Friday, July 07, 2006

Catsgot9 Goes To Million Guaranteed on Sunday

Woohoo I just won a seat in to the 1 million guaranteed tournament on Sunday... Come and cheer me on..

Monday, May 15, 2006

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Upcoming $1 Buy-in NL 9livespoker event

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Be Careful what you wish for!" Presto comes through

2006 TSN Degree Poker Tournament at Fallsview Casino and Resort

- A famous line quoted daily by a good friend of mine Tony.

I leave my house around 11:00am and I am off to Niagara Falls once again, only this time it is my turn to try and take down the $100,000 freeroll. After driving through insane traffic once again I decide to go to Casino Niagara and shoot some 1-2 NL and grab another one of those wicked 1/2 pound burger combos at the bar right beside the poker room downstairs.

I call the poker pit and put my name on the waiting list at 12:10pm when I reach Trafalgar Rd. The lady tells me that there is a big list but there are 3 tables going and there are more to come. When I arrive at Casino Niagara to my suprise I am first up on the waiting list. Gotta love the option to call in your name. I go and get some chips and sit down in a matter of minutes. After approximately 45 minutes I eat my burger, shoot a little more and leave the poker room -$140. No big deal, I had a couple beers, bought the burger combo and shot the tight-passive games up a little. It was also a little paratheutic for me too as I wanted to get my shooting out of the way before the tournament where one slip-up and you are are out of the tournament.

I see a guy that I had met there on Wednesday when I went with my wife to the casino and asked him how he recommended I get to the Fallsview for the tournament. He suggested that I take the shuttle there, it's free and there is no need to park the car all over again. I did just that. I arrive the Fallsview in 15minutes and decide I will go register as it is 5:00pm and registration ends in 45 minutes. As I am walking in to the Avalon Ballroom I here someone call my name out. I look over and he does look kind of familiar and then realise ah he is a player from the Great Blue Heron Casino (located just 45 minutes east of Toronto). I speak with him and find out that we are both playing in the 6:00PM tournament. I go in to the Avalon Ballroom just after taking this picture (below) and register.

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A shot of the Avalon Ballroom.

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Another picture of the Avalon Ballroom Entrance. This was taken right before I went in to play the tournament.

On my way in there is a guy at a computer terminal, he says, "Last name please sir!" I decided to hand him my driver's license and let him read it as it easier that way and I will need to have it handy in a minute for my registration. He says, "Oh ya, I remember that name as he looks at my driver's license." I was thinking wow, this might be my lucky day. I go to the front desk and register and then I meet Al back outside of the Avalon Ballroom.
We decide we have 30 minutes to kill so we go outside, have a couple smokes and talk strategy. We also spoke about the insane live action at the GBH and then we went back in. "Good luck!", we say to each other and then we are on our way in to the tournament. As I am about to sit down at my table I realise Haroon is my dealer. What are the odds?? I tell myself again, this has to be a good omen. I sit down, keep to myself and play with the chips that are in front of me (below)

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I took this picture why I was seated at the table, even though I was not allowed. That is why the picture is so blurry.

I sit down at wait for the timer to count down, right now it is at 6:08 remaining until the tournament starts. Finally the time has come, the tournament has started. Blinds are 25-50 and I get dealt two nice rags (slang for garbage low cards. I muck them and wait for the next hand. Haroon deals out the card for hand #2 and I look down and see to my suprise AKo (A pretty good hand). I am first to act after the big blind a.k.a. Under the gun. I decide to raise it 4x the big blind making it 200 to go. The player 2 seats away calls cold 200.

I was thinking to myself O.K. let's not get too involved in this hand. Everyone else folds and the flop comes AdQd3d. I just flopped a pretty good hand. What are the odds he has an A or diamonds and I know I do not have a diamond in my hand. I decide to bet out 350 straight. He thinks for a second (literally 1 second) and says, "I am all in!". No, no, no... This is not what I had wanted to face two hands in to the tournament that required me to book time off work, make special arrangements to get there and spend an entire day in Niagara and this could all end this hand. I decide to fold and open them face up. He pushes his cards towards the dealer face down as he rapes me of 1/4 of my chips in my first hand.

I am in really rough shape only 1.5 minutes in to the tournament. To make a long story short, I did not really get a lot of playable hands. I would limp with 44, 33 but the 3 seat at my table was busting everybody and I could not call raises everytime there was a raise with little pocket pairs like that. Finally 35-40 minutes in to the tournament I have 750 chips left, average stack would be around 3500. I am the shortest stack at my table.

I pick up QQ in middle position. The chipleader with over 8000+ limps in early position so I tell myself okay, normally we would go all in here. But, I do not think he will fold for 750, neither will any of the other limpers. So I decide to limp and just call 100 and see the flop, if ther is an overcard ace or king I can muck the hand and move on and not get eliminated just yet. So I call the 100, so do 3 others behind me. I getting wicked odds here, especially if a queen does appear on the flop. Then it happens, the big blind raises all in over 2000, the chipleader folds (this is a good thing) and it is back to me.

I am going to call of course, I push in my remaining 650 in chips. The others behind me all fold. So, now we are heads up and I am down to the felt with QQ. I ask him, "You got aces?". He replies, "No". I am thinking to myself he must have kings and I need to spike a queen on the flop or I am out. Then he rolls over 55, he went all in with wired 5s. I roll over my queens like a champ and the table goes nuts. Haroon looks at me and smiles. I can read his face, he is thinking you are going to get screwed here I can feel it.

He was right.. as he puts down the flop, the first card that opens is a 5. No, no, no I tell myself... There are 2 diamonds, I still have a shot at running diamonds. Turn is a 7 that pairs the board and now I am left with 2 outs. The river comes off a blank and I am packing my bags. I get up from the table in awe that presto just cracked my queens. Ah well, I tell myself there is always next year. As I leave the room, I greet and old co-worker of mine Jason Applebaum, who was pitting there, and get the dreaded hole punched in my I.D. just like last year. See below, I am getting quite the collection. Two round 1s, I suck I tell myself.

I then shuttle back over to Casino Niagara, shoot a couple hours of 1-2 NL making back $50 from my 1st session there. I have another quick beer and smoke then it's time to hit the road back home. I get back home and go to a house game dropping an additional $190. Not a good day at the office, but ya cannot win every day.

Stay tuned, I am sure there are more badbeat stories to come. Maybe Bear should start his own blog LMAO..

See ya soon,


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Another I.D. tag to add to my collection. Oh well, we will try again next year.

Ah well, to make a long story short, like Tony say's constantly "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR"

I will be back soon with some more fun reads for ya..


Friday, May 05, 2006

Off To Niagara to play in the Degree Tournament...Let's see if I can make it further than the wife did..

Check out 9livespoker.comA sign at the Degree Poker Tournament Registration Area.
Check out As you know, I play today at 6:00PM EST in the TSN Degree Poker Tournament. I am really excited and got a good feeling about getting on TV. I am not looking forward to the traffic once again, but am going to hit up the 1-2 NL again at Casino Niagara. I have to go right now... but I will be back later with a nice writeup for ya..

Thursday, May 04, 2006

No luck in TSN Degree Poker Tournament but she cleans up at 1-2 NL..

Well, we got up early yesterday to take the kids to school then it was off to Niagara Falls for the TSN Degree Poker Tournament. My wife, Tammy, was scheduled to play in RoundB on May 3rd at 1:00PM. We got to the Fallsview at 12:20PM after battling traffic downtown Toronto and then wrestling with all the construction in Niagara. Before we knew it we were in line to get registered. Good, she is registered now we can relax! Nope, she has to go in to the Avalon Ballroom in 15 minutes. I go upstairs and wait for the "Country's Largest Freeroll" to start.

If you are not aware of this tournament let me tell you a bit about it. First of all it's FREE, 100%. In order to qualify to get in to this tournament, you must go to their site and register a couple months before the event. They will send you an email and let you know when you can log on to their site and fill out the form to enter the draw. If you get drawn you will receive an email telling you to fax them your valid photo I.D. and the forms that are in .pdf format. Once this step in complete, usually 4-5 days later you will receiver a "Round Assignment" email. It says to print it out and bring it with you, but I do not think it is needed. Then you go to the casino and register when it says to.

Ok, here it is... This tournament is FREE, 100%. The winner of this tournament gets $100,000 and a seat in 2006 WSOP Main Event valued at $10,000. Also, the winner will be dealt one final hand and win an addition $1,000,000. This year the announcer had said, "Over 200,000 people entered the draw this year online!' Wow, the wife and I both got picked. Anyhow, back to the tournament...

Tammy goes in to the Avalon Ballroom and patiently waits for the tournament to start. I look up at the tournament clock and notice there is 15 minutes on the clock still until it starts. I look around it brings back the flashbacks of last year when I won a walk up draw to get in. #99 in the draw.. I posted about it on Canada's Poker Forum, to read my post on TSN Degree Poker Tournament 2005 click here. Ok, now the tournament has started, the commentator, who I have admit is hillarious in getting it to the action. He runs over to a table and says over the loudspeaker, "Here we are, down to the felt!" "Big slick versus pocket tens, OMG flop is KKT, turn is brick, river king!", he screams out.

The first bad beat of the tournament has been announced and everyone goes crazy. He really knows how to get the crowd in to the action. As I sit in the nosebleed section, I can barely see my wife playing on table 7, seat 7. I notice the field of players do not look very intimating, so my wife has a good shot as she has been playing poker for 10 years much like myself. Every player starts with 2000 in chips and blinds start at 25-50, then 50-100, then 100-200 with a 25 ante. I tell myself wow, talk about squeezing ya hehe.. 40 minutes in to the tournament and players are dropping like flies.

There were 25 tables and only 180 players were at the tables. Not bad odds really, and the top 20 go to Playoffs next week, which will be televised. I notice the wife is folding a lot so I decide to go out for a smoke with some guys that were sitting nearby. Sorry guys, I have to apologise but I forget your names :( Mind was elsewhere, actually I was thinking about poker I have to admit it. As I go to walk back in to the Avalon Ballroom area, Tammy meets me with her parting gift bag. Oh no, she is out. She tells me her badbeat story about her tens getting cracked, I listen and we are off to Casino Niagara to play some 1-2 NL.

To make a long story short, I made 50 bucks and she got lucky on a completely whacko table and scooped $700. The trip to Niagara was not that bad after all.
I am off to Niagara to play in Round I at 6:00PM. I will be back with a story for ya on Saturday..
See ya soon,

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Like Father Like Son.. At least not empty handed..

Well, as you know my son had a Martial Arts Tournament this morning. I got approximately 2 hours sleep and got up at 7:30am to take him to Pickering to the dojo to compete for his scheduled 9:00am tournament.. He did well for his first tournament winning the bronze.
I recall someone telling me last night about a charity poker tournament for a local ball team. So after a number of phone calls I get the info on the whereabouts and time for the tournament to start.
After leaving the dojo at 1:15PM. I know the tourney was slated to start at 1:00PM, but I also know they NEVER start on time. So, I drove by to see if I could still enter before dropping my 9 year old son off at home. I know what you are thinking.. I did not abandon him LOL.
So I run in to the hall where the tournament is running and pay the man $80 for my seat. I explain to him, I have to drop my son off at mom's and then I will be right back. He tells me that for every 15 minutes I am not there, they subtract 200 from my starting stack. Well since I was going to start with 5500 in chips I figured I could afford 30 minutes, but I knew I would only be 15 minutes as it is not too far of a drive to my mother's house.
As I am on my way out the door, I notice that this is really not a tournament that I want to play. I despise these bar like tourneys where you play on round wooden tables, pass the deal, and use those god forsaken regular bicycle cards. I tell myself ah well it's too late now and hurry off.
I get back to the hall in 17 minutes, they remove 300 from my starting stack and tell me to sit down. The payouts were as follows, I was not happy with the chop but after all it was a charity event to raise money for a local ball team. So I figured I would button up and play.
After playing a solid game for hours (6.5 hours to be exact) I managed to squeak my way to the final table as the shortest stack and winning a Budweiser Baseball Jersey (valued at 50 bucks I figure). The tournament was a little difficult for me to play as I am used to casino rules. These were far from casino TDA rules that I am familiar with. Let's not really get in to details.
To make a long story short.. here is the prize breakdown and you will understand why this tournament should not be taken seriously.

Players = 46
Buyin = $80
Total prizepool = $3680
Total paid out minus shirts and ball bag = $2000
Houses take = 40%

1st $900
2nd $500
3rd $300
4th $200
5th $100
6th baseball bag
7th Budweiser baseball jersey
8th Budweiser baseball jersey

At least I did not come home empty handed. I won the 8th place prize :)
I could not even cover the blinds and was forced to go all in with QKd vs TT. Ah well it was a day out and I had a good time. This is definitely not going to be a regular place for me to play tourneys tho, as I do not feel there is much value to these.
I am done rambling on now.. I am going to go check on my site and shoot some WSOP qualifier freerolls on Partypoker.

Post er up,

Not A Bad Night At The Poker Table, Up $280 and I am going to get 3hrs sleep again

I played a very solid game. I ended up making $280 in approximately 8 hours playing 1-2 NL. I was forced to play rock solid and not limp unless I was willing to call a raise since my players were pretty tight-aggressive.
So I did just that... One hand I can recall is this... I am in late position with AKo and I decide to raise it up to 6 preflop and get a couple limpers to muck up shop. So I make it 6 to go and get called by 2 players :D (Exactly what I want with this hand, not many callers) Flop comes down.. AKQ (not an excellent flop) check to me, I bet out 8 dollars to find out where I stand in this hand. The player to my immediate left calls for 8 and the player in MP (middle position) makes it an additional 20 to go.
So now it's back to me for $28 and I decide not to push yet as I think he flopped the nuts (TJ). I tell him I am just calling and do just that as I toss 4 red chips in the pot. The player to my left mucks instantly. Turn card comes down... Wow, I cannot believe it! It's an A. so now the board is AKQA and I have the absolute nuts AAAKK. There is 2 clubs on the board and a possible straight flush draw. I think to myself, damn I should have pushed on the flop and committed this player.
Ah, well the damage is done now I am not going to get any action I tell myself. I decide to make a small bet of $30. He ponders for 2-3 minutes and says the magic words.. I'm ALL IN :) and makes it $93 total to me. Yes, it's Christmas time for me :) I tell him I turned the absolute stones and that I call.. He rolls over a much worse hand than I had suspected. He shows J9c. We both watch the board anxiously, as I pray for no Tc. River comes off a rag and I get this monster pushed to me.
It took me 2 hands to stack this badboy up as it was mostly single $1 value chips. I think to myself why did this player do that when he knew I could have AK and it dawned on me. He did not put me on this hand.. maybe AT or a smaller pair and decided his only play was to push me all in and see what I am going to do. It backfired on him, but I am sure he is up money on bluffs against me for the night.

Anyhow, it is now 5:18am and I am going to get some ZzzzZzz. I have to get back up at 8:00am to take my son to his Martial Arts tournament for 9:00am. I will be back with some more stories real soon :D