24 November 2007

Golf, Poker, and Family

My daily routine lately has been almost perfect. I have been waking up early and our wonderful nanny/chef continues to impress with wonderful new dishes on a daily basis. After fueling my body I head down to the 24 hour fitness for a workout and warm up. I am happy with my workouts lately, my body feels good again. The golf course is right across the street from the gym, so after a good workout my body is ready for the range, but since my thumb is not yet healed 100% from an old Muay Thai injury, I have not been able to golf this past week. It looks like I am going to have to take ten days off, since I want to make sure it heals correctly. After golf it is back to Maya's house and hang out with Mila and Maya all night. I usually find a little time to play online if the games are good. Now if my shoulder was a little better and I could throw some tennis in there somewhere I would have my perfect day.

Phil Ivey called me while back and told me there was going to be a "Big Game" on Friday night. It has been a long time since I played live cash games and I was excited to sit back down at the tables and at real people in the eyes. It was the usual line up, I had Jennifer on my right and Minh on my left. Bobby Baldwin, Doyle, Guy (Noatima,) Eli, Lyle, and David B. were all in the game.

I am sure that I am not the only one who finds live poker so boring after playing online. I was also a little upset that we were only playing $2k-4k instead of $3k-6k or $4k-8k. We played a mixture of four games, NL Hold em, PLO, Limit Holdem, and Stud high. There was a $60,000 CAP in the NL and PLO games. I lost with AKs to KK in a capped pot and chopped with KK vs 77 since we ran it twice in another capped pot. I did still manage to leave the game a small winner, but the game was slow that I could not take it anymore and quit the game after five hours. The game was moving just to slow since we were playing nine handed and it felt too small, even though $2k-4k is a big game.

The Bellagio was getting pretty busy while I was playing the other night. This is a great sign, hopefully when the tournament rolls around, the stakes are bigger are more players are in town. I have talked a few times with Brian Townsend, Guy, and Bobby Baldwin about getting the $1k-2k NL and PLO game going again during December. I will play the Main Event in the upcoming WPT Five Diamonds, which brings back a lot of great memories and a few sour ones too.

On the way from the poker room to the valet pick up, I managed to take the long route so I could stop by the blackjack tables and hopefully win some money or break even while building up some comps for the Holiday season. I lost a little and when I finally got to my car I was a small winner on the whole poker, BJ trip. Maya on the other hand who came with me, hit two jackpots on the slot machines while I was playing poker and made more money than I did. She is a lifetime winner at slots and if poker does not work out, I might have to stay home with Mila and let Maya play high limit slots all day and support the family.

Online poker has been a roller coaster still, but the past few days have been profitable and on a little hot streak. I have been sitting at Martins Poker waiting for opponents, but no one has sat down. Actually, I forgot to stand up and leave the tables the other day and while I was in the shower, someone sat down and stole my blinds on three tables. That added up to 900 Euros, so I was not too happy about that, but I will get it back, someday.

Mila is starting to crawl and it is so fun to watch her grow each day. It is amazing how fast it all goes. She will be going off to school before I know it. Maya's family is visiting, her Mother just flew in from Israel and her brother from LA with his new Fiance. We are having a Thanksgiving feast today, my first Thanksgiving ever, and with our nanny cooking, it is going to be great I am sure.

I am off to the Bellagio, I just got a call that there is going to be a $3k-6k game and it is shorthanded. Wish me luck and I will let you know how it goes soon.

Good luck at the tables


13 November 2007

Roller Coaster Cash Games and an Online Final Table

What a few days. The action on Full Tilt has been incredible the past week.
I wish I could tell you that I have been winning everyday; instead I have been
on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. The first day the action was crazy,
I had one of my all time great days. Unfortunately the next three days no
matter how good my cards were, Full Tilt found a way to make me lose.

Last night was the icing on the cake. I played a marathon online session
and it was not looking good at all, but somehow, I grinded away and at
the end of the night had booked a win. It was a wild session with huge
swings up and down, Gus, Zigmund, and Kaibuxxe, were all gambling. I
played a little HORSE at the end of the night, but most of the session I was playing PLO.

The past few nights, Maya and my assistant have been playing
the FTOPS tournaments. It has been a lot of fun watching
them go deep and giving advice if they want it. Maya often wants
the advice, but when the advice does not suit her, applying the advice
is a different story. So the other night I decided to have a little competition
with them and see who could go the furthest. The tournament was a $200
PL Hold em event. It was only the second online tournament I have played this year, and I managed to make it to the final table.

I went into the final table with the chip lead, but it was not meant to be.
I got knocked out 5th which was still good for $14,000. Not bad for a
last second entry. On the way to the final table I played a big pot with
poker pro Chip Jett and knocked him out. For busting the Full Tilt pro,
I got a $200 bounty and a T-Shirt saying, "I knocked out Chip Jett."

Now for a gambling story on the golf course. I played a few days
ago with Jani (KObyTapOut) and I lost a little under $100,000.
Overall I am stuck a little over $100k in golf bets so far, and to be
honest I do not like being stuck. In the past when I get stuck at something,
it usually means I am going to put a lot of time into getting so good that
I can get even and make some good money. For now, I look at the loss
as a initiation to the golf gambling world. My swing under pressure is not the
same on the range, so once I can master that, I should be in great shape.
Golf is such a great game and I see why poker players love gambling on it.
I hope when its all said and done, I am the biggest golf better around.

Yesterday at the golf course, my thumb started to kill me. We had to cancel
our round and I just putted for a little while. I ran into Daniel, I
watched him hit a great chip shot on the 9th hole. It looks like all of
Daniels hard work on his short game is paying off.

My shoulder is starting to finally feel better, so I should get
back on the tennis court this week. I have only played two or three
times in the past two months, I need to get my game ready for Mr. Hansen.

I am getting excited for the upcoming WPT at the Bellagio. There are going
to be some huge cash games and I feel as ready as ever. All of the big
players in town will be ready to gamble in Bobbys Room. I really hope we can
play the uncapped NL and PLO game we played during the WSOP. The next
few days I might join Maya in some more online tournaments, so keep your eyes open.

Good luck at the tables


06 November 2007

Golfing in Monaco

I flew back to Monaco last week and I have been ordering all new
appliances and furnishings for my loft and have been spending a few days
getting everything set up. It is a great feeling being able to design
the loft just the way I want it and install all my favorite things.

My friends Mikko, Tommi, and Jani all flew into town and we golfed at
least 18 holes everyday, so it was a great time. I even I even decided that
I was ready to put some money down and start gambling on the golf course.

We showed up at the Monte Carlo Country Club the first day and Jani
said I would need two shots per hole because he was a 6-7 handicap. Jani did everything he could to make sure my first day gambling on golf was a good one. He had not played for a few months and was not able to play up to his standards. I booked a win and
what a great way to start my gambling golf career.

On the second day we changed course and played at the beautiful Four Seasons Resorts Provence at Terre Blanche. I played good enough to beat the rusty Jani. It was starting to feel like making money at golf was too easy.

On the third day we decided to mix it up and play a team competition.
I was partnered with Tommi and Jani played with Mikko. Mikko was driving the ball farther than I have ever seen. He carried their team as Janni was still not playing up to his potential. I was happy to play with Tommi since he was playing the best of all of us going into the day.

It was a very tight match coming down to the last hole. We got very unlucky
in the end and they ended up beating us. But we all had a great time
and I cannot wait for the next golf vacation. Maya and Mila spent some time in Hawaii this summer and Maya is still talking about how wonderful it was. I might take the family there for a week or two and enjoy Hawaii’s beautiful golf courses.

One thing that I cannot believe after watching the ESPN high stakes
golf is how all of the poker players bend the rules when they golf.
They use Vaseline on their clubs to keep the ball straight and other
tricks that are not legal. I want to learn real golf and will not bet
with those kinds of crazy tricks.

Enough about golf, onto poker, I was going to have a high stakes heads
up poker match in Amsterdam, but we are going to postpone it to a later
date. Every once in awhile I get offers to play in high stakes games
around the world.

I have been putting some time in online. My favorite poker room
Martins Poker just opened some high limit tables and I will be playing
there often. Lately I have been running very good at HORSE, I really
enjoy playing the different limit games. I do not have a ton of
experience at Stud or Stud 8 so it is great practice for me so when I
am playing these games in the Big Game against Barry, Chip, Phil, and Gus, I can make better decisions. No matter how good you get at poker, you can always improve and
practice and fine tune your game.

A few days ago I finally got the best out of my good friend Ziigmund in PLO. At the end of the session we even ran two flips and I won both of those. In limit Hold em,
Hoss_TBF and I have been battling like usual and lately he is getting
the best of me, but hopefully things turn around soon.

Mila turns six months in a few days and is getting cuter and cuter
each day. She is developing ahead of schedule and it is amazing to see it. She is growing
so fast and just started to sit up on her own. She is even recognizing our friends. I cannot wait for her first steps and her first words should be very soon.

On a funny note, I had a crazy dream a few nights ago where Maya got
3rd in the Main Event at the WSOP next year; we had a big argument
because I wanted all the money since I taught her everything she
knows. We had a good laugh about it at breakfast the next morning.

Good luck at the tables