travelling the world as a poker journalist and documenting everything at Tilted Behaviour

Cantu Can Do In PLO8

July 08, 2009

Tags: Brandon Cantu, Dave Behr, Matthrew Burgoine.

Following a nice degen gambling session last night and a terrible ending to a potentially life-changing tournament, I was back at work covering Event 48 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8-or-better (sigh to the split game aspect, but yay to the pot limit part).

The field was fairly stacked and included Matthew Burgoine; one of the Tournament Director’s from back home and also one of the faces behind Australia’s first free poker training sites called Insane Poker Crew.

Day One was expected to be fairly slow, but I seemed to fill the blog with a fair few hands and few small colour pieces – and having some notables like Phil Hellmuth, Brandon Cantu, Perry Friedman, Noah Boeken, Lee Watkinson and Lee Markholt go through, it made it all a lot easier.

Day Two flew fairly quickly as it ended before the 3am cutoff, with Brandon Cantu a whopping chip leader with nearly a third of the chips in play (which he held since there were 25 remaining or so)!

F-Train joined me for the final table, and after two quick bustouts in the first 15 minutes we were thinking this could be a repeat of the APT Manila Final Table. However a few doubles here and quarters there and it was an hour later.

We lost another before Cantu’s stranglehold on the chip lead and his second bracelet was chopped up in a three-way all in pot. Watkinson, arguably one of the best tournament Omaha players in the world, started to use his years of experience to take the chip lead before we lost another.

No five-handed deal could be settled on, and just like that we lost another, and then another to leave the Frenchman in an intense battle between Cantu and Watkinson. Cantu took the chip lead back before Watkinson said Au Revoir to the Frenchy and we were heads up!

Watkinson held a near three-to-one advantage on Cantu, and once that had slipped out to a six-to-one it seemed like déjà vu for Cantu after falling in second to Ray Foley in Event 39. However Cantu made a spirited comeback first doubling with a flopped set and then quartering Watkinson to snatch the chip lead and a two-to-one advantage.

Cantu would then end Watkinson’s tournament with trip fours to Watkinson’s mega-straight wrap to see the Cantu Can Do and walk away with his second bracelet and $228,867 in prizemoney.

Brandon Cantu with his second WSOP Bracelet, friends, railbirds and Grandfather that stood by his side for the whole final table (photo courtesy of
Brandon Cantu with his second WSOP Bracelet, friends, railbirds and Grandfather that stood by his side for the whole final table (photo courtesy of

GG Running Bad At The Golden Nugget

July 08, 2009

Tags: Baccarat, BlackJack, Craps, David King, Donnie Peters, Eddy Sabat, Garry Gates, Golden Nugget, Melissa Castello, No Limit Holdem, Roulette.

Well I busted the tourney and headed straight to the Rio while listening to 30 Seconds To Mars looped (really emo, self-hating, wanna slit your wrist stuff) with the volume booming so loudly my BOSE headphones were close to bursting!

Once back at the Rio I moped round telling anyone I could my bad beat story, and after coping the frankly I don’t give a damn expression from GG he asked me if I wanted to head Downtown to be wing-man for Dave King. I choose to join the fight to get DK hooked up, and Donnie also joined us.

We arrived at the Golden Nugget and walked through the carpark, pass the pool and then to the middle of the casino floor to hit a crossroad of what to do. Donnie wanted to play BlackJack, GG wanted to play Craps and I (obviously) wanted to play Baccarat. Since Donnie didn’t want to play craps, and either didn’t know how to play baccarat we all sat down at our own blackjack table.

I have no idea why I even sat down at the table because it is definitely –EV for me as I have no clue on any strategy. Donnie and GG just told me what to do and I followed; eventually returning to even after an early down swing. I quit, Donnie continued to grind and GG got stacked.

Over to Craps we went.

Me and GG started our roll pretty well with us both banking some profit before meeting up with some friends as DK had messaged that he would have to ditch us because the girl wanted to ‘stay in’.

We met up with Melissa (our camera girl) and her boyfriend Eddy at the roulette tables and I grinded a small profit before we threw $2 each on the number ten as Donnie quickly slammed down $75 on black.

”Number 10 for the PokerNews crew!”

Bang! The ball bobbled into the ten and we all banked a nice win while we headed back to the Baccarat room so that I could grind the $10 shoe as GG went back to BlackJack. He won what he was losing all back . . . and then lost it all again while I pushed my profits up to the $200 mark. Donnie and GG decided it was time for some old fashioned poker and they sat down at an uncapped $1-2 No Limit Holdem table.

Donnie and GG in action
Donnie and GG in action

I railed them for a while before returning to Craps to take my profit up to $350 for the night as we rolled past 4am. Back to poker I returned to see GG playing like a complete nutter as Donnie grinded a steady profit. After GG pushed all in dark for around the 100 bb mark and won some and lost some he cashed out to head to craps. I sat with Donnie for a little bit more before heading to join GG.

We stood near the craps table for nearly three minutes waiting before GG walked over to us.

”I’m done”
“Ok, craps it is then”
“No . . . I mean I’m done!”

With GG dropping the last of what he had in just eight hands of Blackjack we made our way home just as the sun was starting to rise. I booked a $350 win, Donnie was even to up and GG . . . well GG advised me not to repeat how much he had dropped . . . so let’s just say it was between $5 and $5000 . . . I’ll let you be the judge!

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III – $330 NLH

July 08, 2009

Tags: Chinese Poker, No Limit Holdem, Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza.

Another day off . . . and another tournament to be played!

I decided last night while playing Chinese poker with the guys that I would play the $330 Venetian Deep Stack instead of the HORSE at Binions or a cheaper deep stack at the Golden Nugget.

Playing Chinese Poker with the boys - my balla $1 roll, setting our hands, showdown
Playing Chinese Poker with the boys - my balla $1 roll, setting our hands, showdown

I took my seat and noticed that my table was a mix of old men and young kids around my age with more then half wearing dark shades and / or listening to an iPod. Leaked some chips early before taking down a multi-way pot with {A-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} after opening to 250 and getting four callers, and then continuing with a bet of 550 on an Ace-high flop. I flashed my Ace to try and build a tight image and finished the level with over 13,000.

During the next orbit I kick my stack up a little before encountering this hand. It folded round to the small blind who completed, and I checked my option with {Q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. The flop fell {10-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} and I bet 225, only to be check-raised to 500. I make the call and then call 1,500 on the turn when it drops the {9-Hearts}. The river of course bricked on my nineteen-outer when it fell the {5-Spades} and I folded for 3,000. The small blind showed me {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs} which didn’t make me feel any better as I the pot was definitely up for grabs.

Back to starting stack I took down a few small pots to climb back to 15,200 before I bumped it to 750 on the button with {9-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} following a limper during the 100-200-25 level. The limper called and checked the flop of {10-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} over to me. I bet out 1,100, got check-raised to 3,000 and I slid in a stack to put my opponent all in. He insta-called and I thought I was in a world of hurt until he turned over {7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}. The turn and river bricked and I was up to 28,675, and finished the level on over 30,000 after taking down pots with Queens, Ace-Queen and King-Jack.

I ran a bluff with the nut-straight draw and slipped down to 22,150 and then lost a few pots when my Jacks were outflopped etc to slip down to 20,000. During the next level of 300-600-50 I played one of the most retarded hands ever – firstly I try to button steal with {5-Spades}{2-Spades} and am shoved on by the big blind (didn’t know he was so short as he was hidden by the dealer in seat one) and priced into call. Now down to 14,000 I call a preflop raise of 1,600 in the cutoff with {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}, before the button makes it 6,000 total. This guy had been re-raising with terrible and marginal hands, and consequently wanted to try and stop-n-go him on any board.

Making the call and seeing the flop of {Q-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{9-Hearts}, there wasn’t too much I could have asked for without flopping the nuts, and therefore I moved the rest of stack into the middle. I was (obviously) snapped off by a set of Queens, but after turning a flush draw and rivering my straight I was back to 31,700.

The table broke straight after that hand (phew) and I played yet another marginal hand on my new table when I opened {K-Spades}{10-Spades} from the cutoff, only to be three-bet to 4,050 from the small blind by this young internet kid. I tanked for over three minutes and made the call to see the flop of {10-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{3-Spades} fall down and a continuation bet of 5,850 follow. I tanked for even longer this time before making it 18,000 more on top. He started moaning and groaning about how sick it was that I had flatted him with Aces and he laid his Queens down. I showed him the King and raked in the pot to soar to over 42,000.

I pushed to 46,000 during the next level when I called a 3bb all in with {A-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and value-bet my rivered flush when the small blind also joined in. She called and I thanked her for her chips as the all in player exited. During the 500-1000-100 level I limped behind an under-the-gun limper with {8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} along with three others before the big blind made it an additional 7,000 on top. Only three of us would see the checked flop of {6-Hearts}{5-Spades}{K-Diamonds} and when the {8-Spades} fell on the turn the preflop aggressor fired 15,000. I moved all in for 19,000 more and he folded, and just like that I was up to 75,400 in chips.

I moved tables once again and slowly began to slip until I called another 3bb all in with {5-Spades}{5-Hearts} out of the big blind, and checked it down with the small blind to see me table the best hand, and the jump to 81,100 in chips.

Forced to move again, I sat down and fluffed one flop following my preflop raise until this hand came up. This old dude raised to 3,500 with blinds at 800-1,600-200 from under the gun, and was met with a call from an online player as well as from me in the cutoff with {J-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}. The flop fell down {J-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and the old dude checked, the online player fired 7,200, I raised to 15,000 and the old dude shipped it in. Online player folded and I double-fist-pump-snap called to see the old dude tabled {A-Hearts}{2-Hearts} and a lovely 150k pot looking at being shipped to me as we go to dinner.

”Hi Tim, this is God. Just letting you know that I don’t think you really deserve having the chip lead with 90 to go until the money from the original 957 starters. Oh, and by the way, I don’t think you really need the US$68k first prize either . . . talk soon mate!”

Of course the {2-Clubs} fell on the river to shatter what hopes I had of shipping a (relative) huge score while here in Vegas to send me to dinner absolutely tilted, but still with a shot as my 38,800 remaining chips were only a handful of pots under average.

After lying on the steps in front of the Venetian for the majority of the dinner break to try and cool my head I headed back to the table, but only lasted seven more hands when the old dude that one-outered limped from late position and I checked the big blind with {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. The flop fell down {J-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}9c{} and I check-called 3,500 to see the {4-Spades} fall on the turn.

I checked, old dude bet out 6,000 and I check-raised all in for 34,400 more. Old dude called and tabled {Q-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} for a flopped straight and flush re-draw, and when I saw the {K-Clubs} land on the river I jumped and walked out the door in 181st place.

(coming soon)
Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III – $330 NLH Chip Stack Graph

* * * * * * * *

I was really happy with the way I accumulated chips and played some particular pots, but at the end of the day I’m solely disappointed in the one-outer I copped.

Four times in my poker career I’ve hit a crossroad; and each time I’ve fallen on the wrong side of it – the WSOP Main Event bubble, the Vic Champs Final Table bubble, the Aussie Millions bubble and now this one!

Some of the beats that you can cop can do your head in, but I’m just sick of being on the wrong end of them at the wrong time – it nearly wants to make me puke and give up!

All in all, there isn’t much I can do expect knuckle down, analyse my game and take a seat in the next one that comes along.

Shootout And Lending A Helping Hand (Or Three)

July 08, 2009

Tags: Eric Ramsey, Garry Gates, Kristin Bihr, Marc Convey, Pauly McGuire, Phil Ivey.

For the first time I was scheduled on with Marc Convey and his onslaught of British humour as we battled back on forth like the old guard and convict relationship of yesteryear.

Covering Event 41 - $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout we were thinking it would be a relatively light day with blogging duties mainly consisting of colour stories and the occasional hand.

280 players started the shootout and thirty would sneak through after defeating their table in a sit-n-go format; Barney Boatman, David ‘The Dragon’ Pham, Jennifer Harman, Mark Teltscher, Neil Channing and Phil Ivey all made it through to day two to see us end the night fairly early.

* * * * * * * *

The following day saw us come back with five tables of six with the winner progressing through to the five-handed final table.

One table sparked particular interest as it included Barny Boatman, Phil Ivey and Jennifer Harman but it was obvious who everyone was cheering for.

During one level Ivey took off his hat and put it on the table. As players went to break he headed out to the back parking lot to rest up, and on return he was wearing an identical black Full Tilt hat . . . I wanted the idle one!

I talked to Amanda Leatherman about stealing it from me, but after Ivey lost a race to be left with only 7,500 in chips (blinds at 1,500-3,000) he put both hats on in preparation to go – the end result . . . he was sitting on 200,000 about three orbits later.

Phil Ivey and my hat
Phil Ivey and my hat

So I waved goodbye the idea of having in my possession Ivey’s (spare and one of many) hat, but was able to share a 45-second conversation with him.

(in reference to Barny Boatman returning late from a 20-minute break)
”You know he could have gone to dinner”
“What do you mean?”
“Well it was a scheduled dinner break, and he may not have realised that we were just taking 20-minutes”
“Oh . . . well we’ll wait for him for another 5-minutes and then start playing”

Yep . . . that is all . . . and that’s enough!

* * * * * * * *

As we hit 9pm I was sent to cover the Event 44 – Seven Card Razz while Change had to pick up Pauly from the airport.

I only blogged several hands as it was mostly timed with dinner break and once done there I was straight over to help Eric on the final table of Event 39 - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em.

I was on the floor running hands for him, so that it was easier for him (and to of course by brownie points off him if I need to be driven anyway). We firstly saw Alex Jacob donk off a chip lead followed by Brandon Cantu before Ray Foley took home the gold and the $657,969 first prize.

* * * * * * * *

With no notables at the Event 41 final table apart from Danny Wong, it was always going to be a boring final table apart from the fact that it may finish relatively early as it was only five-handed.

As I started to set up my laptop etc Marc strolled in to take a seat beside me. Then out of the blue, GG comes walking in with a little pace behind him.

”Hey, I need a favour”
“I need someone to work day two of the Seniors event and this shootout doesn’t really need the both of you”
“I’ll pay you double for the day, and buy you dinner”
“Please . . . “

Since this was Marc’s last shift for the series I decided to take the fall and stuck my hand up to put myself through the pain and torture of watching 50-plus year old’s limp-fold, min-raise and nit their way through a guaranteed 13-hour day!

'Minneapolis' Jim Meehan, Berry Johnston and Barbara Enright all cashed, but in the end it was one event I’d rather not recap and bore you all with!

Ship the day off tomorrow!

Fighting Ladies In Another Donkament

July 08, 2009

Tags: Almira Skripchenko, David Rheem, Laurence Grondin.

After working only one day of the Stud Hi/Lo World Championship I was thrown over to day two of [url=]Event 36 - $2,000 No Limit Hold'em[/ul].
213 players returned for day two action, but when the chips were bagged and tagged at the end of the day we would still have seventeen; including two woman (not having a go at how woman suck at poker or anything – but this was the first chance of the series to see a woman make the final table).
The day pretty much ran out like a regular donkament with no real notables making it through. I sweated David ‘Chino’ Rheem for a while, and was able to see him play a few interesting hands before being eliminated in 80th place.
* * * * * * * *
Day Three followed the normal pattern of returning with more then one table before battling it down to the final nine before moving to one of the feature tables.
It took just over three hours to reach the final nine with it being one of the most evenly stacked final tables of all time as seven of the players held between a 40-50 big blind stack. Two women also snuck through making it the first WSOP final table of 2009 (ignoring the Ladies Championship) to have a female representative in both Laurence Grondin and Almira Skripchenko holding their head high.

Laurence Grondin and Almira Skripchenko chalk one up for the girls!
Laurence Grondin and Almira Skripchenko chalk one up for the girls!

Skripchenko would fall in seventh, but Grondin would capture the chip lead and play great poker to eventually exit in third place. Jordan Smith would battle for two hours with Ken Lennaard before his {9-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} would flop a flush and hold as he took home a new gold bracelet and $586,212 in prizemoney.
Tomorrow it’s shootout time!

Keep It Even Shoot!

July 08, 2009

Tags: Craps, Donnie Peters, Harrahs, HORSE, McDonalds, No Limit Holdem, Rich Ryan.

With Donnie having the day off as well, we obviously sleep in way too long (standard on the days we get off now) and chill at the condo watching TV and surfing the net for a while. We finally pick the nightly $150 Harrah’s tourney as our choice and hail a cab to the strip.

Once there we scoop out the Caesars Palace Forum Shops and then the Mirage before heading over to register for the tourney before grabbing a bite to eat at the food court just outside the hotel.

We take our seats with mine being opposite a guy I played the Venetian Deep Stack with yesterday. I try and spark a conversation with him, but like most middle-class middle-aged and white Americans – he is a complete arse and waves me off like I fly to a dog that doesn’t give a shit!

Starting with a 10,000-chip starting bank and a decent structure for this buy-in I fold my first hand, but then proceed to raise five of the next six and play both my rags out of the blinds:

{K-Spades}{Q-Spades} - raise to 150, re-raise to 450, call, check-fold fluffed flop

{K-Hearts}{J-Hearts} - raise pre, bluff turn and get called by bottom pair

{10-Spades}{10-Hearts} - raise 150, four callers, check flop, call 500 on turn and then 2,000 on river on Jack-high and flush heavy board . . . of course its good when I get showed bottom pair

{J-Clubs}{10-Clubs} - raise 150, six callers until big blind bumps it to 500, everyone calls, Ace-high board checked down, Kings are good

{A-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} - raise to 150, re-raise to 450, check-fold flop and he shows Queens

I then chip up to 14,000 with tens again until I finally get knocked out. With blinds at 75-150 I open {5-Spades}{7-Spades} from late position to 400 and the big blind calls. He check-calls 525 on the {A-Hearts}{2-Spades}{10-Hearts} flop and we both checked the {5-Diamonds} on the turn before the {5-Clubs} landed. He led out for 1,200, I made it 3,500 and he shipped it for 6,000, I called and his {2-Clubs}{4-Spades} was good . . . puzzled looks followed from me.

I ended up shipping it with {7-Hearts}{3-Clubs} from the button, and the big blinds Queen-high was too good.

* * * * * * * *

There was an open seat on the $4-8 HORSE cash game and along I went to donk off while Donnie continued to grind it out.

Rich Ryan – the pocket fives intern – and some random German midget (not being rude; he actually was) called Toto started playing props on my up-cards and the Holdem and Omaha boards. Rich took red for $5 and any King for $20, while Toto took black and any Deuce for $20. Rich started off bad, blowing out to $80 before pulling it back to the $20 mark while I ran my $300 buy-in up to $380.

Rich and Toto both got seats in the game and my profit slowly was worked away as Rich’s prop bets extended back out to the $120 mark then the $200 mark, back to $125 then out to $355 before he cut his losses at $300.

Donnie ran terribly in the tourney finishing 14th and then took that run-bad and put it into place in the cash game when he lost his buy-in, after winning a handy $80 off Rich in What Lodden Thinks?.

I cashed out up $2 and we decided to head to Craps to see if Toto could continue his hot run and make us a fortune!

I call it . . . The Bridge
I call it . . . The Bridge

* * * * * * * *

I played Craps properly for the first time the other night and really enjoyed it – regardless on how well I knew the rules!

I bought in for $200 and saw it work its way down to $70 then $30 before the other guys went busto. I decided to see if I could run it up, and after a few good rolls and calling out, “keep it even shoot,” I was back to more then even – a tidy $14 profit.

Being the complete degen gambler I am . . . there was no way I was pocketing that $14; instead it was Rich’s job to find one last bet for me.

“Bet Boxcars”
“What the hell is that?”
“It’s when the shooter rolls two sixes”
“Yeah, why not”

I threw the last $14 on the boxcars and its one in thirty-six chance for a thirty-to-one payday and the shooter picked up the dice. He shuffled them in his hand before flinging them up towards our end of the table. They bobbled round, avoiding chips and bets that littered the board heavy . . . six . . . six.

In an instant Rich went running off to the other end of the room and back in a complete state of shock that I had won on my first Boxcars bet, and like a dumbfounded noob I had no idea if I had won or what I had won!

The dealer casually cut down a stack of green $25-denomination chips and handed most of them over to me to amount $420. I quickly cashed out $600 after placing one last bet (true degen style) and tipping the dealer to see me profit $400 for the night on craps and $250 overall.

With Rich and Donnie having a cry about how good I run I bought them some 8am breakfast at Maccas before a nice long sleep in could occur with each of us not having to start until 5pm!

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III - $330 NLH

July 08, 2009

Tags: No Limit Holdem, Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza.

Having a day off is always great while in Vegas; you can head to the outlets, catch up on some sleep or play a deep-stack tournament.

Being the poker degen that I am . . . I obviously decided to play a tournament!

The Venetian Hotel

I headed over to the Venetian to play the $330 No Limit Holdem event in their Deep Stack Extravaganza, and once I had coughed up an additional $10 for the staff bonus for an extra 2,000 chips I was at my seat and ready for a long slog of grinding.

We started with a 12,000-chip starting bank and a solid structure with 40-minute levels, and early on I took a small pot here and lost one there until I decided to run a bluff with {Q-Hearts}{6-Hearts} out of the small blind.

It was folded to me and I bumped it to 250 with the big blind defending. I lead for 325 on the flop of {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{3-Spades}, then 800 when the {9-Spades} fell on the turn and gave up on the {J-Clubs} on the river when I check-folded for 2,200. I finished the level on 11,475 after winning a nice multi-way pot with trips.

During the 75-150 level, I saw Aces twice, but both times got no action and headed into the next level above my starting stack. My first major hand came up when an early position player limped and it was folded round to me in the small blind – I called an additional 100 with {K-Clubs}{4-Hearts} and the big blind checked his option.

The flop fell down {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{3-Spades} and I checked, as did the big blind to see the limper lead for 300. I called, the big blind passed, and when the {6-Diamonds} fell on the turn I checked again, only to be faced with a 500-chip bet. I felt that I wanted to get some additional value for my hand and decided to check-raise to 1,100. He called and when I checked the {10-Clubs} on the river he led strongly for 2,200 – now this is where I should pull up and review my hand and realise that the only hand that bets there beats me. Yeah, I may beat a busted diamond draw or a stubborn pair of Jacks, but in the long run I’m always beat!

Of course I call and he shows me {K-Spades}{10-Hearts} and I’m left with 9,875 in chips before I slip to 5,600 the next hand after calling a guy on three streets with Ace-high. I play the last five of six hands in the level and chip up to 8,000 to finish on a somewhat high after two terrible hands.

Not too much happens in the next two levels apart from winning a sick race when I called an all in out of the small blind with {8-Clubs}{8-Spades} to be up against {A-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. The board ran out {J-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and I was back to my starting stack.

I moved tables and after a few orbits I found a double when I opened to 1,000 from the cutoff with {Q-Hearts}{Q-Spades} and the big blind shipped it with {J-Diamonds}{J-Spades}. The board bricked out and I was up to 24,675. I pushed up to 36,000 when I took down a nice pot with {A-Spades}{K-Spades} in the 400-800-75 level. I flatted a raise of 2,000 preflop on the button and then we both checked the flop of {4-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{2-Spades}, I led for 3,500 when the {K-Hearts} fell. My opponent check-called and then check-called 5,500 when the {4-Spades} landed on the river. He flashed his {K-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} and I gained some momentum.

However it would fade away just as quickly as it arrived when I pretty much folded every hand until we reached dinner break with my 16,700 stack looking very short heading into the 1,000-2,000-300 level.

View from front of Venetian during the dinner break

I pushed with {10-Hearts}{8-Hearts} to steal the blinds and antes, but things kept going south. In the next level of 1,200-2,400-300 I got my last chips into the middle in a multi-way pot holding {8-Hearts}{7-Clubs} up against {4-Hearts}{4-Spades} and {5-Spades}{6-Clubs} when the final board ran out {4-Spades}{6-Hearts}{7-Spades}{3-Clubs}{9-Hearts}.

(coming soon)
Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III – $330 NLH Chip Stack Graph

* * * * * * * *

Falling short of the money and the whopping $58,000 first prize, I was somewhat satisfied with my 112th placing from the 735 starters.

As you can see from the chip stack graph, it was those middle stages (again) where I couldn’t accumulate to become a force in the latter levels. If I am to get some results under my belt, I really have to start improving this area of game – as it’s definitely my weakness / leak at the moment!

Marc's Magic

July 08, 2009

Tags: Donnie Peters, Jason Potter, Limit Holdem, Marc Hodge, Mat Pater, SouthPoint.

So it’s the weekend in Vegas . . . but when you’re working with PokerNews . . . a weekend doesn’t exist!

Off to the Rio at noon to take the reigns for the Event 28 - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em; however after the late night / early morning and stomach full of GreyGoose . . . I was a little worse for wear!

There is no real point boring you with the details of the day, but once we were finished Donnie, Mat and me headed to SouthPoint to play some $2-4 Limit Holdem.

We grinded away for a while before a very drunk Marc Hodge joined us and . . . how do you say it . . . spiced up the action!

It was pretty much a game between us four with it being capped nearly every street on every hand. I ran the worst, but enjoyed the comic genius that is titled Marc’s Magic . . .

I have two quad draws
I’m getting crushed
F**king nits!
Drunk guy seat four
I might be from Georgia, but we have calculators
Duckworth, you know I run good and I’m an awesome poker player!

Mat Pater and (a very drunk) Marc Hodge tearing up the $2-4 Limit Holdem table at SouthPoint

* * * * * * * *

Sunday saw me continue with the Event 28 - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em coverage, and just like the previous day there was nothing interesting about the tournament.

No Phil Hellmuth-esque players ran deep, and the tourney wrapped up at 3am with three tables left.

The next day flew pretty quick as we played down to the final table and then to see Mike Eise take down the $639,331 first prize along with the coveted gold bracelet. Here is one of the interesting and colourful hands that took place.

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care of PokerNews
Jason Potter Eliminated in 4th Place ($185,444)
Jason Potter shipped it all in from the button for just on a million and Jeff Chang made the call from the big blind.

Potter: {Q-Spades}{10-Spades}
Chang: {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}

With Potter needing to catch a Queen to stay alive or a combination of a flush or straight, the crowd and Potter would erupt seeing the {Q-Clubs} as the window.

Like an online glitch, the dealer spread the flop but one card remained hidden. With it reading {Q-Clubs}-{4-Spades} the dealer would finally un-stick the two cards and out popped the {10-Hearts}.

Jason Potter eliminated in 4th place

Similar to the magnitude of a fireworks display on New Years Eve; the crowd erupted with an ear-splitting and deafening display of claps and stomps that the secondary feature table surely couldn't handle!

With thunderous noise echoing throughout the stage the {A-Spades} on the turn made it more interesting as it gave Potter additional flush outs to go with the two remaining Queens that could save his tournament life.

The dealer burned and turned a black . . . {7-Clubs} and Potter would be forced to leave the rowdy stage on his way to collecting $185,444 for his 4th place finish.

Another Busted Tournament And Some Hard Rocking

July 08, 2009

Tags: Body English, Caesars Palace, Donnie Peters, Eric Ramsey, Hard Rock, Neil Fray, No Limit Holdem.

Both me and Donnie had days off today and once we were finally up we decided to head to the Strip.

We grabbed a cab and headed to the Rio to rail a few of Donnie’s mates before deciding to play the Caesars Palace 7pm $150 Second Chance tournament. For a total cost of $150 plus a $10 add on we received a 6,000 starting bank with a rather fast structure.

Once there and registered Donnie wondered off and I sat down to watch the remainder of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings (2-1 in game seven and 4-3 overall) on one of the many big screens that surrounded the poker room.

However once the game was over I decided to wonder round to look for Donnie, and realised that we were actually late to the tourney and it had just crept into the second level.

I sat down for the first hand of the 50-100 level with my 5,850 stack and didn’t really play a hand until I flopped two-pair from the big blind to take the pot down. Then on one of the last hands of the level I called a raise of 250 on the button with {3-Clubs}{3-Spades} and managed to take the pot down by leading out for 525 into four players on the turn with the board reading {K-Clubs}{Q-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{5-Clubs}.

Ran card dead through the 50-100 level and moved tables midway to find myself on a table full of banana’s. The blinds went up to 200-400 and on the first hand I was dealt {A-Spades}{K-Hearts} under the gun and opened to 1,000. It was folded round to some dude who pushed all in, folded back to me and I called for my tournament life to be in great shape against his {A-Clubs}{J-Hearts}.

In continuance of my 80/20 and 70/30 exits in the past who knows how many tourneys the board (of course) ran out {J-Diamonds}{J-Spades}{7-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{5-Clubs} to see me bust in 90th-odd place out of the 150 starters.

Donnie busted shortly after when he lost a race holding Ace-King against a pair of deuces and we were off to Body English at Hard Rock for a PokerNews funded Friday night on the town . . . via a trip home to get changed.

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Once all dolled up and ready to paint the town red with grabbed our third cab for the day and made paths to Hard Rock.

Once there we found our table to find Lynn, Garry and a handful of others laying into the table full of GreyGoose vodka. We filled our drinks and the night started to get interesting. Meh to the usual drib-drabs of describing the night, so here are a few samplers . . .

Body English at Hard Rock . . . everyone partying hard!

Once the night slowly died down Eric, Donnie and me played some Blackjack before Neil Fray joined us for some Craps action. I broke even and then ventured to Mr. Lucky's 24-7 restaurant for some needed recovery breakfast with the boys and tucked into a cheeseburger before we return home . . . again in the brightness of the Vegas morning sun.

Late Start Equals Late Night Profits

July 08, 2009

Tags: Caesars Palace, Donnie Peters, Imperial Palace, James Bernard, Mat Pater, No Limit Holdem, Rio, Rob Remeeus.

Ding Dong . . . Ding Dong . . . f**king hell Mat, just go answer the damn door so you can get a lift to work . . . it’s been like three hours and I’m already up

Well that’s what I was thinking before I rolled over in my uber-comfy bed to see the alarm clock on the bedside table . . . 7:38pm . . . WTF!

I had slept in way past what I’d expected, and now my day off had been turned into a night off. I knocked on Donnie and Eric’s door (which is just outside ours), “you just get up . . . you gotta be kidding me” quipped Donnie as he headed back up the stairs shaking his head and laughing. Still adjusting to the brightness of light I slowly stumbled up the stairs behind him to see him cooking dinner as I sat down on his couch to discuss our plans.

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We had decided on heading to Caesars Palace to play some $1-3 No Limit Holdem as we have been told that it’s a fairly soft game. We grabbed a taxi and forty bucks later, following a traffic standstill on Flamingo Road, we were there.

They opened a new table in under three minutes time as we seemed to attract a bevy of people – obviously I had my I AM A FISH neon sign flashing on my back!

I took down my first pot when I check-called each street against an Asian LAG and old-man NIT with {A-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} on an Ace-high straight and flushing board to see my stack climb over the $250 mark. An orbit or so later I called $15 out of the small blind with {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts} against the LAG who had already started making moves, bluffing and raising with garbage.

The flop fell down {Q-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{4-Spades} and I check-called $35 to see the {A-Spades} fall on the turn and another check from me. Facing a bet of $55, I moved all in for $165 more, and following about ninty-seconds of deliberation the LAG folded.

The hand became an avenue of discussion between me and Donnie, with his argument being a call on the turn and either a donk lead on the river or gamble with a check. Personally I wished I tanked on the turn and did the old ‘I guess I’m all in’ show like I have a draw. Either way it was a good session for the both of us, as I cashed out $403 and, courtesy of a quad bonus, Donnie cashed out up $250 – not a bad two-hours I say!

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After exchanging some texts with my two Melbournian’s in James and Rob that had just arrived in town, we both decided to head over to Imperial Palace to catch up.

We tucked into some Subway before heading to the Rio around 1am to check out what was going on.

The Ladies World Championship (in which I’m doing the final table tomorrow) was down to the last two tables while the Omaha Hi-Lo World Championships was on the money bubble. We showed the WSOP noobs round before Donnie settled into a $10-20 Limit Holdem game as James and Rob headed to the other side of the Rio to play some $1-3 No Limit Holdem.

I sweated them for a while, before returning to sweat Donnie and his continuance in running bad at the Rio. 3am came round which meant our ride was ready, and after a quick visit to the petrol station for some snacks and of course petrol, I was at home and on the computer writing this blog!

Bring on the Ladies tomorrow!

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