the BB w/ 76. I decide to call one of Daniels many raises from the SB. Figure maybe I can hit a big hand and back him off my blind. Well the flop came 6 X X. I flopped middle pair. Daniel fires a smallish bet and I call thinking I pry have the best hand here. A big raise seemed a bit risky and I was already thinking along the same lines as GOVERNATOR in his 33 hand. Anyway, the turn is a rag and Daniel puts me all-in. WTF. I grudgingly fold, and he shows K6. Man, it feels good getting run over in a pot. Ouch.Later on I picked up AQs and was getting a little low on chips. With a few limpers already in, I pushed in. I got called by GOVERNATOR and Daniel reluctantly folded. GOV was limp-trapping with KK, and even though I was in bad shape, at least I had an overcard. Flop came Q high with one heart (Daniel would have flopped the nut straight). The turn brought a lovely heart giving me some life. The river was the K…but the K of HEARTS, giving me the nut flush and GOV trip K’s. (yes this is one of the times GOVERNATOR a.k.a CARDRACKANATOR got his KK busted. I think Ed busted them too with AQ when an A hit the door.) Tis poker.I managed to double up once more when my KK held against Sky’s AQ? A key hand was my all-in steal with AJ with two limpers. CARDRACKANATOR with a ton of chips calls with KJ. Board = 7 8 9 10. Chop it up. That hurt. ROYAL_TOUR I feel your pain (well, somewhat). I went out in 4th place when I ran into Team FCP Ed’s well played AA. I tried making a move and ran into a brick wall. I didn’t win any money, but the experience was priceless. Daniel’s antics and just the overall vibe of tournament made for a great time. Congrats to the GOV and TOUR on their 1-2. Daniel’s Crib:Day two we all piled in the SUV stretch (Hummursion – close enough) limo to head out to Daniel’s house. On the way there I confirmed my suspicion that Chadwick and Holly were indeed on MTV’s Road Rules. About 35mins later we arrived at the house. Check the pics, but you were greeted with the state-of-the-art massage chair, the heralded Golden Tee, the NFL Blitz/NBA Showtime, and Daniel’s monster flat panel screen and computer. There was also a huge spread of food and stocked coolers for everyone. Awesome.We kicked back to take it all in, and it really felt like just a bunch of buddies hanging around on a Saturday. It wasn’t long however before Chadwick started to strategize about his best approach to lighten Daniel’s wallet in the challenge matches. Some debate errupted about who would take on Daniel in the limit hold’em game. Even at his young age, DC seemed to have the most experience w/ limit holdem then the rest of the contest finalists. However, the cameraman ultimately offered past tourney accolades that Chadwick couldn’t refuse.Sure enough, within 10mins of the match Daniel had a commanding lead when he hit two straights to the cameraman’s 2-pair (so he says). A series of 7 all-ins were faded, but in the end Daniel won pretty convincingly.There isn’t much to say in the NFL Blitz match. Nobody had laid a finger on that game prior to entering Daniel’s house, so the outcome of the challenge and the game’s name had something in common…BLITZ. After a controversial decision to let Travis play NBA Showtime for Chadwick, (Travis being the only one in the room who could realistically give Daniel a challenge in the game). A close match ensued, and Travis prevailed with the now infamous “Old Man” who was lights-out from downtown. I was kind of like using Jeremy Roenick in NHL 93’ for Sega like in Swingers. He couldn’t be stopped.E-DOGS Crib:On to Lindgren’s house to resume the challenge matches. Pool and basketball will be decided. As you can see from the pics, Erick’s house is pretty sick. More TV screens per square foot then I’ve seen in any house. 10 tubes within the livingroom/kitchen area alone. Crazy. I didn’t watch the pool match, but overheard that Chadwick managed a split. Now it was time for HORSE. This might have been the most lopsided match up of the day. (not in Daniel’s favor). After a quick start by JEFFGEN and a seemingly inevitable victory…Daniel started capitalizing on mistakes and kept his game simple-stupid. He worked his way all the back from a HORS to H. Once Daniel won that, I had a feeling he would take that momentum and “will” his way to a victory. JEFFGEN is still steaming today. Maybe it was the 5 hundy…At this point Jennifer Harman and Marco were also at E-DOGS. The “surreal” feeling of the weekend began to intensify. Here we are hanging out at Lindgren’s house and Jennifer is playing air hockey and Daniel is shooting the breeze with others. Jennifer was very nice. It was very cool to meet her. See the pics for more.Back to Daniel’s Crib:ROYAL_TOUR gave his best effort in Golden Tee, but later explained that if he went birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, eagle, birdie…he would have only been TIED…..LOL. No one had a chance in that game. But props to TOUR for trying.Chadwick held tight in the NL match vs. Daniel but ultimately lost when he called an all-in with middle pair and an open-ended straight draw on the flop. Daniel had top-pair w/ K kicker. If you were outmatched, it might not have been a bad spot to stick it all in and gamble. That’s what Chadwick did. No help on the turn or river however and it was over. In the meantime we were treated to preview of STACKED. And once again the “surreal” factor took another jump as David Williams and Evelyn Eg were now at the house and hanging out. Now I’m not much of a video game player, and generally when I play poker, I like to play online or live for money. But, this looked like a really cool game, and since I have PS2, I will definitely be picking up a copy. Daniel, I got to play you live…Jennifer, I talked strategy with you… I have a leg up!!...riiight.Back to the Wynn:It was time to head back to the Wynn to get ready for the dinner. I had made dinner plans with JEFFGEN’s better half as we would be on our own for the rest of the evening. We ate at the Red 8 in the Wynn, and I subsequently ate so much, I could barely breath. That Pad Thai is like the never-ending pasta bowl. Good stuff. We gambled and waited for the Wing Lei dinner to wrap up. I got the call and headed down. As the doors opened to the private room, spirits seemed a bit elevated (can you smell the sarcasm). I think I have just witnessed the aftermath of SAKE!, SAKE!, SAKE!Brian quickly showed me a video clip of the poor server Mike wolfing down a monster glob of Wasabi. And as a matter of fact, I don’t know how long it took place before I got there, but Mike’s eyes were STILL very bloodshot. Man, that had to hurt. DCSPORTS in his never-ending quest for action offered up $5 Roshambo. I quickly won the first match, and gave him a shot at double or nothing. He won his money back, and like a cigarette, I think I curved his appetite for at least 6 minutes. You’re welcome DC.I had an early flight so it was time for me to retire. Head spinning, stomach full, it was time to say goodbye. Those guys continued on at the club, which under other circumstances I would been all over it. But alas, what can you do. Good to hear you capped off the night right.A special thanks to Daniel for an exceptionally awesome weekend. It was everything I expected and a lot WHOLE lot more. My hats off to you as being a true ambassador for this game. Daniel is genuinely a down-to-earth good guy and his generosity rivals his poker talent. I still can’t really believe I was able to be a part of it. To Sky and Chris and the rest of team FCP for arranging everything and keeping the good times rolling without a hitch. Outstanding job.Governator, Steph, JasonBo, Warpor (did I get this right?—NO N!!!),Ed, Brian, DC, Tour, Travis, Chadwick & Holly, it was nice meeting you guys. Take care. Well, I know that was extremely long-winded, but that sums up the weekend for me. I hope you enjoyed it. Check out the Flash photo album that JEFFGEN and I have been working on. You will pry see more posts from me, but I am now off to Winnepeg for a wedding. Royal_Tour has already informed me that aside from the wedding there is nothing to do there. Thanks for the HU eh! See you guys when I get back in a week. Mahalo.