End of Vancoover, and Winning is Fun

Very often when I go for a gap in blogs but have something interesting to write about, such as now, it’s because the material that I want to write about is so heavy that I need to spend some time processing before I can even to begin to write about how I feel about something.

This weekend I participated in what is the neatest event that I have ever been involved in while being a professional poker player.

It all started like this. Darlene, who has been diagnosed with terminal liver disease, has been given 18 months to live. She e-mailed Full Tilt, explained her situation, and said that it is a dream of her’s to play Gavin Smith head’s up. They forward that e-mail to Gavin, and instead of playing her online as she requested, he, with no other influence other than his own, decided to go one step further. Through a coordination of Full Tilt and the River Rock, with no media exposure or anything, they flew her to Vancouver on Friday, picked her up at the airport, and put her up in a suite. Her husband, mother Valarie, and … step-father? not sure… Ed, came as well.

On Saturday at 2pm the four of them met Gavin and I in the tournament room. Daryl (further proof of him being the best ever) provided a table, dealer, and chips for Gavin to do whatever it was he wanted to do. They started a heads up game, 100-200 with 10k behind, and we basically just started hanging out. Gavin is an excellent host and made everybody feel comfortable and got everybody laughing. Now, there was zero publicity for this. Zero announcements. So, by word of mouth it started spreading that Gavin was playing this girl heads up. They had no clue why, but crowds gathered to watch. Darlene got a chip lead on Gav 13k to 7k, I bet Gavin $100 on him vs. Darlene, and by the time Tiffany Michelle, Maria Ho, Dennis Phillips, Lacey Jones, and Liz Lieu had filtered down to join the party, Darlene beat Gavin by spiking a K to make broadway on a QTx flop vs. Gavin’s Q8 (ship the brownie :). In the meantime Daryl got a set of chips courtesy of the River Rock, and all of us signed the front of the case. Daniel who was still in and on his way to winning the main event took some time to sign the case and take pictures, and Brad Booth signed it as well.

After Brad got down we started a sit and go with Darlene, Granny (mom), Colin (husband), me, Lacey/Brad, Maria, Nitesh who was celebrating his 21st birthday and had partied with us all the night before, Tiffany Michelle, and eventually Dennis Phillips after he busted from the main. The donkament turned into total silliness, but we had a great time. Here’s some pics:




Now, this was an amazing afternoon. We spent 4 hours there hanging with them, and they were the ones that were like, “Well, we’re going to go to dinner so see ya later.” This was my first time that because of poker I had the opportunity to genuinely make somebody’s life better. I’ve always had issues with poker as a profession due to the nature of it. I’ve always wanted my life’s work, my legacy, to be something that was based on the business of helping people. I want to make lives better in whatever it is I am doing. There are plenty of opportunities to do this in poker due to the communal nature of the game, but this felt unique enough that it was on a scale that it totally altered my paradigm.

On the flight home Gavin and I both discussed how we wanted to do this so much more. The idea of doing anything we can to make people stoked sounds like a betterment of the world to me.

I won my first tournament outright tonight since mid June when I won a WSOP main double shootout satellite. This one was on the site that shall remain nameless cause it’s still really juicy. It was a nightly $30 rebuy, I got in for the minimum ($90), and long story short shipped it. Most interesting hand:

62 left, 60 pay, we’re 4th in chips with 60k, blinds 500-1k/200. UTG+1 open ships for 15k, I call in MP with QQ, next to my left overcalls for 14.5k, and third in chips on the button ships 64k. Wow really? I’m paying 45k for a shot at just under 120k and I have queens. And I’ve been involved in like every pot. And I fold, feeling realllllly good about it.

First shover rolls over AKo. Button rolls over AKo. The overcaller has T7o.

Misclick? Hates money? They’re just that bad on this site? I DUNNO!!!! I was in shock, and then really stoked when an ace hit the river :). I left myself a top ten stack in a really soft table and ran it to the win. It was like $6k and change :).

Yesterday was travel home from Vancouver day. Gav and I basically broke even playing gin, however we did pull off the skunk/re-skunk and I almost did it again with a 100-6 win in the next. Shelley picked us up, took us to Gavin’s place, I got my truck, and then was basically lazy the rest of the day.

Sunday was a great day. I made it up in time to be down for the start of the TV taping for the BCPC main final table. Gavin and I picked 5 horses each with four tables left, and three of mine vs. zero of his were at the final table for a nice $500 bet. Daniel was one of them and won the thing. Well played sir!

I got bored though by the time the cards got in the air. There was like an hour delay to the start, and I decided that I was going to play online. Long story short, good choice, I took third in the FTP Sunday Mulligan for $21k.

I had to bust third so that I could make the party that night. Daniel and Adam (kid that took 2nd) and company were finishing dinner and fixin to go downtown (again… lol), and I was in! I’ll let the pics tell the stories :).







Ok, that’s a good blog. I’ll quit there.

Tomorrow I’m heading to LA for Thanksgiving with the fam, back on Friday ready to play the first event of the Five Diamond (?) at the Bellagio on Saturday.

Peace and good luck,


Vancoover Day Five, Main Event and Downtown Adventures

I started the main event of the British Columbia Poker Championships pretty excited to play in this thing. Really thought I was going to do well.

I didn’t make the first break.

Three hands really that I can talk about. After folding for about 30 minutes, I finally find AQo red UTG+1. Raise to 150 at 25-50 with 15k starting stacks and they’re all about the same, get called in 3 spots. Flop A54, I bet 375, BB calls. Turn A, I bet 975, BB calls, river T, he checks (good sign), Ibet2500pleasepleasepleasedon’tcheck-raise, cause if he did I was prob folding, but he calls and MHIG.

Good start. About 45 minutes later I play another big hand. In the meanwhile I’ve been playing a lot of pots but not showing anything really, but my reputation is still getting respect but I’m definitely under suspicion by now.

So, at 50-100 he limps the cutoff, I’ve seen him do this twice before but never saw it at showdown. I find two aces in the small blind, say “four twenty” and throw out four blacks and one green chip, the BB laughs and calls, and the cutoff calls. Flop AJx, I bet 625, BB folds, cutoff calls, turn K, I think for a good while, because I’m really trying to figure out the best way to get it in here and what my plan is etc, so with one 5k chip I say “seventeen hundred”. He makes it 6k, I snap ship, he snap calls, and his QT holds. Sigh.

But, this leaves me with 5k still, fifty big blinds. Next hand it goes raise to 300, call, call, call, and I decide shoving is really spewey with 55 esp with my image now, so I call to set mine, and *ding!*. 753, two to a suit, and they all check to me. How’s that happen seriously? So I bet, bb calls, the rest fold. BB almost check-raised the flop (I could see it in his eyes.. seriously. And he confirmed me for that later by saying without prodding “I almost check-raised the flop too.” So i chip up to 6k, but just can’t help myself when I fid a pair of nines later. I open, two callers, and the big blind, the only person younger than me also happened to be the most aggro, he makes it 1350 and I just stick it in. Pretty spewey by me and I think I could have done a better job of grinding that short stack.

The good news though, was that the PLO game started quick. I got a seat locked up and was ready to fire.

I need to buy Canadian $ if any of y’all have them.

Anyways, lost $5k ish in that game. Mind you this game is really really all over the place and I’m short stacking it just for that reason. First hand I’m up like $400 so at 2900, we’re playing 10-25-50 PLO, opens were to $200 usually. So like 7 players limp, I find the KK89 in my straddle with spades, jack it up $400 more, UTG calls, MP1 calls, folds to the button who ships it, I ship, and we’re all-in 4 ways. Board runs out 335s8sTs or something like that. Nobody shows anything. For long enough that boats/nut flushes should have been shown due to excitement. So I kinda get excited, pull out my K9spades, and just as mine hit the felt the button produces the A4 of spades. Arrgh. he also happened to have AA, not sure how that’s possible cause he only had $2400 in front of him, and he knew that I was itching to get it in, but he was one of two other white guys at the table so I’m not sure how they think when it comes to gambooooooool.

So next hand I complete my big blind same situation. I have AK63 with red suits nut diamond, it comes 3x3x2d, I bet pot, straddle and one of the villains from last hand pots, we’re both basically all-in, and he has 22xx. I’m a little behind but do have 10 outs twice so it’s a fair sweat, but FFS he turns quads and I even catch my king on the river. At least I didn’t catch my king on the turn.

I played a couple more big silly ones where I got it in with AAc9cX and held and another where I got it in with KKs52s on a Qs5s4 vs. a Q568.

After busting from the main event and before that PLO trainwreck, I spent like an hour researching live music in Vancouver. I bet they never saw this coming:

We ended up there after I had decided to go to Pat’s Pub to see some local band. ComptonMasta and I were both busto early so left the River Rock at 8:45, and by the time we explain to the cabbie where we want to go he asks us, “Is this some sort of joke?” Turns out the neighborhood I wanted to go to was crack-head central. Turns out he was right LOL. So we aborted and had him drop us off on some corner downtown so we could start our adventure.

That adventure started well when I won yet another taxi-cab meter race. I have not paid for a single piece of transportation yet this trip. If you don’t know the taxicab meter race game, it has to be the best way to settle who pays. You break up the fare into equal sections. If there’s four in the cab, you have high, low, mid-high or mid-low, and if the fare’s $24.35 then the guy who has mid-lows pays, cause he has anything from $xx.26-50. Makes for great sweats that’s for sure.

OH NO! I’ve just been informed of tragic news. Compton’s in the room with me, I asked if he lost the cab fare on the way back, and he told me that I did! Man I did run bad last night. I lost the flip for dinner, the rock-paper-scissors for cover charge. Man.

So, across the street from where we got dropped off is a place called “The Cellar” and has a sign that says “Live Music Wednesdays and Thursdays.” We’re in. We check it out, and really dig the place actually. We text eveybody, they come, after they finish playing, and we had a great time. Amazing time.

First beer, Compton’s slow.

Some drunk dude that we were LOL’n at.

Drunk dude passed out. It’s 11pm.

What’s up with the wheelchair theme in Vancouver?

This reminds me. Gavin and I were told that the wheelchair races from May made it into the security reports. This was told to us by the manager of the entire place and how he was cracking up that morning in his office reading the reports. I used to get in trouble in Jr. High school for doing this shit. Now they give me free executive suites for a week and invite us to come back.

So we close the place down, and there’s this dude playing acoustic guitar right outside the door. The crowd that spills out the door sticks around. It just kind of happens. A street party breaks out. Right on the corner of Nelson and Granville. People were dancing, singing, smiling, and just truly stoked to be alive at that moment. This dude jammed, I gave him a brownie and a banana, and I was almost left on the street corner but Compton talked me into going back with everybody (obviously was hustling me since I ended up paying).





6 max shootout today, then probably some more lighting of fire to brownies.

Peace and good luck,


Vancoover days 2-4, Sundays, $500 Mixed Hold’em, $1k NLHE

I texted this last night at 1:27am left coast time:

“i dunno. im drunk in a foreidn country a9promisw i enforced max spell check also im durnk and font want you fucking or fucking 2i5h score and that is all duck u”


I mean, seriously. Drinking and texting is a bad bad thing. Usually pretty funny though. I learned some things this morning lol.

The condition that my condition was in last night was the product of many wonderful things that happened up until that point. It all started when I busted from the $1k. This was a disappointing fact though because I had like 67k while we were playing 150-300 and then stopped winning chips when the ante’s came into play. The big hand was vs the “tightest player on the table.” He wasn’t really, his name was Sebastian, and I liked him. But I was also shitting on his blind. I had raised it four orbits in a row coming into this hand. The first two times was with nothing, the third I had aces and showed, the fourth I had tens and showed, and all four times everybody folded. I was running over the table. I had about 57k and he had about 30k, blinds 300-600/50 I think, I opened to 1425 with KK, folded to him, and he got that look in his eyes. It’s really really really hard to describe, but it’s that look of somebody snapping after you being active. He thought I was picking on him. I was to start. But he’s smart and I knew I couldn’t get away with it more than a few times. It took to the 5th time, but as he put the chips in pre-flop, I knew exactly how the action was going to go down. He was going to check/call the flop and check/shove the turn, so I did my best to make my line look FOS. I bet like 1775 or some silly bet like that and then one of each chip on the turn, snapped his shove, and he turned over the five and the seven with two different flush draws. The problem was that the board came 554, 8. From there nothing went right, the 40 min levels made stacks short quick (average was about 23 bigs by the end of the 6th hour), and I re-stole and lost a flip.

Had fun though, really enjoy playing here. Went upstairs, into Gavin’s room, and a game of gin broke out. I was up like $400 net from the whipping I put on him the day before (erasing the disaster on the plane ride up). Well, then Jody Trainer busted, he came up, and after that pretty much everybody (meaning like six dudes obviously… but many of Canada’s finest :) showed up into the room. Gavin and I were finally able to hustle up a game of hearts, Gav, me, Jody, and Colin, played for a dollar a point, and your’s truly shot the moon twice to finish at -2, ship the double payment. Gavin and I had $10/point side action too :).

We all go to the bar, I order 11 surfer’s on acid, turns out there’s 10 of us but one doesn’t drink, so Colin and I take the others also.

Oh by the way everything in Canada is stronger.

As evidenced by my text three hours later :).

I sent that text from this club called the Roxy. It was my idea of a perfect bar. It reminded me a lot of Primetime in Minnesota, but on a much smaller scale. They had a live cover band that was really good. Somehow Gavin proposed that I sing/play on stage with the band, and I’m like sure whatever, and on break he said that he tipped the guy $100 and was going to get me on stage to sing, but if I want to play guitar I’m gonna have to tip him another $100. LOL. It never happened turns out, but I was pretty excited to sing, and I’m pretty sure I avoided a train wreck after realizing this morning what a train wreck i was last night :).

So that Tuesday. I was going to write a blog Tuesday but I never made it back to my room because of everything I just told you. Yesterday I was going to tell you about the cash game train wreck on Monday and the one outer on Sunday. Not too much to talk about on Monday, I busted early from the tourney and was fine with it, then lost $4500 in a 10-25 (usually 50 straddle) PLO game. The big losing hand for me was AsAhJhXx at 10-25. Some people limp, another makes it $100, I make it $500 (pot) from the SB, and four players call LOL. $2500+change in there, I ship the Kx9s8s flop, get called by AKQs5s and get turned dead by the seven of spades.

Sunday though, hmm. Hmmmmmmmmm. Good wiggle toe feelings.

Long story short, we get $3500 each in on the flop of T95 rainbow. I have AT55 with I believe a backdoor frush draw. It was a straddled pot so the money got in quick, and since I have two of his six possible sets blocked with my ten, I like my chances vs. whatever he’s showing up with there. He’s getting it in with T9 also, of which there are six different combinations of fwiw.

Anyways, he has both the other tens in the deck, which is a good thing cause he couldn’t make quads on the turn, because he needed them to beat my quads on the river.

Ship the $7400 pot :). I run so hot in this country.

I only played six tourneys online Sunday starting with the Sunday 500 at 2:30. FTOPS main, 2nd chance, Mulligan, 100r, and Stars 200 HORSE. I didn’t bust out of anything until 6:30pm. I ended up only min-cashing the FTOPS and like 100th in the 500, so had a small loser on the day. I’m going to go play my guitar down by the river.

Oh yeah and I’m really glad that I didn’t bring rice into China this time. TY.

Peace and good luck,