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Lots Of Exciting Stuff

Posted by Leatherass

Well quite a few things to talk about this time. It’s been awhile since I blogged last, but now that I have a baby, when I am done playing for the day rather than sit at the computer and blog after I play, I just want to get home as fast as possible to see my baby girl. Anyway, enough with the excuses….

The last 36 hours I caught a massive, massive heater at the tables and I actually met my goal of making over $100,000 before the I leave for the WSOP!!! I ended up making about $104,000 overall. For those who aren’t aware, I made a goal of making $100,000 in May to take as my WSOP bankroll. I said I didn’t care how I made it, so I am counting bonuses and backing deals. Basically any poker related income. Well, I was at +$64,000 with only 4 days to go. I caught a nasty downswing right off the bat to drop over $11,000. But then I caught an amazing heater. I went on an over $30,000 tear the last 2 days AND to top it all off, I had a big piece of a buddy who did good in one of the big Sunday tournaments on Poker Stars and my share of the winnings brought it to over $100,000!! So I made it! Sure, I had a nice break with the tourney backing, but I also had a horrible run the first 2 weeks of May so all in all I am pretty pleased.

Tomorrow I am hoping in the car and driving with the family to play the World Series of Poker! Doesn’t get much more exciting than that. I get to play the entire WSOP with my family there. We are renting a house in Vegas for the month so I will have everyone there which is awesome. I am going to be giving TONS of updates while I play for anyone interested in following the action. I am going to play about a dozen tournaments throughout the month, and then play the main event before we head home. I am really excited because while I played the main event in 08′, I have been almost exclusively an online cash game pro. I am really hoping that my online success translates into live tournaments. I have been working on my tournament game quite a bit lately. I hope the work pays off and I win a bracelet while I am there. That would be sweet!

Since I have a budding publishing company, Imagine Media, that has gotten off to an amazingly good start with the success of Treat Your Poker Like A Business, I have rekindled my interests in reading. I used to read a lot, but haven’t as much in the past few years. But the past month alone I read 5 books. I went on and ordered a bunch of interesting poker books and I will have to say I have really loved all of them. I read Checking Raising the Devil which is basically Mike Matusow’s autobiography. It is a really fun read. That guy has had a hell of a life!! Let’s just say he is the antithesis of Treat Your Poker Like A Business, but he has done pretty darn well for himself so what do I know?

I also read Doyle Brunson’s autobiography and I really enjoyed that one as well. We have a number of parallel’s in our stories which is pretty cool. He told his story very well I would say it is a highly recommended read. In fact some will blow your mind. I honestly have no idea how he was able to stay alive with all that has happened to the man. Once you read his story, you will begin to understand why that man doesn’t fear a quarter million dollar check raise.

Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King was awesome as well. I really enjoyed that book as has about half of the poker population. I have come to understand that it is a very popular book that has had great acclaim. If you don’t have it, I’d recommend getting it. It is a great look into the lives of the poker greats as well as an inside look into the biggest poker game in history which took place at the Bellagio against Andy Beal. Very fun read.

I am almost through with Gus Hansen’s book. This is the best instructional book I have read in the last few years. I would highly recommend it for tournament players or even if you’re not one, it is still a worthwhile read. Gus can play some poker, that’s for sure.

Well that is all I have for now. I am going to get some sleep and then get ready for a long day leatherassing it in the car to Vegas. I will make a bunch of blogs posts about the WSOP and will give a link for live updates

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Grilled Cheese, Eh?

Posted by GiantBuddha

I just ate a grilled cheese sandwich for the third time in 15 years. The other two times were this past week in Toronto. The time before these three was over 15 years ago in Montreal. I'm not from Canada, but I guess it's kinda like the land of grilled cheese for me.

There was a big difference between the two Canadian grilled cheese sandwiches, though. The Montreal was a regular grilled cheese sandwich, eaten by a hungry vegetarian searching for protein options. The Toronto was a tapioca cheese sandwich, eaten by a gluttonous vegan at the 8th vegetarian restaurant of his week-long trip.

Soy cheese has come a long way in the past decade and a half. It went from practically non-existent in the nineties, to not very good in the noughties, to pretty good in the past couple of years. Now, it may be on its way out with the introduction of tapioca cheese.

There is a brand of soy cheese that melts (Vegan Gourmet), but there is no non-dairy alternative that compares to Daiya's tapioca cheese. It's the first vegan cheese that I would describe as awesome. I've frequently said that cheese is the only thing I miss as a vegan, particularly on pizza. Now there is nothing that I feel I'm missing out on. In fact, I enjoy tapioca cheese considerably more than I ever did traditional cheese, particularly after a decade plus of soy cheese.

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Junkies Poker Open Recap

Posted by zerosum79

The last week has been a bit manic so I didn't have a chance to blog about this sooner but last week I drove up to the Borgata for the Junkies Poker Open 8. Its a $260+40 MTT run at the Borgata in Atlantic City. With a fairly cheap buyin and big prize pool (I believe that 35-40 tables started) it was looking like a very nice payday.

I got really excited about this because the tourney is sponsored by a local DC sports radio show which I have listened to for over 15 years called The Sports Junkies. They are a bunch of local MD guys who started out on public access and hit the big time. My birthday was on the 16th so a trip up on the 20th seemed justified. To top it all off I have been really meaning to start giving some action back to the Borgata since they are starting to give away poker room rates again for play. However, most times I can get up there I just stay at Harrah's since they have always been good to me and usually hook me up with free rooms. In my mind the main problem with Harrah's is that I love the poker room, but the games there suck, and I love video poker but they only have like 3 9/6 JoB machines in the whole stinking place. Contrast that with the Borg which has great live poker action and an entire bar full of 9/6 JoB machines where you can get instant drink service (plus tons more on the floor) and there is really no comparison. Plus as I remembered the Borgata hotel rooms are unbeatable.

Ive been trying very hard not to take time off work because my wife and I have a few very long trips planned later in the year. I also had major deadlines at work so I worked all Sunday (my actual birthday) and by Wednesday evening I had 40+hours logged for the week already.

Wednesday night I threw everything in a bag including work clothes for Friday and headed up to Atlantic city. I was feeling very positive about the trip. I have not played a ton of live MTT's but I am pretty confidant about my understanding of proper play as these things tend to play pretty similar to a large MTT SNG online. I got a surprise from Hunter in the mail on Monday and inside was a Drag the Bar baseball cap and some large DTB patches. They are pretty sweet looking and if I can later tonight I will post a pic of them. Not surprising since everything Hunter does for this site seems top notch all the way.

So I am driving up to the Borg with my DTB hat on and just really pumped up and positive about the poker open. I get there and get my room. 29th floor with a good view of the water. The rooms all have an amazing shower and bathroom and as always the Borgata bed is extremely comfortable.

I headed down to the poker room and played 2h of NL 1/2 running so/so and ending up about $100 ahead. Not bad, but I want to be up early to watch the Junkies broadcast live and also make sure I am not a zombie for the tournament. I decide to bag it it at midnight.

Day 2: MTT and Cash
The MTT was not a fantastic success. I played pretty well for the majority of the tournament but I did have one or two errors. I overbet when raising a pot with KK based on the previous pot's prf and before I realized it and got no action. I also made a small error (stupid live action) where I forgot to announce raise and threw a big chip into the pot with AQs from early position. Of course I got 5 callers once the dealer announced it was a call.

I dropped a few chips early on and was joking with the guy next to me about how the guy who didn't show up and was getting blinded off was outplaying me with his ultratight strategy. Finally I shove about 5BB from the button with a junk hand and double through the big stack at the table.

I then resteal from him with AQ and double again so that I have about 30K chips with the blinds at BB=1600 antes =300. 9 handed this equates to 1600+6*300 => BB = 3400. With just under 10BB I look down UTG to see TT and I shove. BB who I have been chatting it up with says sorry, I have to call and flips AKo. We race and he wins crippling me. Next hand is the BB where I call all in and after the cards come down I check my cards finding that indeed I do not have the winning hand. 4h to the minute, my MTT is over. GG NH WTF, I thought I was going to win this one.

I headed downstairs for a little sushi then back to my hotel room for a little shuteye but couldn't sleep. I figured if I slept, I could play later when the games were better and still be up early the next morning. Unfortunately with a casino 29 floors below me calling my name I could not sleep and I threw my DTB hat back on and headed to the cash tables.

I played till 6:30pm at a fun table right in front of the cashier. A reg sitting directly to my right tells me that the actions at those tables are always good. Sometimes 2-5 and 5-10 guys who have taken a beating head for the cashier and then decide to slum it at those tables instead. I get the feeling that he is talking about himself. The table is full of terrible players and within a few hours I am up +$300. Tourney loss covered.

I decide to head to Harrah's for a nice dinner and to burn off some comps. I choose the steak house for a nice prime rib dinner. It was pretty much the best prime rib I have ever eaten. They slow roast it for 8h and it was very very tender. My wife who is home dieting is very jealous but eating alone kinda sucks so I ate fast and headed back to Borgata feeling full and ready to play.

I hit another Borgata table and realize that this place is really poker heaven for AC. Every table is good. Maybe its all the busted out tourney donks but the games mid week were fantastic. I am chatting it up with a guy with no front teeth and raking pots. Mostly even the guys at the table I was nervous about are not playing that well and I am really having to open up my river standards based on the garbage people were willing to show down for 2-3 bets post flop. Valuetown.

I witnessed an Asian lady put the worst burn on the guy with no teeth ever. I don't think she realized how rude it was, since she seemed nice overall. On the flop they both get all in for like $60. Asian lady has been know to show down middle and low pair type hands. Toothless flips KJo and Asian lady flips cards showing a 4 for a pair. The turn and river come out and toothless smiles thinking he is going to drag the pot with top pair. Asian lady slides the 4 off to the side revealing a 3rd 4 and just smiles. Toothless is not happy but at least I don't have to look at his crazy teeth. Later on toothless convinced me to drink the most dreadful drink called an orange julius. Its like a orange creamsicle taste but it was so sweet it was nauseating.

Again as we approached midnight I decide that having to get up at 6am to drive back for work means I should probably crash. I end up +$700 in cash games for the trip. I associate my incredible good fortune 100% to the DTB hat which will now become a staple of any live outing in the future. My cash win paid the cost of the tourney as well as my associated expenses etc. Its a wash but I had a great time and racked up a bunch of hours so that next time maybe I can play the Borg rather than Harrah's.


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First Blog: I tilted someone

Posted by Rakes

Hey Guys this is my very first blog. I figured I'd start off with something happy, a pretty awesome thing happened to me today. I beat some asshole at hu sngs cuz he was talking trash must of the match.

It often went something like this:
him: ur so bad. you are the largest donk in the world
me: lololooolol
him: die you little nobody
me: loloolloololool nice call with Q high
him: ahhhhhhhhhhh dsjfkalshflasdkfhasdljkf

lol. the best part was I tilted him so hard he started getting it in with K6o, J7o, and random junk. I think I took about 7 buyins off him or so, felt awesome.

PokerStars Game #44610677677: Tournament #276481905, $55.00+$2.50 USD Hold'em No Limit - Match Round I, Level II (15/30) - 2010/05/25 14:17:16 PT [2010/05/25 17:17:16 ET]
Table '276481905 1' 2-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: TeamSquirtle (2005 in chips)
Seat 2: nextlevelPPP (995 in chips)
TeamSquirtle: posts small blind 15
nextlevelPPP: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TeamSquirtle [Jh 9h]
TeamSquirtle: raises 30 to 60
nextlevelPPP: raises 90 to 150
TeamSquirtle: raises 1855 to 2005 and is all-in
nextlevelPPP: calls 845 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (1010) returned to TeamSquirtle
*** FLOP *** [4d Ks 6c]
nextlevelPPP said, "aaaaaaaaaaaaa"
*** TURN *** [4d Ks 6c] [5s]
nextlevelPPP said, "aaaaaaaaaaaajhahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
*** RIVER *** [4d Ks 6c 5s] [Qh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
nextlevelPPP: shows [7s Jc] (high card King)
TeamSquirtle: shows [Jh 9h] (high card King - Queen+Jack+Nine kicker)
TeamSquirtle collected 1990 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1990 | Rake 0
Board [4d Ks 6c 5s Qh]
Seat 1: TeamSquirtle (button) (small blind) showed [Jh 9h] and won (1990) with high card King
Seat 2: nextlevelPPP (big blind) showed [7s Jc] and lost with high card King

PokerStars Game #44610710878: Tournament #276484328, $55.00+$2.50 USD Hold'em No Limit - Match Round I, Level I (10/20) - 2010/05/25 14:17:55 PT [2010/05/25 17:17:55 ET]
Table '276484328 1' 2-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: TeamSquirtle (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: nextlevelPPP (1500 in chips)
TeamSquirtle: posts small blind 10
nextlevelPPP: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TeamSquirtle [2h Ac]
nextlevelPPP said, "die u lil nobody"
TeamSquirtle: raises 20 to 40
nextlevelPPP: raises 100 to 140
TeamSquirtle: raises 1360 to 1500 and is all-in
nextlevelPPP: calls 1360 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [4d 7d 8s]
*** TURN *** [4d 7d 8s] [Qd]
*** RIVER *** [4d 7d 8s Qd] [As]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
nextlevelPPP: shows [6s Kd] (high card Ace)
TeamSquirtle: shows [2h Ac] (a pair of Aces)
TeamSquirtle collected 3000 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3000 | Rake 0
Board [4d 7d 8s Qd As]
Seat 1: TeamSquirtle (button) (small blind) showed [2h Ac] and won (3000) with a pair of Aces
Seat 2: nextlevelPPP (big blind) showed [6s Kd] and lost with high card Ace

PokerStars Game #44610791005: Tournament #276484602, $55.00+$2.50 USD Hold'em No Limit - Match Round I, Level I (10/20) - 2010/05/25 14:19:30 PT [2010/05/25 17:19:30 ET]
Table '276484602 1' 2-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: nextlevelPPP (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: TeamSquirtle (1500 in chips)
nextlevelPPP: posts small blind 10
TeamSquirtle: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TeamSquirtle [8d 8s]
nextlevelPPP: raises 40 to 60
TeamSquirtle: raises 1440 to 1500 and is all-in
nextlevelPPP: calls 1440 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Js 9s Ts]
*** TURN *** [Js 9s Ts] [7s]
*** RIVER *** [Js 9s Ts 7s] [8c]
TeamSquirtle said, "looolol"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
TeamSquirtle: shows [8d 8s] (a straight flush, Seven to Jack)
nextlevelPPP: shows [Kc 8h] (a straight, Seven to Jack)
TeamSquirtle said, "lollooololol"
TeamSquirtle collected 3000 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3000 | Rake 0
Board [Js 9s Ts 7s 8c]
Seat 1: nextlevelPPP (button) (small blind) showed [Kc 8h] and lost with a straight, Seven to Jack
Seat 2: TeamSquirtle (big blind) showed [8d 8s] and won (3000) with a straight flush, Seven to Jack

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Can running good be bad for you?

Posted by Matt Bolt

Despite my running good lately, my motivation level is wavering. Does that sound crazy to you? To me, it describes 99 percent of poker players out there. The temptation to quit while you’re ahead is a trap that I struggle against nearly every day.

The funny thing about poker is that all of man’s natural instincts towards the game — namely, that we’re tempted to quit when we’re ahead — are totally wrong. When I began my poker career, complacency would set in when I was running well. When I was making 10 cents a hand, I’d grind out 200,000 hands. But when I was making $1 a hand, it was easier for me to slip.

This mentality isn’t uncommon amongst new players, which is why almost no one is naturally good at poker. The brain wants us to quit when we’re ahead. We like the feeling of being up money and booking the win. Conversely, when you’re losing, you tilt and you play worse and worse, rather than better. You refuse to quit because you want to win back what you’ve lost earlier that day. These long sessions tend to be the ones where people lose the most. Nobody wants to quit when they’re stuck. They only want to quit when they’re ahead. This applies to 99 percent of poker players.

This mentality makes no sense. When you’re running well, you’re at your best. Something is going right for you. You might be thinking well; your instincts are right; you might just be running good — whatever the case, these are the times you should keep playing.

I’ve worked with mental-game coach Jared Tendler on improving my natural upside-down thinking, and it’s helped a lot (though I’m far from perfect). My natural instincts tell me that if I play two hours and make $10,000, it’s a good day’s work and I should call it quits. But I’ve learned to stay in the chair so I can continue to ride whatever wave I’m on. I’m getting better, but I’m not totally fixed yet.

My dad, who is a low-stakes player, is totally indicative of a player’s backwards mentality toward the game. He plays 10 NL an average of 200 hands a night. I’ll look at his graph and see that in one session, he played 800 hands and lost $40, while in another he won $7 and quit after 18 hands. What he doesn’t understand is it’s a game of the long run. What you win or lose today is part of a continuum; your career is just one long session.

My dad, who is a good player, has a hard time wrapping his head around this. When he wins, it’s skill. When he goes on a downswing, he thinks the games are rigged. “They have to feed the fish,” he says.

Then I ask him, “So what’s happening when you’re winning? Are they feeding you? And what’s the deal with guys like me and Dusty – are we just the two most blessed guys on PokerStars?”

When people are losing, their reasoning abilities go right out the window along with their cash. Show me somebody who says poker is a game of luck, and I’ll ask that person to explain Nanonoko’s graph to me. That’s the most solid proof out there of poker being a skill game.

As for me, I’m back in the black for the year, which is pretty good given that I was down six figures after March 1. Even given what I just explained, I still experienced variance so bad that I struggled to comprehend it. I ran so ungodly bad for the first 2½ months of the year it was ridiculous. I’m proud that I stuck with it and worked hard. You can learn a thing or two during a downswing …

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Is Now The Time For You To Lay It All On The Line?

Posted by Leatherass

In my book, Treat Your Poker Like A Business, I was extremely adamant about poker players treating their poker games much in the same way an intelligent business person
would treat any other business. I talked a lot about viewing your bankroll as working capital, creating expectations similar to any other business in the sense that you probably won’t make a ton of money from day 1 and essentially teaching people to create a situation for themselves with poker that allows them to treat their poker game the way a true professional would. But today I was talking with a poker friend and had some thoughts that counter some of the advice I preached so adamantly in my book. So I thought I would share it with you all.

One of the big things that I stressed as being important in my book was for people to be somewhat cautious when it comes to starting poker as a career in the first place. I advised people to transition into poker after setting aside a significant amount of living expenses and sent an overall message of caution and playing it safe. A lot of why I said that in my book was so I wouldn’t have any guilt if a father of 5 read my book and became inspired to tell his boss to **** off and chase his dream of becoming a poker pro, possibly jeopardizing the welfare of his entire family. I am not sure I can even have that kind of impact on someone, but I wasn’t going to take any chances.

For those who know nothing about how I came to being a poker pro, I was down to my last $1,000 with $1,500 in bills due at the end of the month. If I couldn’t come up with the money, homelessness, or at the very least some kind of terrible situation, was just weeks away. So I put my last $1,000 online, chased bonuses around the various poker rooms and 400 hours of poker later, I had $8,000 to my name at the end of the month and paid my bills. The rest as one might say, is history.

While I don’t think I can in good conscience tell someone to quit their job and just “go for it,” leaving their future up to their skills at the tables, I’m starting to wonder, can I? Stay with me here a second while I explain. While I can say for absolute certainty the husband/father trying to make ends meet should never do something like what I did, it may not be such a bad idea for a kid with a strong work ethic and a dream. Because the thing is, if you don’t go after your dreams now, I think it is likely you will never get a true second chance at them ever again as responsibilities pile on in your life. Because not only might this be your only chance, it may be the only time you will ever have that fire up your ass to ever do something like that again. Now that I have a perspective of being a husband and a father, as well as someone who has a reasonably substantial amount of money and resources, it is not always easy to pursue something the same way you would if you were just a broke kid with a dream.

There is something about being broke and having a dream that will allow you to pursue what you are dreaming of with the intensity it really takes to conquer something as difficult as being a poker pro. When you have a nice family life and a decent 401k, there just isn’t that same intensity or urgency to conquer things like there is when you are young, broke (more important than being young is being broke) and hungry. In
fact I think being broke is such a critical element of being a poker pro that I wonder how many of us poker pros have become successful AFTER achieving some reasonable amount of financial freedom in another career? When you have that nestegg, it is easy to skip a few days, take time away and do something else, not be too worried if you don’t progress rapidly and/or just kind of not fight for it with that same passion you might
if you had it all on the line.

Two powerful quotes come to mind come from two people I admire who could not be more different. Eminem said in his song “Lose Yourself,” that “Success is my only mother****ing option, failure’s not.” My golf hero, the legendary Ben Hogan, said, “My family wasn’t rich, they were poor. I feel sorry for rich kids now. I really do. Because they are never going to have the opportunity I had. Because I knew tough things and I had a tough day ALL MY LIFE. And I can handle tough things. They can’t. And every day that I progressed was a joy to me. And I recognized it every day.”

As much as I draw inspiration from what Eminem said, there is nothing that compares to what Mr. Hogan said, to me anyway. When I watch that interview where he offered that quote, it sends chills down my spine. In my opinion, Hogan is right. There is no sweeter joy that I have ever experienced in my life than the joy I felt when I had truly made it in poker, knowing full well what is was like to be poor and stare death in the face when I was lying in that hospital bed after the heart attack I had at the age of 23. In some strange way, I will never be more grateful for anything than having been dirt poor and having a near death experience at such a young age.

So what does this all mean? Well, I am not entirely sure to be honest. But what I do know is that life can be short and life can be cruel. But the more you put yourself out there, the more you just don’t give a **** what anyone else says and you pursue your dreams with all of your heart, the better the chances are that you will lead the life you have always dreamed about. And as much as I try to treat my poker like a business, ironically enough, it was NOT treating poker like a business that got me my start in poker.

So with that in mind, unless it is too stupid of a life decision because of your circumstances, I say go for it, if anyone is asking me. If someone 24 years old with minimal expenses wants to put some money away and chase their dreams in poker, I would tell them to go for it. And I say that not because I think each and every one of them will go on to make millions of dollars at the felt, but rather because even failures can be a great lesson. I chased golf for 15 years each and every day. Ultimately, I failed. I have had some business ventures that failed too. But everything I failed at taught me the lessons that have allowed me to succeed at poker and in other business ventures. So sometimes, even when you lose, you win. Life is dynamic. You can not approach the idea of failure in a bubble. Things you fail at today may be things that are the reason for your successes tomorrow. There are stacks of books a mile high of successful people who have told their stories of how they got to where they were today. Some of them are from people who got a degree, stayed patient and did it the “right way” (whatever that means). But I would be willing to wager that most of those books were written by people who took chances and weren’t afraid to fail.

So from the guy who wrote 204 pages on treating your poker like a business, for whatever it’s worth, you have my stamp of approval to take some chances in life and be willing to risk looking like an idiot, or a genius.

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Peeking in the Mid-Stakes Again

Posted by QTip

What’s up DTB brothers and sisters! It’s been quite a while since I blogged because life has kept me pretty busy. Life with 3 toddlers, a wife, working with DTB, playing cards, and other hobbies keeps me on my toes. I’ve been working on getting my life organized again. I’ve been exercising and managing my time more effectively that past couple weeks. Things were getting a bit out of control. Along with that, I’ve been starting to dip back into the 2/4 and 3/6 games. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play those. The last time I was rolled for it, my roof ended up needing replaced and so did our 2nd vehicle. So, I had to kiss 60 buyins goodbye in a day. That’s been the toughest part being a pro and the sole income for a family of 5. Things just happen…all the time, and you just can’t afford to be too aggressive with your bankroll.

However, my results at 400 have been very strong so far. This is the 185k hands I have in there so far. This is mostly all poker stars and half FR and half 6max.

So, I can’t complain about that. Hopefully this visit to the mid stakes will go as well as before. Most of this year, I’ve really just been messing with Rush poker. I’ve been playing $1/$2 NLHE FR there. I’ve got bout 80k hands in of that at like 6.6 bb/100. Meanwhile, I’ve lost all my status over at PokerStars, so that’s sort of a bummer. I’ve also been playing a bit over at BCP, and want to do some more of that.

But, that’s been poker for me lately. In terms of my video making, here’s the update.

Poker by Number: This series has a long way to go, and I’m happy I’m starting to reach a more intermediate level in this series. I’ve received a lot of good feedback on this series, so that’s exciting.

NLHE Starter Kit: This is going to be about an 8 part series, and is designed for the absolute beginner. I have part 3 done, but I’m trying to find a good time to insert it in the lobby. I want to make sure I get enough material in there for the more advanced players.

Fancying Full Ring: This is the title I’ve given to the micro FR series I’m doing. I’m doing 3 videos at each stake moving up from 10NL. I have 2 more 25nl vids to release before I move up to 50NL.

NLHE Treasure Chest: I have one I’m getting ready to release called “Stomping Shorties”. I think many will find that helpful. I’m also working on another one for thoughts on SPR. This should be a really cool series when I’m done with it…whenever that is.

Headstrong: This series will probably never end. I’ve got about 7 more vids in mind for it already. As always, it’s just a matter of finding a time to insert these into the lobby. Lesson videos take a long time to make.

I have a new series I want to start before too long called “FYI”. This series will be focusing on developing assumptions about players and classifying them. of the 2 keys to good poker. I also have another one I want to start that should be really creative. Oh…and don’t forget about the DTB Challenge! You can find a link about that at the top of the forum. I think you’ll enjoy that and you can win a DTB hat…the first run of them we have!

Anyway, that’s the poker update from me. I’ll catch you all in the forums.



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Part 2: Brother’s Graduation / Unreal Travel Variance

Posted by Hunter Bick

So we get to bed around 4 or 5, only to get up at 7:00 so he can go pick up his cap and gown and all that. We both feel like death so we got dressed in like ten minutes, he put a suit on which I'm sure he regretted once he got out into the 95 degree sun. We ran to McDonalds breakfast, I got some coffee, the standard mcmuffin and B, E, & C biscuit, and for some inexplicable reason, my brother orders the "Deluxe Parfait." Its this yogurt and granola thing that doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the breakfast lineup, which means I'm not getting it. Plus, since when does yogurt make you feel better after drinking? Reminded of when a buddy of mine got "The Big Fish Sandwich" at the Burger King drive-in coming home the next day from a New Years eve party while home from college.

We get to campus, he gets his cap and gown and I go find my family in this sea of about 15,000 people, they found a good spot under a tree in the shade, so the 95 degree heat was bearable. There was hahaa lot of bottled water floating around, so that helped, but I still felt like we could possibly see the egg mcmuffin again. Fortunately I kept it together, although my brother, as I found out later, was much less fortunate with his parfait. I then noticed some woman wearing a set of ear rings where the left was a little diploma, and the right was a little tassle, and laughed for about 20 minutes at her expense. I had to wonder how long she'd had those bad boys in the holster.

Then the ceremony starts, the Chancellor gave a mediocre speech for 15 minutes, then they started going through the various graduating classes, you know, the Bachelor of Arts, sciences, Accounting School, etc. Ironically, in his speech the Chancellor used the word "Tedious" not once, but twice. They start reading names, then it dawns on me that they are going to read every single graduating name, and each kid had to walk across the stage. There were over 1,600 kids graduating. SIXTEEN HUNDRED NAMES! I seriously couldn't believe it, it was every bit as brutal and yes, wait for it, tedious, as it sounds, and it took well over 3 hours. But hey, at least I wasn't in the cap and gown, in direct sunlight, with zero access to water like all the graduates were. Way to work that one through Vanderbilt, your students are graduating and you have them baking in black cloth in direct 95 degree sunlight for 4 hours, and you make no effort to get them water. Nothing says "Thanks for the memories, not get the **** out of here" quite like that little sendoff. I'm surprised no one passed out, maybe they did but no one noticed because they just kept reading the names.

We went out to lunch, but neither my brother nor I could eat much, its a good thing he ordered a full rack of ribs that pretty much went straight to the to-go container. Then we went back to his place and crashed immediately, so I said alright I might as well just get to the airport so I can return the Yaris and get home for some much needed sleep. So I said goodbye to my brother and rolled out.

While I'm driving to the airport it starts thunder storming, complete with lightning, and I can't help but remember I have to connect in Memphis. It appears to clear up as we're boarding the plane, we get on and head to the runway and things look good. Then the captain gets on the horn and explains that we're at the back of the line for takeoff because planes are late leaving because of the weather. After 30 minutes, we're informed that we have to head back to the gate for more gas, because planes are holding over Memphis because of too much weather-related traffic. As we pull up to the gate, it starts lightning again, and understandably its not very intelligent to gas up an airplane during an electrical storm. We even de-planed and chilled by the gate for a little while during this.

By the time we land in Memphis, I'm not optimistic about my chances. While we're taxing I decide to use my 7 minutes of iphone juice to check my next flight's status, and sure enough it says "in flight," ****. Then the woman next to me, who was very pleasant btw, says she lived in Memphis for a year and doubts there are any hotels available because of "Memphis-Fest." I say "what's that" almost dreading the answer. Apparently its a whisky & BBQ festival that is a big enough deal that people drive from all over to take part. Sure enough, she was right on the money and there were no hotel rooms, nor were there any flights out, and Delta's next flight to Charlotte was at 8:30, the NEXT NIGHT. No way in hell was I going to sit there for 23 hours. I found an outlet and called my wife (at this point the charging cord was always in pocket with the phone), and she did some fast research and found 2 flights on USAIR and United for 8am the next morning, direct flights thankfully.

Next up, I had to get on one of these, and that took almost 3 hours. I asked 2 people who said it wasn't possible, then another who said it was possible, but I needed to call the courtesy phone to Delta's national phone support. I waited 50 minutes on hold, finally got someone who said she had to check with her supervisor, which took another 20 minutes. Then she says she can't do it, that I need to speak to a Delta Supervisor in person at the airport. Now its really late, around 10:30, and I'm worried there aren't any around. Thankfully there's one left, Lekeila, and I found her and told her my story about what the phone person said about not being able to move me to another airline. Lekeila shakes her head and goes "Emmmmmm Hmmmmm, she lied to yooouuuuuu."

Nice, great to hear. I spent over an hour on the phone and the person who's job it is to help me, didn't feel like it. I'm starting to see a pattern at Delta between her and the pilot from the day before. Anyway, Lekeila is an ass-kicker and the most helpful Delta person I encountered on the entire trip, I guess that's why she's a supervisor, I told her that and thanked her profusely. Seems to me that she should be running the company. So she spends 20 minutes on the computer and gives me very good directions on what I need to do next, and I have a ticket for the USAIR flight at 8am, ship it.

Now, I have to find a place to crash in this airport, and of course, you can't spend the night by the gates behind security where there's carpet, you have to be in front of security by the check in desks, where there is tile. Amazingly, this airport had a room full of air mattresses they were blowing up for people, along with blankets. There were about a hundred people in this situation, so there mattresses everywhere, usually clustered around the power outlets. I went up on the balcony and found an isolated spot where I probably wasn't going to get robbed, and I had my own outlet (which is key so I could make phone calls) and tried to get comfortable. I called my wife and we talked for a while and I gave her all the updates. Then I pulled out the ipad and watched "The Color of Money" which I had on there, such a great gambling movie. I'm so exhausted at this point I can barely think straight, I only had 2 hours of sleep the night before and now I'm at the point where I'm trying to just do one thing at a time and not forget my bag somewhere. I do manage to crash for a couple hours, but its not exactly the most relaxing sleep when every time you shift or wake up, you have to feel to see if your stuff is still there. Plus the automated intercom announcements don't shut off at night.

Thankfully, there were no more issues, I was up at 5:30 when the airport got noisy, I packed up my **** and returned the air mattress, went through security chilled by the gate for 2 hours. I got home at about 11am Charlotte time, took a shower (I hadn't showered since before I left town, nor had I slept for more than 5 hours) and crashed for 5 or 6 hours. That night I slept for 10 more and was still useless the next day.

So yeah, pretty hilarious that a 1 day trip could have so much bad travel variance, but the actual time in Nashville was great and I think next time (a buddy is getting married there in August) I'll just suck it up and drive the 6 hours each way, actually no, that probably won't happen, I'll just be sure to book a couple months out so I can have a direct flight, and it won't be on Delta.

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Going back to what I’m good at….

Posted by BadMoles

So I posted in my introduction thread ( ) that I joined the site with the aim of improving my cash game - which is not my strong point.

However after receiving Collin Moshmans SNG book for my birthday two weeks ago I've decided to go back to playing the format of poker that I seem to have the best results at - the humble STT.

I loaded $50 into my FTP account last night and have sat down today to play a few $5+$0.50 games.

So far today I've played 3 STTs and placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I'm in a fourth now and looking good for another cash.

My aim is to build my bankroll whilst improving my STT gameplay as I sometimes find that the games I go on to win often go on for FAR too long - slows up on the bubble and my mid blind and high blind play is not aggressive enough.

Also I must avoid the cash tables as this is where I lose money - if I want a quick and dirty game (or don't have time for a full STT) I have enough poker simulators on my PC, iPhone and PSP.... :)

Wish me luck!

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Brother’s Graduation / Unreal Travel Variance Part 1

Posted by Hunter Bick

My brother graduated from Vanderbilt on Friday, so I went down Thursday for the dinner and so he, our sister and I could do a little celebrating that night. I decided to just fly instead of making the 450 mile drive partly because part of that drive is pretty mountainous and dangerous, I had those fainting spells last fall, and didn't really want to do it by myself. Its also a pain, 6 hours in the car is a long time. Anyway, so I decided to fly, but the direct flight was going to cost $900 for some absurd reason, so I settled with the connecting flight for $450.

Alright so I get to the airport, get on the plane for the 11 o'clock takeoff, and then there's a problem with the ice sensor on one of the wings. I'm all for safety, so I have no problem with them spending 90 minutes getting the part, replacing it, and testing it. Except for the fact that it will be very close with my connecting flight in Cincinnati. At least I'm sitting next to a very smart guy who's got his own sports marketing research firm in Charlotte, and we had a good time talking about each others' business and laughing about various athletes' extravagance, so the delay wasn't a big deal except for the whole connecting thing.

We land in Cincinnati 5 minutes after my connecting flight was supposed to have taken off, its one of those little planes so I have to wait for my carry on to be brought up, then I check the gate, and its at the other end of the terminal. For those that haven't been to this airport, its one huge long terminal, with a concave roof like a football stadium, and you can see from one end to the other. So I sprint like 400 yards with my bag, and I get to the gate and fist pump because the plane is still there, and its door is open.

Then I notice the door leading to the plane is closed, which apparently is a big ****ing deal, I ask a guy at another counter and he just says "yeah sorry, once we close that door, that's it." Well considering the plane is still at the gate with its door open, I'm not buying that nothing can be done, so I find someone else and explain the situation. Besides, there are 2 other people trying to get on this plane, and its another small one that only holds about 50 people. So this guy is much cooler, and volunteers to go explain things to the pilot and see what he can do. He comes back up and says "Yeah sorry, the pilot's not letting anyone else on, he's already started the paperwork."

You have got to be kidding me. I understand that they have to calculate the plane's weight, and do some pre-flight stuff, and they'd have to redo that when more people and bags get on board. However, there were 3 of us, and this is a freaking SERVICE company, how can you just totally screw 3 people who are trying to get where they need to be, because you don't want to spend 10 extra minutes redoing some paper work. Its not like the plane is waiting in line to take off, its door is still open. So we all miss the flight because this asshole won't budge and prevent our travels from being ruined. Naturally, the next Delta flight to Nashville is 9am the next morning, when Vandy's graduation starts, not exactly an option.

This is a good time to point out my ridiculous cell-phone situation which plagued me throughout the trip. I've got an iphone like everyone else and I've basically used it like crazy, so the battery only holds a charge for about 20 minutes on standby, or for about 7 minutes of talk time or internet time. In other words, I have to have it plugged in to even make a call. So I get out the charging cable and find an outlet at ear-height next to a bank of payphones (the irony of that scene did not go unnoticed) and start calling my wife and my family to update them. My wife checked out the other airlines for flights to Nashville, and there was nothing that could get me there faster than if I just drove the 280 miles.

With that, I have to find a rental car, but first I have to buy an iphone car charger at an airport store and I scored one at one of those dvd places, then I hit up Sbarro, then Starbucks, and then went down to the rental car offices. It turns out all these offices were not connected to the baggage claim like most airports, you have to get on a shuttle for each one. There's an Enterprise shuttle waiting outside, so I get on that because its the first one there and I need to get on the road so I can still make the graduation dinner.

As it turns out, Enterprise wouldn't rent me a car to drive to Nashville. "We're not really set up for that," I was told. Whatever that means, haha, its not like they are in the business of renting cars for transportation purposes or anything. So I have to get a ride back to the terminal, and this time I use the courtesy phones and a couple places will rent me one, but "compact cars only" for Nashville. So while I'm on the shuttle dreading to see what Hertz considers to be a compact car, we pull up and there's a new Camaro parked in front of the office. I head in there, praying they will rent me something that can behave itself at 90 MPH for 3 hours and not be all over the road. I fill out the info and then we get to the car options: A Chevy Cobalt or a Toyota Yaris. Now I had no idea wtf a Yaris is, but I have rented a Cobalt before, and let's just say I was underwhelmed at its highway abilities. So after desperately trying and failing to convince this woman to rent me the Camaro or at least something bigger than a cobalt, I rolled the dice on the Yaris.

I get into the Yaris and take off. Ironically, the Yaris had an Aux input for my iphone or ipad, and the dvd store back at the airport probably sold the cord I needed, but sadly the thought of the rental car having an ipod hookup did not even cross my mind. So at first I just cranked up the ipad's speaker, which is surprisingly loud btw, but then just said screw it and put the white apple headphones instead, I was on the phone half the time anyway. All in all the drive went by pretty smoothly. Oh, and while the Yaris isn't exactly a BMW at 90 MPH, it's got the edge over the Cobalt for sure, so I made the right choice there.

Pulling into the restaurant's parking lot just in time for dinner, I threw on a fresh shirt and went in, it was a banquet style dinner for my brother's entire fraternity class where each family had a table. It was a good time, I got to meet a bunch of my brother's friends I've heard about, and after a drink and some water the stress of the day of travel started to fade. Although I was still irritated at myself for not just driving myself directly from Charlotte, that would have cut have cut the travel time in half, ironically.

After dinner I went back to my brother's place, and it was about what you'd expect from 4 22-year old dudes about to graduate college. We chilled for a while and had a couple drinks before calling a cab to pick up my sister from her hotel and the three of us and my brother's friends went to downtown Nashville to hit a few bars. Its a nice scene, even though I can't stand country music, we weren't actually inundated with it since there was a lot of indie rock to go around. The one band that was just too country for me kept playing songs where I was literally the only person there who had not only hadn't heard the song before, but was the only one without my hand in the air singing along.

My brother told me to join in, and I said that would happen when they played some Guns N' Roses, which he laughed at and said don't get your hopes up. However, just 2 songs later, they closed out their set with a really good cover of "Sweet Child," and that was adequate redemption as far as I was concerned. The timing of it was hysterical though, given the chat we'd just had. After the bars closed we went back to his fraternity house and hung out for a little while with some more of his friends, all in all, he was a good host and showed us an awesome time, and it was cool to get a glimpse of his college experience.

Part 2 coming in a couple days.

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Sunglasses, An Online Player’s Perspective

Posted by Leatherass

Well, since it seems like debating about sunglasses in poker is all the rage and I rarely pass on my chance to toss in my 2 cents on just about anything, I figure I will give an online poker player's point of view. What strikes me as funny about the whole sunglasses debate is that it seems quite obvious that those who read people really well are going to be inclined to want sunglasses gone, and those who are more afraid that they are being read more often than they are reading someone else, want to keep their shades.

Being around poker and poker players for the last half decade now, one thing has become quite obvious. Poker players want what is best for themselves. Whether they are on the right side of the morality of the argument or not, they want what is best for themselves. So when you hear a poker player argue something one way or another, understand that they are usually like attorneys in that they will just argue which ever way that pays the bills. I mean for Christ sakes, our entire profession is about getting people to do things that are not in their best interests. We want them to go all in when we have AA so they can lose money. We want them to go on tilt so they will make stupid plays and lose their money. I could go on and on until I ran out of space in my blog with things us poker players try and get people to do that is solely in our own best interests. The bottom line is that poker players just argue pocketbook, period end of sentence.

I think to compare wearing sunglasses at the tables to some of the other banned items/substances in other sports is a bit of a stretch. I mean I get what people are saying and I do think that in poker we should start to look at the big poker events (and the rules of these events) the same way a major professional sporting organization would, but I just don't think wearing shades at the table is at all like taking a banned HGH substance or greasing your driver so the ball goes further. People who argue that reading people is a fundamental part of poker are the same as people who think marriage between a man and a woman (and not a man and another man or a woman and another woman) is a fundamental part of marriage. And what I mean by that is that to some people, marriage between a man and a woman is a fundamental part of marriage. And they are perfectly entitled to that opinion. But if you ask a gay person, they would say that all that matters is if two people love each other and want to commit to each other. In their mind the only fundamental aspect of marriage is love and commitment.

To a guy like Daniel Negreanu, reading people is a fundamental part of poker and therefore he doesn't want people to be allowed to wear shades at the felt. Shoot, I don't blame him for feeling that way, because he is such a damn good reader of people. I am a poker player too after all, so I'd argue the same way if I were him. But to me, I don't care about trying to read people. I am not good at it and I would prefer to let the (hopefully) fundamentally solid strategy that I have developed for a given situation dictate the action, not whether my left nostril flared. To me, having a read on someone allows someone who has merely picked up on a physical tell use that to trump actual poker skill. So if you ask me, I wish everyone had shades and no one said a word.

In sports, there are things that are fundamental to the game. Putting a ball in a basket is a non negotiable rule in basketball. In golf, it is a fundamental aspect of the game that you put the ball in the hole. But as my great friend Casey Martin proved in the United States Supreme Court, walking is NOT fundamental to the game of golf. I'm sorry, but the ability to see a man or woman's face is NOT fundamental to the game of poker. To some it may seem like it should be, but it simply isn't. If it was, my sponsor, Poker Stars, would have to change their name to something else because they would not be allowed to call the games they spread "poker" because they would not be allowing something that is fundamental to the game to take place. Betting, folding, etc. is a fundamental part of poker, seeing a person's face is not. And for those reasons, I think the shades are here to stay.

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A Night With "Mad" Marty Wilson

Posted by Leatherass

The night before the Big Game is one I will not soon forget. Jared Tendler, Barry Carter (from Poker News acclaim) and I were sitting in the bar at the Chesterfield Mayfair and in walked someone who I had never met before, but was immediately drawn to. His name was Marty Wilson. Or "Mad" Marty, as he is known across poker circles.

Marty recognized my Poker Stars gear and correctly assumed I was part of the tournament and walked up and introduced himself. He sat down, ordered a drink and that was the beginning of a night filled with some of the most amazing stories you could ever hear. Most of us barely even spoke for the next several hours as we were glued to the next thing that came out of Marty's mouth. He told us amazing gambling stories, random (but interesting) trivia and gave us some almost impossible to guess questions that has us scratching our heads. Marty is the first person I have ever met where I can say what I am about to say. He is a larger than life personality.

About half way through the night, Robert Williamson III walked in the bar jet lagged and exhausted, but that wasn't enough to stop him from joining us at the table. If we had been sans Marty, I suspect he may have just headed to bed, but with Marty in the group, he probably figured it would have been a crime to not take advantage of the situation and he joined us for some drinks. It was great getting to know RWIII. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy and another person, like Marty, who has a thousand stories to tell.

Being an online pro for the most part, I have always been intrigued by the old school gambler/poker players. I have mostly stuck to my circle of online poker buddies and haven't met too many of the Marty Wilson's and RWIII's of the world. But I have always been fascinated by them. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it wasn't very long ago that I was watching these guys on TV and would have given my left nut to be in their position. Now I am a peer of them, which is pretty special. In fact I remember the first time I played poker in Las Vegas my friend Matt Amen and I decided to check out the World Series of Poker and watched a final table for PLO and it included RWIII, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey. I believe Ivey took down that final table, but it was on that day that I learned about "Mr. Omaha," RWIII. So I will have to admit it was a pretty cool moment to just sit in a bar and share a beer with him as two fellow professionals.

The Big Game didn't go that well for me at the tables. I lost about $12k pounds and my bankroll got a little light after taking the beating and the stakes getting constantly bumped up at the tables. Once the stakes got so high that I only had enough money with me to play one big pot, I decided to take the job as commentator for the remaining 24 hours of the show. So Jesse May (who is a fantastic person btw) and I sat in the booth calling the action for over 24 hours straight! It was really cool and a job that I would actually like to do more of if the opportunity ever arises. Going over 24 hours straight was pretty brutal for me though. I had already been awake for probably 8-10 hours before I started, so doing the 24 hours was no easy task. In fact I actually fell asleep several times while I was commentating! I remember at one point Jesse asked me what I thought Phil Laak should do with his hand and I was like, "I think this is a good spot for Phil to check raise." Jesse said, "Well, Phil has the button in this hand so that might be pretty hard to do." I was damn near hallucinating by the end and had no idea what was coming out of my mouth. I guess when the show airs I will find out!

Well, I'm playing in a mixed game SCOOP event as I write this and am itching to start a cash game session so I am going to wrap it up here. In my March to $100,000 I am up only about $21,000 at the moment so I have my work cut out for me. I still have about 2 1/2 weeks so it is not impossible that I can get on a nice run and still make it. I will certainly give it my best. Even if I don't make it, I am still going to be super excited to play in the WSOP this summer. I am going to bring a big bankroll and see if I can't turn it into something huge. I have a house rented in Vegas for the entire WSOP. My family is going to come down with me so it will feel more like a home game and I don't have to deal with missing my family for an entire month. I should feel comfortable and ready to play some poker. Between now and then I will work on getting my game to peak for the WSOP through lots of hard work on my game.

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Trip Report Part 2

Posted by Jared Tendler

As many of you know through Dusty’s blog, we were caught up in the greatest aviation disruption in history, which didn’t work out so well for him being away from his family…but worked out pretty well for me. The first week we were there was jammed with poker stuff, and felt like a resident working in London. Having a second week there gave me an opportunity to be a tourist, see more of the city, meet a cousin-in-law, catch-up with a friend from college and enjoy the London nightlife.

I’m convinced that if Dusty and I hadn’t been scheduled to go to the Isle of Man to visit pokerstars headquarters that our travels would have become chaotic. We had a flight around 8:30 Thursday morning and arrived at the airport only to find the flight was canceled because of a Volcano eruption. He and I didn’t even know what to say, I mean who in their life has even heard of such a thing. We were flying on a small regional airline, and I asked the attendant if all airlines weren’t flying or just theirs. She didn’t know so we went to British Airways to see what there up to – same deal. As we’re walking away Dusty starts laughing his ass off because basically what we were asking them was “Do you have the balls to fly through Volcanic Ash? because this airline isn’t and we’re will to risk it!?!” I mean what a joke that we were even thinking it, but at 7am and Volcano later the brain doesn’t always work so well – I know this better than anyone and mine isn’t immune.

Thankfully we had this flight planned, because there is absolutely no way that either of us would have heard about the Volcano prior to checking out of our hotel to head to the airport the next day for our flight home. The first few days of this were pretty chaotic and I was sitting in a hotel room clicking refresh on my computer for updates, I can only imagine what it was like for people stuck in the airports with no place to go, trying to get back to young kids, travel for weddings, funerals, etc. I had it easy…though I tried to make it complex.

Part of what made it chaotic early on was there wasn’t any reliable information to go on and the most solid indication was it was getting stronger – which it did – but no one knew for how long. I looked into every option for getting home. I even found a ticket on the Queen Mary – the first ship heading to NY. It would have taken a week to cross the ocean, but I figured it was a guaranteed way to return (minus an iceberg) and I could work on my book with a great view. So it was my #1 option until I found a ticket out of Madrid leaving 4 days later. At the time, Madrid was one of 3 airports in Europe open and was the closest... the only problem was getting there. I quickly found out that every bus, ferry and train there was booked solid so it wasn't even an option...though I later learned from an old work friend that her brother paid 3k to a cabbie in Paris to drive him to Madrid. So I wasn’t entirely out of options, just reasonable ones.

Turns out that my uncle’s nephew on the other side of my family has a flat in London with a spare bedroom, so stayed with him and his wife for the rest of the week. It was a perfect spot to enjoy London (do a little work) and wait to find out how long I'd be a English resident.

Now with some time on my hands, I had a chance to meet up with a college friend who I hadn’t seen for several years. The first night after learning I was stuck in London, she invited me to meet up with her friends after they finished up dinner – I show up and sitting next to her are 5 attractive women…fml, lol. I couldn't have thought of a better way to forget about the volcano chaos.

The rest of the week was a lot of fun too. I was able to have client sessions as usual – just a 5hr difference so I was working more at night, which freed me to see the city during the day, hang out with my cousin and his wife, I took a day trip to Sheffield to hang with Barry and work on the book, and hung out more with Dusty.

The day before I left, I honestly didn’t want to leave. London is an amazing city and I could see myself living there. The next morning, like a light switch, I woke up ready to go. I don’t usually get to see my family/friends during the week so it wasn’t much different – since we stayed in touch via skype - but we were flying home on Friday and with the weekend looming, I was ready to be back around everyone.

Jet lag and weird sleep schedule on the trip knocked me on my ass for several days, but it gave me some time to realize what an amazing trip it was. One that makes me even more excited for the WSOP in a few months. Many of the people I met will be out there, and along with the others I already know who will be there, it’ll be a blast.

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More on setting goals: Fitness and poker related examples

Posted by zerosum79

Looking back on my video on setting goals I wanted to mention a specific example where by not following my own advice I did not accomplish what I set out to do.

A few months ago I decided that I needed to lose some weight and get healthier. I decided to dust off an old goal of running a 10 mile race. I weighed about 215 and wanted to lose about 10-20 lbs through training.

Fast forward a few months and I have run the 10 mile race but have lost no weight what soever and feel as if the health benefits I was looking for have not materialized. Two weeks before the race I topped the scales at a whopping 220lbs! I had actually gained 5lbs. I set and met my short term training goals and eventually hit my long term goal.

If I had done this the right way I would have looked at my definite major purpose (now defined as "To achieve a healthier weight and fitness level") and because I had not yet defined it, I missed the mark when setting my short term goals. I have started dieting as well as continuing my exercise regime and I am happy to say that in the last few weeks I have dropped almost 10lbs. Last Sunday at my weigh in I was under 210 for the first time in at least a year and the Wii told me I am now no longer obese (just "overweight").

I have been recording everything I eat in a food journal and it has been very helpful in keeping a daily focus on my eating habits. I hope to lose somewhere between 20-30lbs more in the next 6 months so that I am in good shape for the cruise I am going on with my wife in October. That should be realistic as I lose about 1.5lbs a week on average when I am exercising and watching what I eat.

As far as poker goals are concerned I am starting to set some. One is that I would like to start playing at least 100 tourneys a week again and ramp up to something like 800-1000 a month over the next few months. This is going to be tough. I have never before played that kind of volume. But I think is doable especially since I have been pretty easily managing 12 tables and think that now that I am stacking I'll be able to easily max out the 16 table limit at FTP.

One of the major hurdles that I think I will face is the mental endurance so I am going to address it similar to running. I will play two to three short sessions a week and one long one. I am going to play 25 games in my short sessions and 50 in my long session. Then I will start to ramp up my long session lengths from 25-50 and 50-100. That would put me playing roughly 200 tourneys a week.

I am going to schedule it just like I scheduled running on the calendar so that I can make sure to play when games are good. The other night I was table selecting the $24s and the games were horrible so I just dropped to the $12s. I am not going to play tables with 6+ winning players while the level below is infested with fish. My second video in the Zero to Hero series (coming out this month) is going to discuss table selection so stay tuned.


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Trip Report Part 1

Posted by Jared Tendler

A couple weeks old, but for those who are interested here are the highlights my trip to London for the Big Game. It was one of the most fun trips I’ve taken in a long time and the fact that it was a business trip made it even more fun. Though what’s a trip without interesting twists…aside from just a Volcano.

I hadn’t seen Dusty since I was last in Portland to support him during the USGA lawsuit…which was 8 months ago, so it was great to see him as I walked through security. As with other good friends we picked up as though I saw him a week ago.

We got in a couple days early to adjust to the time before the Big Game, and first up on the agenda the day we arrived – after a 4hr nap – was a boxing match that the guys from Matchroom hooked us up with. I had never been and though I don’t really follow boxing much anymore, was psyched to check it out. The main draw was a fight that for 11 rounds was part because it turned out Audley Harrison’s shoulder was separated from round – and he was getting dominated throughout the whole fight until this ridiculous knock-out.

The morning before I flew out I got an email from Barry mentioning that we were going to stop by the Bluff Europe Poker Academy to say hi and check out what they have going on. I wasn’t sure what the story was, but I’m always up for networking and thought it would be interesting to check out an event like this, since it’s something that I’m interesting in doing in the future…well the future came fast. As I’m recovering from jet lag I was asked to step in for a presenter who fell ill, and did an impromptu talk on tilt the next day. UK poker icon Neil Channing headlined the event, and it was great to meet him. The event, including my talk was well received, which was great to hear considering I was pretty jetlagged.

That event was also the first time Barry and I met and after 8+ months on skype, meeting in person was exactly the same. Barry was staying at our hotel so we headed back to grab Dusty go for dinner. A dinner that was highlighted by Dusty getting made fun of by the waiter for ordering hot chocolate at a steakhouse, lol…to be fair he had woken up 30 minutes before…afterwards we went back at the hotel bar for a drink figuring we’d have an easy night before the marathon got started. An easy night turned into a night I’ll never forget when Mad Marty Wilson walked in the door.

I had heard his name before, and Barry even mentioned how legendary he and his stories are, but you can’t really imagine what’s it’s like to meet someone like him when there is no one else on the planet like him. Marty had all four of us rapped up in a mass of stories and trivia for hours…so much for an early night.

I was excited about the big game, in part because I’ve never been on around a tv show like this and to have a good buddy of mine on the show, I figured it was bound to be a good time. Since watching the poker action was tough even when I cared the most – when Dusty was on – I spent a lot of random time hanging with Barry and getting to know the others who were involved with the show. Over 48 hours there’s a lot of random time to chat and joke around with them, and they were part of what made the show a ton of fun for me. From the Marko and Ian the PartyPoker social media guys, the guys from Matchroom, Jesse May, Warren from PartyPoker, Daniel and John from WPT magazine, Alex Russo from Bluff who I met earlier at the academy, Nick Ferro – a poker agent with a kindred sprit, several of the players, and of course, Kara Scott and Tatjana Pasalic, who are even friendlier and fun to be around as they are easy on the eyes.

So many people in other lines of work have the opportunity to hang out with people from work, or are meeting people often because of work. I did in my former work lives, and since most of my work right now is me at home with my computer working on the book, DTB or with clients; it was great to actually meet people in person and the people I met by were all just solid people to be around and a lot of fun.

The setting of the show was different that in years past, it’s very likely that you’ll see my mug in random spots in the background yucking it up and paying very little attention to the poker. It was really hard to follow the action unless you were close to the table, and after Dusty was voted off, I was more interested in enjoying myself.

While the original intent was for me to help Dusty grind through playing 48hr straight, he did need a little help finishing off a 24hr commentating session, which is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in a while. Channing and Viffer played 48hr straight which is an amazing feat - especially with how well Viffer played, but I think Dusty doing commentating for the first time in his life AND doing it for 24hrs straight is more impressive. Needless to say I didn’t see him on Wednesday until 5pm as we headed off to SkyPoker for an interview that helped us avert getting stuck on the Isle of Man because of the Volcano…

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Plan A…. FAIL

Posted by matsyendra

So I posted some goals and a plan to attain those goals
I was pretty psyched and got to work on my plan. As it turns out, I made a simple but huge mistake. I miscalculated that 12hrs per week of 4tabling would come out to 6k hands per week. After a week and a half of play I noticed I wasn't playing my expected volume. I'm only playing 3k hands!
This will put my 100k hand goal 8+ months out!! Plus at this rate of play I wouldnt make Silver Status on Stars. Damn. I considered adding tables but I don't know if I'm ready for that quite yet. Adding more hours would be really tough so I decided to take a look at 6max as opposed to FR. I've never played 6max though so I have some questions.....
Since my primary goal here is volume, does it make sense to take on 6max instead of FR?
I understand that FR is a bit more aggressive, are there any major changes to game I'd need to make?
Preflop play is the strongest piece of my game, would this be a help or hindrance to 6 max?
Thanks all

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March to $100,000 Update

Posted by Leatherass

I have been plowing through playing a ton of hands. Haven’t gotten a ton of momentum so far, but have been making progress nonetheless. Today I won $3,857.95 bringing my total to $14,445.52 since I began my journey 7 days ago. I guess I am a little behind pace, but at least I am not down $20,000 or something and need a miracle to pull it off.

I am wrapping it up a little early today in anticipation of a long day tomorrow when the SCOOP begins!! It’s finally here. I have been looking forward to the SCOOP since I decided to put in a little more effort in trying to learn tournament poker earlier this year. I feel like this is the perfect way to prepare for the WSOP this summer. That reminds me, I just booked a house about 2 hours ago for the entire month of June in Las Vegas so I can bring my entire family with me and play all of the WSOP events.

Well, I am going to run. My 7 month old daughter actually gets really, really excited to see me when I come home now. Her heart starts pounding and she can hardly control herself. So I figure since she has to be about the only human being on earth that is actually excited to see me, I better take advantage of that opportunity and get home.

Good luck at the tables.

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May Day

Posted by GiantBuddha

Happy May Day, Beltane, and seasonable warmth to all! And happy birthday to me. Yes, I'm 32 today. The nice thing about being born in the spring is that birthdays never make me feel old. Sure, they did when I was 22. But now they feel like a rebirth of sorts. A reinvestment of energy and rededication to purpose. And there is much for me to be excited about right now.

Just this week I have committed to playing the Main Event at this year's World Series of Poker. As I write this, I'm playing the PokerStars $1 Million freeroll as sort of a warm up. I'll be playing some of the SCOOP events on Stars as well, to make sure I'm in good tournament shape before plunking down $10k on a buy-in.

But I'm doing something much more exciting (to me) than playing in the WSOP. I'm hoping to have my first poker book published before then. This is an absurdly ambitious time frame, but that's sort of what I'm all about. I'm still working on a limit holdem strategy book (or two), but my first book should have more universal appeal. I'll share more details once the process is further along, but needless to say, I'm overwhelmingly excited. I've wanted to be a writer since I was 13, and having a book published is the beginning of a dream.

I've also started private coaching again, but given everything else going on right now, I'm keeping this on a small scale. I'm offering half price session reviews which become DTB bonus videos as part of The Sauna series. Details Here.

Finally, if my poker work isn't keeping me busy, there's always music. I'm playing a show tonight with my band Villain's Lament at Arlene's Grocery (95 Stanton Street). We go on at 10 PM, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday. If anyone's from NYC, stop by, say hi, and I'll buy you a drink. Cheers.

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