You know when someone uses the phrase/expression they "feel like a MILLION BUCKS"... at this time, I feel like negative 10 thousand bucks. lol (must be a nice life to feel like a million; wouldn't know the feeling) =P
I'm usually a pretty positive/happy-going person, but this week was real crappy tbh. 0/4 in live tournaments (Main Event busto, -1k, -1k, -1.5k BRICKKKKK). S-a-d-l-y, I thought I played pretty well though, got semi-deep in 2 of the side events and Day 2 Main Event. Just NOT so lucky this time around. Also, didn't do so well online this last week; a lot of that having to do with shotty internet here at Atlantis (kept cutting in and out). Nothing is more irritating! The game is hard enough on its own, without having to battle internet connection. Throughout the week, I was in 10-15+ tables of $104 sit-and-gos at a time ($1000-1500+ worth), and the internet would stall and stall. I'd have to restart my computer just to sign back into pokerstars (one time it took me 30 min to get back on UGHHH!!!). Fortunately, pokerstars was nice enough to refund me a good chunk of my losses (near $1000; pretty nice of them). This is probably the most you'll hear me complain/whine/bitch. hahaha can you blame me though? There's definitely a correlation of happiness and $$$ for poker players... win money==>happy, on top of the world; lose money==>"I want to run my head into the wall 1000x over".
Bahamas, in it of itself = over-rated! Not really a fan (but maybe because I'm pretty spoiled, having traveled to Costa Rica, Brazil, Bali, Thailand, ETC.). There's nothing really unique about the island; cultural blank imo. The ocean water is beautiful though; crystal clear. Just wish there was more stuff to DO/SEE/EXPERIENCE and wider array of seafood (though Conch Salad was pretty delish!). Did not help that it was mostly cold/windy all week, but I mainly didn't like the Bahamas because it's just a big man-made resort we were at (Atlantis). Fake/contrived ambiance if you will (I always prefer a messy/chaotic place vs. super nice place I guess haha Berkeley mentality). Food was definitely overpriced and just whatevers. Spending $15-20 on sandwiches/burgers/crap food. HOWEVER, bottomline- despite my harsh criticism of it all, still lucky to be able to be in the Bahamas to play a poker tournament and call this my work. I love that poker takes me to these type destinations I've never been. It's obv the #1 perk of being a professional poker player- freedom+travel+doing something you love to do (living it up!). Example: chilling in the jacuzzi, talking poker to Joe Hachem (WSOP Main Event Champion), since he remembered me from Macau. haha that was kind of cool/trippy. Hope to be on his wavelength one day with a big win or two under my belt; next time we have that conversation. "Joe, I got a bracelet too yo." haha =)
30k starting chips. Had Grayson Physioc ("spacegravy") to my direct right. Other players no-names, wasn't too tough of a table (compared to others). Didn't really get anything going though day 1. At my peak, got to 35k, then mostly just staggered. Had few interesting spots that I wish I could take back, but hindsight is 20/20.
Couple hands from Day 1:
Dealt to me: (AJo)
200-400 blinds. Everyone folds, Spacegravy opens/raises from button to 1k, I'm in the sb. He had raised almost everytime from button or bvb situations. I let him get away with button raise first 3-4 times. This time I decided to re-raise to 2600 (since he would give me more credit this time around, being out of position and passive the other times). Player behind me was a really smart-aggro Canadien kid. I liked his game a lot. He must've picked up on what I saw as well; knew I Was 3-betting light. He re-raises to 6100. We all had near 30k at this time. In this spot, I think if I had AQ+, I'd rejam his face. I just didn't believe the Canadien kid. He saw what I saw regarding spacegravy. He def knew I was making a move this time around (he had pos on me as well). 6100 raise by him to take down near 5k in chips. It's a smart/calculated move that I'll add to my game in future spots (if I see similar things). I folded like a "vaginese kid"/school-girl though blahhh. So early to make that kind of a guess. I could be sooo crushed. I asked him later on what he had and he told me truthfully K5o. hahaha yeah, I should've gone with my initial instincts/read. Just tough to rejam AJo (shitty hand in reality) with 70+ bb's. Maybe I should be more gangster there in the future; something def to think about. Anycase, didn't kill me though. Always a fine balance between "tournament life" and taking risks.
Dealt to me: (A9o)
300-600 blinds. Everyone folds, Spacegravy is sb, I'm bb. At this pt, we had some HISTORY. There was maybe 4 of these type confrontations, me vs. him BVB. He raised all 4x obv. I let him steal twice (but pots were small those two times, so no big deal); one time I flatted+folded to his cbet post-flop; and one time I 3-bet him pre-f and he folded. Worst part is he looks at his cards FAST and just inst-raises each time; so leaves me to think he has ABSOLUTE SHIT hahaha but maybe not, cause we are all online grinders and we just process/think fast. We also have some history online playing 6max sngs. A lot of times, it's me and him heads-up and he beats me up hahaha I can't win a race against him- EVER! Spacegravy = "god-mode". I know his range; he's def capable of any two, like any great player. In this particular hand, I have 22k, he has 30k. He raises to 1600, I re-raise to 4200. I don't like A9o. I don't like to really flat-call because most likely we'll both miss the flop and he'll cbet to represent whatever board. I hate having to float a big cbet, which is most likely required with A9o. My re-raise puts him in a spot where he has to decide: rejam or fold pretty much (filters out at least the crap hands). He is out of position and doesn't want to build a pot, and play every street that way. I'm just praying he has a weak holding and goes away. BUT, nope... he rejams my face, I'm not happy hahaha bukkake me ahhh! Shiiit big facial! I foldeddd. Tanked-tanked-tanked, thought about it long and hard, but couldn't get myself to call with 18k behind (30 bb's). Yes, I know I probably shouldn't raise and not be prepared to call off. Realistically he could've easily rejammed me with all sorts of hands: Ax suited, KQ/KJ/QJ, 10-J suited, K-10 suited, small/medium pps, possibilities are endless. My A9o beats a lot of that range. But I felt like it just wasn't good for some reason, so I tossed it. Spacegravy ended up busting few orbs later. He was kind enough to tell me he had KK that hand. Weee! I was so close to calling. Pretty standard for him to rejam KK- he said he wanted to disguise his strength, look more desperate, which is exactly what I would've done.
Proud to get to another Day 2. In a deep stack format, I'm usually alive into Day 2. In tournaments like these, one has to understand that: it is not a sprint, but a marathon. You can't win the tournament on Day 1. I started Day 2 with only 22k chips. Blinds were at 800-1600. I doubled up on Hand #3. Everyone folds to me on the button, I hold Q9o. Obv jam spot, gotta go with it, jam 19k ALL-IN into the blinds! Big blind calls me with 77. Flop comes Q! I double up weee! Have a little more than 40k, brimming with confidence- thinking I'm going to go all the way now and win the PCA, after my first chip-up. hahaha NOT! Within literally 5 hands, I pick-up AKo. I raise to 4k, same guy I doubled through re-raises to 10.5k (I have about 36k behind). This guy had me covered, had near double my stack. I re-jam ALL-IN obv, pretty standard spot. He calls with 10s. 85k POT! C'mon c'monnn GET THEREEEEEEEE NOPE! 5 blanks. Not meant to be. Lose that flip and I'm out. Pretty sick though... could've went from 22k to 85k within 10 hands. Would've been a nice stack to play with at 800-1600, avg stack being well under that. And that's just the way it goes sometimes. Gotta get lucky to win tournaments with a large field; gotta win those key coinflips. Proud of how I hung in there and gave myself a legit chance to chip up and be in contention. Eventually, if I keep playing well, it'll be my day to shine. =)
(1)1k, tourney had 467 people, 1st paid near $120k, etc.
Had Jeff Madsen at my table (former WSOP player of the yr). Young guy, obv very talented, deliberate. Plays pretty standard positional poker. We started with 10k chips. Patient as hell, waiting for good spots, wasn't getting much to work with. Finally got myself into a 30k pot, pre-f all-in AQ (me) vs. KQ; of course K hits... leaves me with 6k at 400-800 LOL fml! However, I didn't give up and managed to come back; got to 40k within 20 hands.
Went into dinner break, 80something players left (semi-deep, which is really exciting stuff, playing for six-figure money). Felt pretty good, confident I could make a run. Had 30k at 600-1200. Within first few hands, I pickup AQo and raise to 2700. Big stack behind me flats in pos, we're heads-up (pot 8000). Flop: Ad/Kd/Qh. Don't have much history with this guy; I just sat down at this table. I have to bet here. Reasoning: He shouldn't have AA/KK/QQ/AK (he would've 3-bet most times) and because I have AQ (blockers) less likely. Also there is a flush and straight draw out there. I could easily put him on A-10 suited, KQ, KJ, K-10, etc... hands that are still dangerous against my hand. I bet 5k-ish, he calls. Turn non-dia brick. His flat on flop could still mean he has those weak ace or other combos I mentioned above. I still have to bet I think and just be committed to this hand. AQ beats most of his range here. Obv I am only afraid of J-10. I don't think he has flush draw, cause he would've put me in on flop. I have 23k left. He has position on me; I could check and see what he does. But even if he were to bet, I would probably just jam him in. So I decide to fire 9k and be prepared to put the rest in on the river, he calls 9k. River is a low dia card. I still go all-in, cause like I said I didn't put him on flush draw. He snaps of course. 10d-Jd. hahaha yeah, pwned! Either way I die. I don't think he slows down turn or river. I'm pretty much committed to this hand, make or break. =T
Dealt to me: (KsQs)
25-50 blinds. I open-raise to 150. ACTIVE player behind me raises to 350 (he had played 80% of the pots within first 40-50 hands, 3-bet a bunch of times, showed down all sorts of crap like Q-8 suited and other rangy hands, so not much credit on my end, though I did think he played great poker). Behind him BOZO player calls 350 (seemed like a dumb player, already moved all-in earlier with such low blinds), BB also calls 350, and so I make the call as well (1425 in the pot). Flop: 9s/7s/3c. 4-way action, BB leads out for 1100. Hmmm... hate this obv, because I want to see a turn cheaply with my flush draw (or re-raise cheaply). He is putting near a pot-size bet here, which is annoying for good players, who generally want to play small ball with unmade hands. I could repop it to 2500, but that would leave me vulnerable to the ACTIVE player behind, who is yet to act. I don't want to raise here and be forced to fold to a jam. However, if I just call and active player behind raises, I could always rejam on top. So I call 1100, active player calls 1100 and bozo tags along as well (5825 pot). Turn comes Jh, which gives me flush draw/straight draw/overs (though can't assume overs are outs). BB checks, which tells me he probably just had some weak hand with a 9 or 7, and isn't that strong. Since both players behind me just called 1100 on flop, I figure they're not that strong as well. I decide to bet 1700 here (into the 3 other players, which appears STRONG- like a value bet). Most times I will not bluff here in multi-way action. It's too stupid/risky to do so. However, I've played maybe 1-2 hands out of the first 40-50 hands (built my tight image). Active player folds, Bozo calls 1700, BB folds. Heads-up now. River 5c blank, 9s/7s/3c/Jh/5c. I bet into the turn, preparing to go all-in on river if I bricked. I just had a feeling the other 3 players were weak. Now that we were heads-up, I just had to get rid of this last BOZO guy. I go all-in for 6300. Bozo tanks and thinks for a good min... he calls me with 3-4o. OMFG.......... how does he call pre-f, flop 1100, 1700 on turn?!?!?! What a friggin bozo! I don't know if he was just gambling or he actually SOUL READ me here (if he soul read me, I should just rip off my face). I could've easily had any pair on that board, two pair, set, overpair, 6-8, anything bigger than a pair of friggin 3's hahaha C'MON right? Unreal... died level 1 of this tourney. I rarely RARELY die level 1 of any tourney. I had my reasons for my move. I smelled weakness and I was right. Proud I am capable of this move; takes balls. Sux to get called there. =T
Last tourney, 118 people. Played pretty well again. Was in the mix, last 30 players. Played 9 hrs and didn't pick up 10s/Js/Qs/Ks/As once; not even ONCE. Just had AQ maybe three times and that was it all day. That's near 300 hands haha card dead to say the least. Ran bad and bustooooo, lost couple flips. Add it to my list of 0's for the week. So it goes.
All in all, not ecstatic about the lack of results at PCA, but happy with my play. Gave myself multiple shots and that's all I can ask for. That's how tournaments are. You just have to keep trying and have a good attitude about it. That "ONE TIME!" will eventually happen (so I hope!). haha =)
If you read all of the above, that's a lot of poker talk hahaha most of my family/friends have no clue what I am talking about, when I am poker-ranting. I've been getting a pretty high volume of hits on my blog from Taiwanese viewers (blogspot has a stats feature and shows me who's reading). My use of english is def not traditional hahaha I have my own language style: "Intense!" Don't know if you all get what I'm rambling about. In the future, if I can improve my Chinese, I will try my best and put together more Chinese entries- as to better connect with my Taiwanese viewers. 我需要進步我的中文. 我希望我的台灣朋友可以比較了解我在想什麼, which is 大部分80%生氣/20%高興. LOL I love sharing my story. It's really hard what we do as professional poker players; it's not all glitz and glamour. In reality, first half of 2010 I won near six figures; then I went on a 30k downswing (yeah, wasn't fun!); in Dec I won near 40k usd (damn proud of myself!); last wk I lost 10k usd (ewww!). LOL mentally/emotionally/physically draining. It's up and then down, shitty+shitty+more shitty, then *BAM!* WIN! That's the life I choose. It's the hardest thing I've ever tried to do; what a life path to choose. 專業打撲克牌真的不簡單. 大部分的人做不到. 有時候我也問我自己我能不能做的到. 輸錢的時候缺少自信. 可是我心裡面：我知道我一定會成功! 有一天那個大獎是我的. Kenny Shih- $2,328,000, 1st Place. SEND IT!
Happy to be back home to Taiwan and get back to my routine (grind online). Been away from home for 2 months; pretty home-sick and tired of living out of a suitcase. Aside from local Macau/APPT tourneys, don't have anything else planned till WSOP, which is summer-time. Time to refocus my energies and kick start my year on the right foot.
*MENTAL REFRESH BUTTON!*