Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big Game 2011 - Card Date 05.14.11

19 good poker players are assembled for our "Big Game". Months of hard work are coming down to a day at the felt...maybe a day a destiny. This Saturday.

I really hope it's me this year. I've worked especially hard on focusing, playing, reading and watching poker. One of the 19 is going to Las Vegas for WSOP Bracelet Event #4 in June 2011. Whoever wins will be a tough competitor in Las Vegas.

As usual, I have received overwhelming support from friends and family for which am thankful. I purchased a seat for my Dad and that alone will be a real thrill to see him play in a big time tournmanet. There are a lot of really good players assembled with a lot of different playing styles.

My Ipod music has been carefully selected. The food has been ordered. The cards fly on Saturday. "Why not me?"

I'm rolling out my "Flux Capacitor of Poker." It's my step by step approach to Poker and winning. The only problem is that it is unproven in competitive play. I can't publish for public consumption unless I win something big. Then, it has value, but until then it is worthless and only of value to me.

I will be tweeting updates at DisciplesPoker. Hope you will join me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Song Is Over - Out of the WSOP

Playing in WSOP event #39 in 2009 was truly an amazing and eye-opening experience. I could not have accomplished what I did without the support of my friends and family to which I am eternally grateful.

I owe an epilogue of sorts to my friends, family and myself. It's a time to pause and evaluate how my game fits in with the professional world of poker. I think that I am -- at best -- a scratch golfer in the vast world of professional world class play. I think my game needs a helluva lot of work, but on the flip side, I think that I have also accomplished a lot.

I lasted into the 8th level of play (400 /800 /75a), played poker for 10 hours and finished in 580th place out of 2715 entrants. I out lasted two WSOP bracelet winners who were at my table, and many larger stacked pros as well. My best hand all day was a runner-runner nut flush and I did not flop a set all day – nor was there a full house. The blind structure and hour-long levels afforded me the opportunity to play my game. I needed to get lucky a few times and I did, but not lucky enough.

The first hand dealt to me was big slick and I raised to 200 and picked up blinds, so I was on my way. After level one, my starting stack went to 5000, from 4500. I never had over 10,000 in chips all day.

Level two jammed me pretty bad, when I was dealt AQ offsuit in the small blind. The big blind was a young pro who was truly and excellent poker play. With blinds at 100/200, he called my 500 raise. I missed the flop completely as the board delivered 3 hearts. I made a continuation bet of 600 and he called. The turn brought a blank and we check/checked. The river brought my queen, but it was the fourth heart. I fired 1000 at the pot (not having a heart) and he went into the tank. Not sure if he was acting, but he came back and raised me all-in. I had to fold. At the end of Level 2, I was down to 2,400 chips. I knew I had time, and I knew could be patient. I managed to fight back and rake a few hands on some pre-flop raises.

A critical moment came at level 4. With blinds at 100/200, a very aggressive pro to my right raised to 600 from under the gun. I thought it was a call (rookie mistake) and tossed in 200. My options were to fold the hand or complete the bet. At first I
wanted to fold, but my holding was strong. It was KQ suited. I thought I was doing to be dominated….But I decided to complete the raise. I only had about 4000 in chips. Action goes around to the button who either saw the confusion or had a big hand. He raised the action to 1600! The original raiser folds and I decided to see a flop. Flop comes King/Queen rag and I check my two pair. The re-raiser goes all in and I call immediately. He flips over pocket Aces and my two pair holds up! This wild comedy of errors yielded me and 8,500 pot!

Very next hand I am dealt A/10 suited and I flop top pair, top kicker. I fired out a 1000 after the flop and the button re-raised me to 3000. For some reason, I put him on a set and folded. I was trying to trust my gut and not lose it all on one pair.

One time, I re-raised all-in with pocket Kings after I limped in. The table was very aggressive and I knew that the young pro who flushed my non-flush earlier would be re-raising. He folded to me on the all-in re-raise and I scooped up a nice pot.

I cracked the other pro at the table when there was timid action in a hand. I varied my play and limped in with AK suited. Flop brought one club and there was a 6 way check. Turn brought the second club and the Bracelet guy fired 400 into a 1,000 pot.
Everyone folded to me and I called with the nut-flush draw. River brought the 3rd club and the NUTs. I tossed 1,000 into the pot and he eventually called. I flipped over the nuts and had close to 8000 in chips. I never had more than 10,000 in chips.

I folded big slick on a huge re-raise before the dinner break. It was the other pro at the table who re-raised me -- Captain Tom Franklin of Doyle's room. He won a WSOP Omaha bracelet in 1999. Tom was a really nice guy and smart man. He knew what people were holding most of the time or had a narrowed range of hands. He was very chatty, a poker ambassador for sure.

In the hand with Tom, I raised to 1000, with blinds at 150/300, and he went over the top to 4,000. He knew I was playing tight. Maybe he thought I would fold. He said, that I had only one live card. I put him on Kings, though I'm not sure what he had.

Dinner came and I had a little over 5,000 in chips. I was one of only two players left from the Florida crew. With blinds at 300/600-50, I had to make my one move. But the hand took a while to get there. At least three rotations, before I was dealt QQ with under 4000 in chips. They held up against KJ and I was up to 8500. But the bleeding continued at this level.

By the time 400/800-75 came around, I was down to about 7,400 in chips. With about 2000 in the middle, an early position guy raised my blind to 1,600. I was looking at A6 suited. In retrospect, I could have called to see a flop. I had read recently that an all-in push gives you two chances to win the hand. First, the guy can fold
outright and second, you can always out draw him. I decided to push all-in from
the BB. He thought it over for a minute, looked up at the clock and called the hand. He flipped over 99 with one of my hearts. The Flop brought an over-card to his 9 and two hearts. The turn and river blanked and I was out in 580th place. After the flop hit, I has a underdog at 46%, according to the poker calculator. I guess, I'll be left wondering if I just called the bet, if he would have folded to the over-card on the board. After the flop hit I think it would be doubtful.

The people I sat with were very nice and professional. There was no weak play. If anyone was a fish at the table, it was me. I'm proud of my play. I intend to be more realistic about poker going forward and I want to take what I learned in the WSOP to make me a better poker player.

I hope to be back next year !

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WSOP Pre-Game in High Gear....

Arrived at Vero Beach, Florida last night to meet my wife and her family for a couple of days of R&R before WSOP event #39 which begins at 12:00pm Local Time in Las Vegas on Saturday. Part of the Florida "Disciples" posse is already on the way to the Poker Mecca. Others are busy chatting about getting there in the next few days.

My schedule is simple...try and manage the "real job" workplace on blackberry until Friday COB, try and relax a few days in Vero and then put the cards in the air on Saturday having the best Poker Frame of Mind as possible.

Certainly, a day at Vero Beach Florida helps my mental state ! Did a little office related work from the beach and had a good afternoon. Swam in the ocean, went for a beach walk and meeting some kinfolk for Pizza tonight and some laughs. They asked me to bring the poker chips...Let's hope I don't get rivered by an 8-year old tonight in the home game !!

Tommorrow we put the Peg in the Ground at 740am and will play 18 holes. Friday morning it's off to Vegas where the real work begins !

Spoke to my friend Pois-on tonight about the game we love. I need to follow my poker process all the way to the Bracelet ceremony on Tuesday and the National Anthem!

Follow me on twitter at Disciplespoker or on this blog site.

Did some last minute music downloads last week. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Supertramp, Bob Dylan, Tales from Topographic Oceans-YES and even Adam Lambert from American Idol.

Music is a big part of my poker zen life....I'll have one ear on the I=Pod and one ear listening to the table chatter. Mum poker is the way to go. They'll get nothing from me except a smile and if they mention my poker skills or play, I will simply smile and say..."how about those mets?"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Disciples Blog...Card Date 06.14.09

Las Vegas and the WSOP are a mere 5 days away. The target tournament is Event #39 which is a $1500 buy in and is expected to last three days. I am scheduled to fly in on Friday and Depart on Monday morning. The cards fly and 12:00m local time on Saturday, 6/20/09.

The departure flight is one flight I would like to miss as the final table will be played on this day. It is my intent to play in this tournament and to apply all my poker skills and knowledge in the hopes that the poker gods shine on me and deliver me a "warm deck" that I can operate off of and make the cash.

I have so many people to thank, but clearly at the top of the list is "Tozey" my Poker wife. She has been very suppportive on my trip to Poker Mecca and even helped be book my trip using travel points and other horel stay options at my disposal.

Second on the support list are my investors...friends and family that believe in my abilities to sit down on the world's greatest poker stage in an attempt to go deep and cash !!

My poker pals include, NotPhilIvey, The Poker Minion, Pois-on, The Noze, Jokiebird, Fabman Friz and FlushdrawB. Ladies and Gentleman, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your finanacial support in allowing me to fulfill my dream.

Now, let's get to the poker updates from Las Vegas. If you can see this blog, you can follow me on this page. My Twitter updates are tied into this blog OR you can follow me directly at Twitter under "DisciplesPoker." I will try and post every two hours (all on twitter) when there is a formal break and I will do my best to keep everyone updated !

I feel good about my game. I've been playing well and I am going to apply all my skills and concentration to every hand that is played. The blinds will go up every hour and I am starting with 4,500 in chips. Level 1 is 25/50. You can find the structure at the WSOP website under event 39.

Last night we had a warm-up at PJCFLA's house in Palm Harbor, Florida. 10 people played and we followed the WSOP event structure with 25 minute levels versus the 1-hour. I finished 5th, out of the money, but essentially hung in there until the blinds turned into a crap shoot. Playing the WSOP structure was a very good experience and served as a viable warm-up for the upcoming WSOP event.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Milktrain to Paydirt Falls 19 Places Short....

Picured here....Chief Disciple and Wittle in a recent undated photo from Dunedin, Florida

Let me tell you what I love and hate about on-line poker. First what I love -- Where else can you put up $27.50 for a chance to compete for $45,000 in prize money?. There is an strong attraction there to commit valuable time to the effort.

Falling short 5 hours later at 1:00am in the morning is difficult and I hate it....even with an extra $120 in your pocket for 20th place.

That was me last night -- 18th place in the Poker Stars Nightly $27.50 buy in with 1817 other fairly competant poker players. I can tell you about the thrills, the 4 CDs of NFL Themes music I listened to, the friendly hello from Al "The Goon" from Brooklyn (Al, I'm going to call you man!) but it only took one "spill" to do me in. One easilly-avoidable Mistake - cost me....The Chief was stuck on stupid.

I won a lot of races in this event and I played good, thoughtful poker. My best move of the night was calculating what was in the middle on a pre-flop raise and calling the bet heads-up with 5/7 suited...catching the middle pair 7 and going all-in after the flop sensing weakness, He flipped over a 66 and I was off to the races with a nice double up.

With blinds at 5000-10000 I was dealt K6 off in the small blind. My stuck on stupid moment came when I thought it was just me and the BB and I pushed all-in. The big blind folded and then I realized that there was another guy in there already with a raised pot !! I was two slots away 18th, from banking an extra $100 and the money escalated fast with a first place prize of over $7000.

Well, as I looked on in sheet terror at my mistake, the guy almost folded as he thought it over for a good 10 seconds. Since I was short stacked at 100,000 in chips, he finally called and revealed KJ suited.

So, of course I am dominated and he makes matters worse by flopping a flush, with my 6 hitting. The turn brings a 6 and trips along with a glimmer of hope. But the river fails me and I am sitting there after 5-6 hours of poker....ticked off at my actions.

OK, I was the short stack and K6 is actually not a bad choice to re-raise the BB. However, I did not see the raised pot. I could have folded the hand, picked up the button and perhaps limped into 18th place.

Really, my only mistake of the night.

On a brighter note, congrats to Jim G "Game Misconduct" who won a 700+ seat event on Poker Stars the other night in a $5.00 buy-in. Way to go Jim. Nice Break through to the other side.

***** Lost Farewell Tour Pictures Revealed ******

Frank, Greg and Julia visiting sisters in the summer.

Sunset near Peter's Clam Bar with Burnie D Tiltman sailing...

Welcome to Florida - It was raining in the sunshine state.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Farewell Tour Highlights !!

**** Pictures in Random Order ! ******

Morristown-NJ before the Todd show. Seth and Frank

Couple of Sporting Events - With Lisa and Friends at Tampa Bay-Green Bay when I was home for a weekend.

Baseball at Jamie's seats at Yankee Stadium - 4 games before the demolition.

Picture of Empire State Building walking home after watching Biden/Palin debate.

The Fellas after Golf - Seth Frankie, Kenny, Levs
Picture of Sam at Jokiebird's and Marc's poker game.
Todd Rundgren in Concert - 11th Row
Fabman Frizzie and his Pooch "Sonny" in his home game.
The Poker Minion WINS at Johnnnno's....


Friday, September 05, 2008

The Move to Florida - One Giant Leap for Pokerkind...

The big move is complete.

We are settling into Palm Harbor, Florida which is now our permanent home. It's certainly good news for my poker game. I am fortunate to have a whole different set of poker pals. Plus, there are now some decent card rooms in the state that spread good games and offering some tournaments.

So, needless to say, I am looking forward to cutting my teeth all over again on the Florida Poker Scene. I remember the days where the maximum pot per hand was $10. -- that's right -- $10 with a 3 dollar rake !!

Below are some pictures of the road trip.

Enjoy !

Last Friday night...Closing ceremonies on Wantagh-NY. Both "Not Phil Ivey" and "Burny Tiltman" partook in closing ceremonies as the truck was loaded. Grateful Dead's Ripples played on the I-Pod.

Here is a picture of the Delaware Twin Bridges which during Day 1 of the trip. Special thanks to Debbie and Larry for assisting us in the move.

Drill, Drill and Drill Now !!

In My Mind, I'm going to Carolina. Nothing like a North Carolina sunset, right over the state line on I-95.

Dateline - Wilson, North Carolina. Boo's backyard where she still pays tribute to Benji the Pooch. NOte the railroad tracks in the background.

"Tozey" here at the Cracker Barrell in Maryland.

Traffic near Fredricksburg, VA -- the burial place of Stonewall Jackson and ohter members of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Rolling down Highway 41? Not exactly. I-95 north of Jacksonville, Florida.

Beloved Brandi -- B-Ron, Cuter, Roner, B-Ron Face returning home with us.