Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I won the 5k MTT for 150k

Life has been swingy lately. I chopped the $1,000 PLO rebuy tournament at Bellagio for $18,000, which was nice. It only had around 25 people I think but a win is a win. I bricked off the rest of the tournaments, including the main event.

I decided to gamble and play some semi high stakes cash games on Victory Poker and did poorly, losing $8,000 in one night, which is a decent amount for me, as I have been playing fairly small online lately. I was feeling a little depressed about it and alllmost decided to skip the last $5000 Texas Holdem poker event at Bellagio. Good thing I didn�t.

I sat around most of day 1 with no chips. After around 6 hours of the poker tournament, I picked up AA when there was a raise, call, and reraise in front of me. I pushed and the small blind cold called with AK. I won that and from there won 4 more coin flips to end the day as the chip leader with 18 people left out of the 90 or so that started. Only 9 people got paid, so we would finish the tournament the next day.

Today, I ran pretty hot right out of the gate, knocking out a few short stacks. I had one lucky hand where a tight aggressive opponent raised and I called in late position with QsJs. The flop came JcTs8s. We got it all in and he was drawing almost dead with 7s6s. From there I ran over everyone for a while before we got down to 10 players.

There were around 4 online guys and 4 older amateurs left in the tournament. Oddly enough, 4 online guys were on my left and 4 amateurs were on my right. The online guys were going nuts trying to outplay each other so I just say around for waited for good hands. It was kinda funny because two of the online guys went on monster tilt for no reason at all.

I got up to around 500,000 chips out of the 1.6 million in play when we were down to 7 people when I lost a pretty big flip. I raised to 9000, one of the lag kids reraised to 26000 and I went all in for 270k or so. He snap called with AQ to knock me back to average. Personally, I think his call was terrible, but what can you do. Lucky for him, I had the bottom of my range.

From there I won with JJ vs AT when one of the other tilters pushed over me. Once we got 3 handed, the short stack, who is a high stake cash game regular, pushed for 15bbs, around 165k, the other player, a very good amateur from Europe called and I picked up AK. I pushed and the amateur folded. I beat hid A5 to enter heads up with 1.3 million to 300k. From there, I won a flip and the $150,000 first prize.

I decided to celebrate by eating Chipotle, one of my favorite meals, and playing Fallout New Vegas. I actually haven�t started eating or playing yet, as I just walked in the door. Im excited about both. All in all, this has been the nut day.

I am learning more and more about myself that I hate losing much more than I like winning. I feel so much more pain about losing the $8,000 online than I feel joy from winning the tournament today.

I realize this makes no sense at all. Clearly this is something I need to work at. I think I am also going to make a point to just grind mid stake cash games online for a while and not take any shots. I hhaaattttteeeee losing online. Life is ok for some reason.

I am going hiking with Hoyt Corkins and Tony Grappo tomorrow here in Vegas, which is always fun. A few days from now, I am heading to Chicago to play the $10,000 WSOP circuit event. They are getting large turn outs, so hopefully it will be a good tournament. Ok, video game time. Thanks for reading. Be sure to follow me, JonathanLittle on twitter.

Check out more of Jonathan's interests here:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A (poker free) Week in Utah (Part 2 of 2)

Gulf Coast Poker.NET blogger Jonathan Little discusses his week away from Texas Hold em poker
in this second of two posts. Course he went maybe 12 days away from the game but on the last day of his trip couldn't resist the urge to get back into things. The next day promised a Pot Limit Omaha tournament. But back to...

Day 5: We drove to Capitol Reef National Park, which is basically a big fold in the earth�s crust. We went on a 2 mile hike then a 4 mile hike. They were both just ok. We stayed at the Lodge at Red River Ranch. It is a super nice giant log cabin a few miles from the park. It was the nuts. Every room had a fire place, which we used later that night. We went to eat at Caf� Diablo, which is the stone nuts. It is a southwestern restaurant that has loads of delicious food. I would for sure go back. This place rivals places like Mesa Grill. It was delicious.

Day 6: We drove to Zion National Park to do the Angel�s Landing trail. Amie got scared because the last .5 miles of the 2.5 mile trail are up a very steep mountain with drop offs on both sides. They actually had to put a chain throughout most of the hike because it was so steep. I thought it was awesome. I was surprised to find a mixed bag of people at the top of the hike. There were all sorts of people, including photographers and a tiny 65 year old Asian lady.

It was fun. I was quite proud of Amie because she is a little afraid of heights. She made it with no problems. We went to our campground and decided to eat at a place called Whiptail grill. A review online said it was Asian food so I was looking forward to some noodles. It turned out to be Mexican food. While the food was delicious, the service was terrible. Not just the standard bad service, but terrible service. Ohhh well. By the time we were finished eating, it was dark and very cold. Amie jokingly said we should sleep in the car and it sounded like a good idea to me, so we sleeped in the car.

Day 7: I woke up at 4am probably because my car wasn�t built to be slept in and decdided to drive back to Vegas. Amie wanted to see the sun rise all trip and we had yet to make it happen so I figured I would make it to Vegas in time to see it. I drove all around trying to find a great place to watch it and finally stumbled on a place on the outskirts of town near the 515 and the mountains. It was great.
All in all, this was by far one of the best trips of my life.

Interestingly , this enough might have been longest stretch of time I have gone since going pro without playing poker. I am pretty sure it was a solid 12 days. Because of this, I decided to play a $500 tournament at Bellagio today, electing to skip the Sunday mtts. I lasted around 6 hours before 3betting A6s to 1/3 of my 27bb stack and then pushing on a T62 board. I lost to T7. The fields in Vegas are still alive and well. There is a $1000 PLO rebuy tournament tomorrow, so that should be fun.

I am pretty convinced very few people know how to play PLO tournaments so I try to play every one I can. Hopefully I can be in for the minimum of $4,000 and don�t go off for $16,000. That is never fun. I put in a short $5/10 session on Victory Poker tonight and won $2,000 in an hour, so that�s nice.

I am going to make a point to play a little more for my bankrollbuilder challenge soon, which if you haven�t checked out can be viewed at I have played around 14 hours so far and am up 8 buyins, which is right around where I expected to be. Some players are commenting that it will take a while to build a bankroll at this rate. All I can say to that is poker is a slow game. If you only play one hour per week, things will go slow. Luckily for everyone, you can play much more than one hour per week!

Life has been fun. I am looking forward to more of it

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A week in Utah (1 of 2)

Jonathan Little discusses life on on the Texas Holdem poker tournament trail and away from it. Speaking of trails Little took a break from crushing high stakes mtts and Sit'n go tournaments
to actually go hiking:

Life has been grand lately. Amie and I went on a weeklong trip to southern Utah to go hiking. I will give a quick summary of each day.

Day 1: We drove from Vegas to Bryce Canyon, which is a canyon full of hoodoos. We went on a short hike where we saw a cute little chipmunk get gobbled up by a raven. We ate at the Bryce Canyon lodge, which is also where we stayed. The food was just meh and overpriced. There were lots of deer walking around the area that clearly wernt scared of humans. It was cool.

Day 2: We drove to Moab and went hiking in Arches National Park. We went on the Devil�s Garden trail where we got to see 7 giant stone arches. While we were walking the trail, a snake attacked a chipmunk right in front of us. It strangled it and eventually ate it. It was wild seeing it happen right in front of us. Apparently chipmunks don�t live long. We ended up hiking the full 8 mile trail. When we had around a mile left, it started pouring down rain. We were supposed to stay at a campground in a tent while in Moab but we decided to get a hotel room because we were soaked and it would be no fun setting up a tent in the dark.

I called La Quinta Inn and they said they were out of regular rooms but they could give us the Jacuzzi suite for less than a regular room so I obv booked it. It was a nice room but was seriously lacking in the details department. It could have been really nice. We ate at a place called Bucks Grill house. Again, it was meh and overpriced.

Day 3: We went to Canyonlands National Park, which is also near Moab. We wanted to go on a 9 mile hike around Upheaval Dome but were advised against it by a ranger because it is a tough trail and it was going to rain soon. We instead went on an easier 6 mile long hike which was ok. We got rained on a little but it wasn�t too bad. We ate at Jay�s Pasta. My dish, some baked linguini in a sausage marinara sauce, was the nuts. Amie had stuffed shells which were not nearly as good. Bad beat. We walked around town a little and stayed in the tent. It was coooooold.

Day 4: We had booked a rafting trip but decided to skip it because it was raining. Sickly enough, they refused to cancel the trip despite a tornado warning being in effect. I am still a little pissed about that. We went to the Delicate Arch, which is on Utah�s license plates. It was at the top of a semitough 1.5 mile hike. Despite a fairly tough hike, there were tons of people at the top. Amie and I got some pics under the dome, which was cool. It was pretty hot on the trail, probably because there was no shade.

I got a little sun burnt, which isn�t surprising. After that, we decided to check out a short version of the Upheaval Dome trail. By the time we got out there, it was about to rain. The temperature went from pretty hot to very cold almost instantly. We saw the dome then ran back to the car. We were driving out of the park when hail started pounding the top of my car. It is crazy how it went from hot to cols so quickly. Utah weather is weird. We ate at Jeffery�s Steak House, which was very good. I would for sure visit it again.

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

At ESPN studios

The last week has been hectic but fun. I finished up the rough draft of Secrets of Tournament Poker Volume 1, which is a very good thing. I am going to start working on putting together Volume 2 this week. I got to go to the ESPN Studio to record an episode of Inside Deal, which is the ESPN poker news show. It was a lot of fun and I got a great tour of the studio from Andrew Feldman. I also walked by Michael Chiklis twice, which was cool cause I loved The Shield. I also saw Kenny Chesney although I don�t know anything about him. You can check out the episode here:

Amie and I are going on a weeklong trip to Utah in a few days. It should be a nice relaxing week before a solid month of tournaments in Vegas, Hammond, and Foxwoods. While everyone else has been in London going broke and getting burnt out, I have been spending my time relaxing and loving life. I am looking forward to making a solid run over the next 3 months. I feel like I have been playing great poker. I feel like in the last few tournaments I played, I simply lost one too many flips. Hopefully I can win 40% of them and can bring home a title.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I am writing a Poker Book

Life has been fun lately. I have been playing a decent amount of Holdem poker on Victory Poker, which has been going great. Since they moved to the Cake network, there have been a lot more games. Also, the new poker program doesn�t limit you to playing 8 tables which is both good and bad for me because I tend to just load up as many tables as possible, which isn�t always a good thing. Today I ended up 20 tabling 1/2 � 5/10 6 max cash games until I started timing out. Timing out is ------EV.

I am going to try to figure out a way to limit myself. I have been staying in NYC with Amie. I like it here. We have gone to two Giants games, which has been a lot of run. She is balla enough to have some great season tickets, so that�s very nice. I really like how all the food places deliver here. I love yummy food and NYC is apparently the capitol of yummy food. Live tournaments have been going decently well.

After I took 12th place at the Bike WPT poker tournament I took 25th or so out of 100 people in Biloxi. I ended up losing a flip when I was probably 1st in chips against the guy that was close to me. From there I lost two more flips to lose. I have been very happy with the way I have played the last two events. I have had people just trying to hand me money.

When you get it in with 80% equity though, 20% of the time you lose. Hopefully I can fade the beats and bring home a title. I�m feeling good about both poker and life. When that is the case, I tend to run pretty hot.

I am currently staying with my girlfriend, Amie, in NYC. The city is fun. There is lots to do and somehow, despite all the people running around, it is peaceful. I am currently working on a poker book.

I am actually almost finished with the rough draft. It is going to be called something like �Secrets of Professional Tournamet Poker� or something like that. If anyone has any suggestions for topics to put in the book, please let me know. I have racked my brain and am pretty sure I have already covered every aspect of tournament poker in the book but I miiiiight have missed something.

Besides that, life has been nice. I have also started working on a Bankroll Builder video series. I am asked fairly often what I would do if I only had a small amount of money to my name and had to start over today. Well, I am going to show you. I am going to start with a $300 bankroll and will play .05/.10 6 handed no limit cash games until I get around $600, which is when I will move to $.10/.20. The cool part about this is I am going to record every hand I play so you can actually see how it is done.

This special, maybe never ending, video series will be sold through Check there often because the first few people to subscribe will get a nice discount. At, we recently hired a new coach, Allan �Demystify727� Bendall. He plays mostly mid stake mtt sngs and mtts. He will be a great addition to our ever growing team of coaches dedicated to bringing you the best mutli table tournament and sit n go tournament instruction on the web.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life is Good

Life has been fun lately. I have been playing a decent amount on Victory Poker, which has been going great. Since they moved to the Cake network, there have been a lot more games. Also, the new poker program doesn�t limit you to playing 8 tables which is both good and bad for me because I tend to just load up as many tables as possible, which isn�t always a good thing. Today I ended up 20 tabling 1/2 � 5/10 6 max cash games until I started timing out. Timing out is ------EV.

I am going to try to figure out a way to limit myself. I have been staying in NYC with Amie. I like it here. We have gone to two Giants games, which has been a lot of run. She is balla enough to have some great season tickets, so that�s very nice. I really like how all the food places deliver here. I love yummy food and NYC is apparently the capitol of yummy food. Live tournaments have been going decently well.

After I took 12th place at the Bike WPT I took 25th or so out of 100 people in Biloxi. I ended up losing a flip when I was probably 1st in chips against the guy that was close to me. From there I lost two more flips to lose. I have been very happy with the way I have played the last two events. I have had people just trying to hand me money.

When you get it in with 80% equity though, 20% of the time you lose. Hopefully I can fade the beats and bring home a title. I�m feeling good about both poker and life. When that is the case, I tend to run pretty hot.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

3rd Place in WSOP final table and a wrap-up

The WSOP has been kind to me this year. I cashed 5 times, which is a record for me and also made my first WSOP final table. I always feared my first final table would be in a game besides No Limit Texas Hold'em.

Sure enough, I got to play the $1500 limit holdem shootout for my first chance at a bracelet. My table was no cakewalk either, as it had Mike Schneider and Terrence Chan at the table, who are both certainly amongst top 10 limit poker players in the world. Despite this, I liked my chances, as I used to play a decent amount of heads up limit on Full Tilt before people stopped giving me action, which was around 2.5 years ago.

I quickly lost � my stack, which was no fun. I had AK 4 times in the first 2 hours and lost with all of them. Eventually though, I went on a heater and got up to 1,000,000 chips. We all started with 450,000 and there was 3.6 million in play total, as it was an 8 handed table. Luckily, Terrence and Mike both busted fairly quickly. Things were looking good until I ran AA into J8 twice.

Both times, the pot was huge and they rivered me, so that was no fun at all. I pot controlled wonderfully a few times where I could have lost a lot of bets, like with AJ on a 988J3 board where I lost to T7. I certainly had my fair share of luck. I know I rivered Mike once early in the day with 55 when I bet the flop and turn and rivered a set.

I also made 2 flushes throughout the day and got paid off. Sadly though, the two huge losses with AA did me in. One great thing that happened was I took 3rd place despite having only 200k when we were 4 handed. The other stacks were 1.6 mil, 900k, and 700k. The player with 600k decided to try to push around the big stack with A4s and flopped a flush draw only to get all the money in and lose to a pair, so I lucked out and got $25,000 more than I normally would.

Limit is a swingy game. In my 2nd round match, I was down to just 3bbs when we were 3 handed and came back to win. Both the 1st and 2nd place player at the final table were both very short. Then again, each one of them had the J8 against my AA to come back. Also, against the guy that won, I had KK vs his QQ in a spot where I left him with 2 bets where I probably could have gotten them in if I wasn�t playing to conserve chips.

He raised the cutoff and I reraised with KK on the button. He 4bet and I just called. I could have capped it at 5 bets but I basically never cap it because it turns your hand fairly face up. It came Axx. He bet and I called. The turn was another A, which looked good for me, but I figured he would only call down with an A or a big pair, so I just called his bet again. The river was a blank and he checked. I bet for value and he called, leaving himself with 2bbs. Had I capped it preflop, I probably would have gotten another bet in, leaving him with half as much as he had. Ohhhh well. Cant cry over spilt milk. All in all, I think I played some great limit holdem over the last 3 days.

Since I learned to play PLO pretty well over the last year or so, I decided to play as many PLO events as I could. I made it really deep in the $1500, losing a huge coin flip when we were down to 30 people or so. In the $5000, I got it in once with A986 vs AJ86 on a 8869 board only for him to spike an A to chop a huge pot and then later with AAJ4 vs KK82 on a 543 board only to lose to a K on the river. Simply put, since I now know how to play the game decently well, I see that most other people have no clue how to play.

This has motivated me to learn all the other games so I can play all the random mixed game events. I have decided to spend around 2 months on each game, which should hopefully be enough time to get me to a competent level. I don�t need to be world class. I only need to be ok. For example, I figure I am about a 95 out of 100 at no limit holdem. I imagine the average player is around a 50. In PLO, I am probably an 80 or so where the average player is around a 25. So, I actually think I have a larger edge at PLO than at no limit holdem. Expect me to be in lots of random game events next year.

I am flying to NYC to visit my girlfriend to relax before the main event. I will be back in action on 7/8, playing day 1d. I am going to play as perfect as I know how and make a point to make no mistakes. I have vowed to myself to play great poker and I think I am doing just that. I think I lost the drive to destroy everyone over the last year or so. Now I have it back. I am fully expecting huge things from me in the future. Im coming for the main event belt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thoughts on the WSOP so far...

Jonathn Little is a young star who made his name playing Texas Hold'em Poker both live and online. He's a former Pensacola native and one of the best Sit and go players in the world.

So far my WSOP feels like it is going pretty bad but in reality, it isn�t going too terrible. I have made 2 deep runs and have 3 cashes, which is better than any other WSOP performance by me half way through the series. I have had a 30th and a 46th place, both in $1500 events, which while they didn�t pay much, gave me a bit of confidence, especially seeing as I lost flips in both of them to be chip leader. At least I am getting in good spots.

Today a fun hand came up against Shawn Keller, who I assumed was a reasonable guy but turns out he has no clue how to act at the table. This happened in the $10,000 pot limit holdem tournament. It is day 2 and we were playing 600/1200 blinds. I had around 60,000. I had already cold 4bet him once (he was on my direct right) and check called down with A7 on an Axxxx. Anyways, he raised from the button and I reraised AQs to 10,000.

He made it 30,000 and I decided to go all in, as he had been super active so far and I assumed I had way the best hand. He tanked for around 4 minutes then finally called with AK, getting 3:1. He then celebrated like a maniac, which seems out of line, especially when you get it in good and win.

It is pretty cool, I think, that even in a pot limit tournament, where nitty play is rewarded because there are no antes, I think it is perfectly fine to get in for 50bbs with AQ. When you are raising and reraising a lot, like both me and keller were doing, you have to be happy to get in with hands like AK or AQ.

His tank call was ridiculous in my opinion because he was playing around 50% of the pots for the first 30 minutes of the day. Anyways, besides the WSOP, life is going fine. My mom and dad have been staying with me for the last few days and my aunt and cousin arrive today. I will have a full house. I have been working out hard and feel like I am getting in good shape.

I am starting to realize that my body isn�t built to run marathons though, as I get tired of running after around 30 minutes. I am going to keep trying though. There are still 14 WSOP events I plan on playing. Hopefully I can find one of them to run hot in and bring home a bracelet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gulf Coast Trip Report

Last week has been one of the greatest weeks of my life. Amie and I decided it would be +ev for me to take a nice relaxing vacation before the WSOP, so we decided to visit my parents in Pensacola for a few days then to head to New Orleans for a few days. I guess I will just summarize everything by day.

Thanks for Amie for help with this, as my memory is awful and I would have a tough time recalling all the great times, as there were a lot of them. We landed in Pensacola on Tuesday. My parents picked us up from the airport and we went to eat at Shrimp Basket, one of my favorite places. My mom, dad and brother were met there by my Aunt Lisa and cousin Morgan. They had all you can eat boiled shrimp so I got that. They were a bit dry though, so I wasn�t too big of a fan. Amie had blackened shrimp and fish but I don�t think she liked it too much because it was really salty. Bad beat.

As a side note, my dad cooks great blackened fish. Sadly, we didn�t have a chance to get any. After we filled ourselves, we went back to my parents� house. Amie came up with the great idea to get my parents some Godiva truffles. I think they were a big hit. I also gave my Dad the Rolex I won from the $1000 rebuy tournament I won at Bellagio a while ago. I think he liked it. We ended up sleeping in my parents camper outside. I kinda like staying in the camper. It is like a mini house. On Wednesday, we ate breakfast with my mom, dad, and brother at Waffle House. I don�t much care for Waffle House but it was good that day.

After that, Amie and I went to Wal-Mart to get camping stuff. We planned on going to Fort Pickens, an old fort on Pensacola Beach, to camp for a day. We ended up with a tiiiny tent. It was kinda fun, as I couldn�t even stretch out in it. On the way to the camp ground, someone suggested we go by this pecan shop. They had basically every kind of nut you can think of covered in every topping you can think of. We bought some regular roasted/salted pecans, some sugar coated pecans, and some key lime pie pecans. They were good. We finally made it out to the campground and set up camp. We walked around the fort area for a while, which was a lot of fun.

We went to eat at Peg Leg Petes. We had an oyster sampler and other goodness. Afterwards, Amie wanted Ice Cream so we went to the boardwalk to get some. The lady in the shop acted confused when she asked for 2 scoops on a cone. It turns out their cones were tiny and one scoop would barely fit. Two was a balancing act. It turns out the ice cream girl actually broke the cone while trying to put them all on and Amie was left eating a scoop of ice cream out of her hand. It was quite funny. We already had bought smore stuff so we went back to the camp site and made a fire.

We had a few smores then fell asleep. On Thursday, my dad took the day off and we met him at the Naval Aviation Museum to watch the Blue Angels practice. We had to wake up early and pack our camp up, as we were staying at a hotel on the beach for the next two days. We figured one night of camping would be enough for us. Somehow our lines got crossed and the Blue Angels weren�t in town. We toured the museum, watched an IMAX film on the Hubble telescope, and then climbed to the top of the Pensacola light house.

After all of that, we ate at Golden Corral, which is the nuts. After that, Amie and I headed to the hotel. The weather was pretty hot but the beach was amazing. We walked along the beach and watched the sun set. After that, we ordered sickly overpriced room service and watched Lost from Tuesday. Sleep time after that. Friday was a big family day. We woke up and had breakfast on the beach.

My mom, dad, brother, aunt, Morgan, and my other cousin, Priscilla all headed to the beach. We rented a little sailboat and sailed around for a while. After that, we went to eat at Flounders. It was great. We went out swimming in the big waves on the beach. It was awesome to just be out there in the water. I hope the oil doesn�t mess it up. After that, my mom, dad, brother, myself, and Amie went to a wine festival/art gallery festival in downtown Pensacola. It was pretty fun. We had dinner at a little place downtown. I had a fish sandwich that was just ok but Amie had a fried green tomato BLT that she loved. We finished off the night by meeting my Aunt, a police officer, at one of her off duty jobs on the water.

We sat by the pier and talked a lot. It was a great day. Saturday was the day we left Pensacola. We had breakfast on the beach again. We also took one more swim in the Gulf. We returned all the stuff we borrowed from my parents and had a farewell red velvet cake my aunt bought. We drove from Pensacola to Biloxi and ate at Mary Mahoney�s. After that, we went to see David Copperfield. I love good magic shows. His is a good one. On Sunday, we woke up, had a couples massage, and then ate breakfast at the Beau Rivage caf�We then headed to New Orleans. We decided to stay at Ashton�s, an awesome bed and breakfast.

We asked our host, Patrick Ashton, what was going on in town. We decided to go to a little food/art festival called the Bayou Bugaloo. Amie and I ended up getting matching paintings by an artist from Pensacola. We had all kinds of food. My favorite was a great little dish of grits with shrimp poured on top. After that, we watched the Lost finale. Amie liked it. I didn�t much like it, although it is starting to settle better in my head. Monday we had a wonderful breakfast at Ashton�s. We had bananas foster waffles with sausages. We spend the day walking around the garden district, Magazine Street, which was supposed to have great shops but I didn�t much care for, and the French quarter.

We ate dinner at John Besh�s Restaurant August. The food was great but the portions were small. We headed to Caf�u Monde for dessert then slept. Tuesday was the day we had to say bye to each other for a while. Those days are always sad. We had breakfast at Ashton�s again. We had fruit salad with a cheesy cream pastry. After that, we had a crepe filled with egg and spinach topped with a great hollandaise sauce and crab. We went to the aquarium and then to eat at Drago�s.

They had some great grilled oysters. We headed to the airport, cried a bit because we were going to miss each other, then boarded out planes. All in all, this was one of the best weeks of my life. I hope there are many more in the future. The WSOP starts in a few days. I am going to the Rio to sign up for events later today. I feel like I am playing my A game. I just need to win some hands. I am going to try to take the next few days easy and get fully rested up for the next 2 months of solid work. Fun times ahead!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The last few weeks have been great. I have been staying with Amie in NYC and have had lots of fun. We are leaving tomorrow to go to Pensacola, then Biloxi, then New Orleans for a short little vacation. Ideally, it will get me nice and ready for the 2 month grind at the WSOP. I haven�t been able to play too much on Victory Poker lately.

I�m not too sure where my bankroll was at last time I posted, but it is at $10200 at the moment. It was up to $12000 but I had a nice little downswing on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, I think I lost something like $17,000. There were lots of big mtts, including a $10,000, 2 $2,000�s, and a $1,000 on Stars.

Obviously I bricked them all. I fully plan on playing 0 hands of poker over the next week, so that should be nice and relaxing. Well, maybe not. I love playing poker, so I will probably end up missing it. For those that don�t know, I have a few tv shows I watch all the time. Survivor is one of them. I was pretty sad that even the �pros� at the game couldn�t put their hurt feelings aside and award Russell the win. I feel like I would probably play a fairly similar game as he did if I ever got on the show and I realize that clearly wouldn�t win you the game, as people like to think they are special and don�t like their feelings hurt.

If I was on the jury during this season, Russ would have gotten my vote for sure, mostly because I probably would have hated getting pwned by him. I sure wouldn�t have given the win to the person that did nothing. Anyways, the game that must be played is one where you wreck everyone without ever letting anyone know you are wrecking them. Sort of a Parvati/Sandra mix. It would be tough to pull off, but it is probably doable.

Lost is ending soon. That makes me sad and happy at the same time. I initially loved the show but now, I am just ready for it to be over with. Hopefully they end it well. I am looking forward to the WSOP. I hope I don�t get burnt out. There are a few weekends where I could get away if necessary. I also fully plan on going hiking every few days in the mountains, which should help. What I don�t want to do is grind poker for 2 months straight, like I have done the last 4 years. I have finally learned that happiness is what is important.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunglasses at the Table

There has been a lot of talk about sunglasses over the last week or two since a lot of the people playing High Stakes Poker brought up the topic. I will be the first one to tell you that I think sun glasses are good for the game and if banned, just might push poker back in the dead age of the 1980�s.

The first and main reason sunglasses are good for poker is because it gives new players confidence to hop into games they normally wouldn't play. Being stared down by Phil Ivey is tough even with glasses. If they told me I couldn't wear glasses, I simply wouldn't play with him. If you check out most major tournaments, most of the weaker players will be wearing sun glasses. If you ban sun glasses, I bet half of those poker players simply would not play because it would make the game unenjoyable. If you take half of the weak players out of major tournaments, especially in the hurting American poker tournaments, you would be left with a bunch of pros paying the rake.

In addition to boosting confidence, sunglasses help players reduce their tells. Some players like to think poker is a game about staring down people, getting a read on them, then going with it. Some people think poker is about math and using logic to figure out what is going on. The math guys tend to prefer sunglasses because they don't rely on tells, as they don't find them as useful as common sense. The feel guys want to cry about sunglasses because they know it cuts down on their edge. I like to think of myself as a mix of both players. Having common sense though, I choose to wear sunglasses in every major tournament I play.

If you give me a weapon that will cut my opponents edge in half, I will use it. It really is as simple as that. Most online players that have moved to live poker wear sunglasses because they realize not wearing the glasses can only be -EV. I like making +EV decisions, so I wear them. Not giving off tells to the guys that have no clue how math applies to poker makes me happy. Simply because the feel players realize their edge is diminishing is not a reason to give them what they want. Maybe they will be forced to become better players.

Sunglasses also help you observe a player without them knowing it. When you are playing poker, you should rarely be looking at the person who is thinking about making a big call on the river, which is where most people look. You actually need to be looking at the guy that made the big bet. One sure sign of a good player is they will be looking at the bettor. If you are a weaker player, or even a good one, you don't want to let the bettor know you are trying to pick up tells. You don�t want them to know you are constantly gathering info about their tells. If you are forced to start right at them though, they will realize this, and then do things to throw you off.

A lot of players, especially older players, complain about sunglasses hurting their eyes because they are so dark. Thankfully in the world we live in today, sunglasses don�t have to be dark. You can pick up a great pair of basically 100% see through glasses from They are pretty inexpensive and work very well.

Another major gripe I have with banning glasses is where do you draw the line? Next year are you going to be banning iPods? Maybe the next year, you won't be able to order drinks at the table because they get spilt from time to time. Maybe you will be forced to wear a suit and a tie to make the game feel more formal and reputable. Taking away the players� right to do something is rarely a good thing as the powers that make the rules rarely know when to stop.

The idea of cheating with sunglasses has also been brought up. Honestly, if someone is dumb enough to use invisible ink to mark cards that can only be seen while wearing sunglasses in a casino, there the penalty is jail time, they have pretty big issues. If you think someone is cheating with their glasses, ask them to try them on and see if you see marks on the cards. As far as I know, I have only been cheated in a poker game once, and that was in a private home game. Cheating simply does not go on in high stake poker games because the penalty for getting caught is much too high.

The last thought about sunglasses is that they are bad for tv. I think this simply isn�t true. Weak players play in televised events because they have a chance to do well. If weak players stop making final tables because they have huge eye tells, that will diminish the concept that anyone can win a major tournament. If you want the general public to watch and play poker tournaments, you have to let the general public make the final table.

That�s all the things I can come up with off the top of my head. If you guys have comments or suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Won the 100k rebuy

The last few days have flown by. I arrived back in Vegas late Tuesday night and decided to play the $1000 Texas Holdem rebuy tournament at Bellagio the next day. I don�t remember much about the tournament except every time I made the nuts I won a lot of chips and every time I had something like middle pair I bluff caught for a lot of chips. I guess I will mention some hands that I thought were fun.

I raised 22 under the gun to 6000 at 1200/2400-300. Alex Gomes, who plays well and constantly tries to outplay me called on the button. The big blind, a tight old guy, made it 8000 more. Alex had around 150k behind and I had around 200k behind. The tight guy had us covered. I called but kinda feared a weird squeeze by Alex. He just called though and it came KJ2dd. The tight guy checked. I decided to go ahead and bet 20000 for numerous reasons. Alex went all in fairly quick. I called and lost a big pot to his 73dd. Up until then, I was cruising nicely but that quickly put a stop to that.

There was another hand a little while later against my good friend Justin Young, who also constantly tries to outplay me. I raised T8o from 2nd position. He reraised to around 1/4th of his stack in 3rd position. They folded around to me and I decided to push on him even though this was the first time he 3bet me today. He thought for a while and folded. He claimed to have 77�I don�t think I believe that.

The final table was fairly stacked, with Justin Young, Alex Gomes, Rene Angelil, Shawn Cunix, Joe Beavers, and a few others. I really don�t remember much of what happened except that if flew by. I think it took around 3 hours for me to get heads up with Rene. He had around 1.4 million and I had 600k. I stole loads of pots to get to around 1.2 million to his 800k then lost a decent pot with AK to put us back even. Near the end, he raised and I reraised 85dd. I had reraised maybe 5 times over the 4 hour heads up match and he folded all but the last 2 times, once when I had AK and lost. I think he made it 50k, I made it 150k, he made it 250k. I cried and called. It came KJxdd, giving me a flush draw. I had around 700k left and the pot was 500k.

This isn�t the best spot because if I check, I fear that he will just push on me, putting me in a rough spot. He could bet like 200k and fold to a push though. I could open push and hopefully fold out small pairs and also just never fold my hand. It is usually and to fold a flush draw. Anyways, I decided to push and he called with AK and I hit.

He had around 200k left after that, which was 10bbs The next hand, I had Q2 in the sb and pushed and he snap called with J8 and I won. Interestingly enough, that flush draw was the only time I got it in for my stack during the entire tournament I think. I ended up winning $67,000, which is a nice little payday.

There is a $5,000 poker tournament today and the $25,000 main event on Sunday. These are both usually super tough fields but ill still be there.

I have been playing a little on Victory Poker when time permits. I think I had something like $2000 in my account about a week ago and am sitting at $3800 at the moment, so that�s good. Hopefully I can keep running well and putting in lots of hours.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life is Fun

The last week has been quite hectic despite not really doing much of anything. I have been staying with Amie in NYC a lot lately and was there when the NAPT at Mohegan Sun rolled around. It turns out there isn�t really an easy way to get there from NYC besides to take the bus, which costs a whopping $20 but takes 5 hours. I decided to gamble and do that. I mostly hibernated and watched poker videos. On both the ride there and back, some little gangster kid would blare rap music out of their cheap cell phone.

It was quite annoying. All in all though, it wasn�t that bad.
The NAPT went pretty well on day one, with me ending the day with a little more than average. Day two didn�t go quite so well. I had some lag kid on my right that 3bet me every time I raised. I eventually picked up QJ and raised, fully expecting him to 3bet. That is what happened, so I shipped it in and he basically snap called with A8s. I got there and doubled.

A few hours later, the same thing happened again, but this time I had 98s. Looking back, I should have raised then just called the 3bet or maaaaybe limped. I hate limping though. Anyways, I raised, he reraised and I shipped. This time he called off with A3o and knocked me out. I am pretty sad with that. I should have just nitted it up and waited for AT or some monster like that to get in with. Lesson learned.

I am spending one more weekend with Amie in NYC before heading back to Vegas for the WPT main event at Bellagio. I have played this event twice in the past and both times got sucked out on right before the money, so hopefully I can change that
trend. After that, there is a $5000 at Caesars which is always decent.

I have been playing a lot on lately. I have decided to sort of challenge myself to start at the low stake games and grind up my bankroll. I currently have $2700 in there, so I am going to stick to $.50/$1 and $1/2 until I get around $8000 in there, I think. It is fun to sometimes go back to the basics and just grind online. I have been getting a little fried from all the swings at high stakes PLO so I think this will be a nice way to spend the months before the WSOP where the big swings happen.

As for, I think I have nailed down all the details to get a new coach that has around $4 million in winnings., mostly online, so that will be great if that holds up. I am also strongly considering doing a tv show that will be posted on the site during the WSOP. It will basically be myself and my poker friends talking about life and poker, but mostly life. It should be fun. These are all in the works, so hopefully everything falls into place.

As for, I am going to be starting a new private coaching program in the near future. If you want one of the spots to be coached by me, check it out.

That�s pretty much it. My life is the nuts right now. I wouldn�t change much of anything. Hopefully I can win my 3rd WPT title next week. That would really make it the nuts.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Victory Poker

First off, I am pleased to announce that I am now part of team Victory Poker. I love everything they are doing with the site and look forward to working with them in nnumerous ways. I have been playing cash games on Victory Poker for the last few days and things have been going well. I have played a few tournaments as well on the site and those have went poorly. Bad beat. Anyways, check it out and keep an eye open for loads of great new features soon to come.

I am currently staying in NYC, which has been lots of fun. I had the pleasuer of meeting Amie's parents a few nights ago (hi Orit!) which was a lot of fun. Amie and I walked across the brooklyn bridge to a great pizza place. It has been cold here for the last few days but I imagine the weather will get nicer eventually.

I am leaving for Mohegan Sun in a week or so. I skipped the first NAPT to play the WPT celeb invitational. I plan on playing the main event as well as the sat to get into the 25k, although I may just skip that. After that, I will be back in Vegas for a while for the $25000 WPT main event. This is the first year I didnt win my seat into it, so thats no fun. Theres always next year.

I have decided to offer private coaching. You can check it out at Simply put, you will get access to over 40 hours of past one on one coaching I did with my first batch of students plus your own private coaching sessions. If you are looking to seriously improve your game, you should check it out.

Life has been nice lately. I really have no complaints or worries in the world. Hopefully all this life greatness can translate over to poker in the near future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finally An Off Week

I am finally home for a week. Yay! Before this week, I have been at my home for a whopping 2 days this year. I met a wonderful woman in the Bahamas and have been staying with her in her in NYC during most of my time when there are no tournaments. She is coming to visit me this week in Vegas. I have lots of fun stuff planned for us.

The Bay101 WPT didnt go as planned. On day 3 (out of 4) I showed up and instantly doubled up with AK vs QQ. From there, I ran into Phil Hellmuth's nuts 3 times. The first time was the hand after I doubled. I raised QT from the sb and he called. It came J93. I bet and he called. The turn was the K. I bet and he instantly raised me. I pushed and we chopped it.

A few hands later when I was in the big blind, he limped from the cut off, the button limped, and I checked A8o. It came A98hh. I checked, fully expecting Hellmuth to bet as he had done the limp bet a few times so far. They both checked. The turn was a 3. I bet 4/5 pot and Hellmuth instanty potted it. I decided to just call, as he could have a monster. The river was 4h. I checked and he bet 1/2 pot and I lost to his K5hh. Also in this flurry of hands, I raised KJ from the cutoff and the button, a good young online guy, called. It came Kxx. I bet and he called. The turn was a blank and I check called. The river was a Q and I check called again and lost to his KQ.

My bustout hand was a little odd. I raised AJ from the button and Hellmuth called in the big blind. It came KTx. We both checked. The turn was a K and he bet 1/2 pot and I called. The turn was the beautiful Q. He bet around pot, which was half my stack. For some reason, I was actually considering just calling here then I realized that was dumb and pushed. He had KQ for the nuts again and I was out. All in all, I am pretty happy it took three semi set up hands to bust me. I cant be too sad with that. Taking 21st place is always tough.

As for online poker, it has been super swingy. I have been playing a decent amount of plo, usually short stacking 25/50 - 100/200. At the start of the year, I used basically all my online money to buy into the PCA, leaving me with $1000 online, which is the least I have ever had. Since then, it has been all over the place. I am currently sitting with $26000 online, which is decent, I guess.

I cashed out $8000 last night, which was clearly a mistake. After that, The $46000 I had online magically became $26000 when I lost every hand I touched for 4 hours. I was playing mostly 100/200 nl and plo. In the no limit match, I had the guy all in about 6 times and I lost every one of them, which is never fun. It feels a bit dumb saying this, but I see I am clearly running bad at the moment.

Because of that, losing 20k last night doesnt really bother me. I had another -24k day about a month ago, mostly at 100/200 plo. I lost every hand I played there too. All things considered though, I should be happy. Actually, I am happy.

My next stop on the tournament circuit is the WPT event in Indiana. Actually, I dont know where it is. All I know is I fly into Cincinatti and tell them I want to go to Hollywood casino. After that, I am going to NYC for a while then to Mohegan Sun for the NAPT event.

Apparently there was supposed to be a $10,000 "high roller" event there but they have instead changed it to one of those invitational only tournaments, which I think is fairly bad for the game. That being said, I think the NAPT in general is super good for poker as long as Stars doesnt get in trouble with the law, which I have heard could be a big issue. Apparently online sites arent aloud to buy people into events in America. We will see I guess.

All in all, life is good. I am going to spend my next week here chilling. I am going to try to stay away from online poker for a week. I am not much a fan of playing after really bad days. Yay for an off week!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rough Last Few Weeks

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster. I was wrecking everything in Jan only to lose most of it back in Feb. I guess that happens when you play big cash games. I am in LA and have yet to make anything happen. I did have a cool hand in the Celebrity Invitational that I guess I will talk about. I raised QT from middle position into a guys big blind who has called 3 times and checkfolded every time so far. He called again and it came KJ9ss. At this point, I considered checking behind when he checked to me but then figured he had to be getting tired of me cbetting eventually. I went ahead and bet around 1/4th of his stack and he called. This tournament had a super fast structure.

I doubled through Brian Townsend earlier so I had around 2x average at this point and the other guy had about average. The turn was a 4s. He checked and I went all in for around 2/3 pot. I had the Qs so I figured I probably had either a backup if he did have a flush or a blocker, so that if he did have the nuts, I got a little more unlucky than it appeared. He snap called with A5s to put me back to the average of 15bbs. I later pushed KTdd and ran into AK to lose.

I got on the perfect sleep schedule to play the ironman tournament today. Basically, it is a tournament with no breaks. I was totally ready to win this event. I played well early and made everything I was spewing around. Somehow, at 25/50, I got 12000 chips in the middle with KK vs AK. Sadly, he rivered an A and I was out, just like that.

I normally play 10/20 no limit at Bellagio when I play, as the 25/50 games are tough but the 20/40 nl games at commerce looked super soft so I took a few shots. Every time I got it in good yet somehow lost all 5 times I got all in, which is no fun. That being said, I am only down $12,000 in the game, so that is good. It could be much much worse. I have done ok at 10/20, so I will probably just stick to that for the rest of the trip.

I am looking forward to the main event here. This is always a great event with lots of weak players. I took 20th or something like that in this event a few years back, so I will be looking to improve on that. They always give away a cool trophy with a guy that looks like he riding and beating a horse. It is pretty wild. I want one. I plan on making it happen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

no good at Borgata main event

Borgata's main event went pretty poorly for me. The day started off well, with me getting my stack from 30,000 to 33,000 with no showdowns at 25/50. About an hour into the day though, we took a limped pot where I had 88 in the small blind, 5 ways.

It came 854. I checked, most likely going for a check raise. The button made a decent sized bet and I figured he would fire the turn again, so I just called. MAybe he bet 225 or something into the 250 pot. The turn was a K. I checked, he bet around 800 and I made it 2200. He thought for a while and made it 5200.

At this point, alarm bells are going off in my head. This guy didnt look at all like the type of guy that would try to outplay me. The only problem was I was worried that he had a lower set and thought it was the nuts. I called and the river was a blank. I checked and he bet 8000 pretty quickly. He looked really calm. Again, the problem was that I thought he might think a lower set was the nuts.

I really really wanted to fold though. I then remembered I had the 2nd nuts and was in Borgata, so I called and lost to the flopped straight. A little while later, this little italian (most likely) guy raised to 325 at 50/100. I made it 1200 on the button with AA, assuming he would call with any 2. He did and it came 7s5s5c. He checked and I bet 2000 or so. He thought for a while and called.

The turn was an 8h. He checked and I bet 6000. He thought again and called. The river was the 9s. Yuck!! He instachecked and I check lost to KJss, putting me down to around 8000 chips. Toward the end of that level, I raised to 300 with 88 from middle position, 2 people called and Cornel Cimpan made it 2000 from the big blind. He had been super lagging it up and we had played a few small pots together so far.

I decided to just push cause he seemed like he was trying to outplay everyone. He thought for a while before calling with AQ. It came Axxxx with 4 spades. Luckily I had a spade and was back to 20,000. I won a few more pots at 75/150 to get up to around 25,000, which was almost back to my starting stack after a horrorific start. Cornel raised from middle position and I decided to just call with AQs in the small blind.

I would normally reraise here against standardish players but my poker strategy against someone that constantly tries to play back, I think it is better to play it slow so they dont rereraise you. Also, I try to play small pots out of position. Anyways, it came Qh5h5d. I checked and he bet maybe 800 into the 1000 pot. I decided he thought I would be likely to try to outplay him here so I made it 2500.

He tanked for a while then made it 7500. I was pretty sure he didnt have much so I shipped it all in for another 15000 or so. He snap called with A6hh. The turn was a 4h and I didnt hit on the river. That was it for me. I have been learning a lot about myself when it comes to winning and losing lately. I honestly dont mind losing at all when I get it in good over and over. When I win and get it in bad though, I am usually not too happy with myself. I think it is important to not be result oriented.

Obviously me getting it in good or bad has a lot of variance involved as well. I just try to play my best and am usually happy with the result, win or lose. I am going back to NYC for a few days then heading to Vegas for a week before going to LA for the LAPC. I may or may not go home before going to San Jose then Indiana for their new WPT event. Life has been busy but fun lately. Hopefully it keeps up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Won a 776 Max Tournament

Last night I was playing a few random tournaments and trying to take care of some stuff online. I somehow found myself in a $77 6 max turbo tournament with 311 people. I can remember 3 times in the tournament where I had 30% equity or less but sucked out. Most of the spots were pretty standard though, like KK vs AA. I ended up shipping the title and $4200 or something like that, which is nice because live poker has been going terrible. I havent made it past the 2nd break in any event so far this year, as far as I can remember.

Actually, that may not be true. My memory is terrible about these kidns of things. All the tournaments get muddled together in my head. Still though, I do know I have cashed for $0 and have invested something like 30k which is never fun. Thats ok because the Biloxi WPT main event is tomorrow. This tournament is always a great one. Sadly, there are lots of regulars here. I remember the first year they had this event there were maybe 20 people I knew in the field. there will probably be 60 this time. I suppose ill be updating again rather shortly after Biloxi is over. Good luck to everyone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Latest From the Gulf Coast

The last week has went by pretty quick. After PCA, which didnt go too well, I came back to Pensacola and have been living in my parents camper, spending time around down and trying to relax. I took 15th in a $50 tournmanet with 1500 people 3 nights ago and 7th in a $150 tournament with 800 people 2 nights ago. Look for videos from those in the upcoming months.

I have also been studying 6 max nlhe cash games a little over the last week. I played a whopping 4000 hands at .5/1 and am running at a nice 15ptbb/100. Clearly I run hot for small stakes. I am going to Biloxi tomorrow for their WPT events + prelim events. They have a few smaller nlhe events and a $5000 plo event. Hopefully I can crack off one of those.

After that, I am going to NYC for Steve Begleiters charity tournament. After that, I am going to AC for the $3500 tournament at Borgata, which should draw a huge field. Sadly, there isnt too much going on in my life to blog about. I am just chilling and relaxing, enjoying life as much as I know how. Being happy is fun. If you are a poker player and are unhappy, learn to be, cause life is much better happy than sad. I used to be sad. When I was 18 - 22 or so, I was pretty sad cause all I did was play online poker. Get out and enjoy the world. Life will be better. I promise. Good luck.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

sunglasses, charity, coaching, and leagues

Quite a bit has been happening in my life lately. First off, I have signed a deal with Blue Shark Optics, They will be making a custom line of sunglasses bearing my name, which is pretty cool. I have been wearing their glasses since Kathy Liebert turned me on to them and I am quite happy with them. I got tired of looking through dark sunglasses. These were the prefect solution. I am sure everyone that buys a pair will agree.

I am also in the early stages of planning a $5,000 charity tournament for Special Olympics on Pensacola Beach sometime in May. The $5,000 package will include a 3 nights in a high end hotel on Pensacola Beach, a tournament with big prizes, like $50,000 cars, A poker pro at every tournament table, and basically whatever else we can fit into the weekend. If we can pull it off, I think it will be a big deal for poker. The initial plan is to have 5 pros and 45 other people, with one pro at each table. I will post more about this as I get the details taken care of.

At, I am launching my first one on one, private coaching package. Basically, I will watch you play online and tell you where I think you are making mistakes. I will also review numerous hand histories from you and hopefully drastically improve your game. The price is going to be fairly steep but I think it should be well worth it. Email if you have any questions.

I have also finialized the details for the league. This 6 month league should be a lot of fun, plus it will hand out some great prizes, like a $1,000 seat to a WSOP event, 3 nights at the Rio, coaching from me, and a few other prizes. If you arent a paying member of Float The Turn yet, now is the time to join.

As for life in general, I have been staying in my parents camper in their back yard since 12/23. It has been a nice, relaxing time. I am flying to the Bahamas on Monday for the PCA, which is always great fun. I was actually considering skipping the event this year, as the rooms and food are really expensive but they added numerous tournaments, making it a sin to miss out. After that, I am going to come back to Pensacola for a few days before heading over to the Beau Rivage in Biloxi for their WPT event. These two events are usually two of the best of the year. I plan on starting 2010 off with a bang.