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Archive for May, 2008

Vegas Baby!

May 29th, 2008 Travel No Comments »

After the main event of the Melbourne Champs finished so late, Tom and I decided it best stay up through the night and sleep on the plane.  It actually worked out pretty good, as we both managed to get some sleep on the plane which meant our body clocks were nearly spot on when we arrived.  We got collected from the airport and arrived at our new pad for the next 7 weeks.  It’s very nice – all modern furniture, our own bathroom and big kitchen.  We also have a couple of nice big TV’s with about 120 channels on them that makes it virtually impossible to find anything worthwhile to actually watch.

We had a few days to fill in before the WSOP started and checked out some sights. I picked up a pair of BOSE noise cancelling headphones. These things are brilliant and I’ve decided that they are my cure to live poker tilt. When Agent 86 needed a cone of silence he should’ve just picked up a pair of these bad boys!

We’ve also decided that everything you hear about America is true. The restuarants are mostly of the “fast” variety and the size of everything is definitely “super”. I’m not complaining though, as it means most of it is actually pretty good value. Tom decided he was going to go nuts on the 7/11 Gulps which apparently you can’t get in Australia. It’s basically a massive cup that you can fill with your choice of carbinated toxins. Tom then discovered the existance of the “Double Gulp” which is a staggering 1.9 litres in size for only $1.50.

Tom is an ideas man and decided that it was his personal mission to buy one of these every day and build a “Double Gulp” wall in our kitchen. Sounded like a logical idea to me, so I’m helping where I can. I’ll post regular pics as the wall develops, here’s our foundations…

Double Gulp Wall 1


Also Tom picked up some cheap transportation for our time here in Vegas. Came in handy for the grocery shopping and I’m looking forward to him giving me a lift to the Rio…

Vegas Transport


The WSOP kicks off on Friday, and I start working on Saturday. Check out the live updates at www.pokernews.com.

So Long Melbourne…

May 24th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

The Melbourne Championships ended after a gruelling 16 hour final day that took until around 4:30am to crown a Champion in James Broom.  The last few days were a long haul for everyone at PokerNews but the team did well and I think the live reporting came out pretty well.

Tom and Jason were also on board providing some great video interviews.  There is a full video gallery of interviews, with the final table preview one of my favourites – I think this format of grabbing a few quick thoughts from each final tablist before they sit down, and then cutting it into one video works well.  It’s fast and interesting.  It’s also something I haven’t seen in poker before.  We also let Tom get creative with a video with our good friend Paul “The Voice” Khoury. Watch right until the end…GOLD!



LOLDonkaments

May 13th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

The 2008 Melbourne Championships have kicked off and I’ll be covering them live for PokerNews at http://crown.pokernews.com.  The first few events have gone smoothly and tonight I had my first opportunity to hit the felt in Event #3: $175 Pot Limit Holdem.  I was keen to hit the felt but as soon as I sat down I remember why I loathe live poker.  Idiot Crown regulars who think they know poker and talking shit.  These guys aren’t punk kids – those guys are at home killing it on the Internet.  These guys are the 50-60 year olds who are part of the furniture.

The wannabe to my direct left was driving me insane.  First he fired at a 6-3-3 board and took down a pot uncontested, and decided to flash the table a four.  “Look how good I am!” he exclaimed.  I’m not making this up, that’s what he said.  Well done mate, a four, you are clearly ‘good’.  It was at that point I realised that I’d left my media player in my room.  I really have to start using it at these idiotfests. 

A few hands later the same genius limped under-the-gun and 7 players saw a flop of 5-5-2.  He opened with a pot bet and was raised.  It folded around to the genius who also folded declaring “I had a two, I had to see where I was at”.  WTF?  You limped UTG with a two and you wanted to see where you were at?  You’ll be at the exit shortly, that’s where you’ll be at!  God.

If I wasn’t starting to tilt enough already, we had the extra confusion for these numpties of figuring out what a pot-sized bet means.  The first level is 25-25 and no-one, including the moronic dealer, could figure out what a pre-flop pot-sized bet was.  The first hand of the day, an opening raise to 125 was allowed.  We then twice had raises to 75 and again to 125.  Of course every time, the genius from above would inform the table what the bet should be.  “It’s 75 plus another 150” he’d say.  I normally like to let the dealer do his job and sit and stew in solence, but I eventually got fed up after another raise to 125 was allowed and I said “A pot raise is 100 at this level!  It’s not that hard!”

I picked up one decent pot, calling in position with Th 8h and raising the pre-flop aggressor on a 3-8-3-T board to take it down.  Otherwise I tried to stay patient.  When the TD said those magic words “Ok guys, grab a card, you’re on the move!” I grabbed a card in an instant and got the hell out of there.

I didn’t recognize anyone at this table except for Graeme Putt.  I couldn’t pick up a hand to get involved with, but again I found another genius on my direct right (why am I always seated next to these jokers?).  He would stall most hands over each decision, and would usually give the table some verbal diarrhoea before folding.  I would turn and stare at him and tell him to hurry the fuck up with my eyes.  I would’ve actually said something but all the other jokers seemed to know him and I didn’t want to have then form a joker army against me.

In a typical 7 way limped pot I held Jh 9h in the big blind and saw a flop of 2h Ts 7h.  A monster flop for me and I was happy to gamble here.  I decided to try a check-raise but the action checked around to Putt on the button who bet the pot of 700.  He only had 750 left, so i figured I didn’t have any fold equity against him so there was no point raising.  So I flat called to hope to drag someone else along.  No one did so I decided to just put him all in on the turn of 4c.  He called with Tc 9d.  So I had any jack, eight or heart.  15 outs, twice.  Of course the river is another fkn brick and he doubles up and I’m down to 1800.  I think I played it ok.  I could lead at the flop I guess and maybe he’d fold top pair.  I don’t know.  Very next hand I picked up Ad Qd in the small blind and re-raise all in over the top of an early position raisor.  He tanks for ages and I figure I’m in front and have him dominated or racing against a small pair.  Either way I’m happy to gamble and try and double.  He eventually calls and shows pocket queens!  “What the hell were you thinking about?”  I serious thought he was folding, and I don’t know why he slowrolled.  I have no idea how these moron’s brains work.  Of course I miss my ace and hit the rail nice and early.

There are a few other events I could play but I’m not sure.  I think I’d rather run my nails down a blackboard.  I think I might just play the HORSE next week.  LOLDonkaments.

FTOPS VIII

May 8th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

Today was a somewhat significant day for me in that I managed to grab my first ever cash finish in a major poker event.  It was the start of FTOPS VIII at Full Tilt and the event was a $216 No Limit Holdem 6-Max.  I haven’t played too many of the FTOPS events in the past – maybe a few of the 6-Max or perhaps a Limit event and that’s it.  Starting at 11am was a real luxury although I hadn’t really considered the thought of how long it would actually take to get through the 4,000+ field.  Basically most of the day was a write-off as I managed to outlast most to finish 235th for a cash of a mighty $415.

I started out rocky, losing with AQ, A8 (two pair) and QQ all on the first level, but turned things around when I brilliantly decided to re-steal with 77 against my opponent’s JJ and skilfully spiked another 7 on the flop.  From there I think I played pretty tight-solid for the most part.  My most crucial hand came as we were into the money.  I had about 24k with the blinds at 600/1200.  The table chip leader who was very loose had min-raised from UTG and I was next to act with TT.  I was sure his raise was weak and decided to isolate with a raise to 6,800.  It folded to the button who insta-shoved for all of his 18k stack.  UTG folded and I was left with about an 11k decision.  The button was solid and coming over the top of a raise and re-raise, so I had no reason to think that he wasn’t very strong here.  It was 11k to win about 28k so the odds said to call, but I figured his range here as AK or JJ+, which I’m in bad shape against.  I decided to let it go and work with my 17k stack rather than risk being crippled.  I don’t know if it was the right decision – maybe these are the spots where you are meant to take a gamble against AK to try and amass a huge final-table bound stack.  Soon after I shoved my 10BB stack in a blind war with A7 and was in good shape for a double up against the big blind who made a retarded call with T9s for over a third of his stack.  However the board of Q284J left me heading to the rail. Meh.

Obviously disappointing to battle for that long and miss out on the big bucks, but happy to have finally posted a cash result in a major event.  Hopefully more to come next week at the Melbourne Championships.

Devil listed as “endangered”

May 7th, 2008 General No Comments »

From the Save The Tasmanian Devil website:

In May 2008, the Tasmanian devil was listed as “Endangered” under Tasmania’s Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

“The upgrading in status from vulnerable to endangered, recommended to me by the Scientific Advisory Committee, reflect the reductions in the devil population, resulting from Devil Facial Tumour Disease,” said David Llewellyn, the Tasmanian minister for Primary Industries and Water.

“It reminds us all that there are no quick and easy solutions in our conservation effort.”

Sightings of the devil have declined by 64% over the past decade and, as at May 2008, Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is found across more than 60% of Tasmania.

“The change in the devil’s status reflects the real possibility that this iconic species could face extinction in the wild within 20 years,” Mr Llewellyn said.

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays

May 5th, 2008 Poker No Comments »

A 5am start isn’t exactly what I enjoy most on a Monday morning, but such is life for the Australian poker player as the T6 Poker 250k Guaranteed Event waits for no one!  This is the juiciest, softest tournament in tournament poker, and I’m disappointed I didn’t get any time to play in it while I was in a more appropriate timezone.

My start table had 3 sitouts, 2 live players and myself and for once I actually had position on the dead stacks.  I stole hard and soon figured out the 2 live players were terribly weak also.  Amazingly I survived AJ vs KK on J high flop, top pair + flush draw vs AA, top pair vs top set, and a set of kings vs AQ when opponent made a royal flush!  I kept chipping up and eventually I busted one, pounded the other into the ground and after the dust had settled and the dead stacks were gone, I had 8k of the 9k that had started on the table.  Awesome.  From there I was in cruise mode.  I did get lucky once with TT vs KK when I hit a third ten, but we all win 20/80’s occasionally right?  I was in 3rd chip position at both the 2nd and 3rd breaks, but as we got deep I got terribly card dead.  Not only that but I jsut couldn’t get into a pot for a steal or re-steal attempt.  It was really ugly and frustrating but I stayed patient.  Eventually the blinds got up and I was down to about 10BB when I made a steal attempt with T7s and ran into QQ in the blinds.  First time I was all-in all tournament and I was busto in 32nd for 1,050 Euros.  Such a waste as it was a great opportunity for a huge score but I can feel a big win around the corner.  I wish I could play this tournament every day, I’ve cashed 5 of 6 starts now.  Thank you T6.  May the good times roll on!