Friday, November 29, 2013

Wow...a Blog you say...Blog...What's a blog?

LOL...that's what I have been feeling like recently as its been months since my last blog. I have been working a lot and staying ridiculously busy, and working on trying to get my family into a new house. This blog may take a few days to get up but I will start putting dates just in case I can't pull this blog off in one sitting.

I have been doing really well at work and just totally love my job. I have mentioned previously what it is like to hate your job only to really see the "forest through the trees" once you get a good job working for good people. That's where I am at now. I could not be more happier with the company I work for, my boss and upper management , as well as my fellow employees/peers that I interact with on a daily basis. I truly believe that God has guided me to where I need to be. I know I have seen lots of twitter feeds from atheist that believe there is no God...I respect everyone's opinion and some of those people who post are friends that I respect dearly....I do believe that there is some sort of a "Higher Power" guiding all of us...but I don't want to get flamed for believing in God...most poker players are math lets go in that direction and I will fall into the rest of the 3/4 of the worlds population in announcing that "yes"...I believe there is some sort of Higher Power. Think about that atheist/non-believers...3/4 (three-quarters)...not 1/2 (half)...3/4(three-quarters) of the worlds population...some of the smartest people that have ever walked the face of the earth...believe there is a God. I read somewhere that true believers think atheist have just had an easy-going life and haven't gotten to that point yet where an example...your child is hit by a car and he is in Emergency Surgery with his life hanging in the balance...I don't care what your day to day beliefs are...right there... your ass is gonna drop to your knees and your gonna something...I don't care to what...I guarantee it.

On to our new the last blog post I posted a picture of a House that my grandparents built that Julie and I came into possession of. We were gung-ho on a complete renovation and moving in asap...well God had other plans. We knew that the house had some serious foundation issues as it was built on piers/beams/sills in the early 50s...we were going to tackle that in the renovation until we took all the bricks off the house and found "massive" termite damage behind the bricks, reality set in...and with a heavy heart and many tears later...we had to wind up tearing the house down in a complete demolition. The picture of the house in my previous post  is gone...only thing left is a great lot in a great part of town in the right school district...and the old basketball goal and my grandfathers BBQ Pit. We have decided to rebuild.  We are now days away from signing with a contractor to come in and build a brand new house from the ground up. We are excited to finally being able to move forward with getting a bigger house...and we believe we found the right contractor to build the house at a reasonable price....more on that to come.

WSOP Main Event:
I want to give a big congrats to Ryan Reiss in taking this thing down. I was pulling for JC Tran ahead of Reiss, but I had a feeling this kid was going to make some waves...waves he did taking the whole thing down. I liked the telecast as a whole but wish they would have focused more on a lot of the "other" players getting down to the final 9 instead of the ones that made the FT. As always...once they get down to 3 tables...most of the coverage is geared around the 9 that actually make the FT...its a standard TV tactic to get the audience interested in the 9 that will be left. I was pretty impressed that so many pros/known players made the FT...JC Tran/Raptor/Newhizzle/Reiss were all good for the game at that point.

WSOP Circuit IP:
I made an appearance at the IP WSOP event this year as it seems I will always make that event since it is where I had my "run good" moments 2 years ago and punched my ticket to the WSOP Circuit National Championship that year (sick brag I remember getting the two 3rd place finishes and Bill and Kenny walking up to me saying, "GeneD...your in the running for the Casino Championship in this event for the National Championship:...and me replying, "What...what do mean Casino Champion?...what's that"?...I didn't have a clue. Thanks to Blake Barousse for betting on me with the last longer in that $1k vs Slim...when I found out that the bet was booked it gave me extra motivation to try to do well...I still have nightmares about the headsup match...

This year I couldn't get anything going in the prelims but played the Main Event. My card dead run continued in the Main Event but got to play that day with Mike Horchoff (aka The_Choff) ...who got 3rd in that latest WPT event in Jacksonville a few days. Great guy and a great player...congrats Choff on his first  6 digit score of your career of many to come. Also congrats to Corey "Slim" Wuenstel for being in that same Final Table. Also..thanks to all the people who bought chunks of me in the main also...we will get them soon!!!

I got to play at the Coushatta events recently but couldn't get any traction there also. I had to play in a Golf tournament at Cousatti Pines the golf course there. I brought with me the Manager of the Field Ops techs of the company I work for. His name is Dexter Diaz and he is also a scratch golfer. He was an online poker player pre-black Friday and loves to play Poker...our 1st poker conversation we ever had sort of started like this...

I am sure that we all run into those people in our "day to day" lives that claim to have "won this...won that" all know the drill. One of your customers/random folks finds out that you play poker semi-professionally/seriously and they bust out with , "Yea...I play poker too...I beat [Insert your biggest name pro/Home Game/Monetary Amount] back in the day"...etc. Well I had that same conversation with Dexter but I happened to be in front of my PC at the time. Dexter starts telling me about how he won this online tournament and got to go to Europe to play/hang out with Howard Lederer/Annie Duke/Marcel Luske/Thomas Bihl...etc. How they all hung out in Europe...he had Howard Lederer's cell phone number ...I was like, "Yyyeeeaaaaaaaa....You goottttt thooossse TPS reeeeeports" while I was goggling my ass off...and low and behold I found this link...a classic: (He literally called Howard right in front of me and got his VM with his publicist voice on it)
Dexter actually wins the nightly that we played in ....and crushed the Mississippi Stud game after and walked out of the Casino after we played golf with over $2k in his pocket....great guy....look out for him at your tables...LOL.

I headed up to Bossier to give it a shot at a few events there and was going to play the Megas trying to get into the Main Event and also had some business meetings there. I got there the night before the $580 and gave it a whirl. All the circuit regulars were there, and after a workout/steam room/sauna at the Eldorado (Highly recommend the Eldorado...great hotel and poker room...and the gym/wet area of the spa is all free with your stay. I had the whole Mens Spa area to myself every time I went while I was there…and the hot tub was right at 102-103 degrees)...After I moseyed on over to get my #6 seat in the $580 ... 2 solid circuit grinders in seat 2-7...then had Ralph Massey on my direct right…Dan Lowery sits in seat 10 a few minutes later…and the a few minutes after that Keith Lehr takes the 8 seat…great. I had several people tell me that was one of the toughest tables there. I played as well as I think I could have with the cards I had…I made a few mistakes…I wound up getting it in good to triple up and be back at Avg Chip Stack when this kid opens…I then three-bet shoved 10bbs with 7h7s…guy on my left snap-calls…original opener tank-calls with a disgusted look on his face. They check it down all the way past the turn with baby cards on board…Im standing waiting on river saying to myself, “No Paint…No Paint…No Paint”…river is a Q…I let out a sigh as they both checked again and guy on my left tables K-Qo…other kid had some kind of 2 gabber in suited cards…smoothing like 6-3h…or something.

Decided to play the megas the next morning to the Main Event…I was ready to play well and win my seat…the Mega Tourney started…45 minutes later after firing 2 bullets I was in my truck on my way south on I-49 towards Lafayette …6th or 7th hand I looked at... I was over an 85% favorite holding AKo vs AJo on a A94r board…head to bullet was 3-4 hands later with me holding AA vs QQ…showers for me...I texted some close poker friends “I need to change…I aint living right or something”…LOL

I know they say "Its better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be an idiot, then to open it and remove all doubt" I am going to dive into 2 situations in poker that I have strong feelings about and would like some feedback from other players...whether is verbal or on this blog. Please don't flame me for being "results oriented" as when you can't play poker for a living/have a day job...its hard to out run the variance so in have no choice to focus on all results. This is coming from myself reading/hearing/discussing these situations with other players...Both of these moves were prevalent in this years WSOP Main Event telecast...the strength of a check-call...and 3-4 bet ripping with KK-QQ-JJ when players are sitting with over 35-40 big blinds.

I personally think that the "Check-Call" is one of the most powerful and strongest plays a person can make as it play's into a CC person's reading ability of his opponents...and its the most fundamental play for "pot control" as we all know "pot control" is practically synonymous  to "small ball" poker. I saw Carlos get some flack about it online and I use it a lot myself. It lets you really get a good read on overly aggressive players that think poker revolves around aggression. Aggression is a key component to poker success, but we also hear "well-timed aggression". Every time a player whiffs the flop he can't just 3 barrel away...lets say you call a small raise from a MP player sitting in the BB with 3 other players with 87s...flop comes check-call as everyone folds to the cbet and if you watch him closely when the turn hits...there you can pick up lots of info if the turn is ...saaayy...the 4d. You now have to think your hand is best as a 9 or 4 are not in his range here...and how did he react? Does he go in the tank or just fires out? you check-call and continue to watch him and when the river get there that is the 2s...your in a really good spot there is all I am saying. I just wanted to point out that the check-call is a powerful play as it put aggressive players on their heels when you call them down with 2nd pair after they try to 3 barrel that board texture...and then you listen to them "mumbling" something to himself.

I have seen it over and over again in live tournaments and on the WSOP Main Event forecast...players who come to believe that QQ is the "end all - be all" in their tournament and they are prepared to put their whole tourney on the line with this hand. You have all seen the hands on TV also...player X sitting with 47 bigs and looks down at QQ...he opens for a standard raise...back around to someone further down the table who puts in the standard 3 bet ...everyone folds back to the QQ who after acting all cool announces..."I am all in"...the other player calls with a variety of hands from A-K thru A-10 ...even K-Q...and low and behold an Ace or a King hits the flop and everyone groans about "losing a race" or whatever. Why not just make the call and see the flop? If the flop comes down 8 know your still in good shape with 9-9/10-10/J-J...etc...but if the flop comes down As-Kh-6d and your sitting in a Major tournament with 3 tables/26 players at least have an option for you.

Today is Thanksgiving...and I have so many things to be Thankful for. I want to say "Happy Thanksgiving" to all my friends and family out there. As I mentioned earlier in the blog...we are scheduled to sign all the agreements with the contractor early next week to build our new house...we are very excited. The house will be finished in June/July timeframe.

My wife Julie is graduating from College in a few weeks with her 4 years Bachelors degree in Human Resources. She has already secured a really good job as the HR Manager/Director over a rapidly "growing " Marine HVAC company in town. The people she works for are some of the most generous and nice people...She has been working the job part time and she comes and goes as she needs to get her degree...once she graduates...she will take the position FT...and "as the crow flies"...her office is probably less than a mile from where we are building.

The day she graduates we are all flying out to Disney World for 5-6 days. I lived in Central Florida for several years back in the mid 90s. I hear they have added some new stuff to the parks so we will have some fun...Ivey is just at the right age where he will enjoy.

I will be on the coast next week with work as we have a big IT conference scheduled at the Beau Rivage. I will see all the local poker players as I will be sweating the WPT at the IP. I may play the main event and another but it will all be "game time decisions"...depending on how work goes at the conference.

See you guys there!!

"Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!" Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in "Tombstone"

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Final table at the Beau

Sorry for such a huge delay in my blogs, but I have been very busy lately. It took some needling by some players to get me to sit down and knock this thing out...LOL

This is going to be a quick blog as I have some things to do today. I haven't been playing much poker as I have been working alot at my job and working on starting construction on the remodel of our house at 111 Sherman. I do not think I could work in the construction industry as its always ...delays...delays...delays...with permits...etc. We have decided to look hard at raising/lifting the house as it would be the best situation in the long run. Below is what the house looked like pre-construction.
Its 2 storys with 2400 sg ft living and we can't wait to move in and sell this house I bought while single. Our house is closing in on us with the addition of Ivey, and we have to get this thing completed ASAP!!

I made the final table of the $345 buy in $150,000 guarantee at the Beau recently and finished in 9th place for $2400. I was pretty upset about the finish as I was not happy with the hand I busted out on, and felt I played too well to finish 9th. I also felt I "Bubbled the real money" as one or two spots higher and I would have been in the $5000-$6000 range in the prize pool.

The final table was full of friends and people I have alot of experience with. I busted out to the eventual winner, Claudie "The Claw" Crawford of WSOP TV fame, and she would go on to win the whole thing. She played really well, and she deserved the win for sure. Also at the final table was Benton Blakeman who is a close friend and a great player. Benton and I have been playing the tournament poker scene since pre-moneymaker as we both grew up within 20min of each other in South Lousiana. Benton went out 4th for close to $10,000. Jerry Ard was also at the table. Jerry became friends with Bill and I during last years circuit run and also played in the National Championship with us. Jerry plays well, but I had him short stacked and dead to spades right after the money bubble busted where he made a move from the button to steal blinds/antes with 4s-7s and I woke up in the big blind with QQ...somehow he gets there to double up...sigh. Also at the FT was Barron Whipple a local Houma Attorney who I have lots of history with. Barron and I have been at so many FTs together its not even funny. He also plays well, but I am very comfortable playing against Barron...he went out 6th for close to $7000. Dane Dubose from Lafayette played well, and I met him at this tourney. He had alot of same folks on the rail pulling for him as I did...Dane went out in 5th for $8400. I really enjoyed the tourney, and was stoked to have so many friends still in but I was still a little upset with my bustout hand...etc.

I was on the button with Claudia on my direct right ...right after Garland Thomas had just taken a huge beat ...and he was steaming/tilting. I was watching him closely and I saw after he initially looked at his cards with about 2-3 bigs left, he picked up his stack and I knew he was going to put it "all in" light. Everyone folded around to Claudia who was the Chip Leader at this point and she made a standard raise. Being the CL at this point I had Claudia's range to be "any 2 cards"...I would expect her to raise here with anything, and with 8-9 bigs left, I ship with A-5 off suit. Sure enough Garland sticks his chips in light (J-7o...I think)...and Claudia snap calls with 10-10. As soon as she snap called I groaned as I knew I was in trouble. She busted us both on the hand and I was not a happy camper.

Some might think that with A-5off from the button there is a "Must Shove" situation, but I was not uncomfortable with my stack, and I still had enough chips to hurt somebody. Like I said...I felt I just played too well both days to go out like that...but hey...its poker and it happens.

I booked a solid Cash win at Coushatta last week where the jackpot was sitting at $380,000...I was in for $300-$400 and out for double that.

I hope to get to play some of the tournaments coming up around the coast and hope to see everyone there. I hope I can get my schedule right as I can only play on weekends with my job. My job is going great...I have the best boss you can have and my team/peers are also top notch. I think we have the best team in out region by far.
"When your enemy's making mistakes, don't interrupt him"  Brad Pitt as Billy Beane in "Moneyball"