Sunday, July 30, 2006


Today is the day baby !!!! I'll be playing at table 206 seat 2. I feel really well and I'm ready. BELIEVE !!!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dia 1C, el torneo mas grande en la historia del poker

Esta noche de Miercoles fui con Diana al Rio (Hotel and Casino) a pagar mi entrada para el torneo de $10,000; en la tarde habiamos ido a sacar el dinero en una sucursal de Bank of America aqui en Las Vegas y ya en la noche fui a inscribirme. Este sera el torneo mas grande en la historia del poker, se esperan alrededor de 8000 personas, distribuidas en 4 dias de 2000 participantes cada dia, si entran 8000 el prize pool ("la polla") sera de alrededor de 80 millones de dolares, todo aquel que llegue a la mesa final se convertira en un nuevo millonario. El sueno para todo jugador de poker es jugar en este evento, llegar a hacer historia y porque no, resolver tus problemas economicos de por vida. Al llegar a pagar a la caja, me dejaron escoger que dia queria empezar a jugar, Viernes (1A), Sabado (1B), Domingo (1C) o Lunes (1D); despues de un analisis, decidi que el Domingo seria el mejor dia, este es el dia 1C; el Domingo ya tendre la experiencia de ver la accion los primeros 2 dias; ademas, si llego a pasar al 2o dia, jugaria hasta el Miercoles, el Martes jugaran los sobrevivientes de los dias 1A y 1B y el Miercoles los sobrevivientes de los dias 1C y 1D; asi que tambien tendria la oportunidad de observar la accion del Martes, ademas de que tendria un dia de descanso extra para el Miercoles con respecto a los que jugaran el Lunes; asi que el Domingo me parecio una buena opcion.
Este Jueves, Viernes y Sabado no tengo nada que hacer aqui en Las Vegas mas que estudiar y eso es lo que hare, prepararme para jugar lo mejor que pueda; el jueves en la noche habra algunas fiestas y quizas asista a algunas de ellas, pero tratare de estar completamente recluido en mi cuarto de hotel la mayor parte del dia para prepararme. En algunos lugares de apuestas me tienen a 2000 a 1 a ganar, y 200 a 1 a llegar a la mesa final; creo que esas odds son correctas, y a decir verdad, a pesar de ser numeros tan grandes, no suenan tan mal. Jajaja, 200 a 1 a ser millonario suena "nice". Bueno, espero estar escribiendo updates, aunque mi conexion de Internet de Verizon no esta tan buena, por alguna razon en Las Vegas funciona medio lenta. Yo creo que con toda mi mala suerte de este año, pues de perdido debo de llegar a la mesa final del campeonato de la WSOP para estar a mano de bad beats y sufrimientos, jejejejeje, esperemos que los Dioses del Poker se acuerden de mi, yo espero hacer mi parte y jugar mi mejor poker ...... pero sobre todo, disfrutar el evento ....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm mad as hell and I can't take it anymore !!

Well, another day, another bad beat, online, live poker, WSOP, it makes no difference. I'm just cursed and looks like there's not much I can do about it. I played just one round today (second day of the WSOP NLH $2K), the blinds were 800-1600 with 200 ante, since we were playing 10 handed, that means 4400 every round. Since I had around 30k, a comfortable stack but still kind of short to make moves, I needed more chips to attempt more steals, the opportunity came real fast; I was in the SB with about a 29k stack, old lady in MP raised to 5k, she had about the same stack as me and she had just lost about 10k in a pot versus the table chip leader, folded to me and I was very pleased to see KK, even I was like 1 for 3 with KK in this world series. Now, what's the move, I can just call, I can raise a little, I can make a good sized raise or I can go all in. The pot had already like 9400, already big, I didn't consider just calling an option because of the size of the pot already and I don't want the BB playing with the right odds with something like AT-AJ, so I decided to raise, now what's best; my first thought was to go all in for the 29k, this is overbet the pot, so she calls with 77-TT thinking I have AK, or she called with AJ-AQ thinking I have 88-TT. But then I thought a better option would be to raise and then bet the flop, since I think there was a good chance she folded in the flop, now, how much to raise, if I raised to something like 12k, then she had to call just 7k for a 21k pot, those are damn good odds, so I decided to raise more, but to leave her with something, I decided to raise to 17k, she needed to call 12k into the 26k pot and she would have about 12k left, of course I was not folding, it doesn't matter the flop, I raised to 17k, leaving me with about 12k, and after a while she decided to go all in with AT ???, of course I called, I had already 17k in the pot with 12k left, I was calling with anything in that spot. What was she thinking? Anyway I was glad to see her make that terrible mistake; I think she just lost it, you have to be able to think straight for so many hours in these tourneys and I guess she just couldn't take it anymore and she just went ahead and put her whole 30k with a very marginal hand and a terrible spot since with the action most probably her hand was going to be completely dominated with a big pair or with AK, I was really happy to be able to have a 65k stack that soon so I would be able to apply pressure to the table and make some of my plays, but again, this would not happen, I lost again with KK and the terrible play was rewarded once again. She had now a big stack (about twice the average) and I was left with a black 100 chip, the whole table was rooting for me in the next hand, I was all in for half the ante, but I lost it. Same scene, same pain, everybody at the table feeling bad for me, shaking my hand, telling me I was a great player and shit happens. I was out and went to receive $3731 for my efforts. I'm 1 for 4 with KK in this world series, it's about the same online, nothing changes, this year has been terrible, I'm just tired. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that it has been filled with badbeats; I would like to write more meaningful entries, I have always interesting hands to share, but usually my poker spirit is just broken and I just don't have the desire to write. Most good players know you just need to take your beats like a man, and I just used to do that, it was easier when you had an average luck. These days, I think I have a wall over my shoulders. I'll try to finish this world series as planned, but after that I'll need to rethink if this is what I really want to do for the rest of my life. Thankfully I have been blessed and I have always excelled at everything I do, so it would not be a problem to focus my energy in some other avenue. But let's see. I know today I'm just mad, but the thing is, I have started to entertain the idea of quitting poker and that was before today, the events today just reinforce it. Don't get me wrong, I love poker, but probably I just don't have the emotional and mental state necessary to be a poker player and I don't mean to be a successful poker player, I know I am and I will be successful (as in winning money) if I keep playing, even with all the beats, but I mean the mental state to be happy while being a professional poker player; that is what it's really important, you need to be happy with what you do for a living, it does not matter if you're successful if you're not happy. Life is way too short to spend time being unhappy. Money is good but it's not that important in the grand scheme of things. The important thing it's to live everyday with passion, to love, to be really alive and these days, sometimes I feel like a zombie. Next time I win a tourney, I'll try to write about this topic again, probably my mental state will be different then, but that's the thing, your happiness should not depend of random events, and until I really learn that, I will suffer. Hopefully I learn, but if I don't, I'll move on, no big deal. Life is just awesome.

At last I made a 2nd day in a WSOP event this year

I'm still alive in the $2000 NLH Event, WSOP #31. There are 144 left out of the more than 2000 players that started. We are already in the money, I have a 31,700 stack, good for 50th out of the 144, about average. Tomorrow we'll be playing at 2 PM (PST), I'll be at table 135 seat 5. Today I had no bad beats, almost no good cards all day, no AA, no QQ, I had KK once and won for the first time in the WSOP, I was 0 for 2 before today with KK. I had my first suckout in this WSOP when I was all in (kind of short-stacked) with 88 versus Fabrice Soulier KK and I survived. I won a big coin flip with AK vs 99; but mostly I played a pretty solid game. I aim to continue playing my best tomorrow (today) and hopefully the poker Gods cooperate.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Wow, what a final table, this is your line up for the final table of the biggest ($$$$) event at this year's WSOP, the $50k H.O.R.S.E. tournament:

1 David 'Chip' Reese 1,756,000
2 Doyle Brunson 1,227,000
3 Andy Bloch 934,000
4 Phil Ivey 885,000
5 Jim Bechtel 841,000
6 David Singer 745,000
7 Dewey Tomko 438,000
8 T.J. Cloutier 351,000
9 Patrik Antonius 13,000

Just amazing, how I wish I were in Vegas to watch it live; but I'm back to Vegas until Monday. Yesterday they played 19 hours straight to get to the Final Table, damn, Doyle Brunson, the legend is 73 years old !!!!!. Just wow, he's the man; he'll be playing today for a record 11th bracelet, but he'll have to face Ivey, arguably the best poker player in the world; Reese, arguably the best all-around player in the last 30 years; Betchel World Champion 1993; Tomko and Cloutier, both two times second in the World Championship, Tomko in 1982 and 2001; Cloutier 1985 and 2000. I expect great poker to be played at the final table; this one will be televised by ESPN.
H.O.R.S.E. stands for Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud high-low. It's a rotation game and it's the most expensive tournament in the WSOP with a $50,000 entry fee; since so many variants of poker are played, it's expected that you have to be a well round poker player to even play it, not to mention you have to be rich (or have rich backers); these guys pay $50k to play one tournament; I don't want to imagine how many people in the world, does not make that much in one year. Poker is just sick in so many ways.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Online poker, back to the painful wait

I'm back to El Paso, and decided to play some online tournament poker. Playing in the WSOP made me to have the desire again. I just played 4 online tournaments last Thursday and 3 tournaments today.

Thursday I didn't even last one hour in my 4 tournaments.
Thu- Stars $150 , lost KK-QQ
Thu- Party $150 , lost AA-99
Thu- Party WSOP $215, lost JJ versus 88 and QQ (Or course I was 3rd, since the 88 was the one who covered me)
Thu Paradise $30 Rebuys, lost 22-A8 and I didn't even rebuy since I was tilting because of the other 3 tourneys.

So, Thursday was awful and again I found myself with a very hard time to play afterwards, and I just didn't play on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, again I gave it a try, after watching the final match of the World Cup (Italy - France); I decided to play 3 tournaments, the Stars 1 Million, which is now a $200 + 1 rebuy + 1 add on, so basically you spend $615; I played also my first $650 Satellite to the WSOP in Stars and the Party 1 Million ($215), so I spent $1480

Stars WSOP $650, I raised in the button with AK, BB reraised and I went all in with no hesitation at all, he thought and called me with K2 ??; of course that was it with a 2 in the flop.

Stars 1 Million, I raised with AK, somebody reraised and I called all in, he had A9h and that was it of course, with a 993 flop. I was 588 out of 2708.

Party 1 Million, with 62 players left, I raised with 88 in EP to 100k with 15-30k blinds, MP went AI for 460k, I had 330k left and called, he had KQ ??? and I lost the race. I was 62 out of 4841 and won $1600.

So, I won $120 dollars this Sunday, next Sunday I better go work to Walmart, I think it's about the same rate.

So, I have played just these 7 tournaments online in like a month and a half; with the same results as all year (I swear I'm not making up all these hands). To be fair, I do win a big pot in the Party 1M as a 41% favorite "only"; when my KTc in the BB cracked AQ in the button. But there are just too many mines. It's almost impossible to avoid them all, the play by the guys who beat me with the K2 and the KQ are indicative about how is online poker nowadays, the level of random (donkish?) aggression is sky-high and obviously with this, the variance associated to tournaments (not to mention the big fields). I know at the end things will even out. It's just a painful wait.

Friday, July 07, 2006

MLG owns WSOP #5

Mike Goodman aka "MLG", made the final table in the WSOP #5 event, $2,500 NLH short-handed, you can find his report here. He had an interesting final table with Dutch Boyd and Joseph Hachem the WSOP 2005 Champion; he played well, but lost most of his chips in a pot versus the chip leader and eventual winner Dutch Boyd with KK vs Dutch's K9 in a 992 flop. He got 4th place for a cool $115,607. The guy is amazing, I have had the opportunity to talk poker with him several times, and I just love his poker brain. Here is a picture taken at a break during the final table; from left to right: Jared "durron" Martin; David "sirio" Cossio; Jameson "bugstud" Painter; Carl "colson" Olson and our heroe Mike "MLG" Goodman.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

2 interesting hands from WSOP Event #6

Hand #1:

25-50 blinds, I have a 1800 stack, folded to me in LP with AJ, I raise to 150, CO calls the 150, both blinds fold.

Flop is KQ8 rainbow, I bet 250 and CO calls. Because of the size of my stack, at this point, most of the time I'm done with the hand.

Turn is an A, the pot is about 875 and I have 1400 left, I decided to check, he then bet 400, he had more than 3000. Pretty bad spot for me, the main problem is the size of my stack, there are not too many hands I'm beating at this point, I just don't see him betting something like KJ,KT with this turn, and a call in the flop with JJ-99 or 77-22 is not that likely; probably the only hand I'm ahead is something like AT, since because of his stack, he could call the flop with the gutshot; on the other hand, a hand like JTs make a lot of sense, preflop. flop and now in the turn with the 400 bet; 88 makes sense also, even KQ, but I prefer to raise the flop with KQ. After thinking for a while I decided my hand was no good to spend another 400 and folded. I think it was a good fold.

Hand #2:

50-100 blinds, 10 handed, EP limps, MP calls, I have As8s in LP and call the 100, button calls, SB calls, BB checks.
Pot is 600 and I have about 1700 left.

Flop is 9s2s2c; SB and BB checked, EP limper with just 1300 left open-bets 500. MP folds, 3 people still to act besides the EP, yikes, it's pretty hard to imagine him folding with just 800 left, so my fold equity is almost zero if I push, now I have the odds versus an overpair, but I don't like the fact the board is paired, specially with 3 people still to act. Again, I just couldn't call, I folded, the button pushed, and EP called. Button had A9 and EP had KsTs; so, looked like a good fold at the time; but at this time I'm not so sure and I think maybe the best play was to just push the flop.
The main problem was EP bet, if nobody bets I'm pushing the flop, if he bets 300 or less I'm pushing since I have fold equity, this is, there is a good chance of him folding with 1000 left, but he decided to bet 500, so he's basically playing the hand, I have to say that I have seen people folding for their last 800 or less in spots like this, but I'm always assuming some degree of mental sanity in my opponents (I know, I know, this is a mistake in general); if the board was something like 7s3s3d, I'm playing no matter what; if the board was something like 8d3s2s, I really, really want to go all in. But it was 9s2s2c, not bad, but not ideal, still I think the best play was probably to push the flop after the 500 bet, you need to accumulate chips in tournaments like this where the stacks are not deep, and it's just pretty hard to keep waiting for a better spot. In fact a level later I had to go all in with 55 in LP for my last 1700 or so, and I was called in the BB by Scott Fishman who had AT, I lost the race and that was it.

I think these are two pretty interesting hands; I'll appreciate any comments you have about them. What do you think of the play and the analysis behind it?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

WSOP Event #6 and Rizen owns Event#3

I'll be today at table 45 seat 3. I'm feeling well after being sick some days, and I hope to play my best.
Yesterday (Friday) I had the opportunity to watch the final table of Event #3 ($1500 PLH) where the amazing Rizen was playing, after playing great his stack, he had a little bad luck at the end and finished 3rd for a cool $104,000. He's just amazing, his results this year are second to none, I also had the chance to have dinner with him, his wife and baby and Schaefer; this was with 3 people left in the tourney and him with the chip lead. Eric was so calm, it's just impressive. I remember last year, at the same stage, this is, at the dinner break, we were 4 left in the WSOP#11 (Pot Limit Holdem, also); but I was not near as calm and composed as Eric, not even close. He was totally concentrated. I'll speak more about him later. I just enjoyed a lot the dinner with such great company, Rizen and his wife are a pretty cool couple and Schaefer, well, Schaefer is just too cool, he enjoys life too much !!.