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Daniel - Poker Journal

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23 Jun 2006

Brian Fidler now understands what so many people who watch poker on TV can't wrap their brain around- how can a guy win over $200,000 and look so unhappy?

Well, unless you've been in those shoes, unless you've been that close to tasting victory, you'll never understand. Only one person leaves a poker tournament truly happy. In time, Brian will look back on the tournament and feel good about it, but that's going to take some time.

Frankly, I'm slightly amazed at how well Brian did in just his second tournament. He's made a believer out of me. So much so, that despite his monster cash and the amazing run to second place, I was left disappointed too.

Not in the finish, really, but more so in that I know Brian's heads up game was much better than what he showed. Mind you, he was ridiculously unlucky as well, but still, he made a few errors that just aren't like him.

The good news (besides him being able to pay off his student loans) is that I now have an even better idea as to what parts of his game need a little work. Fidler will be playing in some WSOP events and I genuinely feel like he'll be a threat in every event he plays.

He has something I could never teach him- composure, discipline, emotional stability. He has one exploitable flaw that I should be able to help him fix rather easily, but that one, I’m not going to share!

I was there throughout the final table watching the action and as time went on, and J.C. Tran got knocked out, I felt like the title was Fidler's to be had. Man, watching is so much more nerve racking than playing. I wanted to take over so badly!

At one point, heads up, after a huge momentum swing I desperately wanted to give Fidler some tips. However, I didn't feel like it would be appropriate of me to do that during the action. The breaks seem like a totally fine time to talk to him, but I just didn't feel right about intruding in a heads up match with physical tells and things like that. I dunno, maybe I'm overreacting, but I didn't want Clint Baskins to feel cheated in any way.

In the end, Brian lost and I could see that it was hard for him to take. I think mostly because of the way it went down at the end. He played awesome for days to get heads up, and then may have lost his focus for just a split second. Sometimes in no limit hold'em that's all it takes.

I'm still ridiculously proud of the guy. I mean, can you imagine? His second tournament after limited instruction... and he pockets $200,000+?

What was even sicker about the second, though, was that a first would have landed Fidler in the Tournament of Champions this week with a free shot at a $2 million prize pool... oh well *sigh*.

Since the tournament ended so late at night I couldn't leave until the next morning. I hopped on an early flight and was at TPC Summerlin by 3:00pm.

After slicing all week in Tahoe without my caddie, it continued in my round there. I played horrible- couldn't even hit the ball. It was so frustrating! After the round, though, I headed straight to the range with my caddie and we got the sliced all fixed.

The next day we played Shadow Creek and I posted an excellent score there: 50-51=101. I had a consistent round, with no 8 on my scorecard.. I followed that up with another 101 at TPC Summerlin today: 49-52=101. Again, no 8 on the card.

After that round I headed to the chipping area with my caddie/coach Josh and started practicing chips using a wider variety of clubs: sand wedge, gap wedge, pitching wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron. By the time I was done chipping, I felt like if I played a round right after that I might break 90. It was that enlightening.

My practice was interrupted by Mr. Ivey who strolled in shortly after busting out of his live televised final table. We had a quick bite to eat and then headed out to play nine holes. He played well... but I played slightly better.

We played nine holes and I didn't actually keep score, but I'm pretty sure I must have shot about a 46 or something. I made several pars and was hitting the ball solid. I can't wait till my next round!

Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until Saturday. Tomorrow, Ali Nejad and I are going to be doing some audio work for the Protégé show, and then later that night, from 6:00pm-8:00pm I'll be making an appearance at Best Buy, the one on W. Charleston Blvd. STACKED, my video game has been selling really well and getting some awesome reviews. We had, like, two reviews that were just ridiculous, but virtually all of the reviews the game got have been fantastic.


WSOP Video Blog: Yes, that's right, during the WSOP there will be a new feature available at FCP. Along with the written blog that will still be updated, I'll also be doing a video blog as well. Here is a link to a little preview clip of what to expect: WSOP Video Diary.

WSOP Fantasy Pool: It's that time of year again, and once again FCP will be offering a totally free WSOP Fantasy Pool where you'll pick 20 players, rank them in order, and then sweat them in as they progress through the WSOP. Click on the following links for a list of
and a list of prizes.

Get a Piece of My Action: This year, if you are at the WSOP you'll also have a chance to get a piece of my WSOP winnings (think 2004 not 2005 :-) Click here for all the details on how to participate.

Since launching www.fullcontactpoker.com as an online site in December 2005, I'm ecstatic about the growth of the community and the progress FCP has made. The FCP team continually come up with cool promos and ideas that I think makes FCP unique. I'm happy with it... I guess that's what I'm saying in a nutshell.


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