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Shirley Rosario
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No-Limit TournamentJanuary 29
I got the word today that the World Series of Poker is going to be held this year at the Horseshoe from April 22,2004 to May 28,2004. The tournament directors will be Jim Miller and Matt Savage. Both ran the World Series last year. Matt also runs the tournaments at Bay 101.

January 27
I played a $200 No Limit Holdem tournament tonight and walked away disappointed to say the least. There were 234 entrants and I worked my way to four tables (they paid three) mostly by stealing blinds. I waited patiently for my key hand and I found it in the big blind, pocket aces. The guy on the button raised my $300 big blind to $900. The person in the small blind had a big stack and moved all-in. I thought this was my time to double or triple up. I called my $1900 and the guy on the button folded. The small blind turned up KQ... OK perfect opportunity (or so I thought). He flopped a king and I smelled trouble, turned a queen... oh crap, and then rivered another queen... overkill. I left the tournament with my stomach turning a little until I called Steve Badger. I told him I was eliminated one table out of the money and he asked, "Did you make a big mistake?" I told him, "No". I don't think I could have played any better with the cards I was dealt. I suppose that is a small consolation, especially for someone who is fairly new to the game.

January 22
Tonight I played another No Limit tournament at The Bicycle Casino. The tournament numbers exceeded my expectations once again. The buy-in was $50 with multiple rebuys. There were 376 entries, and 841 re-buys. "New poker" is amazing. I saw three suicidal all-in moves with pocket deuces. Also, I realized tonight that AT for me is like AQ for Phil Ivey, impossible to win with when I'm shortstacked.

January 20
I played my first No Limit tournament of the year and it is amazing what poker has become. We need to thank the World Poker Tour for two things. The number of entries into the events have grown enormously and the new breed of poker players think they can play because they have been watching poker on television. Tonight's event was a No Limit $50 buy-in with no rebuys held at The Bicycle Casino. There were 672 players. The staff expected about 400 so when they put down the 60th ten handed table, they were forced to rotate players in. This was still going on an hour into the event.

As far of the new breed of poker players go, you just gotta love 'em. I expect that there are going to be numerous times these players are going to eliminate me with their "horrible hands", but they are also capable of feeding me more chips than I could ever expect from an experienced player. I saw hands tonight that were unbelievable. I knew I could expect many players raising with their ace-rag and low pocket pairs. I did not expect some of the other plays I saw. There were two particular hands that stuck in my mind when I left the tournament. One hand, a player under the gun raised four times the amount of the big blind. All players folded and the big blind called. The flop was T55 and more big betting action. When all was said and done, AK did not improve and lost the pot to T2 offsuit. The other hand, the blinds were 100-200. Two limpers came into the pot and the big blind doubled his own big blind. Both players called. The flop was 754 and the big blind bet 3500 all-in. The first player folded and the second called, turned up 98 and asked for a six. The dealer obliged on the river and sent the big blind (pocket queens) home.

I am constantly amazed at this ever-changing game. With this new breed of poker players, I am just never certain at what to expect, except that I expect to see something!

January 11
I have to post this hand history. I found it amusing that a player was willing to risk his whole stack on a bluff in this situation. Based on how he played previous hands, I called him. Unfortunately for me, he prevailed.

Tournament: No Limit Holdem Level VIII (200/400).
Seat #4 is the button
Seat 2: Raider (3660 in chips)
Seat 3: tire trash (9670 in chips)
Seat 4: tr4i0be (6955 in chips)
Seat 7: Siren (6715 in chips)
Players ante 25
Siren: posts small blind 200
Raider: posts big blind 400
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Siren [Ad 8s]
tire trash: folds
tr4i0be: folds
Siren: raises 800 to 1200
Raider: raises 2400 to 3600
Siren: raises 2800 to 6400
Raider: calls 35 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Kd 3s 4h]
*** TURN *** [Kd 3s 4h] [Qc]
*** RIVER *** [Kd 3s 4h Qc] [Qh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Siren: shows [Ad 8s] (a pair of Queens)
Raider: shows [2c 4s] (two pair, Queens and Fours)
Raider collected 7370 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Board [Kd 3s 4h Qc Qh]
Seat 2: Raider (big blind) showed [2c 4s] and won (7370), two pair, Queens and Fours
Seat 7: Siren (small blind) showed [Ad 8s] and lost with a pair of Queens

January 8
I have to comment on the lack of etiquette on online poker. Discussing hands while the hand is in play is totally unacceptable. On several occasions in the past week, I have seen one player tell another player to call a hand. If a player suggests I call a hand, I have the choice to listen or ignore the comment. I will do what I think is the correct move regardless of what a person is telling me. The point is, they should not make any sort of comment about the hand. The most recent episode regarding a player telling another what to do really crossed the line. I was playing in a multi-table No Limit tournament. I was eliminated in the money and decided to stick around to see how the final table played out. After a player went all-in, another player bet (forcing a third player to fold his hand) and then got berated for making the bet. The angry player wanted to ensure he moved one step up the pay ladder. A few hands later, the same situation. The same short stacked player went all-in and two players called. Once the board flopped, one player typed "CHECK" into the chat box. The fact that these players ended up checking their hands down did not change the outcome of the hand, but this type of action is cheating. I always make sure I tell the players if the behavior is inappropriate, and report them to the cardroom's support. I hope more players will do so in the future and the problem will decrease.

January 6
I decided I would start out the New Year with a diary of my poker game play. I am going to regularly update this page with my tournament experiences, online poker play, and anything I think might be relevant to poker. My first entry happens to be a night when I left a tournament steaming inside. I went to my first live tournament of the year at Hollywood Park Casino and played Omaha High Low. The tournament started with 120 players and when we were down to six tables, I was chip leader. After our break, I found myself being dealt a lot of great hands. Unfortunately, I did not win one of them. I was eliminated from the tournament when there were four tables left. In my player profile of Raymond Davis I mention that one of the first lessons I learned was to be a gracious loser. I was, but that still doesn't stop me from steaming inside. On my way out, I remembered how Phil Ivey said that he always replays the events of tournaments he plays to try to learn from them. I did the same. There was not much I could do about any of the situations. It just happened to be one of those days where a series of misfortunate events (or rivers) can send a player to the rail. Instead of learning how I might have played a hand differently, I learned that sometimes there are going to be days where good cards aren't going to win. I also re-learned that patience is key. Patience is one of the qualities I have improved on over the past year, but still one I need to work on. I know that I'm not going to win every tournament I play in, but I will be patient for when my times come.