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The Magician takes a Big One for One Drop!

Alright, you guys will probably know that the WSOP 2012 has been running for over a month now, and this year’s WSOP has really been interesting, with Hellmuth winning his 12th bracelet, Vanessa Selbst taking down bracelet number 2, Ivey making like 3 final tables and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi winning his 2nd PPC (Poker Players Championship). But most recently saw the biggest cash prize in poker tournament history go to Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari in the Big One for One Drop event! A whopping USD$18million bucks fyi! Check out more details here!

It’s really heartening to see the change in Esfandiari’s poker game, as well as his lifestyle and it’s obviously paying off indeed, with him coming in 3rd in a previous event this WSOP and winning the biggest paycheck of his career. So I would just like to take this post to let you guys understand his poker path and how he has changed his life this year.

You can definitely see the change in him and after hearing his interview, it really gave me new respect for the man indeed. Another thing I am kinda touched is his love for his family, especially his dad. Awesome relationship between him, his brother and dad man.

What a poker player, what a guy and what a champion indeed. I am sure we’ll be seeing more good stuff from The Magician be it in WSOP, other big tournaments and of course high stakes cash games so I’ll be looking forward! Congrats once again!

Evolution (13 June 2012)

It’s been a while since I last posted a session evaluation, my bad! Blame it on bad memory, as I simply (for some reason) can’t seem to remember the interesting hands that happened! So this will be more of a compiled evaluation (my thoughts) of the few sessions that have taken place thus far.

For me, sticking to my stable no-frills game, I have been doing alright I guess, having a net positive winnings albeit a couple of small losses. Yesterday’s session was kinda bad for me though, as I played rather lousily, was up more than a buy-in but lost it all plus another buy in by making a couple of bad bad decisions. In one hand, I raised UTG preflop with QJ off and got 3-bet by M who had position over me. I made the call and see saw a flop of Q-3-5. I checked to him who led out with a half pot bet. I made the call and the turn brought a 8. Both of us checked and the river was another 8. Naturally I thought my Queens were good on that board and thus fired a value bet that was called instantly by M, who turned over pocket Kings. Wow, I was kinda stunned, but hats off great play indeed M! Almost immediately after that hand, I picked up AcKc in the small blind. M raised UTG and there were 2 more callers. I made a 3-bet and M and T called. Flop came 6-7-2 with 2 diamonds. I led out a slightly more than half pot sized bet, M folded and T almost instantly raised to put me all in. Given his reputation, he could have anything in that spot, and I seriously thought he felt that I had AK or AQ or 2 overs that didn’t hit but just made the c-bet. Furthermore, there was a flush and straight draw out there, which he could very well have too. Given that thought in mind, I made the call, only to be DRAWING DEAD! Yes, he got me there, by flopping top set!

But seriously, I think this game (my weekly session) is evolving pretty quickly. People are certainly making changes to their game to adapt to the environment and playing styles of others to their advantage. M for one is making very gutsy plays and pulling off epic bluffs and although he fails at times, I have to applaud him for having the guts to do so, picking the right times for some hands and simply following his reads. He is also varying his plays quite a bit, with both big and “crappy” hands so I must say it’s nice to see that bro! For him, I seriously think he would be a very dangerous players if he tunes up his play more by improving his reads on opponents indeed. As well, D has definitely been in the spotlight recently, after a series of big wins. D is for sure not the same D a couple of months back, when he was basically being uber aggressive both preflop and post-flop, trying to win almost every pot. Of course, that wasn’t a profitable strategy as the table basically gave him almost 0 respect. However, over the period of 2 months, he has been keeping himself very disciplined, by not playing too many hands, and being very analytical which allowed him to make timely bluffs. Of course, his reads have been rather decent, and that saw him make quite a few marginal calls in big pots. What a combination, so great job D! Another player who has changed his game would be V, by simply being more disciplined preflop and playing lesser hands. It may seem like a very very minor change, but in my opinion, for a player like V, he is able to pull off more bluffs for the simple reason that people are basically giving him more respect because of the reduced number of hands he is playing, and the fact that his range is probably slightly narrower, thus it’s easier to ride with that image!

With everyone making changes to their games, be it small or big ones, I definitely have to change as well, otherwise I will simply be too predictable on the table, which I kinda think I am currently, and well, people are practically running over me! Hopefully in the next session, my changes will be evident but more importantly, make me a better player. Fingers crossed! Will keep you guys updated then! Look out for my next session evaluation soon!

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