Archive for February, 2007

I  have finalized my ‘annual’ WSOP trip from Thursday June 7th through Monday June 11th.  And am going as part of a ‘crew’ of sorts…about 8-10 from the Atlanta area that’ll be venturing to Sin City.  It’s a very nice list of some of (what I consider) the better players in Atlanta.  Swings being what they are, I forsee some solid wins and poker stories from this group.  Glad to be a part of it.

May not sound like a long time (four full days), but that’s essentially 96+ hours which will likely consitute at least 50+ hours of poker.  Sounds fairly signficant to me.  I’m staying at The Wynn – solid poker room rate of $129 midweek and $199 weekend days.  I’ve got room in my room for anyone interested in crashing (already have one taker).  I plan on playing in the Saturday June 9th NL$1,500 event and have had an offer for someone to ‘buy’ a part of me.  I think it’s a sound and likely standard deal which I’ll probably do.  It’ll allow me to play in a higher level event which I’m not as used to doing but with the safety net of mitigating losses.  It’ll also make me want to play better since I’ll be playing partially for someone else.  I have every intent in the world in cashing in that event and making a final table (otherwise, why play).

With that said, I may be open to returning to Vegas later in the month during the World Series if I can find someone to partner up with and sponsor me 50% of either the NL$3,000 event on Sunday June 17th, the NL$2,000 event on Friday June 29th, or the big one (would need at least 60-75%) The Main Event Friday July 6th.  Just some thoughts as I plan for the summer.  In as much as I feel I could fare well in the main event, that’s a long time to be away and certainly a lot of money (to pay), but also to win.  Just throwing it out there.  Who knows.  If I have a significant rush the next few months, I may just do ‘it’ anyway.  It’d be interesting.


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One year in LA

Well, yesterday marked my one full year anniversary in Los Angeles.  I can’t really say time has flown, but it also has not been as bad as advertised.  It’s been a tough stretch honestly though being away from friends and family on the east coast, the getting up early, and feeling I’m missing out on east coast stuff.  On the flip side, we’ve been able to take advantage of some positives of being out on the west coast such as Disney, the beach, Vegas only being an hour flight away, the nice weather. 

Have seen some celebrities, nice scenery, pretentious people, three nannies, seen my son grow up, watched her flourish in her job and her getting to see the world.  But I’m getting close…and ready….  Still no date set in stone, but I squinted and think I saw some light at the end of that tunnel…

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The Wynn Classic

First off, let me start by saying The Wynn is definitely about doing things right.  A five star hotel which wreaks of elegance.  Definitely a must see and if you can swing a few bucks, a must stay especially if you play poker.  If you do, you can reserve the ‘poker’ rate which is only $129 mid-week and an affordable $199 for Friday/Saturday evenings.  You have to guarantee them at least five hours of play for every day you stay, but if you play ‘at all’ that is not a problem.  I will say as I type from the buffet here that everything else is quite unaffordable.  This buffet is $29.95.  For a breakfast buffet?  Don’t get me wrong,…it’s tasty and the service is impeccable, but I’m eating the same eggs, bacon, sausage, and bagel I can get at IHOP.  But, when in Rome…  It helped I had $20 food voucher from my entry into the poker tourney.

Because this was their first time having a major tournament, rules, variations and confusion surrounded the event.  When I called you had to be there in person to register before the event started.  There are two flights so you could have started Thursday or Friday.  I was told if I arrived Friday morning, I’d not get in as registration would’ve been closed.  Um…nope.  Anyway, they wound up with 374 flight one participants and will likely get the same for today.  The blind structures were a little quick for my liking as they cut out the normal 25-25, 75-150, and 150-300 rounds.  That made things go very quickly, although you did start with 4,000 chips.

I flopped a couple of sets early cracking AA and two pair to get to about 6,500 in chips.  And I can honestly say that in the next four rounds, through round six (300-600), I picked up NO hands.  Nothing, nada, zilch.  I was being patient but got blinded down to about 3,100 and quickly short stacked.  I was pressed as the blinds were 10 minutes from moving to 400-800 (50) and picked up K,10 on the button against two similar sized stacks.  BB calls with his K,J, woops.  Flop – 2,10,10 – wow.  Luck.  I pick up 7,7 three hands later with my 7,000 chip stack and feeling better.  I raise to 1,000 only.  One off the button goes all in for another 4,500.  How do I lay down a pair in this situation.  I put him on overcards and figure I’m going to need to win a race to really advance in this tourney.  I lost the race to his AQ when the board of 3,4,6,8 spiked the ace of spades on the river.  Two hands later on the BB, I called the buttons bet (putting me all in) as I had A4 diamonds to her KJ diamonds.  King on the flop, tourney done.

I didn’t play badly but was much more card dead.  0 for my last 2 in placing in tourneys and maybe I’m being hard on myself, but seeing the way most of these players played, I knew I could have placed. 

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So with Mank in town, I ventured down the road to Commerce on a Tuesday evening.  Mank convinced me to play in yet a satellite and sure enough, chopped it up and virtually earned my entry into the $500+40 NL event. 

The event started at 3:30PM with around 680 players.  I take my seat next to Richard Lee, the 6th place finisher at the 2006 WSOP Main event.  So what if he won $2.8 million…I was going to crush him, lol. Other players in the tourney, David (the Dragon Pham), Barbara Enright (first woman to make a WSOP final tabel) and many other recognizable faces.  Fortunately, because it was such a low event players like Todd Brunson and Allen Cunningham opted to play the cash games.  But my focus was not dumping chips to this guy Lee.

I fared well in the tournament, getting knocked out about 70th out of the 680 particiapants and really had a solid chance of going far but collapsed a little at the end there making a questionable call with a KQ vs. AK when I didn’t have alot invested.  Oh well.  Probably the most ironic of events was when we were down to about 30 tables (300 players), getting moved to table 13.  Lucky 13 – Mr. Mankameyer’s table.  300 players, 30 tables, he travels 3,000 miles and we get sat 4 feet from one another.  Was funny until about 10 hands in I pick up AQ under the gun and raise from 200 to 600.  He makes it 1,600 and everyone else folds and he gives me that look.  I show my AQ and he shows his Aces.  He got knocked out about 110th so I think a solid showing by both of us.

Top 10 hands:

1) Round 3 – blinds 75-150, I have 5,3 diamonds in the SB, Richard Lee on my left checks his option behind me.  KJ7 board.  Check, check.  Turn 8 diamonds.  I bet my flush draw (300).  He calls.  River 6 diamonds.  I check my baby flush, somehow fearing he has a higher one.  He bets 500.  I only call announcing his bigger flush beats mine.  He turns over 4,2 diamonds and I drag the pot.  Guess my reads are off.

2)  Round 3 (75-150), Lee and I again to the flop.  I have K2 clubs in SB and both checked our options pre-flop.  Flop K77.  I bet out 150.  He calls.  10 on turn.  I check, he bets 300.  I think he’s stealing (thus the reason for his calling me on the flop representing a 7).  I reraise him semi-bluffing (2 kicker ain’t that good, so I was playing 10 kicker).  He mucks rather quickly. 

3)  Round 2 (50-100), I have J3 on BB, no preflop raise.  Flop QQJ.  I bet 200, he calls.  Turn 10, both check.  River a blank and I bet out 525 (representing a Q).  He thinks for about 45 seconds and mucks (I’m guessing he had J).

4)  Round 3, (75-150), I limp UTG with 88.  Lee calls.  He and I tangle again.  Flop Q72.  I check, he bets 300, I call.  Turn, 6, I check, he bets 800, I raise him to 1800.  He goes all in (it’d have cost me 2,100 more), I fold.  Woops.

5) Round 7 (100-200, 25 ante) – I only have 3,300 and with one limper in ahead of me, I limp in the SB just calling with my K10 spades.  Chip leader (15k) bumps it to 500.  Middle guy folds and I push putting him on maybe an underpair figured I could get him to fold for another 2,800.  Instead he calls with his 6,6 and I win the race by spiking a 10 in the flop, double up!

6) Round 9 (200-400, 50) – I have about 8,000 in chips and call a 2,000 bet with KQ in late position.  Two to the flop of QQX.  He rifles out 2800, and I have to contain myself.  I push there for about another 3,000.  He calls with his 2,2!!!  Thank you. 

7)  Round 10 (300-600, 75) – I call the same guy’s raise again with KQ.  Flop K10,7.  He checks, I go all in for another 7,000, he contemplates and callswith his QQ.  Wow.  Same guy, same hand busting his.  I’m sitting with 17K.

8) Round 10 – (300-600-75), tight older player makes it 2,000 UTG.  I have AK and go all in (he has about 6K left).  He has 77, I don’t improve.  Poor judgment on my part.  Down to about 7,000 in chips now.  Ouch.

9)  Round 11 (400-800,100) – moved table and get up to about 11K when my AJ fills up, but donkey off about 6,500 when I called a guy’s all in with ‘only’ KQ (a hand that’s been great for me).  He had AK and although I hit my Q, he made a straight.  4,300 left.

10)  Round 12 – (400-800-100) with 2 minutes left in the round before it went to 600-1200-200.  I pick up 3,3 late position and push.  Guy stares me down for about 10 seconds then looks at his cards and apologizes for appearing to slow roll (saying I call).  He has AA and I’m done.

Next up, Wynn Classic.

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So for Shane’s first year and a half, I had a great nanny in Tasha who opted not to stay out in LA when after having tried it out for two months.  So landed Joy.  Joy was ok, but after five months moved to northern California.  So ended up with Staci Sellers.  Staci seemed like a nice girl, smart, UCLA grad, 22-year old aspiring law school student, taking the year off to take the LSAT’s and apply to school before spending 3 years locked away studying.  Agreed on her salary and she started the end of October.

Staci did an ‘ok’ job.  She made sure Shane was fed, played with etc.  But certainly there were some pet peeves we had with her….she constantly left the lights on in the condo when she left, she’d leave early without ‘letting her go’, rarely cleaned up after Shane, but all in all, he was doing ok.  She did have a habit of whining though…lots….”Shane poops a lot….when’s he going to be potty trained….he won’t nap….” blah blah blah.  But the biggest issue is that in the 3-months I employed her, she took SIX sick days?  My son had been sick ZERO of those days.  And mind you she took Thanksgiving off and a full week around Xmas time and paid her still.

When she’s sick, I have to take the day off essentially and scramble.  I guess one day every 6-8 weeks is fine…I can handle that…but not one day every two weeks. 

Well came to a head two weeks ago, she came to work on a Monday…left at her normal time after we had had a good conversation.  Then…poof….she vanished.  She didn’t show Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,…..no calls, nada.  I called the police.   Maybe something happened.  C’mon, a 22 year old UCLA grad is going to call right?  Just Mr. Shane and I.

Fortunately, I put a stop payment on her check from the week before.  Sure enough, I hear a knock on my door at 4pm Friday.  She’s standing there, arms crossed, with a puss on her face, and has the gall to inquire where her check is.  Of course she didn’t feel it necessary to inform me she was quitting on us.  Gee, why would she do that.  That’d be courteous.  I guess I was just simply surprised how disrespectful and irresponsible someone could be.  And this was the person taking care of my son.  Scary.

Moved on to the next nanny, Ms. Margo, who started last week.  Oddly enough, she’s a godsend!  She’s cleaned the whole condo, spotless.  I thinkI hit a home run on this one.  We’ll see if it continues.

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I’ve made it so that you don’t have to have a user ID and password to make a comment.  I know several of you have emailed me regarding.  Hopefully this works out well.

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Well, picked up Mr. Mank Saturday at the airport and proceeded to go to the Hustler club.  Was just speaking with Chris about table selection and of course wound up at a poor table.  Just tight with probably 6-7 good players.  Who wants to play that crap.  Had my QQ out flopped by JJ and overall dumped $450 for the afternoon. 

We drove over to the Commerce and Mank wanted to play satellites which for whatever reason I don’t enjoy quite as much as cash games or regular tournaments but I wind up doing well.  He and I agreed that whoever cashes will reimburse the other their entry fee.  We both played the $80 tourney, 700 chips, 15 minute rounds and I chopped and took $280 giving Mank $80.  Played a second, for $120, choppd that and took $450, giving Mank $120.  Only two I played.  Perhaps I should’ve played more, but it was midnight and they stopped the satellites.  Went downstairs and then proceeded to donkey off what I had won.  Just did not play well in the cash games and again, my table selection was poor.

Going down there tomorrow so maybe I’ll plan on focusing in on satellites?

Star sitings on the weekend – all poker related – Hustler owner Larry Flynt, in a cash game with Ted Forrest, and then we spotted James Woods yet again with his girl over at Commerce.  Pretty funny as I nodded towards Mank to take a look see who that was over his shoulder….he kind of looked at me inferring ‘she’s ok but not that great’…he didn’t recognize her boyfriend…Mr. Woods.

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