Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another WSOP(E) Final Table...

Tomorrow I will be taking my third crack at winning a WSOP bracelet this year. Over the summer in Las Vegas I made two final tables at the World Series. One was in a $1500 NLH event and the other was in the $10k 6-max NLH tournament. I finished 7th place and 4th place respectively. Although I am competing for a WSOP bracelet in Europe at the WSOPE, I still feel like the prestige of winning a bracelet is carried over.

The final table of the 3k NLH Shootout is stacked. Two players (Taylor Paur and Elky) from the 10k 6-max final table also made it to the final table of this event. Everyone else is an accomplished live/online player. It won't be easy but if I can win this tournament I will definitely feel like I earned it. I'll do my best and hope luck is on my side. It has been so far.

We resume play tomorrow at 3pm CEST (9am EST.) Follow my twitter @TristanCre8ive for updates. PokerNews will be covering the final table as well. I'm not sure if the tournament will be live streamed. If it is I will tweet the link for it. I'll end this blog with a cool pic taken when I was heads up today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Finished 26th Place...

I finished 26th place in the first WSOPE event. I'm 3-3 in my last three six max tournaments. Too bad there aren't more of those around! Like I said in the previous post, I was down to 600 chips in the first few levels of the tournament and ran it back up. I am happy overall with how I played and found myself in a couple unfortunate spots in the end to lose. There are a couple great tournaments left here at the WSOPE in Cannes. I am looking forward to playing.

Yesterday I played the 1k euro NLH WSOPE tournament and busted a few hours in. It was a very fast paced tournament structure. I never had momentum and battled being a short stack the whole time. Tomorrow I will be playing the 3200 euro NLH Shootout. I love shootouts. Hopefully things can go my way.

Here are some pics so far from my trip:

Building in Amsterdam

Swan in Amsterdam lol

Another cool building in Amsterdam

Delicious food

Rolled up, couldn't eat it all.

Beautiful Cannes, France

Cannes #2

Cannes #3

Cannes sunrise

Crepe... Definitely ate a piece of the fork.. lol

Amsterdam was awesome. I was only there for a day but I got to eat at a couple great restaurants and explore the city. I really wanted to visit the Van Gogh musuem but I didn't have enough time. I plan on going back again sometime soon. Cannes is also beautiful, as you can see. It is another breathtaking destination. I'm trying to take in the culture of all these countries. I'll be in Cannes for the duration of the WSOPE, looking to win my first bracelet. That's all I got for now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 2 WSOPE 6-Max NLH...

Been a hell of a week. I'm gonna make this one short. I went from London to Amsterdam, back to London, and now I'm in Cannes, France. I'll update the blog on that excursion later, but for now I came here to say that I made Day 2 of the 6-max WSOPE NLH event. I think I am 12th in chips with 80 players left. 36 make the money. I actually was down to 600 chips in the second level but didn't give up! Have to run. Follow my twitter @TristanCre8ive for updates.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Busted EPT London...

I entered Day 3 very short on chips. I had 36k with the blinds being 1200/2400/300a. My table had a lot of good players including Jason Mercier and Steve O'Dwyer. With ~140 players remaining and 104 making the money, the cutoff opened to 5200 and I moved all in for 35k with A9o on the button. He thought for a few seconds and called with 88. I didn't win the race and was eliminated from the tournament.

Overall I'm very happy with how I played. To make it until Day 3 without ever picking up steam is an accomplishment. The only hand I was all in on was the final hand. Hopefully I can continue to play well and maybe I will have a few deep runs when I head to the WSOPE in a few days. Until then, I am planning on seeing more of London and taking a day trip to Amsterdam with a few friends. I have a few other things I'd like to talk about so I will probably write another blog before I start playing in France. It feels good to be writing again.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2 EPT London...

I lasted another day in the EPT London Main Event. I entered day two with 57k. Early on I ran my stack to 80k at the 400/800 level. From that point on I was super card dead and out of position against aggressive players. I did the best with what I was given and ended with 36k going into the 1200/2400/300a level. The tournament started with 691 players, there are 180 remaining, and 104 make the money. Hopefully my rush comes tomorrow and I can make something happen with this short stack. As long as I'm still in I always feel like I have a chance. Check my twitter for updates. Goodnight.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1 EPT London...

I survived Day 1B of the EPT London Main Event. I had a rocky start to the day. I only won one pot (for 400 chips in the first level) during the first 5 hours of the tournament. It was pretty brutal. Luckily I rebounded and was able to make some hands and accumulate a few chips. I ended the day with 57.2k; the average being a little under 50k. We didn't lose a single player from the table. I am excited to have almost doubled my starting stack of 30k.

On one of the breaks Matt from PokerListings sat down with me to ask a few questions about traveling to play poker after Black Friday. You can read the article here. I wish the US government never shut down online poker (don't we all.) Now that it is illegal to play online poker in America us players must find other ways to make money through poker. Fortunately for me I am able to travel and play some of these great events. That is basically what the article touches on.

I am running on only three hours of sleep. My sleeping pattern has been off since I arrived in London. I fell asleep around 4am last night only to wake up at 7:15am and not be able to fall back asleep. At 9am I decided to workout. I put myself through one hell of a workout which probably wasn't the best idea. Deprivation of sleep is something you can not do while playing poker for hours on end. If I want to win this tournament I have to get rest. My plan for tomorrow is the same as it was today. Wake up, workout, eat breakfast, head over to the EPT tournament and try to survive another day. Hopefully it all goes according to plan.

I'm still learning a lot about the city of London and all the different cultures here. I walked around the Hilton Metropole area (where the EPT is held) after I finished playing today. There is a lot of diversity in the region and I've been trying to soak it all in. I'll take some pictures of interesting findings and upload them within the next few days. Gotta get some sleep, goodnight.

Friday, September 30, 2011

London Living...

I'm sitting in a condo in London, it overlooks the Thames river. I arrived here yesterday morning with my friend Sam. The main reason for me being here is the European Poker Tour (EPT) main event. It's my first time to Europe so naturally I am excited and ready to see a different part of the world I have never witnessed.

After London I am planning on going to Amsterdam and maybe a few day trips to other countries. That is dependent on how well the EPT main event goes and if I decide to play any other side events. Once I'm done with London I'm going to head over to Cannes, France for the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE.) I don't know where I will head to after that. Maybe I will go home, but there are a few other destinations I have in mind that I might check out. A couple of my friends play basketball in Japan, that would be an entertaining trip. I'm very fortunate to be in this situation and am trying to take in the whole experience. Can't take anything for granted.

Other than for this trip I haven't played much poker lately (what's new lol.) I've been doing my fair share of poker coaching, but haven't been on the tables. I spent about a month looking to get a new car, researching, shopping around and figuring out what I wanted. I finally got that out of the way. I'm looking forward to getting back in the game and having success over the next few weeks. Even if I don't, I'm in Europe! I'll experience new places, culture, people, and have a great time. If anyone has any suggestions (on what to do/where to go) or comments please don't hesitate to let me know.

I will do my best to take a lot of pictures and post some interesting things on the blog. I realize I mostly talk about poker and I feel like that has limited my posts and saturated my blog. I think I am going to start opening up and talking about a variety of other topics rather than poker all day haha. After all, I'm just talking to myself anyways. I might as well share some of my other thoughts to whoever visits the site and reads the blog. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Start of a Snowball...

Hello again. It's been about a month since I last blogged. After "Black Friday" took place I have not been attached to my computer like I once was. I do have a lot to talk about though.

The last post I wrote explained that I was still in the $10k WSOP NLH 6-max tournament. Let me continue from there... I entered the day 19/22 in chips. I grinded the short stack for a while and eventually doubled AQ vs AT. I chipped up a little and got revenge on William Thorson, who knocked me out deep in the WSOP Main Event last year. I raised with AQ, he moved all in with KJ and my hand held. The field in this tournament was very tough. I knew all of the remaining players fighting for the bracelet. When you are playing with smart, thinking, capable players you have to be able to compete in more ways than just playing the cards. The game gets deeper.

With 8 people left I got in a big pot against Joe Ebanks (Ender55.) I hope the details aren't off by much. The button (Ben86/bttech) limped for 24k, Joe contemplated raising, then called from the small blind. I looked down at AKo in the big blind and raised 100k more. Ben folded and Joe made the call. The flop came 923r. Joe checked to me, I bet 138k, he min raised me, and I moved all in for about 600k more. He wasn't happy about having to call my shove, shook his head a little, and threw in the call. He had me in awful shape with A9o. I rivered the king of spades to stay alive and double up.

Once I won that pot I finally had enough chips to compete with some of the other chip leaders. I was able to win a few more pots before we eventually made the final table of 7. We needed to lose one player to be the "official final table" though. Ben was the first player to bust, losing AK vs JJ all in preflop. The remaining players were: Mike Sowers (SowersUNCC), Bertrand Grospellier (Elky), Joe Ebanks (ender55), Chris Moorman (moorman1), Talyor Paur (taypaur), and myself. I have played a lot of online poker against all of these guys except for Elky. The final table was definitely one of the most competitive final tables in WSOP history. I knew I would have to have a few things go my way to win the tournament.

There was plenty of room for play at the beginning of the final table. I played a few interesting pots, one against Moorman when I min raised the button and he called from the small blind. The board came KQ4hh. He check raised my flop bet, I didn't think he had a wide value range here, so I decided to reraise him back. He reraised me back and I folded. He showed the 8c (which was good haha.) I imagine he was just plain bluffing here, but he might of had a hand like K8cc and had been going with it, I doubt that though. We both had the same idea, but he ended up having the last laugh and won the pot. I seemed active after this pot, but I picked up a few hands and never got much action. We lost Mike then Taylor and were playing 4 handed.

I didn't pick up many hands at all 4 handed. The blinds got bigger and I was sandwiched in between other big stacks. I stayed patient and told myself to survive to the 40k/80k level. If I could wait for the blinds to go up there would be about 300k in the pot preflop if a player opened. With 5 minutes left in the level, I picked up A9o in the small blind with 22 big blinds. Moorman was in the big blind. I raised to 155k (at 30k/60k) and he reraised me 180k more I believe. Without giving too much away of my thinking process, Moorman is definitely capable of reraising me without a hand here. He knows I have to either go all in or fold for the most part. I thought about the spot for a little bit and decided to move all in. He called my all in with AJo and knocked me out.

I finished 4th in the toughest live tournament I ever played. Although I wanted to do better, I am very happy with how I played and my finish in the event. Like I wrote in an earlier blog, I was put in that tournament by a backer that would like to remain nameless. The backer gave me an unbelievable percentage in my favor to play the tournament. It was almost too good for me to accept, but we agreed that I would give him $10k worth of coaching in exchange for the buyin of the event. Considering I wasn't even going to play the tournament, I think everyone is pretty happy haha.

After the 10k 6max I took a few days off from poker. I only played one tournament before the WSOP Main Event, but I was ready. I didn't recognize a single person at my first table. They were all men, older than me, and nobody was too active. I chipped up a little before I was moved to a much better table. When I say better, I mean there was more action, and it would be easier to win chips at this table. After an hour at the new 2nd table, I played my first big pot of the main event.

A young kid from Europe opened in middle position to 525 at 100/200 no ante. I was two to his left and reraised to 1425 with QQ. When action got back to him, he reraised to 3400, I made it ~6400 and he snap moved all in for 18.4k, which I snap called. He turned over 99 and was in bad shape against my QQ. The board ran out xxx9x and he won a monster pot. I didn't make many other hands at this table and eventually it broke. I was then moved to my third table of the main event.

This table was much better for me overall. I was able to make a few hands early and chip up nicely. I had the respect of the table and was starting to take control of it. After being pretty active, I won a pot where I 4bet preflop and took it down. The very next hand I was in the big blind. There was an open at 200/400/50a to 1125 from the hijack, the small blind called, and I made it 3650 from the big blind with JJ. The hijack called and the small blind folded. The flop came J9Tcc I bet 3500, the guy made it 8k, and I moved all in for about 32k. He called with KQo and I was in trouble. I needed the board to pair to beat his straight. I didn't make a full house and I was eliminated from the Main Event.

Although I was knocked out of the best poker tournament in the world, I was happy and content. I have played the Main Event 6 times and I honestly don't think there is a hand that I regret or would have changed how I played this time around. Granted, I only survived until late in Day 1, but it still means something to me. I normally would be upset about busting the Main Event, but I couldn't be. I played my best. I'd really like to thank my buddy Tim0thee for helping me improve my mentality when it comes to poker. I've always been a positive person but he has helped me realize there is only so much you can control. I also know I have matured over the years and picked up a lot of experience as well. I have to keep working at becoming a better poker player and more importantly, a better person.

Congratulations to Ben Lamb and Phil Collins who both made the November 9. Ben Lamb is having one of the most incredible WSOP in the history of the game. It is definitely the sickest short term heater I have ever witnessed. Both these guys are great players and I expect them to do well at the final table. I'm not sure who I'll be rooting for. The final table has a lot of good players at it. Good luck to them come November.

DeepStacks had an event at the Palms the day after I busted the Main. We did a short notice poker camp with Epic Poker League. We had about 40 students come to the camp. We recorded some footage with our DeepStacks 360 camera, taught a little poker strategy, had an appearance from Annie Duke who taught a little bit, and then played an Epic Poker League satellite. It was a good day and a good camp. With such short notice I think everyone did a great job. The Palms staff was great. I'm sure they will have a lot of success in the future with what they are doing involving poker and the Epic Poker League.

Somehow I managed to stay in Vegas a few days after my WSOP was done. I took the red eye home on Friday night and was back in Florida early Saturday morning. It was nice to be home and see some of my family and friends. I was looking forward for things slow down a little. I have played a little poker since being home. I actually had a good finish the other day in one of the Florida State Poker Championship events. I played a $1600 bounty tournament, which didn't go my way, then I played their $2200 NLH 6max tournament. It started with 80 players. I managed to get 4 handed with 3 guys who were all friends and had a vested interest in each other. They were also good players. We all were about even in chips and decided to chop, getting about 2nd place money. I wanted to outright win the tournament, but it was smarter to chop. I wasn't guaranteed second place or better, so I went against my urge to want to play it out. My friends Hans, Stu, and Tim actually finished 8th, 7th, and 6th in the tournament. Pretty crazy that two groups of friends made it that deep lol.

Currently I'm about 30,000 feet in the air. I'm on my way to Reno, NV to teach a DeepStacks camp tomorrow and play in a $1100 DeepStacks Poker Tour event on Saturday. Last time I was at Grand Sierra Resort I had a good time (it also didn't hurt that I won the main event there lol.) I like the casino and maybe I will explore a little more of Reno while I'm there this time.

I have a few other things I want to talk about but I'm going to wait until the next blog post. I've rambled enough. I've had some time to reflect on the past few months and it still hasn't fully hit me yet. I had an great summer at the WSOP. Making two final tables is quite an accomplishment, but there is always room for improvement. I am not complaining though. I will continue to play my best. If I can do that I think more good results will follow. Hopefully it's the start of a snowball...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

19 of 22 in $10k 6max...

I made Day 3 of the $10k 6max NLH WSOP Event. It's a huge prize pool and first place is over 1.1 million dollars. I'm currently 19 of 22 players and have about 22 big blinds. For updates follow me on twitter @TristanCre8ive or my facebook page Let's go!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10k 6 Max Day 2...

I am heading into Day 2 of the 10k 6max tournament with 115.3k. Average stack is 82k. Blinds are going to be 600/1200/100a. There are 162 players left with 48 making the money. I believe it started with 474 players with the first place finisher winning 1.15 million dollars. This would be a good one to win. For updates follow me on twitter @TristanCre8ive or my facebook page Hopefully I have a good update after today.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick Detour...

Things have been pretty busy since my 7th place finish in event #18 at the World Series of Poker. I took a couple days off between then and now and only played three or four other WSOP events. I am currently back in Florida for a few days. One of my best friends is getting married. I had to miss a few great events, but it's okay. The next tournament I am going to play is the 10k 6max NLH on Monday. I have a crazy story about this...

The 10k 6max tournament is going to be one of the toughest tournaments at the WSOP. I was not planning on playing it. I wanted to play it, but I knew it was going to be a very strong field/huge buyin. Fortunately for me, I was approached by someone who offered me an incredible freeroll. Typically when someone backs a player into a tournament on a one time deal, that player is only receiving 20% of their winnings (30% being very generous.) I was offered something much more lucrative and benevolent. I don't want to give exact numbers but it is better than your standard backing deal percentages.

I don't know why or how I am the beneficiary of such a gift, but I am very appreciative. The person who is doing this for me does not want to be known. They have their reasons and I respect that. I don't want it to be known either. If they want their secrecy they should have it. This is such an incredible story that I figured I would share with everyone. Occurrences like this rarely happen in the poker world. It would make for a great story if I do make a deep run in the event. So far I have bubbled both 6 max tournaments I've played at the WSOP. I wanted to write more about the freeroll situation but I don't think there is much more to say.

I have to run and get ready for this wedding. Congratulations to Josh and Anique on their marriage. Also congrats to Hans Winzeler and Jason Mercier. They were heads up in the 5k PLO 6max tournament at the WSOP. Jason ended up getting the best of Hans but they both played great. More updates to come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

7th Place...

I finished 7th place in the $1500 WSOP NLH Event. It was my first WSOP final table (finally) and my biggest score to date. It was actually the biggest $1500 event the WSOP ever had, with 3157 players that entered.

On day 1 I was able to build my chip count up nicely. I had a couple fortunate spots where people put their money in bad. I ended the day with a great stack. On day 2 I had one of the toughest tables in the room. Most of the table were tournament grinders/regulars or high stakes cash players. The two guys that weren't were both competent poker players. I made an early push, won some pots, then got unlucky losing AA vs 77, two coinflips, and AKs vs AQo. I was left with about 5 big blinds and doubled up J9o vs A2 and TT vs AJ. Later on in the day I knocked a player out AQ vs JJ.

I played a pretty insane pot late in day 2. It was against a guy from Italy who was an inexperienced player. I raised A2o on the button to 16k at 4k/8k and he called in the small blind. The flop came 445r and he check called 18k. The turn came a 2 (still rainbow board) and he moved all in for 226k. There was between 70k-80k in the pot. I had about 260k in chips and thought about the decision for 5 or more minutes. I was pretty sure he had a hand like Ax and just decided to jam the turn. I wasn't sure if he would shove 33 or 66 though. It was a spot where I could be a big favorite for a huge pot. I had to put some real thought into the hand. I came to the conclusion that I probably have the best hand but decided to pass on a marginal situation, so I folded. He showed A6dd. He had a few more outs than I expected but it made sense. I finished day 2 6th in chips with 34 remaining players.

Going into day 3 I had Jymaster (good Internet player) directly to my left. He was moved to another table early though and we didn't really tangle. I knocked out a player with AA vs QQ and was chipping up to contest for the chip lead. I knocked out the 19th place finisher with 99 vs AQ. We redrawed for the final two tables and I was directly to Jymasters left now. Before I knew it we were playing shorthanded poker. I got a player to put it all in on a 952hh board in a 3bet pot with 66 vs my KK. The other table knocked a guy out in 11th place and I entered the final table as one of the chip leaders.

The first player we lost was the Italian gentleman who showed me A6s. We were now "officially" at the final table. There were only 9 players left including Jymaster two to my left. We didn't lose a player for around 4 hours after this. I lost AK vs a shortstack's AA and also lost KK vs a 18bb stack's 66. It was gross. I waited patiently and coolered Jymaster AA vs AKhh but had a sick sweat on a QT9h7h5d board. He was down to 55k in chips at 25k/50k/5k ante and ended up winning K7o vs AK vs AA, K4 vs ATo, and beat my AK with A9o (when another player folded a 9.) I also tried to bust him with 33 vs his 99 in a spot where I 3bet semi bluff and planned to call Jymasters shove (he wasn't the opener) getting almost 4-1. He miraculously got back up to 1.5m but ended up finishing 9th place after he lost a few pots and had to move all in with a short stack. There were 12 allins before he was knocked out in 9th place. That is ridiculous that we didn't lose a player for that long.

Here is actually an interview I did with PokerNews after one of the breaks at the final table. We had been playing 9 handed for a few hours at this point.

In a blind vs blind altercation another player busted in 8th place 99 vs JJ. I grinded a short stack and eventually doubled up AT vs K7o when it ran out Q527A. The guy that was against was in seat 1, directly to my right. He was a younger player but was drinking heavily at the final table. He got pretty drunk. He was ranting saying he didn't even care to be there, he had a flight in 4 hours, blah blah... It was annoying but I was glad to have a belligerent player to my right lol.

I got lucky at the final table when I moved all in for 16bbs 7 handed with AJo and ran into AKo. The board came AQxJx and I doubled up to one of the leaders. I played a few other pots and eventually got into a hand where the drunk player moved all in from the small blind for 13bbs and I called with KTo. He held J9o and won that hand against me when it came 7859x I believe. The blinds and antes were huge and we were losing a lot of chips an orbit. I shoved about 14bbs with A9o on the cutoff and ran into the small blinds AA (same guy who beat my KK vs 66 and won a lot of other allins.)

Here's a blurb from Bluff Magazine about the final table up until my bustout.

"It was only a matter of minutes after returning from their dinner break for the final eleven players in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event to become ten. It didn’t take but twenty more minutes to trim the field from ten to nine.

That is when things started getting crazy. Once the nine-handed final table was set, it would take three hours and fifty minutes to lose a player, as twelve times players were all-in for their tournament life only to survive and double up. Jordan Young lost all but one big blind when he ran Big Slick into Tristan Wade’s pocket aces, but he managed to double up on four separate occasions to go from 55,000 to more than 1.5 million. Despite all the effort to build up his stack, Young couldn’t escape a ninth place finish.

Philippe Vert exited in eighth place a short while later, then another long stretch without an elimination ensued, as seven more times a short stack player was all-in and managed to survive. During this barrage of 19 separate double ups, no player seemed to run worse than Tristan Wade, who got it in ahead on several occasions only to repeatedly be two and three outed. The bad beats took their toll and he finished in seventh place."

I was very happy with how I played. Obviously to get that far in the tournament I know I was lucky, but to win a tournament you still have to be lucky in the end, which I wasn't. I want to thank everyone on twitter/online who showed support and all the people who stopped by or watched the final table. It was really nice to see everyone rooting for me. A lot of people said some really nice things to me even after the final table and I appreciate that. I'm hoping this final table is the start to a WSOP heater and maybe another crack at trying to win a bracelet. Hopefully I can continue to play well and make good decisions at the tables. I still have a lot to improve on.

I'll leave you guys with a nice article Arthur from PokerListings wrote. He's also the same guy who wrote the article I posted a few weeks ago about me being one of the Top 5 Breakout players at the WSOP this year. Tristan Wade Breaks Out with First WSOP Final Table. I wouldn't say I necessarily broke out, but it's nice to be on the board with a final table. Maybe Arthur knows what he's talking about lol. I still need to win one of these majors though. Goodnight.

Monday, June 13, 2011

6 of 34 $1500 WSOP...

Going into Day 3 of the $1500 WSOP NLH Event. I am 6th in chips with 34 remaining. I will update my twitter at @TristanCre8ive -- Thanks everyone for the support. I will write a new blog in a day or two and let everyone know how everything has been going. Have to run. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Aftermath...

Damn, it's been a long time since I've blogged. My time spent on the computer has probably gone down considerably in the last month and a half. Things have been exciting. Prepare for a long post...

My last blog post was immediately after April 15th, AKA Black Friday. Online poker, to me at least, had been destroyed in the United States. I decided I wouldn't play any poker on any other online websites. I thought and still do think that it is too risky. I've stayed busy other ways, mostly with doing DeepStacks work.

I started off by teaching a camp in Traverse City, Michigan at Turtle Creek Casino. That casino was new/very nice although we were in the middle of nowhere. It was still a cool town and the camp was a success. We also had a DeepStacks Poker Tour event there too which one of our Pros, Adam "Roothlus" Levy won. Congrats. I played the tournament and some cash games there. I also ate the most incredible, delicious pizza ever.

Traverse City is apparently the cherry capital of the world. The pizza is a cherry chicken pizza from Mancino's. The crust is made of different nuts, it has 5 different cheeses, and a ton of cherries and chicken with a ranch base. I couldn't believe how good it was. It's come close to winning an award for best pizza in the world. Here's a picture of Grinder holding the box.

After Michigan I was able to go back home for a few days before I had to hit the road again. I found time to do some private coaching a few times before I had to leave again for a 2 1/2 week trip. I started off by flying into Buffalo and teaching/running a 100+ person DeepStacks camp at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY. It was a great turnout. We also were running a DeepStacks Poker Tour series with a $1500 main event. I played in that and the cash games as well. It was a good time. The staff and people who run the poker room there are awesome. Thank you for everything guys.

Online cash game legend Tim0thee came and picked me up from the casino and we drove back to his place right outside of Toronto. I stayed with him for 4-5 days in between my two camps (I had to go to California after Canada.) We went out in Toronto with some of our other friends Brad and Bubba.

They showed me around Toronto it was a good time. We watched one of the NBA Playoff games at a great sports bar right across from the Rogers Centre. It was cool to explore the city a little bit. I wish I could of gotten to do more there. I watched Tim0 play a bunch of cash online and we got to hang out and do a couple other things. I could see Toronto being a destination to live so I could play online poker again.

Next thing I knew I was done with customs and on to my next destination... Turlock, California. I actually liked Turlock. It was a cool little city. I got to drive part of the way from LA to Turlock. It was interesting to drive through California and see different sections of it. That camp/tournament was also very fun, rewarding, and smooth. Their poker room was great and very professional. Everyone was helpful and friendly, I had a blast but was also rushing to get back home for Mother's Day.

I booked a 6am flight so I could make the cross country trek in time to see my family and mom for the holiday. I finally made it to Florida late afternoon/early night. My sister, her husband, and my nephew all came to pick me up. It was nice to see them; I missed them. I got to my parents house in time for dinner and surprised my mom. I had a little while before I was off to the WSOP. My time consisted of rehabbing my knee, getting to go to a couple Heat playoff games, and private coaching.

Just a few days ago I designed and ordered my custom poker table from Off Tilt Poker Tables. It's going to be a sick table. I had some artwork done which will be put on the custom felt. I'm looking forward to getting the table in a few weeks. Once I get back from the WSOP I will post pictures of it. I've seen a few pics already, it's looking good. Thanks Bryan. If anyone wants a table make sure to check out the website, there are a few deals and the owner is really helpful in the building process/anything else.

A couple days ago PokerListings did an article on Top 5 Breakout Players for the 2011 WSOP. I happened to be one of the 5 they picked. Here's the link... Pretty cool. I'm hoping I can live up to the expectations, but it is tournament poker. I can only do my best. With that said I still feel really confident and experienced this year. It's my 6th trip to the WSOP... I should have some things figured out by now.

I've played one WSOP event so far, the $5k NLH. I busted pretty early in the day. Ran into a couple tough spots early and nothing ever went my way. It happens sometimes. Yesterday I played the $560 Venetian tournament but couldn't win a couple flips deep. Tomorrow I am registered for the WSOP $1k NLH. I'm looking forward to it. I love these small buy in, big field tournaments. If you can survive the beginning of them there is always hope haha.

There's more I could say but it is getting late and I need to head to bed. Hopefully I didn't leave out any important details from the recent weeks lol. I will be updating the blog more frequently now. I'm still getting settled into the house I am staying at. Give me a few more days and I should be perfect. I have a few other interesting and important things to talk about but they will have to wait. Goodnight.

Almost forgot... I was interviewed by PokerNews a couple months ago and I forgot to post the article. It's a cool little interview about bet sizing. Check it out. Bet Sizing With Tristan "Cre8ive" Wade.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shocking News...

On the night of April 14th I was listening to some music and tweeted a line "I'm standing on a field full of land mines, doin the moonwalk, hopin I blow up in time." That's how I felt. Online poker (and poker in general) had been going very well for me the last few weeks. I had a lot of free time to play and I was having great results. I was gearing up for the WSOP and was enjoying working hard on my game. The very next day, April 15th, online poker came crashing down.

Well, damn. There goes my job. I'm taking it well for now. I read through the indictment and didn't realize the poker sites were doing some of the things they were doing. There are so many things we don't know that goes on. To think all of this started with the UIGEA. It's pretty unbelievable. That should have not been passed in the first place. I don't fault the poker sites for what they did (although I see both sides to what they were doing) because this could have been handled differently from the beginning. I also understand now why we didn't get it regulated a few months ago. It's pretty obvious they were building a case against these poker sites and were going to go after billions of dollars. Why would they want to regulate online poker when they can make a few billion dollars first? I hate politics.

I won't get into all the technicalities with the indictment. We could talk about it for a while. It happened. Online poker has been stopped. It doesn't matter how it happened, what started it, what finished it. All that matters is getting it back... the right way.

My plan right now is to keep working with DeepStacks, and to play a lot of live poker. This might be good for me for the time being. I will play a lot of live cash now and live tournaments. I will be ready for the WSOP. My WSOP results have been consistently getting better, with last year being my best series ever. I have very high expectations for myself this year. I'll adjust my plans once I find out more about what is supposed to happen.

I just wanted to write something. Like I said, poker had been going well. I had a lot of great online results. I played a live tournament the other day at the Isle casino. It was a $1600 tournament with $500 bounties. I final tabled it last time a few months ago and got 6th I believe. This time I bubbled the final table, finishing 11th place. It was a fun tournament. I got down to 2000 chips at 3k/6k/500a on the bubble (14 cashed) and ran it back up to 120k.

I'm going to miss a lot of great live tournaments South Florida is offering in the next few weeks because I will be doing a lot of traveling for DeepStacks. I'll be traveling for 3 weeks. I'm going to Michigan, New York, Toronto, California, Oregon and back to Florida. It should be fun, and I guess it is good timing as well. I was worried about missing a lot of FTOPS/SCOOP events. There's always positives to everything haha.

Everybody hold your heads up. I know this situation isn't easy. We just have to see what is going to happen and adjust from there. Let's work together, stay positive, and hope for the best. The poker community is full of intelligent people. Everything will work out. When there are some more announcements I will write another blog. I'm still going to continue to do private coaching and I'm looking forward to see what happens in the near future with myself and poker. Good luck guys.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Victory and Surgery...

I won the tournament, the $2500 Deepstacks Poker Tour main event at the Grand Sierra Resort. We resumed play on Day 2 with 17 players left and finished until there was a winner. Things went my way at times and I was lucky to come out ahead.

Early on in the day at 1k/2k a loose(ish) preflop player made it 4500 UTG with about 25-30bb stack. I played with him a lot on day 1 and was comfortable pinning his range here. Roothlus flatted 2 to his left with ~28bbs and another player I knew flatted with under 20bbs. I had TT in the small blind with 160-170k stack. I was really only worried about Roothlus in this spot and contemplated flatting or raising. I decided to raise since there was almost 20k in the pot already. I 3bet to 16k and it folded to Roothlus who went all in for 39k (high 30s or so) more. I had been pretty aggressive but I didn't love the spot against him. I knew his range was polarized to a few hands. I still was priced in though and made the call. He had JJ and I ended up flopping a ten against him. Another good player busted at the other table as well. It was good for me that a few of the really good players were getting knocked out.

I chipped my way up some more and when we were playing 5 handed I lost a big pot 99 vs 88 all in preflop for 150k pot at 1.5k/3k. The board ran out JT29Q. That was a rough one, but that's how it goes. You get lucky, you get unlucky. I was knocked down to around 200k after that hand. A player busted from the other table and we had to redraw seats for the final ten. Only nine places were being paid.

I had a good, aggressive player to my left who I used to play a lot online with. His online name is "ricestud." He didn't have many chips but he ended up busting the 10th place finisher for us to go to the final table. The final table was being recorded by the Deepstacks 360 degree camera and a couple other avenues of technology. It was cool to be a part of a filmed final table. That was my first recorded final table. There were some nuances such as the bright lights, having to use the hole card cam, and keeping your chips stack to your side. The CEO/Owner of Deepstacks, Chris Torina, also made the final table.

The first person to bust at the final table was actually ricestud. There was an older gentleman named Bill in the 9 seat. I was in the 1 seat and sometimes when Bill tried to show his cards to the hole camera they would be exposed. He raised the button one hand and I saw a jack of spades flash. I told the floorman and they made him expose it to the rest of the table. It was just me and ricestud left in the hand. I mucked A5o from the small blind and ricestud decided to move all in for about 20bbs or less. Bill decided to call with QJss and beat A6 on a T8x9x board.

The rest of the final table was pretty slow until a guy busted in 8th TT vs AK all in pre. The player who held AK, who was also a student at the Deepstacks camp (Leon), won the hand. The next guy to lose after that was Chris Torina. I actually knocked him out. He only had about 55k or less at 4k/8k and there was another player who had 40k. All of the other players had a minimum of 200k. I had 420k and raised to 17k with 35dd on the hijack. Chris moved all in with KJo and I won the pot and knocked him out in 7th.

Bill was crushing the final table now. He was playing 50% or more of the hands. I was playing a couple pots with him but I didn't get out of control. I was chipping up nicely and then lost a pot to Bill when he limped the SB with 69o and I raised him with QTcc. He called and the flop came QJ9c he check called, turn was a 3, he check called again, and the river was a 6 and we both checked. He rolled over 69 for a rivered two pair. That pot was pretty big at the time and knocked me down to about 300k. We were now down to 5 players. A few hands after that I opened to 17k UTG with QQ and a short stack raised me to 50k in next position. I put him all in for his remaining 60k and he called with AJo. The board ran out 723JJ and he doubled up. At first I didn't even realize he had AJ because I was anti sweating the ace haha.

I won a few big pots off of Bill after that. I had about 220-240k at 4k/8k 5 handed and opened T7cc UTG. Bill defended his big blind and the flop came T83dd he led into me for 25k and I raised to 65k. He called. The turn was the 2s and he checked, I fired 80k this time. He called. The river was another 3 and he checked. I checked back and he rolled over 79o for a missed straight draw. The very next hand he raised to 20k from the small blind and I called with T6cc. The flop came QJc6 and he bet 25k on the flop. He literally would bet every flop so I decided to float him here, I still could have the best hand. The turn was another 6 which was the best card for me. He checked, I bet 40k, and he called. The river was a 3 and he checked again. I fired out 120k and he called. I won another pot and took over the chip lead.

Bill busted a short stack with A9 vs AT and the other shortstack busted and we were now 3 handed. Me, Bill and Leon. I took a couple pots off of Leon and Bill. Eventually me and Leon got it in my 77 vs his AQdd. He only had about ~25bbs at the time so it was a pretty easy spot for both of us. The board ran out 723d6dAs and I won the pot after having a sweat. When I entered heads up I had 1.1mil to Bills 450k.

I decided to play really small ball against Bill. He wouldn't ever 3bet but he would call 3bets. He would limp the button and I even checked hands like 77. There was no point in building pots out of position vs mediocre hands. We went back and forth a little bit and then I won a couple big pots off of him. I min raised the button with AJo he defended. It came T87hhh I had no hearts. He check called. The turn was 9d, he check called, the river was an Ad, he check called again and I scooped a pretty big pot. I grinded him down some more and eventually limped the button with 44. He checked. The flop came 874cc he led into me for about the size of the pot, 25k. I made it 75k. He called. The turn was another 7. He check called 84k. The river was the 2d and he only had about 150-180k behind and check called all in with 86o. That was the final hand of the tournament. It felt great to actually win a tournament without making a deal or a chop. Typically in Florida that's not always possible because people know each other or just really want to make a deal. This tournament had a great structure and there was a TON of room for play. Entering heads up Bill still had almost 50bbs.

When Deepstacks gets the final table up somewhere I will link everyone to it so they can watch it. Thanks again for everyone who followed the updates on Twitter and everyone who reads the blog. I really do appreciate the support. It was overwhelming and awesome to have so many people rooting for me. Thanks again. Many more wins to come.

Final hand of the tournament.

Sterling silver coin/trophy I won.

The day after the tournament ended, Monday, I was supposed to get on a flight back to Florida. I woke up at 9am and got ready for my 12:40pm flight. A couple days earlier was daylight savings time and we had to spring ahead an hour. I set my watch and my phone automatically adjusted the time. I woke up, got ready, and headed down to the casino floor to meet up with Chris and Grinder. It was about 10:30am and they were trying to convince me to goto San Jose for the WPT Bay 101. I contemplated it for a while. I had two hours before my flight, so I hung around deciding what I should do. I had knee surgery scheduled for Friday. If I made a deep run at the WPT I'd have to cancel my surgery.

I sat on a bench outside of the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) for about 20 minutes trying to figure out what I should do. I came to the conclusion that there was too many variables already set in motion for surgery and it was best not to mess with it. It's not easy to schedule a surgery, so I wanted to get it out of the way. At around 11am I got into a cab and headed to the airport.

The Reno airport is only 5 minutes away from GSR. I arrived at the airport and walked up to the US Airways desk. A lady approached me and asked me what flight I was taking. I told her the one to Phoenix and proceeded to check in through the kiosk. She told me it was too late to check in. I looked at my phone, it said 11:10am. I showed her and asked her why? She then told me it was 12:10pm. I was in shock haha. Apparently my phone jumped back an hour at some point the night before and I was operating under the wrong time. My initial itinerary was to fly from Reno to Phoenix, 40 minute layover, and then get in to Florida at 10pm. I now had two options. Fly the next day at 6:30am or take the next flight to Phoenix at 4:30pm. I chose the latter. I had to fly to Phoenix, wait 6 hours, fly to Charlotte, wait 2 hours, then fly to Florida and get in at 10am. It was an inconvenience but I wanted to get back as soon as possible.

The surgery went as well as possible. It's only been two days since it happened but I'm handling it. There's a lot of pain and I'm on some heavy pain killers. This operation went better than the first one though so I'm hoping for a quicker recovery time. I played poker Friday night (night after surgery) and then today as well. I am going to grind online tomorrow too but I will probably just play most of the bigger tournaments. I have been playing on my laptop with no extra monitor and I'm not used to playing more than 8 tables on it. Today I had 14-15 so maybe I will be able to adjust for tomorrow.

My leg after surgery.

Me playing poker today while hooked up to a machine that slowly bends my knee. I'll have to be hooked up to this machine 4 hours a day for probably 10-14 days.

Hopefully I can have a successful Sunday and a few sweats to take away some of the pain from my knee haha. See you guys at the tables in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It’s been a while… Over a month since I’ve blogged. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say, I just haven’t gotten around to writing. I will begin where I left off.

In my last blog post I was going into day 3 of the Hard Rock tournament. In disappointing fashion, I finished 12th. I basically lost three big coin flips in a row to lose my stack and eventually bust. There were only a few remaining players in the field that would have given me some difficulty I believe. There isn’t anything you can do when it comes to the luck factor in poker. I’ve learned that over my career and it is the one thing I despise in this temporary profession I have chosen. The FTOPS was taking place at the time and after I lost my last chips, I headed over to Jason Mercier’s house to play online.

I brought my laptop with me to the casino since Jason lives 10 minutes from the Hard Rock and I live about 45 minutes. I hopped in the 6-max PLO FTOPS and a bunch of other tournaments. I managed to make a deep run in the PLO tournament. I was hoping that I could erase the disappointment of the 12th place finish earlier that day with a big online win. Both tournaments were over 100k to first. I was running hot for a while in the PLO tournament and cooled off. I bricked a couple flops, blinded down, then lost a coinflip to finish in 22nd place. Rough day. I played online here and there for the remaining good FTOPS events but didn’t have any final tables or anything else noteworthy.

There was a good basketball league going on at the local YMCA and I ended up getting on a team the last week they allowed new players. I was super excited about playing in an actual league. The games I had been playing in weren’t that great and I hardly ran full court games. I was still working out lifting weights and doing basketball related exercise, I just wasn’t playing full court that much. We had two games I played in. In the first game we got crushed by my best friend/brother Brian. They definitely had a better team than us but we didn’t play great either. It was the first time most of us played together. The week after that we managed to win an insane triple overtime game. We were down 3 with 8 seconds left. I caught a pass at half court with a man guarding me. I realized he was on my left side so I spun to my right and set my feet at the three point line. I pump faked and another player from their team jumped by me while my defender stayed next to me with his hands up. I put up the shot and managed to make it with a couple seconds left to send us into the first overtime. I picked up two horrible fouls in the first overtime (the refs obviously suck in this league lol) and my team was stuck playing 4 vs. 5. We had another player hit a 3 to tie the game again and send us into double overtime, then they made a layup while time expired to go into triple overtime. We somehow managed to pull it out and win the game. I was just happy playing basketball again.

The next week we were playing a pretty good team and I wanted to make sure I was ready. On Tuesday I went to the gym and went through a tough basketball workout. I did dribbling drills, shooting drills, everything. Normally I just shoot off screens or set shots, but I wanted to get real competitive again. After that I got a quick lift workout in. I was feeling good. The next day I went to 24 hour fitness. I’ve been a member at this gym since they opened but I wasn’t going there much because I was working out at the YMCA with Brian instead.

I knew a couple of the guys in the gym playing and had to wait a few games to play. The games aren’t really that great in this gym but I wanted to play full court some more and get ready for the game the next day. I was shooting around on a vacant hoop while I waited for the games to finish. I was feeling really good, getting back into the swing of things. I felt like I was about to go off in this upcoming game. I picked up four guys that were in their 40’s to play with me. They were the first ones to ask and I really didn’t mind either way. The second play of the game I brought the ball up on a 2 vs. 3 fast break. I wasn’t going to attack but the third defender stepped up to me at the NBA 3 point line. I went by him and was met by the open defender at the free throw line, I had the whole lane to make a move and get a bucket. I hit him with an in and out and stepped with my right foot to the left side of him. I was a little left of the basket and had to twist back right to finish the layup. Once I planted my leg going left and twisted a little to the right to finish the play, my knee snapped. I immediately felt the nostalgia of my torn ACL/two meniscus tear injury to my left knee from my senior year in college. I landed on the ground out of bounds and a couple of guys ran up to me. I knew what the injury felt like but I was still hoping for the best. I laid there for half a minute, slammed the floor, and tried to get up. I could put some weight on my knee but it wasn’t good. I tried to stay positive because when I messed up my left knee I couldn’t walk off the court on my own. I managed to limp over to get my stuff and make it to my car. My leg was really weak. I got home and made an appointment for the doctor the next day.

The doctor couldn’t tell definitely if my ACL was torn from examining it. It was really swollen and sore. He told me he was 75% sure it was an ACL tear but of course we would need an MRI to confirm. I was supposed to leave to California the next day, Friday, to teach a DeepStacks camp at the Pala Casino.

Ironically, it was NBA All-Star weekend when I flew into Los Angeles. I met up with The Grinder at the airport and we boarded the same flight. The doctor gave me some pain killers but I was hardly able to walk. I had a bad limp, couldn’t straighten my leg or bend it all the way. I was advised to get up and walk around and stretch during the flight a couple times so I wouldn’t get a blood clot in my leg. That was a long shot, but that’s the last thing I needed. We made it to LA and then drove to Pala.

Pala Casino was very nice. The staff was great, they were really accommodating. We had probably 40-50 people show up to the camp. It was a great camp. Mike Matusow, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, Mike “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Chris Torina, and I all taught at the camp. That night we hung out and had a few drinks around the casino. The FTOPS was still taking place and the staff at the casino set me up with a router, internet connection, and power outlet in their poker room. I was playing online at an empty poker table while both Mikes played in a 5/10/25 NLH game. Like I mentioned earlier, nothing exciting to say there haha.

I stayed in Pala for two more days until Monday. I played online in my hotel room on Sunday and flew back to Florida Monday night. I landed in Fort Lauderdale at 6am and had my MRI scheduled for 7am. I was super tired. I didn’t get any sleep on the flight. During my MRI I was instructed to not move at all. I’m pretty sure I nodded off a few times but luckily I didn’t mess up the MRI results. My ACL was torn, but I expected this all along. Luckily I didn’t have any other damage aside from some sprains to other parts of my knee. Hopefully that diagnosis doesn’t change when they operate on me in a week.

Although it sucks to go through another knee injury to my other knee, I realize I’m still lucky to walk and be in the situation I’m in. I have a lot of things people wish they could have and no matter what, things happen and you just have to move on from it. It can always be worse so I definitely keep a positive mindset.

--- Now on to the present ---

Thursday I left Florida to come to Reno, Nevada. That is where I am now at the Grand Sierra Resort. My voyage to get here was a little crazy. I connected in Phoenix and we tried to land in Reno but it was too windy. Once we went down they pulled back up and said that they were going to take us to Sacramento. When we got to Sac they announced that we could either go back to Phoenix and wait for a flight to Reno after midnight, or stay in Sac. It was noon and I didn't feel like waiting around until the next day to get to Reno. I had to be there now. They said we weren't able to drive a car there because of driving conditions. Reno is only a 2 hour drive from Sac. The person obviously had no clue what they were saying, and US Airways was just a complete joke when it came to this situation. They did nothing to help. I rented a car with 3 strangers and we drove to Reno. It was an interesting time and everyone was nice and fun. I made it here safely luckily haha.

It's now Saturday night (early morning.) We had a training camp on Friday. Today was the start of the $2500 Deepstacks Main Event. It only got about 80 players. That was a little disappointing but it is still an awesome tournament and it has a sick structure. There were 17 people who survived the day and I happen to be one of them. I have 147k with blinds 1k/2k/300a. The average is 90k. 9 people get paid and first place is a pretty nice payday. There are still 4 other people who are involved with Deepstacks left. Adam "Roothlus" Levy, Hayden "nipsman" Fortini, Robert Croak, and Chris Torina. It should be fun tomorrow, we resume at 2pm. I'm going to get some sleep but hopefully I can take this tournament down. I have a really good seat/table and I hope some things go my way. I will update the blog more frequently so I appreciate everyone who stops by constantly to see if I've written anything. Goodnight!

Also sorry if this blog is all over the place. I tried to pile the last month into it and it's too late now for me to go over it. I'm pooped.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Made Day 3 of $2200 Hard Rock...

I'm just going to write a quick post. I came into Day 2 of the $2200 at the Hard Rock with 33k in chips at 600/1200. I was one of the shortest stacks, ran it up to 238k by the end of the night. Going into Day 3 there are 24 players left, 18 get paid. First place is almost 100k. The blinds will start off at 2k/4k and go from there. The blinds go up every hour. I think the average stack is 150k or so. They only had us play for 5 hours today so we could all watch the SuperBowl. It worked out for the best. We play tomorrow at 11am so I am heading to bed. Follow my Twitter for updates. Goodnight.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Big Announcement...

A couple months ago I blogged about an announcement I was going to make. Well that time has finally come. I'm proud to announce a deal with a popular custom poker/gaming table making company, Off Tilt Poker Tables. I've recently built a relationship with the owner of the company. He's a super nice guy and the tables he builds are awesome. The products he offers are high quality and can be personalized for every user. They make poker tables, blackjack tables, you name it - they can build it. I actually have a custom poker table being built for me now. Once I get it finished I will post pictures of it.

To celebrate the deal with Off Tilt, they are offering a special package for a custom poker table at $1624. You have to purchase the table through my my link on their website to receive the discount. The package includes:

-Choice of table size up to 8 feet
-Choice of table style (dealer, full surface, racetrack, oval, octagon, etc or combo)
-Choice of wood stain
-Choice of vinyl rail color
-Choice of wood pedestal
-Stainless steel cup holders
-Choice of a custom designed cloth or dyed cloth OR hidden chip drawer
(My favorite part of building a table is the custom designed cloth. It personalizes the table.)

The table is then enclosed in wood crating and shipped and delivered to your house, which is included in the price. Also if you purchase any other upgrades or options for your table you get 10% off if you use the referral code "Cre8ive" or "Tristan"

I'm going to add some pictures at the bottom of the blog of some of the tables. They have a gallery of 50+ pictures of all different types of tables they made on their website. If there are any other questions you can contact Off Tilt Poker Tables directly through their website or contact me. Enough business talk!

I just got back on Saturday night from a trip to Montreal, Canada. It was awesome up there. I went to teach a DeepStacks camp at the Four Aces Poker club. The poker club was awesome and once again, I met a lot of cool people on the trip. Thanks to everyone at Four Aces and all the new friends I met in Montreal. I arrived on Wednesday and was supposed to leave Friday, but decided to stay an extra day. Although it was snowing and freezing, I liked the change of environment. I don't see snow often, especially for a few days. I got to walk around the city near McGill University a couple times. I also went out to a couple different clubs/bars/hotels at night. I enjoyed the city and want to go back and visit during the summer. My next camp is in California in a couple weeks. I will be traveling a lot this year.

There is a $2k tournament coming up at the Hard Rock in South Florida this weekend which I will be playing. I'm excited as usual haha. Check my twitter for updates if I don't update the blog before then.

Here are some pictures of the poker tables:

Pretty sick custom designed cloth.

FSU is OKAY lol.. but awesome table with hidden chip drawer.

They can basically build anything you want. Anyone who is interested in getting a poker/gaming table should check them out. Don't forget you have to use my link to receive the discount.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lots Of Live Poker...

My trip to the Bahamas was profitable, but it could have been much more successful. I played only two tournaments. The $10k Main Event and a $1k side event. I was going to play the $2k turbo ($1k bounty on each person) but my friend was sick and going to go to the doctor, so I decided to skip the tournament and take him. It sucked missing such a great tournament but I had a good reason to. I should have played a couple more tournaments when I was there but I didn't make good use of the online registration like I should have. Live and learn.

The 10k Main event was a great tournament. My starting table had a couple really good online players. BKice and bigegypt were to my direct right and puffinmypurp was also at the table. Once a few players busted, Sorel Mizzi and gboro780 took their seats. Luckily I made it through day 1 with 119k, which was a pretty decent stack. I won JJ vs A4, and KK vs AK all in preflop and chipped my way up towards the end of the day.

I had a decent table draw on Day 2. Sam Stein was to my direct right and there were a few other good players scattered around the table. I stayed patient and didn't play that many pots early. I was really card dead and didn't try to force anything. I was happy about that. Later on in the day I started to pick up a few hands and make a couple plays.

I had about 120k at 1200/2400 and raised the cutoff to 5200. Pieter De Korver three bet me from the small blind to 12600. I 4bet to 28900. Pieter tanked for a good 2 minutes and decided to flat call me. I had roughly 85k behind. The flop came K35s with one spade and he checked. I moved all in and he folded pretty quickly. This helped me gain some momentum. I'd rather not say what I had in some of these spots though. I can't give away too much information. I had been fairly tight and I'm pretty certain Pieter folded a hand like TT/JJ (this is what he said he had too.)

The blinds were now 1500/3000 and I had about 150k in chips I believe. Someone I know was moved to the table. I know this person fairly well as we have some mutual friends. This person isn't the most respected and doesn't have the best reputation. I keep my distance though because I know better. His very first hand at the table he makes it 7500 with about a 90k stack. I picked up AKo on the button and 3bet him. He thought about it for a little bit, and didn't think I would raise him light here and decided to fold to me. I told him good fold, smiled, and showed him my hand. There's always a different level of psychology when you are playing against someone you know. It's tough sometimes to know which level you should take your thought process to. The next orbit he opened the hijack with 20bbs. I moved all in from the small blind and he folded A9 face up. The very next hand he opened again, and I 3bet from the button. He told me "I'm folding a pair this time!" Who knows if that was the truth, but we were playing a few pots against each other and he was still giving me playful banter saying he knew I had it every time. I then opened a hand to 6800, and he 3bet me from the big blind to 17k, with a little under 20bbs. I thought he could just be making a move on me here, but I took the lower variance route and decided to fold.

At break he came up to me and told me "Don't bust me kid." while a couple players were still at the table. Pieter asked me what he said and I told him. A couple minutes later he ran into me and I told him to just play poker and that I had a couple good spots against him. He told me he was going to stay out of my way and I replied that if he has 20bbs and I have AQ I don't plan on folding to him. Like I said earlier, the psychology behind playing against people you know takes things to another level and I would rather just both parties play their game. I will kind of talk about this a little later in the blog too, because I have a perfect example from a tournament I played yesterday as well.

We come back from break and we were about 20 away from the money. I won a big pot preflop where I 4bet and took it down. The blinds were now 2k/4k and I had around 180k. We were seven handed and I opened to 8800 UTG with AA. The guy I knew then flatted the button with a 79k stack. He had just under 20bbs. The flop came 892 rainbow. I bet 10200 and after a couple seconds of thought they said "I raise... I'm all in." I snap called and he turned over T8o for middle pair. The turn was a J and the river was a T to give him two pair and win the pot. I wasn't upset about getting my aces cracked. It was the principle that this person said they weren't going to come after me and made some ridiculously awful play on the bubble against me. I didn't expect less though, hence why I snap called the all in. That was a tough pot to lose on the bubble though. The player told me "I didn't deserve that to happen to me" and even tried to offer me a freeroll on him lol... This is why I say to people just to play poker. Don't tell someone one thing and do another. Play your game and that way you don't have to get into spots like this. This guy thought I would fold to him and he tried to take advantage of me. I got my money in good and got unlucky. I'm glad there are people that bad at poker that will continue to make me money in this game.

I made one really questionable fold on the bubble about 4 away from the money. In the previous orbit a really good/aggressive Internet player opened the lowjack and I jammed all in from the big blind for about 25bbs. He folded and I picked up the pot. He had tightened up since a couple players behind him recently got chips and we were nearing the bubble. In the same spot an orbit or two later he opened again. This time his bet sizing was a little different. I wasn't sure if that had any significance. I had 110k behind at 2k/4k. I looked down at 99 in the big blind. This is typically a spot where my default is to get all in preflop. Something about the game flow and the table dynamics made me think twice. I weighed my options. I didn't like calling because I knew the player very well and knew he was capable of triple barreling me with a bigger stack on the bubble. My hand would have been hard to play. I also thought his range was tighter now than previously before. I thought about it for a good two minutes. I also thought me tanking for so long gave away the strength of my hand in a way. With all of these factors combined, and with me shoving on him recently, I decided to make a super tight fold. I had such an awkward stack and I wasn't sure the correct play. I am alright with it, but I still am contemplating what is best in this spot.

I believe the first hand when we made the money it folded to Sam Stein in the small blind. He had 11 big blinds and moved all in. His range here is almost any two cards. I peeled the Qs and the Qd for a pair of queens. I called and he turned over Q8hh. I was an 86% favorite preflop. I had about 110k in chips (blinds were now 2.5/5k,) so winning this pot right after we made the money was crucial for me. The flop came 923hh and the turn was the 4h giving him the flush and having me drawing dead. I nursed my 10 big blind stack the rest of day 2 and entered day 3 with 69k at 3k/6k.

I busted about an orbit into Day 3. I moved all in for 62k UTG with KQo. The small blind had about 180k-200k and he tanked it for 2 minutes. He stared me down. I looked back at him with the expression "What do you want from me? I'm all in lol." Once he thought for so long I was fairly confident he couldn't have a hand that had me dominated. He stacked the chips for a call, put them back into his stack, and then ended up calling. The big blind folded and I turned over my KQo. He slammed down his hand.. which was AQo. I couldn't get there and I busted in 169th place out of 1560 players with 232 being paid. I made a little profit. I was very happy with how I played and I think my live tournament game is progressing nicely. I had a great WSOP and I am excited to keep improving my game and play more big, live tournaments.

I enjoyed the Bahamas this year. I got to see a lot of friends I know from the circuit. Not just poker players but also friends in the media. I met a lot of people I play online with and I had a couple fun nights going to dinner or going out. I think I've taken a different approach to the trip every year I go, which is just individual growth I guess or me getting older haha.

Yesterday I went to the Isle Casino in Pompano, Florida for their $1600 bounty tournament. There was a $500 bounty on each player you knocked out. I played a really ridiculous pot a couple hours into the tournament I'd like to talk about. It was my VERY FIRST HAND at a new table. The blinds were 200/400/50a and a guy I've played with quite a bit made it 1100 in early position with a 35k stack. I also had about 35k and called with 33 on the hijack. The button who was a younger kid wearing a pokerstars jacket, made it 3500 on the button. The first raiser called and I called as well. The flop came A24cc and we all checked the flop. The turn was the 2h and I bet 6400. The kid on the button made it 13500 with about 15k behind. I tanked it for a minute or so and moved all in. He snap folded. This was a pretty huge pot at that stage of the tournament. With the way the hand played out I thought there was only one hand in his range that he could call me with, and luckily I was right.

I continued to chip up, and I accumulated a few bountys along the way. With about 25 left I lost a 50k pot with 85o vs AQcc. There was a player all in for 2 big blinds and a really tight player I played with all day raised 3x. I called from the sb with 85o and the flop came A88dd. Bingo! I checked to the guy and he bet 10k into a sidepot of 1500. I knew he would jam the turn but might not call it off (and he had AK/AQ.) He had about 17-18k behind. The turn was the worst card in the deck. Another ace. He instajammed out of position and I folded. He turned over AQ and won the bounty. I could have won two bounties in that pot. No biggie. I ran an overpair into a set and then I couldn't pick up a hand and got super short. At 3k/6k the button opened to 13k. His range was pretty wide here. I had A8cc in the sb and moved in. He called with ATo and I flopped an 8 to win. A few hands later I doubled with KK vs AJ and I now was in contention when we were only 3-4 away from the money.

I saw a lot of people soft playing each other in this tournament. Especially shorthanded right before the money. This is what I was talking about before. Lots of angle shooting or just table talk. Such as "I have it I will call your all in. We can play for it all here." Things like that and people just being overly friendly thinking that they can all just help each other out and make the money, final table, or chop. It's really frustrating to see sometimes, but I also know some of these players are amateur players. It's almost impossible to play a normal poker game when you have 2-3-4 other guys at the table soft playing each other and making ridiculous folds. It's like you become the one they gun for. When I am not taking it easy on anyone, and I am playing pots against everyone, it is tough to come out on top. I know this happens a lot at local card rooms and there isn't anything that can be done. You really have to alter your game in these situations. I guess it also has to deal with experience too but I will stop my rant. Just play poker, don't listen or take anyones crap.

After witnessing some of the most ridiculous poker I have ever seen in a tournament. We made the final table of 10. A couple hands into it I saw something that shocked me even more. A girl who is attractive and plays poker, moved all in from the small blind for roughly 15bbs. The structure was 30 minute levels so it plays pretty fast. The big blind had her covered and had about 20bbs himself. He decides to fold TT face up. Now I am not sure if he folds because she is a girl or what, but I just couldn't believe it. Then he wants to complain how we aren't busting any players lol... I end up knocking out a shortstack JTo vs Q2o blind vs blind. Then I min raised the hijack with QTo, the same guy with TT from before calls with AT and the flop comes AKJ. He jams into me, I snap call and hold. Very next hand he is all in in the small blind at 8/16k. I raise 84o in middle position, the big blind calls. It comes K79h I bet 30k into a 60k sidepot, he calls. Turn is Ah I bet 52k, he check calls again. River is another K. He grabs some chips to bet, then checks. I move all in and he snap folds. I table my 84o and take the 230k side pot, and the other guy shows T5o and wins the main pot.

I then got it in KQ vs 77 all in pre for 400k pot it came J44Tx and my stack went from ~600 to 400k. A couple hands later I got it in KQo vs A6o and bricked again. My last chips went in KTo vs T6o blind vs blind. I would have gotten back up to 220k at 10/20k but I lost that as well. All in all I thought I played pretty good, got lucky in a couple spots, and did my best. I took 6th place, first place was about 40k.

There is a $2200 main event at the Isle this weekend I will be playing. Hopefully I can make another deep run. Also a $200 PLO Rebuy that I'm not sure if I will play tomorrow. Thanks for listening to my rants and ramblings.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome To 2011...

What's up world? I hope everyone had a good Christmas and a great New Years. Things have been alright on my end. I've had to make a couple difficult decisions lately. It hasn't been fun or easy but I did what I had to do. Sometimes doing the right thing is the toughest thing to do. I don't get too personal in my blog often, but I try to live my life with honesty and do what I think is right. I stress about what is right and wrong on a daily basis. There is no blueprint to life and I'm a person that needs specific answers. I'm still dealing with the reality that I can't know everything. Life would be boring that way I guess. I was going to write about decision making, but I think that topic would be too tough to relate to poker in the sense I'm talking about. So enough of that.

I've been having a couple good weeks at the online tables. I've made a few final tables with some top finishes but no victories. It's been nice to start 2011 with some deep runs. Typically the first of the year is kicked off by the PCA tournament in the Bahamas. I wasn't planning on going after losing heads up twice in heartbreaking fashion for a package. Now I've changed my mind and will be there this weekend. I can't win if I don't go, right? The PCA is the 2nd best 10k in poker behind the WSOP Main Event. I couldn't miss it. It will be nice to see friends I don't get to see often and play some big live events. I'm looking forward to it.

There is actually a funny story about me going to the Bahamas. Like I said above, I wasn't planning on going but I was contemplating making a last minute decision to go. This afternoon I got a text message from one of my buddies, Jeff. I don't talk to him too often. He is a professional poker player as well. We hang out when we are in the same city and are good friends, we just don't talk that much otherwise. He sent me a text that read "Had a dream me you FT of Bahamas Main.. I don't know, don't ask." Haha. It was pretty random like I said. He's not one of my friends I talk to on a daily basis or that often, so it is weird he is dreaming about me. That's why Jeff made the comment at the end saying "I don't know, don't ask." How could I not go after receiving that text? I'm hoping there is some foresight involved in his dream. If he loses the tournament before me, does that mean I won't final table? Time will tell!

There has been some shakeup in the online poker industry lately. Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke both left UB and then they signed Prahlad Friedman. I haven't followed along with all the drama, but I know a little bit about what's going on. I can't say for certain why Hellmuth and Duke left UB. I'm sure there are some hidden reasons but that is just my hunch. It could be something with UB they didn't like, something with them personally, legalization of poker in the states and other companies biting at them, who knows. I just don't think it is something cut and dry like they are trying to make it though. The signing of Prahlad is a little crazy. He said he would never take a sponsorship from an online poker site and he was also one of the people who was cheated out of the most money during the UB scandal. I don't think it is bad that he signed with UB. Who cares what he said in the past? He decided to change his mind. It's his decision. A lot of people give UB a lot of flack. I understand why. They also are trying to change their image and I think they realize a lot of people are going to hate them before they decide to play there again. As long as they keep trying to improve their product I believe UB can be successful. It might take a while though.

I will update from the Bahamas as well. I haven't done a tournament summary recently. Maybe I will do one for the PCA but I doubt it. It is too big of a tournament and there probably won't be enough time for me to blog that much. There are a lot of great live tournaments coming up in Florida after the PCA. I could do a tournament summary blog then. My mind is going blank. Sorry for jumping all around. Blogging can be tough sometimes haha. Talk to you guys later. Wish me luck at the PCA! Goodnight.