What's up World,
I have been slacking on the blog I know. My POS computer died in Miami and I have been lazy I guess. Anyways, I'm sitting at the restaurant bar in the lobby of Harrah's St. Louis at the moment. I'm watching the Bulls vs Heat on 1 screen and Hawks vs Coyotes (Game 4) on the other. I came down to eat and write this blog. Theres 2 other chicago area poker players I know, Manny and Dylan, sitting at the bar watching the game too so I joined them. Its been quite a nice ride the last few months. After winning the PLO tourney in Chicago for over $40,000 and a seat to the Main Event, I played the Main there and busted on day 2. We went out for Lawton's birthday that night in Chicago but stayed home no longer, as i left for Atlantic City to pick up some WSOPC Points that I needed. I only played 3 tourneys there, and had no cashes. i did go out a lot however, partying with Kurt and Jacob Bazeley. We had a really good time away from the felt. After AC I flew down to Miami to play the tournament series at the Isle in Pompano Beach. I stayed with my good friend Steve Karp. He has a nice house on North Miami beach w a pool and an extra bedroom. He also had an extra car for me to use…. Thanks Steve.
The first tournament was the day after I flew in. the $570 $75k guarantee. The field was made up of 20% great players and 80% bad players, and this was a 1 day event. To make a long story very short I won the tournament in 14hrs for $22,000. This was the 2nd time in 2 weeks that I flew into a city and won the first tournament I played. With my newly found fortunes I felt it was ok to skip the rest of the small tournaments at the Isle and basically just play the Main Event. (another Chicago grinder, Zal, had showed up at the bar to watch the games and joins me on my right. I've always liked Zal) My brother and Kurt came down for 2 weeks and stayed with Steve as well. We went out and did a lot of stuff. We went down to South Beach and partied, went to Space one night until 6am, went to 2 Heat games and was court side, did the beach a bunch of times and some dining,and shopping, etc, etc.. (wow, Hawks just tied it up 2-2 w 2 goals in last few mins!!! 1:26 left in the 3rd) I played the $3500 Main Event and busted. I spent the next 2 weeks playing cash games. i decided to skip going to Council Bluffs for the circuit and just stay in Miami and grind.
I played 13 sessions and averaged about 10 hrs per session. The games I played were 2-5 $500 Max w straddles and 2-5 No Max with straddles, the games were very live. The players are terrible and have tons of money so they just let it fly. This makes for big profits or big losses… these are extremely high variance games. My sessions were as follows +100, +328, -1346, +1200, -991, +810, +49, -805, +2300, +1209, +1423, +2275, +1228. So as you can see, its a very volatile game, but can be very profitable if don't lose your mind and stay focused when taking the $1000 beats that happen at least once a night. (Hawks lose 3-2 in OT and Bulls down 13 pts w 2 mins left so thats over too, sigh) The night I won $810 I was actually stuck $1600 at one point, very swingy poker down there to win you must be patient. It was time go so I booked a flight to St. louis to pick up some circuit points that i need desperately as everyone is cashing and passing me in the standings. I was very motivated to lock up a seat for the $1Million National Championship. There are 66 at large births that are earned at the top of the leader board. After skipping Council Bluffs and having people pass me I was some where in the 50's and was getting squeezed out.
No sweat… i got 6th is the 355 Turbo for $3600 and 21.5 pts. I now have 112.5 pts overall, which easily guarantees me my birth in the National Championship. I am so happy to get this out of the way, now I do not have to go to Chester, Pennsylvania to chase points. It also moves me to 24th in the world in tournaments with buyins of $1000 and less (Pro Rank 2), which is pretty cool. I'm gonna come back to Chicago for a few days. I need a haircut an want to see my sister and some other people. I skipped today's tournament, the 355, because I needed rest and could care less about grinding this small tournament today. I have been going out way too much, and way too hard this trip. Those of you who are here know what I am talking about as some of you have been going out with me. 2 Cardnials games and a week of late night stories have made this a trip to remember… or forget. I slept till 4 then worked out for almost 2 hrs to clean out the booze. I'm gonna chill tonight, work out in the morning and try and crush the $1090 tomorrow. Ill play the Main Event then see where we are at. I am also scheduled to be on Scotty Clark's radio show a couple weeks from now, so ill keep everyone posted on details.
The last few months have been great, but keep in mind this success came directly after a horrible two month downswing. It's very important to keep that in perspective. I am very aware that the tide may turn and the cards may turn against me, so I have to stay sharp and play the absolute best I can to avoid disasters. I will continue to put my head down and put in the work necessary to compete at the highest level. I am focused on winning these tournaments, and focused on winning consistently in these cash games to put money in my pocket. Life is expensive, so it is important to play cash games on the side, to generate some immediate income. We all know how the tournament poker grind is… it may take a year to get paid.
One last thing, I would really like to say thank you to all of the people who have helped me the last year and throughout my career. I am grateful to have a lot of good friends who have extended their homes, their hotels, comps, cars, etc. People like Leanne in AC, Steve "SKDaMop" in Miami, White Brian in LA, Greg (Hotel Rooms Everywhere) and countless other people make my life so much easier and less expensive. I appreciate it so much and am beyond grateful.
One last other thing, Congats to Roy Riley. Roy is a full time teacher, part time poker player, and does Iron Man competitions and shit. He is a really nice kid and an unbelievable competitor. He has dreamed of being a poker champion but his life and other responsibilities have handcuffed that dream and the time he can put into the game. But… The kid comes to St. Louis with this huge unachievable (clears throat) dream and actually achieves it. He was probably only gonna play this 1 event… and… He won 1st place in the WSOPC St. Louis re-entry event. It was the biggest tournament in Missouri history and had way over a 1000 players. Dreams can come true. Now I am going to see if I can achieve some more of mine.
Till next time…