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I have played a lot of poker this past week including playing in a Legend of Legends event at the Bicycle casino. All previous winners
of Legends event were invited to participate where the winner of the tournament won their way into the WPT event this past weekend. I
obviously didn't win my seat or I would have mentioned it earlier, but it was a fun tournament nonetheless.
I decided to not pay the 10k to play in the event. I would have no problem paying the money if it were an Omaha Hi/Low tournament, but
I just don't think my NL games is good enough at times. I find that the higher the buy-in, the more difficulty I have playing my
normal game. I spend more time trying to not going broke than I do just playing an optimal strategy game. The buy-ins are not going to
make or break me, but for 10k dollars, I want my tournament to last longer than thirty minutes. Of course, as soon as the tournament
was underway, I was pissed that I didn't play, but it was probably a really smart move. I need to not only recognize what my
weaknesses are, but I need to act on them before I start playing.
I am currently in Cancun, so I won't be playing very much poker over the next few days. I might play a little online, but I just want
to have fun in the sun.
Our few days in Montevideo were almost as fun as our days in Punta del Este. We spent two of the three days by ourselves and did the
normal tourist stuff. We saw the heart of the city and also did a little shopping. The city was amazing and I felt like I was able to
get a good sense of the Uruguayan culture by observing the old architecture of the buildings and by watching the people on the street.
It seemed that the people were generally more relaxed and appeared to enjoy the company of family and friends. Halli and I took note
and spent hours conversing and drinking wine while eating dinner.
One of our dinners in Montevideo was spent with the PokerStars crew and we were asked our opinions on a variety of things concerning
the LAPT Punte del Este and future events. The whole PokerStars crew are fabulous and talking with them is such a pleasure. Being at a
group dinner where you get to see how operations work is even more amazing. When you factor in great food too, the experience is unforgettable.
Our trip home was long and exhausting, but we managed to make it back without too many complications. We had three legs of flights and
every one had some sort of problem and we managed to only get back an hour and a half later than scheduled. Our first flight was
delayed for 40 minutes and we didn't think we were going to have enough time to make our connection from Lima to Miami. We made it
there just in time to board the plane and we prayed that our bags were going to get on the flight with us. When we went up to the
front, we asked about our bags and they confirmed that they made it as well. In Miami, we had to pick up our bags and go through
customs and then recheck them before getting our last tickets. We ran from customs to the otherside of the airport (trust me, it was
frickin far) and when we got to the counter, they wouldn't allow us to check in because they said the bags wouldn't make it on the
flight. We took the next flight out an hour and a half later.
I am so grateful that I am allowed opportunities to see the world and it is a bonus that I am able to combine it with my passion for
poker. If you are thinking about playing a tournament in another country, I would strongly suggest playing one
Latin American Poker Tour events. I already booked my flights for
the next one which will be held in Costa Rica on November 3rd (the Stars party will be the 2nd).
The tournament finally ended last night, but it was a really long battle. We kept checking in to see how it was progressing because we
were hoping to have dinner with some of the PokerStars staff. At 10 pm, we finally decided to go to eat by ourselves because we were
so hungry and Halli needed some food in her stomach.
After dinner, we went back into the tournament area and the tournament had just ended with Jose Miguel Espinar beating Alex Brenes.
The presentation lasted awhile and when it all finally commenced people started talking about where the hot spot of the night was going to be.
Halli and I were not too sure if we were going to be hanging out,
but it didn't take much convincing for us to decide to join the fun.
We left our hotel about 1 am to go to El Diablito. Even though it was late by California standards, we knew that there was still
plenty of time to hang out at the club. I was not expecting to only see 4 people in the club, but was at least happy that they were
players from the event and not just random people. We all commented on how dead it was and hoped that more people were going to show
up. After about 20 minutes, Barry Greenstein, Alex, Chino (David Rheem) and his girlfriend showed up and we chatted it up for a bit.
Barry did a video blog with me, so he might end up posting the video on his site, PokerRoad. A short time later, a couple people
showed up and then a few more, and then they started coming in at a rapid rate. At about 4 in the morning, we could hardly move and it
was very hard to locate the Stars people in the huge crowd of locals.
We left the club at 5 in the morning and it was still going strong. I am sure it went until at least 8 in the morning. This country is
awesome like that.
This morning/afternoon, we packed our stuff up because we planned on going to Montevideo for at least one night. Our Lima plans were
nixed because we finally realized that we should probably research how long it would take to get to Machu Pichu from the Lima airport.
It was a 20 hour car ride or about 5 hour adventure via a short plane ride and bus ride among other things. We just don't have the
time to do that kind of thing this time around. Instead, we decided to spend at least a day in Montevideo and might head to Buenos
Yesterday was the best day of the trip. It started with Halli cashing in the tournament. She barely managed to squeak into the money,
but it was a great accomplishment considering she never had a lot of chips to work with and was able to survive several all-ins.
After the tournament, we decided it was time for a drink and we went to the small bar near the tournament. Several players and staff
members walked by and told us that the place to go for the night was a local bar named Moby Dick. We decided that a night out on the
town sounded perfect and took a taxi to the club.
When we arrived, the bar was full of people that we had met or seen during our stay and we socialized and drank and drank some more.
The country of Uruguay is strange in the sense that their nightlife starts in the early morning. At around 2 am, the party was just
getting started and all of the Stars people had the best time. Even though I drank, I couldn't (or wasn't eager to) keep up with Halli.
She was the life of the party and had a lot of the people in stitches with her comments and funny antics. We finally called it a night
about 5:30 in the morning and we left the bar. The crazy part is that we were one of the first people to leave.
This trip has been such an amazing experience and we have met so many great people. The Stars staff has been great and we have enjoyed
hanging out with so many of them including Alex (the blogger), Thomas, Marlena, Greg and Mike (the tournament guys), Gary, Rich and
Lizzy. The players have also been a total joy and some of them include Matt, Zack, Scott, and Christian. There are so many people that
I could list and I am so glad that Halli and I were able to get to know them and we are both looking forward to going to Costa Rica in
November so we can see all of them again.
When we woke up this morning (or in the afternoon rather), we got ready and went down to the tournament area to see what was going on.
We bumped into a lot of people that said that they got home at 7 in the morning. Most of them had hangovers (including Halli), but all
of us agreed that it was worth it. Just talking about some of the things that happened the night before made us all crack up again.
The final table has been going on for some time now and it doesn't look like there is an end in sight. I certainly wish I was able to
be on that table, but I gave it a legitimate shot and will be trying to be there the next time around. I certainly have some things to
work on including being a little more aggressive. I did a good job at it for the first half of the event, but really choked up the
second portion. In the second chance tournament, I was better about it, so at least I have made some progress.
Windows - Mac
There were about 150 players in the LAPT second chance tournament today and first prize was over 60k. Unfortunately for me, I only
lasted through half the field when all my chips got in preflop with pocket aces against KQ and lost.
As I write this, my friend Halli is still in the tournament and they are down to 27 players. They are paying 18 and she is short
stacked, but I have faith in her. She knows what to do in this situation.
The trip so far has been wonderful. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the staff has been very courteous and helpful. The
PokerStars staff has been even better and they have treated us like gold. Halli is living in the robe that was included in our goody
bag. I am surprised she didn't pull a Vanessa Rousso and show up to play in it.
Now that we got our poker fix in, we will be spending the next week exploring the country. We had originally planned on staying in
Uruguay for the duration, but we now want to leave a couple days early and head to Peru to see Machu Pichu. Our scheduled flight stops
in Peru, so it will probably be pretty easy to change just the first portion so we can see the country for a couple days.
I am going to head back down to the action to see how Halli is doing and also see how the main event is playing out. The main event is
down to 27 players and the only PokerStars Team Pro that is left is
Vanessa Rousso. Hopefully two women will be winning within the next day.
The Pokerstars Latin American Poker Tour Uruguay event started today with over 300 players. Because there were so many players,
it took a long time to get everyone registered. The event ended up starting an hour late but ran smoothly once it got started.
I liked my first table and felt like I had a lot of control of the action. Most of the players were very passive and I was able to
benefit from it. I think the players were getting a little tired of me and a couple of them started pushing back. One of the times a
player pushed back, he went bust because his AJ was no match for my AK. Our table eventually broke and I got moved to another table
that was less passive.
After observing the action on the new table, I decided to slowplay the first hand I got involved in. A player raised from middle position
and it got folded to me in the blind with AK. I didn't want to build a huge pot out of position and I also thought I would be able to
take a lot of chips from my opponent if I managed to connect with the flop. The flop was jack high with ragged cards and I check folded.
I didn't make the pot big, so there was no need to make the hand more important than it was. I justified the way I played it for awhile,
but the more I look back at it (hindsight at it's finest), the more I am kicking myself about it.
On another hand, I played 99 from the button. A guy in middle position raised and I only called because I didn't want to reopen the
betting. I was also in position which was another drawing point. The player in the big blind also called the raise. The flop was AAT
and both players checked to me. I made a bet that was slightly smaller than the pot and the guy in the blind pushed. After the
original raiser folded, I mucked too. Shortly after, I managed to pick up some chips when a couple people limped in and I pushed with
AK. And then I went completely card dead. I didn't even have good opportunities to pick up pots because on the few times it was folded
to me, I would have a hand like J6. I am much more likely to raise in position with 86 than I would be with J6. Anyway, I whittled
myself down to about 10x the big blind and got all my chips in from the big blind with A8 when the guy on the button raised me and was
forced to call my all-in bet because he was priced in with his garbage hand of K2. He flopped two pair and I was finished.
Tomorrow, there is a second chance tournament which I plan on playing in. The buy-in is smaller than today's was, but the structure is still great.
My trip to Uruguay for the Latin American Poker Tour came at a great time because I really wanted to "get away from it all."
The flight was very long, but LAN Airlines does a great job at making you as comfortable as you can be during the trek. Each person had
their own television that had a wide selection of free movies to choose from. They also had a handful of television programs and a nice
CD collection that were there for your enjoyment. And they fed us - a lot. During the first flight (LA to Lima, Peru), we were served
two meals and on both of the other flights (Lima to Santiago,
Chile and Santiago to Montevideo, Uruguay), they
served us two more meals. Although they made us feel comfortable, it is very difficult to get a good rest on an airplane, so when we arrived
at Punta Del Este, we were pretty exhausted and were in need of a nap.
Pokerstars certainly knows how to treat their players and this event was no different. All players were given a backpack with a lot of
goodies in it when they checked in. They also gave each player two wrist bands for their party.
Halli and I got enough rest so we were able to go to the party and have a good time. In fact, we had too much of a good time. We met a
lot of players and a few of them were really nice. After mixing and mingling, we decided to call it a night (at 10:30) because we were
still tired from our long day of flying.
Take a look at some of the poker terms in my definition section:
hit and run,
rolled up and
Day 2 of the first No Limit event of the Bicycle Casino was a drag. I started the day with 13,200 in chips which was a little better
than average, but unfortunately queens happened (my standard story). I am sure that queens have held up for me on occasion, but it
sure seems like I can't win with that hand.
The total playing time of day 2 was about 1 hour. I mucked a few hands and picked up a couple blinds and then in two consecutive hands
I was out. On the first hand, I raised with 98 of hearts from middle to late position and then folded when the tightest player on the
table reraised me from the button. On the following hand, I raised with QQ and it got folded around to the button and he reraised and
then it was back to me. I pushed and he called instantly and turned over AK. I escaped the flop, but the turn was an ace and for good
measure the dealer put another ace on the river.
I went out to the main floor and played some live action NL and had a decent night. I have really enjoyed playing over the past month
and I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am feeling and looking more like myself than I have in ages. Another reason is
that I have some really cool friends and almost all of them are poker players, so I am usually in a game with at least one of them.
Speaking of friends, it is only a couple days away until Halli and I take our South America trip to play in the PokerStars Latin
American Poker Tour Uruguay event. I am getting more excited with each passing day.