Monday, July 31, 2006

It's 4am and I can't sleep

It would have been nice to be blogging now after surviving the first day, but I didn't. I got knocked out after the dinner break. I made the fatal mistake of not getting settled down after having to rush eating and getting back late to the table.

I didn't follow my rules. My mind was in a fog and I didn't take time to analyze a simple play. I had 3 pro players at my table - from Denmark, Australia & Canada. Monica Reeves, who's going to be on TV in the fall playing elimination Blackjack on CBS is the one who took most of my chips. She's got 44,000 chips (about 13,000 from me) after day 1.

T.J. Cloutier, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Gordon, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harmon, Jennifer Tilly, Steve Dannemann & Sammy Farha also got knocked out today.

I'll do a final WSOP blog when I get home.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Some of the Mighty Have Fallen

Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer and several other big time professional poker players are gone after the first day.

I found out that the 2005 winner, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow will be playing today, so I might run into them...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Everything happens for a reason

I was coming back from watching the big time fun movie, Pirates of the Caribbean and I wanted to eat at the Excalibur, but their valet parking was full. There is obviously zero competent traffic engineering staff in Las Vegas, so I was stuck just trying to get out.. I got so fed up, that I decided to bag it and just go back to the Monte Carlo, but I got into the wrong left turn lane and I found myself going into the New York New York parking. There is a walkway above the street over to the Excalibur, so I redecided to go eat English like I'd planned...

Because of all the delays, I ended up getting to the Zagat award winning Steakhouse at Camelot at the exact same time as Humberto the Bertmeister, well known king of Palm Springs recycling. He was also solo, so while chatting as we waited, we decided to dine together. He's a big time crap shooter and he had a bunch of hotel points he needed to use, so after an excellent dinner, he treated.. that was very nice of him and keeps my lucky winning streak going.

Tomorrow is going to be the second craziest thing I've ever done and those that know me understand that I'm just saving the first crazy things place just in case.

No more blogging until I get home from the Rio, hopefully around 3am or so.

My Ticket to Play

Here is my ticket to the 2006 WSOP. PokerStars has a breakfast for the players each morning. It's almost getting exciting.

Yowzer... I'm going for a swim.

Day 1A ended at 3:12am. I'm going for a morning swim, then breakfast, pick up the stuff, then it's back to the burbs for Pirates of the Caribbean, then to the Excalibur to complete my British Isles eating tour at the Sir Galahad's Pub & Prime Rib House and early to bed.

Here is the Monte Carlo pool, the Rio Casino where the WSOP is being held and as I said earlier, all of Las Vegas is under construction.

The Monte Carlo has a wave pool, a Lazy River (which if you are taller than about 4 feet, is hard to swim in, so rent a tube), a hot tub spa and a regular pool. It's nice in the morning because the hotel puts the whole pool area in the shade until about 10:15am. The weather in Vegas today is sort of mild - it's only 86F this morning. I think that the massive thunderstorms cooled things off. I'm finally getting a clue and wearing shorts. What was I thinking?

Shuffle Up and Deal

The 2006 World Series of Poker has begun. I checked it out before the Penn & Teller show. I had my first poker celebrity sighting - Scotty Nguyen. Currently, he's got about 30,000 chips.

It's after 12:30am and there are still 990 players left out of 2,138 and they have to get down to 800, so it's going to be a late night. I'm going to bed really early on Saturday.

Here is what it looks like. I got to the Rio right as they were getting their dinner break and I basically got run over. There were so many spectators earlier, nobody could move, so hopefully, when I play on Sunday, the novelty will have diminished...

The Penn & Teller show was a lot of fun.. Not too much blood.

One major snafu - Pokerstars gave out logowear and anything with .com on it is banned from the WSOP and always has been, so now I guess I get another set of swag. Everyone today had a bunch of duct tape over the .com part of the logo. It looked very tacky and lame...

Tonight I ate at the Twisted Kilt pub in the Rio. So last night it was Irish and tonight it was Scottish... I guess I better heard over to the Excalibur for dinner on Saturday night to make a complete British Isles circuit..

Friday, July 28, 2006

At least 8,200 WSOP 2006 players

There are officially at least 8,200 participants, over $82,000,000 in prize money and the word on the street is that there will be up to 500 alternates per day.

Lucky for me, the "Grinder" is playing on day 1A, so I can easily stay away from him until the 2nd day.

Here is the link to follow "live" events.

Look for me on Sunday.

Less Than Urban

As I've said plenty of times, I'm a suburban (less than urban) kind of guy, so today, just to keep things a bit normal before I head over the Rio on Sunday and hit the mother of all unreality, I decided to head out to the 'burbs of Vegas...

Luckily, my Garmin GPS gizmo, which I call Ma'am (as in Yes, Ma'am when it tells me where to go and gets me there even if I make a wrong turn), got me out the Summerlin NV, home of the Suncoast Orleans casino and Century 16 movie theater. I saw the new Miami Vice movie starring Jamie Foxx & Colin Ferrell with a south Florida mullet. It's a typical slam bang action flick by Micheal Mann, so if you liked "Heat" and "Thief", you'll like it... it's even got a flagrant Jackson Pollock reference. Although because I'm me, my favorite part of the whole movie was when in the last 5 minutes or so, Sonny says: "A guy named Frank will come and pick you up in a boat". I know all of my movie group people know about my claim that 80% of all movies have a character named Frank, so even though you didn't really see Frank and he's not in the credits, there still was a character named Frank, which is all that counts.

Here is an observation about Las Vegas - all men's room floors are always wet no matter what time of day or what casino you're in and all Las Vegas roads are under construction...

I'll report back later after I get back from the Penn & Teller show.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nine Fine Irishmen

I had an excellent dinner tonight with Terry & Peg and was able to catch up with them. I saw Terry about a year ago when he played in our sort of monthly Texas Hold Em games at Dreamland, but I hadn't seen Peg for maybe 10 years.

We went to the Irish Pub in New York New York called the Nine Fine Irishmen. They have an excellent 4 piece Irish house band and they played some rollicking tunes.

Peg & I were testing each other on trivia and even though she's Irish, she didn't know what "Beyond the Pale" meant..

The phrase beyond the pale, meaning to go beyond the limits of law or decency, was in use by the mid-17th century. The phrase is a reference to the general sense of boundary, not to any of the particular places, such as the English Pale in Ireland, which bore that name. Out of the many pales established in Ireland, (Cork, Dublin, Drogheda, Waterford, and Wexford) only a select few followed the laws established by England, Hence within the Pale and beyond the Pale.

My 6th Sense is already working..

I found 6 cents in my hotel room under a lamp, so that seems like an omen to me... I've been in Las Vegas for 3 hours and I'm in the plusage... as Ken would say: "Not bad".

I'm meeting my old buddy Terry from Qantel and his wife Peg for dinner tonight. We're going to an Irish Pub in New York New York. They are here for Terry's birthday.

I had about 60 lbs. of coins laying around, so I stopped at Primm, which is right on the CA/NV border and traded them in for $285, so that's my playing around money if I need any. I'm hoping that I'll be too busy to play around. There was a tremendous lightning storm right on the border, so here's a real photo of lighning hitting Las Vegas that I didn't take, but you get the idea.

For my cube-mate, Steve - the temperature in Bakersfield at 9am ,when I stopped for gas at Costco ($3.07/gallon) was 100F.

I cut about 40 minutes off the predicted time for driving by averaging 71.1 mph. There are nice reststops about every 90 minutes, so it was an easy drive...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pokerstars WSOP2006 goodie bag

Because I won the satellite, I won 9 free days in the Monte Carlo hotel (more when I keep winning), but you have to wear some kind of PokerStars logowear... here is a preview of the goodie bag I'll get when I arrive.
  • One duffel bag (top left), big enough to carry two watermelons or a medium-sized dog.
  • Baseball jersey (below bag)
  • Letterman-style jacket (right of baseball jersey)
  • Two baseball caps, one commemorative baseball, and a plush teddy bear (on top of jacket)
  • PokerStars t-shirt (right of jacket)
  • Basketball jersey (right of t-shirt)
  • Hockey jersey (bottom left)
  • Soccer jersey (bottom right)
  • Commemorative card capper and trading cards (on top of soccer jersey)

Monday, July 24, 2006

My 2 Cents about the extreme heat wave

My cousin thought it would be a great idea to have an outdoor wedding in Hollister in July. I don’t know if he was nervous, but it was the sweatiest wedding I’ve ever seen. It was 109 and it was next to a duck pond, so we had humidity also. I’ve been in hotter weather, but just usually just walking from my car into an air conditioned building. It was brutal.

Congratulations to Jason & Valerie and I know they will have a lifetime of happy air conditioned years.

Click on the picture to get a larger version...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My WSOP rules...

Here are my rules for playing in the 2006 World Series of Poker...

  1. Have fun
  2. I’ve got nothing to lose
  3. Don’t make any bull moves
  4. Don’t go all in on the first day without the absolute nuts
  5. Stay away from the Grinder and any other pros until after the first 2 days
  6. Play quality hands from position
  7. Don’t bluff a guy who can’t be bluffed, like a short stack when nearing the bubble
  8. Play tight as a drum on the first day
  9. Aggressive poker is winning poker after day one
  10. I’ve already won!

I feel that I'm the best prepared as I can be. I've gained a massive amount of Texas Hold Em knowledge in the past couple of months. I've tested out new theories. I tested out massive bluffing last time I played with Jay, Glenn, Mike, Stefan, Steve, Keith and Tim and I didn't get called once, so I know I'm not giving anything away easily.

Jay bet Mike from Omicron $300-$100 that I wouldn't cash and now that there might be as many as 10,000 players, it should probably be more like 900-1, but I feel confident that Jay will have to pay off.

I just got an oil change and my A/C recharged for the drive to Vegas. I recently installed a MP3 changer in the trunk, so I'll have about 1000 songs to listen to on the trip along with Phil Gordon's "Little Green Book" of poker on CD.

Here is my schedule:

  • Thursday Jul 27: Drive to Las Vegas, check in with Pokerstars & get swag, shirts & hats.
  • Friday Jul 28: relax, more poker book study, go over to the Rio and check out the lay of land & see Penn & Teller Show (I've got a seat in the front row) in the evening.
  • Saturday Jul 29: relax, more poker book study & early to bed
  • Sunday Jul 30: Shuffle up and Deal! first day of play
  • Monday Jul 31: final day one of the tournament - day off for me
  • Tuesday Aug 1: first 2 days play from 1600 down to 700
  • Wednesday Aug 2: second w days play from 1600 down to 700 - I will be playing
  • Thursday Aug 3: Day off for everyone - Brunch at Paris
  • Beyond August 3rd - getting near to cashing - hopefully I'll still be playing and have to get to bed early again.
  • August 10th - Final Table - who won da money? probably $10 Million for the winner.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Prediction - Why Not?

It's all about making the wrong play at the right time...