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.

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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.