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Daniel - Poker Journal

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A Little Steamed Up

30 Jun 2005

I'm a little steamed up right now. I've been trying my best to stay positive throughout this cold streak, but I feel like venting a little bit of frustration that's been building over the last month.

Yesterday I bought in to the $5000 NL Hold'em short handed event and was surprised to see 25-50 blinds. Not that that's a horrible structure, but for the $5000 limit events the blinds start at 25-25. That simply makes no sense at all.

The blinds in a NL game should start SMALLER than in a limit game. For example, when I play my heads up matches for $500,000 the blinds for limit games are $2000-$4000, while for NL games the blinds are $1000-$2000. Somebody goofed on this one, because it makes little sense.

On a lighter note, ALL of the floor people and staff have been just awesome about acknowledging errors and doing their best to accommodate the players. I'm not getting paid to say that, it's simply a fact.

Each and every member of the floor staff has done a remarkable job so far and I'm very impressed. They've noted all of the kinks that need to be worked out and have either already addressed them or plan to next year.

One such kink really hurt me at this year's WSOP. I bought in for all of the events early so that I wouldn't have to worry about signing up everyday or even getting shut out.

Normally what that also does is ensure you that you'll get a table that breaks LAST. Well, unfortunately for me they moved the table numbers around which means that I am ALWAYS at a table that breaks early.

That's a disadvantage in many ways. It's a shame that I got "punished" for being organized and signing up early. Oh well.

So anyway, enough complaining! Or not quite, I've got lots more. Moving on to the NL Hold'em event I just got brutalized again. AK vs. KJ, AK vs. J 10 and I lost both of those. Then I get the rest of my money in with JJ vs. AK and a K in the door had me on the rail before 2:00pm.

Matusow grabs me to do an interview for www.cardplayer.com to discuss how horribly we've both been doing. After the interview I buy in to the $1500 Razz event that conveniently started at 2:00pm.

Speaking of interviews, you should definitely watch the interview at cardplayer.com with Huck Seed. I was really impressed with not only what he had to say, but also the way he said it.

Huck has always been both camera shy and averse to the media in general. I was so happy to see him shine in that little interview where he discussed some Razz strategy. If you want to learn a thing or two about Razz, Huck definitely gives away some solid information in that little bit. Having won two Razz bracelets and almost winning yesterday, Huck is definitely the right guy to learn from.


I didn't really know which Daniel Negreanu was going to show up for the Razz event. “Sloppy bored Daniel” or “focused Daniel.“ After all I didn't even realize there was a Razz event so I was hardly prepared for it mentally.

As it turned out, I felt like I played awesome. I was reading hands perfectly and saving all kinds of bets. I'd made it all the way down to four tables when I lost the following brutal hand:

O'Neil Longston limps with a 5, another player limps with an 8, and I raise with (A-3)5, both call.

On fourth street I catch a 2, O'Neil catches a 2, and the 8 catches a 10. I bet again and the 8-10 folded.

On fifth street:

Me: (A-3) 2-5-K
O'Neil: (x-x) 2-5-J

O'Neil checked and I knew he had a bad one in the hole like an 8 or a 9 so I bet and he called.

On sixth street:

Me: (A-3) 2-5-K-A
O'Neil: (x-x) 2-5-J-4

Yuk. He caught my absolute gin card. O'Neil bet out and I called.

On the river, I sweated in a four across meaning it was a 9 or a 10. O'Neil call out that he had a nine low, showing his 8-9 in the hole meaning that if I could make the nine I'd win the pot. *Sigh* it was a 10. On fourth street I was close to a 4-1 favorite to win the hand. Man I'm getting annoyed!

I played for 14 hours and missed the money again.


Today was the $5000 buy in Omaha H/L event and I was excited about it. At my table were both E-DOG and Hellmuth so I knew I would be relaxed and having fun with them.

We were cracking jokes and needling each other at every opportunity. They both busted before me, but I never got any momentum going either and couldn't make a hand.

It's really tough. I hated leaving this tournament. I wanted so badly to do well, but man there is just nothing I could do. I tried my best, but the cards just kept laughing in my face all day. *Sigh*


I'm really tempted to just "go off", but that's just not my style. There are people around watching and that's just no way to represent myself to them. So instead I put on the smile as though nothing was bothering me and signed a few autographs on the way out the door.

It's not their fault the cards are spitting in my face, so I don't see any reason to take it out on them.


E-DOG was talking about playing some basketball tonight, but I'm just not sure I'm in the mood. I have some more cleaning to do around the house and some other matters to attend to.


One last thing: every once in a while people point me to posts on internet message boards that are related to me. Most are absolutely insane! I choose not to respond to any of it directly, because frankly I don't see the point in wasting my time with it.

I read so many lies and random assumptions that I genuinely find laughable. Some even coining me the "Stu Ungar" of Poker, not for my playing ability, but for my supposed alcohol and drug abuse!

For the record, I've never even smoked a joint in my life. Most of my friends growing up smoked weed, but I never even took a hit. Why? Kind of strange reason really.

When I was 13 years old my big brother had a party at the house when my parents were out of town. Some of the guys were smoking drugs (not my brother) and it scared me to death! I vowed that night to God and my parents that I would NEVER do a drug.

When I got older I was very tempted to try it. The whole "everybody is doing it" peer pressure thing. I never wavered on my promise though and never will.

Not that I think smoking weed is even a bad thing- I don't. Frankly, I have friends who do it and I don't see it as any worse for you than alcohol. It's just not for me.

As for alcohol, now this is where people on these message boards like to distort the truth. Since the WSOP started I had a few beers with my friends over at my place one night and didn't play the tournament the next day. On exactly one other night I had a few beers over a business meeting at my house.

If that's alcoholism, then man, I would guess that 90% of the entrants into the WSOP are all stone cold alcoholics!

On the message boards they made mention of the WPT episode that aired last night where I took a swig of my beer at the end of the show. I watched the whole final table live and was so thirsty. According to experts on the message boards this qualifies you as an alcoholic. Whatever.


OK, I'm going to get off the soap box now and get on with my life. The "Negreanu bashing" will never stop, but I realized that along time ago. It's simply human nature to gossip about people you don't even know, but THINK you know because you see them on TV or read their blog.

All in all, you have to be willing to take the good with the bad. More often than not people are very supportive and have very nice things to say. Other times posters, for various reasons, seek pleasure in flaming Phil Ivey with racial slurs, or Tuan Le and Gus Hansen because they sucked out a few times. Man, when did that become a crime?


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