Tag Archives: WSOP

Journey Through Zion

Zion West Rim

It was a fine decision to go to Zion National Park after the WSOP. Even though I’ve always loved camping, fishing, and hiking growing up, as a city girl I didn’t have much experience other than the occasional family outing and the basic Red Rock hikes I had only recently been introduced to in Vegas. There was also a courage-shriveling moment after a fall on a hiking/rock climbing trip with my volleyball team when I was 12. I was glad to have the online “Lucksacks,” Kevin MacPhee and Dylan Linde, and Nick and Michael Binger as my fellow wilderness explorers

Zion is just a two and a half hour drive from Las Vegas so it was a good choice for post-series detox. Kevin and Dylan had originally proposed to hike the “Narrows,” a river-submerged trail between the canyons that would have required aqua shoes and been practical for the desert heat, but as poker players, we had only concretely decided to go hours before take-off and were disappointed to find out in the morning that there was a flash flood warning for that hike. Unwilling to abandon our Zion decision we made the road-trip anyway, assuming there would be other fun picturesque trails at the park.

My Recently Expired Passport

The guys were all seasoned outdoor veterans, so we prepared ourselves with tents, freeze-dried food, blister bandages, water purifiers, and plenty of sunblock. It was a smooth drive to the polygamy capital and the Zion Visitor’s centre was busy upon arrival and occupied mostly by families with school-aged children. Having active outdoorsy vacations is a very smart way to create lasting positive memories with your kids! The souvenir shop sold passports where children could collect stamps from all the National Parks they had visited. I would’ve thought that was so cool as a girl, though I suppose collecting real passport stamps is pretty neat too!

Start

The park ranger highly recommended we hiked the West Rim, saying it was his favourite trail in the entire park. It was a beautiful but often strenuous 15 mile journey that we split up into two days. We drove up to the North West corner of Zion and parked at a peak to start our hike in the afternoon. We were fortunate enough to fade rain, and made our way towards our camping site at a leisurely pace through vast fields and tranquil forest. We did not encounter another human soul on day one, but did manage to spot a snake, some lizards, and soak in one of the most epic views I have ever seen. The soft sunlight a few hours before dusk landing on a valley of mountain ranges created a symmetrical pedestal-like centerpiece. It would have been a suitable setting for a Tomb-Raider or Indiana Jones movie, or perhaps a hidden valley where dinosaurs thought to be extinct would still thrive.  

The Opening

The Opening

We soaked whatever heavenly energy we could before hurrying onto our camp site against the setting sun. This portion of the hike flew by as we decided to play the Last Letter game, where we took turns naming Game of Thrones characters and terms that started with the last letter of the previous word. Dylan (read each book more than twice) and Nick (read most of them more than twice, wikis GoT in his spare time) were the biggest nerds, followed by Michael (GoT fresh in his brain as he was currently reading the books), and Kevin (has only watched shows) and I (had only read book 3 just a year earlier) pretty close in last place. I am proud to say that I will be well-prepared for the next match since I am now almost done book four.

We were welcomed to the camping site by a vivid rainbow and colourful clouds over a clearing surrounded by light forest and backdrops of mountain peaks. Upon pitching our tents we were greeted by some curious deer who would proceed to circle our camp and stalk us for the rest of the night. I could not make this up! They often came within a few meters of us, and made sure to make their presence known with their bold and noisy behavior. We speculated that we may have stopped in the middle of their living room. We slept under a blanket of stars that night before moving onto day two.

Rainbow Welcome

 

Stalker Deer

The next morning we realized after cooking our freeze-dried huevos rancho that we were almost out of water. The mapped water source near our campsite was but a thick swamp, so we decided to hurry on to locate the nearest spring many miles away before the sun took its toll. I was prudent enough to apply preemptive blister bandages on my baby callouses, and was taught that the secret to comfortable feet was to change socks often – dampness amplifies friction. Unfortunately I had only packed two pairs, so I could only switch between them several times on the hike. Weathered skin may show character, but it certainly does not look attractive through cute summer wedges.

The trail immediately took us from the comfortable, steady path of day one to a treacherous steep uphill climb over and around countless mountain ranges for most of day two. There were often miles of road without any shade, which, combined with our near-empty water supply and the heavy packs on our backs, made for an intense experience. If I had been with any other group I would have been a whole lot more concerned! At times it was also impossible for me to physically and mentally keep up; my biggest barriers present themselves when there is uncertainty as to where the finish line is. It was the toughest work out of my life.

Finding water made things a lot easier. We took a sock-changing break by our oasis near a cliff overlooking a brand new landscape of gorges and terrain. In actuality the spring was just a puddle-sized well with tadpole-looking creatures swimming in it, but boy was the crisp-bleachy taste of that purified water incredible! We armed ourselves with full canisters for our next segment of the hike, which while often still upwards, took us on a beautiful path that ran along the edges of breathtaking stone mountains.

No pictures could do the experience justice. The depth and curvature of each range was more majestic than the last. We consensually agreed that while the hike so far had been pretty cool, this segment was why the park guide had named the trail to be his unequivocal favourite. It felt like being on a pilgrimage across an ancient land, and we often joked about orcs catching up to us when we didn’t keep pace.

“Walter’s Wiggles” Switchbacks

I guess I failed to mention that I had a flight back to Toronto that evening. We had a strict deadline to finish the hike, grab a quick bite, take a shuttle to our car at the visitor’s centre, drive back up to the start of the trail where the second car was, then get me back to Vegas with time to pack. I had briefly accepted that I would likely miss my flight, given that we didnt even see our first fellow human until about 3 miles left in our adventure. By this time we were all beyond exhausted, but I think if we didn’t have the time restriction we would have gone a few more miles out of our way to hike “Angel’s Landing,” a dangerous and exhilarating highlight of Zion characterized by a narrow cliff trail guided by a metal chain. We were now on a steady downwards descent, and the end seemed near as we encountered more hikers and even whole school groups. How deceiving! There would be about two more hours of steep descension and switchbacks ahead. The journey down was brutally unkind on our feet and joints, and sharing the path with those who had only climbed the few miles up to Angels Landing would’ve made me feel like an outdoor elitist if I wasn’t being humbled by the sweltering heat of a sun at full mass.Zion.JPG

My enthusiasm for the end rapidly turned into a stream of miniature stumbles until we were finally rewarded with the sanctity of the refreshing Virgin River. Our race against time was gladly ignored for a much-needed baptism back to civilization, and I was then able to declare that the West Rim in Zion was now one of my proudest triumphs! I passed out most of the way back to Vegas and was able to make my flight home that evening.

I will always remember the nature of my lusts as we weaved up and down those celestial valleys. No existential angst or worldly desire can compete with my appreciation for an ice-cold beverage and dry socks!

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Before the 44th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event

So this year for WSOP I am one of Bluff’s Contenders. The lovely Diana Cox was assigned to stay updated on my progress and has written these awesome articles:

The Contenders: Xuan Liu Picks Up First Cash in Millionaire Maker

The Contenders: Xuan Liu Optimistic and Tweeting for Ivey

The Contenders: Halfway with Xuan Liu

The Contenders: Xuan Liu Feeling Better

21 events, 4 cashes and down to the only one that matters.

Went to EDC for the first time on my birthday weekend and had a blast.

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Feelings

I am back in my Toronto, currently looking for another lease even though I was only at my last condo for ~3 months last year. I really do intend on spending more time at home if I can help it, especially with so many new live Canadian stops and Full Tilt coming back soon. The WSOP was a stressful time and there are definitely things I would do differently next year. It was my second real World Series and I earnestly tried to focus only on poker but there was no escape from the noise and pressure to mold my own identity in this world. I will always be true to my values and remain stubborn in many of ways, but with recognition comes an interesting set of responsibilities that isn’t always natural for my personality. I felt bad and still do because I put a lot of strain on my interpersonal relationships when I questioned people’s motives out of my own insecurities this past summer.

My dad and stepmom came to visit me and had a great time, as did my best friend Huyen and her Nick. It felt great to be able to show them the different facets of Vegas and I was proud to finally give them a glimpse into my lifestyle. I was also obnoxiously sick just from being in the dry desert and being exposed to violent AC so of course I felt guilty for the tournaments I had missed and stressed myself out even more trying to make up for it. Some sweet stuff did happen though. Simon, Dom and Vanessa won a bracelet, and I still do have that Stud 8 final table. I also got an Ipad and a sweet massage at the tables for my birthday.

It was a great WSOP for women and although I feel the glory from being a girl and am very happy for every one of these ladies, I think it’s also alright to admit I’m jealous. It’s not malicious, it just comes from my competitive drive since it makes me feel like I need to work harder and set the bar higher for myself. It’s really an exciting time for players of every demographic with the predicted “second renaissance” of poker and this is a trend that is here to stay.

WPT Parx and EPT Barcelona are next on my schedule. These are exciting times because I will be doing some footage for WPT’s “Ones to Watch” segment so I will do my best to give them some impressive results. I am also honoured to have been selected to be a member of the inaugural EPT Player’s Council. The first meeting is at EPT Barcelona which was also my very first EPT stop on my first trip to Europe in 2010. It’s a beautiful city and I can’t wait to stay by the beach at the Hotel Arts!

WSOP again

I’m here in Vegas during the WSOP and finally have a day off to update. I should have chronicled all my adventures in my last Europe trip to Vienna, Berlin, Dublin, and Monaco, but SCOOP immediately started when I returned home to Toronto and when I’m at home I want downtime!

The non-poker aspect of the Euro trip was amazing, and despite the poker aspect not being monetarily rewarding, it was a good trip for the development of my game and career. I stayed focused, ate well, worked out, rarely drank, and played my top game in tournaments and cash throughout the entire 5 weeks abroad, including the Party Poker Premier League Playoffs and some 100/200 mixed in Vienna.

After the Grand Finals I went to Aruba for a much needed getaway and met the talented WPT Boot Camp crew. I played a few random days of SCOOP in Toronto after that and was up a bit overall but mainly just went to the gym a ton and pigged out on home-cooking afterwards in preparation for a long summer in the desert. It’s now two weeks into the series and I feel like my efforts have already paid off and my chances of a bracelet are still very much alive. I have been playing and going deeper in the mixed events, including a final table in the $1500 Stud8. Coming that close to a bracelet only makes me want to work harder, especially since I made a silly error misreading my hand at the final table! Right before I lost an extra bb for misreading that I had a low on 7th in a crucial hand, I was telling my amazing rail how anxious and nervous I was. I have to learn how to function better under pressure. Anyone have any good advice for this? I feel like I can never play my A game when when people are paying attention, which is really depressing because all the money in tournament poker is made at the final table.

I’m staying with the charismatic Maridu at the coveted Panorama Towers. I’m rarely ever here with my long work hours but she keeps me optimistic and rightfully excited for what’s to come. In her words, nothing ever phases me. I am, however, looking forward to my dad and my stepmom visiting me in less than two weeks, as well as my best friend and her boyfriend in early July. It will be there first time travelling further than Niagara Falls to watch me play poker! It’s been a record-breaking WSOP for women, but there’s still plenty of hardware up for grabs so I won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

This is my third reverse-chronological entry on my Deauville-Paris-Venice-Paris-Malta-Copenhagen trip. Again, it’s very tl;dr because I suck at making concise and regular updates. Enjoy!

“It is tossed by the waves, does not sink” is the translation for the Latin Parisien motto, and pretty accurately describes my adventures in the city of light and effortless elegance. I have to begin by saying I am not proud I did not get to do all the touristy stuff I had on my check list. The closest I got to the Louvre was to the club across the street, and I kept the Musée d’Orsay hanging more than a few days in a row until we hastily left for Malta. What’s more upsetting, however, is that I was still unable to take advantage of the weak fields at the FPS events. I often use this analogy when referring to these situations, but seriously, there were times when I felt like I was getting beat up by toddlers.

I was actually in Paris twice. The first time was with Noctus, Dylan, and Cal after a Deauville Sunday all-nighter grind. We took a train to Paris and I bragged about paying a lower fare than the rest with my skill to navigate the confusing French rail site until I went on an ugly run in Chinese. We stayed in a roomy 4 bed hotel in the centre of the city by Opera. Since they were all leaving the next morning, we decided to make the most of our time and visit the Eiffel Tower.

I usually have this Dallas Green mentality when travelling (“…but I’ll never take any pictures/Cuz I know I’ll just be right back” from the song Coming Home), but I really wished I had a real camera with me this time. Yes, it’s still just a metal structure, but all that it stands for is pretty alluring. We had some mediocre French tourist food after and pretty much all snap-passed out once we got back to the hotel. Strangely we also all woke up simultaneously around midnight & hunger pangs led us to “Au Pied de Cochon”, a 24-hour joint that specialized in pig’s feet. I was very familiar with the part since the delicacy is actually renowned for its skin-rejuvenating properties in Asian culture. My mother makes plenty of this stuff at home, but the others opted for safer fare. We actually ended up staying there for awhile as Noctus and Cal went tete a tete in a classic science vs. religion debate. That eventually led us to some more fun topics like free will and the existence of the soul. It must’ve been the Parisian air!


It was sad to see these guys leave, but I certainly didn’t mind staying longer in Europe. I was also due for Venice in a few days for the WPT, but more on this mystical city in my next entry. My second time in Paris I was lucky enough to be there at the same time as my friend Cathy, who is certainly the classiest girl I know. I met her at my table itm on the second day of the WSOP Ladies Event where I made a failed attempt to squeeze her open with her 4b shove in my face. She has a fearless table presence and is a force to be reckoned with. She is also effortlessly elegant even though she is not even French and actually is quite diverse in her opinions of Paris. She complains that Parisians complain about everything when they have the best luxuries in the world, and she never makes excuses for herself or anyone around her. I wish I could be more like that!

It was a privilege to have her and Arnaud as my personal guides around the city. Although my French skills are workable with Canadian core French education, the city is much friendlier if the locals don’t see you as an outsider. Cathy, like me, was always up for easy Asian food and it’s nice to do girly things once in awhile. She took me to the finest malls where she knew the Chanel salespeople by name. We tried on clothes, shared decadent desserts, and talked about boys and poker. Joie de vivre! Arnaud did his part and entertained my historical curiosities by taking me to L’Arc de Triomphe, and showing me multi-faceted sides of the city through his familiarity with interesting neighbourhoods and trendy bars. One afternoon he took me out for some delicious Italian food (the day before we left for Venice, obv) in a tres chic neighbourhood. It was renowned for its boutiques, cobblestone paths, and great spots for people-watching, but we were warned immediately after sitting on the heated patio that there is also aninfestation of pick-pockets and small-time scammers, and that I should guard my purse carefully and put my Blackberry away. Sure enough, halfway into our meal the exact scam we were being warned about (a group of mafia-directed adolescents holding maps intending on asking suckers for directions while sneaking away valuables from underneath) came to our restaurant and was hastily shoo’d away by an employee. I had initially thought the petty crime frequency was just an exaggeration, but after the incident I applauded our attentiveness and felt quite good about our fortune for having so narrowly escaped what could have been a disastrous stall to my Euro trip. 

Now for the good part. As we stroll off about 200 metres away talking about not running so hot in poker and preparing to hail a cab, I realize I had forgotten my purse at the restaurant’s patio. I wish I could measure the loss of colour in my face. You see, I try to be prepared to play cash games most days and depending on the hotel I’m staying at I may keep a bundle of cash on me. My passport and five figures of Euros were in that purse, and the irony in this case is understated. Luckily for me I run pretty good at life and Arnaud sprinted down the street to find it right where I left it.

My first encounter with Arnaud was at a 2ke side event at EPT Prague. I’m generally a pretty good shit disturber in a weak field, and when he came to the table it didn’t take long for him to figure this out. He’d been relatively quiet and I 3b his EP open which he called. Board came KQTr and we both checked. Turn is a 9, he puts in a healthy bet and I jam just over pot to find the fold Later on I would learn that he had 54s, which is a hand that will again play a key role at FPS. I would go on later to analyze some hhs with him at a strip-club with midgets. He would also be one of the first guys to convincingly argue that it’s ok and can be respectable to use feminine wiles for metagame at the table. I’m still trying to incorporate that into my game in a meaningful way since it’s nice to have a selection of weapons to choose from.

Ok, onto FPS review. The tournament at Cercle Haussman was a huge success considering the starting days overlapped the WPT Paris event at the Aviation Club. I had originally planned to play the latter, but I was given top secret info regarding the softness of the FPS fields and it seemed like a no-brainer to go for better value. Although it was a smaller buy-in of 2ke instead of WPT’s 5k the prize pool was significantly greater. Like all gambling joints in Paris, the casino was actually a private club that required an annual membership fee. I have no complaints about the venue or the people. They were not necessarily friendly, but concerns were resolved with due diligence and they were conveniently located in a busy downtown area of the city.

Since it happened about two months ago I had to consult my tweets for frames of reference when blogging, and all I got was “50k @ 1st break no showdown yet :)” and “Out KK[less than]AQo last level of the day. Sigh. Rly. Gl @arnaudmattern wreck that table.” Although I can’t recover much concrete details, I do remember that most of the bigger pots were either awesome due to thin value/sick reads, or vs. absurd hands/lines/opponents.

Two absurd hands happened where I wasn’t involved. On the very first hand of the day, Arnaud’s friend was heads-up vs. a villain he had history with no other players seated yet at their table. Starting stacks are 25k at 50/100 and he accidentally raised to 2050 instead of 250 due to a live color misclick. His opponent realized this and 3bets to 6k. Player 1 shoves for a full stack with QTs and player 2 snaps with K3 and wins. This set the tone for the tournament.

It was a field where it was exploitable to play unexploitably, and even as I knew this I managed to get into a bunch of flippy situations expecting them to be flips at worst, and not come out ahead. Despite not having made it past the first day, I had a lot of fun. The players who spoke any amount of English were friendly and engaging. My friend would also direct my attention to some flattering/hilarious posts about me on a French poker forum. I was really sad to go in the last level of the day since I had just transferred to Arnaud’s left from a broken table. Admittedly I got some inside scoop on the table as I sat down: guy to my direct left was a spazzy but competent well-known French player with unlimited bankroll. Guy two seats to his left was a crushing solid high-stakes reg who ended up coming 2nd to Marvin. The rest were at various degrees on the ichthyoid scale. Excluding Arnaud, they were all pretty much pylons.

Here’s where the second hand comes in. With above dynamics, Arnaud from lowjack opens for 1400 at 300/600/50 with a ~45k stack. I fold, guy with unlimited br 3bs to 3750 with ~25k. Basile Yaïche (high-stakes cash guy) with monster stack 4bs to 7800 from sb. Arnaud 5bs to 16200 and gets two folds. He then asks me to pick a card and I reveal the 4c. Awesome! He then animatedly jokes that it was to impress the lady and I oblige, admitting I am impressed. That made a really good PokerStars blog entry.

So I came to the table with about 10bbs, doubled, lost min with 88 vs. QQ that somehow got to showdown, then lost 15bb in sb with KK in a standard spot vs. bb’s AQ reshove against Arnaud’s button open. I did wonder, however, what bb’s lightest jam would be in this spot. If I remember correctly he was playing 25ish bigs eff since Arnaud had us both covered, and due to the obvious familiarity between Arnaud and I, villain must have assumed Arnaud is folding a shitload vs. me and I would/should shove pretty wide.

I wasn’t too upset, however, because I was still in Paris and I thought there were a ton of juicy cash games to be played as well as a potential FPS high roller to look forward to pending my satellite win. The satellite plan was unsuccessful after losing with T7s on 47475 board in a pot where villain min. 3b from sb into 3 players. He barreled thrice and had 75. I looked stupid because I didn’t even immediately realize he had won and was expecting my half of the pot.

There is definitely more to be said about French poker antics but I’ll try to wrap this up and get to the juicier stuff. When Dom flew back to Europe from Aussie Millions we roomed together at a hotel right off Champs Elysses, “the most expensive street in the world”. Our hotel internet connection was very temperamental and both Dom and I lost probably over 2k each in buy-ins throughout the trip due to unstable connections. Well, Dom was actually able to ship a nice win in a turbo despite being dc’d for a few min so he ran a lot better than I did in terms of when the internet decided to cut off. On our last Sunday there Dom was smart enough to prepare to grind at his German friend Alex Debus’ hotel. I was stubborn and decided that since the Internet was fine all day there shouldn’t be any problems with it in the evening. I was wrong and halfway through some big tourneys I was forced to take a cab to meet up with them. The day was redeemed by some meh cashes but I was tortured by the Euro tournament schedule. I was power-napping during breaks and expected to take down the weekly HORSE until my stamina failed me and I fell asleep at the final table! The next day we would hear that Alex played until the next afternoon and ended up shipping the 300 freezeout FTOPS for $300k+. That same night Marvin would win the FPS for something like 250ke and serenade the audience. The Germans were invading Paris again! It was great for me because we feasted on Chinese food after.

On one of our last night’s in town we went to a swanky club called VIP across from the Louvre, where DJ Cut Killer was spinning. He was a friend of Elky’s and we had a pretty nice booth with his entourage in front of the stage. I’d was pretty stressed from the previous week so I really let loose and had a blast with Cathy. This place had no shortage of eye candy between its go-go dancers and young model-types having a good time. The place is so over-the-top in cooler-than-thou factor that the ladies’ room attendant is a black male monk! Yes, that dude is handing you towels, listening to you pee, and asking you if you need perfume. Not sure if that’s the most zen place he could be.

Venice is next!

Happy 2011! tl;dr 2010

2010 was an insane year of transitions. The tl;dr of my 365 days:

– Grinded a lot of RUSH and made a RUSH 6max $1/2 vid that never got launched (partially because I was too cheap to buy the full-version of Camtasia when I didn’t finish according to schedule). Paid for MTT coaching.
– Visited family in Tianjin, China, and rekindled with people I hadn’t seen for 17+ years. Had so much fun (and good food) I thought about permanently moving to Beijing.
– First time in Macau: not a very long trip and went there originally to play cash, but went deep in 2/2 events so didn’t have time. Grand Lisboa has sick rooms.
– Got everything hacked. Not fun. Mental game shot.
– Studied a ton for CFA exam, but not hard enough with poker (still) as a distraction.
– My first WSOP! Had own condo for a month and a half to grind cash. Rio was hit and miss but Venetian games were golden everyday. Won biggest pot of career of 1000bb at Caesar’s. Played 2 WSOP events, 3 VDS, 1 Aria 8game, and 1 Caesar’s main. Played a lot of 8-game online.
– Met a good man in a situation I wasn’t ready for.
– Made a vid for the Big Game. After the telephone interview (happened in Barcelona) I was told that if I don’t hear back from them til Jan it was a good thing…
– Took a leap of faith and became convinced playing liveaments was the way to go. Took a lot of reflection to make poker my #1 priority rather than just an auxiliary compromise.
– Fulfilled a dream of being a night/blood elf on Halloween. Costume was meh but it sure was fun reliving my ultimate nerd days.
– NAPT L.A: Rented place off Craigslist that didn’t end up having furniture, final tabled (no cash) 8game to a good start, some sick beats in others (e.g. flop straight on 7h5h3, get it in 100+bb deep vs. Ah7x who goes perfect perfect for a boat.) Didn’t feel significantly outmatched at any time which was a great enabler for my confidence. Sweated Van for 4th in the main in Compton, saw a Laker’s game and went to Disneyland.
– EPT Barcelona: My first time in Europe! Won mega satty and cashed in a side, got owned on first hand played in the main (review to come). Found a reliable roommate for the first time in awhile. Visited Gaudi’s spiritual/architectural gem; the inspiring/humbling/empowering experience will linger for a long time.
– IPT San Remo: lots of nomming of the pasta and pizza. First sense of loneliness on the road by myself. Binked mega satty and 1k side, got owned in main and ladies’. So far Italians in Italy are the friendliest people I have encountered.
– EPT Prague: Flew in right in time for 2nd level of the main and gave the eventual winner a lot of “positive vibes”. Prague is as beautiful as someone once dear to me described, but it’s even colder. Had lots of beef goulash and got hustled in Chinese. Went to a black metal bar and a strip club with midgets.
– Home for the holidays: was fortunate enough not to get stuck at an airport. It’s nice hermitting with family and eating home food. All caught up on Dexter, Bones, Modern Family, House, and my sister. NYE party was kinda nuts and became another friendly reminder to pour my own drink and not leave them unattended.

I joined a new gym today and was so exhausted when I came home i fell asleep super early so I woke up in the middle of the night and realized this was one of the only times I can force myself to blog. It’s just that on these trips I sometimes have to make an effort to be social all the time so when I finally have some time to myself I rarely feel like I’m in the mood to reflect publicly again. Hope that makes sense and doesn’t get misunderstood. I apologize if this post isn’t even a real post, but it will have to do for now. I don’t want to head off to PCA and kick myself for not blogging again.

Happy New Years, 2011 is going to be grand…

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!

White Horse

I’m in Vegas chillin in my condo taking another personal day off. Women need these, ya know. It was a tough choice since my days in Vegas are limited and the action is really great at every casino every day. I figure I’ve been through a lot these past few days and I can spend another day grinding online.

My accounts got hacked by someone who was once relatively close to me, and though I won’t go into details, it made me really bitter and closed me off even more to the world. I eventually got the money back, but I still just really don’t understand how people can be so vindictive.

My RUSH results since I recovered my FTP account has stagnated. This has been due to a mixture of trying to force results by making up for lost time, subconscious tilt, and some pretty sick coolers with deeeeep stacks. Well, the field may be slightly tougher these days as well, but tbh I’m not too worried about that part.

Anyhow I cashed in the WSOP ladies event for 69th, which was a disappointing finish considering I was really hoping to take it down. Even then, I had a lot of fun and I was impressed by some very skilled female players.

A few days later I played the 6 max event on a recommendation by a skilled friend, but busted soon after dinner break after being table chip leader and doubling 2 shorties up and coming back late after a nap. In a short-handed game 10 minutes of blinds and antes can really hurt. I should have definitely been more diligent for this $2500 event. A few days later I played a Venetian Deepstack and min-cashed after 12 hours. Tourneys are so rough! Some believe that cash is much more stressful, but tourneys require so much more stamina and luckboxness!

Anyhow, so I’m 4/5 in tournament cashes with 1 final table this year. Well, 4/6 if you include the mega-satty I played a few days ago. Not bad, but I want to WIN something desperately. Other than last session, cash has been pretty amazing. There’s been good games at pretty much every casino I’ve gone to, and it’s been a steady climb.

It was my birthday a few days ago, and though I can`t say it wasn`t eventful, it was a pretty depressing day for personal reasons. I won’t go into detail, but it had to do with my current priorities being in conflict with what others are expecting of me. Thus, the personal days off, and I realized my last session was was certainly premature as I was playing in an emotionally unstable state. I only have about a week and a half left of time here, but it’s still probably a better idea if I take some more time off for myself before I push even harder for the last stretch. I don’t have a main event seat yet and I probably won’t play if I don’t win one.

All the best from Vegas 🙂