Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brazil Trip Report/Back Home...

This post will be lengthy. A lot has happened over the past few weeks. I am going to start where I left off on the last blog post and talk about the other half of my trip to Brazil. The post date might say 11/20. That's when I started writing this blog, but I am officially posting it 12/7 real early in the morning.

I went to the BSOP venue the day after I busted the main event to play the PLO event. Once I realized that there were a lot of FTOPS/great online tournaments going on, I decided to skip the PLO event. I borrowed a laptop at the venue and sat in the Full Tilt Poker lounge all afternoon grinding online. I made a couple deep runs but nothing spectacular. First place in the PLO event was only around 10k. It was a much better decision to play online that day.

The next day I played the BSOP $2k High Rollers event. It had 111 players with 12 being paid. I ended up busting in 23rd place. I played with a good Brazilian online player almost all day and thought I picked up a physical tell on him. In the hand before I busted, he 3bet with AQ and was priced into calling an all in vs. KK, which he lost. He didn't give off the weak tell. The very next hand I opened the cutoff with 9To into two tight players and the good Brazilian player. He three bet me and did the same weakness tell I had picked up on multiple times throughout the day. I 4bet shoved and he snap called me with pocket Aces. I guess my tell was off. I had been going with my reads in the tournament and they hadn't let me down yet. I know my play was unnecessary but I really thought I had a stone cold tell on the player. I'm glad I went with my read, but I still need to be aware of overall tournament situations. I had position on a very loose, aggressive player who would have given me a lot of chips. I didn't need to get involved in a pot against a good player right after he lost a decent sized pot. Live and learn.

That was it for the poker I played in Sao Paulo. We went to a couple great restaurants. One was on the top floor of Tivoli, our hotel. It probably had the best steak I've ever had. Mike Matusow and I had to order seconds. It was a Kobe steak and it melted in my mouth. Another restaurant we went to was a Brazilian Steakhouse. I took some pictures of the place.











I didn't get the best pictures of all the meats they brought around, but at least I took some. I tried a chicken heart for the first time. It was interesting, but not really my taste. It was a great dinner and I had a lot of awesome food. Next time I go to Brazil I need to enjoy more of their food and visit some more restaurants.

After all the poker was out of the way and the BSOP was finished, we decided to party. We went to a couple different places in Sao Paulo. One venue was a "country music" club with a live band. I only recognized one song they played. It wasn't like American country music. It was more upbeat, fun, and dance worthy. I'd say it was like pop music. The place was packed and we showed up really late but still had fun. Another club we went to was a hip-hop club. This was more of my style. They played only American hip-hop music. It was weird being in another country, in a club, where I understood the music and most of the other people didn't. That night was also a lot of fun though. It was my kind of atmosphere and almost everyone who was with us and showing us around Sao Paulo made it out that night.


Here's a picture of Mike checking out the lights in the club.

I was a little sad leaving Sao Paulo. I met a bunch of awesome people and I really enjoyed the country. I want to thank everyone again. I won't name everyone individually but you guys know who you are. All the people who showed me around, all the poker players I met, and everyone else I came in contact with when I was in Brazil... Thank you. You guys made me appreciate Brazil and I plan on coming back often. With that said, I was supposed to fly back to Las Vegas but changed my connection to fly right into Florida.

Thursday morning was when I arrived back to South Florida. I rushed back home because there was a $5k WPT taking place Friday in my backyard at the Hollywood Hard Rock Casino. I played Friday, Day 1A. The field had some really good players. I was card dead almost all day and only played a couple substantial pots. I won a few early, but towards the end of the night I lost some tough hands. I ended the day with only about 20 big blinds. I still felt good going into Day 2 on Sunday.

I had a decent table draw for Day 2 but I would have to double up to be able to make some moves. After about an hour of play the following hand took place. It folded around to third position and the player was turned around in his chair listening to commotion from the table behind us. The dealer told him action was on him, after a few seconds I told him also "Excuse me, sir the action is on you." He looked at me and at the dealer and responded with "Jeez. The dealer is tapping the table telling me and now you're telling me it's my turn." I told him I was short stacked and he wasn't paying attention so we were trying to get the action moving. He said something else to me in a rude fashion like I was out of line and proceeded to stall before finally folding. The player next to him raised, it folded to me on the button and I looked down at KQo and moved all in. The blinds folded and the raiser called with TT. The board came T9xxK and I was eliminated. The jerk then told me "Good game buddy." I told everyone at the table good luck and I told the jerk "Good game to you too" while I went to go shake his hand. I knew he was being sarcastic with his good game comment so I tried to shake his hand haha. He wouldn't shake my hand, which proved my point and made him look bad. Anyways, I kept my cool of course and wished everyone good luck again and left the casino. I don't understand how some adults who are much older than me can be so immature at times. I wasn't out of line at all but I don't like being disrespected. Anyways...

I also played in the Florida Million at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. It's a tournament that goes on all around Florida. It is a $550 buyin and the top 10% of the field from each location meet up in the finals. I played well and ran well to build up a big stack late in the tournament. I was probably one of the chip leaders and then lost a bunch of brutal hands to bad luck. KK vs AJ and AA vs 45o on a 5522 board. After those hands I didn't win another pot for an hour and became a shorter stack. We were down to 25 players left, with 15 making the money/finals. An older amateur player who was pretty solid and somewhat new to the table (He raised in late position and showed an ace to gain credibility) raised from the cutoff to 9500 at 1500/3000. I looked down at QTo. I had about 70k in chips and the raiser had ~90k. I figured his range for raising here was wide and it would take a real small range to call so close to the money. I moved all in on him and was SNAP CALLED. I thought for sure I ran into aces. I turned over my QTo and he showed QJo. Everyone at the table was shocked. I also was shocked as well lol. I never would have expected him to snap call me with QJo in that situation. I bricked and was eliminated. I don't mind my play, but I never in a million years thought that player would beat me to the pot with QJ. He didn't seem like that type of player but maybe I didn't have enough information on him. I thought I would be able to move my chips around and pick up some pots nearing the bubble.

I've been trying to get back in the swing of things. Working out, getting on schedule, grinding online. It's a busy month as far as holidays and other celebrations are concerned. I think I covered almost everything I wanted to in the blog. If I forgot anything I'll be sure to write about it. It took me a while to get this blog up and I don't even know why.

While I was in Brazil I did a fun interview with Super Poker. They asked me a lot of good and interesting questions. I wish I knew Portuguese but I translated the interview and got to understand most of it haha. You guys can check it out here: SuperPoker Interview with Tristan "Cre8ive" Wade. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Brazil Trip Report Part 1...

Mike Matusow and I left Vegas on the 10th to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have been to Aruba, Bahamas, and Canada. Other than that I've really never left America. I wouldn't consider those trips "international" since they are all pretty close and somewhat Americanized. I look at this trip to Brazil as being different. Which it has been so far.

It started off flying first class from Vegas to Houston. The flight was only a couple hours, but it was definitely more comfortable. Typically for me, first class flying is sitting in an exit row lol. I've never flown overnight or been in an airplane an unbearable amount of time in which I thought I would have to fly first class. Once we got to Houston, Mike took me into the gold lounge of our airline. I always saw people go into those places and never thought much of it. I was wrong haha. It was a four story room. Complete with internet, desks, sofas, couches, showers, food, and a bar. I was impressed. This was a place I see in every airport and I've always looked past it, maybe even looked down upon it, but I see the luxury behind it now for people who are always traveling.

The flight from Houston to Sao Paulo was not bad at all. Mike and I sat next to each other. Our motorized seats reclined backwards far enough to actually lie down. The leg rest portion of our chair also moved up, providing a nice reclining chair to fall asleep in. Each person had their own personal television that came up through the middle console which played 15 different movies. We were also served breakfast and dinner. Both of which were delicious. It was an experience and we were treated in relation to how much was paid for the tickets.

I've met a lot of great people since arriving in Brazil. Leo Bello (FTP pro and has written the most popular poker books in Brazil) picked us up from the airport. The traffic in Sao Paulo is ridiculous. I believe it is the second most populous city in North and South America. We finally made our way to the middle of the city and into our hotel. It took a while, but I like seeing how different countries are and experiencing what they experience. We met some more Full Tilt people at the hotel, all of whom are awesome. These guys have taken complete care of us and I'm sure my Brazil experience wouldn't be the same without them. For that I thank them.

That night I visited the H2 poker club. I was really impressed once again.









These are some pictures from the H2 poker club. It's incredible what they are doing. I don't want to talk too much about the poker. I have something else planned for all of that... So I will just leave you with the pictures of the club I took. There is way more to see then the few pictures I snapped.

After playing a little poker we went out for a couple hours and experienced some Brazilian night life. Like I talked about earlier, a lot of people have shown us a great time. After getting some sleep, we had a party to attend in Guarjura, which is about two hours away from Sao Paulo on the beach. I just found an article on the party here... From the Super Poker website.

The party was for Poker Villa. It is basically a house full of up and coming poker players. They are being taught how to play poker by some of the best. I met some great online and live Brazilian/South American poker players. I've either played with them for years or seen them around. There are too many to name right now but I will be sure to throw some names out in the last trip report. The house was gorgeous and right on the beach. Check out the link above.

Today I played in the $700 BSOP Main Event. The BSOP is the Brazilian Series of Poker. The tournament might have been the best run tournament I've ever been a part of. They did everything right. The venue was great, the service, the floor, everything! They don't have casinos here so pulling off what they did is pretty amazing in my eyes. If it wasn't so late I would rant and talk even more about it. Great job with the BSOP to everyone involved. I busted later in the night losing AJcc vs 88. I didn't get much going throughout the tournament. I even had to fold bottom set and was shown middle set (although it was an easy spot.) Tomorrow is the PLO event and then there is a $2k high rollers I will play too.

If you can't tell, I love Brazil. Part of it is because of the people I have met. They have embraced me and shown me around. Everyone has been really hospitable. I hope I can repay them one day when they visit Vegas or Florida. I have so much more to say but I am going to head to bed.. There's a lot more I will talk about in the future. Goodnight.

Goto http://www.mebeliska.com If you want to watch live or read coverage.

Also this is part of an interview I did with pokernews.com on Wednesday during the Deepstacks360 online camp I did. DeepStacks Interview

Man there is so much going on... LIFE IS GOOD! Learn to appreciate everything.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vamooooo...

Vamooooo. What an appropriate title. It's a word that is used all the time by Brazilian poker players who root for other Brazilian poker players. That just so happens to be where I'm going tomorrow; Sao Paulo, Brazil. I am going with Mike Matusow for 8 days. There is a tournament series there so I am going to play some of the tournaments and discover Brazil. I'm pretty excited. I've never been to Brazil and I've heard a lot of great things about the country.

It should be an interesting trip with Mike. I've been staying at his house for the past week while I've been in Vegas, which has been an adventure in itself. He's been a good host and is a really good guy. You just have to be able to handle random craziness every now and then haha. I will keep the details to myself, but there isn't a dull day.

I watched the Main Event Final table on Saturday. I won't give any spoilers on that because the coverage is tomorrow. Other than that, I've been getting some poker business done and trying to stay busy. I played basketball last night and had my first workout in a week. My body is dead but I had a good time. I'm pretty tired now and need to sleep so I will keep this blog short. The next update will be from Brazil. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegas In November...

This is what I've always dreamed of. Coming to Vegas in November for the main event final table. The only problem is, I busted the tournament months ago...

I'm back in Vegas. I had a long day of flying in middle row seats. Southwest airlines and their first come, first serve seating policy doesn't fit me well. I had bad draws with the boarding positions. I'm not used to their system and always forget to check in early. The first flight from West Palm to Tampa was only about 45 minutes. That wasn't bad. The second leg of the trip from Tampa to Vegas was about a 5 hour flight. I slowly made my way to the back of the plane, hoping to find an aisle or window seat. I passed the last window seat that I positively knew wasn't occupied. The lady had her purse in the seat. I didn't want to deal with that and I also thought I saw a couple seats in the back. Well, I was wrong. I realized the bad news and decided to sit in the back row, middle seat. Another mistake. The guy sitting at the window was well built and bulky with broad shoulders. I also have wide shoulders and we were fighting for arm rest space. There are far worse problems in life though and I managed to make it to Vegas unscathed. No big deal, lesson learned.

I got picked up by a couple people from Deepstacks and we ate dinner at a tapas place. I believe it was my first tapas experience. The food was pretty good and I always enjoy eating a wide variety of food in one sitting. I tried a lot of different things and will definitely go back. Personally, It's fun to throw curve balls at your taste buds and try a lot of smaller dishes.

Tomorrow DeepStacks is having a Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow 360 camp. They both will teach poker strategies using a 360 degree camera to broadcast live over the Internet. It should be pretty neat, so I am here helping them out with that. I should be pretty busy with whatever else is going on around here. Come Saturday The Grinder will play out the Main Event final table and I will be there watching with the crew. It's pretty exciting to have someone I know at the final table, but I still am thinking about my deep run and wishing I could have done better. Realistically though, your chances of making the final table of the main event are slim to none. I'm ready to try again next year though.

I'll blog more this week. Just wanted to keep this short and write a little something. I have a couple other things to talk about later on in the week. Goodnight.