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Skalie’s Diary …- By Jon “Skalie” Kalmar (UK Sponsored Pro)

Day 7 – Tuesday 9th of June

Two major events today. It’s both my first WSOP event and secondly I check out of the Rio. I don’t know which I am looking forward to the most.

I got up early and left my bags with the bell boy. Richard “Strummer9” Herbert arrives today and we are sharing a suite at the Palazzo, the Venetian’s sister hotel. He blagged them for a top notch room quoting me as a huge gambler in order to get an upgrade. Boy will they be disappointed.

I sat down for the $1500 pot limit in the Amazon room and was joined by Lee Childs, a fellow final tablist of the WSOP Main event back in 2007. (Did I mention I once made the final table of the WSOP main event, seems like a long long time ago now.)

Things start ok, and I have got my stack to over 6k from 4.5k. Towards the end of level 1 with the blinds at 25/50 there is a raise to 125. Three people call so I join in with 79 in the blinds. The flop was a delightful Q 7 9 with 2 clubs. I bet out and the initial raiser re-raised to 600. The button decided to push in for as much as he can (its pot limit remember) and I figure he has a flush draw The initial raiser maybe has an over pair or AQ so I re-raise trying to isolate. The button did indeed have a flush draw however the other guy had pocket queens and I was basically drawing dead. DOH!

Short stacked, I passed my way round till the big blind. Lee Childs (the former WSOP finalist, did I mention I once made the WSOP final……………….) raises to 150. I look down and see AK of diamonds. I re-raise and he sets me in. He wasn’t passing pocket queens to me and they held up knocking me out.

I move to the Venetian to play some cash and wait for Strummer. He was sharing a taxi with John “Kunkuwap” Tabatabai and the driver had given them the complete Vegas tour much to the frustration of John. When we checked in and were told we were in fact stopping at the Venetian and not the Palazzo but we could still check in there. Strummer disgruntled at this insisted we got a room at the Palazzo despite the assurance from the girl the rooms were identical. Eventually she found us a room on the 9th floor.

This hotel was busy and the queue for an elevator was immense, about 20 people got in our lift rather than wait for the next. As we were on one of the early floors I couldn’t resist pressing floor buttons accidentally on purpose with my elbow for the people left in. Hey! Made me giggle anyway. I must admit the rooms here are spectacular and probably on a par with the Wynn. And Strummer’s insistence on a room was rewarded with a spectacular view of the Vegas convention centre roof. It looked just like a factory.

I went back to the Venetian to finish off my cash game. Things improved and I ended up only losing 100 bucks, result! A series of runner runner hands and set ups were taking their toll. I then get lucking on a hand.
A guy raises my big blind to 30. No one else is in the pot and I look down at 7 9 of hearts. I decide to get jiggy and re-raise to 90. He thinks and re-re-raises to 210. He has around 1800 so I call and hope to hit a juicy flop. No chance, the flop comes King high. I decide to bet out 400 in the hope he has queens and he puts me on AK. Well if he had me on AK then queens was a bad call which is what he did. The turn is a 7, I check hoping he checks behind which he does. I pray for a 7 or 9 but instead the river pairs the King. I push and he reluctantly passes murmuring something about aces. Phew!

Tomorrow is the $1500 shootout and I am looking forward to it, hopefully I will play better than I did today.

Day 8 – Thursday 11th of June

Today was the $1500 pot limit and I was determined to last longer than yesterday. Played like a rock in level 1 but that isn’t difficult when all you see is Q3 and 9 2.

Still, with my starting stack and the blinds at 50/100 I call a 300 bet with JcQc. Seven of us see the flop of 10h Jh Qh. Everyone checks to the button who moves all in for nearly 2000. Everyone else passes so I make the call hoping he has a pair and a draw. Unfortunately he had 8 9 and nothing came to rescue me.

A few hands later 2 people limp into my big blind and I check my 6 3 of hearts. The flop is 10d 9h 5h. I call a bet to chase my flush and the turn card is the 10 of hearts giving me the flush. My opponent moves all in and of course I call. I am in good shape against his Q 10 of clubs until the river brings another 9 giving him a winning full house and sending me too the rail.

I make it over to the Venetian just in time to enter the $500 deepstack. I did well in one of these last week and thought maybe it could be a lucky venue. With 15k starting stack things indeed were going well and I had accumulated over 70k by the second break. I moved to a new table and was pleased to finally pick up a real hand with KK. I was obviously thrilled to get action when pocket 8’s pushed all in and I made the call. I was less than thrilled when the board came 5 6 7 9 3 costing me a 50k pot.

Things didn’t improve, losing with AQ to an all in push by Q 10 when a 10 hit the river. I finally exited when getting the lot in with AQ of hearts only to run into pocket kings.

After exiting 2 comps in 1 day, and the second looked very good for another cash, I was done with poker for today and decided to skip a cash game. I joined Strummer and Big Trev in the bar for a few drinks and contemplated a day off tomorrow.

JP Kelly has made the final of the $1500 pot limit and it would be great if he can take the bracelet back to the UK, so today I intend to just watch that.

Day 9 – Thursday 11th of June

No WSOP events for me now until Monday so was intending to play cash but was struggling for motivation and felt pokered out. Strummer was suffering similar motivational problems so we decided to eat in the room and watch a movie.
Half  pound burger, an extra large bucket of buffalo wings, and extra large meat lovers Pizza, bruschetta and large fries and a small salad.

Decided to go for a comedy, you don’t need anything too deep when playing poker later and went for a movie called “Sex Drive”.  This is the funniest film I have seen in a long time, if you haven’t seen it and enjoy light humoured coming of age American comedies, you will love it.

Keeping an eye on the WSOP updates I noticed that not only was JP Kelly on the final of the $1500 pot limit event but he was the chip leader. I jumped in a taxi and shot over to the Rio to watch. Everyone was there. It has to be said when a Brit makes a final everyone seems to come out in support. After all, the winner normally gets the dinner bill and if your running bad a hot meal is not to be sniffed at. A broke poker player can last weeks without paying for food if he’s shrewd enough.

Needless to say JP brought home the Jewellery. He looked cool and composed on the table and when I arrived, there only ever looked like one winner. Truly one or the best British talents and a well deserved winner.

About 18 of us piled in taxi’s and headed over to the Craftsteak at the MGM Grand, one of my favourite restaurants. Now I know I wasn’t supposed to be drinking for a few weeks but to be fair I always said if someone got a major result…

Had a few beers in the bar and then stuffed ourselves on large chunks of dead cow and then pondered on the size of the bill. Nick Gibson set a spread at $2600 and like a mug I sold on the spread market for 0.20c. Boy was I wrong, $3900. Thanks JP, but you might have to win another now.

Nebuchad Blog – (Nordic Sponsored Pro)

Day 1 – Tuesday 23 Jun 2009

We got to Las Vegas yesterday and it is really good to finally be here. I think I have a love/hate affair with the city of sins but i will only expand a bit on the love – as the city has everything you could ask for; world class entertainment, world class restaurants and of course the World Series of Poker!

The shows and the restuarants are half the reason of why I go to Vegas every year and I would probably not come here if it were not for them. All lot of my friends have never been to the Cirque de Soleil shows even though they have been here like 3-5 times. I find that unbelievable and its a much bigger offence than not going to a strip club when in Vegas. Imagine that!? Going to Vegas and not visiting a strip club!?

Well, now you know how a feel about that. If you are in Vegas or are planning to go there please, for the love of god, visit at least one of these shows. Preferably “O”, “Le Reve” and “Mystere” in that order.

As I said we arrived in Vegas yesterday and we are planning to stay here a little bit more than a fortnight depending on how long I can make it in the big one (the Main Event). Today we woke up pretty early for once, I blame it on jet lag, and we took a stroll in the heat to the Rio to register for a couple of events. The first one is starting tomorrow and I am really looking forward to the 10k$ PL holdem event. It is a tournament that should suit me well. After that, we visited the SPA here at Ceasars Palace for some relaxation and a massage. I have to say that they have a top notch SPA here. Also the room is great and so is the service. I have to say that Ladbrokes has done a good job once again:) and to be honest I think its hard to find any other site that takes care of their players like that.

For tonight Im just gonna take it easy and go to bed early. Who knows, maybe I will hit the gym tomorrow before the tournament starts?

I will try to update as much as possible when I am here and I will let you know how it goes in the tournament.