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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit – Peter ‘number1pen’ Neff – Bellagio Tournaments and High Stakes Cash Games

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

Well the last blog that I wrote, I had taken a 2 week break from poker, and now I've flipped the switch and tried to go on a poker binge. I've been staying at Bellagio for the last 10 days and I've been playing almost every day. There's a lot going on at Bellagio with all the big poker faces here so I'll try to fill you guys in about what it's like being on the road for a poker series.
So far I've played 3 tournaments and haven't cashed in one yet. I did come close to cashing in a 5k tourney; I finished 17th out of 94 where 9 paid out and my A-K lost to A-Q all-in preflop for a pretty good stack. I also played a 3k and another 5k tourney but no luck in either of those.
A lot of the time, after tournaments, if I still feel like playing, I'll go play cash games. I've been doing this a lot of lately. I played 25-50 no limit for awhile one night and won 10k which was somewhat fulfilling because I stacked the guy that busted me with A-K to A-Q in the tournament a couple days before.

He had aces and reraised me from the BB and I called with 8s from middle position. He led out for about 2/3 of the pot on a 7-6-2 rainbow flop, and I just called. I had the intention of folding on the turn if I didn't hit a set or maybe I would make some sort of play if a 5 or 9 hit. But I hit gin on the turn when an 8 peeled off. The player was fairly aggressive and led out again for about 2/3 of the pot which was 2k. He had about 6k behind him and I thought about shoving, but I think that he folds a lot of over pairs if I shove, and unless he has 9s, he doesn't have a lot of outs against me, so I decided in just calling again, and try to disguise my hand.
The river was a 6, which is a good card for me and he shipped in the rest of his stack for 6k more. I did the most respectful insta-call I could have done. I showed him the full boat and raked in a 20k pot. Until that point, I was down on the trip so it felt good to be in the green and maybe take shots at higher stakes down the road.
The last 30 hours for me has been nothing but poker and sleep. I played cash games from 4pm to 4am last night and woke up today to play a nightly schedule of online tournaments, which I'm not doing great in so far (I have 20k in the 100r and starting stacks in everything else haha).
Last night I played 25-50nl again for awhile but it was a tough table and no one was really playing badly. Then Jean-Robert Bellande was asking if anyone wanted to play him heads-up, and for awhile, no one would play him. From what I've heard, he isn't the greatest poker player, and I was ready to take a chance with him. We decided to play a mix of hold'em and omaha hi/lo (my game choice) and 2-7 triple draw and badugi (his game choices). To be honest, I wasn't sure of all the rules in his games, but I had a good idea of how the game is played.

It might not be the best time to learn the games at a 400-800 game, but I thought that I had a pretty big edge in holdem and omaha hi/lo and was willing to play him for a long time where I could learn the other games. I wouldn't recommend doing this, but I think that I have a really good mathematical mind for things like picking up games and just knowing the odds and how to play a heads-up games. But anyways, I played him for about an hour and a half and lost pretty substantially. There were a bunch of hands that he had me beat in the draw games by one card and sometimes even the 4th or 5th card came into play, and he always seemed to have the best of me, but oh well.
After awhile a few other people wanted to play so we made the game full-ring and the game filled with a couple amateurs and some pros including Tom Schneider, Chino Rheem, and Kenny Tran. I climbed up until I was only down 2k, which was awesome considering where I was down. I felt like I was really learning the game and over 8 hours of playing it, I thought that I had an edge over almost everyone in every game.

I played one funky hand against Chino Rheem in 2-7 Triple Draw where I drew 2 on my 2nd draw and hit a 8-6-4-3-2 low and he stood pat, I check raised him and he called and then decided to draw one. So I stood pat and bet out and he raised me after his single draw. I was really just shaking my head and thought he probably has me beat, but with so much in the pot, it is tough to fold to one bet, so I called and he showed a 7-6-5-3-2. He said he mucked an 8 with a 8-6-5-3-2 which is a huge hand to break. So that pot hurt a little and I think I ended down about 10k after 12 hours of playing. It was a little grueling and towards the end Tom and I were both making stupid betting mistakes that we wouldn't make if we were wide awake, but it was a good time and a learning experience and I'm sure I'll play the games again when the table is a little softer.
I'm also running like a god in swaps and prop bets! Hafiz Khan finished 4th in a 5k tourney where a few of us drafted players and then payout if they finish in the money, final table, top 3 and win it. So Hafiz, next time I draft you, JUST WIN THE WHOLE TOURNEY PLEASE! I must admit it's a fun sweat with money on the line to see where your friends finish. I've also made a couple of swaps and stakes with people that have worked out pretty well for me. There's a ton of it going around and it's weird to follow who buys who into tournaments and cash games. It's all fun though and especially when your friends with everyone because it's fun to win or lose money betting on friends when everyone has a positive attitude towards it.
Well, I will be out here for a few more days; or until I bust from the 15k main event, so hope to have something good to report on after this tourney :)

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