Tag Archives: Cash games

WBCOOP & St. Jude Fundraiser Results

Xuan thanks those who contributed to her team’s St. Jude fundraising campaign and qualifies for WBCOOP 2013 by sharing her best moment on PokerStars!


It is a rather long video, so I would understand if you jump to
1:39 for my WBCOOP story, “My best moment on PokerStars” or
6:46 to see me pick the winners for my St. Jude fundraising contest

I finally made it back to Toronto on attempt #3 after doing one of these on #2:

Attempt #2

Attempt #2

I won’t be around to play the WBCOOP main (I will be en route to APPT Seoul!), but I still wanted to share my experience as a poker player and blogger.

I submit my entry for WBCOOP 2013 by telling the tale of my years between 2007-2009. Highlighted by WoW degeneracy, grinding SNGs, live cash games, WPT satellites, almost giving up on the dream, studying for the CFA, and finally winning a Battle of the Planets triple shootout to renew my passion for poker.

Once again, a big thank you for those who helped with my St. Jude campaign, and congrats to Zhihao Zhang, Ian Modder, Christian Harder, and Jen Shahade for winning an hour of my time! I will cook, clean, teach…you name it!

Adam Pliska
Chris Ling
Christian Zetzsche
Christian Harder
Eric Salinas
Gabe Felkel
Ian Modder
Jason Mo
Mitchell Hecht
Nga Dinh
Rupert Elder
Steven Kerr
Vimy Ha
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Links:

WBCOOP
Battle of the Planets win
Jennifer Shahade

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Redux

Aight, I’m back home and have done a “visibility” makeover. I’ve changed my twitter and my blog url to something easily recognizable, I’m beginning to lay a concrete plan for my progress, I want to blog more regularly, and I’m still trying to get a rakeback account under my name so I don’t have to be so secretive all the time. Yes, I still value my privacy, but I think it’s just good business to not be such a prude anymore.

My last stretch of the WSOP was eventful but not as profitable as I would have liked. After my last post, I was able to take down the inaugural Aria 8-game mixed event. It wasn’t a huge cash, but it was like my second time playing mixed live so I was more than happy to beat the field. I doubled up in the first level during PLO when my top set QQ34ss held vs. a flopped nut wrap+fd on QT2fd. Got c/r potted on flop and money went in on turn with my binked flush redraw. Things were cruising more or less after that. I felt that theses mixed game players generally had limit poker backgrounds, so I steadily gained chips through the big bet games where players lacked imagination. At the final table I had some decent luck in razz to knock out a few players, and heads up I declined a chop with 2:1 in chips vs. a Russian Stud Champion.

As I was trying to qualify for the WSOP main I got the worst food poisoning of my life. We ordered Thai and I threw up everything I had eaten for the past two days 😦 It was not a pretty, and my stomach was so weak I couldn’t even handle water. My main event dreams were shattered, but perhaps it’s a good thing as it’s probably best from a bankroll perspective to not to compete in another $10,000 event until I’m more seasoned.

My mindset was pretty crushed after the sickness, and I extended my trip to desperately try to compensate for the lost time and opportunity. Although I didn’t make money my last last week, I don’t regret it at all because other good things can and did happen in Vegas.

Anyhow, since I’ve been back I’ve put in five live sessions back at Fallsview. I really did miss this place, but never really found legit reason to go back. Now that I’m not playing online so much and have been re-inspired with live cash, I look forward to taking the degen shuttle outside my condo to work on my craft. The hourly isn’t as good as RUSH during its peak, but I have yet to book a losing session since I’ve been back and it’s always nice to play with old friends. Even though the 5/10 has a maximum of two tables going on at any given time, the game’s never too bad and it’s just a matter of deciding whether the 2/5 is more profitable.

CPT may also be in the works. My sister is going to college in a week so I won’t be able to make it for the ladies event, but I have a good feeling about this. The CPT will be getting decent coverage and it seems as if it will draw a good crowd. This means great cash games for me.

Anticipating good things coming with hard work and focus; stay tuned!

Observations and confrontations

I’m still here in the City of Angels getting my grind on at the infamous Commerce Casino. Been making efforts to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle by getting some exercise each day before sitting on my ass for a dozen hours, but it can be a problem sometimes when my schedule is so messed up. The game is not as good as it was during the holidays, but there is still lots of pocket-lining potential after tweaking my leaks and making conscious efforts to develop my play.

A player made an interesting observation about the city of L.A. the other day. He was from out-of-town and commented about the weird “energy” that was at the Commerce, which I have since reflected on. The casino itself is in an industrial and predominently Spanish-speaking town about 15 minutes from downtown L.A. It is the world’s largest poker casino with over 200+ tables split into two main sections and with services you’d find at any high-end gambling facility, but it feels more like a chaotic sports arena rather than a high-roller’s joint. The players vary from complete noobs to bracelet-holding pros, and casual players consisting of fratboys to celebs and strippers. The tables are crammed into a grid with little room to maneuvre in between, which can make it difficult when there is a heirarchy of floorpersons, chiprunners, servers, porters, cocktail waitresses, masseuses, Blimpberry girls, candy girls, and railbirds fighting for legroom. The atmosphere is further characterized by a dizzying spectrum of noises from these parties with competing interests, so one can imagine that it can be more difficult than other places to stay goal-oriented. Ah, but it is a place that tests true character.

My friend Tri has been consistently encouraging me to work hard for the next 6 months after cramming some numbers, and he put my situation quite bluntly into perspective: I can either focus tirelessly for the next little while and accumulate an income equal to the top 5% of Canadian earners, or I could let my mind and eyes wander off and be distracted by the naturally temptation-inducing L.A. lifestyle as a young person. Q also constantly warns me of the common mistake of many poker players to get caught-up with too much partying in the city after moving there and being forced to return home. I will not let this happen so long as I still want to play. Yes, I do miss the unequivocal VIP treatment from my home casino and not feeling like I’m being thrown into a ring of ravenous vultures everytime I step into the pit, but I am stepping up and thinking long-term.

Sometimes I surprise myself thinking about how much I’ve changed since I was a punkass teenager. I’ve recently been experimenting with an ultra-aggressive gear that seems to instigate confrontation from dumb players. Well, dumb people would be more accurate. As I was trying to extract information when faced with a strange river bet as the preflop aggressor in a pot against a guy who was taking my style as a personal attack, this annoying girl who was attempting to flirt with everyone at the table started ranting about how I was taking a long time and directed a series of rude comments at me instead of simply calling time. I gave in to the pressure and folded my hand as the donk villain turned over a bluff. At this point, I confronted her rude behaviour and lack of etiquette, and the argument became quite heated as crowds were drawn. If this was years ago, I would not have hesitated to kick her ass to Beijing, and for the most part, I am proud of myself for handling the situation the way I did. I felt especially blessed when Tri came over to my table and started wrecking havoc by antagonizing the bitch and taking everyone out of their poker comfort zone (what he does incredibly well). Unfortunatly he lost to a rivered 1-outer (quads over boat) after putting her exactly where he wanted, but that did nothing to undermine the kind gesture just the same. I think it’s called the tranference of negative energy or something? lol. He ended up sucking out all the anger from me and took the burden instead.

My observation of L.A. based on my experiences thus far, is that this city is very spoiled and often ungrateful. The people are blessed with an amazing climate and fingertip access to the finest things in the world, and yet they appear to be bitter and unappreciative. It is also often depressing to watch the flock of older immigrants who appear to be the hardest workers in the casino with the general maintenance labour they do, but who also get paid the least since their line of duty does not include hustling for tips. As I have made myself familiar with the gratuity system here, I find myself creating excuses to tip these people and reward considerate behaviour from all the staff. I think it’s the little things that count. There is also a drastic difference between the mentality of a selfish employee and that of a benevolent one which can be observed in this simple illustration: after finishing my meal, I put a tip to the side of the table symbolizing that it can be cleared. A selfish floorperson who already hustles for tips comes over when he sees the coin and just pushes the table to the side while pocketing the money (it is not his job to clear tables), while on another occasion an infinitely more compassionate worker will call over a porter (who do all the dirty work) so he can work for that dollar instead. Perhaps example B was simply doing his job, but after seeing what he could have done, I was touched and tipped him as well.

I really hope I won’t turn into a bitch, but so far it appears that you need mighty thick skin to make it out here.

Victim of angle-shooting retardedness or too tired for good judgment?

Ok so after having breakfast at the sports bar with a pint and trying to resolve Tri’s new year’s dilemma, we both sat down at the same $1500 table. We decided we would try to keep the heads up matches grounded to only small pots since it is rather silly to gun for each other when there are so many other worthwhile opponents in the game. He was up to his usual antics in no time (uber LAG supremo), so I mostly stayed out of his way until I realized he was stuck in 6th gear and needed a kick in the nuts to play some better poker. Being up a few hundred bucks and realizing pretty much every player at the table was gunnin for Tri’s money, I decided to get a table change and wound up beside the world’s drunkest asian player (he would make Scotty Nguyen look like a gentleman). He made things quite uncomfortable as he constantly leaned inches from my face every hand whispering broken drunken Engrish, but because he said nothing but nice things and tried to offer me advice on how the only way to make money at poker is to play squeeky tight, I decided not to be a poor sport and complain to the floorman. The table fluctuated between decent action and weak-tight uneventfulness, so I thought many times about getting a table change and even asked the supervisor for one that never got responded. I understand they work on tips and believe me, I am very generous if they go out of their way to help me, but I want to see that they are proactive and would prefer to reward them only after they have granted my request.

Anywho, so after a couple of hours of creating pots for myself from being card-dead and being forced to fold everytime I get played back at when making a move, I am hovering around even until I catch myself having to work way to hard to win pots and calling river bets super light from not reading the board properly. That’s definitely my cue to call it an even night, so I rack up my chips and was ready to leave when the guy to my right tells me I might as well see 1 more free hand. Meanwhile, a new player comes in at seat 1 (I am at seat 9), and appears to buy-in for $500. I recognize her as a dealer who often hangs out in the room after her shift, but have never actually seen her play before. On my last hand, LAG to my right blind raises, I call with 22 and 7 players end up in the $175 pot. Flop comes K72 all spades. I am not exaggerating when I say that within a span of 5 seconds, all 6 players check before I get a chance to process the board, at which point I had to announce to the dealer right when he was about to burn that I had not yet acted. At this point, the players who know what they’re talking about defend me profusely as they make jokes about checking out of turn really fast so players before you won’t get a chance to bet, while the donks who want a free turn tell me it was my fault I was not on top of the action. The floorperson gets called over, and even though the dealer chick apologized for checking out of turn and stating obviously that I had not acted, the retard who got trained by monkeys tell me it’s my responsibility to act and to stop the dealer before the burn is peeled. Note that the turn isn’t even out yet. I notified the dealer immediately when I realized he had skipped me (even he admitted this to be the floorperson and confessed it was his fault), and yet the 3 donks arguing for a free card get the benefit of the ruling. I am pissed and tell him he is ridiculously wrong, but am left with no contingency as he tells me the ruling is final. The turn is a brick 8. I replaced my rejected $100 bet into the pot and asian lady min-raises me to $200. Everyone folds around and I look over at her stack, still 3 piles of $5 for $300 and some change. I shove and she calls me with a flopped flush. River is a brick, and the dealer tells me I owe $600 something more. Before I could process what happened, she brings out a stack of white chips ($100’s) she had behind on the other side and I am stuck for the night on this life-tilt hand. Then I hear comments from the players about how she is known for checking out of turn for info and angle-shooting to maximize. WTF>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I should have been more careful and made sure that she only had $300 left, but I was so heated and pissed off from all the donkey comments about me not being friendly and arguing to bet $100 on the flop that it did not even occur to me that she would have no other hand in that spot and did not realize how clouded my judgment was until it was all over. I stand up with a near empty tray welcoming myself to L.A. out loud as the guy to my right has the nerve to try to hit on me as I make my exit.

Getting Cozy

I enjoy the game at Commerce very much.

I began the day casually with a nice stroll around the nearby outlet mall searching for belated holiday gifts. Ate a delicious Hawaiin fish sandwich for breakfast (at 5pm) that tasted like a cross between a filet-o-fish and a classic patty-on-a-bun from a bakery around my middle school. I must say L.A. has the best food anywhere. From Mexican pho to authentic Mandarin hotpot, specialty restaurants are everywhere and on average, much better than anything that can be found back home. Since this was my first day alone in the city, beginning with a Starbucks Chai Latte was a must to incorporate some familiarity into the experience, and though I couldn’t find any appropriate gifts at the shops, the complex made for a pleasant walk and I did manage to find a cute purple jacket, which I had been looking for in T.O.

Poker was pleasant as well as I turned a decent profit playing a couple of hours. I do realize, however, that I really need to put in more time at this game if I am hoping to play the $10-20 no max. game in a month.

Also confirmed New Years plans for Giant Maximus with a friend from school. I figure it’s either that or part-ay with degen poker players during the countdown (again), so I guess I’ll be off commission for a few days after the event 🙂