Horseshoe Hammond WSOPC Days 2 and 3, ORD-LAX-SFO

Day two was an exciting roller coaster. I came into the day with momentum, and on the very first hand a dude limped at 1500-3k/500. Another older dude made it 13k with about 70k total, I started the day with 124k, AQo, the small blind, and said, “All-in.” The limper folded two eights, and the raiser called with AKo. Oops. Flp J8x, T, 9. GG sir, the toll roads thank you for your patronage (yah I know pretty sick right?) Next hand we open the button with AQo, call a shove from the small blind for like 40k, and lose to 44.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. I chipped up pretty steadily from there to about 450k, and then played another big pot. I open UTG with AQo, a guy flats in MP with 25 bbs, SB shoves 18bbs, I high five the dealer and say all-in, and the flatter calls within three seconds. What did I just get myself into? I still roll my AQ proudly, sadly see KK in the caller’s pocket, and say whoops when I see that the shover has AKo. Txx. Q. A. EZ game. Congrats on making the money. 4 tables left and we have 1m, good for fifth in chips.

Down to three tables I’m steamrollin. I’m opening way more than I should, everything’s working, and I steadily chip up to 1.5m. William Reynolds is on my left and I win like six of seven blind vs. blind battles out of position. I haven’t been three bet in a while, I know one is coming soon, and when it does I have the top of my range, KQo. I snap shove and the guy goes into the tank, 450k or so total. I feel like I’m flipping at worst, he finally calls with AQo, I feel slowrolled, flop a king, and he rivers an ace.
Next orbit in my big blind Jared in the small blind opens for 60k at 10-20/3k with 440k total, I find 9Tss and shove, he snaps (ty for the non slowroll) with AQo, flop Q87, brick, brick. I feel like the shove is standard, would have flatted if he opened to 50k or less and then gotten it in on the flop, so, whatevs. It’s been a long time since I’ve lost a million that quick but it sure was fun.

I chipped up to a little over 600k when I found AK and got it in vs two jacks 19 handed, hit a king on the turn, and doubled up. That carried me through the last 40 minutes of day two and I ended with 1.15m, good for 6th of 16 remaining.

That Saturday was Northwestern’s homecoming. Bill and his buds all went there, so they started tailgaiting around 9am for the morning game. When I finally met him at 3am he was hammered. Always fun showing up in the 18th hour of a party. I had two beers to unwind, made it to bed reasonably soon, and was up shortly after noon so I could shower and look good for the last day.

We drove down Lakeshore Drive, made it early, I took 10% of Bill’s cash game action, and we got the cards in the air. First hand I open KTdd in the hijack, Reynolds calls in the big blind, and the flop comes K67ssc. He checks. I decide to check. Turn is an offsuit 9, he bets pretty big, like 125k into 170k, which I obviously don’t like, but I’m not folding. Turn’s a red queen, he bets like 250k, sigh again, but I can’t really see folding because of how under repped my hand is.. I call and lose to KJ. Damn. I lose half my stack and am between 5 and 600k now, still 16 left.

I maintain that stack into the final 10, where I hover between 400 and 700k until we get down to 8 players. I chip up to 1.2m without seeing a flop by the time we’re at 7, and then with just under 1m I play this hand out of the big blind. In the hand before, the small blind lost most of his stack to Reynolds and was left with 180k at 30-60/10k. He folds his button, the SB limps with like 2.5m, and I find two kings in the big blind. I raise to 170k total. The SB, who should have shoved any two pre due to ICM with the guy on the button being so short, makes it 395k. I move all-in obviously, hating a bit the fact that he’s pretty much gotta call since it’s 555k more and he’s getting about 3-1 on his money. After about 2 minutes he does with 82cc. I ask the dealer to please not shove these kings up my ass, and he responds by putting out a flop of 842. The board bricks out and I bust 7th place for just under $36k, which is obviously a good three days work, but was the most depressing five digit score of my life due to taking the worst beat of my life to earn it. Obviously I sucked out twice awesomely in day 2 to get me there, but once you’re there and then lose an 85% favorite to bust, especially when one guy has three big blinds and there’s a $12k pay jump to 6th… I’ll never be in that spot again much less six more times to balance things out. There is no long term in tournament poker. Some people will run hotter over their lifetime than others.

Bill and I spent that evening chilling out in downtown Chicago and I was out the door by 9:20 the next morning with all my stuff, headed to the L. Red line South to Jackson, transfer to the Blue line, all the way to O’Hare. Back to LA, Karri picked me up, we went home and booked a flight to San Francisco the next day. Dull lives we lead. Giants made the World Series baby! They’re my favorite team, I’ve never been to a World Series game, Linscecum and Lee in game 1… obviously we’re going to that. It’s been a nice flight up and should be a fun few days in the Bay.

Peace and good luck,


Horseshoe Hammond WSOPC Main Event: Day One

I did a bunch of poker playing this week. Wednesday I grinded online for twelve hours. It’s been a super long time since I’ve done anything like that. I booked a small profit but was happy with the day overall considering the way things went.

Thursday it was much the same. Three hours online, was happy to book a $600 winner after starting that much in the hole one tabling over Cheerios. Ate a sandwich from Whole Foods. Made an almost two hour video for PokerVT going over the UB Perfect 10 NLHE freezeout I won on Monday. Went for a jog. Was sweating that one considering that three weeks ago I tried working out on my knee for the first time since I blew it May 3rd and it hurt. Like the not good hurt, got me to the doc who gave me drugs that I haven’t used. Anyway it felt strong which made me happy, my getting winded after a mile and a half pissed me off so I’ll have to fix that. I packed my running shoes and used them though, and for that I’m proud.

Bill made tacos and we watched the first few innings of the Giants game before getting back on the grind. I played a bunch of SNG’s and a 3-6 HORSE game, finally breaking my recent SNG curse to a close with my first victory in like 30 tries. Dropped my ROI 3% this month. After that we went to see Jackass 3D, and it’s possibly the funniest two hours of film I’ve ever seen. They’re brilliant, and idiots. I laughed myself to tears for much of the movie.

Friday I woke up early (defined as 11am away from the ranch), had Cheerios and hit the road with a cup of coffee headed to Hammond. I bought into the main on Tuesday, and good thing cause the line out the door was a mile long. It was a 90 min wait from when I got there. They ended up getting 872 runners for $1600 a pop. I’m not sure where this many people with that much money came from, perhaps they were taking buyins in livestock or something, but it’s one of the softest fields I’ve played in a long time. I was card dead all day, seeing JJ, 99, and four AK’s that I lost with in the first 15 levels. I steadily chipped up though all day and enjoyed playing tournament poker, until we busted all the I’ll never-3-bet-you but I’ll check-fold a lot players. They were replaced by a bunch of people who could find the raise button, notably Kevin Saul two to my left with 170k at 8-1600/200.

My 80k dwindled to 70k with one level left to play in the day. 1200-2400/500. 2nd or 3rd hand I call a 20k shove with A5ss in the blind and lose to A4hh. Ugh 48k, which is only 6m’s FFS, and there’s half an hour left in day 1. Bust me now and put me on a plane to my honey. I folded around to my next big blind, tick tock tick tock. Folds to the small blind who limps. I guess I should look so they know that I looked if they were paying attention, but it doesn’t matter, I could have two sugar packets that would be ruled dead at showdown and still shove.

He shows me A3o and folds.

Next hand a good spot to shove on opens to 5600, folds to my small blind I find A3o, and shove. He folds.

On my button, still stacking copious amounts of ante chips, a good aggressive player that I had three bet with T2o in this same spot several orbits earlier opens to 5k. I find aces (HOORAY!), make it 13,300, he folds.

Fold the next hand. Then, an old dude who had been snug with gross overbets shoves UTG for 40k+. I find two queens, have 75k, debate a little between calling and shoving, and decide to shove. The small blind tanks. Almost two minutes. I feel like he has TT, JJ, or maybe AK. He folds, claiming to have AK, the board runs out K high, and I bust A7dd. I’m still not sure what’s optimal there, but it worked out for us in this situation, course small blind had like 60k so it probably didn’t make a difference.

Yeah. I’m tired. It was a long day but I feel like a pig in shit after that end of the night heater giving me 123,900 headed into day two, resuming tomorrow at 1pm CST.

Peace and good luck,


My Kind of Town, Chicago Is

Karri and I walked outside at 5pm ready for the gala. She was lookin’ hot in a formal gown, I was feeling out of place in a tuxedo as she introduced me to DB Sweeney. I recognized the name and the face but had no idea from where. “When you’re in the presence of a legend and you’re unfamiliar with their body of work, you have to divert from that fact.” He likes toast too. Turns out he was the navigator in Memphis Belle, one of my favorite movies that Jared and I watched all the time as kids. The family of the soldier that just was awarded the Medal of Honor was also in the car, and we were driven over to the Navy Pier. Past the taxi line. Past the parking. Past the authorized vehicles only sign, past the “NO VEHICLES BEYOND THIS POINT” sign and some soldiers, and to the end of the pier where we were dropped off. They took a few pictures in front of a beautiful backdrop of the lake and Chicago skyline in magic hour and then walked inside.

There we went to Karri’s green room she was sharing with Bonnie Hunt to drop off stuff. It was guarded by a marine. Upstairs to the VIP reception where Karri and DB were whisked to the end of the red carped where they stood with Gary Sinise and Bonnie and took pictures with groups of people standing in a long line waiting to do so. I fetched Karri a Jack and diet. Way outta my element but I’m a good blender. Karri was then appointed a marine guard who followed us around for the entire evening. We offered him a drink and he declined.

After the VIP reception we entered the regular reception hall for cocktails, mingling, and a silent auction. We bid on a few lots of wine and lost. We offered our marine a drink and he declined. I met Admiral Mike Mullen. I met a lot of other neat people that could all individually have books written about them. I enjoyed taking it in and watching Karri be herself. We headed inside to our table, center stage second row, and watched the opening ceremony. Presentation of colors, National Anthem, invocation, speech, and the coast guard silent drill team. I was impressed nobody took a rifle butt or bayonet to the head. We ate, offered our marine a drink which he declined, heard a couple more speeches, and I was moved seeing the Gold Star families who had lost sons overseas. Gary Sinise who presented the USO Heart of a Patriot award to Karri last year introduced her who then presented it to DB. He gave a speech, and the ceremony was closed.

The Lieutenant Dan Band then took the stage with Gary at bass. Kick ass cover band 13 heads deep. The party kicked off, the night started getting blurry, we offered our marine a drink and he accepted, and somewhere around 2am we were leaving the hotel bar saying good night. That took us to the waterfront where we watched the golden leaves of fall float on the stagnant waters of the Chicago river blocked at Lake Michigan. It was beautiful though, Wrigley building reflecting on the water and giant rats running in the bushes behind us. But seriously it was beautiful.

Sunday I woke up intending on writing the blog that I was supposed to write on Friday and realized that I left my laptop charger in Las Vegas. Whooooopssss. That took me on a mission down Michigan Avenue to Best Buy past the gay/anti-war parade which I successfully returned from in 45 minutes. Plugged in, wrote, won a few bucks playing cash, and then went to Old Mother Hubbard’s to meet Bill and company for the Cowboys/Vikings game. Post game we launched a spontaneous Irish Pub crawl. The first two were accidental, but when the third was a block away we realized we had a theme. Ended the night at Dublin’s in the Viagra Triangle, then back on the waterfront.

Monday was a bummer because I had to put Karri back on an airplane. I lost a couple of buyins quickly in the morning getting kings shoved up my ass twice, we had lunch, and then I hitched a ride to Bill’s place in her car for O’Hare. Bye honey. Spent most of the night grinding at Bill’s, won a tournament, and still ended up stuck $5-600 on the day. I’ve been playing these UB Perfect 10 tournaments this month and have a score that’s 43rd overall and best amongst the other pros so far. Take that Hollywood Dave. I’ve got a 1st, 3rd, 8th, 14th, and 2 15th’s in my first 12 events. They’re soft you should try some.

Tuesday I woke up jonesin for some live poker. The Horseshoe in Hammond, IN is about half an hour away without traffic and in the midst of WSOPC prelims. I called down at 12:05 to inquire how late registration would be open for the $560 6max NLHE that just started.

“At least the first level.”
“At least? How long are the levels?”
“Half an hour. We generally close registration when people stop registering.”

LOL. I texted Nolan Dalla and he talked to Charlie and they said no problem come on down. I made it into the tournament by 1pm, lots of people registered after me, and that’s where bad things ended. The structure was great, the field was big, the venue was sweet and reminded me of the River Rock in Vancouver, the dealers and staff were competent, and I enjoyed my time there.

I didn’t enjoy the end of my tournament though, when I busted less than half an hour after a dinner break that I came off of with 61 bigs. First hand back it goes limp, limp, I make it 5500 in the sb at 500-1k/100 with AKo, fold, fold, and the 2nd limper shoves 36k total after about a minute. I snippity snap and lose a flip to his sevens. “I didn’t think you were that strong.” Obviously. I hate when you’re crushing their range and end up getting it in flipping and then losing. Couple orbits later I open the cutoff with 23k on his BB, he thinks for about 30 seconds and shoves with K8cc and makes a running club flush to beat my jacks. Back on the Skyway to downtown, tournaments can be so annoying sometimes.

Peace and good luck,