Thursday, October 30, 2008


Today was the maddest I have ever been at a poker table. I don't give a fuck about bad beats or about bubbling the stupid tournament. I'm partly very mad at myself for being an idiot and allowing this bullshit to happen, but moreso that some jackass actually pulled this on me. The story is coming shortly let me begin at the beginning. So I run/play bad for a bit and get down to 200K, then double with TT vs 22 blind vs blind and I think win some other pot I can't remember. Then this hand happens:

6k/12k a1k I open to 32K UTG with JJ and the BB who is bad defends. The flop comes J87 with two hearts, he checks and I bet 56K which he calls. The turn is an 8 he checks and I bet 86K and he calls. The turn is a Q, he leads out for 125K, I say all-in for his roughly 200K more. I hear him almost immediately say call and turn over my hand. At this point he says "What are you doing I didn't say anything yet." I ask the dealer "didn't he say call?" The dealer obviously doing his job well says "I didn't hear anything." At this point I fuck up really bad since I don't know what is going on. Instead of calling over the floor I just kind of end up going with it and letting him fold his hand and keep the last of his chips. I don't know why I did did that, it was one of those situations that kind of happened so fast and I was obviously pretty excited about having the effective nuts that I can't even remember exactly how things happened. Also, who the fuck has the audacity to say "Call" in front of a table of people and then be like "No wait I actually didn't say that"? It certainly made sense I could be the one who fucked up. So the hand ended and we go on break (which also could have added to the confusion).

The guy sitting directly between me and my opponent at the table now comes up to me and says "Why didn't you call the floor? He definitely said call." The the dealer who was waiting to rotate into our table also says "Yeah I heard him say call. I think you even asked him "Did you say call?" and he said yes before you turned your hand over." Obviously at this point I am pretty fucking livid but it's too late to do anything. The rule apparently is that if the dealer doesn't hear anything two people have to have heard him say it, so if I'm not an idiot he wouldn't have gotten away with it which makes me feel even worse.

Anyways I have my break and am able to accept what has happened. As a poker player I am trained to ignore things outside my control and just focus on making good decisions in the future, it's all I can do really. I'm still pretty pissed though because the whole thing was so fucked up and I can't believe this scumbag actually did that that I was sitting there steaming for most of the next level just planning how bad I was going to slowroll him when I finally bust him and take MY chips back. I'm very card dead for a while though and end up folding all the way back down to around 440K when this hand happens:

15k/30k a3k I'm UTG with KK and make it 77K. Folds to angle shooting scumbag in the BB who has folded his way all the way down to 225K playing like a fucking genius after having chipped back up earlier. He thinks for a minute or 2 then makes the brilliant play of flat calling. The flop comes A73r, he checks and I check behind since nothing worse calls and I can let stuff that's drawing basically dead catch up a bit. If he has me beat he's going to get my money regardless. The turn is a J, he checks and I check behind again. I can probably just move in here and hope he calls with a J but if he's behind he can't have more than a few outs and giving him a chance to do something stupid on the river is fun and I'm still getting called by a J on the river usually anyways. The river is a T, he checks and I finally bet 100K of his 150K. He moves in, I cry but obviously have to call and he has JT....

I don't think I had ever thrown cards or chips in anger at a poker table before but that streak is now over. I would never get really mad over just a bad beat but given the circumstances I think it's pretty understandable why I was furious. Our table breaks after this hand and I have a meager 210K at my new table. I move in with A7 on the first two hands and get back to around 350K. Then I pick up 99 UTG and move in again, Kathy Liebert calls with AK and I lose. I tell her nice hand, wish Adam good luck, and make my exit.

So in the end I don't know what else to say. I could have done a lot of things differently after the fact but it's just not me. In the future I'll just have more confidence in myself and less faith in the poker community, not that I didn't know it has more than it's fair share of liars and cheats to begin with. That being said the great majority of the people I've met in the poker world are incredibly honest and good people (especially the newer younger generation), but you do have to watch your own back. Still, I'm not going to stop believing that most people are good honest people and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. You can't be so naive as to let yourself get taken advantage of, but I sure as hell am not going to go about living my life being paranoid and not trusting anyone, I'd rather risk getting angled once in a while than live my life that miserably. So there you have a rare Watts emo rant. Peace y'all,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caesar's Poker Classic Main Event Day 1

The tournament that I've been sticking around for the last week or so since I busted Bellagio began today. It's a $10K buy-in with a million guaranteed first prize. The do the payouts by their normal payout structure for all places but then if first is less than a million they top it up to that, so there's an overlay (of only ~55K this year though as they got ~310 players). However, a lot of the players in the tournament are actually freeroll and special contest winners and there are a ton of satellite winners on top of that so this easily the softest 10K+ buy-in tournament in Vegas outside of the World Series. We played really late and are starting up again at noon so I can't write a big report, but I ran pretty good all day including set over setting someone on one of the last hands of the day to run my stack up to 457.6K from the 100K starting bank.

The structure is really bad and while there was a lot of play today it is going to become a complete crap shoot tomorrow, though to be honest that suits me just fine, especially if I can maintain a big stack into the bubble since there is going to be so much dead money scared satellite and freeroll winners. I think Cardplayer ( is the only place doing live coverage so you can check there for updates throughout the day. Gotta try to get some sleep tonight for another (hopefully) long day tomorrow. Night,


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Festa al Lago Day 2

Well I'm busto. I grinded my short stack for quite a while but every time I got something good going I immediately lost a pot to give it back. In the end I obviously got owned Doug Lee because why wouldn't I?

Hand 1: 500/1000 a100 Somehow I'm down to 13K at this point and Jen Harman opens on my right. I move in with KK and Kristy Gazes instaships in the BB and Jennifer folds. She has QQ and I double back to around 30K.

Hand 2: Somewhere in here Doug Lee gets moved to the table. It folds to me in HJ and I raise to 2700 with QsQh. It folds to Doug in the BB and he calls because when it's his BB that's what he does. The flop comes A64dd, he checks and I check behind intending to fold approximately never no matter what happens ever. Then the turn is the Kd, and he bets 5K and I cry and fold. There's a good chance calling down here is still correct.

Hand 3: 600/1200 a200 So I get back to like 22K and raise to 3200 in the HJ again with KQo this time. Doug Lee calls in the BB because as we've established why wouldn't he? The flop comes 743r, I'm not thrilled but I think I have to bet. I bet 5K and he calls. The turn is a 2 chk/chk river J chk/chk. "I have one pair." I nod my head like obviously that's good but for some reason it takes him a while to roll over the winner, his 83s.

Hand 4: 800/1600 a200 Down to 13K now it folds to Jon (FatalError) in the CO and he opens to 4K, I ship A9o in the SB and hold against his KJo.

Hand 5: I'm back to around 30K and we get moved away from the balcony in the Fontana room because it was insanely cold. As we're unracking our chips a the new table the dealer asks me if I remember this card, and shows me the Ad. As it turns out it's the dealer who peeled off that beautiful Ad on the river against David back in July when I was all-in with AK vs QQ. So the first hand at the new table I'm UTG+1 and look down to see AKo! I raise and everyone folds and I show the ace and say I knew I had nothing to worry about. The next hand I get AKo again UTG! This guy is good! I open to 4400 again and Doug Lee makes it 16K in MP. Folds back to me and I insta-double fistpump-triple backflip-Hi 5s all around-turbo ship the rest of my chips in and he calls with AQ. The board runs out KJxx.......T. Oops. I guess I'm still slightly ahead lifetime on his river cards though so no major complaints.

I'm gonna stick around for another week still and play the 10K at Caesar's at the end of the month and probably some cash games. It's undoubtedly too much to ask, but I certainly wouldn't mind doing that thing where I hit a big score in my last tournament of the trip again! In the mean time I will try to get in an appropriate amount of trouble.


Festa al Lago WPT Day 1b

Not a very successful day 1 today unfortunately. I finished the day with 25K of my 45K starting stack. My starting table was very soft, the only other players I recognized were shaniac and gobbo. Unfortunately I then got moved to some crazy table with Shawn Sheikhan, Brad Booth, Minh Ly and some other people I recognized. Here are two interesting hands I played today, the latter being the key hand of my day.

Hand 1: 200/400 a50. The player on my right opens to 1400 in MP and I flat KK next to act hoping for a squeeze from Sheikhan or Brad Booth or to just trap the raiser. One player calls behind me in position and Booth calls from the BB. The flop comes AT6hh and checks around. Turn T checks around. River 5 checks to me and I figure I almost always have the best hand and I may be able to get value from a hand like JJ or QQ so I bet 2800 and Brad calls with JJ.

Hand 2: Brad has been very active making a lot of really big preflop raises and reraises. In thish and Minh Ly open to 900 in early-middle position and Booth makes it 3800 next to act. I find KK on the button and make it 14K which is probably a bit too big. Booth calls pretty quickly which is really strange. The flop comes Q65hh and he checks. I think for a bit and was going to just jam it in and hope to get hero called but eventually I decided his preflop call seemed so strong that I was actually pretty worried about him having AA or QQ and I could induce bluffs or something by checking anyways. The turn is an 8 and he bets 8K which I call. The river is an A and he bets 22K. I think for a bit and mutter about how I must be the only nit in the world who plays this hand so weak and I'm either an idiot or a genius before accepting that I just can't imagine how he could be bluffing and fold. He said he flopped three queens and kept muttering about how if he played the hand differently he could have busted me so it seemed pretty legitimate that he actually had the hand.

I was down to 30K after that hand and finished the day with 25K after a boring level where I didn't do too much other than steal the blinds a few times. Hopefully I can turn things around and get something going tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Awesome Day!

Today started like almost any other day. I woke up and lazed around for a bit. Eventually I forced myself to go get a workout and then I came back to the room and ordered some food. I watched the new episode of Entourage which was the best in a long time, and also Dexter which was really good as always. After that I decided I'd go check out the poker room and see if any good games were running and buy into Day 1B of the WPT event for tomorrow. I ran into Vivek in the poker room and we both ended up sitting in a 10/20 game for a bit. Then we heard a new 25/50 NL game was opening and that a certain swimmer you may have heard of was playing it, so we instantly locked up seats and moved to that game. Sure enough, seated three to my left was none other than Michael Phelps.

Normally, to play in the legendary Bobby's Room, home of the biggest cash games in the world, you have to be playing at least something like 100/200 NL with a minimum 20K buy-in, but seeing as Michael Phelps is kind of a big deal and all they made an exception and moved our table in there. We were playing 25/50 NL and the BB also posted a $100 ante so it played a fair bit bigger than a normal 25/50 game, but you probably don't care about that. So there Vivek and I are, both coming off of huge WPT victories, sitting in Bobby's room play high stakes poker with the greatest olympian ever and one of the most famous people in the world this year. At the other table next to us Doyle, Helmuth, Eli, Ralph Perry, Freddy Deeb and various others are playing some huge stakes mixed game. It was kind of a ridiculous surreal moment where all Vivek and I could do is look at each other and say "Wow, are we living the life right now or what?".

So anyways back to things you probably care more about. Michael was actually really down to earth despite all his success and a cool guy. He immediately recognized Vivek (everyone seems to) which Vivek obviously thought was pretty sick. He didn't really seem to recognize me though, but I guess that's not surprising because I'm just some quiet kid who won a WPT event when the entire poker world was focused on them reaching the final table of the WSOP main event. Anyways, he was having a beer and enjoying himself and it was a really fun game. He actually seems to play fairly well though he never got in many tricky spots postflop at all and we never really saw any of his hands. The whole experience was pretty amazing though, and afterwards Vivek, Adam, and I went for some food at Fix and grabbed a late dinner to celebrate our sweet day. Oh yeah on top of that I also won $4K in the game by flopping the nuts a bunch but never winning any really huge pots.

So, tomorrow I begin my quest to defend my WPT at Bellagio bracelet. I'm pretty excited to get going, though I somehow doubt tomorrow will be able to compete with the events of today.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Festa al Lago Update

Hey I've been lazy and haven't written anything in a little while so here's what I've been up to this week. After I busted Niagara I drove home immediately and started looking for a flight to Vegas. There was a very cheap Westjet flight at 9pm that night and I had a credit for Westjet that I had to use soon anyways so I booked that right away, threw a bunch of extra clothes in my bag, and was off to the airport. I got in around 11pm PST and checked into the Bellagio. They were nice enough to comp my room for this trip as the returning champion so that was pretty badass. I had actually never stayed at the Bellagio before though I had seen the rooms and knew what to expect. Still, my room is way nicer than I remembered them being. There's so much space, the bathroom is huge, and all the decor is really classy without being excessive or snobbish. I of course still have to pay for all my own incidentals (internet, gym/spa, room service, mini bar, etc...) and they're very good at making those add up quickly, so even without paying the actual room rate they're still making an alright sum off me.

I've played a fair bit since I got here and had no success. On Thursday I played the $5K buy-in tournament and busted early without much going right. The next day I played a $1500 satellite to the main event but played very poorly and wasn't really focused and busted early again. I then played some 25/50 NL live and lost a bit over $5K getting in some tough spots and making a few likely questionable/poor plays. Today I played the $5K tournament and hung in until just before the dinner break very card dead for the most part. I busted on a tricky hand which I think I'm fine with:

600/1200 a100. A player who has been playing a lot of hands and limping a fair bit limps in MP. He seemed to be a cash player so competent but making a lot of preflop mistakes on the shorter effective stacks. I find KJcc in the CO make it 4200 with ~27K behind, and it folds back to him and he calls. The flop comes Ah Jh 7s and I check behind. The turn is the 2s and he leads very big for 10K. I feel like his bet sizing is either a made hand protecting against the 2 flush draws or a semi-bluff. I thought he would raise a lot of aces preflop so it's a bit less likely he has an A, and there are tons of ways he can have a flush draw that I'm ahead of. With only 17K behind after the 10K bet I think it's a spot where I have to move in for value if I think he has a draw since the pot will be so big if I call that trying to play the river would really not be fun. In the end that's what I decided to do but he had ATo and I lost. I think there are more aces in his range than I originally gave him credit for since he can probably limp/call a bunch of suited aces as well as some offsuit ones with middling kickers but I still think he should have a draw often enough that stacking off was ok.

The $15K WPT main event starts Monday and Tuesday, and after that there is a $10K buy-in tournament at Caesar's that I didn't know about with a million dollar guaranteed first prize so I'll probably stay until the end of the month to play that as well. I'll probably also try to play more big cash games during the main event since they should be fairly good, but I'm still not a big fan of live cash at this point. Maybe I just need more experience but it can be pretty boring. Oh yeah I've also picked up one Adam Junglen as a roommate again on this trip as he just turned 21 today! So happy birthday to him! I thought I got rid of him after London but it seems I was mistaken. Oh yeah also Friday night was David 'Bakes' Baker's birthday so a bunch of us went out for beer pong at O'Shea's which was a fun time as always. There's not as many people here that I know as usual but more and more are arriving as we get closer to the main event so it should be a fun couple weeks!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WPT Niagara Day 2-3

The internet stopped working on my computer in the hotel room for some reason so I wasn't able to blog last night. I had a pretty crappy day despite getting up to as high as 94K pretty early. I then went pretty card dead and lost most of the pots I did play. I was in pushbot mode by the end of the day and stole the blinds a few times to get to 40K. Today I played all of one hand when I moved in with A9s in MP for 32K for whatever and didn't beat JJ even though I flopped a flush draw. Timex and stevepa are stll in though so gogogogo them. I'm gonna book a flight to Vegas asap and play as many Festa al Lago events at Bellagio as I can now.


Monday, October 13, 2008

WPT Niagara Day 1

Hey I finished day 1 with 49.5K which is about average (30K starting stack). We only played 5 levels so not too many people were eliminated. I don't really feel like there were enough really interesting hands that I want to write a detailed report. Also, I'm pretty tired and just don't really feel like it. We start up again at noon tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

EPT High Roller Day 2

Well as most people probably know by now I finished 3rd for 241K pounds. It was a tough tournament and I never had a ton of chips so I was pretty happy with the finish, and obviously it's by far my 2nd biggest cash ever. I guess a lot of the hands have been reported pretty accurately elsewhere so I'll try not to focus too much on those but I do want to write a little recap.

Early on I was able to pick up a few pots where I reraised David Benyamine but I was otherwise fairly card dead. Between the blinds getting big leaving me on an awkward stack size and the fact that 9th paid around 2.5 buy-ins making it a really big bubble I didn't have much choice but to play very tight. I hung in until the final table but entered with a pretty short stack. Then I started coolering the other shortstacks, first Isabelle with AK vs her AJ and then Masaki with 99 vs Q9. I lost the latter though but then immediately picked up AA vs David's KJ (probably didn't move me up his list of favourite people at all =/) to bust him and AKs vs Masaki's AQs to bust my 3rd player and move into 2nd chip position. I then lost a couple small pots including this hand which was my only really tough spot at the final table. Here's a cut/paste of the strategy post I made on 2+2:

Weird river spot, all of call, fold and shove seemed pretty reasonable.

Relevant history or whatever first. 5-handed, errbody is playing super solid TAG except Scotty on my left who's super nitting it up.

5k/10k a1k. Last orbit I raised UTG to 27K and Peter defended his BB. Flop came 228 I c-bet 36K and he called. Turn and river were low cards and we checked it down and his TT was good.

I think effective stacks were around 300K for this hand. Next orbit I raise UTG again to 27K with A9s. As I'm putting in the chips Peter says "trying again are u?" or something to that effect, and I say "If at first you don't succeed...." Can't imagine that's terribly important but included for the sake of completeness. Folds to him in the BB and he calls.

Flop AK8r. He checks and I check behind. I think betting is obv fine too but I didn't do that. Turn 5d making a backdoor flush draw. He bets 37K I call. River 4h, he bets 65K and I???

So I ended up folding and I guess the commentator's weren't pleased I took so long but obviously it was kind of a hard decision and big fold. I felt like AT-AQ were by far his most likely holdings as he probably wouldn't call a hand like A6s preflop so all I beat was a bluff which I also thought was pretty unlikely.

So after that I folded a lot into 3rd, then won a bunch of pots in a row including a double up with QT vs A8. But then I busted when Juanda opened the button to 56K at 10k/20k and I shoved 400K and change I think with A7o and ran into his AK. I'm not thrilled about that spot but the shove has to be +EV against any reasonable range he's opening on the button there. The only way I can really fold is if I suspect the button raiser has a much tighter opening range than usual because he doesn't want to have to fold to a shove again. I think I would have folded A6o though, not sure if that makes any sense mathematically or not but there you go.

So next up is WPT Niagara just down the road from Toronto for me! I'm playing Day 1c on Sunday. I always look forward to this one since it`s my "home" event so to speak. Right after that I'm heading to Bellagio for whatever prelims I can play and then the Festa al Lago WPT event. So lots more live poker coming up in the next few weeks, we'll see if the ol' luckbox has anything left.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

EPT High Roller Day 1

Just a quick post to update that I made it to day 2 of the High Roller tournament. I have 118K which is roughly average with 14 players left of 86 who started. I did the following skillful things to get my chips:

Cold 4-bet shoved 99 over Barry Greenstein's 3-bet of a crazy Scandi and beat his AA.

Got KK in preflop vs Chris Moneymaker's AA and rivered the K to crack them again.

Pussied out and checked behind the turn with A9ss when I turned a backdoor flush draw against Benyamine when I clearly should have semi-bluff shoved. River the card that makes my flush and also his trips to double up. I don't think I am David's favourite person these days.

We were supposed to play down to 9 but we stopped early at 2am instead with 14 left. Only 9 pay so hopefully I don't bubble and end up changing my flight for nothing. We start up at 1pm local time tomorrow. Once we get down to the final table you should be able to watch a live video stream of the final table with commentary on Not sure when that will start since we ended the day early but check it out, hopefully you'll see me there.


EPT HIgh Roller

Last minute decision I decided to play the High Roller event and was able to get myself bought in. It's a 20K+300 pound buy-in so like $36K USD. Capped at 100 players it's only a 2-day event so it should be a bit of a crap shoot but what's better than huge money crap shoots? Normally I can only lose like 10K playing tournaments on a Sunday. Going for the high score!


Friday, October 03, 2008

EPT London Day 2

Busto in 3rd level of the day. Only a couple of biggish hands.

Hand 1: 500/1000 a100 First hand of the day it folds to the SB who shoves his 11.3K stack. I find KTo in the BB and out luckbox his A3s to get to 46K.

Hand 2: 800/1600 a200 I don't do much for a bit and open AKs UTG to 4400 the first hand back from break when a couple people aren't back yet. French team Winamax lady who hasn't really done much shoves 13K more or something on the button and I'm in pretty ok shape against her KJo. Flop QJ6 two spades isn't ideal but I have lots of outs which I unfortunately brick.

Hand 3: I had shoved a couple hands in a row and then our table broke. At my new table I have 25.7K and Vicky Coren limps in EP. I find 88 next to act and while I'm a little worried she could be limping a big hand she plays so bad that I can't give her too much credit and there's enough in the pot now to easily justify shoving to try to pick it up. Folds back to her she says something about how she hasn't played with me maybe you're the type to actually have a hand at which I'm pretty sure I'm about to get nit-rolled. She eventually does call and her TT is easily good.

So in the end just another typical day in the life of Watts. I had a fun time but no luck with the ladies.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

EPT London Day 1a

Hey gang, I made day 2 of the EPT with 34.2K, which I think is somewhere in the vicinity of average. I only remember a couple big pots, I won a bunch of small ones I guess to chip up a bit in between. In general my tables were incredibly soft, gotta love the EPT.

Hand 1: 150/300 a25 last hand before break. Crazy french guy limps in MP as he does very frequently, I limp the CO with 66, SB completes and the BB shoves for around 5100. French guy folds and I eventually decide to reshove since the BB seemed pretty competent about shortstack play and I figured he was probably shoving super wide since the French guy is almost always folding and no one else really figures to have much of a hand. SB folds and BB has 44 which I hold against to get to roughly twice starting stack with just under 20K.

Hand 2: 300/600 a75 I'm up to 30K at this point, I won a few smallish pots when I flopped huge but somehow couldn't get any action, and I'm at a new table where I don't really know how people play yet. A middle aged british guy limps, devinr12 limps behind and I make it 3K in the SB with JJ. British guy calls and we see a Q76hh flop. I check and he bets 3K which I call. Turn is the 3c putting up a 2nd flush draw, I check and he checks. River 6d, I bet 5K trying to get paid by 88 or 99 and he quickly shoves. I think for a bit pretty confused as I didn't really think he had an A6s or 56s type hand but eventually end up folding because somehow they always have it. He told me on the break that he had quad 6s which I guess I'll believe. The rest of his play throughout the day also made me pretty confident in my fold.

Hand 3: Shortly after the last hand I'm down to around 15K when the HJ opens to 2025. I find AA in the CO and decide to flat call and guy from last hand calls in the BB. The flop comes 554r, and the BB leads out for 1300(?), HJ folds and I make it 5K. He thinks a bit and puts me in and I hold vs TT. No more big pots and I ended the day with 34.2K.

Day 2 is on Friday and I have today off while they play Day 1b. Hopefully I can make a little run and do that thing where I wait until the last tournament to turn an unsuccessful trip into a very profitable one again.