1.Against All Odds

Introduction

Los Angeles poker classics

ESP

Bad Beat Poker

Pot-Limit Omaha

Spooky Hand

World Poker Challenge

Pot-Limit Hold'em Tournaments

Foxwood's Poker

Five-Star World Poker

World Series of Poker-2000

World Series Poker Championship

2.World Series of Poker Hands

Youngest World Champion

World Series Poker-1999

World Series Poker-1998

World Series Poker-2002

WSOP-2002

WSOP-1995

WSOP-1994

WSOP-1998

U.S.. Poker Championship-1999

WSOP-2000

WSOP's Winner-2000

WSOP-2003

WSOP's Record-2003

"Big One" in WSOP-2003

3.World Poker Tour

WPT-2002

World Poker Tour-2002

WPT's winner-2003

WPT-2004

WPT-2003

World Poker Tournament-2003

WPT's Event-2003

Foxwood's World Poker

Amir's Big Call

4.European Poker Tour

The Poker em

Poker In Amsterdam-1998

The Poker em-2000

Late Night Poker 3-2000

WHUPC-2003

5.Reading other Player's mail

WSOP-1992

Tournaments of Champion-1999

A Tale Of Four Bluffs

WSOP-2001

Commerce Casino-2002

No-Limit Hold'em Event-2002

 

Did I Deserve Better?

Here comes an account that I have been dreading writing.  I’m going to tell you exactly how I went out in the “Big One” in 2003.

            First off, after winning two Hold’em poker game bracelets at the 2003 WSOP, I liked my chances in the “Big One.”  You see, I don’t always play great poker, and sometimes I don’t always play great poker, and sometimes I don’t even fell like a great poker play poker card games but occasionally I play spectacular poker for a month or two.  And the WSOP in 2003 was my time to play spectacular poker!

            As the first three days ended, I found myself with $362,000 in chips.  I had never been even close to all-in, much less ever been called all-in.  If I had K-K or Q-Q against an equal stack, then I chose to play a small pot.  If I flopped a set, then I chose to play a small pot.  In the first three days, the biggest bet I made or called was only $40,000.

            Therefore, I felt I had about a 20 percent chance to win the whole thing with 45 players left limit stud.  But I was dismayed to find out that Sam Farha was to my right at the beginning of day four, not because I fear him (although I believe he is the best pot-limit Omaha player in the world), but because he is very very reckless in no-limit Hold’em (by the way, I love Sam!).  Although I expected Farha to do more damage to himself than to the other great players, I did witness him take out Tony Dee on day four, even though Farha played Q-J off suit very poorly.

            Tony had raised it in middle position with Q-10, and Sam had called with Q-J off suit (I hate his call here before the flop).  After a flop of Qh-10h-3d, Tony bet out big, and Sam called (his call here was OK).  On fourth street, the 6s card games off, and now Tony bet out $40,000, and Sam called (by then, even the spectators in the hand knew Tony had Q-J beat).  At this point, Sam could not beat any hand at all, and he had to know that Tony was going to bet his last $50,000 on the river if he had Q-J beat.  I believe this added up to an easy fold for Sam.  But a jack did hit on the river, and Tony bet his last $50,000, and Sam called and won.

            This was a pretty brutal way for Tony to go out! Sam would have had only about $170,000 left if he hadn’t hit the jack on the river against Tony (assuming he called the $50,000 river bet).  In any case, I thought, “Whoa, I don’t like the way Sam played that hand at all.  He will come after me weak soon, and maybe give me a bunch of chips.”

            With 37 players left, I now had $430,000 in chips when the following hand came up.  Sam opened for $12,000, and I looked down at K-Q.  I studied him for a moment, and felt strongly that I had him beat.  Therefore, I called the $12,000, and raised it $35,000 more.  Sam beat me into the pot limit hold'em with Qd-Jd.  Now this is a very bad hand to call a raise with anytime in any no-limit Hold’em tournament, period (especially for $35,000 more), so when he called quickly, I reevaluated his hand strength in my mind.

            With a flop of Kd-9s-3d, Sam checked, and I checked.  Fourth street brought the 2d, and now Sam bet out $50,000 with his flush (he made a good bet here).  I called  quickly because I was looking for him to bluff after I checked the flop to him.  When the 2s hit the river, Sam bet out $80,000 (another very good bet on his part), and I studied him and called.  I went a little ballistic when he showed me Qd-Jd, because all champions know you don’t call off your money with Q-J in a no-limit Hold’em tourney.  If he had showed me A-K, a set, or A-A, then I wouldn’t have been nearly as upset.  Still, he did bad beat me!

            About 20 hands later, Sam played the Q-J again to my Kd-Qd, but I won back only $35,000 when I flopped him dead (K-Q-4).  So I was hanging there at around $280,000 or so for the next couple hours. When we hit 27 players, I felt a lot better.  I was thinking, “I’ll still have a million at the end of the day without too much difficulty game of cards.”

            With the blinds at $3,000-$6,000, Sam opened for $20,000, and Jason Lester quickly moved all-in for $167,000 (Jason said, “I’m all-in again”).  In the big blind, I looked down at Q-Q.  I began first to study Jason, and I kept thinking that he bet way too fast for A-A or K-K.  I kept thinking that he had 10-10 or J-J, and I couldn’t get J-J out of my mind.  I had watched Jason play K-K twice earlier in the day, and it certainly wasn’t that hand again, to judge from everything that I saw and felt coty award.

            I just kept thinking he had J-J, and my reads all month had been spot-on.  Obviously, Jason knew I had a huge hand as I studied him, and I smelled some serious weakness there as well.  OK, it all adds up to Jason having J-J; now, what about Sam?  I studied Sam for a while, but he just looked disgusted, and ready to fold his hand,  finally, I said, “I call.” To my relief, Sam quickly folded.  Then I said, “Jason, I just have queens.” I should have said, “I believe you have jacks,” just to show the world why I made this big call here.

            If I had thought he had A-K, then I would have folded for sure.  The flop came down Ks-8s-2s, and I looked over to see the suits we had.  Did either of us have a spade? Nope, he had clubs and hearts, and so did I .  I thought, “Please don’t let it come spade, spade for a split.” The next card was the 6d, and now I thought poker, “Just let me dodge one more card.” Alas, the last card was a jack!

            I very calmly said, “Nice hand.” Inside, I still felt blessed, but I knew that I would have had over $430,000 in chips, and the chip lead at my table.  Still, it was OK; I still had almost $100,000 left, which was enough for me to last…one more hand!

            The very next hand, in the small blind, I picked up A-K, and the man two off of the button opened for $20,000.  I quickly announced, ‘I’m all-in” for the first time in four days.  I got called by hits 10-10, and the board brought 3-6-J-J-J. I had played four amazing days of poker, and bang, bang, I was gone.

            In my mind, I had known that I was going to win the 2003 WSOP, and so had my parents. But inconceivably, I was out! Still, I was calm, and I still felt blessed as I said, “Nice hand,” and got up and left.  No tantrums, no whining (for once!); I left the WSOP acting like a man who is blessed.

            Yes, I felt as if I deserved better, but I can’t complain to the powers that be about this with everything else that is going my way.  After all, I didn’t even have to take the 4.5-to-1 favorite.  In 2003, I could have folded my Q-Q, seven card stud knowing that Jason had J-J.  In 2002, after playing no big pots for three days, I could have folded my A-K suited versus Varkonyi’s Q-10 for a $220,000 pot.  And in 2001, after playing no big pots for five days, I could have folded my 9-9 versus Phil Gordon’s 6-6 for a $1.2 million pot.

            There is no law that says you have to play a big pot, even if you have a strong feeling (if you “know”) that your opponent is weak.

            The last thing is this: I feel that if people keep on deserving better, then eventually they will get it! Look out at Big One next year, for Phil Hellmuth Jr bluff. will be sitting at the final table, and 1,000 other entrants won’t.

 

6.From The Other Side Of Table

WSOP-1974

Commerce Casino-1999

WSOP-1999

WPT-2003

Bellagio Poker

Ladies World Championship

High Limit Action in Houston

Commerce Casino's California-1999

Party Poker Million-2002

WSOP's Winner-2002

WSOP seven card stud-2000

Foxwood's Casino

Pot-Limit Hold'em Event

World Heads-Up Poker Tour

United States Poker Championship

7.Poker Hollywood Style

Chinese Poker

Bicycle Club Casino

Rounder's

Celebrity Poker

Hustler Casino

8.Cheesehead Poker

Poker in Madison

Bluffing

Sportsmen Club

Pot-Limit Hold'em At Nora's Bar

Big Game in Wisconsin

A GOLF STORY

ULTIMATEBET HAND

CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD

TOP MOMENTS IN POKER

THE NEXT POKER WAVE