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West Coast Poker Championship, Vancouver, B.C.

November 14, 2012

The week before I played in the WSOPC at the River Rock Casino I played in this 2,000 CAD West Coast Poker Championship in Vancouver at the Edgewater Casino (CLICK HERE to see the Edgewater Casino). I previously wrote about my WSOPC experience here: WSOPC – World Series of Poker: Day 1 and here WSOPC – World Series of Poker: Day 2. But as an aside it’s interesting to note the main event of the WSOPC was quote ‘the largest live cash buy-in tournament ever held on Canadian soil’.

Also, in that WSOPC event I actually played most of day 2 at the same table as the eventual winner, John Crncic, and I had my problems with him. 🙂 I could not win one single hand against him even if most of the time I was the favorite starting the hand. It went so far that at a break he and I talked and I told him that even if I was getting dealt pocket aces and I was in the hand against him I would muck them and not play them since I wasn’t able to win one single hand against him. No matter how strong my starting hand was I kept losing against him. Sure, it was meant as a joke but I really had my difficulties with him. However, I am very happy that he won. He’s a very humble, down to earth, friendly and shy man. He was also born in ex-Yogoslavia. You can read all about it by CLICKING HERE.

But I digress, let’s get back to talking about this blog, West Coast Poker Championship. I can definitely tell you that when I finished Day 1 I was exhausted.

I was playing with Joseph Cheong at my table most of the day. He was 3rd or 4th in the big Las Vegas WSOP 3 years ago and cashed $2.8 M or so. He also made deep runs in both subsequent years in that 6600+ starting field. So he’s made it deep for big bucks three years in a row! However on the first day I had him outchipped and my stack was 157,000 (we started with 30K). The chip leader (Scotty) had 300K and the average stack was 100K. So I was in good shape for entering day 2 with 60 players left! 20 of them are getting paid and the top prize was slightly above 100K!

CLICK HERE to see the day 1 chip count!

I was playing with Terrance Chan at my table from the beginning.

On Day 2 it was close but it wasn’t meant to be but at least I covered the buy-in and had a few shekels on top of that in the end. I had a tough table, although I think every table is tough if there are just 6 tables left deep in a big event!

Terrace Chan was at my table from the beginning. I have a lot of respect for a poker player that is at a world class level in any sport let alone when it is in mixed martial arts (MMA). This is a guy that practices physically hard every day and fights in the ring for pure domination of the other guy or his naked survival. I guess when you have a bad day there they might carry you out of the cage feet first! If you would like to read about his story in a recent issue of BLUFF Magazine CLICK HERE!

Because of all this I tried not to tangle too much with him and avoided full body contact at all costs! 🙂 However the inevitable happened, when I made trip 9’s and he shoved on me with A-J of hearts on a flop that had 2 hearts present. I knew I was ahead and since there were no high cards in this flop I knew he must be on a flush draw.

The board did read 3-9-9, the 3 and the 9 were hearts. I had 8-9 of spades. So he had 9 outs if no one else folded a heart (at best) but most likely it was less so how likely is it that 8 other players who get all 2 cards dealt have not one single heart there? So I guess there were maybe 7 outs or so that he was drawing to, that twice (on the turn and river), would give him 28% in this scenario and in his best case with still 9 hearts out there that would be 36%!

He had no other outs present since if an ace or a jack came that would only give him top pair and my trip 9’s would still be good!

Being a 2:1 favorite in a major tournament like this when already a third of my stack is in the middle is a snap call, anything else would simply be unacceptable! So I did snap call. He had me slightly covered so I was the guy who was all-in and the disaster came right on the turn! The Queen of hearts! Oops! That didn’t go very well. I still had 4 outs on a re-draw on the river (the last nine for quads and the three 8’s for a full house), but this 8% chance did not materialize for me. Instead another heart came to just kick me one more time when I was already on the ground! Ha ha!

With that last hand Terrace slammed me to the mat!

So I felt like the guy in the picture above but I could walk away without having to check-in to the nearest hospital! Terrance is a friendly and collected guy. He smiles at the table which is very rare so it was great fun to play with him.

Beats like this leave me cold-blooded. It is far from a bad beat and being a 65% favorite in a hand is far from a “lock” on the hand, and I guess 25 years in the financial markets left enough “bad beats” on me to be immune and to know that it’s over when the last card fell and not one second before and I don’t tilt! Never!

So I got up, shook his hand and wished him all the best! Most of the players at the table said that it was a joy playing with me (maybe because I busted…ha ha…but some might really have meant it)!

There were quite a few top noch pro’s that were in this tournament with me! (You can click on the people’s names to go to their sites) People that I talked about above like Terrance Chan and Joseph Cheong; Greg Mueller; Matt Jarvis; Jason Koon; and Matt Affleck! These were only a few of the notable players that were in this tournament. It was an amazing line-up!

I would also like to reiterate that Joseph Cheong made 3 deep runs in the last 3 WSOP events in Las Vegas and one of them was to the final table and only the later world champion, Jonathan Duhamel could stop him! Check out the video below to watch Joseph Cheong at the final table in the 2010 WSOP.

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