I survived the LAPC

With the LAPC main event currently under way and the series coming to an end I decided to write about my experience at this year’s 2015 LAPC. I only played 2 events due to insufficient bankroll and time constraints. I managed to play Event #1 a $175 buy-in $100,000 guarantee No-Limit Hold’em tournament and Event #20 a $240 $500,000 guarantee also nlhe. I totally held my own and never felt outmatched in these massive +700 player fields. I played one hand at a time and just focused on my table and finding ways to beat them. Easier said than done, as anyone could agree that’s ever played in the giant Commerce Casino tournament room, the sea of players, dealers, and floor staff can be a bit overwhelming…..

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Event #1 attracted a field of 892 players, I arrived early expecting a huge turn out and I was right. Thank god. I didn’t want to make the hour an a half drive to Commerce and still have to wait in line to play. Play started sharply with 5k starting stacks and I proceeded to lose half my stack in the 1st level. I blame it on butterflies in anticipation to play, but I recovered nicely and won all of it back plus more with a set of kings. I played a tight aggressive style for the next few levels winning a couple pots and running my stack to about 9k then… I got into a pissing match with a young aggressive player on my left with Q-4 and I busted him with a river Queen when he called my all-in bluff with 8-2 on a 10-8-4 flop lol.

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Play went on for about 8 an half hours and I managed to maintain an above average stack till we reached 115 players ..15 players away from the money. I called 25% of my stack with A-10 of spades when a player in front of me moved all in. I should of moved all-in, but I didn’t and an aggressive player also called. The flop came two spades, I checked and the aggressive player bet and I called, the turn was a blank, and I checked, he bet and I called again. The river was a blank and I checked again, this time he checked and turned over a pair of 5’s. I was devastated, I was left with 8bb’s and resorted into squeaking into the money placing 83rd and winning $290.

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Event #20 flight 5 of 5 attracted a field of 713 consisting of a couple bracelet winners and a couple Circuit event ring holders. We started with 7.5k starting stacks and I doubled up on the the 1st hand with a set of 6’s when a player moved all-in with 2 pair on the river. The first few levels I dominated and ran up my stack to about 30k with little to no opposition. I was playing and running extremely well, all a player can ask for in a $500,000 guarantee tournament.

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All was running well till I was moved to a table full of really tough opponents. Everytime I raised, I was reraised, and everytime I bluffed I was called. For the most part I followed my solid game plan and won a few pots but being card dead wasn’t helping. I attempted a few bluffs near the money and was unsuccessful, plus I noticed an ace was slightly marked and I made a comment to the dealer. A pro player Phong “Turbo” Nguyen took it personally and proceeded to berate me and try to throw me off my game. I went completely card dead and only managed a min cash, I finished 85th for the day and 467th of the total 5 day starting flights for $390. I vow to use this as a learning experience and never back down to any player due to being close to the money.

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Overall I had a profitable LAPC, but I need to drastically improve my play on the bubble if I want to succeed and take down one of these huge tournaments and make a name for myself. Hands down I need to get serious and really improve my play in the the later stages of tournaments….but I’ve continued my online grind and played plenty online tournaments, winning 7-8 tournaments with fields of 21-115 players. I won 65mbtc grinding freerolls, but it’s been an up and down since SealsWithClubs closed down and I’ve taken my game to Nitrogen Sports, but that’s for an other day……

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So till then, good luck out there.

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Waiting for the next BOOM

All I hear about these days is how hard poker is to beat and how in the early days a mediocre poker player could make a healthy living off the game, because the opposition was so weak. This frustrates me because I feel like I missed my chance to capitalize on the online poker boom, I feel like my game and bankroll is at a level where if I had the opportunity, I could succeed at online poker if the games were really that juicy.

I reside in beautiful California, and currently it is illegal to play online poker, one of the largest states with the highest player pools and still no legal online poker. I blame PokerStars and there shady practices. PokerStars operated for years illegally in the USA and acquired a fortune without following laws and regulations. On the flip side they did attract more players. Now that California is close to passing laws that would make online poker legal, PokerStars slows up the process by getting in the way of the Indian tribes and the Casinos. Pushing them away from reaching an agreement over the bad actor clause.

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Still I grind. On illegal sites, at the mirco stakes, gaining experience, building my bankroll, looking forward to the day California legalizes online poker and we have the next boom. Whenever this happens I’ll be ready, I’ll be ready to capitalize this time because I’m putting in the hours and thousands hands.

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I didn’t play Online as much as I regularly do these past 3 weeks, but I was still extremely profitable. At the time of my last post I was at a 128 mbtc bankroll currently I’ve built my bankroll up to 210 mbtc! I played 20 tournaments most 6 max format, with player fields ranging from 18-54 runners, I got a 4th, 3x 3rds, 2x 2nds, and a 1st, winning 82 mbtc. I pick and chose the tournaments I wanted to play and I only entered tournaments when I felt like I was in a extremely focused mental state.

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Overall I had great few weeks and I look forward to a successful 2015. I’ll be heading out to the LAPC in a few weeks and I plan to play my best poker game and run extremely good. Wish me luck!!

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So untill next time good luck out there.

Grinding my face OFF

Call a doctor my face has literally fallen off!! Ok that’s a bit of an exaggeration but in all sincerity, I’ve played 30+ online tournaments in three weeks and have been extremely successful. I’ve made 10 final tables a 6th, 5th, 2x 4th, 3rd, 3x 2nd (including a chop) and 2x 1st places!! I won 69 mbtc more than doubling on online bankroll, bringing it to 128 mbtc. I’ve had most of my success in 6max tournament format, I chopped a 5 chip 6max tournament heads up on a Saturday and won it outright the next day!!

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I also played 2 “live” tournaments during these 3 weeks, and had no success. I headed down to Morongo Casino and tried my luck at one of there daily $45 morning tournaments and proceeded to get my flush chased down by a 2 early position players trips when the board paired on the river. I rebought for $20 and played tight for about an hour, then I finally shoved my last 11bb’s with A4 in the big blind and got called by AJ and I was out. I also played the Sunday 5k guarantee at Pechanga and played super aggressively. I raised and reraised every chance I got and build a loose, crazy image. I shoved all-in preflop with AA and got called by a bigger stack’s QQ, I was looking and feeling good till the queen came on the the flop and I was out!

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I did play one $1/$2 nlhe live cash game session at Pechanga and had great success winning $254 =127 big blinds!! My first hour was boring and uneventful, it consisted of 1 or 2 won small pots and lots of folding! I took a break and came back to the table to find a few new faces and also the table dynamics had totally changed. I started catching cards and made the nut flush on the river to crack a set of kings and I also won a nice pot with quad 3’s. I owe my low limit cash game success to being patient, waiting out the fishes is one of the major characteristics that all winning poker players possess, the kids call it “old man game”.

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Overall I had some had some decent success, nothing to quit my job over but I feel like I’m setting a strong foundation. This path I look to journey down is full of pitfalls and obstacles and all this experience that I’m gaining by “grinding my face off ” will do nothing but bring me one step closer to that BIG score that we all chase.

Good luck out there.

Just WIN

Big or small, tournament victories are hard to come by. Winning makes all the difference. Long hours at the computer screen or at the felt can seem pointless without the victory. Being the last player left in a tournament is the best feeling ever, it means no ones skill or luck could overcome you that day.

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These two weeks back at the grind have pretty tough but I have shown some profit. I played 15 tournaments, made 6 final tables, I got a 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and I got two 1st places! I also ran deep in a 10BTC guarantee freeroll placing 54/600 players. I won 39 mbtc almost tripling my online bankroll, man it feels good to run hot! I had a great 2 weeks and I owe it all to devoting myself to my craft.

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I want to congratulate the 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event Champion Scott Davies on joining the WSOP history books and taking home the coveted WSOP APAC Main Event bracelet. Earlier this week he blessed me with some wisdom as he also started as a low limit grinder himself.

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I hope to one day follow the footsteps of Scott Davies and become a World Champion, but you have to remember first comes the hard work.

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Good luck out there.

Welcome BACK

I’m back!!! Sorry for the wait, I’ve just been distracted by life. Exhaustion, work, and a crappy social life has been taking up most of my time. I’ve been very distracted and my game has definitely suffered. I lost 80% of my online bankroll by taking shots in bigger games and playing when not feeling 100%. I totally tilted and strayed away from my profitable hyperaggressive style.

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The huge swings in the higher buy- in tournaments caught up to me and ate my bankroll up, but I did have some nice results. I won a 5 chip 6max tournament for my biggest bitcoin cash and multiple other small cashes but nothing like I know I can accomplish.

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I currently have 20 mbtc in my online account and I plan to follow a strict bankroll management plan and return to the profitable path I was following before I lost my focus. One highlight is my cash game skill has improved drastically, a tight aggressive ABC style shows consistent profit in the lower limit games because the players are extremely weak and will call you down with anything so don’t bluff!! 

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My live game has improved drastically both in tournaments and cash games but only the cash sessions have shown profit. I’ve had some deep runs in 300+ player tournament fields at Pechanga Casino and a 15th place finish event 5 at the HPT at Agua Caliente casino, but bad luck and bad reads derailed any cashes or final tables.

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Lately I have been profitable playing 1/2 NLH cash games. A super tight patient aggressive game is totally the right approach for these levels and it shows. I’m currently on a 6 game winning streak with a little over 400+ won!

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So my time away has been a little up and down. I understand now that to be a professional you have to be a professional away from the tables.  You can’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams. Focus is easily lost if you allow distractions into your life.

Good luck out there.

New PLAN

2014 isn’t turning out to be so great, 6 months in and I’m already down $883! My online game has really taken off but my live game has taken a nose dive. I feel like not having a casino close to my house running cash games and tournaments is not allowing me to put in the heavy volume that you need to succeed at poker. Bad luck and bad play is also a cause of the problem, I estimate I’ve thrown away $515 due to bad play. I’ve played 13 tournaments and only cashed in 1 and I’ve played 3 cash game sessions winning 2 so it’s not really bad luck it’s amateur play.

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Last year I lost a little over $100 playing a somewhat of a busy schedule, this year I’ve played significantly less but traveling and different stresses haven’t allowed me to get comfortable in the new rooms I’m playing in. I need to strongly consider getting professional coaching to help me improve my game and take it to the next level but my ego and pride plus money makes it hard to ask for help. This year I’ve also up’ed my tournament buy-ins, I traveled to the City of Commerce to play the Million guaranteed tournament at the LAPC for $150 (I finished 50 out of the money) the player that busted me went on the finish 3rd for 40k! I also played a couple $100 buy-in tournaments in surrounding Palm Springs casinos and Morongo Casino but I was unsuccessful in cashing in any. Those tournaments had some huge fields so I know variance also comes into play.

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Playing the World Series has been my dream since I started playing and this year I actually got a chance to go. I failed to qualify for the $1500 event that I really wanted to enter while playing on wsop.com but I got a chance to play a $235 buy-in Rio deepstack event. My luck didn’t fair to well and I misplayed Aces after the first break and went busto vs A-5. I’ll use it as a learning experience but the good thing is I got to meet one of my favorite poker player personality’s Bryan “The Icon” Micon and I also totally enjoyed my vacation to the fullest.

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I’ve decided to pull out $500 of my savings and dedicate myself to building it up playing $10-$50 tournaments twice a week and grinding at least 2 cash game session sessions a month. I will only play 1/2 nlhe at Pechanga before or after there $50 tournament and 2-4 limit at Morongo before there $10 Sunday tournament. I plan on playing 100 hand cash game sessions or 2 hours max and leaving if I lose my buy-in or if I double my money. I will also follow the hated Chris Ferguson bankroll plan and move up the limits accordingly.

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Hopefully I stop playing like an idiot and my plan works and my luck turns around. Till next time good luck out there.

You sleep, I TRAIN

Practice makes perfect. Pretty simple.

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I started to put in the heavy online tournament volume in preparation for my Vegas trip but I’m still shaking off some rust. That 2 week break is really killing me, I’m currently in a 10 tournament losing streak. I can easily accumulate chips but my lack of playing time has caused some impatience, and I keep bluffing my stack halfways through the tournament. I know as long as I get used to playing my game again I’ll be okay plus all the 10 tournaments I played were freerolls so I still broke even. I also played 1 cash game session and won 1 mbtc bringing my online bankroll to 86.95 mbtc….Once I get to 100 mbtc I’m moving up the limits.

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I played a live $10 Rebuy tournament at Morongo Casino Sunday and ran extremely well. I navigated myself through 60 players and made the final table with the chiplead! In these low limit tournaments the stacks are so shallow at the final table and the blinds escalate so rapidly that even though I had the chip lead I was still pretty short. I lost a big pot blind vs blind when I held JJ vs 10-7 all-in preflop. He flopped a full house. After that a conversation started regarding a chop 6-handed lol and we agreed at $138 a piece. If I would of won that pot with the Jacks I wouldn’t of chopped. I didn’t want to risk not cashing in the tournament with 4 BB’s as I’m trying to build back my bankroll so I didn’t want to gamble.

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I feel pretty confident in my game and I feel playing online and putting in the heavy volume has helped me plug some leaks in my overall game. Now the next step the WSOP.

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Good luck out there.