Thursday, June 30, 2011

Event #50 $5000 Triple-Chance NL

I made the dumbest call I've made in at least a year forty minutes into this tournament, and was punished for that mistake with the most prolonged run of crappy cards I have ever received in a major tournament.

Liv Boeree's results are an inspiration for mediocre longtime tournament pros like myself. It is possible.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Venetian $2500 Day Two

I busted in 31st place paying 27 the first time I was all-in during the tournament after playing almost all of it with at least 100 BBs. It was one of the more painful tournament exits I've experienced.

A google search for "female full tilt australia" identified Jackie Glazier as the bi-contextually solid woman sitting across the table.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Venetian $2500

I ran hot all day in this superbly-structured event and finished with 115k in chips with the average around 70k heading into day two.

One of these two people is the Poker Hottie of the Day.

Hint: that person is married to Caio Pimenta.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Event #45 $1000 NL

Blinds were 100-200 when I raised ATs from middle position to 400. Everyone folded to the small blind, who obviously didn't see me raise. He took a look at the big blind's stack (about 2000) then said "all-in." The big blind folded, I snap-called, the small blind had K8o, and the board ran out JTxKx.

We've reached the dog days of the WSOP, though there is still some snow on Mt. Charleston.

One of these two people is the Poker Hottie of the Day.

Event #43 $1500 NL

I lost three pots with top pair in the first two hours, folded for the next two, then lost a three-way all-in with AK against AK against ATs.

Poker Hottie of the Day Valdemar Kwaysser sat at an adjacent table.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Event #41 $1500 Limit Hold'em Shootout

This was my worst performance of the WSOP thus far, as I put in three or four unnecessary big bets and wound up finishing 6th at a tough table.

There is this one WSOP masseuse who looks just like Caroline Wozniacki. Honestly, she's even hotter than Wozniacki, with just about the most gorgeous golden hair I've ever seen. I don't have a creepy i-Phone-taken picture of that dazzling masseuse, but here's one of her doppelganger:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Event #40 $5000 NL Six-Handed

My bust felt underachieving considering how weak my starting table was. It's pretty disappointing to walk away from this, the $5k shootout, the $2500, and the $2500 out $15k considering how weak my starting tables were.

I wonder who will play Vicky Coren when they adapt her life into a movie. Perhaps Vicky herself will write the screenplay - she's a professional writer as well as an EPT Champion.

Event #36 $2500 NL Day Two

For some reason Matt Berkey decided to call a 22BB reship with QJo and sucked out on my AJo about 70 spots short of the money.

Afterwards I was watching my friend Joe Ressler make his way towards the $5k 6-handed PLO final table, admiring Irishman David Callaghan and his perfect fauxhawk.

Joe finished 5th for $106k after taking a one-outer in a chiplead pot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Event #36 $2500 NL

I moved onto day two of this event with 22k in chips with the blinds at 500-1000 tomorrow. I have not cashed in a WSOP event with a buyin over $2000 since 2006, back in the days when Poker Hottie of the Day Jeanine Deeb was roaming the halls of the Rio.

I spotted Jeanine at the Rio today, though I don't think she has any affiliation with the game besides her father, Freddie, anymore.

Monday, June 20, 2011

May Top 15

15. Guster - Architects & Engineers
14. Badly Drawn Boy - Take The Glory
13. Ryan Adams - The Sun Also Sets
12. Fleetwood Mac - Sisters of the Moon
11. Collective Soul - Not The One

10. The Doors - Waiting For The Sun
9. Fleetwood Mac - Sara
8. Fleetwood Mac - Silver Springs
7. Graham Parker & The Rumour - Soul Shoes
6. Fleetwood Mac - Big Love

5. Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Blue On Black
4. Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon
3. Ryan Adams - I Taught Myself How To Grow Old
2. Gillian Welch - Look At Miss Ohio

Song of the Month: Fleetwood Mac - Storms

Event #32 $1500 NL Day Two

I am getting acquainted with that cute thirtysomething lady who helps coordinate the WSOP payouts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Event #32 $1500 NL

There's not much to report here other than me running red hot in all-ins. I finished the day with 48k with the average around 35k. Hopefully I will keep winning all-ins as there may be quite a few tomorrow.

Poker hottie of the day Adam Geyer always seems to be at the table next to mine if he's not at the same one.
Adam, one of the best preflop players in the history of no limit hold em as well as one the biggest winners in online tournament history, always, always has the perfect amount of facial hair. I really don't know how he does it. It's like he shaved a day and a half ago, always.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PiMaster Wins

Today was a pretty special day as one of my first and best friends in poker, longtime Vegas housemate Chris "PiMaster" Viox finished off Mike Sexton heads up and won his first WSOP bracelet in the $1500 Stud-8 for $200k and Poker Hottie of the Day honors. What's hotter than winning a bracelet?

It also gives me another opportunity to run this classic photo:

Chris is lights out in just about every poker game, and has now finished third in Pot Limit Hold Em and Razz at the WSOP, along with cashes in NLHE, 6-handed NLHE, PLO8, O8, PLO, 2-7 NL, and thrice in the Main Event. This was the biggest score of his career, capping a dominant performance in which he coasted through the tournament without ever being all-in.

I root for all my friends but PiMaster is amongst a select few because I know how deserving he is of his success and how efficiently he will put the money to use for his family. Chris roots for his friends more passionately than anyone else, happily guiding and cheering them on from the rail whenever he's not playing himself.

A big congratulations to Chris, the closest man to an older brother that I've known.

Event #28 $1500 NL

I got bluffed out of my mind by a young German pro in a huge pot a few hours in and was out shortly after. It was a truly audacious bluff, and I was still staggering around the Rio hours afterwards recounting the hand history to anyone who would listen. Fortunately, there was a welcome distraction in the hours after that demeaning facial. More on this tomorrow.

Poker hottie of the day Christina Lindley was another welcome distraction before she busted deep in the $2500 6-handed.

Christina's beauty is divisive. I feel like her hotness is pretty open and shut but some tend to disagree. I find it pretty laughable that anyone could say they don't find her attractive but the more discussion these posts arouse the more I realize how variable preferences are.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Event #26 $2500 6-Handed NL

Not much to report here. Several lost three and four-bet pots. A double with kings against ace-king. Some siphoning. A big and correct laydown. Bust with nines against queens.

I'm thinking Lynn Gilmartin is the hottest poker reporter on the circuit. The accent seals it.

On a related note, whatever happened to Gloria Balding? Haven't seen her this year.

Event #24 $5K NLHE Shootout

I have no idea how good I am at poker.

When I used to play cash games, I was very good, relative to my opponents. Since I switched predominantly to tournaments, I don't know.

I play events like this and wonder if I belong in them before, during, and after the fact. I felt like today I was the second best player at the table, but then, my opponents probably felt that they were in that neighborhood too.

I do some stuff at the table that looks fishy but is well thought-out.

I do some stuff at the table that actually is fishy.

I often see well-known pros do fishy stuff at the table. Sometimes it is well thought-out, sometimes it really is fishy. Sometimes they're unfocused, not playing their best.

Sometimes I don't play my best. Sometimes I do.

I thought this one kid at the table, Toby Lewis, was playing much better than anyone else. But after dinner, I thought he made some strategical errors.

Galen Hall, the Poker Hottie of the Day, has done some serious damage this year on the circuit. But I was talking to a friend today about his play, and he makes some major mistakes too. He doesn't always play his best.

It's a tough nut to crack, this poker.

Poker Listings published an article about me this evening.

I've never had a losing year.

I feel like my chances of finishing in the red are much greater than 50% this year - and every year in the future, too.

As Lou Reed would say, I guess that I just don't know.

The $2500 6-max is tomorrow.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Event #20 $1K NLHE Day Two

I thought I played my cards well in this event, and furthered an irrelevant quest to lead all twentysomethings in lifetime cashes at the WSOP. I finished in the 200s.

Like a lot of teenage boys, I used to think boobs were the most attractive part of a woman. Then legs. Then butt. Strangely now, it might be arms. That's all it takes. A nice toned set of arms, especially in a tank top. This hottie was in my sightline as we careened into the money this afternoon.

Event #20 $1K NLHE

I have logged so many hours in these donkaments the last few years they all blur together after the fact. After each day I often have a hard time recalling how I got to the end of it. The sea of tables is so vast, it's hard to see the finish line. In the moment, however, I am a robotic chameleon. The gear-shifting has become automatic. I played all five of them today, as I often do in these low buy-in WSOP events, and emerged with 2/3 of an average stack as we rapidly approach the money.

The temperature in the Pavilion was also constantly changing, forcing hotties like my friend Amanda "Mandy B" Baker to hide in their hoodies. Like my first girlfriend, my dog, and Diane Lane, Mandy B has steadily gotten more attractive since I first met her several years ago.

Mandy B is an oasis in this desert, a poker player and Vegas resident who prioritizes the world and the environment ahead of gambling. Two years ago she stopped by our summer rental house just to replace the lightbulbs with more energy-efficient ones. Here's to Mandy B, the Poker Hottie of the Day. I'll trade you two brick for a sheep and a wheat.

And here's to you, Adam Friedman, third-place finisher in the $1500 HORSE.

And here's to you, Dallas Mavericks, for winning a thrilling NBA Finals. As I watched the last seconds tick away and the Mavericks almost incredulously celebrate their title, I thought about how long their journey has been, how daunting it must have seemed at times, how endless their lineup of foes must have appeared. But they just took it one possession at a time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Event #18 $1500 NLHE

This was a tour de force for me, as these $1500s often are. I played at five different tables and switched between four different gears. My stack was all over the place but trended downwards after losing a pot with TT on a T8828 board and eventually succumbed with a couple hours left in the night. My play was erratic, as it too often is.

After I busted I walked by a table where the Poker Hottie of the Day was sitting and started thinking some more about the inconsistent level of performance I bring to the World Series of Poker.
Tony Dunst is not outrageously talented in the looks department, but his effort level is always supreme. The guy does everything in his power to look as good as he can at all times. He works out a ton. He generally wears a suit. He's always well-groomed. He pays attention to every detail. It was this sort of effort, not results on the poker tables, that gave him a much desired analyst gig on the World Poker Tour. Expending consistent, unwavering, exhaustive effort in anything you do is much easier said than done. Tony never falters.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Event #17 $1500 HORSE

I haven't concluded whether I should be playing tourneys like this or not. I'm much better than many of the players but significantly worse than many others. I'm likely to get something going but unlikely to get super deep, and winning would take a series of miracles. I really need to sharpen my skills in several mixed games if I want to keep playing them, but there's almost no chance of that happening now.

I played well today and didn't make any obscene mistakes but was slightly overmatched on occasion and ultimately expired late at night after losing a huge pot to one of the better players, Pat Pezzin.

I don't know if I'll see Cyndy Violette the rest of the Series as she's gotten away from NLHE the last few years, so she's the Poker Hottie of the Day. I was staring her down from a distance this evening, marveling like I would at some gorgeous mountain peak.

Cyndy has made health her priority and it's really paying dues. At 51, Cyndy still rocks a bodacious body highlighted by strong, sexy arms, shoulders, and a spectacular rack that laughs in the face of gravity. She's hard and soft in all the right places. The one time I played with her, she was cool, cordial, and never tapped on the aquarium while witnessing some horrific stud-8 plays - which is more than can be said for some other name pros I played with today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Event #16 $10000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship

I sifted through a ton of garbage hands today, and finally went a little bananas when I caught a decent looking draw. I ran into a monster, whiffed my draw, and was reduced to one third of the starting stack. After that it was grind mode and though I doubled up once, it wasn't enough and I was eliminated rather early from the tournament.

Jennifer Tilly, who was playing at an adjacent table, is the Poker Hottie of the Day.

I know what a lot of you are thinking - three hotties so far, one's been a dude, and one's an old lady. Pickings have been slim the last couple days. But that's besides the point. Jennifer Tilly is 52 years old. Still boneable. Amazing. Props.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Event #13 $1500 NL Shootout

I got to the Rio ten minutes early for the tournament, which allowed me to buy a banana for $2.50 and talk to my pal and Poker Hottie of the Day Joe Sebok.

I realized for the first time how much Joe and I have in common. We've both failed to achieve our goals as professional poker players despite plenty of successes. Both of our careers are winding down in melancholy fashion, far from the heights we once tightroped. We're both willing and even somewhat excited to say goodbye to the game, but a little unsure about what to do next. We talked about not being able to match the passion and drive of the younger players infiltrating the circuit, about how we used to obsess constantly over poker hands and now tend to think about other stuff most of the time.

I spent only a little more time playing the tournament than I did talking to Joe. This was the second-quickest bust I've ever had at the WSOP, behind last year's shootout. An amateur player opened for 300 at 25-25 and I just called with black kings. I raised his 350 bet to 750 on the 5s5h4s flop, then called a check-shove for 1200 more after betting 800 on the Ts turn only to be shown red tens.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Event #12 $1500 Triple Chance NLHE

I know there are a lot of people out there reading this blog who will hate me for saying this, but I was kind of bored playing at the WSOP today. You kind of have to win some big pots early or you're stuck in grind mode until you do or you bust. I lost the big pot with KJ against KK on a QTx board and then was just passing the time waiting for a spot to stick it in, and lost when I finally did.

There's a lot of down time playing these donkaments at the WSOP. I pay attention to the hands while they're going on but it's not enough. I check twitter, play games and stuff on the iPhone, and look around at the sea of faces in the sprawling poker rooms. 90% of the players you see in these things aren't aesthetically pleasing. So when you catch sight of someone attractive, it's startling. About a year ago some friends and I started kicking around the idea of a "Poker Hottie of the Day" post on this blog, just joking really, but the idea and the boredom have festered to the point where I'm going to actually start posting them until people get too creeped out by it or the WSOP comes to a close.

The first Poker Hottie of the Day is Maria Ho, who spent the first couple hours of the day in my direct sightline before busting the tournament and exiting the Pavilion. She might have caught me staring once or twice but it was easy to pass off since I would normally be looking in that direction anyways. Maria has been a celebrity in the poker world since she was the last woman standing at the 2007 Main Event, and a celebrity in the real world since appearing on The Amazing Race in 2009. Her carefully constructed look is one part glamour, one part elegance, and one part matron. It's very well executed.

She also just made a monstrous $540k score in the $5k NL so congrats to Maria on a sick pile of cash as well as being the first Poker Hottie of the Day!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Event #9 $1500 2-7 Draw Lowball Final Table

I played flawlessly today but didn't catch the breaks and busted in fifth place for $19,906 to a young man who was clearly destined to win the tournament. I really felt like I was the one destined for first place and was surprised to be knocked out short of the bracelet.

I'll be in the $10k deuce likely selling about half my action unless I make a run in Tuesday's $1500 triple chance or Wednesday's $1500 shootout.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Event #9 $1500 2-7 Draw Lowball Day Two

I am on to the final table of what will likely be the smallest tournament of the 2011 WSOP.

Here are the chip counts entering the final table, which will start at 3 PM Pacific on Monday:

1 Matt Perrins 293,000
2 Bernard Lee 265,000
3 Chris Bjorin 197,500
4 Thomas Fuller 168,000
5 Josh Brikis 119,000
6 Robin Rightmire 107,000
7 Jason Mercier 89,000

And here are the payouts:

1. $102,105
2. $63,112
3. $41,643
4. $28,422
5. $19,906
6. $14,296
7. $10,524

I believe the final table will be streaming live on

Regardless of what happens I'll be playing the $10k 2-7 on Thursday. I'm not sure how much of myself I'll want to sell but probably some.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Event #9 $1500 2-7 Draw Lowball

I had been looking forward to this tournament for a year, when I received a crash-course tutorial and plunged headfirst into the 2010 edition. Deuce to seven immediately became my favorite poker game, and I've played it in online tournaments whenever possible over the last year. It was strange and exciting to sit down at the WSOP for the first time this year and play deuce. I won't be this excited about the start of another tournament until the main event.

I think I've become an excellent deuce to seven player over the past year. It looks like I might get in the $10k deuce on Thursday. If you have any interest in buying a piece of my action, let me know by leaving a comment on this blog or emailing me at right away.

Today was very smooth sailing. It was probably the best 2-7 session I've played so far, without a significant mistake plus some timely moves sprinkled in. I lost just one major pot on the day and finished with average chips with 73 players left paying 28.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Winter Is Coming: 2011 WSOP Preview

I’ve been watching this new HBO show Game of Thrones based on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. The best thing about the books is the way they slowly build suspense and foreboding over the impending arrival of an epic Winter while the bulk of the pages concern less terrifying but still rather worrisome events within Martin’s fantastical society. The show has managed to potently convey that dreadful apprehension, reminding the viewer that Winter Is Coming just often enough to create an ominous specter over the political machinations that dominate the action.

It is a murky time for the American professional poker player. Black Friday cast us into a shadowy realm of change. Though some have been devastated more than others, Black Friday altered all of our lives. Whatever way of life the professional poker player had become accustomed to before this Spring, it isn’t the same now. Most of us don’t really know where we’re going to shake out, and won’t know until after this summer’s World Series of Poker.

The WSOP arrived just soon enough after Black Friday to provide a life raft for the panicking pro. Though few will walk away as big winners, tournament pros have been able to cling to the image of the 2011 WSOP as a refuge from Black Friday’s blizzard. Career evaluations have been put on hold until midsummer, after the WSOP finally winds down. Only then, after the circus finally packs up and leaves Las Vegas, will we really face the music, stand and feel the cold wind blowing against our skin.

The summer I have been enjoying because of poker is coming to a close, but not before one last summer in Vegas. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. I’ll be making that terrifying turn off I-15 through the merging traffic to the Flamingo exit every day, parking half a mile from the tables, feeling the excitement soar through my body along with the heat rising off the blacktop on the hike into the Rio, plopping down every day to take another desperate shot at The Big Score. I’ll be playing my usual diet of 20-25 tournaments, mostly huge-field donkaments with a few mixed games thrown in. I’m gonna gamble with my gambling friends. I’m gonna take a look at the snowfield on Mount Charleston and guess when the last of it will be melted. I’m gonna go swimming and bowling and watch the summer movies. I’m gonna listen to Cake while driving around town. I’ll eat at the Lotus, Ping Pang Pong, Sammy’s, Roberto’s, the M Buffet. It’s gonna be an exciting six weeks. And after that, it’ll be time to prepare for the Winter. But that might not be so bad either. After all, Fall is my favorite season.