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Foxwoods World Poker Finals 20

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  • Foxwoods World Poker Finals 20

    Foxwoods World Poker Finals 2004

    Since 1995, one of my business associates has been lobbying for a non-native American casino in Massachusetts and in the course of our lobbying efforts he brought Don Laughlin here to visit Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun and our proposed site in Holyoke, MA. Don is quite a remarkable man and I have been out to Laughlin, NV twice as his guest. As an avid pilot he flew us to Vegas on his twin prop plane but his real love is flying friends up and down the Colorado river in his brand-new helicopter. I haven’t been on his private jet yet.

    My last trip there was in February of this year and I believe that it was right after I saw Chris Moneymaker win the $2.5 million. I didn’t know that Don’s casino Riverside Resort had satellites for the WPT and I decided to try them out. I played in three of them finishing fourth, third, and second and like 80 million or so other people, I thought, “Hey, if Moneymaker can do it, so can I!”

    In May of 2004, I started playing in WPT Satellites at Foxwoods and for five straight weeks I won Act 2's - $1,050 entry into an Act 3. Every week, I only lasted 2-3 hours in the Act 3's and when my trip Kings lost to a full house, I checked out of the hotel and drove 100 miles in the rain, steaming-up the windows all the way home.

    I made the decision to stop live playing and find out if there is something more than luck involved in this poker business. In June of 2004, I joined Poker School Online (PSO), read all the recommended readings, took the tests and at one point I was ranked at 96th. I’m currently ranked 558st but that’s another story . I resumed playing in Foxwoods and lost my sixth Act 3 on July 29. On August 5, I could not win an Act 2 and for the first time I payed the $1,050 entry fee into an Act 3 and won my $10,200 seat in the finals. During this tournament I knocked out Paul Darden with his AJs when my 66 caught a straight!

    On Monday, October 25, the World Poker Finals began at Foxwoods. I played in the $500 Oklahoma Johnny Hale Seniors event and got knocked out with my A2 by 10-2 when my opponent caught a ten on the river. Again, I checked out of the hotel, cancelled two other nights at nearby hotels, lost a $128 penalty fee (I had booked through Orbitz and they have a 3-day notice cancellation policy) and drove home. The event was won by Men the Master who beat out Mike Salem.

    For the next few days, I played in three tournaments at PSO and when I placed 32/118 I felt confident enough to return to Foxwoods for a $500 Limit tournament on October 30, 2004. There were 496 entrants, almost double of last year, and it was a grueling 14-hour battle.

    It began at 10:00 A.M. and by 1:30 A.M. there were six of us still playing. I was forgetting how much each chip was worth, the chips all looked the same color and I couldn’t remember how much the bet was. I hoped that someone would bet before me so that I didn’t have to ask how much it was! There was a guy going around massaging the players backs and necks which were screaming at the time. I remembered a question here on PSO about what percentage of winning poker is luck and how much is skill. After this event, I have the answer. Its 1/3 luck, 1/3 skill and 1/3 stamina!

    When they announced a 10-minute break, I suggested that we make a deal. Some said no, some griped, some whined and I left the table. I had offered the deal mostly because my mind and body were in melt-down. When I came back, I was surprised to find that there was more interest than when I had left. They said that they needed to know exactly how much everyone would get and that they needed someone to figure out the split. I offered to do it and requested a calculator. I really couldn’t believe that we all would agree on it but when the figures came out, we shook hands and history was made at Foxwoods - never before had a 6-way deal been negotiated. I placed 3rd for a prize of $25, 775.

    I got back to my room at 2:30 A.M. and could not sleep until 5:00 A.M. It was the best adrenalin rush I have had in twenty years and only comparable to fighting a house fire and saving an occupant. During the next two weeks, there are some $1,000 and $2,000 entry fee tournaments and while I had not planned in playing in them, I am considering it now with my new found bankroll.

    I owe all these small successes to PSO and would like nothing better than to wear a PSO hat in the finals!


  • #2
    Congrats Papa Jim WTG. This is a great win showing great determination. You bring up an interesting point which I don't think has ever been directly answered. I would think there are also several $300 and $500 entry fee tournaments. Good Luck whichever you choose.



    • #3
      Congratulations PapaJim! I also played in this tourney. This was my first $500 buy-in, and I am happy to say I lasted a about 3 hours. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. (Mainly I learned I have to learn how to let go of a good hand!) I got knocked out by Pok Kim (who I think came in 2cnd overall), as I could not release a dreaded pair of pocket jacks. She got me with AK, flopped a King, and Ace on river. I was praying for that third Jack, but it never came. I was already pot-committed by the flop. I will prize my $500 tourney hat forever. Glad to hear that determination pays off. Wish I would have know there was a fellow PSOer at final table...I might have stayed up to cheer you on! I was one of the handful of women playing in this tourney. I got to play with both Pok and Connie Rinalti who placed 6th in this event last year.


      • #4
        WTG!!!! This is awesome. HUGE prize, I am very proud of you!

        See, I told you to do what I do !!


        • #5
          Final Table

          To Triathlete,

          It would have been nice to meet a fellow PSO player there!

          At the final table, Pok Kim was on my right with $176,000, Annand Ramdin was on my left with $102,000 and I was in 5th place with $58,000. They were first and second in chip count and I felt like an 18-wheeler was on my left and a freight train was on my right and I was putting along in my mini-Cooper! lol Actually, I drive and STS.

          I didn't know who Pok Kim was at the time but I had played with her earlier at another table and I had good read on her style of play, namely aggressive! For several hours, I was the chip leader at table 2 but eventually Paul Darden took the lead at table 1 and I could see his tall stacks of chips. I knew I was second and walked over and asked him how many chips he had. Like the pro that he is and not volunteering any info, he replied, "Not enough."

          I then hit a run of wins at table 2 that you can only fantasize about. I won about 5 in a row and totally devastated the table. I had about $38,000 in chips and when they broke table 1, Paul Darden came to my table and his stack had been decimated. I was the tournament chip leader and I wanted to knock him out. I never got the chance as they broke table 2 and eventually Pok Kim took over as chip leader with about $39,000 chips to my $36,000.

          At the final table. every time Ramdin and Kim entered a pot there were raises and reraises galore. Forget about limping into a pot. Do it and you are showing weakness and you get pounded. After a while, I began re-raising Ramdin every hand I played and he eventually said, "You are getting some great cards." I replied, "Yeah, all day!" If he only knew! I also knocked two players out at the final table.

          Only once all day did I have all my money in a pot. It was up against Ramdin and he had AA and I had K6off. I caught a K with a 6 on the river to win about $60,000..whew. One hand, I raised and reraised Michale Garson until all his chips were in the $60,000 pot. I showed 9hTh versus his Ah6c. The flop was JhQh7c and I had a straight flush draw, a flush draw and am open ended straight draw. The turn produced a heart giving me a Q high flush but the river also produced a heart giving him an Ace high flush! The crowd of spectators roared.

          I eventually built my stack to $131,000 and I was third when I offered the deal!

          I have to go now. Unbelievably, I just booked a room at the Great Cedar (they have been sold out since July) and I'm going to play in today's $1000 No Limit and tomorrow's $1000 Limit. If you're going to be there, my picture is up on the poker room wall on the third board on the right, 2 down and 2 over. I'm the bald guy with a moustache and an ear to ear smile!

          To NewJane,

          Love ya' baby!


          • #6
            Foxwoods $1000 Nl & Limit

            Foxwoods $1000 No-Limit Tournament

            My table this morning had five beginners and one shark and although I still consider myself a beginner, these guys played like it was their first time in a casino. Rookie #1 was heads-up in a large pot and got called. He turned over his cards and Rookie #2 dropped his cards face down. #1 then asked if he could see the cards and #2 flipped them over. #2 had a flush he had not seen and won the pot!

            Rookie #3 was all-in in a large pot and when his opponent showed two pairs, he showed his cards and announced that he had Aces and got up and left the table. He was called back because his Ace had made him the nut flush. Rookie #4 kept putting in a $100 chip without saying it was a raise. Rookie #5 would call with any Ace or King and he was winning. The Shark was a really good actor and convinced me he had nothing when I called him with a small pair. He had flopped a straight and knocked me out for the first time that day.

            I ran into Shark again at an Act 2 table. He knocked me out again with 45s while I held 9Ts as he caught a 5. We were friends by now and I ranked him out for going all-in with a 45s and I told him that if we ever meet again the odds were now in my favor to knock him out.

            I then won $800 by chopping in a $2000 event and used the proceeds to buy into a $10,200, No Limit, 2-Table, 20 players, winner-take-all tournament for a $525 entry fee. I was on Table 1 along with World Champion Greg Raymer, and this other great player named Spiro. I have been in tournaments with Greg before but never at his table and Spiro is a regular and a friend of mine who has helped me many times in the past in Act 1's and 2's, including letting me look as his cards while he plays.

            I got hot at this table and very quickly I was the chip leader. I bluffed Spiro right down to the river holding a pair of 6's while the board showed AJT9. He folded when I put him allin for $875. Later on he asked me if I would tell him what I had and I did. He told me that I had bet well and that he had me beat. Later, I was heads up with Greg and I asked him if Foxwoods still gave out dinner for two for knocking him out. He said, “No, they gave away too many of them.” He is a class act with a great sense of humor!

            Later on, Greg went all in with a short stack of about $900 and I called his AJs with my 66. I caught a straight on the river and I told him I was going to write it up. He then asked me to get the facts straight when I tell this story! I think I have. It is very exciting knocking out the World Champ!

            When we got down to 10 players, they merged the tables and guess who was on my right? Ayup...Shark! I was still hot and when a player in front of me went all in with about $6,000, I looked down at a pair of Kings. There was still one player behind me and I wanted him to get into the pot too so I said “I call,” and put up a stack of green ($25) chips.

            The dealer said that I had not put in enough chips and I said “Oh I thought he was betting $500 but if those are blue chips and he bet them all, I have to call, right?” He nodded. I shook my head, sighed and painfully put up the chips. The player behind me thought I had made a big mistake and called allin. They respectively turned over AJ, JJ and I knocked both of them out. I was on rush and there were only five of us left.

            Shark now said to me, “Do you have a nickname?” and I said. “No.” He said that he had one and asked if I wanted to hear it. I said sure. He said “Hollywood,” because he had just seen the best acting job ever performed. I laughed and said “I like it!”

            The luck then shifted to Shark and for the 3rd time in one day, he knocked me out with my 88 when his J caught JJ. The luck then shifted again and he got knocked out. It was a wild day.

            The next day was the $1000 Limit and if I placed 8th or better I would be in the lead for the Best Overall Player award - a Rolex and free hotel to the WPT finals in 2005 at Bellagio. I was in tenth place this past morning. Well, I lasted seven hours and ended up 52nd out of approximately 150. The last big hand I had was KQo and I flopped a pair of K’s when the river turned over an 8 giving my opponent trip 8's!

            Cruel game we play!

            Papa “Hollywood” Jim

            PS - Here’s the link for the write-up of my Foxwoods $500 Limit event



            • #7
              Wonderful posts "Hollywood". I am still patiently waiting for a 5 figure win in a B&M tourney. I too have played several $540 tourneys and lower, ending with frustration and little money. I am CERTAIN my time is coming as I read and get better daily.

              I have several online 5 figure wins...but the live tournaments plaque me!

              Maybe I am just going to skip and goes str8 to the 6 figure colum in the next major I am in?

              Keep on posting......I love reading them!

              See you in Tunica



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