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Daniel - Poker Journal

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29 Apr 2008

I'm extremely happy with my performance in three straight tournaments, San Remo, Monte Carlo, and finally the WPT Championship. I feel like I'm healthier than ever and plan on being physically strong coming into this year's WSOP.

I was able to cash in the WPT Championship for only my second time in that event. My bust out hand was, well, insane on so many levels. First I'll walk you through the hand and then I'll explain why it was so insane:

I'm right around my peak for the whole tournament with a little over 200,000, I never reached even 260,000 throughout the whole tournament. With blinds at 4000-8000 and 1000 ante I raised from early position with JJ. The player on my left called with 10-10, the button called with 9-10, and the big blind called with 7-8. The flop came 10h 4h 9s. The big blind bets 65k with his straight draw and I go all in for about 124k more. The player to my left goes all in for about the same amount, then the button also goes all in for a bit over 200k I believe. The big blind calls. The turn is a Q giving me 7 outs, and the river is the Jack! I made trips on the river, but the guy with 7-8 hit his straight.

Now for all of the insane aspects of the hand:

1. The guy with 10-10 was a move in specialist, having went all in five hands in the past two rounds! Now he gets 10-10 and just calls? If he moves in like he had been, I double up as I was definitely calling him with JJ.

2. 7-8 makes a horrific bet in that situation. Yes, he has a straight draw and wants to be aggressive, but what hands does he think the two callers might have that would miss that flop? It was clear I had him beat, but his bet, more specifically his bet size is just awful since he commits himself to calling me and the player with 10-10.
If he checks the flop like he is supposed to, I bet 45k, all hell breaks lose, than I dump my Jacks and still have about 140k left to play with.

3. 7-8 should have folded his hand! With three players all in in front of him, his hand is usually going to amount to about the equivalent of a gutshot straight draw. One player with Kq Qh, another one with a set.. and he has a total of 3 outs if the board doesn't pair or it's a flush card! Never mind a gutshot, it's more like a two outer in most cases. As it turns out he had 6 outs provided the board didn't pair which still isn't a very good spot.
Now if this guy lays down his hand on the flop, I end up sucking out for a major pot with close to a million in it!

As I said, what a crazy hand! Any congratulations to David Chiu, one of the truly good guys in poker that hasn't had as much success in recent years as his play would suggest he'd have. He is a great player and I still remember watching him destroy the first ever Tournament of Champions put on by Mike Sexton years before the poker boom. At that final table he FOLDED Kings preflop correctly, and then later makes a huge call with King high. He reads players as good as anyone and I was proud of him.
Gus has to be sick about losing the way he did, but meh, he's won enough! If he would have won the tournament he would have surpassed me as the all-time money winner in WPT history.


So since busting out I've been golfing. Some good days, some bad days. I played with Patrik one day and that was my best day of the week as I hit the ball pretty good, especially down the stretch. In the last four holes I played even par with a bogey, a birdie, and two pars. That's huge for me.

I've also played with E-DOG and my usual crew of buddies, Sam, Tyson, and Ted. Yesterday wasn't as good of a day as we played at Spanish Trail rather than TPC Summerlin which closes Mondays. The rough at Spanish Trail is real rough and it definitely cost me some strokes as I'm not really accustomed to hitting the ball out of thicker grass. Summerlin keeps it pretty short up until their PGA tournament.

I bought a new driver, a 9 degree Ping G-10 regular flex and it's much better suited for me since it keeps my ball flight a little bit lower. Perfect for the fairways at TPC Summerlin where the ball just rolls, and rolls, and rolls.

I did do one thing great yesterday at Spanish Trail- putted like a mad man. Like the way I used to. I also chipped pretty well. It was my approach shots which were awful most of the day.

Playing with Patrik was surreal. The guy just picked up the game but he is already awesome. He's way, way, better than me in every respect, outside of maybe putting, but he's good at that too. I'll bet he's breaking 80 by the end of the summer.


Today is a windy day so I'm taking the day off of the golf and instead ran on the treadmill and hit a few balls on the simulator. Mostly my wedges which failed me this week, but I think I figured it all out now.

Last night, I also put the FINAL touches on the book and got some great news from the editor who told me it's going to print tomorrow. Hopefully they'll be ready to ship out by the time the WSOP rolls around. I think you guys are going to like the book, it's a big one with several contributing writers (Todd Brunson, Paul Wasicka, Evelyn Ng, Erick Lindgren, and David Willliams.

As for my other project, PokerVT.com, I have seen first hand what the final product looks like and, frankly, it blows me away. Super high end technology, several different ways in which you can learn and study the game. At this point they are just uploading the last bit of content and then will need about a weak to make sure everything is functioning properly.

It feels really good to be essentially done with those two major responsibilities. It allows me to focus on ME. My health, my eating habits, my golf game, and of course my poker game which I'll be working on this week at PokerStars.com. I'll likely be shooting some online videos in some lower limit games this week, so don't be surprised if you see the name "KidPoker" next to you in a $5 sit n' go!


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