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WPT Championship

by Roy Winston |  Published: Apr 20, '08


Yesterday was the first day of the WPT Championship at the Bellagio. This is the $25,000 buy in event which attracts a pretty tough field. I felt my table draw was not the best, but all the tables were full of great players. My table included Kristy Gazes, Tom McCormick, Daniel Alaei, Chris Bush, Jonathan Depa, and the man himself Doyle Brunson. In this event you begin with 50,000 in chips, making it truly deep stack, and the blinds change every 90 minutes, so there is a lot of play. I had an interesting hand early coming at the end of the first level. I limped in the cut off for 100, with A Q, the button, small blind called and Daniel Alaei in the big blind raised to 500. I thought about raising him but just called as did the others. The flop came A Q 4, and Daniel opened for 1400. I called trying to make it look like I was on a draw, the others folded and the turn came a 7 and Daniel bet 2,750 and I raised to a total of 6,000. Daniel called after a little deliberation and the river brought the 3. I was not thrilled by the hearts on the board but couldn't really put Daniel on hearts. I felt he could only have one of two hands, either A K or A 4, both with the ace of hearts. If he didn't have the ace of hearts in his hand he would be concerned that I flopped a pair of aces with the heart draw, so he eliminated that from my range of hands. There was 16,800 in the pot, and Daniel opens for 6,800. I was confident that I was ahead and I quickly moved all in trying to make it look like a bluff. Daniel and I occasionally play cash games together and have been at the same table during tournaments so I am somewhat familiar with his play. I would say that he is one of those players that is almost scary to play against. He is among the top cash game players in the world and goes deep in many tournaments and along with players like Lee Markholt and Kenny Tran are the ones I least like to see at my table. Now don't get me wrong, I'll play anyone, but if given a choice I'd much rather be on a milk run. Danny took about eight minutes and started talking to me when he was trying to make his decision whether to call or not. I usually wouldn't respond in a situation like this but did. Most of the time talking is a sign of weakness. When someone says fold and I'll show you, they are more often than not, afraid of a call. Eventually Daniel calls and say's "nice hand" when he sees my AQ. He never showed his hand, but I am convinced he had either AK or A4. This propelled me to the early chip lead, and although I worked it up to about 125,000, I lost an over pair to a set towards the end of the night.

I have today off, and will resume play tomorrow. I am going to look at more cars and houses. I think I have settled on a Prius, and renting a condo in Panorama, but nothing is certain yet.

The Oracle

For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send him an email:

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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