Saturday, November 08, 2008

FTOPS Event #6 Underway!

We started today's $535 Pot Limit Omaha 6 handed tournament with 642 players. This is good news because fulltilt guaranteed a prize pool of $350,000. 642 times $535 is $343,470. While this isn't exactly a huge overlay it means we're all playing juice free (instead of paying $35 a player)and they've added about $10 a person on top of that.

I have about 50% more chips than I started with and we're down to 490 players. I like my table. There's one player who seems pretty good and is very aggressive, but he's just to my right so I have position on him. Everyone else seeems pretty weak. Amazingly everyone at my table is from a different country (if you hold the cursor over a player it tells you what country they are from)! The countries represented are Spain, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Italy and of course the USA. Technology is amazing. To think that were in 6 different countries competing in a game that requires instant action blows my mind a little.

84th is the edge of the money and pays a little over $900 while 1st place is $75,250. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday Tournament Extravaganza Preview!

Sunday's are the busiest day in the online poker world. As a result the websites tend to put their flagship tournaments on Sunday. It looked like I was going to be busy this Sunday and unable to play, but my plans have changed and I've decided to do some heavy tournament playing.

In addition to the two FTOPS tournaments which are $256 NL Hold'em 6-max and $322 NL hold'em (there's a 1.5 million dollar guaranteed prize pool for that one!) I'm going to play "The Sunday Majors" and a few other tournaments on pokerstars. Here is my pokerstars Sunday schedule(all times are pacific)

9:45 $215 NL Hold'em ($750,000 guaranteed prize pool)
10:45 $215 Razz
1:30 $215 NL Hold'em ($1.5M guaranteed prize pool)
2:15 $215 Mixed Hold'em (1/2 limit and 1/2 NL)
2:30 $530 NL Hold'em ($500,000 guaranteed prize pool)
3:30 $215 NL Hold'em ($250,000 guaranteed prize pool)
4:45 $215 HORSE! (they should just pay me now)
5:30 $215 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
5:45 $215 7-card Stud

Sort of like a mini WCOOP huh? Those last two are maybes. I'll have to see how I'm feeling when 5:30 rolls around, but I figured I'd put them on the schedule.

I certainly don't plan to do a post about all of these tournaments, but I'll at least let you know where I finished and of course if I go deep I'll post a more detailed recap. That is after I spend a few minutes pouring champagne over my head and screaming like a little girl when I win one of the tournaments with a 1.5M guarantee.

Friday, November 07, 2008

FTOPS X Event #4 ($322 NLH 1R + 1A) Recap

Today's tournament was a total dud! I lasted a little more than two hours and never had more chips than I started with. I won a few small pots here and there, but it was mostly a fold fest. In the end I was running a little short and made a thin all in reraise and got caught by a real hand. I finished 400th out of 815.

My social life is going to stop me from playing the 6 pm tournament today, but I have $535 6 handed Pot Limit Omaha tomorrow. Since apparently I'm the PLO king I'm looking forward to it.

FTOPS Event #3 Underway

Sorry for the lack of a preview! Event #3 is no $322 no limit hold'em with 1 rebuy and 1 add on. Basically it's a $922 NL hold'em with deep stacks. Looks like about 800 players. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

FTOPS X Event #2 ($256 Omaha Knockout) Recap

I have to admit that while I made copious notes about specific hands in this tournament, the details of pot limit Omaha hands don't stick in my brain quite as well as hold'em hands do.

What I can tell you is that I had all of my chips at risk several times early in the tournament. In one instance I got it all in with 9743 vs QJxx (The xx denotes two cards which are irrelevant) with the QJ both being diamonds on a flop of 974 all diamonds. Happily the turn was a 7 and I won a major pot with a full house vs a flush.

In another instance I was all in with AA67 vs KK55 and vs a short stack with J966. The flop came with a K, but I turned an A and rived a flush to boot! That pot put me in first place with about 30,000 chips and roughly a third of the starting field left. I wouldn't drop out of the top 3 chip positions until we were down to two tables!

The edge of the money was 135 players and paid a little over $300. But by the time we were down to that many players I'd already busted 8 opponents netting me $320 in knockout dollars. Since I was in such good shape I kept the pressure on by raising often and following through with big bets on the flop regardless of what type of hand I made.

Experience was key in this tournament. Not in Omaha, (I've played maybe 15 PLO multitables in my life), but in tournaments where it's a big deal to just about everyone who is playing, but me. At one point with around 60 players left I had close to 250,000 chips and 6 of the other players at my table had 30,000-50,000. They all knew that if they confronted me and won they'd double up but I'd still be in great shape so they couldn't hurt me. But if they tangled with me and lost, then they'd be done. Even if they go in with the best hand they could still go broke. Whereas if they just fold they can't go broke. Meanwhile, I'm building my stack vs scared opponents who don't want to go broke.

18th-16th place paid a little over $1,000, 15th-13th paid $1,444 and 12th-10th paid $1,980. I felt like if I could make it into the top 12 I'd be somewhat satisfied with my result. Adding in all the knockouts it would be a fair payoff.

When we got down to 15 players or so I stared to slip. I found myself with only an average stack for the first time since the early minutes of the tournament.

But I still had fearlessness on my side! I put my head on the chopping block more than a few times, but my opponents either folded or I had the best hand and ended up dragging big pots.

There wasn't much suspense as we went from 15 to 12 to 9 players quicker than I expected. I had about an average stack as we reached the final table. On the first hand after losing player number 10 I got dealt KK52 double suited and raised about 2.5 times the big blind from early position. I got called in two places. ACK!

While this was an OK hand it was not great and as the flop came down I couldn't help but think of my 9th place finish at my last significant final table in the $215 with rebuys event in this year's WCOOP.

The flop came garbage and I bet half the pot. After agonizing thought my opponents both folded. 9th place was worth $3,495 and when the first player went broke at the final table I was guaranteed at least $4,893.

Oddly there was one significant chip leader who had 1.6 million chips while every other player was between 500k and 750K (I had about 600K)

Again my aggressiveness worked to my advantage as I ran my stack up to 900K through blind steals, preflop reraises and small pokes at small pots.

With 7 players left I took a major sting. I was dealt Q965 in the big blind and after the button limped in for 50K and the small blind called we took the flop 3 way. I bet the pot and called a big raise with top pair and and open ended straight draw when the flop came down Q74. But I was up against JT77 and after a Q on the turn and a 3 on the river I was down to 300K. DOUBLE ACK!

I picked up a few small pots and then I caught a big break. I got it all in preflop with AK76 vs AK97. Notice that the only card that is different in our hands is the 6 and the 9. Well the flop came with not one, but TWO sixes and I was back up to 900K! AH HA!

The 7th place player went broke and took home $6,757 and all of a sudden a calm came over me. 6th place paid $10,485 and once I had that locked up I knew I'd feel fine about whatever happened.

Playing a final table with tens of thousands on the line is exhilarating, exciting, terrifying, tiring, miserable and wonderful all at the same time. I'd been tense ever since we got down to about 20 players. If I'd been in last with 20 left I would have felt totally normal knowing that I did my best and the breaks just didn't fall my way. Being in the top 3 with 20 left I knew that it would be a major disappointment to not win some big cash. So when we got down to 6 and it was an assured $10,000+ payday I felt like I was freerolling from that point on.

The 6th place player went broke and was quickly followed by the 5th place finisher who made $14,282 for his efforts.

Then the tournament became a bit of a struggle. I was all over the place. I started 4 handed play with about a million chips. We all sparred a little for a dozen hands and then I made a move. I got almost all of my chips in vs an opponent I barely had covered with AQJ8 vs AK83. The flop came with an A and an 8 on it and I was focused on the fact that we were both probably going to have the same hand. As the turn came a T and the river a 9, it took me until just before the chips came my way to see that I'd made a straight! BOOM! 2 million chips baby!

Then I totally tanked! I dropped 200K here and 300K there and before I knew it I was down to 500K facing 3 opponents who each had more than a million chips!

At this point my notes and my memory have failed me a little. But I can tell you that I came back! I can also tell you that the player who went broke in 4th took home $18,931 and that he was quickly joined in the land of the busted by the player who took down $23,591 for 3rd place!

And then there were just two of us. My opponent had about 4 million chips to my 2 million and I can say for sure that while I felt great about how I'd played up until that point, I don't know a damn thing about playing heads up PLO. I decided to just get crazy aggressive and let the chips fall where they may. Almost immediately I flipped the stacks and had him 4 million to 2 million. In fact I actually had him all in and was ahead on the turn, but he had a ton of outs and connected on the river. I went broke a few hands later.

But (and it's a BIG but) 2nd place paid $32,620!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a little cherry on top I busted 16 players which at $40 a player is another $640. Subtract the buy in and it was a net profit of $33,004!

The good news and the bad news is that I've sold an even 50% of my action for the FTOPS. It's bad news in the sense that it's only (HA HA, only!) $16,500 for me. It's good news in the sense that the 50% is split amongst about 10 family members and friends and I'm thrilled to bring home the bacon for my backers. I feel even better since if I had all of my own action I almost certainly wouldn't have played this event. First place was a little over $50,000 and while it would have been nothing short of wonderful to had the title and the extra money, in conclusion I have to say, THIRTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS BABY!!!!!

FTOPS Event #2 Underway!

We started event #2 $256 Pot Limit Omaha Knockout with 1,165 players and a first place prize of a little over $50,000. After one hour of play I'm off to a great start. I have my starting stack of 5,000 chips up to 11,600.

In the key hand so far I was dealt KKQQ on the button and raised the pot (the blinds were 25/50). I got called by the small blind and the big blind and the flop came down Q83 with two clubs. My opponents checked and I bet about 3/4 of the pot. After some thought the big blind check raised me the max which was about 2,700. He only had 1,000 more and since I had the total nuts (for the moment) I put him all in. When the cards got turned over I saw he had AA33 with the A3 of clubs.

I was really surprised to see this hand since I would have expected a pot sized reraise with AA and any two other cards preflop (AA and any two other cards is a favorite over any hand that doesn't have the other two aces with one or two exceptions like 89TJ double suited) let alone AA33 with a suited ace.

I managed to dodge the clubs and the remaining two aces in the deck and took down a nice pot. In addition since this is a knockout tournament I won an instant $40 for busting another player (I think that spin on things is very cool!).

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


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FTOPS X Event #1 ($216 NL 6-Max) Recap

We started this tournament with 5,000 chips and a few hundred more players than the 5,000 required to meet the guarantee. (I didn't really proofread this post so sorry about any typos!)

At times in this tournament I played great and at others, not so much. Maybe my biggest mistake came early and worked out in my favor. On the turn I got all my chips in with AQ vs KK on a QJT2 board. I knew my opponent was strong and given the board there really wasn't much I could beat. It was really a moment of pure stupidity. But I spiked a king on the turn which lead to a very early double up.

I got it up to 12,500 and then slipped back down to 7,000 or so when the following hand (you could call it hand of the day #2) came up. I've forgotten the exact blinds since full tilt has all sort of ridiculous limits (like 60/120 or 160/320 blinds) but one player limped for something like 150 and a player on the button who had been very active preflop made it 600. In fact this guy had it up to 40,000+, but was down about 20,000 and seemed to be on tilt.

I picked up AT in the big blind and decided to make a strong play. Specifically I decided to reraise before the flop and then go all in on the flop no matter what came. So I made it 1,800, got called, put my hand over the cards so I couldn't see the flop, and moved all in for a little over 5,000.

I saw that I'd been called before I saw what cards had come on the flop, but when I finally looked I saw that the flop was A 8 5 and I'd been called by Q8! That certianly looked like a couple of tilt calls to me!

At my peak I had it up close to 20,000, but then I went down the tubes. I had a guy call a big bluff on the turn and a huge bluff on the river with A5 no pair. I couldn't believe it. Then I lose some more chips with KQ vs a short stack who had AT.

On the final hand I got it all in with A6 vs 66. I made a thin call preflop, but 66 was at the very top of the range of hands I thought my opponent could have given the action and I didn't manage to get what I needed to win the hand.

Tomorrow I have $256 PLO knockout at 11 am and $530 NL triple shootout at 6 pm.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

FTOPS Event #1 Preview!

Event #1 in the FTOPS X is $216 NL Hold'em 6 handed. It starts at 6 pm pacific so I'm guessing most of you won't be awake to see it if I make the money. Fulltilt has guaranteed a $1,000,000 prize pool so we should be looking at at least 5,000 players although it would be great if there were fewer.

For those of you who want to watch the action live you can download the software at

They have a search feature much like pokerstars so it should be easy to hunt me down. Since I created this account a loooooong time ago I have a different username. Instead of being acesedai, I'm wes1279 on fulltilt. Let me know if you have any trouble finding me and I can put up more detailed instructions.

If you don't have a fulltilt account, but are thinking of creating one. Hold off for a day or so and I'll have a banner add that you can click on which will lead to potential minor profits for me!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Sorry about the lack of posts! I had a bad day or two and just didn't feel like posting and then I had to get ready for vacation and now I am on vacation. My son Peyton, my wife Jen, and I are spending two days in Orange county with her parents, one day in San Diego with my Dad and step mom, and one day in Vegas (Peyton is staying with his Jen's parents for that part of the trip).

I was certainly ready for a vacation after the forty days of pain. I earned about 90% of the points I set out to earn and got myself all but on pace for the year. Unfortunately after a blazing start that had me ahead close to $7,000 at one point I actually lost a few bucks in game play and it took the $4,000 FPP bonus that I cleared to make the stretch profitable at all.

Even though I didn't feel like I was playing all that poorly, I was certainly tired towards the end and I don't think I was playing my best. Also I think I was pushing the limits of the number of games I can play at once and expect to make a solid profit.

Luckily my $8,000 bonus for making it to 800,000 points on the year will be in my account soon (even though technically it's a bonus for making it to 800,000 points, you have to earn another 40,000 in the following 120 days to actually get the money) and I'm close to enough FPPs for another $4,000 FPP bonus. So really all is well.

The FTOPS starts on the 5th of this month so lookout for many posts in the near future. I'll try to put up a preview of event #1 before I play it, but I can't make any promises!

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...