Florida State Poker Championship

Day One B was yesterday at the Isle and drew close to 300 players, me being one of them. 58 would move on.  I was at one of the tables set up just for the event outside of the poker room. Most of the players at my table had played the first Day One. We started with 17k chips with levels that escalated later, but started at 20 minutes. I was extremely unlucky for the first three levels losing with both pocket aces and AK on a K hi flop. When I finally got a table change to a better table in all ways, including some aggressive players which I like, I had just 6K.  I started to get some cards, and built my stack to 52K after a few run-goods.  Then, for 4 orbits, I was totally card dead, with a 3 in almost every hand. To make matters worse, one guy was consistently getting hit with the deck when his first AQ flopped QQx, his second AQ flopped AQx and his third just a Q, when I happened to have pocket nines. Like an idiot, I manged to lose the max, 11K. I was starting to reevaluate my “this is a game of skill” theory.  I was hustling just to keep up. Amazingly I ended up bagging my meager chips, but I’m not a quitter.  With some poker god who loves me, one triple up and I could have a chance.  Sunday is Day Two. First place is around 90K.  Last year Matusow won this event with my buddy Nigel Murray taking 3rd.

Final results of 104 cashers.

Nigel, on left, bags again

And to my left, Mike the Mouth.

Get out your headsets

Played the second Day One (of three) at the Isle of Capri yesterday, and imagine my surprise to arrive at my table to find Mike Matusow, Chino Rheem and two Mizrachis. Was this the table from hell? Was I the only non-pro?  As it turned out, Matusow was seat 10 and I was in 9…the other guys were just hanging with Mike, but seated at other tables.  I really wanted to be focused for this event, The Florida State Poker Championship, and the chaos wasn’t helping.  I generally have the table figured out and am relaxed and in sync within one round, but with all of the attention to our table, people taking pictures, asking for autographs, etc., it was difficult.

There’s definitely a reason Matusow is called the Mouth.  He pretty much took over the table talk-wise, and at first I tried to resist, headserts blaring some 50 Cent, whatever I could do to manage the mayhem, but finaly had to go with the flow. Matusow is in town to give a seminar today on deepstack play, and I really felt like I got a private coaching session. As often happens with table neighbors, Mike shared his every thought, many privately with me. I appreciated his tips regarding my game and was super-impressed with the way he breaks down a hand. His managed control of betting had an influence on our table and got people in line with the blinds, so rather than betting $700 pre on a 50 BB level, people were making it a more reasonable $150, maybe $200.  Mike said the biggest mistake he saw at the table was players not understanding bet sizing. The two guys who were willing shovers were quickly gone which was crazy at a format this good.


I didn’t play my usual game, but one of the great things about poker is, it’s never the same. One must constantly adapt, and this was a really different table for me.  I probably wasn’t aggressive enough, folded to three bets too much, and in my defense, hit very few hands. That said, I made it to Day Two (tomorrow), although not with a very good stack, although many of the other players who made it until the 10 p.m. cutoff were in the same boat.  We’re starting tomorrow at the 800 BB level, and I’ve come back from short stacks to cash before. Hopefully tomorrow will be one of those days.