19 September 2007

WSOPE Ends As Million, Monaco Beckon

Congratulations to Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad for winning the WSOPE Main Event. I have been hearing a lot of great things about her and am very happy to see her take down this prestigious event. She beat 362 of the world’s best players, and she is only 19. This is great for poker and Annette proved that she is one of the best tournament players in the world.

My last two days in the main event did not go as planned. I feel like every poker player in the world when I say, ‘I can’t win a race’. The last two days I did not win any coin flips, especially the last few hours of Day Three.

Near the end of Day Three, after the dinner break, I went from chip-leader to a little below average. On one of the last hands of the night, Matthew McCullough raised to 22,000 and I re-raised to 60,000 with AK. He really should have folded his 44 since he still had 50,000 chips left, but he went all in and I called and we were off to the races. I did not hit and I was down to 200,000. Winning those races is so important that deep into the tournament. Instead of being top five in chips I was in the middle of the pack going into Day Four.

I busted out in 29th place very early in Day Four. My final hand I was able to get my money in as a small favorite, but my pair did not hold up. It went like this. Gus Hansen raised to 18,000 and I moved all in from the button for 178,000. Magnus Persson came over the top in the big blind for 238,000.

Gus went into the tank for a few minutes and I did not feel so good about my threes at this point. Mr. Hansen finally folded and Persson turned over AK off suit. He flopped a K and I did not hit my two outer. As always it is very disappointing to go out so deep in these tournaments.

In the five biggest pots I played in this tournament, I did not win one. One of them was a hand that I did not play well, where I thought my opponent was making a move and he had the nut straight and I was drawing dead going into the river. The other hands were hands where I was a favorite or in a coin flip. You have no chance of winning if you cannot get a little lucky and win the flips.

One of the biggest pots for me in the tournament was against good friend Daniel Negreneau. With blinds 1,200-2,400 he raised to 5,000 when I was in the small blind. I re-raised to 18,000 with AA and he called. There were 40,000 in the pot and Daniel had 92,000 left. The flop came 2 4 5. I led out for 31,000 and he raised all in. He had 5-3 for a pair and a straight draw and I had AA, which was the best hand because I had blockers. Unfortunately I caught an A on the river and that gave Daniel a straight and a very large pot. I was not the only one who lost to Daniel with AA, Gus also lost a big pot with rockets.

Overall the WSOPE was a great time and I will definitely be back next year. The Empire Casino did a great job hosting the event. I had a great feeling that I was going to win this tournament, I gave myself a chance and my tournament game is coming on strong. I am looking forward to the upcoming EPTs

Next I am playing in The Million Dollar Cash Game, it is considered Europe’s most prestigious high stakes poker event that will be made into a TV series that is scheduled to broadcast on Sky Sports in January 2008. This should be a lot of fun. Some of the players scheduled to play are Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Tony G, Gus Hansen, Erik Seidel, Marc Goodwin, Howard Lederer, Allen Cunningham and John Juanda. Blinds are $300-$600 with $100 ante and the minimum buy-in is $100,000 with no max. The nice thing about this cash game that is different from other cash games is that you can use money from your online account to buy in.

After the Cash Game I will have a few days off and on Friday will take a quick trip to Monte Carlo looking for a place to live. I will still spend a few months a year in Vegas for WPT and WSOP events, but will soon call Monte Carlo home.

I have been playing online and it has been a rollercoaster ride. I am usually very good about keeping a level head, but tournaments can make my head spin. I have been chip leader of quite a few big tournaments this past year with 20-30 players left and cannot seem to take down a title. I will just have to wait for the EPT London to try and win my next tournament.

My family and the nanny just got into London from Israel. We are going to enjoy London as a family for a few days.

Good luck at the tables