Sunday, March 21, 2010

@ APPT - Manila (Day 1 concluded -- great shape 70k chips)

Arrived in Manila yesterday. Not exactly the nicest place in the world haha but here for business FIRST, not pleasure. Though I love poker + travel trips; as it's the perfect work/life balance. I love going somewhere I've never been and just wandering around aimlessly, seeing new sights, eating new foods, embracing new cultures/people (def have the adventurous gene). I was at first going to take my Sister with me on this one, but after what people said about this place being pretty dangerous (ppl carrying guns, etc. etc.), I was totally against it, as she'd have nothing to do while I am playing poker and I would not want her wandering on her own. SOOO... I owe my Sister a nice poker trip-- ideally somewhere tropical/scenic/vacation-like. That way later on in life when I am a BALLER (ballin' out of my ears!!!), she will agree to be my "LIFE MANAGER" HAHAHAHAHA god she would be the perfect fit for that job (food, bills, calendar planning, marketing, etc)... seriously!!! Love my sister with everything hahaha =)

Spent day 1 just walking the HOOD (yeah, I gotta say it is pretty bad... could sense it). Though I feel ok here, cause I am big-and-tall for Asian guy, and I am wary of my surroundings at all times. Ate a little bit, then went back to hotel-- ran some poker games, then crashed, watched couple movies hahaha chilaxin'! Haven't taken a break in long time... anyhoo, nice to sit back and relax from time to time. Watched "BACK TO THE FUTURE 2" LOL love that old movie... Doc, Marty McFly, Biff. ahhh the memories!! I like feel-good movies hahaha =)

Ok so poker tournament. I was sitting in the lobby before cards dealt. Wrote myself a 2 paragraph note (to calm my nerves) on ms word that read:

"Playing such a deep stack event, you have to be patient-smart and opportunistic. There is no pt to escalate pots with crap hands I'm not invested in. Typical "small hand, small pot" and get away-- "big hand, big pot" and KILL! Hahaha that is the mindset I must have. Can't fall in love with overpairs; esp on a flop with bad texture (straight+draw+set all over the place). Try to slow down these pots and minimize damage; or simply get away and go with your gut instincts. Don't beat yourself. You are a great fu*king player that has a good sense of people and the cards at hand.

This is literally 10 min before the tournament begins.
I just want to have fun here.
Give myself a chance to win this fat prize.
Play my best, make sound decisions, do not make major mistakes.
I will be happy as long as I give it my absolute 110%!!! (not be results-oriented)
Whatever happens, happens.
Eventually I will hit a BIG ONE! =)"

Yeah, that's my thinking process to begin the tourney and it's how I played. I played wonderfully day 1. I played mistake-free and bluffed my way to 37k with pretty much no showdowns. I'm becoming a master of using my tight image to my advantage. I am super patient + pick my spots well. I know my players and their thresholds. I was the BEST PLAYER at my table the whole day. Give myself an "A" for sure today. But I didn't finish at 37k haha nono... 3rd to last hand of the night-- absolute Monster!! 400-800 blinds + antes. I open 2400 from middle-late position, with (QQ). Behind me calls, 2 others fold, big blind man (who had been super solid + tight premium hands only; 2nd best player at table) reshoves ALL-IN 31k. HMMMMM!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! What to do, what to do?!?!?! Online = I snap call that shit!!! Cause I play 70+ tourneys a wk-- I want those chips all day and bust so what. Fly all the way the hell out here just for this tourney; I want to get this decision right. I think about it thoroughly. There is my 2400 + 2400 first caller + 400 + 800 + 675 antes = 6750 chips (prior to his all-in). What hands would a tight+solid and very competent/advanced player reshove 31k with here, to win that near 7k pot?!?!?! Risk vs. reward... he is repopping with as light as 8s,9s,10s,Js, AK, even AQ I think. It's just too good of a squeeze near end of night... 3rd to last hand of night-- where everyone just wants to call it a day, ya know?!?!?! If I call, I am down to 6k left and pretty much crippled dead. I think truthfully I am only fearful of AA, KK obv. If he has AK, let it be a race, fu*k it... I am here to win the tournament-- not to be a wimp. 3-4 min go by-- I CALL!!! I am thinking about it so long, only cause I want to give this my best effort-- since this is my "tournament life", ya know? Behind me first caller folds. Main 31k guy turns over 10-10. Immediately that first caller who folded says "he folded 10-10!" hahaha WOOT! No 10 card to sweat, I hold!!! And I am at 70k chips as a result to end my Day 1 here. Huge break for me. I am ecstatic of my play and just proud of my improvement as a live tournament player. I feel like I am fulfilling my destiny to become a bonafide poker player. I can do this shiet!!! hahaha *BIG FAT SMILE* =)

I have day off tomorrow (though not really cause I am a workaholic) and I will be playing Sunday Majors in 30 min from now (1am-3pm+). If I bust out of my online MTTs, then I will go on some sight-seeing stuff here in Manila. Or just get some sleep and be ready for Day 2. This tourney has some potential for me *fingers crossed*... run good pls!!! $250-300k ysd first place would currently be life-changing (think for most ppl my age). =)

Side note: walked around after the end of tourney at night. Saw a whole family of Dad+Grandma+many kids... sleeping on street, homeless, just really sad sad sight. Mannn... that really broke my heart seeing that. I woke up the Dad to give him enough money to feed his kids for hopefully few days. I think this is the very reason why I WORK SO HARD RIGHT NOW, because I have a deep fear in my heart of not being a good Dad to my future family. I want to be prepared in every way possible; esp financially. Esp being a professional poker player for now-- and the image of instability (to whomever wants to be my future wife hahaha god that woman will have to be SUPER PATIENT + AWESOME!), I think I have to work extra hard. *BLOOD/SWEAT/TEARS!!!* I want to be da fu*king MAN on so many levels!!!

More to come from Manila.....


  1. i told you mania wasn't all that great. i come from a very poor country and am one of the lucky ones to have had parents who migrated to America for a better life. i'm glad with all your success you still give back. that's what its all about man. good luck in "the homeland" bro! we're all railing you from 2k+ miles away. pop that cherry! and don't forget to tell those pinoys to SEEEEENNNNNNDDDDDD IT!!!

  2. I still feel it's very worthy experience to see/feel it. All of us that got to come to US 20+ years super lucky to have great parents, who wanted better lives for us. Most of us take that sacrifice for granted, including myself. Thanks for support as usual, Bro! I like your "homeland" though. Will be back in Cebu in the fall most likely. LOL