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Borgata Day #2 and JJ Prodigy

by Roy Winston |  Published: Jan 28, '08


We just finished the second day of play at The Borgata Main Event. It was a tumultuous day for me, started with 64,000 in chips and lost my first two hands and hit 19,000. I was able to work it up to 50,000 after doubling through David Williams with 9 9 when he flopped a flush draw that missed. I think I looked a little tilted because if losing the first few hands and he snap called with the drawing hand. I kept clawing my way back and by dinner was slightly above average with 100,000. My table broke shortly after dinner and I wound up at a table with two huge chip stacks, one being the chip leader, Noah Schwartz. Also at the table was last year's winter champion John Hennigan. I had pocket aces twice during the first 5 levels of play and the first time against Ken Weiner who began the hand with 50k in chips to my 90k. He raised 3 BB in mid position and I looked down at A A in the small blind. I re-raised 2 x the pot, he insta-called me. My read on him was AK, KK, or QQ. The flop came K Q 7, and I was somewhat concerned. I bet 80% of the pot and with only slight hesitation he moved all in. My dilemma here is that two of the three hands I put him on, I was behind to, and I didn't want to give up another 28k in chips.

So, trusting my read I mucked, returning to my core thought that a bad muck is way better than a bad call. Ken flipped over A Q off, and I felt sick. Shortly after that I again picked up A A in late position with three limpers in the pot. I raise 5 BB and the first limper re-raises. The other's muck and I min raise him back. He responds by min raising me. At this point I go into the tank for 15 seconds and go all in. He thinks for a while and muck K K face up.

The last level of the night I picked up a few good hands including A A twice. The first time I got decent action, and the second time I raised my standard 3BB raise UTG + 1 and got no callers. I was also able to make some good re-raises with medium strength hands with my opponent's insta-mucking. Tomorrow will be moving day with the money coming at 54 players of the 99 still remaining.

I would like to comment on Daniel Negreanu's blog where he discusses JJ Prodigy. First let me say that I have the utmost respect for Daniel Negreanu both as a poker player and an outstanding person. I think comparing JJ Prodigy to Michael Jackson, who is basically a pedophile, is a little harsh. If you read my earlier blog from Aussie Millions, I discussed playing in several events, including a final table with the now 18 year old JJ Prodigy. I was distrusting of him and didn't want to like him when I met him. I also reported how one Aussie player kept riding him about being a cheater. I spent some time talking with JJ after the event was over. I felt like he was remorseful and sorry about what he had done. He was 16 at the time and I think allowing him a chance to redefine himself is charitable, but should be given. I agree with Daniel that he could have been more contrite on Poker Road, but I think like every 18 year old out there he wants to be liked, and tried to play to the crowd.

Anyway, I agree with the internet ban on FTP and Stars, but if he plays by the rules in live action events and behaves himself he should be given a chance. I believe in the good in people and that sometimes good people can do a bad thing and it doesn't necessarily make them a bad person. I am not a religious person (except at a poker table in a big situation) and will break my own rule of using religious quotes and say; Let he who is amongst us without sin, cast the first stone.

The Oracle

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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