Sunday, February 28, 2010

LAPC Day Two

Today was probably the best I've played during the last week. There were two hands I think I misplayed preflop - one probably should have been a call of a Believer82 three-bet and one probably should have been a four-bet of Steve Zolotow - but postflop I was happy with every decision. I continue to run well and move on to day three with 122,600 chips.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

LAPC Day One

I played today at one of the toughest tables I have ever sat down at, though it did get slightly easier as the day progressed. I was fortunate to get up to 39k from the 20k starting stack before losing a big pot to Joe Tehan near the end of the night and finished with 23,700. Blinds will be 200-400-50 starting day two.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NAPT Venetian Day Five

After I busted out in sixth place, I went to fill out some payment paperwork near the poker room. There was some small tournament with plastic chips going, the sort of tournament where someone is all-in every hand and the players will likely end up making a four-way chop at the end. I thought about the first "big buy-in" $500 and $1000 tournaments I played in Minnesota and Vegas, the first time I played the big Party Poker Sunday tournament. I thought about how far I have come, how a really huge score like this could feel disappointing because it wasn't a truly stratospheric life-changing event. It is a wonderful situation to be in when a six figure win can come with a tinge of disappointment.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NAPT Venetian Day Four

Things went very smoothly early today. Then I hit a few speedbumps before a pulse-pounding double-up on the tv bubble. I head into the final table second in chips. Here is the list of players:

Sam Stein -- 6,145,000
Thomas Fuller -- 4,735,000
David Paredes -- 4,700,000
Yunus Jamal -- 3,940,000
Tom Marchese -- 2,370,000
Eric Blair -- 1,690,000
Daniel Clemente -- 1,345,000
John Cernuto -- 1,300,000

Everyone at the final table plays well to extremely well.

Here are the payouts:

1 $827,648.00
2 $522,306.00
3 $309,366.00
4 $241,064.00
5 $184,816.00
6 $144,639.00
7 $104,461.00
8 $60,266.00

The final table starts around 2 PM Pacific. I believe there might be a live stream at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NAPT Venetian Day Three

Most everything went very well again today and I finished the day with 1,540,000 chips which puts me sixth in chips of the remaining 24 players. MasterJ is still in as well. Tomorrow we play down to eight players and the televised final table.

Monday, February 22, 2010

NAPT Venetian Day Two

Today I found myself in many very profitable situations and went on an incredible rush from 8500 chips at about 1:30 PM to exactly 400,000 more when we ended play about eight hours later. There appear to be 148 players left and I am in 9th place. MasterJ is 5th in chips and my good friend SamENole is still in as well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

NAPT Venetian Day One

Sometimes I feel bad that the most popular form of poker in 2010 is full-ring tournament play. Poker is such a beautiful game. Playing it live, ten-handed, with average stacks of 30-50 big blinds is a corruption. I feel bad for the people that win a satellite to an event like this, the people who are playing in their first big tournament. I feel bad for the people who win a seat to a WSOP $1000 or $1500 event in a bar league or basement kitty. Ten-handed poker with shallow stacks is an abomination of what poker should be. This alleged "big tournament" is not any finer than your average online MTT. It's just more uncomfortable.

I am on to day two with 16,300 chips. Blinds will start at 500-1000-100 tomorrow at noon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On The Road Again

The epic week I had planned fizzled out somewhat, though I was able to make a score that will fund the next adventure: A journey to Las Vegas for the NAPT Venetian, immediately followed by an undetermined number of events in Los Angeles that will at a minimum include the LAPC WPT $10k Main Event, followed by any number of options involving Chicago, Council Bluffs, the Wynn, Bay 101, Caesars Indiana, the Hollywood Poker Open in Indiana, cross-country drives and/or flights, crinked necks, wild bankroll fluctuations, March Madness, egregious run-on sentences, changes in latitudes, and changes in attitudes. I might not be home for a month.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WPT Hand

I just saw a goofy hand from last week's episode of the World Poker Tour. The event was the $10k Legends of Poker. Fast forward to the 5:52 mark to watch this hand.

Todd Terry limped from the small blind with 86 offsuit, and chip leader Kevin Schaffel made a very tricky check of pocket kings from the big blind. The flop came T63 with two spades. Terry checked, Schaffel bet 70k into a 105k pot, and Terry called. The turn came the Tc. Terry checked, Schaffel bet 150k, and Terry called. The river was the 6d. Terry checked, Schaffel bet 200k, and Terry very reluctantly called.

Mike Sexton made a big stink about Terry's hesitance to call, even referring to it as a "slowroll." Schaffel also seemed disgusted, in part because he lost a large pot with pocket kings, but also because he may have felt he was slowrolled to some degree as well.

If I had been in Terry's seat, I may well have folded on the river. The way the hand was played, it made little sense for Schaffel to have anything but a ten. His bet-sizing and barrelling were completely indicative of a ten. The way Terry played it, it was highly likely that he had a six. When Schaffel bet 200k on the river, Terry felt sick because he knew it looked like he had just made a full house sixes over tens, and Schaffel was still betting.

I am completely shocked that Schaffel, a professional player who was part of the November Nine this year, bet the river. I love to see a nice thin value bet, but this bet was merely a donation. It made absolutely no sense. I don't know what he could have thought Terry would call him with. A pair of sevens?. Ace-three? It made no sense for Terry to have anything but a six or a hand with no showdown value, with the unlikely exception of an ace high flush draw.

That was one of the worst value bets I've seen in a while. I sided much more with Terry's pain on the river than Schaffel's.

The other thing about this hand is I would have usually folded the turn in Terry's seat, because it is so rare to see a double barrel bluff when the top card on the board pairs. In fact, many players would check back the turn with what Schaffel actually had.

It is interesting because at low levels, Schaffel's turn bet could mean a lot of hands. At intermediate to high levels, Schaffel's turn bet usually means a ten. And at the highest level, Schaffel's turn bet could again mean a lot of hands.

Terry is drawing dead if Schaffel has a ten, and not too far in front if he has a draw. I am not real familiar with Schaffel's game, but generally speaking I don't think a call is profitable in that situation when it is pro vs pro.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Heads Up Score

I finished 3rd/4th place in the FTOPS $535 Heads Up event for $27k. It's pretty clear I'm one of the best heads up tournament players out there, though that wouldn't translate to high stakes heads up cash games. I think I may have no choice but to play the $10k Heads Up at the WSOP this summer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Alive of Winter

Everything is going according to the plan. I have been working hard in every aspect of my life, and that labor is starting to pay off.

I was a slight winner in poker in January, which is notable because it was the first time I have ever finished in the black the first month of the year. It was encouraging to finish the month with a profit despite failing to cash in two $10ks, despite blowing another $10k in a satellite I should have won, despite crapping out late in several medium to large online tournaments.

In the past, I have had friends who I knew were going to break through on the tournament trail and hit it big. I was certain of this happening before it happened, and every time it did.

The last few weeks, I have developed this same belief about myself. My no limit game is razor sharp. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when and how much. It might not be this spring; it might not be this summer; but I know if I keep working as hard as I have been working the last month, it will all come in time.

I have so much going on in the next week it scares me. I have no idea where I will be, literally or mentally, in ten days. But I take comfort knowing I have so much to gain and so little to lose. One thing is for sure - it is better to have too much on your plate than not enough.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

January Top 15

15. Billy Joel - Get It Right The First Time
14. Meese - Next In Line
13. Jay-Z - Run This Town (feat. Rihanna & Kanye West)
12. The Streets - Fit But You Know It
11. Stereophonics - Roll Up And Shine

10. Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard - These Roads Don't Move
9. The Streets - Dry Your Eyes Mate
8. David Bowie - Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
7. Melanesian Choirs - Jisas Yu Holem Hand Blong Mi

6. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
5. Alice in Chains - Check My Brain
4. AC/DC - It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)
3. Powderfinger - My Happiness
2. Brendan Benson - Jet Lag

Song of the Month: Green Day - See The Light

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paul Wins!

Paul Wasicka is the 2010 WSOP Circuit Tunica champion! As decorated as Paul's tournament career has been, I believe this is his first victory of any kind in a true multi-table tournament.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tunica 5k

Good luck to Paul Wasicka, Matt Stout, and Dwyte Pilgrim at the final table of the WSOP Circuit Tunica main event. Paul is the chip leader. Matt finished third in this event last year. Dwyte is the most successful player in the history of the WSOP Circuit.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday Night

I played the 1k Monday the week Full Tilt had double guarantees, but other than that I haven’t played it since the summer. There was Monday Night Football, and now I am sort of on a volleyball team that plays Monday nights. Tonight they didn’t need me so I decided to play the 1k Monday and blog about as I used to. I am hesitant to write down all my hands since I am playing so much poker now, and my competitors on the circuit can find my blog and see how I play. But I feel bad because all the times I blogged it as I played, I don’t think I cashed once! It was mostly just me writing down bad plays and bad beats. Imagine if I had been blogging the night I won it. That would have been the most exciting post in Bad Moon Rising history.


Table has a bunch of players I recognize. Phat_cat1 who is really good on my left. LEADBOOTS across the table. Amak316, Amit Makhija, one of the best, is across the table. Regulars Wu_Wizard and YrrsiN are to my right and a player named DeMaci who I imagine is this guy Christopher DeMaci I played with in the money in a $1500 WSOP event is on my right.

Amak is a 3-betting, squeezing type player, the type of player I will probably never be, but I am still excited to play with him to see the spots he picks and how he maneuvers.

YrrsiN raises to 60 DeMaci calls on the button I make it 240 from the SB with T8s YrrsiN folds DeMaci calls. Flop JT2 rainbow one heart I check he bets 300 into 560 I call. Turn 9c two clubs I check he bets 800 into 1160 I tank and fold.

Raise JTo on button BB makes a 3x raise I call. Flop Q43 he checks I check. Turn 4 he bets half pot I fold.

Raise 44 BB LEADBOOTS calls. Flop Js7s5c check-check. Turn 8s he fires a healthy bet I do have a spade but fold.

Next hand I raise K5s from MP all fold.

Next hand I limp 55 phat_cat1 makes it 100 I call. Flop KT7 I check/fold.

Next hand I raise 64s UTG all fold.

I am looking like the fish at the table here I have played 6 of the first 9 hands and siphoned off some chips.

Raise T9o on button win uncontested.


No music tonight. Got Big Monday college basketball on in the background.

LEADBOOTS 3xs UTG I call with 87o from the cutoff. Flop A86 he bets something standard I call. Turn T he checks I bet less than half pot he folds.

Next hand raise AQo hijack all fold.

Next two hands I fold K5s and K6s in unopened pots from middle position. Then fold JTo in second position and 98o UTG.


Fold a bunch of crap including T7s UTG.

Texas has an early lead on Kansas. I went to the Kansas game at Coors Events Center last week, a heartbreaking OT loss for the Buffaloes. Kansas started the game hot but looked very mediocre for the final 30 minutes. Bottom line, I will not be picking the Jayhawks (or any Big XII team) to make much of a run in the NCAAs. I think I am gonna end up picking Kentucky to go the distance, with Syracuse runner-up.

3x T8o in the SB phatcat calls. Flop AJ9 two diamonds I bet a little more than half pot he folds.

Next hand DeMaci raises to 120 from the cutoff I make it 360 on the button with K4s he folds.


Fold K9o EP.

Raise two red aces UTG phatcat calls in second position. Flop Kh4h2s I bet 234 he makes it 687. I think for a while about raising, knowing I can confidently throw it away if he shoves, then decide to call. Turn Jh I check he checks. River 8s I bet 500 into 1700 hoping to get a call from AK or KQ he tanks a while and just calls with a set of fours. Clearly that sucked but the damage was mitigated.

Raise 88 from the cutoff the Brazilian in the SB calls. Flop KcQc6 check check. Turn 3 check check. River 2c he checks I bet 200 he folds.

Wu_Wizard raises UTG I call with two fours. Flop 733 he bets and I fold.

Next hand raise QJo from third position all fold.


Kansas is on a ridiculous run here it is now 30-14 Jayhawks. I am always fantasizing about a 16 seed beating a 1 thinking maybe this could be the year with Bill Self coaching a Jayhawks team lacking a true superstar and Syracuse having lost to some D-II team or something in November.

YrrsiN, fresh off losing a pot to Amak, raises the hijack and I fold T9o from the button.

During the break I go downstairs and watch a hand from the WPT Bellagio Cup that just aired on my DVR. I am about halfway through what I believe is three hours of coverage of a table consisting of Erik Seidel, Faraz Jaka, Alex Gomes, Alec Torelli, Justin Smith, and some Scandinavian. It might be the best WPT I have ever seen. Seidel gets owned about five times, Jaka plays his big stack really well, Torelli and Smith throw in some interesting plays, and Gomes plays about as well as anyone can play poker, picking up several pots with nothing while completely card-dead. I just watched the hand where Gomes doubles through Jaka with flush over flush to become the chipleader and thought about how wonderful he must have felt at that moment. He scrapped and clawed and fought and then was rewarded with a huge risk-free double and went on to win the tournament.

YrrsiN raises I fold 63s in position.

Raise J3s on the button the BB Brazilian calls. Flop 532 he checks I bet he calls. Turn 8s second spade he now leads out 2/3 pot this is about the bluffiest thing I’ve ever seen I call. River 5 he thinks about bluffing again I would have instacalled but he checks I check he has KTs hey that’s MY hand I win.


Next hand fold K2s cutoff.

Next hand I get red aces again and raise. Brazilian calls from the button and LEADBOOTS calls from the big. Flop K75 rainbow Boots checks I elect to check Brazilian bets pretty big Boots folds I raise about 3x which is a third of my stack Brazilian folds pretty quickly.

Very next hand I get kings amazingly and raise. Ryanbluf calls from the button. Flop is A95 all spades (I have Ks) and it goes check/check. Turn Qs giving me the nuts I bet something bland and he calls. River Kd I bet 800 into 1200 and he folds.

Two hands later I limp 33 EP and LEADBOOTS raises just 3x from LP. I call. Flop K72 two hearts I check he bets I actually think about calling. It is just so easy for him to have no pair here but I fold.

Amak opens for 2.5x and I defend the BB with J9 clubs. Flop K64 all diamonds I check/fold.

Next hand Ryanbluf raises 3x from EP and I make a spewy call in the SB with T8dd. Flop K54 two spades one diamond I check he bets standard I really thought about raising here as it is so rare for him to have a king or better here but it was a little hard for me to have a hand also so I folded.

Next hand Amak opened MP to 200 I call with AJs on the button then the Brazilian makes it 640 from the BB and Amak calls. I decide this is not a fun spot for AJs and 50 BBs so I fold.


Wu_Wizard opens LP I call in the SB with AJ. Flop KJ8 two hearts one diamond check-check. Turn 6d I fire 2/3 pot he folds.

Raise AJ MP all fold.

I open 65s to 300 in SB phatcat calls. Flop Kc6c3d check/check. Turn 2s I bet 382 into 600 he calls. River 6 I bet 1000 into 1364 he calls with K7.

Over the last year or so of tournament poker I have almost always been limping the SB when it folds to me, but I think I am going to change that up and raise hands like that 65s against opponents that aren’t super psychotic preflop. It opens up more opportunities postflop if you learn how to bluff and slowly I think I might be learning how to bluff though clearly it doesn’t come naturally.


Raise KQs all fold.

Wu raises LP smallish I call in BB with 98o. Flop K65 rainbow I check he checks but it is unclear if he checked or just timed out. Turn T I check he bets 360 I make it 999 he calls. River 2 check-check he wins with KQo.

Minraise cutoff with 3c3h Brazilian calls in SB. Flop Ts9s2d check/check. Turn 6s he fires big I fold.

Fold 98o hijack next hand.

YrrsiN minraises I call AQhh ryanbluf calls on button. Flop AdKc8d checked around. Turn Jh checked around. River 4 Yrr checks I fire a little less than 2/3 pot both fold.

Fold A8s second pos.

I was thinking about the Saints today, thinking about them from a poker tournament perspective. I know some very good players who generally play tight and aim to make one big move a day playing the big multi-day events. I was thinking about how the Saints showed such patience, such restraint yesterday against that cover-2 defense. It would have been so easy to panic down 10-0 against the Colts, but they didn’t – they just kept grinding. All season long the Saints made these huge plays, but yesterday the Colts didn’t give them anything deep so they just kept chipping away and got back in the game thanks to clock management and Garrett Hartley. Then they made their one big move, the onside kick, and fortunately it worked out.

On a related note, Drew Brees is basically the most likable player in the league. His career has more or less been a perfect crescendo, culminating in yesterday's Super Bowl MVP. I have thought a lot about this and I think the perfect life scenario is how it has gone for Drew Brees, which is even more satisfying than the career arc of a Brett Favre or a Tom Brady. And I do believe that life, or my poker career, is set up for this sort of arc. I do believe I am poised. But first I need to play a little better. Drew Brees plays just about perfect.

Amak raises Wu calls I fold A5o in BB.


Amak raises I fold Q9o button.

Raise AJ second pos all fold.

DeMaci who has been quiet raises the button I fold K7s in SB.

Ryanbluf raises UTG DeMaci three-bets I fold 77 on the button.

Fold J7s MP.

Raise 98s win the blinds. Table is playing real tight. Everyone just stalling around waiting for the antes and bigger blinds not putting chips out there this tends to happen in the 1k Monday.

Amak open-limps which surprises me I didn’t know he did that. Then after he loses the pot to a ryanbluf checkraise on QQ6

amak316: heh misclick pre =(


Open fold 33 in third position.

Fold KTo each of the next two hands.

Limp K2s in SB phatcat has gotten short board of A748J is checked down I beat his 62.

Amak raises to 500 I call on the button with T9 clubs. Flop J87 rainbow not too bad he bets 775 into 1300 I just call. Turn 6 second heart he checks I bet 1679 leaving myself with 3000 he jams I call of course. He has QQ and is drawing dead. Double up.

Fold A5o cutoff next hand.

I raise A9s to 479 from the hijack phatcat shoves for 2800 right behind me I fold.

Next hand raise T9s all fold.

Next hand find A9s again and raise. This time it is Amak that jams from the SB for 3700 that is not a bet I can call.

Fold T7s UTG.


Phatcat has 3500 in the BB I have J9o in the SB. What do you do? I limp and the board of K88K6 is checked down and I win vs 47.

Limp QTo from the cutoff phatcat folds the button and the Brazilian folds the SB. Ryanbluf checks the KK9 flop and I check. Turn 9 check-check. River J he checks I bet a little more than half pot and he calls with A4. That hand had a lot of different possible permutations.

Wu opens from the cutoff I 3x from the big with AK he 4-bets half his stack. There is kind of this running joke that I get 4-bet every time I reraise someone in a tournament, whether I have it or not. Honestly it is just kind of ridiculous. I hardly ever reraise yet seemingly every time they come right back over the top. My timing is just laughably bad. This time I stick it in, he has AQs, and for once this scenario develops like it’s “supposed to” and I win the big pot and vault into the top ten with 20k in my stack.

Folds to me in the hijack and I fold KJo! Honestly I don’t know if I’ve folded this hand in this position in an unopened pot in no limit hold em in years, literally. But I looked to my left and it was nothing but shove stacks and they were big enough to get me to fold.

Fold A9o second position.


DeMaci opens from the cutoff and I fold 55 on the button. What the heck is going on here? Both blinds had shove stacks and DeMaci didn’t really have enough for me to setmine. BOTH blinds shove, DeMaci folds, phatcat has 77 Brazilian has AK board comes 5337x.

DeMaci raises I fold Q9s someone shoves behind DeMaci busts his A9s with AK.

Raise pocket sixes to 618. Table has gotten shorthanded with these bustouts. Ryanbluf on the button makes it 1789 with 6543 behind. This could definitely be a move and a shove on my part might be profitable here but I lay it down.

Cutoff who is new to the table 3x raises I fold A9o in the SB.

Same guy now minraises on a 9500 stack I think for a while from the cutoff with AQs and end up cold-calling. Phatcat then tanks into his timebank and calls as well on a shortish stack. Flop is T98 all hearts obviously not what I was looking for first guy bets pot we fold.

Same guy minraises the next hand UTG to 560 I make it 1511 in third position with ATo folds back to him and he calls. Flop is AcKc9 and he leads out for a little less than a third of the pot. I call. Turn 3 check check. River Q he bets like 10% pot I call he has KJ spades I win image not good.


Fold K8o cutoff.

Try to open a pot from the hijack with QJs but hafizzle who is new to the table raises a quarter of his stack on the button and ryanbluf jams from the SB. I fold and hafizzle eventually calls it off with a pair of eights. You cannot get these tourney donks off a pair of eights, nines, or tens preflop with an uninvested four-bet, an invested five-bet, a steel pole, a stick of dynamite, or the Ebola Virus.

Amak busts out to the guy who called my reraise with KJs. Good news.

That KJs guy raises 3x on the button and I elect to call with 53 of diamonds in the BB. He has chips and doesn’t appear to play well. Flop AdQd5s I check and he bets half pot. I can play a smaller pot here – this guy probably won’t fold an ace. But I raise gigantic, he turbo-ships and I can’t outrun his AQ in a 30k pot. Knocked down to 6k.

Next hand there is a MP raise to 800 and I make an unorthodox call with KQ in the SB. Flop Q97 I check he bets half pot I jam and he folds.


Next hand DeMaci raises the cutoff to 921 and I ship 8452 on the button with pocket threes. He calls with AQ and again I can’t win the race.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Super Bowl Pick

Also like: Saints + 4.5 over Colts

Lock season record: 1-0
Really like season record: 5-10
Also like season record: 42-47
If forced to choose season record: 77-80-4
All games season record: 125-137-4

Best Prop Bets:

Super Bowl MVP:
Robert Mathis 40/1
Gary Brackett 50/1
Drew Brees 43/20
Mike Bell 40/1

Will Reggie Bush score a TD in this game (NO, -105)
Joseph Addai longest rush from scrimmage (UNDER 13.5 yards, even money)
Will the New Orleans Saints convert a 4th down (YES, -115)
Will the New Orleans Saints score in every quarter (YES, +170)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

2009 NFL Season Recap

The pertinent things NFL fans will remember about the 2009 season will be Fourth and Two, the Colts eschewing a shot at an undefeated season, Brett Favre playing for the Vikings, the Jets playoff run, and a dream season for the Saints. This post aims to take note of everything that deserves to be remembered from a mediocre season.

Game of the Year

8. Dolphins 31, Jets 27 (Week Five) on Monday Night Football
Probably a great game, but I had too much money on the Jets to notice.

7. Saints 31, Vikings 28 (NFC Championship)
The highest-stakes, most dramatic game of the season but it was also very sloppy.

6. Lions 38, Browns 37 (Week Eleven)
The most mindlessly entertaining game of the season.

5. Broncos 12, Bengals 7 (Week One)
This game is remembered for the Immaculate Deflection, but it was a fierce, competitive, hard-hitting battle between two stern defensive-minded squads for sixty minutes.

4. Titans 20, Cardinals 17 (Week Twelve)
Young vs Leinart. Tennessee’s comeback season hanging in the balance. A 99 yard drive to win the game, including three fourth downs, including the final play.

3. Colts 35, Patriots 34 (Week Ten)
A wild battle between the league’s two most aggressive teams and biggest rivals. Sad it will only be remembered for Fourth And Two.

2. Arizona 51, Green Bay 45 (NFC Divisional Playoff)
The definitive shootout.

1. Ravens 20, Steelers 17 (Week Twelve)
The Dennis Dixon game. A tight, emotional, high-stakes Sunday night battle between two teams that hate each other.

Worst Game

Browns 6, Bills 3 (Week Five)
Derek Anderson went 2-17 for 23 yards in a winning effort. Punter Dave Zastudil was the best player on the field. This game was so incredibly bad I watched it twice just to re-comprehend its incredible suckitude.

Choke of the Year (Team)

3. Bills 24, Patriots 25 (Week One)
2. Bengals 17, Raiders 20 (Week Eleven)

Both teams dominated the game, only to give up a late touchdown and fumble the ensuing kickoff setting up a game-losing score.

But how do you bottom the Steelers losing games to the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns in one season?

Play of the Year

5. Fourth And Two
4. Vince Young Comes of Age
3. Ray Lewis “Planet Earth”
2. The Gunslinger
1. The Immaculate Deflection

Coach of the Year

Rex Ryan seems like the logical pick, but Sean Payton surpassed him in fundamentals and clock management.

Defensive Coordinator of the Year

3. Mike Zimmer, Cincinnati
The real reason the Bengals won the AFC North.
2. Mike Nolan, Denver
1. Gregg Williams, New Orleans
It is easy to forget how horrendous these two defenses were in '08. Nolan has since moved on to Miami; I expect him to help the Dolphins compete for a Super Bowl next season.

Offensive Coordinator of the Year

Brian Schottenheimer, New York Jets

Like Cam Cameron the year before in Baltimore, Schottenheimer patiently and creatively found ways to develop an offense hamstrung by a rookie quarterback.


3. Brett Favre, Minnesota
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans
1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis

Guys are playing better at the quarterback position than anyone ever has before. It has become clear that Manning is the best the game has ever seen.

Defensive MVP

2. Charles Woodson, Green Bay

This was certainly the Year of the Cornerback

1. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets

And Revis may have had the greatest season an NFL cornerback has ever had. Just stupefyingly effective week after week.

Sneaky MVP

He didn’t have the numbers, had no fantasy value, and stunk it up in the playoff loss to the Jets, but every time the Bengals needed their quarterback to make a play, Carson Palmer came through.

Pony of the Year

Hard to have a POY when you are consistently losing your bets, but Ed Reed did make us some money for the second straight year.

Anti-Pony of the Year

And for the second straight season, it’s Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia. I am around 25% picking Eagles games the last two years.

Cover of the Year

Seahawks 32, Lions 20 (Week Nine)

A Josh Wilson pick-six with 32 seconds left covers the 11 point spread.

Worst Line of the Year

Bears -1 at BENGALS, (Week Seven). Final score: Bengals 45, Bears 10.

Biggest Upset

Plenty to choose from here but Oakland 13, Philadelphia 9 (Week Six) was the most shocking because it came at a time when every big favorite had been not only winning, but covering. The Eagles were 14.5 pt favorites in this one and over 80% of bettors were on Philly.

Biggest Blowout/Cover/Second Best Fantasy Performance/Second Worst Fantasy Performance

Patriots 59, Titans 0

A 49.5 point cover. Tom Brady: 380 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT. Kerry Collins: -7 yards passing, 0 TD, 1 INT.

Most Devastating Knockout Pool Game

Bengals over Packers (Week Two) may have technically knocked out the most entries, but Kansas City 44, Denver 24 in Week 17 was sadistically cruel punishment for those who had navigated sixteen weeks of landmines only to see it all fall apart the last week of the season.

Wildest Fantasy Breakout

Miles Austin vs Kansas City (Week Five): 10 catches, 250 yards, 2 TD. Season stats before that game: 5 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD.

Best Fantasy Game

Chris Johnson, Titans vs Houston (Week Two): 197 rush yards, 2 rush TD, 9 receptions, 87 yards, 1 rec TD.

Worst Fantasy Game

Mark Sanchez, Jets vs Bills (Week Six): 119 pass yards, 6 rush yards, 0 TD, 5 INT, 1 FUM

Most Devastating Injury

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

No team depends on a defensive player like the Steelers do with Polamalu. His injury ultimately cost Pittsburgh a playoff berth and a shot at another title.


3. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
2. Jake Delhomme, Carolina
1. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland

For the second straight season, JaMarcus was the worst, most ruinous player in the game.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Borgata Main Event Day Two

I managed one double up through Matt Matros with AQs vs AK on my first three-bet of the tournament, then busted a couple hours later on my second.

I just didn't have the cards, and this wasn't a place where you could win without making a hand. It would have been so easy to acquire a risk-free stack if I hit a hand or two, but I just never got dealt much.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Borgata Main Event Day One

What do you do when nobody is folding a pair? When guys are calling over-pot shoves with 55 on 632K boards? When guys are stacking off 300 big blinds with overpairs? You try to hit hands. I tried and tried to hit but really only made one or two and finished day one with roughly the starting stack. I will have 50 BBs starting play tomorrow.

I am tweeting a lot.