I returned to Paducah to do a little work before heading back Tuesday morning for the main event of the 2003 WPO. A little work consisted of delivering three babies on Monday. I drove up Tuesday morning, stopping in Union City, Tennessee to pay the speeding ticket I got the first time I drove to Tunica. Then I received yet another speeding ticket in Arkansas as I neared West Memphis. I have never won going to Tunica after getting a speeding ticket.

This was my first $10,000 buy-in event, and I was really excited to be able to play an event of tokyoslot88 this magnitude. In choosing my strategy, I had several factors to consider. Foremost was the fact that I had been away a very long time from my practice, and my revenue was going to start to suffer, as I am self-employed with about 15 employees. I had a full clinic the very next day. Hence, I decided that I didn’t want to survive to the next day unless I had a lot of chips. I was going to take chances. I was not going to allow myself to be pushed off of a big hand. I was determined to either bust out or double up.

I had a near miss, when Mike Matusow made it 150 early in the first round, and an Australian attorney raised to 600. Both Jim Lester and I mucked our pairs, his being 9’s and mine being 4’s. The flop came 9-4-2. Mike and the attorney both put all of their chips in. Had Jim and I called he would have quadrupled up and I would have been driving back to Paducah. On the other hand, I wish I had called after Jim folded.

I started the day playing well, and slowly built myself up to 12,000. But in the second level I started to decline down to 6000, before making a bit of a comeback to over 8000. Then came the big hand. There was a small under the gun raise with blinds at 50-100 to about 300. I called from the button with K-2 suited in hearts. I called because I saw the hand as a nice opportunity to trap someone, when I had good position.

One of the blinds called and we took a flop of K-10-2 with two diamonds, and one heart. I had two pair and felt that I had a hand I could put my chips in with. The UTG preflop raiser made a small bet of around 300. I decided not to slow play what I thought was a strong but vulnerable hand. I raised to 700. The blind folded and the raiser now made it 2000. In considering the hands that he had, I felt that he was unlikely to hold any of the hands that beat me. I wouldn’t expect an UTG raise with K-10. Pocket Kings were less likely, as there was a King on the flop and I held a King.

Pocket tens were also possible, but he bet out on the flop for only a small amount with a dangerous flop with a lot of draws. I expected the tens to be played differently. Pocket deuces were also less likely because of the deuce on the board and in my hand. What I considered more likely was the possibility of being up against A-K, A-A, or K-Q. In keeping with my plan of action, I was willing to risk it all having a decent hand on the flop and vulnerability to a lot of draws. Thus I moved all-in and he called instantly. To my chagrin he had the pocket 10’s and I failed to catch either my King or my backdoor flush draw. I guess I was the one who got trapped.

Before I knew it I was on the road again back to Paducah. Even though I had decided to play decent hands for all of my chips in that way, I still felt quite dejected. I feel like I am becoming a set magnet, as I am starting to get picked off by them in various no limit tournaments. When I played the main event of the 4-Queens Classic, I think I let myself be pushed off of hands too easily for fear of sets. Since October I have repeatedly failed to lay down hands against sets. So for the next few weeks until I get to the Commerce in the LA Poker Classic, I will be considering whether I should be laying down a few more hands.

World Poker Open, January 26, 2003: 3:00 AM

When last I had written, I was about to enter the $2000 no-limit Hold-em event. I was one of the first ones out. I was trapped with top pair on a few occasions and left finally when my A-K hit a flop of K-5-2, and I encountered a set of twos.

I played some short handed 50-100 Omaha 8 with Chris Bjorn and I flopped 9’s full of deuces, while he had quad deuces. We both checked the flop and we found ourselves capping the turn and river. I just refused to consider the fact that he had quads until the last bet. That was another 1000 down.

Then came the supersatellite. It started great. I tripled up on the first hand, when I flopped a straight draw along with a flush draw. The next hand I played saw me flop a fullhouse with my pocket sixes, but I lost because it was sixes full of aces and the guy with the ace caught his card on the turn. I ended up busting out three times before I gave up. I must have been playing bad, because they were all asking me to stay, but I was thoroughly disenchanted with everything.

I had pretty much reached the conclusion that I was not coming back after Sunday. I decided to give it one more shot in a $1000 per person single table satellite. I had signed up for one, but had become embroiled in a $220 buy in satellite, so I agreed to pass on the first big satellite and ended up taking a seat in the second one, which worked out nicely, because the first table had a real tough line-up. There were a few notable players in my satellite, including Alex Brenes, Steve Melton and Asher Derei.

I doubled up quickly with pocket Queens against Alex Brenes’ 10’s. I was able to get away from pocket Jacks after the player to my left limp raised with Aces before the flop. Later I eliminated a player with pocket Jacks when he went all-in with 8’s and I was second largest stack. The key hand came soon after that. We all limped in and I was holding pocket 3’s. I flopped quads. The small blind bet 500, then the only player with more chips than me moved all-in. I spent a long time considering my call, in hopes of bringing in the initial better, but he mucked. This doubled me up and from there I was in control.

The last big hand came when we were four handed and Steve Melton raised my blind. I put him all-in with K-Q and he had pocket 4’s. I caught my over card and he was gone, which relieved me, as I have found him to be a difficult opponent to beat. I also had over 70% of the chips. I got Asher Derei next and finished off my remaining opponent never losing my 5 to 1 chip advantage.

I got my seat after all. It seems so ironic to me that my perceived weakness has become my strength, that being single table satellites. I have to strongly recommend yet again the one-table tournaments on Party Poker, because that’s all I play online. I only wish that I had known that I would take at least some money out of 3 out of 4 the one-tables I had played. If I can continue with this level of consistency, then this will really help my bankroll go a long way in tournaments.

I played the $2000 limit hold-em tournament on Saturday. I went fairly deep into the event, finishing 29th. Dan Negreanu and I squared off throughout the day. I eventually knocked him out, but he really outplayed me. There were two glaring mistakes that I made. The first was with pocket tens that I raised with from early position. Danny three-bet it from the button, and I ended up mucking then tens after he bet the turn even thought there were no cards flopped greater than 8. He showed Ace high to win the pot, and I was beside myself. I really thought that he had a bigger pair.

Later I had raised in mid position with pocket Jacks only to be reraised by an early position raiser. It was obvious that he had Aces, yet this time I had sticky fingers and I couldn’t pry those Jacks loose. If I would have pitched the Jack and held the tens, I would have been able to come down the stretch with over 7000-8000 in chips. I went all-in a few times and rebuilt my stack back to 5000, but with the bets at 400-800, I couldn’t withstand the beat I took with the A-K, and I was out soon after.

I finished strong, playing 50-100 Omaha 8 and winning a quick 1800 before calling it a night. I will just play some side action on Sunday. Then I will go back to Paducah, working Monday in clinic. I will drive back on Tuesday morning and play the big one. I will have to play aggressive, because I have clinic scheduled every day after Tuesday. I will cancel clinic every day that I last in the event. Thus I will not be afraid to bust out early as that will mean fewer cancellations. I don’t want to come back the next day with no chips. I need to get enough chips to make it worth my while to miss work at home. Stay tuned…

World Poker Open, January 24, 2003. 11:00 AM

Yesterday was another losing day. I couldn’t get anything going in the Omaha Hi-Lo game and was out early. I sat down in the 50-100 Omaha 8 game and found myself down $3800 pretty quick. There were some good players in the game like Barbara Enright and Spring Cheong. I ended up making a bit of a come-back and left only $1800 down. The game was tough and there were no bad players in the game.

I played the super satellite for only $200, but lost fairly quickly after the rebuys were over. The only thing I did well at was a single table satellite that I made a deal at. Actually I have played two and split two, so I am playing these better than I ever thought I would. Maybe I should have focused more here, because I have played nothing online for the last two months other than at a popular site’s 1-table satellites, and I have been winning.

Now I’m reaching a point where if I don’t make some score, putting up the $10,000 for the main event will clean me out. So I have decided not to play it unless I have a score between now and then. The $4600 I won on Sunday is gone after four events without a score. I will take a shot at one or two $1000 entry one-table satellites. I am down to about $18,000 in bankroll. There are three tournaments to go that will cost $5000. I don’t feel like putting my own $10,000 and leaving myself low for my next trip. It also costs me to not work. I have to cancel clinic as well. It would be like paying $20,000. If someone wanted to take a piece of me, I would consider that, but I don’t, as of yet, have …

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