Monday, August 11, 2008

Here, there, and everywhere

I imagine that title will apply to the content of this blog entry as well as it does to what I've been doing the last week or so. I still haven't played a whole lot of poker since Bellagio, though I finally put in the typical huge Sunday session today. Before I get into that though I have to give a shoutout to Joe Atanas for winning the first annual Olympafalloza or some such spelling last weekend. Basically, a bunch of my university buddies got together in Brantford and played a series of sporting events to determine an overall champion. While it became clear that the poker:sports ratio in my life has gotten a bit high which was apparent in my performance, Joe was solid throughout. And of course there were celebrations afterwards, the whole thing was a great idea and lots of fun.

So then I took care of a few odd tasks this week, while also just being lazy and relaxing in general. Surprisingly there wasn't all that much playing poker involved though. I did my "well" on 2+2 which took a decent amount of time but I think turned out pretty well and hopefully some people learned a lot from it. It definitely seemed like a great way to give back to the forums where I learned so much. So while I wasn't playing much I was definitely back to reading and thinking and poker all the time, not that I ever really take much of a break from that. Then this weekend was Steve Paul-Ambrose's wedding in Picton, near Kingston. First however, another aside.

Meeting Steve and through him Aaron and Mike (PacMann and timex) was probably a key point in my development as a player. While posting on forums was great, I had never really had friends at/above my level to bounce ideas and hands off of all the time. It quickly became a routine for us to get together on Sundays and grind our tournaments in the same room, and that was so much more fun than grinding in my room by myself, and much more educational. I think we all learned so much from each other and were such talented people to begin with that the group having great success was inevitable, though I'm sure none of us could have imagined how quickly and to what extent it would come. Anyways, the point is that Steve luckboxing a donkament and being such a friendly guy to meet complete strangers like me and timex probably changed our lives as much as it changed his. In short, stevepa is the fucking man.

So back on topic, Steve and his wife Nathalie were high school sweethearts in Kingston and went to Waterloo together. Both are super nice, intelligent, talented and caring people who completely deserve each other. I couldn't be happier for them. The wedding was really nice and a lot of fun. The venue was perfect and thankfully the rain held off. Aaron delivered a hilarious speech after we had been needling him for about an hour straight about how he couldn't possibly compete with the previous speeches. He came through huge though and knocked it out of the park, and even the one mistake he made was accidental comedic gold and had us in tears. Steve had way more moves on the dance floor than anyone could have predicted :P. Aaron and Mike were both groomsmen and since I hadn't seen them much all summer I suggested we hang out Saturday night and watch the UFC card, and then grind Sundays together like the good ol days. So I drove back to Waterloo with them Saturday morning and I've been hanging at Aaron's place here since. The UFC card was very good and Sundays weren't bad either.

OK so on to some poker. I played the full noon to 9pm Sunday schedule today and had a pretty good day. I went deep in a bunch of tournaments as I was running exceptionally well all day in the early-mid stages, just winning every race whether I got it in ahead or behind. Unfortunately I lost a few key hands deep and missed out on the really big scores. I had a 21st place finish in the OnGame big deal and 22nd in the 2pm huge $100 rebuy on Stars. I won a WCOOP main event satellite which paid the $5200 seat for my biggest win of the day. I also cashed the $200 rebuy on Stars and I think I had one other small cash as well. All-in-all my cashes must have added up to around $10K, so I made a nice little profit on the day. I'm definitely planning to play a lot more FTOPS events this week, but I have softball games a few nights so I'll likely end up missing a few. I may end up playing a bunch of PLO cash instead to keep my hours more flexible. Speaking of PLO I took one brief shot at 200/400 this week when I was bored and felt like gambling. I ran my 8K buyin up to 30K pretty quickly winning a flip against Gus to double to around 15K and then getting him in drawing dead to double again. Still not planning to play that game much though at least until I get a bunch more hands in grinding midstakes.

My next live events will be WSOP Europe and EPT London, which both take place in London from late September to early October. I've got all my flights and hotel booked now and I'm looking forward to it. As much as I would love to do EPT Barcelona again, WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars) is so big this year that I think it makes more sense to relax at home and just concentrate on online during that period. London should be a lot of fun though as I'm playing the 10K PLO (5K pound), and 20K NLHE main event (10K pound) of WSOP Europe, and then the 10K EPT London main event, and possibly even the 40K buy-in high roller event after that. I may play a few more live events this fall than I did last year but I still don't feel like I want to be following the circuit and traveling all the time, especially during the summer when it's so nice here anyways. Shortly after that is WPT Niagara, my home event so to speak, and then I'll probably do Festa al Lago at Bellagio after that since they seem to like me there now :-).

Well I think that's about enough for now, I should get a little sleep. The only other thing I can say is I'm looking forward to some epic trip reports from the TwoRags guys that made it down to Fresno to visit Kyle at his casino this weekend.