Friday, April 30, 2010

F the TOPS...

It's Thursday night and FTOPS is nearing the end. I just cashed in my third straight FTOPS event. Yesterday I made a deep run in the $500 HORSE but ended up getting 36th place. Today I finished 95th place in the $200 FTOPS Cubed and 19th in the $300 Heads Up PLO event.

Overall I've been really happy with how I've been playing. There are always some hands I misplay or do something stupid, but in general I feel like I've been playing pretty well. I especially feel like I played the HU PLO very well. In my final match I had a chance to knock out the player twice. One hand I was 44% to win vs his 35% with 21% chance to tie. That hand brought him back down 2-1 in chips I believe. I grinded him down some more and got in a 50%/50% flip which I lost to get the stacks about even. The only hand I feel like I misplayed was the last hand. I had 33% equity but I just don't think it was the best spot for me. I realized I need to play more PLO. I definitely enjoyed playing heads up PLO today although it was a tournament and not a cash game.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the FTOPS events and hopefully I can get the ball rolling again. The SCOOP is also starting this weekend which I am excited about. I was looking through the SCOOP schedule today. I'm not sure how good the HIGH buyin SCOOP tournaments will be. It really depends on the satellites and who is playing them. I doubt they will be worth playing. I probably won't play any of them unless the fields are pretty large or I satellite in. I'll have to wait and see.

About 4-5 months ago (wow I can't believe it's been that long) I talked about doing some free coaching. I haven't forgot about that. I want to give enough warning so that everyone who wants to watch/partake will have enough notice. I don't want to do it last minute and exclude a bunch of people. I promise I will pick a date before I head out to the WSOP at the end of May. It will most likely be a Friday/Saturday night. It will be best if I just wait until SCOOP is over and do it sometime after that. I haven't forgot though and I'm sorry it has taken this long. In the coaching lesson I will review some super turbo strategy and answer questions. That seems like the smart thing to do. I'm sure a lot of people might be upset about offering a free poker lesson but there is enough information out there. I don't feel like talking a little strategy about Super Turbos and answering some questions will hurt the profitability of poker at all.

Let's see how this last weekend of FTOPS goes. It hasn't been so great to me yet but there are still a couple more events. Good luck to everyone who is playing and I hope to see some of you at the final table.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Much New...

There isn't much going on around here. I'm in Florida and have been playing poker here and there. I'm gearing up for the FTOPS/SCOOP/WSOP. I'm really excited and trying to get mentally and physically prepared.

Last night I went to the Drake concert in Orlando. It was held at my old stomping grounds, UCF. I miss that place and I miss the college experience. The concert was pretty good. The negative to it was that it was general admission and I wasn't trying to fight thousands of people waiting in line for good seats. I decided to just sit up at the top where I had a good view of everything and that was the right play. The opening act was a hip-hop guy from Canada named K-os. I'm sure less than 5% of the people in the building had heard of him. He performed for about 45 minutes, then we waited for what seemed like another 45 minutes, and Drake finally came out.

There's a story behind my appreciation towards Drake. I stumbled upon his music one day on myspace years ago before anyone else had heard of him. I told a couple of my friends about him and they all basically laughed at me and said he was alright but nothing special. I'm really into music (in my own way) and saw the potential in him. Well down the road he ended up making a mixtape and getting some support from Lil Wayne and others and look where he's heading now... straight to the top. If only I had a record label a couple years ago lol. Anyways, that is my quick story behind Drake and how I discovered him. Haha, I hardly discovered him but that's how I make the story out to be.

Regardless of all that, I had a good time at the concert. He didn't perform as many songs as I would have liked but he did a good job. I'm pretty excited for his first official album to come out in a couple months. I've heard a couple songs from it and I'm impressed.



Enough of the music talk. Everything else has been pretty low-key. As I said above I am ready to get back into the online poker grind and sharpen my skills for the WSOP. I went to a home cash game the other night and had a good time and a winning session. It's always fun to switch it up and play live poker. It helps when you win too. I wish there were more places to play live cash games but I hear that Florida is removing the $100 max buyin limit from their cash games. As soon as that happens you guys better watch out. Poker will boom here I guarantee it. There's another thing for me to look forward to.

I'll just keep this one short. I feel like I haven't had much to write about lately anyways. Suggestions anyone? Good luck to everyone playing all the big online tournaments coming up. I'll see you guys at the tables.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NAPT Tourney and Last Week...

Last blog I updated quickly before I left to head to Connecticut. Let me continue off of that post.

I arrived to the airport in the morning and immediately ran into my buddy Matt Waxman. He was already in line to check in. A couple minutes later Jason Mercier showed up and we started to check in and try to get seats together so the flight wouldn't be so bad. We were chatting it up and along came another person we all are familiar with, Mike Beasley. Beasley was one of the first people getting on the flight so he said he would save us some seats. I ended up sitting next to him and Matt, but I was stuck in the middle seat. I don't know anyone who likes sitting there lol. We played some Chinese Poker and talked the whole flight. Beasley is a good guy and pretty infamous in South Florida.

We arrived to CT and all jumped in a van to head to Mohegan Sun. I was really impressed with the casino/hotel. It was very nice. I will definitely be going back there in the future for poker tournaments. I took a nap and later that night headed to the PokerStars party. There were a lot of people down there and I hung out for a couple of hours and talked with Beasley. He ended up heading to bed and then me and some other guys went to Bobby's Burger Palace and ate dinner. I must say, that place is delicious. I recommend anyone who goes to Mohegan Sun to eat at that place for a quick meal.

Let me get into how the tournament went. My starting table was very good. I didn't recognize a single person. There was only one other younger looking guy and all the other players were middle aged or older. I started off with my typical min raising blind under the gun strategy for the first couple of levels. I do this to generate action and give me a looser image. The first interesting pot I got involved in was actually one of those pots.

I blind raised UTG in the second level of play at 75/150 to 300. I received four callers and looked down at AsAd. I thought for a second and wished I had an option lol. The flop came QT7ss and I decided to check. The last player in position bet 800, I called, and one other player thought for a little bit and called. The turn brought the Ah, giving me top set. I noticed the other player in the pot who called jump a little and get excited. I wanted to see how he would react and checked. He also checked and the third player bet 1725. At this point the other guy was looking very uninterested in the pot. I read it as strength or ultimate weakness (he's folding) and just called. When the action was on the other player he immediately made it 10k. The player in last position folded and I thought for about 20-30 seconds before I mucked my AA face up. My stack was now at 28.5k from the 30k starting stack.

I showed my hand for a couple different reasons. Some of the players went crazy and commotion insued. I then got into a bet with another guy at the table who gave me 2-1 odds after almost getting 3-1 odds. I said that the player had KJ and he was allowed to have every other hand in the deck. We booked the bet, the other guy agreed to tell the truth, and I won the bet. He admitted he had KJ and turned the nuts. My fold was correct and I felt good about it.

Later on in the level I 3bet an aggressive player who was opening a lot of pots. He made it 800 and I 3bet to 2250 with A9o in position. He called and the flop came Q25cc. He check called my bet of 2850 and we saw the turn which was the 6h, putting two hearts on board. I fired 6425 and he mucked. My stack grew to 32k.

I opened to 800 with KhJc and the small blind and big blind called. The big blind was the aggressive/loose player from above. The flop came AcJdTd and we all checked. The turn was the 9d and the big blind led for 2400. I raised to 6800 and he called. The river was the 2d and he checked again. I bet 8300. He tanked for literally 3-5 minutes before having the clock called on him. He said he flopped the nuts and eventually folded the Qd. I did not see his hand but I wouldn't doubt it here. I'm up to 40.5k

I also ran one more big bluff where I floated a flop and barreled the turn and river to win a sizeable pot. My image was very good because I hadn't been in any showdowns and people perceived me as tight. I also realized that by winning these pots without showdowns people would start getting suspicious.

The aggressive/loose player opened the button and I looked at ATo in the big blind. I previously only 3bet him once with the A9 and figured since he was opening so light here 3betting would be the best option. He flat called me and I checked a J53 board. He checked back and I check folded to the 9 on the turn. The very next hand I had AJo in the big blind and he raised again to 1525. I 3bet him for the second time in a row and he actually folded which was surprising to me.

The very next orbit when I was in the small blind again he opened to 1525. I looked down at AJss and decided to flat call. With our recent history and me 3betting him often, I wasn't comfortable getting all in preflop with this hand, although I definitely think 3betting was an option with the plan on 5betting all in. The big blind also called the raise and the flop came AT6 rainbow. We checked to him and he bet 2525. We both called. The turn was the 3d and we both checked. He fired a second barrel and bet 7350. I flat called again and the big blind folded. The river was the Qh and we both checked and he said I got it. I was now up to 57k in chips at the 300/600 level.

I finished day 1 with 58.5k after being moved to a new table with about 30 minutes left in the day. I was happy with my Day 1 performance considering I only hit one set and had to fold it. I didn't hit any flushes/straights/etc either. So definitely a good finish to Day 1 when the average stack was around 45k.

I went into day 2 feeling great. I recognized one player at my table, Mike Martin (Martine23) he was to my right. This table had a couple younger players so I was pretty sure some of them were online players. Mike is a nice guy and we chatted it up for a bit. The first interesting pot I was involved in was vs him. He raised from the small blind to 2800 at 600/1200/100a and I defended with J6hh. We both were about 60k deep at this point. The flop came 823 rainbow and he bet 3300. I decided to float the flop. The turn was another 8 and the board was absolutely rainbow. He checked and I b et 5500. He called and the river came the Q. He checked again, I bet 9300 and he called with 89dd. I like my bluff here although I ran into the top of his range.

I mixed it up in a couple pots after that bluff. I limped with 33 in the small blind with about 32 big blinds. The big blind raised me a real small amount. He was definitely an internet player and I jammed on him, having him covered barely. He folded fairly quickly and I showed a 3. A couple orbits later I raised the button with KJo to 3k. He 3bet to 8300 from the small blind with about 25k behind. Given the couple of pots we played I thought he could fold here in real time, although thinking back on it its probably unlikely. I 4bet shoved on him and he called with TT. I was in a race situation and I failed to improve my hand. I was now down to about 11-12 big blinds.

I shoved K3hh UTG for 11800 at 600/1200 and one short stack isolated me. He had QQ. The flop came 864 and the turn was the King of spades. The river bricked and I was back up to 20bbs. A couple players busted from the table and new players sat down. The very first hand this one guy got to the table he raised, and I shoved KJo on him from the button for about 15k more. He thought for a little bit and folded. Immediately after that hand I picked up 22 on the cutoff and shoved for 19bbs. The small blind reshoved immediately with AKs and I lost another flip when the board came K97xx. I busted a couple hours into day 2. Bummer.

Overall I felt like I played real well. My two shoves on day 2 are pretty marginal although I was flipping. The table had gotten considerably tougher so I don't mind making some higher variance plays, but I probably could have waited for better spots. Trying to play perfect in an imperfect game is tough though so I won't beat myself up too much. I really want to do well in the next months leading up to the WSOP. I'm trying to clean up everything and make my game as sharp as can be.

After I busted the NAPT Main event I got on a flight to LA with Roothlus, who is also a DeepStacks Pro. Although he lives out in LA we both were going to teach a camp at the Commerce. We first flew from Connecticut to Washington DC then from DC to LAX. We had exit row seating on the flight from DC to LAX and nobody came and sat in the middle seat. That was good for us as we had a little extra room. We talked and played some Chinese poker. I was able to win a little money off of him. The flight went by fast and we were in California in no time.

Let's see.. California was a little different this time around. The first night I stayed at the Commerce and didn't leave the casino. I actually didn't leave the casino/hotel the whole time. Mike Matusow played a $200 NLH Tournament someone asked him to play (and to take seriously) and he final tabled it. He ended up getting 3rd place and some of the DeepStacks guys and I stayed up and watched him til 3am. It was pretty fun and exciting to sweat it. Mike could have won it but he screwed around a couple of hands and didn't seem to care too much about it in the end. It was a good time though.

On Saturday/Sunday I taught at the camp and met a lot of interesting and good people. The students seemed to enjoy it and got a lot out of it. Scott Huff from PokerRoad came through on Sunday and I somehow managed to get on the radio show once again. I don't know how I'm so lucky but here is the link. Poker Road Radio - Scott Huff/Mike Matusow/Roothlus/Me

On Monday I flew back to Florida and here I am now. I grinded online a couple of tournaments tonight and got deep in the $100r 6max on FTP and the $300NL. I cashed in both but had a couple rollercoaster hands in the 6max tournament. I was trying to push the envelope tonight and play a couple hands differently. I haven't played online in a week so I was mixing it up. I busted 18th in the 6max and 67th in the $300 NL.

I'm excited to grind online for the FTOPS/SCOOP and get my game prepared for the WSOP which starts at the end of May. That's it for now. It's 4:40am. Gotta get to sleep. Goodnight.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Real Short Update...

It's almost 5am and I have a 9am flight to Connecticut to play in the NAPT Mohegan Sun. I'm flying with my friends Matt Waxman and Jason Mercier. Should be a fun flight if we can get our seats next to each other. It's only a three hour flight so it shouldn't be that bad. You can check my updates for the NAPT Main Event on my twitter account I will be updating it frequently.

If that tournament doesn't go my way I will fly back out to LA this weekend to teach the main poker camp for DeepStacks Live at the Commerce. I am hoping that I don't have to go to LA this weekend and I will be deep in the NAPT and hopefully at the final table. That is the goal. I am really excited to play this tournament. I missed out on NAPT Venetian and heard a lot of good things about it.

I still need to get packing but I just wanted to give a quick update. Haven't done much else. I played a little online poker here and there with a couple shots but nothing panned out. I feel really good about my game, especially live poker, and I can't wait to sit down at the tables on Wednesday. Check out my twitter and I will update the blog as well. Goodnight.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week in LA...

I am back in Florida. I haven't been on the computer much. I went to LA from Thursday to Tuesday. The Internet there was really slow and I was busy the whole time.

My flight was really early on Tuesday morning. The plane left at 7am and I arrived in Los Angeles at around noon. Later than night I went to a sushi place in Hollywood called Geisha House. It was pretty good. I really liked their Red Samurai sushi rolls. After dinner I headed back to the Commerce where I was staying and played some poker. I was pretty confused with their buyin rules. The 2-5 game had a 200 max buyin and the 5-10 game had a 400 max buyin. The next night I found out that they had a 5-10 game with a $1500 max buyin. Me and Mike Matusow played in that game on Saturday night and it was pretty fun/decent game. I only played for a couple hours before I decided to head to sleep.

On Saturday and Sunday I taught a couple courses for DeepStacks. We did two small courses on each day. It was pretty fun and informative. Although it was only a couple hours and a "preview" everyone enjoyed it. The instructors were Mike Matusow, Adam "Roothlus" Levy, Matt "MattG" Graham, Tom McEvoy, Justin "BoostedJ" Smith and myself. We went over some of the basics of the game and other things we picked up that the players were doing. I had a good time and so did everyone who showed up.

I got to see a lot of California and the LA area on Monday. I rented a car and drove around. I went to the Grove, Santa Monica Pier, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Korea town and even up to the Hollywood sign up in the hills. It was cool seeing a different city and actually being able to explore it a little bit. Sometimes when you travel a lot and play poker you don't really get to see the cities you are in. I'm sure there is a lot more to Los Angeles but it was good that I got to do as much as I did. I will actually be going back there next weekend if I am still not in the NAPT Mohegan Sun.

That's basically my schedule for the next couple of weeks. I am heading up to the NAPT at Mohegan Sun for the main Event in a little under a week. If I bust the tournament early then I will fly back out to LA for the DeepStacks Live weekend camp going on that weekend. I'd like to go back to LA but if I'm still in the NAPT Main Event I would much rather that lol.

I also did another cool thing while I was out in LA. I appeared on radio with Mike Matusow. You can listen to it here -- PokerRoad Radio - Tristan Wade/Mike Matusow. We played a fun game that was called Back, Bunk, or Book. Basically what they asked us is who would we back, who would we bunk with, and who would we cross book against. It was a fun time and I'm glad I got to be on the show.

I'm about to head to bed but I will be online this week grinding and also back on the computer/blogging a little more frequently. I'm kind of out of it tonight. Need to get back on routine with everything. Workout in the morning. Goodnight.

Oh.. quick story. Driving from Orlando to South Florida tonight I was on the turnpike and saw a state trooper with his lights on. He had pulled over a car about a half a mile ahead of me. I know the law in Florida is to get over in the left lane to protect the trooper. I put my blinker on and moved into the left lane. I drove by, saw the trooper near the drivers side window of the Rav 4 and passed the scene. I put my blinker back on and moved back into the right lane. No more than 30 seconds later I see the red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. I didn't think I was speeding and I had just passed the trooper. How did he come after me so quickly? Was it another officer?

He came up to the car and handed me a piece of paper that was a flyer for the Florida law of moving into the next lane when a trooper/cop has someone pulled over. I was aware of this law and followed it. He then asked me why I didn't pull into the other lane. My passenger started to explain that we had moved over until I told him to not say anything. I told the officer "Excuse me sir but I am 100% sure that I passed you in the left lane." The officer then went off on me saying that he knows I didn't and he felt the car fly by him and that he saw the spoiler and it was definitely me. He even said "You were in the same right lane when I pulled you over." I immediately thought... "Well Duh. Slow traffic stays right, the left lane is for passing, of course I was in the right lane! What kind of logic is that?" but I bit my tongue. I decided to try to explain once more that I was sure I followed the law. I repeated "I am 1000% sure that I was not in the right lane when I passed you sir." He interrupted me and said "Well I was going to give you a warning but now give me your license!" This can't be happening. I don't have the best luck when it comes to this stuff.

He went back to his vehicle, ran the license, and came back about 5 minutes later. This guy really was positive that it was my car that had passed him. What obviously had happened was that there was a car before mine 15-30 seconds or however long that had a spoiler and flew by him in the right lane. He then proceeded to finish his stop and track down the closest car with a spoiler, being the car I was driving. In his mind he couldn't be wrong. This is the typical experience I have had. I was once pulled over by 3 cops at gunpoint lol. That's another story. Anyways... I just wished this officer would look at his security footage from the traffic stop and see that it wasn't my car. He didn't seem like the type to admit guilt. He came back to my car and said "Well I'm going to do what I said I would do and give you a warning but I am sure it was you that flew past me." I shook my head and he went on his way. I learned a lesson a long time ago to never argue with officers, but it's hard to not argue when you didn't do anything wrong. Luckily I didn't get a ticket or I would have went crazy..Hopefully he checks his camera or something. I want him to admit his guilt lol.. Okay goodnight!