Aug 1
by Lori D.

So Donald is forcing me to write about the Ladies Event in this year’s World Series of Poker.  I say forced because I am still pissed.  But since I have to here we go.  The best thing about the tournament was that it was easy to register.  Went to the window plunked down $1000, showed a picture ID, signed a waiver and I got my seat card.  Easy enough.


Playing in the ladies tournament is certainly different then playing in a regular tournament.  The atmosphere is different, the play is different, heck even the table chatter is different.  In this year’s tournament I started off at a table with Clonie, who is a very friendly professional poker player, and 8 other mom’s.  The table chatter was way too friendly for a poker table.  The ladies were pulling pictures of their children out of their purses and sharing with the table.  They were passing their phones around the table showing off their children (which is illegal in tournament play).  It was just strange.  I would much rather sit there with my head phones on and concentrate on the game at hand, but that is just me.


Plus the tournament itself is poorly structured.  You pay $1000 to enter the tournament and only get 2k in chips to play with.  Yes, the blind levels are longer then normal but it still doesn’t give you much ability to make moves.  Even if you try and make a move it doesn’t mean you will be rewarded.  There is far less aggressive play so trapping is hard to do.  Ladies just will not throw away Jack’s or better no matter what the board or preflop action says. 


In fact, my last hand I had KK and she had JJ and even with an A on the board and my aggressive betting after the flop, she would not let go of her JJ and called my all in.  The river brought a J and I was out.  As I am leaving she is apologizing to me saying, “I never throw away a painted pair”.  I just smile and head for the door thinking to myself how in the world could she call me down?


With how people play, blind structure and the number of chips we start with all being crap, I have sworn off this tournament from here on out.  I would rather just play men who think that I can’t and will inevitably dump their chips to me.


I need a JWB and coke!!!

Jun 15
by Don

Lori and I went deep in three of the tournaments during this last trip, which is amazing considering how little we actually play.  Each day we were playing 10+ hours and ever so close to cashing in all of these events.  I would have to say that a lot of the reason why is because we have a good mental approach to the game.

Your Worst Poker Enemy: Master the Mental Game (Amazon) by Dr. Alan Schoonmaker is a great book for helping you “quiet” your mental game.  Poker is not a difficult game to learn, but it’s getting past the basics that separate good players from great ones.


One of the things that I love about this book is that it assumes that you are already an intermediate to advance player.  That you understand the nuances of the game, but maybe not recognize the calling signs that bring them on is also key to appreciating and understanding this book.  It’s incredibly well documented, which is nice since so many poker books are just first hand accounts of how some poker pro plays, but not necessarily how the average person may think or play in certain situations.


The book is easy to read and is an excellent get for anyone looking to discover something about their own play that they might not even realize.

Jun 14
by Don

Well it’s my turn at the WSOP when Monday comes rolling around with Event 17; a NL Shootout event.  The format is simple actually with only 1000 people allowed in the event it’s a pretty tight field.  How it works is basically you have to win your table and you are in the money.  Then the 100 winners play in 10 tables and the winners of those tables are the 10 to the final table.


So the make up of players at your table is key in this tournament since there will not be any breaking down of tables and no one filling spots as people start getting busted out.  I am sitting in the 3rd seat with 1 and 2 empty to start the tournament.   No big deal as people are often late to start, but they normally show up in short order.


The 3rd hand in the game I get KK one under the gun and I have the guy in the 10 spot betting into me.  I flopped another K and now I am cooking. He bets out and I go back over the top of him and put the pressure on.  Well after some time he finally folds so that’s good.  I probably should have just let him hang himself, but it was so early I doubt he would have. 


Well I am raking in my chips and the guy in the 2nd seat shows up, it’s Umberto Brenes.  Oh great, the Shark is at my table and now it’s going to be that much more difficult.  Umberto is actually a great guy who is pretty genuine.  He played very solidly and didn’t really try anything on anyone, but you know he probably could have if he wanted to. 


Now we are two hours in and the 1st seat is still empty.  We have just been blinding it down when guess who finally arrives; Phil Hellmuth.  So now there are two world champions at our table and you have to beat both of them to advance.  Nice.


Phil is just as advertised.  Boisterous and loud, he is immediately mixing it up.  He notes to everyone that both he and Umberto are wearing the “old school” bracelets from their previous championships.  This is not news to anyone, but thanks Phil for pointing that out.


Well I am the big blind and I wake up with AA.  This is a dream as Phil is the button and I assume that he will try something.  Everyone folds to Phil and he just calls.  He is actually saying that he is trying to trap Umberto and gets him to call.  I of course raise, and Phil then says that he is raising it up by going all-in.  Umberto shows his cards to the other end of the table (which is something that anyone else would have incurred a penalty for, but it’s Umberto and everyone loves him) and folds, which leaves me to call Phil’s all-in.  I do it and flip over my Rockets.


Phil’s face was ghost white as he turns over JJ and when the turn brought the 3rd Ace he gets up and starts to shake everyone’s hand.  I thank him and told him I appreciated him showing up late.  He smiled and walk out after playing for about 20 mins.  Mint.


So now we are down to one World Champion left and it’s the last hand before the break.  I am the small blind and l look down and see KK.  Freaking Sweet.  Umberto raises on the button with the table behind him already folded and mostly gone for break.  Well I just call and the flop brings A-5-J and I feel good about it.  I don’t think that Umberto has an A and surely he is just making a move on me.  So I check and he bets.  I call and the turn is another 5.  I think blank, but I check just to see if he will fire another one.  He does and I call because I am not feeling great about my initial read, but I don’t want to release my hand.  The river comes a blank and I check again.  Umberto fires a 3rd shot that almost puts me all in.  I now am screwed.  Either my read was right at the start and I have the pot, or Umberto actually has an A and I am basically done.  I call and watch Umberto flip over A5 for a BOAT!  Haha.  Umberto milked me like a cow all the way down and I donked off basically all of my chips.  I come back from break and go all-in with a J10 and get bounced by Q9.  Anti-climatic for sure.

Jun 7
by Don

Well Lori did in fact soldier on, but was plagued by the same run of being card dead that I had earlier and was knocked out after the dinner break in 52nd place.  This was a great run by her that fell just 7 spots short of the money, so she was left feeling bummed.  I told her that this was just a tune up for her event on Sunday and that if she can duplicate the effort she would be rewarded handsomely.

So here are two things that were a little crazy and only could happen in Vegas.

The first is a very pregnant cocktail waitress actually started having contractions in the poker room.  The Paramedics came out of no where and there was an alarm that went off throughout all of the Venetian.  It was pretty crazy.  What’s even more bizarre is that it happened about 30 ft. away from where Lori was playing and she had no clue.  How she missed this is beyond me, but then again its Vegas and crazy is the norm.

The second oddity was how the Venetian handled the whirlwind that was Paris Hilton.  She was “hosting” the night at Tao and everything was nuts.  They closed off the escalators that are next to the poker room that lead from the casino floor to the Shoppes above.  I didn’t know that they could do this, but for about 40 minutes we were cut off from the outside.  Strange. 

So I am playing a little Black Jack and basically getting my skull kicked in when this paparazzi storm cloud blew through the main casino floor and right by my table.  Thankfully I am not someone who is all about celebs per say, so I was happy that Lori had the camera as everyone was scrambling to take a picture.  It was quite a mess.  I have never seen that many security people in one place, but just like that it was over.  I have to say she looked older than when I have seen her in the media, but seriously what the hell do I know?  I just want that 11 double down versus a dealer 6 to actually pan out.  Unfortunately for yours truly I get a 4 for a 15 and the dealer turns a 5 to go with the 16 that he is showing and well you know the rest.

I need a drink.

Jun 6
by Don

There is something that is hard to explain about Vegas, and it’s the 4 hour sleep cycle.  For whatever reason, I have the hardest time getting more than 4-5 hours of sleep at any one time.  We are in a beautiful suite at the Palazzo with an amazing King size bed.  Of course none of this matters.

So we mill around for a bit in the room until we go down for breakfast, which is always great because it is at the Grand Lux Café.  These are the same people who own the Cheesecake Factory, so you know the food is good and plentiful.

Now we head over to the Poker Room at the Venetian to start our Deep Stack Tourney.  What’s nice about this one is that they give you $15,000 in starting chips and 40 minute blinds so there is a lot of play for your money.

I am basically card dead for the first 3 hours with not much happening.  The blinds go up to $200/$400 with an ante and now things are moving.  I get involved with a short stack that flops a sneaky set.  When I get the King high flush and all of his chips are in I am more than pot committed at this point.  So seeing him turnover eights full, just makes my stomach turn.  I just look at my remaining $4,000 and think that my day is coming to an end.

Our table gets broken up and I sit down at a new one two from the big blind.  I fold a couple of times and get 55 in the big.  I call a minimum raise and now am in a 6 way pot.  Well I flop a nice little set of my own and I think that I might have life yet.  There are two diamonds on the board and the small blind looks down at his cards and then puts me all in with a sloppy throw of some chips.  Sure thing.  I am just hoping that my set holds up, but of course the small turns over 96 of diamonds and the river produces the 10 of diamonds; for the flush.

I am now out, but Lori is still soldiering on so hopefully she will make us proud!

More to come…

« Previous Entries Next Entries »