Friday, April 28, 2006

Rehne Who...

First off, I never thought last year's WPT suckouts that Tuan Le (and others) had last year were definitely unbelievable, but you know what, I think this year could very well top it, especially the heads-up part of the shows.

I must say that the table was very, very loose. It was almost like they were playing with play chips and that the $2 million+ 1st prize was monopoly money. Phil Laak made a move early w/K-3o after a raise by human-card rack and model Patrik Antonious Aces and put all his 2.1 million in chips or so in PF and was sent to the rail.

Next Darrell Dicken would be a victim of the whole table as he couldn't get a break from the dealers and made the good folds when his bluffs didn't work. IMO, I though he played the best out of everyone This had in particular where Dicken raises junk in the SB vs. Antonious calls with J-10. Flop comes 10-8-8. Dicken bets and Patrik calls. Turn is another 8. Again, it goes bet-call. River is an Ace and now Patrik bets... WTF!! Patrik calls all the way down with the best hand and then when an Ace hits, he bets out when it can beat him?!

The next to be sent was another new woman at the final table named JJ Liu. In her interview, she said she never played poker before yet she had the chip lead going into the event and had it for some time. Her call of over 4 million with pocket 4s after only investing 250K was pretty bad and she paid for it and ultimately finished 4th.

The living legend Doyle Brunson was next to go. One hand that gave the cowboy a chance at another WPT title was very questionable. Doyle calls the BB of 300K I believe w/pocket 3s. Patrik moves all in w/A-2 where Doyle called another 4 million almost immediately. Same situation w/Josh Schlein vs. Freedy Deeb and new phenom Nick Schulman had vs. that donk Licardo. After dodging a ton of bullets on the river, Doyle doubles up to 8 million but couldn't win an all-in after that.

So the European model and a Danish poker player named Rehne Pedersen are the final two. Rehne didn't look like he was from Denmark (Europe) as his play was very weak, tight, and unimpressive at times but I guess he figured it out cuz the table was so damn loose and he picked his spots when 3 hands in particular: K-K 2 times and Q-Q all-ins held up for him. Vince made a poke at him and criticized his play knowing that he was gonna fold before his turn. It really did look like Pedersen was from the "ROCK of Gibraltor" instead of Denmark nowhere near the likes of "The Great Dane" Gus Hansen. Rehne, did have some of "Gus-luck" at the end as his all in call w/A-4 vs. Patrik's AK hit a 7 high straight on the turn tha crippled Antonious. Did you see how happy Rehne was after this hand?! He was more happy here than the final hand and the toast.

Skill-wise, I thought Rehne didn't depict much as I thought he could make a good shirt folder at Nordstroms...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The (Average) Joe is Ready to Throw Down Again!!

Well, the final WPT event for Season 4 is in the books and low and behold, another young gun rises to the top and finds his way to multi-millions as Joe Bartholdi takes down the $3.7+ million 1st prize. I don't recall this young pro but after seeing some pictures of him, I recognized him from one of the rare UPC (Ultimate Poker Challenge) shows that I saw in which he took it down!! This guy must be the real deal now capturing IMO the most prestigious title in poker. Yeah the World Series of Poker Championship had over 5K people this year and this year's estimate is probably gonna exceed 8K peeps but probably 80% of the field is scattered with mine fields of donks. The WPT brings out the best with probably 80% of the field are sharks (Personally opinion; playing in the WPT Reno event, I don't recall a donk except for maybe that guy I had on tilt that got rewarded for his bad play putting it in w/a King high vs. my Q-Q... enough said). The popularity of the WPT is exponentially growing that I believe that maybe in a couple of years, the field will have a good share of fishies in the field.

Ok, so Joe Bartholdi threw it down like Shaq giving a monster dunk-facial to Erick Dampier... Now, like that Joe, this Joe (me) is determined to achieve something in the poker world. I have decided to fork over some of my online winnings to invest it into at least one of the $1000 buyins at this years WSOP. Gotta hit something so I can buildth my bankith-roll so maybe I can one day drop out of school like all these young guns and try to live the poker dream :-D

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shieky "The A-Hole" and More

The 2nd episode of the HU-Championship just aired yesterday that featured a match between "Kid Poker" Daniel Negreanu vs. his ex-girlfriend Evelyn Ng. I couldn't believe Evelyn folded the pair and the flush draw to Daniel's all in re-raise. This hand probably put her on tilt with led to her demise.

The next feature table was with Mr. Hollywood James Woods versus one of my favs and probably the hottest, young poker studs today (that doesn't sound right but only refers to pokah baby) Scott Fischman. Woods ends up going down with my new least favorite hand Q-Q to Scotty's AK when a King flops and no Hollywood ending in this tourny.

Alright, the most entertaining part of the night had to be Shawn Shieky vs. the unpredictable Gus Hansen. I've been watching Gus on TV lately and he has not been winning the coin flips!! What's up with dat?! The "cooler" hand of the night most definitely when Gus holds a mediocure 10-6o vs. Shawn's 9-8s. Flop is 10-8-8 and it looks like Gus is in serious trouble. Turn is another 8 and Shawn milks his hand to the death. River is a 10 and I don't see Gus getting away from this. Gus say he's got the loser and Shieky slow-rolls his hand and finally spikes it down. Total jackass attitude of this man. And yes, this is coming from my mouth!! He'd make Phil Hellmuth earn Allen Cunningham's nickname, "The Nicest Guy in Poker!!" Well, Gus never recovers and the assclown Shieky advances.

The WPT 5-Diamond World Poker Classic Finals are tonight. I just hope to hell that jabroni named Roland doesn't come out on top. Did you guys see this guy's (lack thereof) skill at the WPT Paris event? Folding, folding, folding before other people put their chips into the pot and then catching a lucky river HU against Juha that cripples Juha. I'm pulling for James Van Alsyne and of course, Men "The Master" who is on the short stack, but if anybody there that can do it, it's da masta!! Surprised not to see more "household pros" at the final table. When I saw the number of recognizable pros in the top 100, I could have sworn the event would form the most dangerous WPT final table yet but with a rudy-poo named Roland, that ruins it!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WPT Foxwoods

Boy, what a rolla coasta of a show that was and holy shit!! Nick Schulman, only 21 years old, has become the youngest WPT Champion and is $2.1 million richer!! Well, maybe not all the $2.1 as he said he'd give a good chunk to his parents. What a guy, if I'd came through in Reno, I would have definitely given my father a good chunk of it.

Back to poker. A pretty scary table of poker hall of famer Lyle Berman and FT superstars Bill Gazes and "The Nicest Guy in Poker" and 2005 WSOP Player of the year Allen Cunningham. We all know these guys can play so now I'll move on to the donk of the show (seams like there is one lucky son of a bitch in all these final tables this season.

Now you've heard me rant on donkey Michael Simon, who somehow won the WPT World Poker Challenge. You will all see his donk powers combine when the show airs this summer. I thought he was the 2nd donkiest player ever to win a prestigious WPT Event (the worst being Danny Nguyen hands down!!) Well, the show tonight had somebody that could have topped Simon. The MIS ("move in specialist" according to "Kid Poker") Tony Licastro aka the all-in donk you normally see at an online freeroll over over 1000 people. We've have all heard of "Tony The Tiger" and now we've been introduced to "Tony The Donkey!!" Somebody put him on the cover of the new cereal "Donkey Flakes: The Breakfast of an Ass." This guys was unbelievably bad and definitely reminded me of playing a $50 freeroll vs. 1000+ players. Whenever he didn't raise all in, he got outplayed like he was Rick James' woman!!

Somehow, the donk powers have been in strong forces as Licardo or "Li-lardo" made it to the top 3 when this pretty hand came up. Bill Gazes on the button raises w/the weapons of mass destruction A-A. Our hero for the show, Nick Shulman, figures Gazes has been on a rush and can't still be so he pops it back up w/8-3!! I love this guy!! Then, the donk powers unite as Tony goes all-in IMMEDIATELY w/an unspectacular K-10o after 2 raises!! I know he was either folding or going all in 95% of the hands but WTF!! King high after 2 raises!! Of courses Gazes calls and gets rewarded by hitting 3 aces only after Tony flopped a straight with his donk powers. Bill is now crippled.

After Bill's exit, he tells Nick to "take his time," which I think is a reason why Nick holds off King Fish Tony. Remember Josh Schlein's (bad) putting over 2 million in w/3-3? Well, Nick had a similar situation. Nick had played pretty flawlessly catching cards at rushes and making good bluffs and this play HU was probably the biggest. With the blinds (40 and 80K I believe) being so minute compared to their stacks of 2.5 and 5.1 million or so, "El Buro" (donkey in Spanish if I remember right) raises it all in w/QJo and Schulman has a pair of 4s. He takes a good amount of time before making the good fold IMO. Nick gets rewarded later by making a big hand of a flush to Licardo or "Li-Lardo's" 2 pair and the flush holds up making Nick the King!! Maybe us college students just turning 21 (or 22) like me should invest our savings into poker afterall... I mean look at all the young guns that appear to keep taking these events down...

Monday, April 17, 2006

TV Premier of The Nation Heads-up Championship and More

The National Heads-up Championship

The unique HU Championships made its return yesterday and featured non other than last year's champ and my hero Phil Hellmuth. Thanks (or no thanks to CP for spoiling the event even though I love them), I already knew the outcome of this bad-boy. Phil got the unlucky draw of matching up in Round 1 of the Club Bracket against the ever dangerous high-stakes cash-game specialish Chip Reese. Although edited, you know Chip was on his "A" game. Chip usually isn't known for needling his opponents and the cameras didn't air any table talk so Chip was definitely on. Phil, however, had one crippling hand where he flopped top pair when the flop came Q-J-9 (or something close to that) while Reese flopped the nut straight. The Poker Brat couldn't get away from the hand and when a 3rd Queen hit on the river, you knew Mt. Hellmuth was going to erupt!!

Phil had a chance to get back into the match when this doozy of a hand occurred. Phil gets the K-9o versus Chip's K5o when the flop came King high and 3 spades where Hellmuth had the 9 of spades and Reese the 5 of spades. Phil bets out and Chip recaps all-in... The 9-time WSOP bracelet winner takes his time and folds even showing Reese his hand and surprising, Chip tells Hellmuth his hand which probably puts more madness into our hero's head.

The Poker Brat ends up losing to Reese w/a Q-8 after a raise from Chip who had pocket 10s. Hellmuth said that he thought Chip was bluffing and put it all in. Reese already had over 5K in the pot and it would only cost less than 5K to call so he obviously did and hit a set and the defending champ was sent to the rail not before giving Chip his props.

Great episode but without Phil's antics, who's gonna put some good antics and entertainment for me?!


No, not my screen name. This is what happend the past 2 nights at Titan Poker. 5 bad beats on the river; 2 holding A-A and others with other big pocket pair. These 2 in particular where absolutely donkalicious:

6 seated at a $2-4 FL table; I am UTG w/A-A. I raise to $4 and the next guy next to me calls who has been pretty lose. BB also calls who is pretty lose. Flop is 8-4-5 with 2 spades. BB checks; I bet and the lose guy raises. BB calls and I call. Turn pairs the 5. BB and I check, he bets, BB calls, and now I figure some1 mite have a full boat possibly or 3 of a kind but with the way both of the players have been playing, I don't believe and call. River is a red 3 so the board is 8-4-5-5-3. BB and I check, then bet and then raised by BB... I'm thinking I'm beat but make a cry call (terrible mistake) and then the initial bettor calls. BB flips over 3-3 hitting a boat on the river!! Are you kidding me?! 3-3 and stayed for that?! Does it get any donkalicious than that?? (BTW, other guy had K-8 of spades; had top pair and flush draw on flop)

Next hand: 6 seated at a $2-4 FL table; on the button with Q-Q (my new least favorite hand. It's raised in 2nd position by a fairly tight player and I recap. BB also calls who's a donk. 3 to the flop that comes 9-4-3 rainbow. 1st position bets; I raise and BB flat calls and 1st position calls. Turn is an 8 (no flush draw possible). Goes check-check and I bet and is called by all. River is a King. BB bets now and I'm thinking motherfucker... do I pay this off again. It's limit and the pot is already huge. 1st position and I call. 1st position had pocket 10s and the BB has a K-3 hitting 2 pair on the river (though the King was enough).

Rough day; went down over $100 but got it back to only to a lose of $30 in about 2+ hours, but I probably also need a new mouse!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

BPT Event # 3

Woah!! I write to you guys after just completing about 3 hours in the BPT: the battle of bloggers and it was a blogfest indeed!! My buddy Steve "Shark" Hathaway had the privilege of hosting this prestigious event (congrats on that), and happened to be at the same starting table as Master Shark, but unfortunately, he was launched to the e-rail pretty about an hour into the event.

Also played w/fellow Shark member, stewnana and he had a monstrous chip stack early and was punishing me (and Shark) when he got moved to the same table as us. Table change please!!

Not very many big hands for me today, never hit trips, a straight, or even flush that I recall that won me a big pot. Biggest pocket pair all day were those dreaded Queens that screwed me over at the WPT World Poker Challenge, but today, they held up and didn't run into even bigger monsters.

I went into the final table as the chip leader and was fairly aggressive early w/my gigantic stack over 44K until I raised w/an unspectaclur J-10o and got recapped by the short stack of 9K or so and had the odds to call and lost to his A-A.

I remained in the top 4 for most of the final table and did get lucky this one hand where I pushed w/A9 and got called by an 8-8 and hit an Ace on the river. With this heater, I drove my way to the final 2 playing headsup with player "actyper." Actyper played phenomenally. He about just about a 3.5-1 chip lead when we started (over 100K vs. my 33K) and pushed me around early. Was a battle of ruthless aggression indeed. However, when I hit top pair of kings, and actyper bet out 1st, I reraised, and then he recapped all in. I figured I was beat but most my chippies where in there and had to call. To my surprise, I have him beat (mid pair) and my hand holds up. He never really recovered from that and yours truely took it down!! Again, congrats to Actyper and the final 4 for qualifying for the big event!!

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I completely ignored lunch and am starving now. I'm so hungry, I could eat a vegetable (though I do)!! Hope you enjoyed. Chow-now!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bad Action (Beat) for Dan-o

*** First off, tonight is the debut of TNA Impact on its new night of Thursday at 11PM on Spike TV!! So if you aren't gonna be playing late nite pokah, check it out!!

The Doyle Brunson North American Championship final table had its share of all-star players at the final table that included95 WSOP Champion "Action" Dan Harrington, high-stakes cash game specialist Minh Ly, and WPT Mirage Showdown Champ Gavin Smith.

Again, IMO, the best player got short changed again. Gavin Smith seemed to play impeccable poker, as Harrington was also on his "A-game" not to far behind. If Gavin would have won the monster hand vs. Minh K-8 vs his A7s, Gavin would be a 2-time WPT Champ and undoubtably the WPT Player of the Year thus far going into the WPT Championship later this month, in which I believe he deserves. Gavin made the right read ono this hand(Minh has alot of tells that I've picked up on; i.e. antsy w/A-A and the pausing check when he hit the nut str8 on Smith) but got rewarded with nothing as a King hit and crippled Smith to 3rd place.

Minh Minh was definitely on tilt and the luckiest out of them all. His all im reraise all-in over 2.5+ million on the 1st hand HU w/a mediocure KJ against a ti-zight Harrington (had A-J) was very questionable and in essence gavie Harrington a 4.5-1 chip lead or so. Next broadcasted hand was a dandy as the ol' 3-outer of reraising all-in w/10-9o after Harrington's raise w/A-9 to only see a 10 flop than saved his ass made me nausious but not as sick as Michael Simon's performance at the World Poker Challenge. I guess it was only suiting that a friend of Doyle's and some1 wearing the Doyle t-shirt won the Doyle Brunson North American Championship.

Friday, April 07, 2006

How About that 20 Year-old!! A True Kid Poker!!

I must say this year's broadcast of the WPT have been unbelievable. I may not like the new graphics like the modified theme song and they no longer keep the amount bet on the graphics so you have to go by memory now, and of course, no Shana Hiatt... :-(. Is it me or has the person that has played the best at the broadcast table always came in 2nd?! Look at Juha Helpi's superb performance from last week's broadcast at the Paris event and who could forget Kenna James' phenemonal effort only to get rewarded by finishing second to a guy that was "tired."

From this week's Aruba broadcast, you could make the same arguement. 20 year-old (wish I could have started this early) Josh Schlein made his way as the longest WPT contestant ever taking on the likes of veteran WPT finalists Johan "The Rock" Storakers and pro Freedy Deeb.

Schlein had the aggression of one Gus Hansen and how about that bluff that he made w/7 high on the river!? Schlein would go on making the final 2 going HU w/Freddy Deeb. How would the youngster act going up against one of today's top pros?

IMO, Schlein totally outplayed Freddy. I bet Deeb was thinking about the previous time he was at a WPT where one Gus Hansen who completely dominated Deeb. Schlein comes back from about a 2-1 chip deficit or so and takes the lead! It appears that we might have a new youngest WPT champion and he ain't even old enough to drink the Budweiser yet!! Schlein has got Deeb on tilt and in this hand on the button he raises w/pocket crabs (3s). Deeb on tilt immediately goes all in w/A-4 off. Josh takes his time, but not enough I guess. Although he had the best hand, he couldn't know that and should have folded. What happens if Deeb had a higher pair likes 5s? Josh should have realized he was outplaying Deeb and could have kept on doing that rather than getting into a coin race pre-flop. Deeb caught a 4 on the river and the 20 y.o never recovered.

Great episode and for all you youngsters getting into the poker boom, this has gotta be a great inspiration for us all. Next week, we get "Action" Dan Harrington and Minh Ly (I believe thats his name and correct spelling; he lost to Doyle at a WSOP event this year where Doyle captured numba 10 w/10-3 off suit).

Monday, April 03, 2006

Photos from Reno and More!!

Here is a blurry picture of me and poker pro John Juanda. I had the honor of playing at the same table with the Asian Sensation. During break, we bumped into pro Hasan Habib and got him to take our picture. He took 3 tries and it ended up being all blurry! Would have gotten more pics but every1 had the gold rush to the bathroom!!

I met this lovely lady outside the Silver State of the Reno Hilton 3 hrs before they allowed people to wait in line to watch the WPT Final Table Taping. She said her name was "Nancy" but I noticed she looked like Poker Pro Clonie Gowen. Even sounded like her to. Then every1 else saw the resemblence. Was like Clonie's clone and lost twin. No one believed her... until the real Clonie showed up. Wish I got a pic of both of them together...

Here is a pic I got w/TJ Cloutier. Looks like TJ wasn't ready for the picture. TJ is a giant and if I thought I couldn't feel any smaller, this did it.

Me and the best voice of poker on TV Mike Sexton!! He (and Vince) truely makes the WPT that much more entertaining. Wish I got Vince's pic as well. Throughout the broadcast, I could count at least 5 times where Vince yawned. Someone in the crowd from Greg "BFT" Mueller's side pointed it out and told him to stop yawning. Hehe. Later, Linda Johnson made a similar remark. If Vince ever wants to reconsider or leave his job (though I don't recommend Vince leaving), I wouldn't mind being his replacement!

This is me and Barry Greenstein's son Joe Sebok. I got the opportunity to play at the same table with young Joe. Joe is quite an accomplished player. He unfortunately busted out (he had A-A and it got cracked by 10-10) before I could get a pic with him in the tourny. This is me and him goofin around before the final table taping going to support his father Barry in at the final table.

Here is a picture I got with Courtney Friel. Waiting in line at about 1:20 or so, Courtney happened to walk by but didn't say hi to anybody. I was turned to the other side talking to Nancy and it wasn't until somebody said, "Hi Courtney" before she was noticed. She then said hi and proceeded to the doors. I tell you, if Courtney ever wants to gain the popularity that Shana had, she better interact with the fans. I remember a CP poll that asked who is the better WPT host, and Shana had 90% of the votes. People I chatted with at the taping also had the same opinions. I don't know what was the case was with her after the taping cuz we left b/c the donk Michael Simon won (didn't want to get a pic with him) and it was 11PM and we hadn't eat since noon (no dinner break during the taping)!!

Here is a pic of the final 2 between Jason Stern (bald guy on the left) and Michael Simon (on right). Now, this headups play lasted probably over 2 hours itself. As you know, the total show that airs on the Travel Channel is 2 hrs long. Well, this match should have been over way before the 2 hour mark HU. Jason probably won 70%+ of all the pots being the aggressor stealing many pots. Jason's only debacle was that (IMO), he had so much momentum and pushed all-in w/7-2o and got a reluctant call from Simon's K-2 and doubled up and the 2 are about even again. Ok, that was god-awful but nothing could compare to what would happen next.

Jason con't to steal blinds and basically got a huge lead (one time 4-1) when this dandy occurred. If I remember right, Mike goes all in w/a K-6 and Jason calls him with the A-Ks. It should be over and we should be getting some grub after this. Well, flop comes 4-5-7 all spades I believe but no1 had a spade but now Simon has the OESD. I look at Jason, and I see pain in his face like he knows whats coming. Turn is a blank of a 10, but the river is a 6 pairing Simon and we are back to even-Steven again. Micheal goes over to his peeps and cameras and says something of the likes, "That's what I do best!! Sucking out!!

If things couldn't get worse from earlier for Jason, think again. Blinds are now enourmous so a fold is pretty rare. Micheal is on the button with J-10o and raises over a million. Stern goes all in w/Q-Js and Simon calls. I jokingly say to the guys next to me that Michael has got him where he wants to be referring to his ability to pull Tuan-Le suckouts. Well, the flop, brought a 10 for Jason and there was no help for Jason after this. God, I feel awful and am about to hurl. Again, donkalicious Michael goes over and makes his suckout remark again. Some heckler in the crowd says, "No skill involved" and the guy next to me yells to Michael, "Michael, you gotta fold the best hand next time." Of course you never hear these remarks on TV from the audience. Linda Johnson pointed out earlier not to make negative remarks and to only make positive/cheer for the players. Of course, it can always be edited which will probably be the case.

So now Michael has the 4-1 adv. Jason won some hands after this and got to about 1.2mil. Then this hand occurred, Michael goes all in w/K-4o (same shit that knocked me out) and Jason takes a long time and says something like "he'll be embarrassed if he flipped over these cards." We in the crowd are thinking 2-7 again?! I'm thinking fold if he has that hand. Well, he finally makes the call and flips over J-8s which isn't that bad. No help on the flop but a holy JACK comes on the turn and Michael is drawing to a gutshot staright or a King and low and behold, the King hits on the river and I think Jason is on suicide watch!!

Other tidbits: The crowd was pretty psyched throughout the taping but lost alot of it probably after the first half hour as Barry Greenstein was the 1st to exit after a cooler flop. Barry had raised PF on the button w/K-8 and was called by Michael Simon, who had A-8. Flop came 8-8-10 and there was no way Barry was getting away from this. I yelled from a "King" to come so if you here that on TV, that's me. Many other people were yelling for a 5th 8 to come for a crooked deck blaming the dealer I guess for that flop. Barry went from about over a million in chips on that hand to about 60K and there was no coming back from that.

Hope you enjoyed; I probably can answer any other questions about the show if you have them.

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