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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit – Introducing Peter Neff '#1PEN'

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

Today marks the beginning of my blog writing career! I've read hundreds of blogs, but I finally decided to write one myself, so I'll try to keep you guys entertained and updated on what’s going on in my life inside poker and out.
For those of you that don't know too much about me, I've been playing poker for about 5 years and I play online under '#1PEN'. I went to college at UCI for 2 years before dropping out to play poker full-time and now I live in Los Angeles with 4 guys that I've known since grade school. Combine great friends and family with travelling around the world playing poker, I have no complaints about life.
The last few months I've been running pretty well and putting together some decent results including a 36th place finish in the WSOP Main Event that gave me my 20 seconds of fame on ESPN!!! It was a little frustrating to watch, to be honest, as they give little mention to online players that finish deep and there’s so much focus on the final 9 and Hellmuth and Matusow, but it’s understandable as that's what people want to see. It's also tough to realize that getting in the final 36 is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and thinking how close I was to being in the final 9 with all the familiar faces that I was playing with for days, oh well.
I also traveled to London where I finished 10th in the WSOPE Main Event. I felt like I played pretty well throughout the tournament which was a mixture between the best pros in the world and the biggest donks. It was a little tricky trying to pick off the donks, while not giving your hand away to the pros that were waiting for a misstep. Some of the tables were stacked and it was nice to know that I could outplay some of the best players in the world.
The big hand that I lost was against Scott Fischman, which I still have nightmares about. It was a tricky situation, because Scott had a crazy-loose image, including a hand where he 5-bet-folded a K-T-4 rainbow flop. So bear with me: I had T-8 in the small blind, Scott limped in middle position for 12k (playing 10 handed), I limped in and John Juanda checked the BB.

The flop came 9-7-5 rainbow. We both checked to Scott who bet 17k into a 56k pot. I figured he would bet this flop almost 100% of the time, it was just the way he was playing. I had him covered and being on the final table bubble, I decided to play this hand aggressive and check-raise him to 64k. Juanda folded and Scott re-raised to 160k with about 140k behind.

Normally, I would think that I have no fold equity, but based off his previous play, I thought there was a slight chance he would fold, especially being on the final table bubble. So I donkishly decided to shove, and he snap called with pocket fives, which was the most obvious hand in his range. If I could play it again, I might just call the flop bet, but it was hard to believe any bet that Scott was putting out based on how he was playing. The board bricked out and I was left short-stacked and eventually lost a small pot to finish 10th :(
Outside of the tournament, I wasn't the biggest fan of the London scene. There didn't seem like there was that much to do and half the time it was raining, so I didn't go site seeing or walk around the town that much. I also played the EPT and high-rollers event while I was out there but didn't get too deep in either.
So after London, I went to Vegas for a couple Festa Al Lago tourneys at Bellagio, but I put up a big 0fer there and there’s not too much to talk about poker-wise. There were a bunch of nights that I was out with friends from back home visiting and we also partied with Michael Phelps . The first time I met him was at Moon at the Palms, and he invited me and Roothlus [Adam Levy] to his table. At the first introduction he says, "Hey you're #1PEN!"

I was shocked; I was thinking do you know who you are??? You're Michael freakin Phelps!!! I win $100 rebuys, you win Olympic gold medals, how do you know me? But as big of a star as he is, he is a very down-to-earth person, not cocky at all and easy to get along with. He is also a huge poker fan and was playing at Caesars and Bellagio all week, which I think will be great for poker, as he’s a familiar face and could bring out more players to the events he plays in.
So now I am back home and have been for a couple weeks and I must say it’s been great having my family and best friends around and not sleeping in a hotel. I don't have any travel plans until the 5-Diamond tourneys in December so I'm going to try to grind online tourneys for awhile especially during Full Tilt’s FTOPS . Thanks for reading and good luck on the tables.

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