Monday, September 24, 2007

I played a whole lot of poker this week

With the WCOOP going on I played a lot of hours every day this week except Thursday when I decided I should leave the house. Unfortunately the results for the week were pretty craptastic. I lost a bit playing cash, and had little tournament success so I definitely lost some more on those, but nothing too bad. With the Canadian dollar soaring though it kind of sucks to be losing on top of all the money that is just magically disappearing each day. Nonetheless I feel like my tournament play has been pretty good all week despite playing a lot of hours. My cash play has been sloppy though, when I pick off a few bluffs I start thinking top pair is the nuts again and take a beating.

So let's see, I cashed 2 more WCOOP events, the $215 limit holdem and $530 limit O8, for very small amounts because the 15% payout structure gives you nothing until the final table. Yesterday I finally made a decent final table, but finished 6th in the Stars $320 for $3200 or something to breakeven on the day basically. Today I went deep in a couple satellites for big live events but didn't win, and took a bad beat deep in the Stars 2nd chance tournament to finish 43rd, which once again paid under $1000. I'm going to pass on the WCOOP event tomorrow because Stud hi is the worst game ever, but I'm pretty pumped for my "specialty", the $320 PLO8 on Tuesday.

In other news I ordered a new desktop computer from Dell which should be pretty sweet and a second 20" Dell lcd screen, so I'll finally have a proper setup. I ordered a few poker books from Amazon that I've been reading, though nothing too heavy on strategy. "The professor, the banker, and the suicide king" tells the story of the huge heads-up limit holdem games between banker Andy Beal and a group of Vegas pros, and was a very interesting read. I'm currently reading "Ace on the River" by Barry Greenstein, which has some hand discussion, but so far is focused more on everything you need to do to be a successful poker pro other than how to play the hands. I tend to think I do these other things very well.

With my personality a lot of it came pretty naturally to me, and while I definitely have become very skilled at playing the game, I think I manage myself better than lot of my peers. Things like not tilting, good game selection, quitting when I realize I'm off my game (I'm still far from perfect here but better than most probably), and not wasting too much money on all sorts of bad habits. There are a lot of young players who learn how to play pretty well, but are still unable to succeed at poker. They tilt and therefore can't play to the best of their ability, or let their ego take control and play in tough games to try to prove they're the best instead of just making money, and play in big games they're not bankrolled for. Some do make money consistently but then lose it playing blackjack or whatever and can't move up to the bigger games, or move up anyways underrolled and go broke.

One thing that has occurred to me recently is I should really be making an effort to get a sponsorship deal, most likely with an online poker site. The free buy-ins/travel for big live events as well as some of the other perks that are typical with these contracts are such a huge boost. All that guaranteed money would be pretty nice in a job where nothing else is a certainty. So basically, I really want to get some good live results under my belt. Hopefully if my timing is good, that combined with my online resume can get me on the gravy train. It seems like more and more of my peers are talking to the online sites and getting signed all the time, and I wouldn't mind getting a piece of that action.

Alright so this entry seems to be a bit all over the place, I guess that's what happens you try to write immediately after a 13 hour session. I'm gonna get some sleep and hopefully own some WCOOP events this week.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back in Toronto and early WCOOP results

After busting out of WSOPE I really didn't play much poker for the rest of the trip. I mostly spent a lot of time hanging out with the other online players, checking out some bars, eating fancy meals, and even a small amount of sight-seeing! Timex was able to play WSOPE and busted out on day 1 in incredibly hilarious fashion: First, he had his stack up to 30K. Then he got all-in with 42 on the A53cc flop and lost to 42cc when his opponent rivered the straight flush. But he managed to work that 10K back up to 20K when he got moved to the feature table, with none other than former world champion of poker Jamie Gold! For those not in the know, Gold won the 2006 World Series of Poker main event for $12 million by getting luckier than anyone ever. He's really comically terrible at poker, and likes to run lots of hopeless bluffs etc... Here is my post from 2+2:


Just moved to the feature table, the following hand took place at 100/200 a25

Jamie Gold limps UTG, CO limps, MFNTIMEX raises to 1000 on the button with JJ and is covered with 17K behind, Jamie Gold asks if he's button or SB, Mike says button obv, Jamie limpraises to 3200. After a quick thought MFNTIMEX calls. Flop T74dd, Jamie now checks, MFNTIMEX bets 2500, Jamie shoves. The following conversation occurs:

MFNTIMEX: what's your screenname online?
Goldfish: I don't play online. This is my first tournament.
MFNTIMEX: I know who you are, I just want to know your online name there's a lot of people who claim they are you.
Goldfish: says something retarded
MFNTIMEX: I call. (Gold flips 33 LOL)
Watts (to ch0ppy next to him on the rail): LOL!
Goldfish: I knew you had it I just didn't think you'd call.
Watts (yelling with half-empty pint in hand): YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED WHAT HIS ONLINE SCREENNAME WAS!
*Dealer turns a 3*
Watts (to ch0ppy): lol that's so sick.
Watts: lol that may actually be the funniest thing that's ever happened.

We then laughed right in timex's face about how he got pwned by Jamie Gold, timex did a bustout interview where he basically sounded like a baller dropping such memorable quotes as:

"Today is my 18th birthday. I decided to celebrate I wanted to lose 10,000 pounds so I flew over here for this tournament", and

"Live players are so bad it's hilarious. So unreal"

Other memorable events include going for a really nice dinner with timex, ch0ppy, ActionJeff, and skier and losing credit card roulette. It was this cool little restaurant themed like a nightclub (but it's just a restaurant not a club). The food was all asian-style, but a mix of different types of things, not your typical chinese or japanese restaurant for sure. Anyways the food was amazing albeit expensive, and once you add on 2 bottles of fancy champagne and other drinks I ended up getting stuck with the $1200 bill when my credit card roulette skills failed me. The only night I played much poker was Friday, when like 10 or 12 of us all brought laptops to shaundeeb's suite to play the first events of the WCOOP. I had no luck with those, but I did end up 25K on the night playing some really good cash games until 6am or something. That more or less covered my losses on the trip to that point so that was pretty nice.

On Saturday I went to the Chelsea game with skier, Shaun, Schaefer, and a couple of his non-poker friends. It was a good game but not nearly as exciting as the Barcelona match. They played Blackburn Rovers who were very stingy in the back and managed to hold them off the score sheet despite several quality chances and one goal called back because it was offside. Chelsea just didn't have the dynamic playmakers that Barcelona did and Blackburn were much more competitive than Bilbao had been against Barcelona. Drogba was out for Chelsea which sucked, and they were forced to play the more typical European style of playing the ball down the side and swinging in a lot of crosses, whereas Barcelona played more of a Brazilian style. In the end it finished 0-0, but it was still a lot of fun.

I flew back here from London on Sunday, just in time to play the huge WCOOP event that day.
I got off to a pretty good start and managed to make the money, but busted shortly thereafter. I played the $320+r PLO yesterday but didn't have much go right after the first few hours there either. I'll probably be playing most of the remaining WCOOP events. I've already done better than last year with that one cash, but hopefully I can put up a big score in one of these. Alright that's about it for now, still trying to get setlled in here completely. Also it's kind of weird having all this free time with no school to worry about. I'll prboably be playing a ton of poker during WCOOP, but after that it's going to be fun finding things to do with that time to balance with playing. This whole pro thing may take some getting used to.


Monday, September 10, 2007

lol I'm busto

Sigh that was a short day. I'd splashed around a little and was down to 18K of my starting 20K when this hand happened:

A player who had already shown himself to be quite weak opened to 400 in the CO and I called with black fives in the SB (50/100 blinds). Flop Q95 two dimanonds, I check he bets 600 and I make it 2000. He quickly makes it 5000, I shove and he thinks a minute or 2 and calls with Qd9. Turn dimaond, oh crap, river diamond, gg.

I did however manage to get back in front of the cameras much sooner than expected, as the first player eliminated at the "Fifty" casino PokerNews did a bustout interview with me which should be up on their site some time soon I guess. Check the live coverage/videos section. On the plus side it looks like timex may be able to get into the tournament now which is pretty friggin sweet as his 18th birthday is tomorrow. Anyways I guess I'll just do the tourist thing for the rest of the week. Oh well,


Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm in London yo

I got in yesterday afternoon and last night I hung out with my friend Paul from Waterloo who lives here now, and some of his other friends in the financial industry. Paul moved here after grad school and is working at Barclay's now. They showed me a taste of the London night life which was a lot of fun but, like everything in this city, ridiculously expensive. It's pretty nice being able to speak english to people again, even if they have funny accents and use lots of weird expressions =). I'm hanging out with Adam and the Waterloo guys (ch0ppy, cutiepi aka Will, and timex) in Adam's new hotel room right now, after playing a few of the earlier Sunday tournaments. My hotel room kind of sucks. It's really small and the internet doesn't seem to like working in the room. I guess you get what you pay for for "only" 66 pounds a night. Really though the room should be fine and the location is very good, 2 blocks from the Underground and only a few stops on there from the casinos. Adam's new hotel room on the other hand costs 200 pounds a night (400 USD), and is probably on par with a room at one of the cheaper hotels in Vegas. That's just how they roll in London.

Let's see.. I had a few other minor touristy adventures the last few days as well. Before the World Cup final Adam and I ventured on foot into Barcelona carrying a big bag of laundry since we'd run out of clothes and it cost 5 euro per item at the hotel. We'd been warned no one spoke english there so we came equipped with a few key googled spanish phrases. It ended up costing us only 17 euros and most of the route was along the beach so it was a nice walk. In London when our internet wasn't working at the hotel I was able to guide myself and Adam to within a block of the Casino at the Empire on memory of a map I'd looked at online when picking a hotel around 3 weeks ago, having never been in London before. Unfortunately we were forced to ask for directions once we got to Leceister square since the map wasn't that detailed. So, we got checked-in and registered for the tournament.

I play Day 1A of WSOP Europe tomorrow at "Fifty", starting 2pm here, 9am EST, on table 18. I'm quite excited for this tournament and looking forward to getting back on the felt. It appears the field will be a lot smaller than I was expecting with the WPT Borgata in Atlantic City at the same time taking some players. However first prze still figures to be around 2 million US and a smaller field reduces the variance somewhat which is nice in these huge buy-in tournaments. I've shaken off the finals in Barcelona and learned from the experience like always, I'm sure I'll be better this time around. With any luck I'll be back in front of the cameras soon with a nice training run already under my belt, but playing for a lot more money.


Friday, September 07, 2007

lol I must have looked like such an idiot

Anyways that sucked, Raymer accidentally limp-minreraised me and then owned me which was pretty awful. Made a completely retarded fold to him, etc... I can only guess what the commentators were saying about the world champion outplaying the inexperienced Canadian. In any event I'm going to London tomorrow I guess I"ll just have to win WSOPE to redeem myself. Oh yeah we finished 4th for people that didn't watch, Danny lost a flip to busto after I lost a bunch of our chips. Congrats to the US who got lucky at first but then played well to take it down behind my buddy Shaun [censored] Deeb's very strong play at the end.

edit: PS. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us or followed our progress throughout the tournament. It seems the local press at home has run several stories on us and we've accumulated various unexpected fans. The whole idea is still a little strange to me to be honest, but it's pretty awesome. And to the whole team and our #1 fan Michelle, it was great to meet/play with you all.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

On to the finals

After a little scare when Jody ran KK into AA and busted 8th we still made it through to the finals behind Ed's 4th place finish in the later heat. Our competition tomorrow will be Romania, Iceland, and the US. We start at 5:30pm local time, so 11:30am EST, but I think the webcast lags an hour behind so starting at 12:30pm EST on Hopefully we can take it down. In other mildly exciting news I played some live 5/10 PLO against Europeans and beat them for 1800 at their own game. The game was pretty soft, though I admittedly got lucky in some of the big pots I won hitting big draws etc... Time to go get some sleep, hopefully we can take it down for Canada tomorrow.


World Cup update

Daniel put in a strong showing yesterday finishing 2nd, leaving us in 2nd place overall with 32 points. Barring some sort of disaster today we should easily make it through to the final round on Friday. The format of the final is a "tag team" event. Each country substitutes players in and out to play their chipstack at the end of each level. There are a few rules about mandatory changes such as at least 3 players have to play in the first 8 levels and have to play at least 2 levels each. Jody and Ed play today, probably going to be a long day watching. And yes, since every seems to have noticed, I did pretty much always have a drink in my hand watching Daniel play yesterday. Why wouldn't I?


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

WCP Heat 1 Report

I'd love to see the internet feed of this so if anyone knows some way I can get it please let me know. Let me see what I can remember.

Hand 1: Call behind an EP raise from Germany with 33 in BB at 50/100 behind the SB (Iceland) call. Flop set and checkraise but I guess the guy had unpaired big cards and he folds.

Hand 2*: Fold a lot of stuff I might otherwise open because it's correct in this tournament/I'm just a huge nit anyways.

Hand 3: CO, Romania raises to 400 at 70/140. I make it 1200 with AK in the BB which is basically a clear mistake. He calls and I check/fold QJ9 flop getting shown top set.

Hand 4: Get AK a few times and cram over raises, they fold.

Hand 5: Blinds 300/600, 6 or 7 handed and me and Romania have all the chips. Romania opens UTG to 1500. I forget he has raised and throw 1500 in the pot and announce raise, with TT. Raymer tells the announcer I said raise and he announces I will be raising. I'm like wtf is going on, OH CRAP THE ROMANIAN NIT UTG RAISED AND NOW I HAVE TO RERAISE IM SO SCREWED IM ABOUT TO RUIN EVERYTHING. Somehow I manage to keep a poker face and play it off like I was deciding how much I wanted to reraise and then shove for 7500 more or something because it's really all I can do at this point. Miraculously everyone folds and and I breathe a sigh of relief, I would definitely have just folded preflop normally because given the structure/chip counts and how tight he had been there was no reason to get involved here.

Hand 6: Purtugal shoved 3600 UTG at 300/600, I shove JJ, Ireland calls with AK in the SB and 3700. QQ holds and I'm down to like 6600. Daniel thinks it's not worth gambling here and I should fold preflop but I'm pretty sure I'm just so far ahead on average and it's not a crippling % of my chips I really can't fold.

Hand 7: At some point Germany shoves 3800 UTG at 400/800 5-handed. I have A7s and basically want to call but Romania only has 2400 chips UTG+1 so I think he's stronger than usual here even though he's pushed several times before and fold.

Hand 8: Daniel calls timeout and berates me for even thinking about calling last hand because I'm so much better than everyone. I try to explain the reason I'm better is because I can recognize spots where it's correct to gamble with marginal hands but agree with his point about opening all-in more than calling all-in in general. Obviously the next hand I iso-shove KTo over Romanian's UTG push for 3xBB in the SB since I'm getting 2:1 assuming BB folds which he does. Romania has A8s and holds. Daniel was like wtf I just told you not to do that but this was for a small % of my stack and is clearly very +cEV getting those odds so I think I have to get it in here.

Hand 9: From here I think it's just pushbotting. Random comical things such as Romanian showing an ace and folding when I was shoving almost any 2 cards from the SB occured. Of course I happened to have KK that time and he'll go to his grave thinking he's a genius if he ever hears about the hand.

Hand 10: I hero fold QJs to Raymer's shove even though it's clearly +cEV because it's so much easier to just steal blinds from the guys on my left. Then I go ahead and rob them blind.

Hand 11: Call Raymer shove with A2. Clearly very +cEV and if I lose I may still have fold equity vs the nits on my left, if I bust Raymer I basically win because the other 2 are really bad at push/fold poker. I luckbox the hold against K5cc.

Hand 12: Rob more blinds, snap call shove with AK and hold vs A7 to get heads up.

Hand 13: Fold some 5-highs then beat KQ with A2 aipf when I catch the ace on the river like Barry G. Board Q77KA, weeeee.

Hand 14: Drink a lot and watch poppyoppy get us some points despite playing waaaaaay too tight.

That's about all I can remember. Was pretty fun playing in front of the cameras and really good feeling to win and get us off to a good start.


I'm playing Heat 1 today, streamed live on the interwebs!

Captain tilterino put me in the first heat for the World Cup which starts today at 4pm/10am EST. Just like the EPT featured table the event will be streamed live online, you can watch the feed at In the live part it turns out we're no longer playing against the person who qualified the same way as you from each team, it's just all mixed up. The only pro that I recognize at my table is Raymer, who I have position on. I'll have to go do my research and figure out who's who at my table. So yeah check that out today, I'm looking forward to getting our team off to a good start.

On Sunday I went to the FC Barcelona game, and it was really amazing. Barcelona is one of the bes teams in the world and they showed why by dominating Athletico de Bilbao in a 3-1 win. Seeing how fast and how skilled these guys are in person was amazing. It wasn't even that Bilbao played poorly, Barcelona was just so ridiculously good. Ronaldinho scored twice, on a free kick and a penalty, and this huge African midfielder Toure-Yaya "scored" on an absolute rocket from outside the box. Scored is in quotation marks because the ball hit the crossbar and never looked like it went in, but for some reason the linesman completely unexpectedly called it a goal anyways. I'm told replays confirm he was quite wrong. In fact there was quite a lot of questionable/outright poor officiating towards the end of the game but this time going against Barcelona so we got to hear 100 thousand angry fans whistle at the ref. It was an incredible atmosphere, but I'll get back to that in minute.

Also playing for Barcelona was Thierry Henry, though he looked a step slow recovering from some injuries. He still very nearly scored in the second half but was denied by the post on another of Barcelona's good scoring chances. The most impressive player that day behind Ronaldinho was Messi, who consistently made defenders look foolish throughout the game in helping set up a lot of Barcelona's best scoring chances. The stadium is just enormous, it seats 99000, and most of those were filled for this game. 99000 people cheering and applauding every scoring chance, whistling at every foul or missed call, and gasping at ever close call makes for an incredible atmosphere. The cliffs notes is that watching live soccer in Europe is just awesome, so much more exciting than on TV. Schaefer and I are trying to get tickets for a Chelsea game while we're in London now.

Because of the time difference I got home in time to play Sunday tournaments, so I lost some money. Yesterday was the beginning of the World Cup, we had a welcome dinner at a Japanese restaurant, Shoko, near the hotel. I finally got to meet the rest of the team as well as some of the players from other teams. We discussed some strategy and socialized for a bit before heading to the casino where I quickly donked out out of the $1600 freeroll pushing blind half the hands. Then I just went back to the hotel and crashed. Unfortunately I'm up kind of early as I only woke up at 4pm yesterday so I didn't sleep for long. I'm gonna go get the free breakfast buffet and see if it tastes better when you sleep before it.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Euro-Watts wins EPT Barcelona

Seriously wtf this guy is my European doppleganger. If I wasn't such a slob and I had a hair cut this picture would be scary. Adam ended up 6th and Greg finished 3rd so relatively nice pay days for those guys/timex.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chilling in Barcelona

Hey all, not a lot going on pokerwise lately but I figured I'd throw in a quick update. I've mostly just been partying a lot and doing some touristy stuff lately. The only poker I've played is quickly dropping a buy-in on Cake and the live 300 + rebuys PLO tourney last night which didn't go well. Today I'm probably going to go sweat my friends Adam Junglen and Greg "FunkiMunki" Dyer who are still in with 13 left in the EPT event. Adam has around an average chip stack while Greg is fighting on a short stack. You can watch coverage of the feature table live at Play starts up again today at 3:30, so 9:30am EST.

Tomorrow I'm going to a soccer game with Schaefer, which I'm really pumped for, and then on Monday the World Cup people are arriving. I met Daniel Negreanu at breakfast the other day. Obviously I was still drunk and hadn't gone to bed yet or I'd never be up so early. So I went and introduced myself, we talked about the World Cup for a bit etc... He came across the same as he always does on TV and his blog, no different in person, and he was obviously going golfing that day. Anyways I'm really looking forward to getting back in there and playing some more poker as I've played relatively little the past couple weeks, and watching friends deep in a big tournament is really motivating.