Saturday, June 30, 2007

Posted by Johnnymac 7:36 AM
Last Friday, when Dr Fro was here, he noticed my Mac iBook and for a few minutes we discussed my recent conversion to the church of all things Apple. Basically speaking, Mrs Johnnymac bought me one of these for Christmas a couple of years ago and I was hooked. My Christmas present the next year was the laptop that I am currently using and we're going to add a new iMac to the family when the new models are released later this summer. (And if you are reading this and saying to yourself, "pffft, Macs are overpriced toys, give me Dell loaded with Vista anyday...." I will tell you that you probably have never tried a Mac and have absolutely no idea what you're missing... the commercials are dead-on, I say)

With my enthusiasm for Apple, a lot of people who know about it kept asking me yesterday why I wasn't standing in line for an iPhone... and the answer is that Mrs Johnnymac and I have decided that we're going to purchase a pair for ourselves in November as mutual Christmas presents when her cell contract finally expires. We're already Cingul- errrr, "at&t" customers, but I have a feeling that in the next couple of days and weeks some kinks and bugs are going to start being discovered and 5 months will likely be enough time to get most of those cleared up. I also think that the price will start going down by then, too, because right now those things are expensive.

So, after all of that, I now have an excuse to show this, which, I think is kinda cool in an absurd way:

And the original iPod? It died, literally on the day Baby Johnnymac was born. Which, ended up kind of cool in a way, because a new one showed up in an unmarked wrapped box on Father's Day.

Damn, that baby's sneaky. He can't even walk and he still made it to the Apple Store!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 8:54 PM
Pokerati tipped me off to this pseudo-controversy regarding Bill Chen.
Personally, I have no problem with this (that is, the tangent issue of the deal made). Whether he makes the deal or not, one player will be at the next table with the same amount of chips. No disadvantage is given to the other players.

Back to Chen's original question, how does he settle with Gavin Smith on their original bet? I say that bet is null and void. He didn't win his table (at least not entirely). Chen should have not made the deal knowing the side bet he had out with Gavin and how it would clearly complicate that matter.

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Posted by Dr Fro 8:43 PM
Well done, Freddy.

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Posted by Dr Fro 7:56 PM
Let's see how I did.

#9- 1969 Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George Bush are all in attendance to watch James Street to Randy Peschel to beat Arkansas in the "Game of the Century"

#10 - Tom Osborne goes for 2 rather than the tie in the Orange Bowl. Ballsy, but unsuccessful.

#3 - Kordell Stewart throws a damn near 100 yard Hail Mary to defeat Michigan, circa 1994.

#59 - BC beats Notre Dame by virtue of a missed field goal in 1993. The week before, #2 Notre Dame beat #1 Florida State and appeared ready to coast to a championship.

#5 - Vince Young makes the USC defense look like a bunch of little girls.

#49 - The 1997 Missouri-Nebraska game where the pass bounced off of a foot of a Nebraska receiver before being caught for the game winning touchdown.

NR - "Ricky Williams runs to the Hall of Fame..."

#51 - Colorado gets a fifth down against Missouri en route to a championship.

#2 - Tuba players still can't tackle.

NR- This is a stretch, but Virginia beat Florida State in a Thursday night ESPN game circa 1995. It was the first time ever that FSU lost a conference game.

NR- This might be on my top 100, but I'd be surprised if it makes the ESPN list: OU is beating A&M 70-0 and the coaches mutually agree to let the clock run continously. The fourth quarter is over in 15 minutes. This is the only time I have ever seen the implementation of this rule.

#15 - Surely the Statue of Liberty play in last year's Fiesta Bowl will make the list.

#20 - Another stretch, but there was a play in the 95 national championship game where Tommie Frazier broke 10 tackles on one play, symbolizing the absolute dominance of Nebraska over the college football world in the early 90's.

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Posted by Johnnymac 1:59 PM

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 9:42 AM
ESPN is counting down the top 100 college football moments. It is getting me very pumped up about the upcoming football season. Summer is going to be tough with the Astros sucking and me just sitting around pining for September.

They have only counted from 100 to 60 thus far. Here are some moments that I feel should rank highly:

- 1969 Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George Bush are all in attendance to watch James Street to Randy Peschal to beat Arkansas in the "Game of the Century"

- Tom Osborne goes for 2 rather than the tie in the Orange Bowl. Ballsy, but unsuccessful.

- Kordell Stewart throws a damn near 100 yard Hail Mary to defeat Michigan, circa 1994.

- BC beats Notre Dame by virtue of a missed field goal in 1993. The week before, #2 Notre Dame beat #1 Florida State and appeared ready to coast to a championship.

- Vince Young makes the USC defense look like a bunch of little girls.

- The 1997 Missouri-Nebraska game where the pass bounced off of a foot of a Nebraska receiver before being caught for the game winning touchdown.

- "Ricky Williams runs to the Hall of Fame..."

- Colorado gets a fifth down against Missouri en route to a championship.

- Tuba players still can't tackle.

- This is a stretch, but Virginia beat Florida State in a Thursday night ESPN game circa 1995. It was the first time ever that FSU lost a conference game.

- This might be on my top 100, but I'd be surprised if it makes the ESPN list: OU is beating A&M 70-0 and the coaches mutually agree to let the clock run continously. The fourth quarter is over in 15 minutes. This is the only time I have ever seen the implementation of this rule.

- Surely the Statue of Liberty play in last year's Fiesta Bowl will make the list.

- Another stretch, but there was a play in the 95 national championship game where Tommie Frazier broke 10 tackles on one play, symbolizing the absolute dominance of Nebraska over the college football world in the early 90's.

We will see...

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 10:41 AM
The new Cadillac of Poker is well underway. I think that, given the ridiculous amount of entrants in the Main Event and the consequential lack of "name" pros at the final table, the $50,000 HORSE event will take over as the premier WSOP event.


I was in Brussels a couple weeks ago. The casino was two blocks from my hotel. They don't offer poker there, so I "played" blackjack and roullette. By "play", I mean "lost every bet that I made". As a result, my net gambling winnings on the year are just north of $100 positive, even though my poker results are well north of $2,000.


We are spending the week on the golden shores of Galveston, Texas. We saw plenty of sunshine yesterday, but if the weatherman is right, we may not see the sun again.


I am re-reading Ray Zee's book on high-low split poker. The two concepts that he most hits on in the O/8 part of the book are watching out for counterfeitable hands and high hands when a low has (or still can) qualify. These two concepts are, of course, not relevant to Holdem. As a result, most Holdem players, playing Holdem strategy while playing O/8, are often playing incorrectly. Since most players these days cut their teeth on Holdem before attempting O/8, it would stand to reason that there is a lot of money to be made at O/8. Methinks I should play more of it.


Viva los Estados Unidos. DaMarcus Beasley's miss around the 90 minute mark was pretty pathetic. Other than that, the boys in red, white and bluee did us proud.


We lost the golden boot.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Posted by Junelli 10:38 AM
I'm joining you guys...

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Posted by Johnnymac 11:30 AM
In a rare meeting of the minds last night, Dr and Mrs Fro stopped by the Johnnymac household for some dinner last night with me and my (gulp) family as they were enroute to a week's vacation in parts unknown. Unfortunately, Baby Dr Fro was asleep at her grandmother's house after a long afternoon in the car so we did not get to meet her. Regardless, dinner was a resounding success, even if it did start raining heavily immediately after I fired up the grill, thus forcing me to cook the fajita meat inside instead of in God's perferred way of flame-kissed goodness.

Anyway, I thought I would share some conversational highlights of the evening that might be interesting to some of our readers here.

- At one point in the evening I mentioned my recently newfound, but now almost year-old, enthusiasm for English soccer. Fro and I both agreed that I should have found this enthusiasm 5 years ago so that I would have made more of an effort to travel to the UK to visit he and Mrs Fro when they were living there. Due to the prevalence and popularity of football "punting" in the UK (sports betting for all of you yanks), we also agreed that there will likely be more soccer posts in this space once the season starts up again in a few weeks.

- It was agreed all around, and seconded by our better halves, that having children changes everything in life. Now we are both happy to find time to mow the lawn once a week, much less play poker or keep up with movies and TV.

- The subject of poker was only touched upon recently when we discussed our mutual affection for Omaha 8 and a desire to play more often. Accordingly, as soon as the summer is over (sometime in October in Houston) the Garage Game will start up again with the regular schedule including Omaha once a month. And hopefully, I have full plans sometime next Spring to upgrade and insulate and finish out the interior of said garage, too. Those plans also include an air conditioner and once all of that work gets done the poker games will be able to continue on indefinitely through next summer. Here's to hopeful plans.

There was also a lot of Mommy Talk between the wives (and husbands) regarding Mommy Things that will not ever be mentioned specifically on this blog. Needless to say, I woke up this morning and realized that Fro and I have known each other for almost ten years now and much has changed since our first Price Waterhouse-sponsored trip to the French Quarter and the nights of drunken kitchen table poker at our respective apartments and townhomes. First we start making money, then we find good womenfolk, then we have kids and talk about mowing the lawn. Amazing.

It has been a long journey, but it's nice to know that some things, like your friends, never change.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 11:27 AM
I say we trade him.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 3:23 PM
I have a baby girl. I don't like to use her name on the blog, so I often refer to her as Little Baby here. She is nine months old. She loves a stuffed animal named Ghost, she is memorized by Baby Einstein and she loves her Daddy. She is a sweet baby. She sleeps from the moment we put her down until about 12 hours later. This draws the ire of other parents when they think of how that compares to their baby's sleeping habits. That doesn't last long when they compare all things about each of our babies. We tend to get a free pass on the whole comparison thing. Our friends then share in our joy with Baby's sleeping habits and often tell us how blessed we are. And we are.

Sleeping 12 hours a night is not the thing that most makes Little Baby unique. Baby has Down syndrome.

We opted out of testing for Down's Syndrome during pregnancy, so we did not find out about it until her birthday. She was born around 11pm on a Sunday night, and I was equal parts elation and fear. This is normal for a first-time father (and perhaps for a first-time mother). I looked into her eyes and thought that she was capable of taking on the world. I was scared at this thought because I realized that I had a key responsibility in this ambition.

The OB also looked into her eyes. When she did, she saw something that I didn't. She saw obvious physical signs of Down's Syndrome. She covertly checked out a few other things such as the spacing between her toes and the skin behind her neck and corroborated her hunch.

She sat down on Mrs. Dr. Fro's bed and told us her diagnosis.

I was no longer equal parts elation and fear.

We spent three nights in the hospital, in effect only 12 hours longer than a typical couple. I think I remember our stay in the hospital quite a bit better than what a typical couple might. Like all couples, it was a dizzying experience involving intense moments awake and frequent moments asleep.

When Jane was asleep, I would cry. I didn't know why. I still don't. I just did. I would get it all out of my system, and then she would wake up. I would spend her waking time telling her that everything would be ok. I knew that we would have some challenges, but that we could handle it. I told her that I knew we could handle it. I didn't know that we could handle it. She would cry. I would tell her not to cry and eventually cheer her up. Then she would fall asleep, not assured, but asleep. Then I would cry.

It was tough then.

I didn't know then that our lives would be so blessed now.

The past nine months have been the best nine months of my life. Little Baby has done all of the things that babies do: smile, rollover, sit up, crawl, etc. These developmental milestones are important and emotional to all parents. These developmental milestones are important and emotional to us.

Milestones are wonderful. They are wonderful and joyous, but they are typically as predictable as a birthday. You know that they will do it, so the joy is when they do it. With us, we don't know that she will do it, so while we share the joy in experiencing when she does it, we especially have joy in the fact that she did it. There are adults with Down Syndrome that still struggle with basic motor skills, so each milestone is truly a matter of if and not of when.

For the past nine months, there has been a change in tone in the Dr. Fro bed in the conversations that take place before we sleep. We are always excited about what she is doing. Before she was born, we hoped she would go to Rice and perhaps play piano. Now, we hope that she develops effective speech skills.

We are like all parents, completely giddy with everything about our baby. I suppose we have some unique worries, but what we share with other parents is the fact that we have worries.

Occasionally, Jane falls asleep first. I spend her waking time telling her that everything will be ok. I know that we will continue to have some challenges, but we can handle it. I tell her that I know we can handle it. I know that we can handle it. She does not cry. She smiles and tells me that she loves me. Then she falls asleep, assured, and asleep. Then I cry.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Posted by Junelli 11:29 AM
"It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world."

Dr. Fro loves titles, so I wanted to give him one. I also wanted to write a follow up to his review of "Moneyball" with a review of my own.

If you are one of the few people in this country who have not yet read "1776" by David McCullough, please go get it today. In my life, I don't recall reading a book that had me thinking (and talking) about it long after I finished the last page.

Like many people, I hardly remembered much about 1776. I remembered that the Declaration of Independence was signed that year, and that the colonies were in the midst of the Revolutionary War with Britain (or as American Idol viewers would say, "At war with British"). What I didn't remember (or ever learned for that matter) was how much of a bad-ass George Washington was. Or how America's ragtag army was a picture of suffering, illness, hunger, and disillusionment. Or how American soldiers would defect by the hundreds or even thousands. Or how the countryside was littered with spies who were loyal to the British army. But most importantly, how vastly outnumbered the Americans were against an army that was better equipped, trained and disciplined, and was regarded as "the most powerful and efficient machine for waging war in the world.''

The book is not a bland history book you find in school. It reads like a Grisham novel and is told through the actual accounts & correspondence of the key players. George Washington wrote no less than 945 letters during this year, and each one gives a powerful insight into the thoughts, motivations, and fears of one of the founders of our country. You also get a sense as to how lucky he was was (on more than one occasion) and the role that ''fate, luck, Providence, the hand of God'' would play in the Army's survival (like a heavy fog that enabled 9,000 troops to escape from Brooklyn) and the role played, too, by the British command's passive, even lackadaisical approach to the war. If luck hadn't been on Washington's side, we might very well still be a British colony today.

Anyway, if you are looking for a true page turner, go get this book. I promise you will not be disappointed.


Poker News:

Since March, I have played poker exactly 4 times. I played in a tournament and $1-$3 NL cash game 2 weeks ago. I busted out of the tournament early, but then managed to run well in the cash game. After several hours, the game was about to break up. I was profiting about $550. We declared this to be the final hand of the evening. I was dealt TT. A very aggressive/loose player raised to $20 UTG (he had made this raise 5 out of the last 6 hands). Two other people called (non-believers also). Action was to me, and I decided to put in a huge raise and take down the pot. I raised to $200 (an overbet). It's folded back around to him. He moves all-in for $512. Everyone folds, and it's $312 more to me.

In my mind, there are only a few different hands he could have: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, maybe TT. That's it. The pot is about $800 and it's going to cost me $312. Therefore I'm not getting the right price if he has AA, KK, QQ, JJ (which represents 4 of the 6 holdings he could have). If he has AK it's a coin flip, and if he has TT, we'll likely chop. Therefore I don't gain much EV by calling this bet. Finally, and just as importantly, if I call and lose, my profit for the night is completely gone.

I fold and he shows JJ. Good fold. We deal a flop for fun, and I would've hit a Ten. Oh well.


Morris went out to Coushatta last weekend to play in their big $225 Freeze out. He won 1st place (chopped with the lion's share of the chips), and pocketed over $3,000. Nice job.


I saw a very interesting hand a few weeks ago. Three people were all-in (in a huge pot) after the flop. The board was 79T rainbow, and the pot was almost $2,500. When they turned their hands up this is what they had:

1. 99 (middle set)
2. KK (overpair to flop)
3. AJ (gutshot).

The AJ was truly a terrible player. Worse he was an asshole who though he could bulldoze everyone all night long. That would explain why he was stuck in the game for nearly $4,000.

They deal the turn, and it's a blank.

Anyway, they spent a lot of time counting outs and insurance. The set wasn't facing too many outs. 2-Kings and 4-Eights. Anyway, 3 way insurance is a nightmare and involves someone assuming the risk of coming out of their pocket if the suckout happens.

They decide to deal the river twice.

The first card is an Eight.

The second card is an Eight.

AJ (the dumbass with the gutshot) wins the entire pot by hitting his 4 outer both times. I thought guy with 99 was going to cry. It was truly a poker first for me. I've never seen it come perfect, perfect like that. The odds must be astronomical. Do we have a bean counter who can tell us?


"Gnarls Barkley" is still a great name for a band.


"With All Due Respect, I Choose Not to Go Fuck Myself"

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 8:39 PM
Lisa: Look, there's only one way to settle this. Rock-paper-scissors.
Lisa's brain: Poor predictable Bart. Always takes `rock'.
Bart's brain: Good ol' `rock'. Nuthin' beats that!
Bart: Rock!
Lisa: Paper.
Bart: D'oh!

I made five quick points the other day on which I intended to eventually elaborate. I will elaborate on #5 today.

Game Theory, which is too extensive of and too misunderstood of a subject to elaborate on here (consider reading this or this.), will tell you that in most complex situations with multiple unknowns that the optimal strategy varies based on what you know about your opponent's strategy. Using the Bart/Lisa example, if you know Bart is going to throw Rock, you should always throw Paper. That doesn't mean that Paper is always the right strategy, because if you play against Moe (or even against Bart if he ever wises up to your ways) who throws Scissors, you will lose every time.

You might think that conventional wisdom addresses this by suggesting you tweak your game based on your opponents. I don't think that goes far enough. I think you need to approach the game with an entirely different framework in order to be successful; tweaks won't cut it.

Let's define some strategies to simplify discussion:

Strategy A = bad, home game sort of poker, playing lots of hands, going for draws without getting pot odds, etc. Basically, it is the sort of poker you played before you were enlightened by reading my advice on this blog any of the good poker books out there, all of which, IMHO, steal the basic ideas from S/S and TOP.

Strategy B = the enlightened strategy that closely follows the heap of books out there

Strategy C = the way I now think you should play.

I believe that the books are overwhelmingly based on an assumption that there are a lot of players out there playing Strategy A. And if there are, then I think that Strategy B should completely dominate Strategy A. However, and perhaps this is just my experience, I think that there are very few people out there playing Strategy A. This is due to the common explanation that the A'ers went broke or became B'ers since 2003. This is also because there isn't a steady stream of new players because so many people jumped into the game in 2003. (In business parlance, I would say there was a draw on the backlog; there is no remaining inventory to put on the market.) So, when I sit down at a table, I think everyone is playing Strategy B. Even if one fish is playing Strategy A, I have a 1/9 chance of being the lucky B'er to get his money. What would be more profitable would be to figure out how to beat the B'ers, since in most hands you will be up against one of them.

My whole thesis rests on this assumption: you will be playing against primarily A'ers. If that is not your experience, read no further (but tell me where you are playing, because your game sounds juicy!)

So, what then is the right way to foil the B?

Conceptually, I would follow these rules:

- Assume your opponent is playing by the book. Assume that when he makes a hand, he will bet it.

- Assume that he thinks you are an A'er. For example, when you call, assume that he thinks you are on a draw.

Following these two guiding principles will make you some money off of enlightened players. There are all sorts of implications of these principles, many of which you will find out if you just remind yourself of these two principles before each decision.

I'll give you an easy example that follows these principles: If you have a good hand in late position (say, flopped a set), it just might be the right decision to call (not raise) a bet from your opponent. Since you assume he is an A'er, he is unlikely to be betting on a draw (unless he is Junell). Also, because he is an A'er, he should fold if you pop him. By just calling on the flop (and turn), you will eke more money off of him. Also, now that your hand is disguised (remember, he thinks you are on a draw), you can confuse the shit out of him when you pop him on the river. The downsides to slowplaying a solid hand are explained well in your poker books, but I just think that the dangers are mitigated by the circumstances you are in here. You are highly likely to be in a position that dominates your opponent (say, pairing the board gives you a higher boat than him). There are downsides, sure, but there are downsides to every strategy. I just think that they are mitigated here, and I also think that calling for a couple streets will get more value out of your opponent than the raise (which would end the hand).

Heresy? I hope so.

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:33 PM
Two ways to play JJ on the button
Scenario 1: You have been dealt JJ on the button. There are two early limpers and the guy to your right raises 3xBB.

Scenario 2: You have been dealt JJ on the button. There are no early limpers and the guy to your right raises 3xBB.

How do the early limpers change your decision on the right way to play this hand in scenario 1?

Well, for starters, the typical goal pre-flop with high pairs to get heads-up. JJ is tricky because anytime an A, K or Q falls, you are a little scared to bet. Narrowing the field to heads-up helps you a lot because approximately two thirds of the time your heads-up opponent will miss the flop. In fact, heads-up, it isn’t a bad idea to close your eyes and bet the pot on the flop no matter what it is. Your opponent will probably fold 2/3 of the time and you are getting 1:1 payoff.

Understanding this flop play is integral to the pre-flop play. So, what is the difference between scenario 1 versus 2? You have two limpers, and what do limpers most often limp with? Ace-X. So, you may be looking at a situation in which up several people have Ace-X meaning that there is perhaps only a case ace left in the deck (or none at all!). So, you should be a big favorite here because they have fewer outs than they may think. So your goal is to get as much money as possible in the pot pre-flop.

So do you raise or call? If you raise, you will probably make both limpers to fold, but if you call, they may think they (and the blinds) are getting good odds on their hand and call. Thus, you can get more money in the pot with a call than a raise and you should consider just calling.

Hope for flopping a set, but you should feel quite comfortable betting if the flop gives you an overpair. You just might get calls from top pair, top kicker (one of the Ax limpers).

Contrast this with scenario 2 where the more conventional move, a raise, seems to be a no-brainer. It will get you heads-up by getting the blinds to fold. If the original raiser re-raises, you have to think he has QQ-AA and consider folding. If he calss, you can just fire into the flop regardless of what comes up. Two-thirds of the time, you should win.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Posted by Dr Fro 2:08 PM

From: AC Beau Ryan
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 11:57 AM
Subject: Back-to-Back Cashes....

…was not in the cards.

Humor is all I have at this point, as I am pretty bummed it will be another year before I have a chance to play in the WSOP again. Here is my re-cap from the weekend:

We got into Vegas late Thursday night, dropped our bags off at the room and headed down to the casino. I was anxious to try out a change in my years old craps system. Needless to say after DP and BD pooled our resources to play as a corporation we quickly turned $300 into about $1500 in about 30 minutes. We decided from there to invest those proceeds into some blackjack. Before I knew it was 7am, DP was eating a fish filet in the McDonald’s at Fitzgerald’s and I had close to $2k in my pocket….more than enough to pay for the $1500 NL WSOP event I was going to register for the next day.

Day#2 started with a little craps and blackjack to push me over the $2k mark, from there we went to lunch and I said goodbye to the guys to head down to the Rio to see what was going on there and to register for Saturday’s event. Much to my dismay there was a line down the hallway leading to the Amazon room that easily had 500 people in it. Once I got inside I could tell that they were all in line trying to register. I didn’t want any part of that so I decided to try some satellites since I had a little extra cash in my pocket. However, we had the same result there…long lines and they weren’t moving. Later I would find out that a big part of that line was the casino employees trying to register for their event that afternoon. After a few hours in a $2-$5 NL cash game at the Rio, I resigned myself to waiting in line to register. I knew I had to do it at some point and it was now or never. I walked back down the hall to the end of the line and looked at my watch…it said 7:20pm. At 10:22pm, I traded $1500 for a card that read table #55, seat #6…I was in, 3hrs and 2 minutes later ( After 5 hours of sleep and no nap I figured the best case scenario was that even though I was in Vegas I should probably hit the sack and get some much needed sleep.

Day#3 started with me rolling out of bed about 3 hours after DP and BD got back to the room. I was awake and needed to get out, eat and get ready for the day. On the way to one of the hotel restaurant’s I happened to pass the craps table and decided to play a little before breakfast. One 20-minute session later I was up another $675 (should have been $700, but apparently I can’t count and blew my last $50 thinking I had cleared the $700 mark).

With all that said, here’s the part everyone is probably wondering about. DP dropped me off at the Rio at about 11:45 and when I walked in it was a madhouse. They hadn’t opened the doors to the Amazon room yet and there were more than 2,000 people that looked ready to riot, plus there was easily another 500 in line still trying to register. I wanted to tell them that they’d never make it, but it was useless….and I was on a mission. The doors finally opened and I waded my way over to my table. As I am walking up to my table I see the dealer and shake my head and wonder if I am seeing things. It’s this guy I know from Prime (a poker room I play at near my house). What are the chances that out of 3000 seats and 300 dealers I land at the table with him…very, very weird. Anyway, after bs’ing with him for a minute I notice this girl in seat #1 who looks familiar, but I can’t place the name (she has a hat on pulled down low), then I look to the guy beside me and ask him, “is that who I think it is?”. He says yes. You might have seen her here: or maybe here: . A couple of minutes later another guy sits down in seat #9 who also looks familiar, but can’t place the name. At the table he proceeds to open his bag and pull out two bracelets, put them on and then slip on a circuit ring. I would be all about sporting a bracelet if I had one, but who puts them on in front of everyone at the table?? Later I find out when someone else asks about the bracelets that he is Scott Clements: .

On to the tourney…About 30 minutes after the tournament should have started Jeff Pollack gets on the mic to many boos and proceeds to apologize about all the lines and disorganization that has occurred including a huge debacle with their choice of playing cards this year (which some of you may have read about…they were all screwed up, but in a nutshell, unless you counted the dots on the 6 & 9 you couldn’t tell them apart). He also mentions that outside of the last two main events that this will be the biggest tournament in the history of the WSOP….interesting, I guess that explains the long lines.

Finally he announces to the dealers to shuffle up and deal. We start with $3k in chips and $25-$50 blinds. The cards are in the air…. I fold mine and proceed to watch a huge first hand. Shannon Elizabeth is in the SB and another pro I never got the name of was in the BB. We get 3 other limpers and the flops comes down 6-7-9. SB bets out $150, BB calls, as well as the other 3 players in the hand. The turn is a 5. SB bets out $400, BB calls, and 2 of the 3 remaining players call. At this point we have almost $3k in the pot and I am thinking we’ve got at least two sets out there and probably a made straight. River is an Ace. SB goes all-in, BB calls making the pot around $7-$8k. The third player goes into the tank for a good five minutes and declares he has the best hand, but hates to risk going out on the very first hand (he later says he folded pocket nines). Shannon Elizabeth flips 6-9 for two pair and then turns to the BB and says you have the eight don’t you? He says yes and we have what might be the tournament chip leader at our table less than five minutes after it started. Buh-bye American Pie…people give this guy shit for the next 10 minutes about busting her so early…pretty funny stuff…I guess celeb poker players aren’t all what they are cracked up to be?!

From there I feel like I am playing very well and almost double my stack (to $5500) by the end of the 2nd level and break #1. We come out of the break and after a few hands I look down and see K10h on the button. SB, BB (Scott Clements) and two callers get to me and I call making the pot $1000 at $100-$200 blinds. Flop comes KK6, two spades, giving me top set. SB checks, BB bets out $500, the two other players fold and I think about a raise, but decide to just call (a huge mistake in retrospect), SB folds. The turn is a red queen and the BB bets out $1500. At this point, I’m not sure what he has…do we have the same hand and I’m out about to be out-kicked, has he made a full house with K6 or QQ, is he on a flush draw, am I missing something else?? Then I make the classic mistake of going all-in when I didn’t have to. He calls and asks if I’m on a flush draw, I say no, I have top set, he says well I am. Wow…maybe I made the right choice? There are 9 spades left, one of which is the Q that fills me up, as well as the 10 I have giving him 7 outs. Well, needless to say the 2 of spades rivers me out of the tourney and I want to puke on the table. I walk outside and still have a hard time comprehending that I actual stood in line longer the day before than I actually spent playing in the tournament.

At the end of the day I could care less about the money (without stretching out the story any longer, I came home with one of my biggest wins ever after all expenses including tournament costs) I’m just sick about having to wait another year to play again. If you like poker and haven’t played in one of these I highly suggest it, once you do you might be hooked forever like me.

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Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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