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:

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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 :).

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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,

Devo

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.

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First beer, Compton’s slow.

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Some drunk dude that we were LOL’n at.

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Drunk dude passed out. It’s 11pm.

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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).

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

Peace and good luck,

Devo

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”

/blog

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,

Devo

Vancoover Day One, eh?

Well *poof*, here I am in Vancouver once again. I love it here. Already up over $3k loonies too :).

Yesterday Gavin and I flew out of Las Vegas at 1:25 pm. We got to the airport at noon, but almost missed our flight due to my being a dumb-ass. When we went through security I took my laptop out of my backpack, put it into a tray, put another empty tray on top of the laptop, put all my miscellaneous nonsense into that tray, and send it through the scanner. Whoops.

“Sir, next time when you come through, your laptop has to be in it’s own separate tray.”

I couldn’t come up with a good response quick enough. I mean, no shit. Make fun of me for putting the trays on top of each other or something.

So I get sent to this little metal exam table, and I’m expecting to be handed a hospital gown and meet some Hungarian woman with sideburns and a uni-brow putting on a rubber glove. He puts the two trays on the exam table, says, “Don’t touch anything while I check your bags.”

He walks back to the scanner with the laptop tray, runs it, comes back, gets the other tray, runs em both again, they pop out of the machine, are sitting there, still, and still…. bout 3 minutes pass. The guy walks back to the exit side of the machine (he was on the entrance side), looks at my bags, and motions from far away something like you can get your bags now to me.

Really?

Gavin and I are giggling about it though all the way to the bar where I make the mistake of refreshing his memory of how to play Gin. We start at $100/$1 (a game/per point), I get whipped the first game, but end up coming back to get on the plane as a small winner so far. With less than 15 minutes to departure we start walking to the gate, and I realize… Oh shit. I left my carry-on bag at the exam table.

I start running back to the A gate security checkpoint as I hear our names being paged.

We baaaaarely made it. One of the front desk people ran back down the jetway as they saw us coming to tell the plane to wait. LOL.

Gavin and I continue to kick each other in the nuts at gin and somewhere over Seattle I’m stuck like $27.

“Wanna kick it up?”

Hell yes I do. We make it $200/$5, and Gavin skunks me in two hands.

Stuck $727. Oops.

Anyways, Daryl the best poker room employee I have ever met sends us a limo, we check in, and after a shower I head downstairs. I exchange $9600 American for $11,300 Canadian at a 1.18 rate. In May when I brought fifty thousand loonies to Las Vegas, they gave me more American than I gave them Canadian. That means that if I had held on to those until this trip, like I thought about doing, I would have lost ten thousand American dollars. Sick eh?

I go and buy in for all the events, say hi to Daryl, and then run into Donovan. He insists on buying me a beer, and don’t try and force me into a good time I accept. We hang for a while, and then I have the itch to go play. I weasel my way into the only 5-10 game going, buy in for $6k, fold for about 20 minutes straight, finally pick up a good hand, one dude limps UTG+1 (who will later pull off a super-douche manuver), and I jack it up one to $60 with my QJo (told you it was a good hand). It goes call, reluctant fold, reluctant fold, call, call, call, pained fold in the big blind, and super-douche makes it $260.

Everybody folds like they had “X fold to any bet”. I mean, I laugh and just kinda giggle-fold, and it takes less than six seconds for everybody else to fold behind me. It took longer for each player that folded pre-flop after my raise to fold individually than it did for all four of the callers to fold collectively after I folded.

I think they think I suck.

I don’t blame em really, with the reputation for being a spewtard that I earned last trip. Between snapping aces with XX like six times in big spots, five-bet shoving to isolate an all-in player with five-eight off, and the final table train wreck where I had 50% of the chips with 9 left and took 9th, I wouldn’t fold to me either :).

Soo, Gavin drags me out of the game at 10:30 “to go drinkin”, I accept, and I quit up $1500 (loonies). Then begins the great adventure of bar-hopping.

We go to some pub in Richmond with Adam (and eventually meet Mike too) from PokerCast, and then somehow decide we’re going downtown. Things get fuzzy from here.

Oh yeah I forgot. I won $500 on a prop off Gavin right before we left (Canadian unfortunately… I have to beat him out of like $1k here to get even after the gin disaster). Last week we argued about the color of the Canadian $50 bill. I say red, he says pink. Gavin takes a bill to eleven random tables, asks people he chooses what color it is, and we play a race to six. It goes red, red, red, red, and then he asks a girl who says pink. Haha of course. He then asks another girl who says red, another says pink, and I win somewhere after that when like ten people in a row said red. It was hilarious to watch though cause he did it through the white chip and 1-2 NL games, and everybody is like holy shit that’s Gavin Smith, and he’s oblivious to it all, solely focused on his failed mission of pinkness.

So we get downtown and meet MJ, walk up to the bar, order, and when I turn around Gavin and Adam are gone. Huh. Weird. I wait for the drinks, wait, wait, then the bartender says, “Can I get you anything?”

“Didn’t we just order?”

“Didn’t your friends just leave?”

“Ummm… I don’t know? I guess I’ll take a Sleeman’s?”

Then MJ introduces himself to me, says that Gavin and Adam got kicked out, and that they’re at the Morrissey. So I finish my beer and go looking for a goose called the Morrissey. I acquire some more information.

It’s at the Ramada.
If I walk out the front door of where I’m at, I turn left.
It’s about ten blocks.

Good! So I walk out the front door, turn left, and find myself in the middle of downtown Vancouver. I wrapped my scarf up a little tighter, buttoned my peacoat, and actually enjoyed the crisp air and seeing my breath. I walked for about ten blocks when I started running out of street, called, and got more information. Granville and (street name I forgot). I ask somebody, which way is the Ramada? He points left. We walk down the street for a while, I see no Ramada, these guys aren’t too sure where I’m supposed to go, so I go to 7-11 and basically make another left, heading back towards the bar that my friends got kicked out of (and I still don’t know why that happened).

I wander around for a while, pee in a back alley for the first time in a foreign country, and magically stumble upon Granville. I ask some mounties which way to the bar, and shocker they know exactly where I need to go, and I finally am re-united with Gav and Adam.

Turns out that on the way in the two of them were goofing off and rough-housing basically, I think Adam hip-checked Gavin into the boards on the way up the stairs, or maybe into the wall when we got upstairs, but security booted them as soon as we walked straight to the bar. I guess MJ got the OK to be back in, but by that point Gav’s basically like FU I don’t want to drink here anymore.

Anyways, eventually we take a cab back to the River Rock, I stumble to the poker room, and the game has turned into 5-10-25. I buy in for $8k this time (I had to cover the $7k stack obv), and I have a really good time playing in this game.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about super-douche. Flop action goes like this – check, bet $40, raise to $120, arrin for $1600. After about 75 seconds the guy says, “If you take much longer I’m gonna call the clock on you.”

About 60 seconds later the guy yells, “CLOCK!!!” It is at this point that I verbally berate him, telling him what an asshole, un-gentlemanly, douche-baggy play that is. The asian across the table from Toronto (who was a very good player from what I saw… I respected him most by far) also went off on the guy. Just for the record, there was no prior history, the kid played fast, and it was an obvious crappy spot. It was like AT4 with two hearts.

So, when I got there at 3am, I was happy to hear and they were happy to report that he lost his entire stack that evening. I watched him to from $1k to $100 to $2k to $3600 after the kid called and lost in that hand right before I left.

I end up playing until 6:30 am, only really playing one big pot where 7 handed it went limp-limp-limp I make it $175 from the SB, fold, call, fold fold heads-up to the flop, T93 I bet $205 he calls, turn 2 I bet $505 he calls, river 4 I ship for his last $1100ish he calls and my JJ is good.

Playing online now, finally in my own room, and will be playing live all week.

Peace and good luck,

Devo

A Friendly Game of Hearts

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone home as the sun was rising and woken up as it was setting. I used to do it all the time when I was grinding cash games here in town and in Minnesota. Those games that ran from about 2am til they broke were often the best money-making opportunities that were available to a mid-stakes grinder. It was a worthwhile sacrifice to be on a crappy schedule so that I would only have to work 25 hours a week, instead of 40 hours doing the day shift.

As I’ve gotten older/moved to playing more tournaments, I’ve naturally moved to an earlier schedule. But, since I’m moving into more of a balance between the two, I knew the night that I played the cash game til sunrise would come soon.

Also as I’ve become older/more successful, the stakes and games that I play and where I play have changed. It used to be 40-80 limit at the Venetian. Now? High stakes hearts.

Everybody (Gavin, Cantu, Layne, Fuller, E-Tay, Madsen, etc.) has been playing a bunch of hearts lately for some pretty decent stakes. I have yet to make it into a game, although I have definitely wanted to. Cantu’s been begging me to play (probably not a good sign for me), and I finally decided to play last night.

The lineup was Gavin, Madsen, Cantu, and I. We were playing $10 a point and all points are paid. If you land on 120 when you go over 100 to lose? Well, you pay everybody [120-(their score)]*$10. If you wind up in negative points in any given game, you get paid double by everybody. Standard rules otherwise.

First game goes well for most of the session. We had Cantu on the ropes which is always a good feeling, having him stuck 86 to like 55, 35, and 25. I was leading the way and things were going good. Then, we couldn’t give Cantu a point to save our lives, I couldn’t duck the Black Mariah, and Cantu managed to shoot the moon on the last hand to win 95-99-gavin/jeff over 100. It was a small game, and we were ready for another.

Now, I’m pretty decent with hearts, and I was feeling good about my play. I was making reads, inducing, drawing, etc… all the old tricks, but somewhere along the way I got tired since I was awake at like 8:00 am that morning and Gavin got me drinking beers.

The 2nd game was pretty much a disaster. I don’t remember details, but I started sucking and ended up losing $200 in props and $1200 in the game, erasing my meager $200 profit in the first game.

We were about to call it a night, Jeff and I (who were obviously the fish… Gavin and Cantu are both highly underrated cardplayers IMO) were done, and we finally got suckered in by this speech from Gavin. “I’ll pay you each $300 to play another game.”

Now, I mean, I know I wasn’t playing well, but c’mon, I can’t be thaaaaaaat big of a dog, riiight?

They called FEMA after my first half dozen hands.

I couldn’t do anything. And I was sucking. And running bad. And after like 8 hands it was 87 for Gavin (Gavin was running thrice as bad as I was playing), 81 for me, and Jeff and Cantu (who had to be chuckling to himself that Gavin paid to make this game go) were both under 30. It was looking expensive. I am supposed to lose about $1500-2k in this game.

But then, through no influence of my own, I somehow luckboxed my way into 19 points, making my score a smooth 100, that magical number that *POOF!* makes your score go away. In fact my counts were so off that I thought I had two less points than I really did, but when I rolled over and counted my points I found that ugly black lady plus six loving friends, making my total 19 points, and 81+19 = 100, and just like that I was all the way down to zero points once again.

This is like a $4k swing by the way.

I was really tired going into that game, but after luck-sack-ing my way through that hand, I felt like I was on a complete freeroll for the night and ended up chatting with Gavin on his back patio around 6:30 am by the time I finally got moving toward my truck. I netted somewhere around $1500 on the night, got home, and then slept til the sunrise.

Now it’s 6:07 pm, dark outside, I haven’t eaten anything but a mirco-orange juice from my micro-fridge and a banana. I need to run errands before leaving the country on Saturday, and that’s looking like that’s gonna happen tomorrow now :).

Off to see Vinny Favorito with Gavin, Lisa, and Shelley at 7:30, and who knows after that.

Peace and good luck,

Devo

End of the Tahoe Trip, WSOP Main Final Table

After writing the last blog, Jon and I headed out for adventures in Lake Tahoe. We left the Cal-Neva, wandered across the California state line for the first time in the trip, and ended up shortly down the road at King’s Beach. We had lunch at Jason’s, went to the gas station across the street, bought an 18 pack of Bud Light, and went to the beach. I chilled and jammed for a while, and we were leaving within 90 minutes cause it was in the 40′s, and where I come from that’s f’n cold.

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We then headed over to Oak’s place in Tahoe City and chilled at his cabin. Dig that guy – good people. When he started his evening session we left, went back to the room and did our own chilling, and then headed off to catch the Monday night game and get lubed up for the evening’s concert.

The dining options in town sucked, so we hopped in a cab and said, “Take us somewhere tasty.”

We ended up at this italian joint called Lanza’s I believe? It was an awesome place down in King’s Beach. At dinner I realized that I have a lust for variance in life. I commonly complain about the swings in poker, but I think I would get bored without variance. I do things like this all the time. Surprise me. Etc.

So at dinner I ordered a “pasta featuring italian sausage.” I tell her that I like everything else, and just to have the chef prepare what he recommends/wants to prepare. I end up getting angel hair pasta, meat sauce, italian sausage, and the biggest pile of while mushrooms piled on top of this pasta that I’ve ever seen.

I’m sure my mother is chuckling right about now.

I hate mushrooms. Right up there with raw onions, liver, and the dentist.

I pushed them to the side and got stuffed on some amazing pasta, but I sure got a kick out of the whole adventure.

We took the cab back, and then took in the Crown City Rockers and Galactic. It was a fun show, nothing special, and we had a good time. Went back to the room and made another dime online (I’ve learned a trick in PLO… get AAxx, get somebody to put it in with 3456 or KQJ9, and hold for absurdly big pots).

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The next morning we woke up around noon and drove back down to Vegas, catching up on Poker Road Radio shows the whole way. If you don’t listen to the show, definitely subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. It will ship to your iPod every time you update and it truly is a great show.

We went straight to Madsen’s place where a bunch of us were meeting to watch the Main Event final table.

Dennis Phillips hired Roy Winston to be his coach. Many were surprised by this decision. Roy plays, err, well, different.

First hand shown… Dennis limps UTG with AKo, Ivan raises with AQs, Dennis re-raises, Ivan re-raises to about 25% effective stacks, Dennis calls, flop JT8, Dennis looks like he hates life, bets 4.5m into about 15m, Ivan ships, Dennis folds.

One of the worst hands I’ve ever seen played personally.

“Dennis should sue his coaches for malpractice!” Nice, Norman.

The trainwreck continued until Dennis had dropped from 27m to 6m, and then he somehow picked up QQ v JJ to double and eventually find himself finishing third.

I was really impressed with both Demidov and Eastgate, and am glad that they got heads up. They played the best imo.

I also think the 4 month delay was a huge success. The energy was amazing, I heard the ratings were the highest they’ve had in years, and I they did a good job with production. I liked the preview show. Only complaints are not showing Kelly Kim’s bustout hand, I mean, who cares if it was a boring hand, it’s the main event. They could have done a lot more with the thing too, like shown more poker rather than twenty key hands. They had 20 hours of play. There’s plenty of people that want to see every pitch in the baseball World Series, not just the highlight video, and I think there is enough audience in poker to make it a longer show, much longer than the two hours it ended up being. 5 1 or 2 hour episodes over a week perhaps? I dunno. Anyways, I bet they do this again next year, and I can see them moving in a direction to do more things like this in the future.

OK… off to donkaments. Big 300r in the FTOPS tonight… badbeatninja FTW.

Peace and good luck,

Devo

The Tahoe Trip; Keller and Sunday, ****ing Sunday, Day 3.

After I left you last time we walked out the front door of the Cal Neva destined for the Crystal Bay Club to see Keller Williams, who happened to be sold out. However, we were armed with all the items necessary to bribe favors/tickets out of hippies and the gusto to get in.

As soon as we got over there we walked into the venue, which is really on the casino floor, and they were doing a sound check. Lou, who told us to come see him later, couldn’t talk and seemed frustrated, and we got kicked out while we were waiting for him. No worries, I have a pocket full of $100′s, I’m getting in this show and it probably won’t take more than $100 a ticket. We park in the other bar/lounge area, watch the USC/Cal game (take that Seebs, Steve, and Paul for having the same fight song), and somewhere in the 4th quarter I pop out of my chair like I was sitting on a spring.

I walk up to the doorman (for about the 4th time) and give this speech. “Hey man, I drove up here from Vegas just for this show, I really really really want to get in. I’ll tip you $100 if you can help me out.” His buddy looks at him, he looks at his buddy, they kind of shrug their shoulders. He looks around, looks at me, and says, “Meet me in the bathroom by the arcade in 5 minutes. No, make it 2 minutes.”

“Sweet! Thanks man!”

There was too many people in the bathroom, so he takes me into some back hallway through one of those doors in the wall, I ship him $100, and *poof*, we’re on the guest list, what do you want for your other two wishes?

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This is good for one of em. We’re literally leaning on the stage. Like, two feet from Keller. We spend the beginning of the show there until we have to pee, leave, and obv can’t make it back that close. We do spend the rest of the show about 6 rows back, and it was kinda better there anyways since the vocal levels were much clearer with the house input.

At the last Keller show, I ran into this guy named Tom. Shelley (ie Sarah Palin) knew the guy from something or another. About two weeks after that, Shelley and I were going through old pics, I was showing her pics from Vegoose 07, and she got a kick out of this one, because it’s Tom on the left.

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In the last song before intermission, Tom brushes past me. North Lake Tahoe. LOL. We got a kick out of that, and then I didn’t run into him for the rest of the show.

Anyways, sickest show I’ve seen this year for sure. Just mind blowing. The venue was amazing, the band behind Keller was seamless and into their music. Words really can’t describe how awesome of a time we had.

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After the show Jon made a prediction that we would both make money tomorrow. I mean, how could we not? We have 180 degree views of the prettiest place on the planet from the top floor here. This is where I spent 9 hours yesterday:

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So at 7pm I had 12 tables going. I was killing it too. At the same time Jon was chip leader of the 150 rebuy on FTP playing for $70k+ with like 12 left. I was in everything still basically with a lot of opportunities. Jon got screwed, getting it in with AK v AJ (AJ made a horrendous call too) and the board ran out 789, A, T. For the chip lead. $5500 cash. Seriously was like $30k in equity in that pot.

So, Jon goes on monkey tilt and almost threw his laptop off the balcony. If it was me I probably would have since I have the Best Buy Protection Plan, and literally won a $100 bet off Dutch calling the Best Buy customer service hotline, saying the words “I threw my laptop off a balcony and it’s now in a bunch of pieces,” and winning the bet by them saying bring it in and they’ll fix it.

Since I don’t feel like talking about poker, long story short I win my PCA seat ($13k package) so I’m going to the Bahamas in January, 10th in Omaha (I was CL from 45 to 18 ish, and then couldn’t win a hand. Twice I have the best hand, improve to broadway in scoop spots, and twice my improvement to broadway gives them a boat. I busted 20 off the money in the FTOPS, cashed like 400th in the million, cashed in the $50/80k, and think that’s it? Anyways, best Sunday I’ve had since February, so I’m not complaining, plus, I’m in Tahoe. And then I won a dime in cash games when we got back from drinking in this sleeping town.

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Gonna do something today for Monday Funday, not sure what, but I sure feel good sitting here in my jammies, drinking coffee, and just taking in the tranquility of this place. Galactic concert tonight in the same venue, then off to South Lake tomorrow, or home, or something. Not sure. Heard about a reggae show on Wednesday night I’m interested in, so we’ll see.

Peace and good luck,

Devo