Saturday, October 17, 2009

Atlantis Recap...Kinda Late

Quote of the Day

"I wouldn't mind dying -- its that business of having to stay dead that scares the shit out of me."
-R. Geis

the trip was interesting as soon as i landed in miami. there were a slew of poker players there going to nassau. on the flight i sat next to a semi known pro, whose name i will not disclose. i've played with him before, and although he's a nice guy...he smells like a mix of rotten milk and with rotten fish. thankfully the flight was short. in the row ahead of me...was dario minieri which would have been interesting to strike up a conversation with. oh well.

as i got off the plane, and got some much needed bahamian fresh air, i ran into victor ramdin who was coming off another plane. he and my dad are old friends from new york, so we got to catch up. he was with amnon filipi, who ordered a limo to the resort. victor invited me to come how could i refuse?

i got to the resort and waited for the players party to start up. it was pretty cool, but it was difficult to meet people that i've played with. i decided to make a visor with "whaassuuppp" on it, and it drew a couple conversations with online opponents. it was a bit annoying because every time i try to introduce myself to a new player, and tell them my online name, they just think i'm saying hello. many conversations were as followed...

them: hi, i'm ______ on stars. its nice to meet you.
me: i'm whaassuuppp. nice to meet ya.
them: whats up to you too.
me: no, no...that's my name on stars.
them: huh?
me: that's my name on stars.
them: oooooohhhhhh.
me: (thinking to myself) did i really have to create my poker name from those budweiser commercials from 2000? i couldn't have thought of anything more creative or witty? sigh.

after the party, i called it an early night. the next day the tourny started and it was going along fine, until about the 3rd level. i had aces in the cutoff, and make a standard 3x raise. small blind called. flop came j,10,2 with two clubs, he check raised, and i was sick. there were no reads on this guy, and i sat for 4 minutes not sure what to do. i basically shoved, and he turned over jj...and i was done. i went around asking very good tourny pro's what they would have done, and they all had the same answer. they would have called the flop, and got it in on a non scare turn. which i found enlightening, that they would all say the same thing. so i'll remember that for next time. if i did do that, turn was 5h, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway, but still a good learning lesson.

after the tourny i didn't want to play poker at all. i just wanted to enjoy the resort and the amenities. and that's what i did. got a massage one day, did the dolphin encounter another...did the water park a couple days, and went to nice restaurants during the week.

there was also a $2500 battleship HU side event. i was really excited for it. i feel confident playing heads up with just about anyone, and enjoy the challenge of playing good players. i really try to get into the head of my opponent, and its something i wish i did better in my mtt game. first round i played acespades11, who is a very good mtt player. i made some adjustments during his game, and hit a couple of hands, and ended up winning. my next opponent was bbbbb33. i've played him a few times online, and had some familiarity with his game. i went card dead, and every move i tried didn't work....but....i won a few all ins and ended up winning that match. now there were 16 left, and top 8 got paid. so it was the money round, and i draw bigredak. who i know is another solid tourny player. i lost a big pot early, and got a huge double up with i had jj vs. his 10's. then i had kk on the button raise, he calls. flop comes 654, with 2 hearts. i also have the Kh. he check raises, and again im sick, but i have to shove. he calls with 77. the turn was such a great card...2h. so here it card away from the money! all i have to do is dodge a non heart 8,7,3....................................................7 of spades hits the river, and i go down 3-1. i then get all in with AJ vs. A2 to get back to even, and a 2 hit the turn, and i was done. oh well. guess there's always next year.

the trip was really a great time, and i will try to make it a yearly thing. hopefully with elite in sight, i don't have to play any more satellites to get in. atlantis is really a world class resort, and i commend everyone involved. from the pokerstars staff, to the atlantis staff. everyone is so friendly there, you wouldn't believe it. which brings me to my housekeeper...

everyday i would come out of my room around noon and see her. i would always exchange pleasantries with her. i would joke around with her and ask her if she would make it to the water park on that day. she always laughed it off. so as the days went on i continued asking. i always got the same answer, "oh no sir, thank you though." the day before i left i asked her if she had ever been to the water park, and she told me no. i was shocked. she was about 30 years old and told me she worked there for 10 years and has three kids. the whole thing didn't make any sense to me. so i asked her, "why not??" she simply replied, "its too expensive."

again i was in shock, because i would have thought the water park would have been free for employees, or at least at a big discounted rate. she didn't know how much it was to go, so i made a couple phone calls. i found out it was $50 for employees to go. i think its $80 regular price for locals. and it was $30 for her kids to go. so on the last day before i was ready to leave my room for the last time...i packed up my things in my suitcase, and went outside into the hall. there was mia, and her well wishes for me and my trip. i went up to her, and told her she was an extremely friendly person, very genuine, and i appreciated it...and her on a day off, take her kids to the water park, and enjoy it...and handed her $150. she came up to me with a tear in her eye, and said "thank you so much sir", and gave me a hug. i tried to get a gift certificate for her, but was not allowed to. I hope she went with her kids on her day off...but i'm glad i helped in any case.

i know this was just a small token of appreciation from me, but it was pretty meaningful. again this is something i debated whether to write about or not, but i want to illustrate the point that there are so many people struggling. there are many different ways that people could be helped. if this will inspire one person to do donate to a charity, or volunteer their time in an organization, or just helping out a neighbor...then its worth me writing about.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I failed you

Quote of the day

"In the land of predators, the lion never fears the jackal ."

i admit it. i have been MIA. there has been an APB out on me. i know...i know. all i can do is apologize, and come back. the year has been full of interesting events and stories, so i'll try my best to break it down.

first off there was atlantis in january (which i actually wrote after the tourny ended, but never posted it.) whoops! i'll give it a day or so until i post it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Year in Review

Quote of the Day

"I kept on digging the hole deeper and deeper looking for the treasure chest until i finally lifted my head, looked up and realized that i had dug my own grave."

another year has begun, thus another year has gone by to reflect upon. a lot has happened this year in which there has been so many ups and downs. A difficult time for me in my personal life has led to not as much play as i would have liked. there were hopes of supernova elite in '08, but it never seemed to materialize.

the year started off slowly in january while i was in new york. i didn't play much while i was away from home. i came back in february after watching my giants win the superbowl...with a fresh outlook on my game. with my time off, i really tried to focus on holes that i had. i started to make specific adjustments against certain types of players and the results started to pay off. february and march were both very good months for me and when april 1st rolled around, things started to turn.

i played a few 5k's which i sold some action to some of my friends and got crushed. i went 0-4 or 0-5 and it was a difficult task to overcome. after dropping those games, the outlook was daunting to try to grind that money back. when may rolled around, i had won a LAPT package to brazil which i busted early on day 2. shortly after i got back, myself and my gf at the time of 7 years, after months of distress, broke up. i spent a lot of may taking it easy and not putting pressure on myself to play.

when the world series came around in june, it was very uplifting to see a lot of friends during a time when i needed to them. i was lucky to be running very hot at the time in my HU games online. that was a big relief, because i couldn't play for many hours at a time.

july roamed around and i felt a little better about my situation, and a little more refreshed. the ex-gf and i started to talk about getting back together, which i thought i had wanted. i decided to make a run at supernova elite during the 1.5x vpp promotion in late july. i played ridiculously hard for 2 weeks, and it gave me an outside shot at achieving it.

when august hit, i was dedicated in getting elite and my mindset was no matter what happens with the decision of my relationship status, i was going to grind it out and get elite. i was really motivated and thought things were starting to go my way again. things drastically changed when i heard from her that it was over for good. i went into a state of depression, blaming myself for everything that had gone wrong in the relationship. i over thought every single thing that happened, and just tortured myself. i knew i needed some sort of help to guide me through this.

i started to see a counselor in late august, which probably was one of the best decisions i have ever made. i know there are general negative connotations associated with seeing a counselor, and this isn't the easiest of things to discuss. but i feel its important to stress having an open mind about it. people will always try to take care of their physical health, and put their mental health problems on the back shelf because its not something tangible. you can't see it...or touch it...but its effect on each individual is immeasurable. i majored in psychology in college, and hope to go back to school for my masters (realistic) or phd (not so realistic) and do some counseling after my poker career is over.

i got lucky to get the counselor i have. she relates with me very well and has shown me so much to help me deal with my struggles. i realized everything wasn't my fault, regardless of how much blame is put on me by others, it wasn't fair. i questioned many things i did in my relationship, and regretted many things i had done. she helped me come to a grasp on reality. my relationship wasn't good from the start. it was a bad situation to get myself into, and the first 6 months were exactly like the last 6 months. nothing changed. i feel so much smarter in approaching my next relationship and finding someone that compliments me like a best friend...not someone who you are afraid to speak to about something serious...rather someone who will listen and want to come to compromises. im done dealing with other peoples selfishness and hypocrisies. im trying to become more assertive in the things i want, instead of constantly feeling bad for others when they dont get what they want.

i am regaining and realizing the control that i have in my situation moving forward. there is only so much i can do. im honestly done being angry about the past. im done holding grudges for things that have happened. what the hell is the point? sit here and punish myself over petty stupidness? no thanks...time to look ahead to things i want to accomplish, and enjoying the present moments that life has to offer.

when september came, i knew i had to make a change. i started to get active in sports again, something which i put on the shelf for a long time. i enrolled at UNLV and took up golf and tennis classes. i also started to play tennis in community practices as well. i was playing 5-6 days a week, and it was invigorating. i started to eat better, and with all the exercise, next thing ya know...i lost 30 pounds since may and was basically at my high school weight again. and considering im 27 years had sure been a while.

i then badly sprained my ankle in mid september, and decided to get health insurance for the first time in my adult life! that was exciting. of course it wasn't retroactive, but it was nice knowing i had it just in case. october wasn't too eventful...i started to get back into my classes after the injury, and poker started to pick up again after a slow september.

i enrolled in the 'big brothers' program in mid october, and am still waiting to be matched up with a child. i have finished my interview process a while ago. (check out for more info on volunteering). i thought it would be a great opportunity to give back some time to the community, and hopefully have a positive influence on a child who is in need of it. during my childhood, i did not grow up with my father, and when i saw him, it was very rarely. i realize how lucky i am to be where i am today, and with the knowledge of how it affected me...i hope i can be a positive role model and mentor for someone else.

i was all over the map in november and december, playing online wherever and whenever i had a spare moment. i was in hawaii for a week, toronto for 5 days, new york for 10 days...back home for 2 weeks, then arizona for a week. i saw a lot of friends and family, and was definitely the most enjoyable part of my year. the heads up sng's were kind to me the last two months as well.

so in some sort of conclusion of my ramblings...the year was a crazy one. i learned a lot about other people, and a ton about myself. i gotta keep reminding myself how lucky i am to be where i am today. even three years ago, i was a broke, degenerate gambler who needed action any way i could get it. i had many sleepless nights thinking about internet blackjack, and missed field goals. i would wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing to check the college games that finished on the west coast. it was no way to live. today, i dont play table games, and i dont bet on sports. i reached 400 on scope just before the year ended...i have over 1 million fpp's (which i plan to save for a car). things have really changed for me. im eating healthier and exercising....i have great friends, a great job, a great perspective on life and poker. i think about how far i have come in my life...and if it were to somehow end tomorrow, i can honestly be thankful for one hell of a ride.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Quote of the Day

"Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

what a great quote for poker...although i dont think mr. emerson played any as he died in 1882. juuuust missed out on the moneymaker effect.

anyway, i have been all over the map last month, and i got back to vegas almost two weeks ago, yet it feels like two days ago. hawaii was awesome. i realize i need to go back as much as possible. hopefully i can get a condo there in the future as a second home or something. after hawaii i was in toronto for 4 days. its just depressing there. everyday day is painfully cold, and gray skies. its a miracle if you can see the sun. i didn't do much there, but i did get to play a lot of poker and did well while i was there. after that, i went to new york and hung out with more friends and fam there. i tried to hang out with as many people as i could, but was only there for a week, so icouldn't see everyone. spent some time with my was his bday while i was there. played some nba 2k9 which i used to great at all the nba 2k games, but can't figure this new game out. also...watched the de la hoya debacle at my friends vijay and johanna's place (you like that shout out!!!). spent some other time with old friends, and thats about it.

i got back on the 10th, and poker has been just a straight line for 11 days. just going nowhere after a huge run i had for three weeks i had previously. so it was expected. breaking even day after day for a couple weeks doesn't bother me as much as if it were being very swingy for the same result. it shouldn't matter, but its just easier for me to deal with. while i've been playing my heads up games, i've been trying to qualify for the pca. i planned on going and just playing the battleship (HU tourny), and not play the main event...only if i could qualify. now the pca and i have a history. for 3 years i have been trying to qualify, and every year i fall short spending god knows how much trying to get in. so the last few days i have been getting close in the 30 rebuy tourny. the first 10-15 times, i didn't even make a final table, but the last few days i made it 3 straight times (2nd, 5th, and 5th). so it was encouraging yet increasingly frustrating. then came today.

i again got to the final table sitting in 4th. i won a huge hand with 9's against two opponents, and i had the chip lead. the final 4 players included ch0ppy, shaundeeb, apestyles and myself. they are all tourny pro's who obviously weren't going to make any mistakes. luckily i had the chiplead, and i got heads up with apestyles for the seat. i had a 1.5-1 advantage at this point. my hands were so extremely sweaty, i had to keep wiping them on my shirt before every move, because my mouse on my laptop wasn't registering my movements. i was convinced i would somehow blow my oppurtunity yet again. i had ATdd when apestyles min raised and he had about 13bb total. its an obvious reshove there, which i did, and much to my disbelief, he has AJ...but wait! Q108 flop! bang! i hit my 10!!!! wooo hooo!!!! but wait....9 comes on the turn to give him a straight...but wait! turn gave me a diamond redraw! river came a blank, and now i was down 2-1. i was so incredibly sick. a few hands later, i limped with a9 tryin to induce a shove which i got from him with k7. i now dodged his flush draw on the turn, and doubled up. helloooo lead!!!! few hands after that he shoved with 13bb, and i picked up 33. i depressingly called knowing he'd overs, and my 3's held!!!! woooo hoooo!!!!!! book the atlantis trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks to thepabloshow, breakribs, and dr. fells for watching and their support. much appreciated guys.

and now for the heads up update. after going nowhere for 2 weeks, today im 24-7 thus far today with two separate 9 game winning streaks. so with the pca win, a great day in heads up, AND the giants clinching the #1 seed in the NFC, what else could i ask for? it was a great day. oh, and i almost won another pca seat a few hours after the rebuy...i got 25th in the $650 qualifier with 12 seats. oh well! believe me, im not that disappointed about it. wow...todays blog is almost all about poker...what the hell is that about??

Friday, November 21, 2008


Quote of the Day

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
-Henry Ford

its been a very interesting few weeks...lets start off with poker...

the first two weeks of the month were fantastic. i was playing more than i have been in a while before taking the last week pretty easy. just to see the wins rolling through is a relief. relief...probably not the word most people use when they win, but thats how i feel. im not sure if its because i dont take the losses that badly, or i expect that much out of myself. i really dont know. i know there is no joy in winning these heads up games anymore, which i guess is a shame. but if you look at it from the opposite end, i dont take the losses badly, or the wins too greatly. so im trying to find joy in other things that i do, because as much as poker has done for me, it is a job. well for the month im up about 19k, and my roi is 20%. its a bit absurd, and will obviously plummet soon...but for now i finally know what it feels like to win as frequently as "thepabloshow" does. feels pretty good...

today im writing from my friends house in hawaii. ill give a little background info on myself, i was born in new york, raised in new jersey til i was 6, moved to hawaii until college, which i went back to new york, and then moved to vegas last year. ok, glad we got that out of the way. ill be here in hawaii for another few days before i go to toronto and then new york to see some family. so far my trip has been great. just hanging out with my best friends which are my high school friends from 10+ years ago. i know there aren't many people who can say that, so i really do value their friendship.

although, the trip almost didn't happen... i booked my flight for friday 2:30am vegas time, and i started to get really sick about 4pm. (around the exact same time i played the $33 rebuy 3x turbo pca sat...coincidence???) anyway, i busted out of the satellite, and i was getting chills and a bad fever, so i wasn't even sure if i wanted to travel anymore. to make a long story short, i felt a little better and got to the airport at 2:04am, and somehow they let me check in after some convincing. my bags arrived a few hours later though, which i didn't really care about. i feel a ton better now, and its just been a blast here.

oh, and before i forget about the election...congrats to obama! i know this is a historic event in this country electing a minority candidate, and that it shows how we as a country have gotten through many racial divisions. is that what really happened? obama won the electoral vote by a wide margin, but the electoral vote was decided by 6 points. there were so many factors that were NEEDED for obama to win this, and i just want to mention a few of them, in no order of importance.

1. obama NEEDED the bush campaign to be absolutely atrocious...his approval rating is 20%, and running against mccain who basically has all the same principles as bush
2. obama NEEDED sarah palin to be a complete putz. the day after mccain chose her as his running mate...they took the lead in the polls, when nobody ever even heard of her! that still boggles my mind. the more she spoke, the more they dropped in the polls.
3. obama NEEDED to be extremely intelligent, well spoken, passionate, and inspiring. his inspiration led millions of young voters to register and help in his campaign
4. obama NEEDED an unprecedented amount of public donations.
5. obama NEEDED to take the higher road with less attack ads, and remain composed during mccain's rants during the debates starting to get a headache again, so im gonna stop for now, but you get the point. all of the stars in the heavens needed to be aligned for obama to win, and somehow they were. its kinda like how i made my flight! haha...anyway, i truly believe if he faltered just a tiny bit or made 10% of the statements that mccain made, we'd be in this same spot in 4 years with prez mccain leading the way, and the republican party trying to figure out how to amend the constitution so they can figure out how to get arnold into the white house. and on that note.....

ill be back.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Milestone Day

Quote of the Day
"If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?"

sorry i haven't updated in a while. i have been really busy, then when i haven't been busy....i just haven't been in a mood to write.

i can't seem to keep track of whats going on in the market these days. it appears that everyday is another ridiculous spike that the pundits couldn't predict. its intriguing to follow, but makes it very difficult to, especially if you miss a day or two. with the election only a few days away now, its getting very very interesting. its cool to be in a swing state, and have my vote mean a little more, then your average red or blue state out there. im gonna vote tomorrow, hopefully avoiding some of the lines on tuesday.

in poker...i played in a 1k HU tourny at caesar's last week friday. i first heard about it probably two months ago, and was really excited about it since then. the structure that was first posted was sensational. 10,000 starting chips, 25/50 starting level, with 15 minute levels, then moving to 20 minutes after round 3. myself and my friend "chekdeznuts" decided to play in it. we called thursday morning to see how many people were registered, and there were 40 at that point, with a cap at 64. so we went a few hours later, figuring it wouldn't be a big deal....and much to our suprise, 63 people were already registered, BUT they moved the cap to 128. so we got in with no prob. we practiced that night going practicing playing the slow structure....

so we get to the tourny, and because they moved the cap up, they changed the levels. all levels were 15 minutes, AND they deleted two of the early levels. so much for the great structure. so we started off with 10k in chips, and my opponent was fairly decent. he played very conservatively, limped a lot of buttons, and it wasn't going to be easy to get him to commit chips into the pot. so i slipped to an early 11.5-8.5 deficit....when the blinds were 100/200. he threw out a raise to 600 (which was very infrequent), but for some reason the dealer didn't allow the raise, so he was forced to limp. i look down at kk. i make it 700 to go, and he calls, laughing we got in the raise anyway. the flop comes k73 rainbow. this guy has been pretty tight post flop, and the ONLY hand that hurts me is if he has a gutshot with 2 cards between 7 and 3. i figured i should try to let him catch up a little bit, so i check, and he checks behind. now the turn comes a 5. im obviously not thrilled with that card, so i bet 900, and he calls. a 4 hits the river, with the board reading k7354. so i throw up in my mouth, and check. he bets 1800. i call, and he has 65 for the winner. whatever...i went down to 4k, then got a double up and was right back in it. blinds were 150/300 at this point, and he limps like he has done 95% of the time. i have 87dd, so i make it 1000 to go. he calls. i have 6500 chips after my raise. flop comes 943 with two diamonds. now there are two ways to play this hand....obviously im stuck in it on the flop. i can either make a big bet and call if he shoves...or make a big check raise, which is the play i prefer. by leading out, he will shove if he hit any part of the flop...any 9, any 4, any 3, straight draw, or flush draw. now by check raising...he will have to most likely fold the 4, 3, or drawing i check, he bets 1000. i make it 4500, and he insta shoves. i call...and he flips up 43 for two pair. no diamond for me, and i am flushed away in the first round. chek made it to round two before his qq lost to aces. gg us.

not much has been going on in poker other than that travesty of a tournament, except for today, which was a great day for me personally. i reached two milestones today. 10,000 games played and 350 on sharkscope. i haven't come close to reaching my goal for 650 games played this month, but i have played live probably 40 hours of live cash game, which makes up for some of it. in any case, im really proud of those two milestones. ill do a better job of updating upcoming....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October Forecast

Quote of the Day
"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants."
-A. Whitney Brown

well looks like the economy is going to bounce back somewhat with this bill being passed, and barack's lead is starting to widen. so all is good in the world again......for now. i dont think the average person really understood what this country faced if the "bailout" or "rescue plan" didn't pass. the ramifications weren't explained well enough by politicians, or the media. im not going to get much into it, because id go on for way too long.

all i can really say is i hope people are aware of what is going on. in an election year, with two candidates who differ on so many levels, i hope people can look at their views and policies and make an informed decision come november.

back to poker...
i finished september up a whopping $345 in my HU games. i dont mind it though. i didn't put in a lot of time. im hoping to play about 650 games in october. that really isn't much, but considering the last two months combined, i've played less than 600 games total, its a respectable goal. i stopped making monthly profit goals. i used to either a) reach the profit goal, and get complacent the rest of the month or b) didn't reach it, and while i was playing, i put so much unnecessary pressure on myself, making some games more important than others, which shouldn't be the case.

after doing this full time for 2 and a half years, i have come to realize, individual games aren't important. this game is about quantity, opponent selection, and who can stay mentally strong during the difficult times. who is going to be able to keep playing...and playing well when they lose 9 of 10. the days i know that im at my best aren't necessarily days that i win. it comes on those days where i put in a long session, lose 4,000...but not even realize it, and am able to smile at the end of the day.