27 July 2007

Hopkins vs Wright and a fun prop bet

I got two tickets to the big boxing match last Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Bernard Hopkins vs Winky Right. I enjoy UFC fighting a lot more than boxing, but first row seats to any fight makes it worth your while. Mikko and I drove to the Bellagio and put a nice size bet on Wright.

Mikko was so confident that Wright was going to win that he took 10 per cent of my action. We hopped in a limo and headed over to Mandalay Bay. Lately lady luck has not been on my side, and she’d deserted me that night too: Hopkins took the win.

The night before the fight Maya and I celebrated good friend Roland de Wolfe's Birthday at the Wynn. Roland and I have been friends for a long time. We met a few years ago on the European Poker circuit. Roland is one of the funniest and most entertaining people I have ever met.

Normally I am not a huge Chinese food fan, but Wing Lei at the Wynn was very good – I strongly recommend it. Also joining us at dinner was Jeff Madsen, Theo Taan, Mikko, Nick and his girlfriend, and Jason from Full Tilt and his girlfriend.

It was a lot of fun and Roland was the life of the party as usual. At the end of dinner all of us made a $100 bet who could guess the total bill. My tennis trainer Nick, the prop bet king, was only a few dollars off the total of $1,333. Nothing like getting paid $600 for eating at the Wynn.

Last night Nick and I went to play some tennis around 9pm at the park. Both courts were busy, so of course we managed to find a wall and start making bets on who could hit closest to sign on the wall. Nick has taken Mikko for almost every penny he has by hitting stop signs or light poles from 20-50 yards away yet I still agreed to play him $100 a shot.

Being the nice guy he is he offered to give me two shots for every one shot of his. Thankfully the courts opened up and I was only down $200. As soon as we started to hit, it started raining. We decided to just enjoy the cool weather and keep playing. It was really fun sliding on the slippery court; it reminded me of the clay courts back home in Finland. My back was very stiff so we just rallied and worked on my forehand.

I’ve made a weight loss bet with Nick. I’ve bet that he can not lose 15 pounds in four months. It does not sound so hard until you see his eating habits – it’s amazing how good he plays tennis with the food he eats.

He is so motivated to win that he gave me a $1,000 freeroll if I see him drinking a soda. Who doesn't love a free roll? I just restocked my refrigerator with every single soda Vons carries, so he is tempted on a daily basis. My refrigerator is more than ready for an episode of Cribs.

I am enjoying a little break from poker before I head to Europe for a long stretch of tournaments and high stakes cash games. I will post more poker-related stories soon. It’s so hard nowadays to get away from poker for more than a few days, because it is so easy to play online.

I will start up again soon and will post interesting hands from my sessions in this blog. I have not been this excited for tournament poker in a long time; I plan on making it a very successful trip.

Hope your enjoying the website and blog, now get back to the tables and good luck.


21 July 2007

WSOP $10k PLO Final Table Report

Have not had a chance to sit down and write about what happened at the WSOP in Vegas until now, but I wanted to tell you about reaching the final table in Event 50 the $10,000 PLO.

Usually May is filled with anticipation for the WSOP. This year was a little different. All of my excitement was for the birth of my baby Mila.

My fiancée Maya and I had a beautiful healthy baby girl on May 8. So even though the WSOP is the biggest time of the year, my energy and focus this time was not on poker.

However, I still planned on playing five events or so and was really looking forward to the $50,000 HORSE event.

But it did not go as well as last year when I final tabled. Heading into day two I had 145,000 chips. The blinds were very high compared to my chip stack. I am looking forward to the upcoming WSOP Europe HORSE event, as I really enjoy playing HORSE.

The other event I was looking forward to was the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha. PLO is my favorite game and I felt like I had a great shot to win my first bracelet. I was top five in chips going into day two and was gaining momentum.

I was catching amazing cards, but could not hit a flop to save my life in the first half of day two. I had K Q J T double suited, J J 9 9 double suited, and KQJ9 single suited. These are some of my favorite hands, and each time I hit no pair and no draw on the flop.

I won a big coin-flip against Annie Duke soon after and we got all of our money in pre-flop. She flopped the striaght and I hit my backdoor flush.

Another big hand, I started with 250,000 in chips and I raised pre flop with A K J 8 and the current chip leader called me. The flop came A J 6. I bet the flop and he called. The turn came a 2 and I went all in with my last 143,000 and he called, after seeing my hand he mucked. It is pretty nice to be all in and your opponent calls and tells you he is drawing dead.

Another key hand, I was in the BB and five people saw the flop of A 9 8. It was checked around. I had A J T 6 and the turn was a 2 and I bet the pot. Everyone folded to the SB and he called.

The river was a 3 and the SB bet $130,000. I took a long time and based on his fast call on the turn I put him on a draw, when the river was a blank, I called and my one pair was good.

I built my stack to over one million when we were down to 10 players. We were waiting to lose one more player before the official final table would come back the next day.

I got all in pre flop verse two players with A A Q x with the nut diamonds. One player had A K K 2 and the other guy had 8 8 9 Q. They both had clubs and the flop came J 7 4 with two clubs and the turn was a blank and the river was a club, giving both players a flush.

If I would have won that hand, I would have knocked out two players and been chipleader with 1.35 million at the final table with only eight players. Instead I started the final table with 600,000 which put me fifth.

Also at the final table were friends, Doyle Brunson, Marco Traniello, and Robert Mizrachi. I knocked out Doyle out in 6th place, it is very impressive how he continues to reach final tables and dominate the big cash games at his age.

As we got three handed I really liked my chances, especially after flopping a Royal Flush and doubling up when Robert made a full house on the river. We both checked the flop, and I bet the turn and he called.

I was praying for the board to pair and hoping he made a full house. My wish came true when the board paired; as calmly as I could I pushed my chips all in.

To Robert's credit, he took his time and looked like he might even fold, but he called with a small full house. I was now chipleader and ready to take down my first WSOP bracelet.

The turning point at the final table was when I flopped the nut flush. I bet 150,000 into the 240,000 pot on the flop and Robert called. At this point I was putting Robert on a small flush or a set. The turn was a Jack – a total blank.

I bet 400,000 and he called again. I was still not sure if he has a set or small flush. The river paired the board with the Jack. Before the dealer took his hand off the card, Robert moved all in. Now I was faced with a very tough situation.

I was pot commited, I was left with 800,000 and there was 1.3 million in the pot, but I did not think he would bluff a smaller flush. I folded my nut flush face up and he immediately turned over the 9 high flush.

It was the sickest bluff anyone has ever made against me. Instead of knocking out Robert and having a commanding chip lead, I was now the shortstack.

I ran into Robert's A A x x a few hands later and was out in 3rd for a little over $311,000. It was disappointing not to win when you are that close, but now I am even more motivated to win my first bracelet.

I am really looking forward to the WSOP Europe and the EPT events coming up this fall. I have not been committed to the tournaments lately because I have been putting all of my energy into the cash games, live and online.

That’s it from me for now. I hope you enjoyed my blog and, as always, please email me if you have any suggestions on how I can make my website and blog better.

Thanks and good luck at the tables!

20 July 2007

Welcome to my new blog

Welcome to my first blog at this new address. I’ll still be updating my Myspace page, but this is the blog you should read and subscribe to first as it’s where I’ll be sharing my news first.

The first thing to say is, as soon as you’ve finished reading this, to head over to my new website at www.PatrikAntonius.com. Have a look around, download some pictures, then head back here and let me know what you think of it.

The site is your window on my world so it’s important for me to know what you want to see more – and less – of on there.

After the great result in the WSOP, I’m heading over to Europe later this month to take part in some other big tourneys.

First one is the Ladbrokes Poker Millions VI, then it’s the WSOP Europe, and finally the Million Dollar Cash Game in London on September 18th.

I’m hoping my good run of form will stay with me on the other side of the pond. I’ll be letting you know here how I get on in each of them.

So subscribe to this blog – or check back regularly – and let’s stay in touch.

Good luck!