Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WCOOP Wrap Up + Photo Shoot

Well I received an email today with the copies of the pictures from my photo shoot that I did back in August. After standing in front of the camera for nearly 4 hours, we managed to crank out almost 300 pics! The pictures are going to be used for personal banners and team online promo stuff in the future but I figured that I'd share a few right now...

I'll start with the pic above. I threw up a couple of pics on facebook for my friends to see and some of them just lost their sh*t over this picture...like thought it was the funniest thing they have ever seen. Granted, the hat is something that I'd never usually wear, it's obviously amazing and my friends have no style. People have taken it as far as saying they're actually going to blow up giant posters and make up T-shirts with this pic on it to wear out to a bar. Also, FIVE people have actually made this picture their profile pic, no joke. Lol, after checking FB just now, make that 6. Whateva, thx for the publicity I guess!

This next picture is special only because I left that shirt at the photographers house and will likely never see it again :( It's too bad too since that was one of my favorite shirts (all I usually wear is American Apparel T's and this colour of the rainbow will be greatly missed)...the photographer said that he'd drop it off for me the next time that he was in my area but I'd say the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to none. I'd go back and get it but it would probably cost me more money in gas than it would to buy a new shirt.

This last picture took me forever to pull off...just in case anyone is ever asked to carelessly shoot out a deck of cards in front of them, be warned that it isn't so easy. It took a lot of practice for me to even correctly shoot the deck of cards out in front of me, let alone get the timing down with the camera. About 50 takes later and a lot of 52 Pickup, I was finally able to nail the shot.

So the WCOOP is now over and I would say that it went alright for me. Nothing amazing but I was far from bricking the series...I cashed for nearly $3100 after spending about $6500 worth of buy-ins (a losing equation had the buy-ins not been compensated by my WCOOP main event ticket + a bit of team online), which resulted in me keeping all of the cashes as profit.

I didn't feel like I played tremendously well in any of the events except for the last one that I played ($500 1R+1A)...I think that I wasn't patient enough in a lot of spots and playing 20+ cash tables simultaneously didn't help my focus. Overall, I'd say that the experience was hopefully more valuable than the sum of money that I made and I look forward to doing much better in the future. As I hinted at, I had a real chance to end the series on a great note in the $500 1R1A until I lost a coinflip with AK vs. JJ right before the money and was left with a 15bb stack and out shortly after (just a min-cash was almost $2k :() but obv that's tournaments.

Sigh, my volume has been just awful this month. I'm sitting at around 17K VPP's and am down about 2.5 buy-ins. At this point, I'll be happy to end the month at 20K VPP's and break-even because I'm going to be insanely busy over the next few days. I have finally come up with an end of the year goal for myself though. I'm looking to end the month right around 400K VPP's for the year and will be looking to make 600K by years end. This will mean that I'll need to average close to 70K VPP's over the next 3 months, which will almost perfectly equate to one $4K bonus each month. I definitely look forward to getting into a productive work routine starting in October!

Part of the reason why I've been unable to grind as hard as I normally do this month is because I've been on the constant house hunt. I've been stuck at home for almost 2 months now and have been looking for a place to live out in Vancouver ever since. Well, my future roommate and I finally nailed a place on the west end of Vancouver in the exact area that we wanted! Let me tell you, it ain't easy to get a landlord to rent to two young guys with abnormal jobs (he's a semi-pro athlete) when places literally go in 1 day throughout these prime living areas. Even though we both have great references, I decided to call up the landlord after the viewing and told him that we'd be willing to pay 1/3rd of the lease all up front in cash. He never actually requested the cash from us when we signed the lease but I bet that phone call certainly put his mind at ease if he was concerned about receiving the money on time.

So that's that. We move in on Saturday and I'm super stoked about it. Living at home temporarily has been fine but a while-it's nice to be able to visit my friends that are still back here and spend more time with the family-but I've found myself driving out to Vancouver so much that a huge portion of my time has been spent in the city anyways. Between visiting a girl that I've been seeing all month and my old uni buddies my gas bill has been through the roof!

There's not a lot of things that I dislike more than moving but this time I'm pretty excited about it. I should be settled in and back at the tables shortly in October and will be ready to grind!

gl at the tables.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Night Out With Norm MacDonald

About a month ago, I missed a phone call from an unknown number but noticed that the caller had left a voicemail in my inbox. I figured that it was either a wrong number or a sales call but was pleasantly surprised upon discovering that neither of my initial assumptions were true. As it turned out, the voicemail was from PokerStars's Western Coordinator (Rich) and he wanted to see if I would be interested in joining a few other Supernova Elites for a complimentary night out on September 10th to thank us all for playing on the site. This is the kind of service that you certainly don't expect from many poker sites but given that I know how amazing PokerStars is to their players (especially VIP's), I wasn't completely surprised by the offer either. I don't usually like to tie up my weekends so far in advance but it was easy to commit to this invitation and I told Rich to deal me in!

The plan for the night was to meet at 6:30pm for dinner at Tramonto, an elegant Italian restaurant located inside the River Rock resort, before heading into the River Rock Theatre to watch Norm MacDonald preform stand-up for a couple of hours. Afterwards, we were to head upstairs to the penthouse suit and relax while playing a few Sit and Goes amongst each other for some free swag.

I arrived a bit late (around 6:45pm) and took my seat at the dinner table amongst Rich and 3 other young poker players. There were a couple of appetizers already waiting for me in the form of prawns, scallops and some vegetables that were set up for the table to share. The waiter immediately came over to take my drink order (crown and coke) and everyone got to know a bit about each other. One more player joined our party shortly after I arrived and I only recognized the screen name of one person, which I found unusual considering how few Supernova Elite's that there are. I kind of forgot that there are other games outside of NLHE lol, and it just so happened that we had quite a diverse group of players. Being a NLHE full-ring player, I recognized the only other exclusive NLHE player even though he plays mostly 6-max games. Aside from the two of us, we had a fixed limit grinder, and two PLO CAP players (although they play NLHE too). A few of us are locals from Vancouver but two of the guys had recently relocated to Vancouver from the States after Black Friday happened. Naturally, the conversation was primarily dominated by poker-related topics but also ranged from things such as what to do in Vancouver, to theories about how the world is supposed to end (brought on by the fact that there was a very recent earthquake off of Vancouver Island).

After finishing a Delicious dinner (I ordered Dungeness Crab risotto), the group relocated to the first level of the resort and entered the River Rock Theatre where we took our seats for the comedy show. There was some confusion while trying to find our seats because the usher pointed us in the wrong direction and apparently none of us could be bothered to read out tickets. After doing a few laps around the theatre, we got settled into the correct seats. The opening act for Norm MacDonald was Stevie Ray Fromstein, who goes by the stage name "The Holy Atheist." As you could probably guess, his routine was about criticizing religion in a logical sense as to not mock it but merely draw humour from things that can't be rationalized. As someone who doesn't get easily offended or fired up over sensitive topics, I found his routine to be very funny. After about half an hour, the big ticket stepped on stage and Norm MacDonald came out dressed in a fancy suit contrasted by solid blue running shoes. When it was all said and done, Norm delivered about an hour and a half of laughs and I thought he was hilarious.

After the show, we were all herded out of the theatre and made our way towards the elevators to take us up to the suit. Everyone was particularly excited because during dinner Rich had mentioned that Norm MacDonald might actually stop by and play some poker with us! Apparently Norm's a huge poker fan and aside from commentating on High Stakes Poker, he also enjoys playing the game as much as anyone. The 6 of us arrived at the suit and were treated to food and beverages as things were being set up for the poker games. We learned that there were going to be at least 3 Sit 'N Goes to be played in a winner take all format for prizes...the prizes were awesome too: two winners would walk away with a pair of tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks and the big prize was a $700 iPad! Needless to say, I was hoping to run good since the format was like a turbo with 2500 starting chips and blinds increasing from 25-50 every ten minutes.

In the first SNG, I got off to a decent start by winning a few tiny pots. Unfortunately, I eventually busted after losing a coin flip with 22 against ATs after shoving from the button over an open from the Cut-Off by the PLO CAP specialist. I believe he ended up taking it down!
Sure enough, before the 2nd SNG even got underway, there was a knock on the door and in came Norm MacDonald along with Stevie (the opening act). Everybody seemed pretty excited to meet the two comedians and they both shook everyone's hand and introduced themselves in a friendly matter while being congratulated by the group for a terrific show.

Stevie ducked out shortly after arriving because he was flying out early the next morning but Norm sat down and was ready to play some poker! The second SNG was the big one too as the winner would be walking away with the iPad. The very first hand of the match I found myself in a dream spot. Norm limped UTG, the PLO CAP player made it 150, I looked down at KK and made it 450...Norm called and so did the CAP specialist. They both checked a low flop to me and I fired out a Cbet with no intention of folding...they both folded. I couldn't believe The CAP player showed me AKo as he threw it into the muck...I guess my full-ring nitty reputation cost me stacking him pre-flop :( After winning that fairly large first pot I was out to an early lead and was cruising towards that iPad...until Norm MacDonald crushed my chances of winning. At 50-100 Norm opened the cut-off to 500 (ok, I'm not going to critique his speculative bet sizing lol :)) and I shoved AQo from the SB...he called with 22 and won the flip. I was out shortly after when my A5 lost to 78s. Norm kept making hands and soon amassed a sizable stack. It came down to Norm heads up against the CAP player that won the first SNG and they were pretty even in chips. Obviously you'd have to give the Supernova Elite the edge at this point but Norm check-raised him out of a few pots and before we knew it he had the chip-lead! All of the money went in soon after when both players made top pair on the flop but Norm had the bigger kicker...the hand held and Norm beat all 5 of us "pros" to scoop the iPad!

The next SNG was for more Canucks tickets-something that I value very highly. On top of the tickets, a few players and Norm agreed to a $200 last-longer that would see the last man standing take home the whole pot. I opted out of the bet for a few reasons-I had no cash, I was getting tired and didn't like my chances, but mostly I'm just a life nit. Anyways, again I got off to a solid start after calling from the BB with 77 and getting some value after flopping a set against the limit specialist. I kind of hung around without doing too much for a while and before I knew it I was heads-up with probably a 3 to 1 chip disadvantage against the limit player. With the format being so crazy, I knew that it would mainly come down to whoever got the cards at this point as the blinds were very high. I managed to pull pretty close to even in chips and then decided to make a move with J8 after folding twice in a row. Unfortunately, he called with Ace-rag (I think) but I hit a jack to scoop a massive chip lead. Unfortunately again, I was unable to find a hand to finish him off and after he battled back he eventually busted me to scoop the tickets. Oh well, I didn't walk away completely empty-handed...I was given a PokerStars jersey on the way out!

At this point, it was around 3:30am and I could barely stay awake anymore. I had had a great time all night socializing with Norm about many different aspects of life and he genuinely was a super nice guy and was naturally hilarious. I haven’t met very many celebrities before and it was a very cool experience! I said goodbye to everyone and a few of us left the penthouse suit to head off to bed and call it a night.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quick WCOOP Update

So I've played in a few WCOOP events now and have a couple of cashes but nothing extremely significant.

I busted from WCOOP 42 ($1050 NLHE) a short while ago, finishing 207th for $2,207. I was happy with the way that I played and proud of myself for cashing for the first time in a $1k, especially because I was unhappy with how I crippled myself in the last $1k that I played.

I registered for the tournament 1.5 hours late and only missed THREE levels and started with 150bb's lol...that gives you an idea of how slow/good the structure is. I don't mind playing shallow stacked at all but it certainly has a more "cash game" feel when you're not in push/fold mode from the get-go. Anyways, after taking down a few tiny pots I had worked my 15K starting stack to just under 20K when I doubled up with 55 against AKcc on a 852cc flop. I stayed around 45k for what seemed like hours until I got involved in another big pot after getting all of the money in the middle with KK against fellow Team PokerStars Pro AABenjaminAA (my KK vs. his QQ- CO vs. BTN). Thankfully, that hand held and I was in great shape to at least make the money. I really put a lot of pressure on myself to cash in this tourney and although I wouldn't say that I was playing scared by any means, I definitely was taking the more conservative line if I was faced with 2 options (ie. call a raise pre-flop with TT/JJ instead of 3betting intending on getting it in). As it turned out, I whiffed almost every pot that I got involved with anyways and after one hand where I called from the BB with AThh, check-raised a 678hh flop, fired on the 6 turn, then check-folded an off-suit K river, I was left with about 60K approaching the bubble. I was under little pressure around the money bubble, fortunately, as I had at least 40bb's and soon locked up a payday of at least $1765. I hung around a little while after the bubble burst but ultimately busted at level 20 (1250-2500) when I shoved 45K over a big's stack's UTG open with AJo and ran into AK. It was a pretty marginal shove but I had already seen this opponent open and then fold to a short-stack shove and he was quite active so it felt a bit too nitty to fold AJ there, especially since I was well below average to begin with. C'est la vie.

Whew, that tourney was quite exhausting as I was playing for about ten hours (even after being 1.5 hours late!) and I found myself having to shut down my cash tables after about 5 hours to stay focused and relax a bit. Cash games went pretty well today too though and I cranked out about 3K VPP's and a few buy-ins profit. I haven't played very much cash at all this month yet and am about even before rakeback.

I think that I'll be back in action tomorrow for WCOOP 44, the $320 2x NLHE. I still have 3-5 events to play, including 1 more $1K so we'll see what happens.

I'm going to try and get up around 9:30am tomorrow and hit the gym before firing up another session of poker. I tried to get up at 8:30 today to play the $215 WCOOP event as well but after hitting snooze on my iPhone for 2.5 hours (no joke, gotta be some kinda record) that turned out to be a huge fail. I'm telling you, if you want to have some weird crazy dreams, try hitting snooze for a while lol. I have faith that I can be up earlish tomorrow though since I'm about to hit the old hay and it's not even midnight yet. I haven't been getting much sleep this month because I've been spending a lot of time at a new girl's place and she works at 8am, at which point she kicks me out and I drive home with the single goal of not driving off of the road and crashing into anything/anyone. I then nap all day and am wired until 3am, rinse repeat. I don't think this relationship is going very far, however, because she's moving away pretty soon...it very likely wouldn't even have begun had I not left my gym sack at her place after the 2nd time we got together and needed to retrieve some valuable items. Meant to be? Who knows.

Some exciting news...I got to see the final cut of my short video (ie. frosty012 version of "I am Nanonoko") and think the guys did an awesome job on it. Still no final word on when it's going to be released but probably in a couple of months. Will keep you posted for those that are interested.

WCOOP going alright for everyone else?

gl at the tables.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The WCOOP Has Begun!!

So I just registered for WCOOP-09: $1050 and this will be my 3/13 event for the series.

I've already played in two WCOOP events on opening day ($215 6-max and $215 Freeze-Out (01 and 03) and also already have my first cash of the series, which came in the $215 6-max for $450. It's nice to know that I can't totally airball the series but it would have been nicer to have a deeper run of course!

In event 03, the $215 FO, nothing really got going for me and I busted fairly early after shoving 55 from the SB against an active button open while sitting on 7.5k (blinds 150-300) and he called and won with AQs. Pretty standard stuff I think.

I planned on registering late for the 6-max because it started at 7am PT and I knew that was not going to happen for me lol. Originally, I was thinking that I wouldn't be a fan of 3 hour late registration at all but after seeing it in action I think it's pretty awesome. Since the first couple of hours are quite slow anyways, I think there's still a ton of value in late registering and of course if you do register on time it's even more beneficial for you (because you will have more reads on the table, more time to pick off softer players, potentially much deeper stack etc.). You can kinda think of the WCOOP start times as flexible now imo.

Anyways, getting back to the 6max. The 6max was much more interesting than the FO and was quite a roller coaster the whole time. I got an early double up very shortly after I registered by flopping a set against top-top and held. I think that I won some more mid-sized pots and then lost half my stack with KK against AA all-in pre to drop me back to 15K (10K starting stacks). I can't remember exactly how but I ended up running my stack all the way up to about 75K before the money bubble (I think there was a pretty big 3-way all-in and I spiked a set and won with QQ) but then lost 20K with KQ against A3o in a steal situation. I went into the money sitting on about 50K, which was probably close to an average stack. Unfortunately, one ill-timed 3bet bluff later (3bet blockers against an active big stack who shoved on me) and a few raise-folds later I was sitting on 30K at 1k-2k blinds. My last hand was annoying for a couple of reasons. First, in the previous hand, the CO opened and I had A7s...it's a tough spot but I think that it's a pretty clear shove against most players but I chose to fold because that was literally the first open I had seen him make in a couple of orbits. As it turned out, the BB called and I found out that he had 45s. The very next hand, he opened the hijack and with this new information I decided to shove my 15bb stack with KQo...and he called with AA lol. The flop ran out KQJ and it looked like I might suck out but that was not to be as the turn and river came 3 3, counterfeiting my 2pair.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series even though my tournament game feels really rusty. I don't feel like I was playing that well in the previous events so hopefully I can learn quickly and get lucky. Especially in the $1k's, I know that I have no edge over the field and will need to run amazing in order to have a deep finish. Maybe if I practiced or got a coach my tournament game would be where it needs to be in order to compete at this level but that ain't gunna happen at this point. I'm freerolling the series anyways and make my living playing cash games so I'm definitely just going to go for it!

I'll be tweeting my progress as the tournaments run so if you want to stay updated go ahead and join my twitter at ***https://twitter.com/#!/frosty012*** (or follow the link on the right hand side of this blog). Thx guys, hopefully I can post some good news over the month!

gl at the tables!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Attention New Players: Team Online Freerolls

I know that most of you guys that read my blog already have an active account on PokerStars but for those of you who have yet to sign up-now's a great time to do so:

I’m proud to be a member of Team PokerStars Online. Along with myself, Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew, WCOOP Event Winner Anders ‘Donald’ Berg, Shane ‘shaniac’ Schleger, we make up some of the biggest names in online poker.

Now, you will have a chance to test your skills against me and the rest of the team, for FREE!

Team PokerStars Online is going to give you a chance to win some cash by playing in our new Team Online Freerolls.

Each month, $1000 will be up for grabs. You will also get the chance to play against me and other Team Online members, all with bounties on their heads. Eliminate a Team Online member and win a $25 bounty. It’s that simple.

To enter the $1000 Team Online Freeroll, all you have to do is create a PokerStars account and make a real-money deposit on the PokerStars client using the Marketing Code ‘frosty012’.

Depositors’ Freeroll Details:

Tourney Name: Team Online $1000 Freeroll
Date & Time
: 13:00 ET – The first Sunday of every month.
: FREE – just create an account with PokerStars and make a deposit using the Marketing Code ‘frosty012′ and you are eligible to play in the freerolls every month.
: $1000 prize pool in each freeroll. 20% payout structure.
Team Online member bounty--$25 for each Team Online member you bust.

To register for a Team Online Freeroll tournament, open the PokerStars lobby, click ‘Tourney’ & ‘All’.

*PokerStars reserves the right, to cancel, modify or suspend this Promotion at any time.