Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2007 WSOP Recap, Part Three: POY Pool Standings

With half the poker "season" in the books, here is how our POY Pool has shaped up thus far:


John Hoang 324
Men Nguyen 746
Allen Cunningham 1440
Erick Lindgren 447
Justin Bonomo 804
Nenad Medic 132
Victor Ramdin 117
John Cernuto 936
Gavin Smith 1291
Max Pescatori 624
Kenna James 509
Kevin O'Donnell 192
Marcel Luske 480
Hung La 0
TOTAL: 8042

Analysis: Wolf drafted well, but has been crippled by off-years from Lindgren, Ramdin, Men, and especially John Hoang. With the Turkey Shoot and Ho-Ho-Holdem looming, an epic John Hoang/Paul Lui battle will likely determine our last place finisher.


Jeff Madsen 320
Gioi Luong 2313
Tom Franklin 0
Kathy Liebert 1282
Phil Ivey 1502
Barry Greenstein 1212
John D'Agostino 74
Eugene Todd 673
Vanessa Rousso 0
Darrell Dicken 2084
Jason Sagle 0
Michael Binger 997
Paul Lui 0
Joel Patchell 0
TOTAL: 10457

Analysis: Joel drafted like a rookie and is paying the price. A
slew of questionable to shitty picks leaves him reeling.


Michael Mizrachi 1540
John Phan 2206
David Williams 372
Scotty Nguyen 1994
Joe Tehan 603
Joe Sebok 876
Chris McCormack 0
David Baker 300
Anthony Reategui 0
Steve Wong 666
David Singer 600
Eric Froehlich 341
Shane Schleger 1776
Jordan Morgan 240
TOTAL: 11514

Analysis: A few unexpected busts and a lack of a go-to horse has this team in trouble. However, many of these guys are capable of getting hot and accumulating points in a hurry.


JC Tran 4368
Shannon Shorr 484
Thomas Fuller 480
Roland de Wolfe 1693
Joe Hachem 0
Daniel Negreanu 2010
Alex Jacob 800
Bill Edler 3448
Al Barbieri 620
Lance Allred 1296
Tony Ma 944
An Tran 432
Daniel Quach 0
Chris Reslock 909
TOTAL: 17484

Analysis: Bag seemingly alternated between brilliant and horrendous picks. He has gotten monster performances from Tran and Edler (currently #1 and #4 in the POY race) as well as some solid contributions from his middle-round picks. A very respectable effort from a POY pool rookie.


Nam Le 2049
David Pham 3570
James Van Alstyne 2952
David Daneshgar 1474
CK Hua 276
John Juanda 235
Cliff Josephy 0
Minh Nguyen 0
Erik Cajelais 918
Chad Brown 1392
Scott Clements 2690
Doug Carli 754
Tim West 1224
James English 954
TOTAL: 18488

Analysis: A very impressive team overall. The bottom of Moon's lineup dwarfs the top of some of the other teams. Four weak members drafted in the middle rounds prevent this from being a blowout.

Monday, July 23, 2007

2007 WSOP Recap, Part Two: A Bunch of Things I Thought About While Driving Through the Desert

Patience is a poker player's most important attribute. In both cash games and tournaments, this means waiting for a spot where you're confident you have the best hand or confident you're opponents will fold.

One tournament a season. That's the way to do it.

The U.S.A. is not the best country on Earth but I don't think I can live anywhere else.

There's still a ton of value in large MTTs like the WSOP.

Some day, I'll have to write a novel. Just for the experience.

Two of the absolute best no limit hold em players I know did not play in the WSOP main event.

What the hell happened to me being really into sports?

Gear-changing is the most enjoyable and interesting part of tournament poker.

24 is still pretty young.

If under the gun is the new button, then UTG+1 is the new resteal position, only with the added bonus of having position.

Eventually, one's confidence in life = one's success in poker. Eventually your level of self-confidence becomes your level of success.

90% of young people go through a gut-wrenching breakup in their early twenties.

The best players pay almost no attention to the strength of their hand and only care about whether it's the best hand or it can pretend to be the best hand.

The last half hour of the drive to Vegas makes it all worth it.

I might not want to play any more standard live NLHE tournaments with a buyin of less than $3000.

People I've never even met read my blog and root for me to do well. I think that's really cool.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

2007 WSOP Recap, Part One: Grades

I can honestly say that if I had not made a final table at the World Series of Poker this year, it would have to rank amongst the most pointless, boring, and forgettable experiences of my life. A couple friends made scores, but nothing like last year. I only made one decent run in the tournaments, and most were fairly unexciting. There wasn't too much that was unpleasant, but there was very little at the WSOP or surrounding it that really inspired me.

The Grades should reflect this. I don't have as much to say as the last two years, both of which changed my life. If the last two years were Friday and Saturday night, then the 2007 WSOP was Sunday afternoon: perhaps more enjoyable, but not as exciting.

Here are the Grades, in alphabetical order:

1408: C
Just not really enough there.

Ali Nejad: A-
Nejad has quietly emerged as poker’s best play-by-play guy, blending a solid knowledge base with tireless enthusiasm and wit. In addition, he somehow put up with Phil Gordon for sixteen hours last night.

Artists Formerly Known as the House of Pain: C-
A weak effort from a disbanded group. No one has really been the same since last summer, for better or for worse. We’re really not very strong tournament players when you come right down to it. Last year we were amongst the most potent groups in tournament poker. That’s no longer the case.

Competitive Eating: B+
The plot has thickened. Competitive eating was once the sport featuring the most dominant athlete in the world, but Joey Chestnut has caught up to the legendary Kobayashi. Now, as Chau Giang would say, “The Game is On.”

My Driving: A-
Let the haters know, I drove 2800 miles this summer without coming close to an accident, getting lost, or any other negative incident.

Eggs over Medium: B+
I never knew this existed, thought there was only “over easy.”

George Thorogood and the Destroyers: A
The ultimate driving-across-the-desert music.

The Gold Coast: C
The ‘Coast continues to exceed expectations every time I stay there. They always add some new wrinkle to keep things exciting. I love everything about the place, I really do. But you just can’t fuck with a poker player’s internet. The Gold Coast internet is not fast or dependable, and that alone might keep me from coming back anytime soon.

James Van Alstyne: D+
The biggest fantasy bust since Priest Holmes ‘05. Dammit man, people have money riding on this! At least he seems to have pretty good taste in music.

Knocked Up: A-
Easily the best movie of the summer, and perhaps America’s defining slacker film.

Kwickfish Poker, Inc.: B
I believe the Fish went into the WSOP with bad karma, and that cost him in the luck department. But the Fish played well from what I saw, and was a gracious host for many guests. I believe he got his karma back, and will be the favorite in the next tournament he plays.

Live Free or Die Hard: B-
The worst Die Hard, yet the best blockbuster of a disappointing summer.

Moon: B+
I didn’t really play much good poker, but I accomplished the three goals I set for the WSOP: play hard in every tournament I enter, have fun in every tournament I enter, and make a final table

The NBA Finals: F
I watched four minutes total.

Ocean’s 13: C
Just because it was better than the second one doesn't mean it was good. A passable offering, indicative of the bland, uninspiring nature of this summer's movies.

PiMaster: B
Pi’s WSOP was as dry as the Nevada desert, but he found somewhat of an oasis in the main event. More importantly, Pi kept the whining at a reasonable level, avoided falling into bad habits like a lot of degens do during a losing streak, and railed like a champion (or at least a silver medalist). Most importantly, this picture of Pi was discovered during the WSOP.

The Physical Read: C
Just when I though t I was getting real good at this, it seems to be fading from my game. It really doesn’t seem like most top pros put all that much stock in the physical read, either. Still, never underestimate the physical read.

The Rio: B
A really strong performance from a historically dubious venue. It obviously helped that I was staying in the suite of legendary customer “Mr. Ta.”

Sicko: B-
I feel like I learned a lot, but I didn’t really learn any lessons. America sucks…we get it…but what do you want us to do about it?

The Squeeze Play: D+
Amazing how quickly this went out of fashion. I don't think I saw one the whole WSOP at my tables.

Volkswagen Jetta: A
This was like Diane Lane in Unfaithful - always a steady performer, but no one could have imagined an explosive performance like this. A tour-de-force from an unexpected source. The Jetta was threatened with expulsion before the trip and responded with astounding competence.


Next up -
Part Two: Lessons Learned.


Will try to post the full WSOP grades tomorrow.

Brad Booth Sighting

Brad Booth sighted at the final table shortly after the final hand, obviously looking to play some heads up against some freshly minted millionaires.

Horrible Thought

What if Paul had gotten heads up with this n00b and lost? He would never have recovered.

Six on the River

Thank God, as Jerry Yang would say.

He deserved it, I guess, if for no other reason than most of the other guys played terribly.

Phil Gordon calls Jerry the most "humble" person to ever win the tournament. I have some replacements for "humble" that I'll keep to myself.

4:45 AM MST

"You could quite possibly save this footage and use it torture prisoners at Guantanamo...prop their eyes open like in A Clockwork Orange" - Wolf

Lam Doubles With a Pair of Fours

He's back to 19m now after a moderate suckout. Now let's see if he can play some stronger poker. The pattern of this final table has been Tuan doubling up, then playing terrible weak-tight-siphon poker and getting run over to half his stack, then doubling up again. Tuan has certainly been card-dead but he has to play better. I thought this guy was a high-limit online pro, I don't understand how he can play this shitty.

What Might Have Been...

If Bill Edler, Scotty Nguyen, or Lee Watkinson had made it a little deeper. We might have seen some better and more interesting play than this debacle.

Short Stack Notes

Alex Kravchenko played an excellent short stack, waiting for hands he was willing to go with before putting chips into the pot.

Tuan Lam has played a terrible short stack, routinely siphoning off chips to Jerry before folding his cards without showdown.

It's fine to play tight, but you have to conserve your chips if you take the tight route. You can't put substantial money into pots and then fold.

Jerry has crushed Tuan heads up thus far, outplaying him regardless of the cards.

Worst Champ Ever?

So after giving Jerry props in the last post, I'm now thinking that should he win, he might actually be the worst player to ever win the WSOP. We decided he definitely couldn't beat $2-$4 NLHE online. His postflop play is atrocious.

Props to Yang

In another of the few good Phil Gordon comments tonight, he noted that he was going to stop hating on Yang, who he said had made some fundamental errors but generally played a tough and aggressive game. Yang obviously isn't the world's best player, he's clearly still somewhat of a n00b, makes tons of errors, but gives himself a chance to win by playing aggressively and being unbluffable.

Andy Beal took this approach against the world's best players, and it worked (at least for a while). When a guy plays aggressively, never folds top pair, and hits a lot of hands, he's hard to beat. This strategy is always better than weak-tight play in tournaments.

I can deal with Jerry Yang winning the world championship, though I'm rooting for Tuan (who has done absolutely nothing impressive tonight) to mount a comeback.

Goodnight Rahme

In yet another terribly played hand, Jerry Yang busts Rahme with A5 against KK on AJ8 in a reraised pot.

Phil Gordon finally made a good comment, saying Rahme should have led at the flop. Checkraising was the worst possible line.

FBT Mueller then made another good comment, saying Rahme's table talk may have cost him the tournament. I have no idea why Rahme decided to start chatting but that was a terrible, terrible decision.

What an abysmal final table.

Kravchenko Finally Loses a Race

Wonder how many he won in this tournament before finally losing. Eight? And how many 60/40s?

Amazing how Jerry always turns over the best hand in these big all-in pots, as maniacally as he's been playing.

Typically guys get tired and blow up at this point in the tournament, so I don't expect it to take too long at this point.

Jerry Nickname

Allegedly Jerry Yang played tight before the final table...perhaps his nickname should be

Jerry "Yin" Yang

Jerry Takes a Beat

Yang has been running horribly since sucking out with J8 against Childs' KJ, now losing QQ to Rahme's AQ for a 35 million pot.

Korean Surprise (1:16:14 AM): it begs the question, if yang keeps getting bad beat
Korean Surprise (1:16:28 AM): is he gonna like jump off a cliff?
ThomMarsFull (1:16:24 AM): hasn't yet
Korean Surprise (1:16:36 AM): "lordd you have forsaken me!!!"

The Worst Player at the Final Table Phil Gordon, according to the Wolf.

WARNING: Old Man on Tilt

Now Rahme flatcalls a Yang 2m raise from the BB, then instashoves for 4x the pot on a 332 hand Lam raises and Rahme instashoves allin for 20m...the guy has gone apeshit.


The first hand after losing QQ to Tuan's A5s, Rahme open-shoves in for 17 million with the blinds at

Lam Doubles

Tuan better start playing better, with me picking him to win and all. That flatcall-bet-out line was so terrible. This guy needs to get his shit together, stop siphoning, and make something of his double-up this time.

Yang = n00b

Yang makes terrible bluff lines. His postflop play is garbage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

lilholdem pwns

My buddy Chad "lilholdem954" (Stars) "jse81" (Full Tilt) "m8kinmoves" Batista is dominating online poker tournaments once again tonight. Sunday night he won the huge Full Tilt Sunday tournament, and tonight he won the Stars $109 rebuy and is at the final table of the Stars $1k Super Tuesday.

Chad has an excellent record in live poker as well in limited appearances. If this guy played a full schedule of live tournaments, I'm certain he would be in the top 20 of the POY every year.

Tuan Lam Throws 5 Million Chips in the Garbage

Always a good idea to flatcall a 2 million raise from a maniac, then bet out 3 million on the flop unwilling to go with the hand.


No surprise to see a tightbox double through Yang with the best hand.

Korean Surprise (10:23:14 PM): phil gordon would have you believe poker is just about finding the perfect amount to bet and then "you'll find out all you need to know"


Tuan Lam had an unfoldable hand on the JT4 flop with his KQ. However, he butchered the hand. He played the hand in a way that gave both opponents a chance to make a play at him in a manner that would leave them with no fold equity when Tuan inevitably came back over the top. He should have check raised (Kravchenko likely to bet that flop if checked to on the button), or led small so he could shove with fold equity if raised. A pot bet was a misplay.

Yang's checkraise was pretty sloppy too, and he was very lucky to have the best hand both when he checkraised and when he called Tuan's all-in.

It's been a poorly played final table.

Now that Tuan has some chips, he's back in the game.

Yang could blow up here if he doesn't have solid emotional control.

Dinner Break

I don't know if these guys can beat Yang. They're gonna need some cards to do it, that's for sure. I like how Yang's been playing since the initial maniacal run, which we will likely eventually learn was card-fueled.

The "pros" didn't like his call with KQ against Kravchenko's pocket threes; I didn't mind it.

All things being equal, Yang is probably the favorite at this point.

The dinner break came just in time for a fading Lam, who needs to get some energy. If he can get a double up, he'll have a shot. Lam has obviously been card-dead and probably was in danger of tilting. With some food in his stomach, some words of advice and inspiration from his crew, and some better cards, he might come out storming after dinner.

Rahme is playing well.

I looked at Kravchenko's profile and it's not quite as distinguished as I thought it might be. His biggest career cash before this in hold 'em is for $23k. There's no reason to think he's a genius or anything.

Predicted finishes:

4 Kravchenko
3 Yang
2 Rahme
1 Lam

Look Out

Kravchenko has a legitimate shot now. If Yang had won that flip, the others would have been in big trouble. Now we might get to see some poker.

Down to Four

Smartest thing Gordon has said today: "If you're inexperienced, be aggressive." We've seen this from Tiffany Williamson, Dmitri Nobles, and now Jerry Yang.

A couple old standard old tells confirmed here: old guys raising GIGANTIC = jacks.
Guys immediately shoving allin with no thought at all = ace king.

Yang = Donk

Yang has made poor plays throughout the tournament. He just made a very silly call with jack-ten offsuit for wayyy too many chips against Kravchenko. When Yang is putting pressure on people he's been effective; this was just a dumbass call. If Kravchenko doubles again, look out.

The Wrath of Khan

Yang is over 73 million after busting Khan in 6th. Really incredible rush. I still think someone not named Jerry Yang is going to be the 2007 World Champion though.

The Phils are making some silly comments about how Khan didn't have to go broke with AQs 6 handed against Yang and his uberaggressive 5x raising...please. AQs was the nuts there and Khan just got unlucky. I don't like a flatcall there either, reraising was the right play.

RainKhan goes with 33

6 handed
Kravchenko shoves UTG for 2.7m.
RainKhan in the BB with a little over 9m shoves over the top with 33 in the SB. BB has him covered and plays tight.

Right play, wrong play? I don't know. Definitely marginal at best.

Kravchenko has KJs and wins the race.

He's been a short stack for days. I have a soft spot in my heart for short stack ninjas so I'm rooting for him to come all the way back.


The Gordon/Hilm wedding has been set for June 1, 2008, first day of next year's WSOP. I'll bet 1:1 they name their firstborn Phil.

Table Presences

Childs was okay.
Hilm's was quite good.
Kalmar's is not very good. Wearing a Stuey Griffin shirt the biggest day of your life might not be the best idea. His posture could use some work, and he acts too quickly.
Khan's is good, fairly intimidating when he's in the pot.
Kravchenko's is excellent.
Lam's is pretty good. Looking like a complete Crasian is especially good if you play solid like he does.
Rahme flies under the radar, like many tight old men. He's certainly no pushover though.
Watkinson's was decent, especially for his general tight-aggressive style. I didn't like how he quickly shoved with the A7 though, and then stood up and walked away from the table. That looked weak.
Yang's is pretty good, the "human rain delay" approach. This can be annoying, intimidating, and put opponents on tilt. He does come off as amateurish though. His celebrations make him seem like a complete noob.

The Maniac Sucks Out

Yang finally turns over a hand on a reraise...and it's jack-eight suited. Childs makes a super-brave call with KJo, makes the premature celebration mistake, and gets sent home on a sickening bad beat.

I think Childs should have limp/raised here with his KJ. You don't want to have to put yourself in position to call all-in with king high. Childs gave Yang the opportunity to shove on him and you shouldn't do that unless you have better than king high.

Maniac Range Thoughts

When you're a maniac you end up getting shoved on with subpar hands, and you have to make looser calls. Maybe that's what Yang just did, maybe Yang is a Station who won't fold A9 to a reraise.

Patience is a Virtue

UTG steal getting out of control here.
Yang opens for 1m in the SB and Lee quickly shoves in from the BB for 9.7m total. Jerry tanks three and a half years and then calls with A9o. Lee turns over A7o. As much as I always say "it's a good call if you have the best hand" I hate this call by Jerry with A9. As much as I hate this call, I hate Lee's push with A7 even more. Yang is playing like a complete nut and probably unbluffable, Lee is supposedly the best player at the table...and Lee ships in 49 BBs with A7o.

I maintain the most patient player will eventually prevail, a la Hachem. Hilm and Watkinson were not patient today, and they paid the price.

Psycho Killer

All these guys are on to the "under the gun is the new button" theory. UTG easily the most popular steal position thus far. Phil Gordon exposed the theory - dammit Phil. At this rate the UTG steal is going to go out of fashion quicker than squeeze play.
We all put Childs on queens when he had queens. Bag and I thought Yang didn't have that beat. Bag says "ace king of clubs." I say jacks or ace-king. He moved in very quickly which seemed suspicious after his super-deliberate behavior in previous hands. Wolf thought Yang had "an overpair" but didn't care to speculate on whether it was aces or kings.

Gordon is saying some questionable crap like "automatic continuation bet here" and saying how much guys should bet...obviously this sort of depends on what you actually hold, Phil.

I can't believe Yang actually opened a pot for 10x. I really can't believe this. Yang is playing this thing like the $27 nightly on Stars I played yesterday...and it's working. I can't imagine this shit working for the whole final table though, and can't imagine he played this wildly throughout the tournament.

Not sure what Hilm had here when he flatcalled the 10x raise...jacks? Who cold-calls a 10x raise?

Now Yang busts Hilm with AK vs 8d5d on KdJd52. Not a fan of Hilm's play at all here, especially preflop calling a 4x raise in the SB with 85s. Postflop it wasn't too bad but I don't like putting all those chips at risk against a guy who's not gonna fold top pair.

Yang has gone from 8m to 44m with only one showdown. Pretty incredible. I expect this wild play to catch up to him before the end though.

Final Table Preview

The two biggest questions I'm thinking about are
1) Who is most likely to win?
2) Who do we (professional poker players) want to win?

Everything I know right now is based on reports from and Jeremiah at pokerwire, so I have pretty limited info on these guys. I've read up what I can and will make some guesses based on what I do know.

1) I think is probably Lam. Bodog has Hilm at 14/5 with Lam and Watkinson at 7/2. It seems Hilm is the most loose-aggressive player left in the tournament, the obligatory Scandinavian LAG. He made a terrible call to double Kravchenko with ten left and a couple other shady plays, so I can't pick him. I haven't seen anything stupid from Lam at all. It seems he's accumulated very steadily playing mostly small pots, and has rarely been in danger during the tournament. He's a pro who seems to have excellent balance.

Watkinson is certainly the most accomplished player, but has half the chips of Lam, Hilm, and Kalmar. Childs seems very solid and could win it. I mean, any of these guys could win it.

2) Is kind of hard to judge for sure right now, but it looks like Khan might be best. He's extremely enthusiastic and doesn't shy away from attention. He definitely seems like he would love to be poker's ambassador for the next year. Most of the other guys appear, on the surface, to be some combination of quiet/stoic/boring.
9) Yang
8) Kravchenko
7) Hilm
6) Kalmar
5) Watkinson
4) Childs
3) Rahme
2) Lam
1) Khan

Live Blog Diary for Main Event Final Table

I'll be watching the pay per view broadcast of the WSOP final table with some friends Tuesday, which starts at 12 PM Pacific time. I'll be blogging constantly as we watch, a live diary of what I'm thinking about as the final table progresses.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bustout Videos

I really enjoyed watching the post-bustout videos of the WSOP 11th-27th place finishers. Almost all of them brought a smile to my face.

The most interesting thing about the videos is the dichotomy between the more and less experienced players. The amateurs are all giddy. They know this was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Alaei, Edler, and Scotty are distraught - for the same reason. They know this may have been a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

If you only watch a couple, watch Ryan Elson, John Armbrust, and of course, Scotty Nguyen baby.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tournament Poker, July 15 2007

I took 4th place in the Bodog $100k Guaranteed this evening for $6500. I've made that much in cash game sessions many times, but it's so much more exciting to do it in a tournament. I love making final tables in poker tournaments. It's the most fun you can have playing poker, I think. There was some pretty laughable play at times during that tournament and the structure was extremely fast, but it was a lot of fun.

In bigger news, my friend Shane Schleger got 4th place in a little higher profile tournament: the Bellagio Cup III WPT for $232k. This is a big deal for Shane, a great dude, a better poker player, and an even better writer. It's also a big deal for me, most likely, for reasons that will soon be revealed.

In biggest news, they're just about down to the final table of the WSOP as I write this. I get chills reading the updates and thinking back to how exciting it was last year, and know/expect that someday I will be sitting there as we play down the last few tables of the World Championship.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What We Know Heading Into Day Four

We don't know jack about 90% of the field.

We know we have a lot of solid tournament vets with not a lot of chips.
There are the famous guys, and then there are players I know play well like Cody Slaubaugh, Mark Muchnik, Dapo Fadeyi, Bo Sehlstedt, Karlo Lopez, Ben Lamb, Gary Benson, and Daniel Quach. Give them a double-up and they might finish the day in the millions.

We have some contenders who are more experienced than a lot might think. Robert N, Kenny Tran, Rep Porter, Steve Jacobs - these are not superfamous players but they are excellent pros who have dreampt of being in this spot for years.

We have some big stacks with chips and talent that no one has ever heard of. Last year at this time, no one knew the names Gold, Wasicka, and Binger. They went on to go 1-2-3 and we now know they can play about as well as anyone.

We have some cagey vets who have emerged from three days of short stack obscurity to health: Willie Tann, Scotty Nguyen, Randy Holland, Jason Lester, Isaac Haxton, Thor Hansen, Brandon Adams. Adams is the second biggest stack at a table of unknowns. That's scary. Haxton has 791k. Terrifying. Tann moved all in over the top with a 72 offsuit and a short stack yesterday afternoon. Now he's over 400k. And Scotty. I get the feeling Scotty's been waiting three days for his rush, and when Scotty hits a rush, he hits it hard.

We have the obvious loose-aggressive accumulators. Sorel Mizzi, Gus Hansen, chipleader Dario Minieri. These guys might have four million at the end of the day. Or they might be broke.
We have Julian Gardner at a table with Minieri. Double Julian up and he might not look back. I played with him on day two and he was focused. He was up to 200k on day one and down to 40k on day two, but he didn't panic, he kept his nose to the grindstone, and now he's got a shot with less than 400 left.

We also know I have 5% of two players still in the tournament: Amanda Baker with 188k, and Chris "PiMaster" Viox to her direct left with 174k.

Last year, Day 4 was the day Jamie Gold took over the tournament, moving from just another big stack to overwhelming chip leader. It was also a day several of the wild chip leaders melted down.

Day 4 is the day we start to define the 2007 World Championship.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WSOP ME Day 2 Anthology of Hands

Any and all recommendations encouraged! Stealing the format of these blogs from Joe Pelton, so thanks to Joe.

R = raise
C = check
CR = check raise
HJ = hijack (two off button)
CO = cutoff (one off button)

Day 2
29,500 chips
1 Older fellow complete fish
2 Standard
3 Standard
4 Me
5 Neil Channing making predictable aggressive moves and siphoning chips before calming it down
6 Standard
7 good LAG Asian
8 Very good
9 tight short stack

Plan is to play super tight. Plan is encouraged when I see this is a loose-aggressive table.
First BB they walk me. Good things are going to happen to me today.
Fold KTo MP.
Fold T7s UTG.
Channing limps UTG 1 Rs the minimum I fold 86o in BB
Folds to me in SB AQ ready to go with this one R to 3700 Channing folds
Fold 65o on button blinds have 82 and 32
2 R EP I fold AJo
8 R EP I fold KQo in SB
7 limps 8 limps 2 limps button 3 limps SB I C 76dd in BB. Flop 6h6s2h. SB C I C 7 bets 3k 8 quickly calls 3 now CR to 8500 with 16k behind. Jesus what a spot. I later learned that 3 had some game but right now I think he is a very standard player. Raising gets me the pot, if I have the best hand. It busts me out of the tournament if I don't. We have a bet, a call, and a raise, all from good players. I tanked a good minute or two, during which it must have been obvious I had six. I actually folded, which someone later told me less than 1% of players would do. I think the correct play was actually to flatcall, which would scare the bejesus out of everyone in the pot. I think if I flatcall here all hands but the ones that beat me are completely shutting down. If they bet the turn I think I can safely fold the worst hand and still be in the tournament. Calling does allow the flush draws to hang around but even if they hit they will be scared I have a boat and they won't get much value anyways.
Next hand I limp A2o SB Channing R 4k more from BB. Maybe supposed to move in here but I fold. Large R by Channing made me think he had some crap that barely beat me like 33 or a bad ace.
Fold QTo CO. 24k.
Button R fold Q7s in BB.
Next hand 6 R UTG to 3500 1 calls 2 calls I have 77 in SB. God almighty. Think and fold. 6 had AK and made a flush to beat 2's 66 on 632ddd flop.
2 R to 3k with 4500 behind 3 RR to 8k I fold 77 again. 2 has KQ 3 has AQs I would have beat both.
Fold A9o 2nd pos.
Button limps I limp 65o SB BB C. Flop J65r C C C. Turn Qc C C button bets 2k I instapush for 18k more they fold quickly.
Next hand fold A3o button.
Next hand HJ R to 3k fold A4s CO. Interestingly enough 3 goes busto here making a big play vs the Asian with his own A4s on KT4.
2 is replaced by a Mansion poker guy with 65k.
1 R EP I fold A8o.They'll need a suckout or cooler to get rid of me today, I think.
Fold 87s EP.
1 limps LP I limp SB A6o Channing checks BB flop AT7 two diamonds C C C. Turn pairs the 7 C C 1 bets 4k (overpot) I call. River K C C he has KQdd and can't play the hand much worse. I win.
3 replaced by Action Bob Hwang with 50kish.
Dead BB 8 R UTG I think about resteal J8o but fold.
30,100 at the break despite playing zero hands except the blinds.

Dead SB fold J9o CO.
R J9s 3500 CO puts in 4000 I'm not certain if he saw me raise.
Flop AKKr I C he quickly bets 5k. I think a long time about a complicated bluff but ultimately decide I don't have the chips and fold. Definitely effed this one up.
Fold Q9o UTG.
Channing limps UTG Bob limps SB I C 72cc in BB. Flop KcJ3c CC Channing bets 2800 AB calls I tank and then flatcall. Turn 3d C C C. River 9 C I think about stealing but know I'm getting called C Channing bets 4.5k AB calls I think about making a huge play but that line is too suspect I fold. Channing wins with AK.
Bob R 3600 HJ I shove 19.6k total ATs from CO he tanks (picture at right) and calls with ATs we chop. These math guys never fold.
1 limps pass K9o. 1 has QQ and busts on a classic slowplay flop, let scary turn card come, then casually throw away stack vs obvious straight.
9 replaced by a 15k stack.
R his BB to 3300 with 66 all fold.
6 R my BB fold Q8o.
Table playing kinda tough now no bad players. 21k.
Fold K8s CO.
1 replaced by a recreational player with 42k.
9 goes bust.
Everyone playing good. This would be a bad table even if I had chips.
Bob raises button, been raising a lot but that usually means the guy has something when he raises the button after raising a lot. Nevertheless I push SB with A8s for 19k thinking he's still gonna be raising playable shit like QJ and T9s. Channing in the BB makes the classic heartstopping "I call." Bob folds what he said was AT, Neil has KK, board comes JT7x9. nh Hoyt Corkins. 42k.
Table breaking soon. Lockdown Mode.
R 98s HJ they fold.
2 limps UTG fold KTs EP.
44,800 table breaks right as I was gonna be the BB.
Recognize no one at new table but Julian Gardner 3 to my left with some chips. Lots of biggish stacks here.
Right away a guy R UTG to 4200 a guy instashoves 29k total MP. UTG calls with AQ other guy has AJs. AQ wins. Afterwards AQ guy says he called "cause it was only 20k."Others at the table say "it was a good spot to make a a move with fives or sevens." Still in lockdown mode it appears.
Eventually peg table as:
1 LAG overplays hands
2 Too tight guy replaced by Claude Cohen later
3 dumbass replaced by Crasian
4 me
5 straightforward weak/tight donk
6 black guy with loads of chips, played LAG but maybe pretty good?
7 Julian Gardner
8 dumbass pretty LAG
9 dumbass LAG fish
But R next hand with 44 to 3300 Gardner calls. Flop AcJc9 I bet 5100 he folds. 50,700.
Fold K9s 2nd pos next hand.
Fold A2s UTG next hand.
Fold Q9s MP Gardner button. Flop QQ7 Gardner had KK so I prolly don't get to the flop anyways.
Fold A7s EP.
Guys continuing to play big pots without big hands. Still lockdown mode.
Limp 44 UTG of course 3rd pos R to 6800 folds i fold. Guy shows TT. Got to stop siphoning these limps. This table will be so easy to trap.
6 limps UTG I complete SB A7s. BB of course R 8k more now 6 RR 35k more on top of that.These guys play so bad and and aggressive. Need one hand for EZ doubleup.
8 R to 3800 (8 is huge fish) shortish stack calls I call on button 55 BB calls flop K44r. I thought it was checked to me I bet 6k now 8 says he never acted. In retrospect this was a bad bet at this maniacal table anyways, gotta be more careful with my chips. They let me take the 6k back and 8 bets 25k. Fold I fold BB instashoves for 130k 8 instacalls with AK. BB has 54s and scoops the 270k pot. 39,100 to end level.

R EP I fold A9o.
Incredibly bad poker here.
3 R fish calls in BB. Flop JT8 C C. Turn 9 fish leads for a pot bet guy calls. River 7 fish bets big 15k guy raises him 35k more allin fish calls with AQ guy mucks and says "I made a misread."
R 66 to 4k short stax in blinds. Questionable R with my stack and this table. Fish calls on button. Flop Q7h4h I bet 6k he quickly calls. Turn 2h I C he bets 15k I fold I feel helpless. 25k.
8 R EP 3 calls I fold 22 on button hating life.
More horrible play.
1 R fold KTo.
This might actually be the worst-playing table I've ever been at but I have no chips and can't play. 23k.
EP R fold A4s.
Fold A3s EP.
QJo UTG fold.
I look at another table and see the Italian Fish from day 1 still in. If he outlasts me I might light myself on fire.
9 R yet again saving me from shoving the SB with 93o BB wakes up with AK. 20k.
Folds to my CO fold 82o with 19.5k
Folds to my HJ fold J8o with 19.3k
3 R to 5k MP I shove 19.1k with 88 guy thinks about overcalling A9s but folds original raiser calls KQo I win. 42k.
HJ R fold A4o BB.
Folds to my SB BB is tight R in the dark to 5k he folds.
Limp AQo 3rd pos. Button limps donk in SB means to call but accidentally R to 5600 BB folds I instapush they fold. 52k.
8 R my BB I think he's weak but he's also terrible...I fold Q6s.
Gardner R to 5k EP the Crasian on my right calls on the button. Flop T83r Gardner checkraises all in for a crapload more, the Crasian calls without asking for a count with 97 and loses to Gardner's A8.
Gardner R UTG fold A7s button.
Claude Cohen sits down two to my right with 250k. Cohen limps fold A7o HJ.
Italian Fish at the other table doubles on a bad beat - the war has escalated.
Crasian opens for 5k from SB I put him in for 30k more BB with A2o he folds.
Cohen limps CO fold Q2o SB
R KQs CO Gardner's BB happy to take it down
Cohen Rs fold A5s
53,600 @ dinner
Now over 8 hrs since a pair over 88 or AK

Fold 33 UTGClaude raises button to 7k I have A9s in BB. Tricky spot I make it 30k he instajams I call he has KK board comes T84Ax Hoyt Corkins poker continues to get it done.
Crasian shoves 25k EP fold ATo behind him.
Fold KTo EP.
1 R to 7500 felt kinda strong I fold KQs on button.
CO R to 6k fold A6o in BB.
10 saves me from putting the BB in with 32o, BB had 66. 101k.
The Italian Fish has disappeared! Ship.
R K8s CO they fold. Table has calmed down substantially.
No one raising less than 3.5x BB, some raising more than 4x.
Fold 95s UTG felt like a tight fold.
I keep looking at an ace, then a line on the other card, it's always a four.
R CO yet again this time ATo, scared of a move but they fold again.
R K9s MP three hands later they fold.
Table has done a 180.
Crasian is shoving three times per round amazingly hasn't run into a hand yet.
Fold A2s 2nd pos very tempting.
I have KK in the BB, first pair above 8s in 9.5 hours, which is truly amazing if you think about it. Assuming 25 hands/hr, 9.5 hrs is 237 hands since I had 99-AA or AK. I'm supposed to have those hands an average of 9 times total, so zero is actually pretty amazing. Not sure what the standard deviation is but I believe the chances of not getting any of those hands for that long is below 1%. Anyways, they walk my KK.
Crasian R to 10k I fold A2 on button he shows AK.
Crasian open shoves 50k from HJ I call QQ CO he has 55 board comes J7456 down to 61k.
New kid sits down in 5 seat in BB first hand folds to me in SB I R to 7k without looking and say "welcome to the table" he folds.
Fold 95s HJ.
R Q9o UTG 5300. Quick folds to Crasian in BB (he has calmed down since the suckout double up) he calls. Flop AJ6 C I bet 7300 he makes it 20k I fold he shows AK says he wanted to throw it away preflop.
Gardner R 6500 EP I call in BB with KQdd think I am maybe supposed to toss this one preflop flop comes trash I check-fold.
8 R to 7k EP I have KQo in SB fold. 45k.

1st hand 9 R to 8800 I have KJo and fold.
LAG SB limps, Gardner R 10k more in BB, SB pushes, Gardner quickly calls 53k more allin with A9o and beats QTo. I think, this is how you win tourneys, play fearlessly and trust reads. I also think, you don't want to be playing all in pots with A9o even if you have the best hand.
Fold KJo UTG.
Once again they break our table the hand before I am BB. At new table miss the blinds completely. Running incredibly hot in this department.
Don't recognize anyone here most look like unskilled rednecks.
R 1st hand in CO without looking - new guys raising first hand always looks powerful also BB had no ante chips. They fold.
Here's a classic WSOP '07 hand:
guy limps UTG guy limps HJ blinds check
JJ6 flop checked to HJ he makes a small bet blinds fold UTG calls
turn J guy checks HJ overbets the pot allin UTG quickly calls with AA HJ turns over Q8o drawing dead and leaves
Redneck with 250k is opening pots for 15k
Button I have JTs and 43k, a couple pretty big stacks in the blinds who look like they might have some game. I decide to jam...not sure what the play is here. 49k now.
Interesting hand comes up where UTG, a Scandinavian fellow new to the table with a lot of chips, makes a standard raise and then the small blind with a big stack makes a standard reraise. Now UTG asks for a chip count and then says, "ok, I better raise 40k more" which was a standard third raise...SB goes into the tank here I start thinking about what I do with KK and decide I fold it, but I probably just call preflop, I hate reraising a UTG raiser in the small blind, it's such an obvious big pair. SB eventually folds very reluctantly and UTG shows QQ. SB looks disappointed but claimed he didn't have KK...I think he did and was ashamed.
R AQo to 6600 2nd pos. I definitely limp AK here but AQ I want to gather some info. BB calls. Flop QJ6 two spades, BB quickly shoves in. I know he has a flush draw. The whole table knows he has a flush draw. PiMaster at a table across the room knows he has a flush draw. The blind guy in the tournament knows he has a flush draw. Lacey Jones knows he has a flush draw. Moot point of course, I obviously call; I think I call this one with AK, proably even a pair lower than jacks. Anyways he has K8ss which I didn't want to see, turn is 2d but river is Ts. Goodnight Moon.

Overall it was strange for me to survive that long without picking up any hands or running any good bluffs. Bottom line is I think I did not have the cards to compete, but you be the judge.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Bizarro WSOP

Generally I tend to get in with the best hand. If they hold up, I do well. Today I played four large pots. Twice I was a major underdog and won. Once I was a huge favorite and lost. Once, on what was likely my final hand of live poker for several months, I was a slight favorite and lost.

Just a wacky wacky tournament - probably the strangest I've ever played. I went ten hours without a pair bigger than eights or an ace-king. A truly mindboggling shitstorm of cards. And yet, because of the two big suckouts, I was poised to make a serious charge before the tides of fortune turned and my own big hands were run down by lesser ones.

The whole WSOP main event is playing out like a $50 tourney on Pokerstars, not a $10,000 championship. I can't believe what I saw today.

I know this is a long tournament with a good structure. The bad players will eventually be filtered into the garbage can, I think. Right now though, the world's best can't get anything going and the fools are running amok.

It will be a fascinating tournament to follow. I think that final table will be composed of excellent, if unknown players. Right now though, the fish are feasting.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Day Two Draw

1 Danny Kaminsky 36k
zero career cashes

2 Paul Siem 45k
$6500 in cashes

3 Donald Carlton 48k
$35k in cashes

4 Me 29.5k

5 Neil Channing 73k
$178k in earnings. A slightly famous British pro who I've played with before. He'll make some overaggressive plays.

6 Sam Ditson 52k
zero career cashes

7 Guang Pu Lu 72k
zero career cashes

8 Jason Tikijian 83k
zero career cashes

9 Kevin Arba 31k
$7000 in cashes

Channing is going to double me up the first level in a dominated fashion, something like AK vs AQ all-in preflop, then stack off to me on some dumb move when I have the goods. Then I'll be over 100k and it will be a steady cruise to around 200k to end the day.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day One Anthology of Hands

So in an effort to get better at these tournaments I decided to write down every hand so I could discuss my play. I don't expect anyone to read all this but any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

50-100 blinds 20k to start.
1: Conservative playing guy with "Good luck daddy" poker hat on. Only wear a hat like this if you want your blinds stolen repeatedly. Won't play big pot without big hand.
2: LAG older fellow with some game. Bigtime calling station.
3: Conservative dude who picked up roughly 25 big pairs and 6 sets on the day.
4: Italian megafish playing tons of hands and playing them poorly, somehow survived the day.
5: Seemingly tight Swede who opened it up later in the day.
6: Generic bad player, fisherman from Alaska.
7: Me
8: Solid protege of Joe Hachem.
9: Ultra-tight Brit.
10:Standard fishy woman.
Overall a great table though the only decent player was to my left (later learned 2 seat was decent). Early strategy was to play as many hands as possible, hit something big, take a bunch of chips from a weak player, and establish a "he plays crap hands" image so the weak players keep paying me off later.
76hh limp UTG 4 to flop. High cards cked to river fold to bet on river.
2 rzes to 400 EP I call 97cc. Flop KJT one club bet 400 I fold.
UTG rzes to 225 SB calls I call 75o in BB. 972r ck, ck, UTG bets 500, SB folds, I fold.
2 limps UTG. 4 makes it 700. I coldcall with QQ. Others fold. 7c4s3c he checks I bet 800 he calls. Turn 3d he checks I bet 1500 he folds.
4 limps 6 rzes to 325 I call 32cc, BB calls, 4 calls. Flop Q88 cked to 6 he bets 500 I fold.
Folded 87o in BB to a 350 rz.
Folds to me in CO I rz 99 folds.
4 rzs to 250, 5 calls, I make it 1k with QQ, 10 rzes to 2525, I call on setmine. AKx ck ck x ck ck T ck ck she has QQ chop it.
6 rzes to 350 I call 66 2 goes to 1k call I call Tc8c3d ck I ck 2 bets 1500 we both fold.
I limp 66 UTG. Six people see the flop K52 BB bets all fold.
In SB 95dd five see the flop Jc5c4 I ck BB bets 500 all fold to me I fold.
10 rzes UTG to 400 4 calls I fold KJo in pos.
4 intends to rz to 500 but ruled a call I limp J9o in SB. Flop 9c8c8 ck ck 4 bets 500 I call. Turn 2c ck bet 500 I call. River Kc ck ck he has A4hh I win.
I rz 275 QJhh 7 goes to 625, 2 in BB cold calls, I call. Flop Ah4c5c. 2 leads 500 I fold 7 rzes to 2500 2 instafolds AQ faceup.
I limp A9hh UTG just blinds. A44r ck ck I ck. Turn 7 ck ck I bet 200 5 ckrzs to 450 I call. River J he bets 350 I know he has a 4 but call I hate paying these fuckers off but he made a good bet with 94o.
I limp A7dd EP 2 limps 4 rzes to 600 from BB I fold 2 calls flop is Td8d3d betting is subdued.
1 rzes to 300 I call in SB QThh flop 875 I ck fold to an overbet.
I limp UTG 76cc 10 rzs to 500 I decide to call. Flop 8s7s5 I ck she bets 700 I call. Turn Js I ck she bets 1500 I call. River Ks ck ck she has 4c4s gross.I finish the level with 15.9k.

SB min rzs to 400 I call in BB K7o. Flop QQ7 he bets 600 I call. Turn x ck ck. River T ck ck I win.
5 limps I rz to 650 with JJ folds to 5 who rzes to 2100 I fold.
I limp AQo UTG 8 limps BB cks. Flop 952 ck I bet 400 8 rzs to 1200 I instafold.
2 rzs to 700 I fold ATo in BB.
I limp JTo in SB 8 rzes 1k more in BB I fold.
Trying to stay calm and trap these fools.
1 limps 4 limps 6 limps in SB I ck AcTs in BB. Flop Js6s4s SB leads 400 all fold.
4 rzes to 800 I call in SB with 88 BB calls. Flop K94 ck ck 4 bets 500 I make it 1k BB folds 4 calls. 7 turn ck ck, 6 river ck ck he wins with TT.
Tilting here because people are taking forever to make tiny decisions.
6 limps I limp A9ss LP blinds ck flop T87 two diamonds cked to me I bet 525 all fold.
2 limps I limp 98hh on button 9 makes it 800 from blind 2 calls I call. 75h3 ck ck I ck. Turn Jh SB cks 4 bets 1500 I call. River 2 he bets 1500 I don't try to bluff the calling station and fold.
Next hand 1 limps, 2 limps, 4 limps, I rz to 1k with AA, 8 coldcalls, rest fold. Th9h3 I bet 1.5k, 8 rzs to 3k, I tank and shove 12k total he folds "queens."
Next hand I rz AKcc to 550 in LP 8 calls 10 rzes to 3100 in SB with 11k behind. First instinct is to push but I tank forever and then fold, 8 folds, she shows AA, PHEW that was a close one.
Now a nervewracked 17.2k.
5 goes busto when 2 makes a bad call and sucks out.
Dead SB 4 limps 5 limps I ck K4o in BB. AA8 cked. 7 cked. K ck ck 5 bets 200 I call he has 54s I win.
4 rzes to 1k I fold AJo in SB.
2 limps 4 limps 5 limps I ck K9o in BB. Flop Q44r ck 2 bets 800 fold fold I keep having a voice telling me don't bluff the 2 seat I fold.
6 rzes CO to 600 I rrz to 1800 on button without looking he tanks literally 5 minutes not exaggerating and folds.
I rz 75s LP 8 rrzs 3x I fold.
6 limps early I limp AKo 1 limps 2 goes to 1k folds to me I make it 3200 2 calls. Flop J93r I bet 5100 with 7.5k behind he thinks and folds. Phew.
Finish the level with 20,175.

Now need to tighten it up a bit with only 50 BBs and guys opening for 4x.
Rz button without looking blinds fold.
4 limps I limp QJdd five see the flop AdK9d blinds ck 4 shoves for 7k into 2k I fold angrily.
5 rzes to 1300 I call with QQ. Flop Q44 he bets 2k I call. Turn rag he cks I bet 3k he folds immediately.
Rz to 900 UTG with QsJs, 10 makes it 1800 with 1500 behind, I call, she shoves in the dark out of turn, I fold on K32.
Limp 76dd EP 8 limps 10 rzs half her stack to 2400 we fold.
Rz to 1025 UTG with QJdd 1 calls Flop 863 I bet 1275 he rzes I instafold he shows 88.
9 rzs EP to 1200 I call in BB J9ss. As5c3c I ck fold.
Down to 16,175.
Rz AKo to 1100 8 calls flop KcQc8 I bet 1500 he rzs to 3k I call. Turn offsuit ten ck ck. River offsuit 6 I bet 5k he instacalls with AQ. 25,875.
Folds to me in SB I put BB in for 1400 more with A2 he folds.
I rz TT to 1100 all fold.
3 rzs to 1600 I call KQdd flop Ad5d4 he cks I think and ck. Turn 6d he cks I bet 2100 he calls river 5 he cks I bet 6150 he folds JdJs faceup whole table thought I was bluffing.
30,175 @ dinner break (high water mark).

Ready to steal some blinds.
3 limps 5 limps I go 2100 in SB with KJdd. 3 calls.
Flop comes 958 I bet 3k he instapushes for 20k I fold he shows 88 these guys sure can play cards.
2 rzs UTG to 1200 I go 3600 with 97s he folds.
I limp JTo with 4 in the BB 2 makes it 1600 I get bad feeling and fold.
4 limps I limp 86o in SB 554 cked around K turn ck ck 1k we fold.
4 limps I limp 98o LP blinds ck. J74r cked to me I bet 1100 10 calls from the SB with 4.5k behind. Turn Ac ck I bet 2200 she folds disgustedly.
I rz KQcc to 1050 8 shoves for 3600 1 coldcalls I call. Flop Jh6h5h ck ck. Turn 9 ck he bets 5k I fold 1 has 99 8 has AdKd and busts.
1 busts and is replaced by a young Frenchman with plenty of game. Joe Sebok sits down in the 8 seat to my left with 30k apparently on insane monkey tilt.
I rz button to 1100 with AQo Sebok calls in SB. 976 ck ck. A on turn ck I bet 1500 he calls. River 4 he cks I bet 3800 he calls I win.
10 rzs to 1200 I defend BB with ATo. Flop A44 I ck-call 1500. Turn 2 ck ck. River K I bet 2200 she calls with A2cc chop.
2 rzs EP 6 calls I call JTss SB calls. Flop Ks7s2c ck ck 6 allin for 13k into 5200 all fold this shit makes me tilty.
I rz ATo all fold.
6 opens for 1200 EP I call 99 flop 853 ck ck Qh ck ck river Jh ck ck he has AT I win.
31,125 at break.

4 rzes to 2200 I fold AJss on button.
I rz QJo to 1700 MP Sebok calls. Jc4s2c I bet 2300 called. Turn 6s I bet 5k he tanks and folds.
1 rzs UTG I fold AJo.
Fold J7s 2nd pos.
Rz AJo UTG steal blinds.
5 rzes to 1600 on button I call in BB with K9o. Flop Kh4h4 ck he instachecks which scares me, when guys like this don't cont-bet flops like that it is worrisome. Turn 7 I ck-call 2k. River Q I bet 3200 he insta-jams for 32k more?! I fold after telling him it can't be a good play, he shows me a Jd.
Folds to my SB I make it 2k with 88 ready to call a Sebok 15k push he folds.
He is now playing as tight as anyone.
The tight Brit in the 9 seat has been replacedby a tight Brit and the woman went busto and replaced by a tight young Irishman.
5 limps I make it 2700 with 65dd all fold.
I fold A7ss EP.
I rz KQo 2nd pos all fold.
1 rzs to 2k I go 6.3k with AA in BB he wants to do it but folds. I had confident body language I think.
4 limps I limp 33 from CO SB shoves for 8k we fold.
I rz AQs 2nd pos all fold.
Fold A2s UTG next hand.
34.3k now.

4 limps I limp T9ss LP Sebok shoves 15k we fold.
I rz QJo MP folds.
I fold J7s UTG.
Folds to me in SB I walk Sebok with 93o.
I rz T9o button steal blinds.
Next hand I look at Kc and rz CO, BB shoves for 17k thought he was weak but fold K8o.
Two hands later rz T9ss folds.
Rz AJo 2nd pos all fold.
Walk. Guys shutting down for night.
I limp 44 Sebok rzes to 3500 1 shoves for 35k I fold Sebok calls with AKss 1 has KK and wins the monster pot, Sebok back to fumes.
3 rzs to 2500 I defend BB with K8cc.
Flop Td9d5 ck ck turn 6 I bet 4k he disgustedly folds AQ.
5 rzs to 3500 I fold KTcc 5 shows KK.
Folds to me in SB I put Sebok in for 5200 with QJss he calls K8o I lose.
I fold QTo in MP SB wakes up with AA.
I rz in the dark SB wakes up with AA and repops.
I put Sebok in for 10k with T7ss in SB he folds.
1 rzs to 2600 I call KJcc CO. Flop Ts8s7s ck ck turn rag he bets 4k I fold.
5 seat with 50k stalls several hands to avoid the big blind I tell him he "should be embarassed." 5 if you're reading this you're a crap player with no game who hit some hands and played bad, you won't be doing anything in this tournament, also please don't ever again yell in ecstasy when you bust a guy wearing a poker hat that says "good luck daddy", RIP douchebag.

End night with 29,500.

World Championship Day One

I finished the day with 29.5k. I was never above 40k, never below 16k, all-in once, never all-in and called.

I think I played quite well. I wrote down every hand I played (and many I didn't) and will probably post them all, to get as much feedback as possible.

My gut is that I played good and ran bad. Back on Tuesday with thirty big blinds.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Closer to Fine

I went to the doctor,
I went to the mountains.

- Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine"

I prepared for the WSOP main event by getting the hell out of town. I drove to Silverton, Colorado and met my old friend Nate. We backpacked into an enchanted place called Ice Lake Basin. I was sick and Nate was breathing through sea lungs but the weather was fantastic. We thought about climbing some peaks but weren't up to the challenge. So we skipped stones into Island Lake, got sunburned and bug-bitten, and played cribbage. We talked about girls and what we want to do with our lives and girls we want to do in our lives, and music, and really, what else is there?

We hiked out in time to watch the Silverton 4th of July Home-town Parade. It was awesome. The people were fired up. Happy to be there, happy to be alive. Jets flew overhead, even though Silverton has a population of less than 1000. Classic cars and bikes came by firing beads and candy at the kids. A firetruck sprayed people down.

When it was over I drove to Vegas. It's 100 miles between Shiprock, New Mexico and Kayenta, Arizona, but you don't know the significance of that number until you're there. It's many hundreds from Kayenta to Vegas.

At 9:30 PM, I got to Vegas. Jim Morrison was yelling about Mr. Mojo Risin' as fireworks were exploding above the Strip. I was delirious.

The next day I woke up and felt a little closer to fine.

I play Saturday. I have an advantage over those who have spent the last week in Vegas.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Twenty Players Most Likely to Win The Main Event

On the eve of the Big One, here's my opinion on who are the twenty players most likely to be crowned champion in eleven days. Chances are zero of these guys will make the final table, but it's still an appropriate time to speculate (in alphabetical order).

Patrik Antonius: The most feared player on the planet.

Michael Binger: Eight cashes this WSOP.

Justin Bonomo: At this point, nothing would surprise me from this guy, nothing. An expert at large fields.

Allen Cunningham: It's ALLEN CUNNINGHAM.

Bill Edler: Always seems to be in the thick of it late in the deep stack events, and finally got that big breakthrough score.

Jamie Gold: It seems Jamie needs a) chips and b) weak players to do his thing. Both are found in high quantities at the WSOP main event.

Joe Hachem: The all-time leader in ROI with a sample size of 2+ majors.

Phil Hellmuth: Possibly the best no limit hold em tournament player ever, and certainly the current best at dancing through modern poker's monster donkey fields.

Phil Ivey: The only player on this list with two deep runs the last four years.

Alex Jacob: A classic "go big or go home" guy and a master of wielding the big stack.

Marc Karam: Unmatched results in a small sample size of deepstack events.
Erick Lindgren: Always a factor.

Michael Mizrachi: Looking to put a miserable WSOP behind him.

Carlos Mortensen: Fresh, accomplished, fearless, and lethal with chips.

Daniel Negreanu: Plays a perfect game for the WSOP, playing tons of small pots giving him a chance to feast on the fish without risking his tournament life.

David Pham: Amazingly, the Dragon's biggest lifetime score was for 477k, back in 2003. Due for a monster result.

Kido Pham: People don't realize how rarely this guy plays - less than me, less than anyone on this list, and still has great results.

JC Tran: Probably the best overall NLHE tourney player.

James Van Alstyne: Deep in the freezer lately, but second only to JC before the WSOP.

Paul Wasicka: When the Kwickfish is excited to play in a 5k+ event, his results are basically unmatched.

I play Saturday!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

June Top 15

15. Blur - No Distance Left to Run
14. Phish - Prince Caspian
13. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - American X
12. Coldplay - Warning Sign
11. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - All You Do is Talk

10. Gin Blossoms - Found Out About You
9. INXS - Pretty Vegas
8. Pure Prairie League - Falling In and Out of Love/Amie
7. Beatles - Misery
6. Frank Sinatra - This Town

5. Bonnie Raitt - Anything You Want (You Got It)
4. Cracker - Low
3. Arrested Development - Tennessee
2. Bob Seger - Like a Rock

Song of the Month: Thelma Houston - Don't Leave Me This Way