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WSOP 2011 Report 5

by Tony Dunst |  Published: Aug 04, '11


I returned to play on Saturday the 2nd of July, for the $1,000 no limit event at the WSOP. It was of course another huge field event, where nearly everyone on your table was going to be an unknown during the early stages of the tournament. It was also the last $1,000 event before the main, which insured the maximum amount of recreational players would be present.

My starting table was pretty loose early. I found a few hands to play that won small pots, then played my first major hand at the second level of 25-50. I raised 45ss on the cut-off with a little over 3,000 in my stack and got a single call from the BB, who was unknown to me and roughly as deep. The flop came 678 with a flush draw, because it is a very easy game. The BB checked and I bet 225. He called and we saw an off-suit king turn. When he checked I bet 625 and he check-raised for the majority of his stack. I stuck the rest in and he called with 87s. The river was a harmless deuce and I had chips early.

I ran the six thousand up to seventy-five hundred without much difficulty. I was finding a combination of hands and spots that were easy to bluff weak players out of. My table was broke and I was sent to the far corner of the room, to seat 10 of table 1. I found Antonio Esfandiari waiting for me who upon my arrival blurted "Superstar! I'm ready for some Lodden action!"

"I'd rather just, ya know...keep my money" I replied. We chatted across the table for a while, but our playful words ceased when we were forced to play cards with each other.

At 100-200 I raised AKo in late position to 450 with about 6,000 in my stack. It folded to Antonio in the SB who made the call with a stack that slightly covered mine. The flop came 663 and when Antonio checked I bet 575. Antonio called rather quickly and we saw an A turn. When he checked I fired out something like 1,600 and he thought for a while and called. The river brought a Q, and when Antonio checked I sat there for a moment then stacked up my chips and shoved. Antonio went deep into the tank, and tried talking to me but received no answer. "Well, you just can't be bluffing" he announced to the table as he contemplated what to do. Eventually he stacked up the necessary amount and dropped it into the pot. When I tabled the AK he mucked and I silently assembled up my new chips. He busted not long after, wished me luck, and calmly left.

Perhaps 20 minutes before dinner I began to feel sick to my stomach. I didn't have time to get breakfast in the morning, so I left a few minutes early before the first break and tried to grab food at the Sao Paulo cafe. Unfortunately they were closed, so I went to the only available option at 2pm; the American Bar and Grill. I ordered a rather simple burger cooked medium and thought nothing of it until that unsettling moment not long before the dinner break. I decided the situation was urgent enough that I needed to get to the bathroom immediately, and spent the next half hour in there with what seemed to be very mild food poisoning. When it was over I lurched out of the bathroom towards Gaylord's to meet my friend Matt "Choppy" Kay and ordered the most mild thing on the menu in an attempt to restore my entirely depleted digestive system.

When we returned to play the blinds were 200-400. My stack drained by losing some small and straight forward pots. For the most part I was very card dead and entirely quiet, and did almost nothing aggressive. Near the end of the level it folded to the player on my right who opened one off the hijack to 1,200. With about 7,000 behind I jammed 44 on him with a bunch of very weak-tight players on my left. He had about 15,000 in his stack and had been rather chatty all day. I hadn't gone after him at all, but I still think it's a questionable shove because he went with a full three-X raise and I wasn't certain what that meant out of him. I believe before had opened to something like 1,100 or 1,050 and when inexperienced players suddenly go with a three-X it's often a sign of a stronger hand. It certainly turned out that way in this case, because he snap called me with kings and when I failed to hit I was sent home.

Sunday was the second day-one of the $1,000, and with nothing interesting on at the Venetian I was given an off day. Ryan Firpo and the boys from BOOM came over to conduct what was likely our longest and most thorough interview through filming. We tried to go out for dinner when we finished but were suddenly caught in some kind of freak downpour that quickly flooded the streets in the area we were in. We took refuge in a diner that served truly terrible food, and choked down our meal with winced eyes.

I certainly didn't bother playing a tournament on the 4th of July, and spent it at the house party of Dani Stern and the boys from Two Months Two Million. They were great hosts, and I gorged myself to the point of having a nap at 6pm out on one of the lawn chairs that lasted until I was awoke by an assault in the form of silly-string shooters with the BOOM guys filming it. I sort of shrugged it off, figured it was a lot better than what happened if you passed out at a college party, and returned to my food coma.

The next morning I was having breakfast across the street from our house with Timex and Chewy. We decided to take our time that day and show up nice and late to the $1,500. A couple girls sat at a nearby table and I came under the impression that one of them was making eyes at me. After finishing our meal and exiting the restaurant I remarked to the two of them that I really ought to go say something to her but couldn't be fucked doing so.

"No, go do it" said Timex.

"Nah come on man not right now."

"No, I want to see you do this one."

"Dude, I'm not even sober. We have a tournament to play. No."

"Go back in."

"...God damn it."

I returned to the restaurant and received a very confused look from the manager and waitress at the front, who seemed unsure whether I perhaps left something behind or was coming back to apologize for a dine and dash upon second consideration. I went over to the girl's table, sat down, and recanted the last 45 seconds or so of my life. I said that I'd gone outside, remarked to my friends that the girl in the colorful dress was really attractive, was peer pressured into returning to the restaurant after multiple attempts to wuss out, and now was here in front of them as a result. "It's a good thing you did that" said her friend.

Truth is, even after having doing those types of things for almost three years now the discomfort of cold approach has not entirely subsided. It's something I need to set my mind to, and usually I'm too preoccupied with whatever I'm doing to try and snap out of it so I can chat up some girl that just walked by while going about my day. Even when you're doing it regularly the anxiety sort of regenerates each night, and the next day the first couple attempts will likely be sloppy. Unfortunately for me in particular, I find that if one of the first couple doesn't go that well my heart rate cranks up and I begin noticeably perspiring, which makes me self conscious about sweating too much, which causes me to sweat more. Still, it beats when I was in high school and girls made me so nervous it was a major concern that if I were to hold hands with a date mine would drench hers.

We went straight from the restaurant to the Rio and late registered. The three of us were made to linger around the tournament floor through the second break as we waited to be seated. Once the bracelet ceremony had finished we were dealt in at 75/150. My table was mostly unknown to me, and because I was starting with 30 bigs and no antes I had a pretty straight forward job. I slowly increased my stack leading up to the dinner break, but never really chipped up that heavy. A little after dinner I got my fairly short stack in with AK against queens and lost the flip. It was a rather generic end to my preliminary play at the WSOP, and after bricking them all I crossed my fingers that the main would somehow be the tournament that bailed me out.

A number of us in the house had decided to play Day 1B of the main, which was on Friday. That left us with Wednesday and Thursday off to enjoy with no need to play poker. On Wednesday afternoon I took Choppy down to the strip to chat up girls with me. He wound up introducing me to a very charming and ambitious young woman at Starbucks named April (name changed even though she encouraged me to use her real one, because at this point I can never quite be sure of the domino effect my writing can cause after publication. Which reminds me; Stephanie, while I'm flattered you proliferate my blog around your office, I think you'll find that there are more effective means of career advancement than printing it out and writing condescending notes about your co-workers on top, particularly given her behavior in that entry was really not all that scandalous. Thanks for reading though!) He approached her as she walked by us exiting the store, and after some banter brought her over to sit with us and noticeably backed off so that I could pick up the slack. At first I was hesitant because I didn't want to steal, but eventually it became clear that was his intention and after discovering we had quite a bit in common I took her number before she returned to work. Later that evening we headed out to Sapphire strip club for the annual Bluff Magazine party. Ryan had wanted to do some filming about the lifestyle aspect of poker for BOOM, and I always appreciate the chance to hang out and see people from the industry. That said, while I was thrilled to talk to girls earlier in the afternoon the prospect of doing so at the club was entirely unappealing. I sort of lurked around and caught up with people I knew, occasionally doing a moment of interview work for Ryan and the cameras. He was rather confused as to why I wasn't talking to any girls, so I explained by pointing to my body and saying "Don't get me wrong, I'm all about this" then pointing to my head and adding "But I want some of fucking this!" I feel somewhat snobbish about my own mentality on the matter, but I've reached the point where if a girl lacks intelligence, taste, and tactful conversation then I'd rather just go home to the pipe and not be bothered. After Ryan had all the footage he needed we took the crew out to South Point casino for dollar bowling so we could hang out with some people as ballin as we are. I bowled in dress pants.

Thursday was spent in a flurry of activity. I began at the gym, then ferried Choppy, Timex, and Will Ma to the outlet mall North of the strip to play fashion consultant for the intellectually talented but sartorially inept Will. I left them early so I could get to the strip and meet Ryan for a couple hours of filming he needed. I had a date planned with April but had yet to finish the filming, so when she came to meet me I had to lead off with "Hi so, this is kind of random but…I have a documentary film crew with me." She was obviously surprised but seemingly unperturbed, and the five us walked over to the Wynn poker room for the 2+2 party. The crew was not allowed to film within the casino premises, so they departed and the two of us sat the bar until my friend Bryan Devonshire found us and insisted that we join him and his lovely fiance Cory for an ultra high stakes game of Chinese poker at two dollars a point. Because April had never played poker I was allowed to help arrange her hands when I finished setting mine, and after losing $60 doing so we were taken to dinner by the always charming Steven McLoughlin for somewhat business purposes at Carnevino in the Palazzo. The dinner didn't finish until one, and I hurried April back to her place so I could get myself home and asleep in time to get a full night's rest before the main.

The next morning a troupe of us left the house early to take our shot, with some more enthusiastic than others. I just wanted to get a soft table, as the quality in the main event varies tremendously. When I arrived it was like something out of a horrible pre-main event nightmare: Headphones in almost every ear, hoodies on multiple heads, Justin Bonomo across the table, young dudes who appeared to be from non-spewtastic European countries, and only one man above 30ish. I silently cursed my luck and watched in annoyance as near every hand went raise-fold-fold-fold or raise-3-bet-fold-fold-fold. Damn it, back in my day the main event had limping on day one.

About an hour into play we received the very good news that we were to break. I'd played almost zero hands, and was moved to a new table that looked more amicable and less experienced. I was a little card dead early and content to hang out watching how everyone played. I got involved in my first major pot mid way through the second level of the day. It folded to a guy who had been pretty tight and straight forward who raised to 500 on the cut-off. With about 27,000 for effective stacks and AdKh in the BB I made it 1,500. The cutoff quickly tossed in the necessary 1,000 and we saw a flop of Ah 7d 4h. I lead out for another 1,500 and after fumbling with his chips and debating his raise size for a while, the cutoff raised to 4,000. Given how he was playing I wasn't exactly thrilled about this, but I also wasn't about to fold at this stage so I tossed in the necessary 2,500. The turn brought the less than preferable Jc and I checked to him. He quickly bet out for 5,000 and I gave him one of my longer stare-downs of the series. He seemed very relaxed and comfortable, and I figured I was behind plenty of his range, so I dropped the hand.

I remained quiet through the next level, and got involved in a larger pot at the 150-300 stage against a man of perhaps 30 who had taken a number of bluff shots leading up to the hand. He seemed to play loose-aggressive but in a not quite thoughtful enough manner, and ran a few bluffs in poor spots. He also limped a fair bit, and began this hand by limping in middle position. I made it 1,100 on the button with Ah4c, and when it folded back to him he called. The flop was AdTs3c, and I bet 1,300 after he checked. He called pretty quick and when the turn brought the 2s we both checked. The river was the Js and he lead 1,600. I called and he tabled Q9dd.

Given that it was a mostly soft table in the main, I was opening a large percent of hands. I didn't go as berserk as a lot of guys do in the event, but I was naturally a lot looser than usual. I played a number of hands where I got to the flop, called one street, and then gave up. I had a pretty active image leading up to my next large pot, which was against the other guy on the table I could tell was professional and had done some light three street value betting against the guy who had attempted to bluff me. At 150-300-25 it folded to the hijack who raised to 800. I called on the button with about 19,000 in my stack and KhKs. The SB folded and the young guy in the BB came along with about 50,000 in his stack. We saw a flop of Th 8h 2s and when they both checked to me I bet 1,700. The BB called and the hijack folded. The turn brought a Qd, and after thinking a moment he checked. I went for my chips and dropped 4,200 in the pot. The BB thought things over a while then made the call. The river brought the flush draw completing 2h and when the BB checked I hesitated a while then stacked up my chips and moved in for 12,275. Considering his style of play, I thought most of the time he had a large combo draw he would take a more aggressive line on the flop, especially since the hijack was quite weak and I was likely betting that spot on the button pretty wide. I thought he was too good a player to check-call the turn with a small flush draw, so I believed most of his range was hands like AT, JT, QT, and QJ. He went deep into the tank and gave me a pretty long stare down. I sat motionless as I always do, begging for a call once I knew he was uncertain about his hand's strength. Finally, he stacked up the necessary chips and set them into the pot. I tabled my hand and he gave it a disappointed look then slid his towards the muck.

The somewhat thin value shove helped my table image, and I began to get pretty active again. I played a medium pot when I opened QJss in MP2 and the TAGish player two on my left made it 2,000 on me. We both had somewhere in the 40,000 area, and when it folded back to me I called. The guy had been somewhat active, but not hugely so and didn't seem that interested in taking gambles or running many bluffs. The flop came Q32 rainbow and I check-called a bet of 3,000. The turn was another 3, and when I checked he smoothly bet 6,000. I did the best I could to soul read him, determined I wouldn't feel comfortable calling the river and elected to fold. I just don't think a lot of guys in the main event are running heaps of multi barreling lines, so I feel okay making those folds to unknowns in the early days.

But folding to people is not always the move in the main event. Some people pick some ridiculous spots to bluff, and if you pay attention you know their tendencies and whether they like to make probing bets to "see where they're at". Late in the 150-300-25 level it folded to me with A4o on the button after UTG had limped in. UTG was perhaps 35, and playing very weird. He limped pretty often, liked to slowplay, and seemed to make bets without a solid plan for what would happen next. I made it 1,100 and when it folded back to him he called. The flop came J J 8 rainbow and when he donked out for 1,700 and I recall almost bursting into laughter because I thought the plausibility of his actually having a strong hand was absurd given the way he'd been playing. I called and we saw a 2 turn. He checked and when I calmly put 4,200 into the pot he folded rather quickly.

At the end of the level I managed to dodge a potential disaster. The player I had earlier folded ace-king against limped UTG, which was his first that I could remember. It folded to me in middle position with pocket queens and I made it 1,200. The action folded to the SB who sat there for a moment, counted down his chips, checked what we were playing, then shoved for about 10,000. The player UTG looked over at the bet, considered his options, and confidently announced that he was all in. "Okay then" I said, and quickly folded my hand. The SB tabled AKo and UTG turned up the aces he so clearly had, which held.

I had a moment of good fortune at the 200-400 level. I opened AK to 1,000 in early position and a fairly active player in middle position made it 3,000 with about 14,000 to start the hand. He'd been aggressive enough that I wasn't considering folding and jammed when the action came back around to me. He quickly called with kings, and after the board ran out 3TAQJ we chopped it up. The read from that hand became relevant in my next major one, when at the same level I made it 1,000 with Ad3d in MP1 and was called by the same player who was now on the cut-off with about 19,000. The flop came 5c 5s 6d and I bet 1,300. He made the call and we saw a Jd turn. I fired out for 3,000 and he thought a little and called. The river came the 7h, and I believed since he had 3-bet preflop with a big pair in a spot that was more likely to discourage action than the current one, most of his range should be hands like 77/88/99/TT. I was going to lose the times he had fives full or A6s, but I believed there was enough medium strength hands that a third barrel would work often. I bet 8,500 and he called pretty quick then tabled AJ. I think in the main event I should probably size all three streets larger so that the river is a shove, though I doubt he folds AJ to the line either way.

Near the start of the last level our table broke. I found myself at yet another very soft table, but I only played a few straight forward hands and lost them all without spewing. When we finally bagged up for the night, only 7,975 of my starting 30,000 remained.

I had the weekend mostly to myself, except for an 11am book signing for The Raiser's Edge with lead author ELKY. That dude cracks me up every time I talk to him, even though he's not really trying that hard to be funny. He was pimped out in a style only ELKY can pull off: a white jacket containing a long row of metal buttons with a sort of Asian influence, shining accessories all arranged and themed, usual sunglasses, and spiked up bleached blonde hair. I sat back and played second fiddle to him as book owners enthusiastically approached ELKY seeking an autograph then set their eyes upon me with a look of faint recognition. He's not only one of the most talented guys in the industry on the felt, but he's one of the most recognizable off it for his unique look, global presence, and sense of flair. In fact, at the end of the singing ELKY got up, fully buttoned his jacket, doused the book stand in gasoline, threw a match upon it, drove off into the Amazon room on a Harley laughing, incredulously proceeded to win the main event after just three days of play, and bet the entire winnings against Patrik Antonius in a tennis match held immediately after the final table which he won in straight sets. It was only after his final victory that he unbuttoned his jacket.

I returned to play on Tuesday the 12th, day 2B. Again I found myself at a table of mostly unfamiliar faces, though they were younger than the tables I'd had on day one. For the first couple of orbits I was card dead and did nothing. After having bled a little, I finally picked up a hand with 6,600 left in my stack at 250-500-50. A loose player in early position limped, and when it folded around to me in late position with AhKh I placed my whole stack in the middle. When it folded back to the limper he mulled it over for a while, made some remark about there being odds, then called and tabled 6d9d. The board ran out QJ5K3 and I was back to life with almost 30 bigs.

Things remained quiet for an orbit. I was watching my table closely, and soon found myself involved in a pot against one of the more active players on the table. He was a 30-something Indian guy who had made three 3-bets preflop already. His last one was on the button against a player in middle position which the opener called. The flop came KQQ and both players checked. The turn was a brick and the opener check-called a bet from the button. The river was another brick and when they both checked the opener's JJ was good. About an orbit after that hand I opened AK in early position to 1,200 and the same Indian guy made it 3,000 in late position. I had about 14,000 in my stack and when it folded back to me I moved in. He quickly announced call and tabled AA. Although the flop brought a king it would be the only to come, and I was out of the event. I wished the table luck, then went to the media booth in the Amazon room to repeat what's becoming my yearly tradition of going to sit with Dr. Pauly after I bust. I looked into the possibility of playing the $1,000 multi-entry event at Caesar's but people on Twitter were saying it was sold out. I decided to play the $5,000 at the Venetian the next day instead.

Timex and I arrived about an hour into play at the Venetian on Wednesday the 13th. We were both feeling drained from the series and agreed to let ourselves sleep then late register the event. I know late registering generally means getting a worse table, but I felt the rest was mandatory to play well. Much to my surprise, when I arrived at my table I found fortunate circumstances waiting for me. We were 10 handed and the only two people I knew on the table were Maria Ho and online player "NinjaNate". Everyone else was random and looked pretty unprofessional.

Our starting stack in the tournament was 25,000 and I came in at 75-150 blinds. I played a few small pots in the beginning, and although I was much more interested in battling the unknowns at the table it was against Maria that I played my first major pot. With 5h6h in MP1 I raised to 400. Maria called in late position, followed by the SB who also called. We saw a three way flop of 3s 4s 9d and when the SB checked I fired 650. Maria made it 1,375 and when the SB folded I called. The turn was an offsuit 5, and I check-called a bet of 1,850 from Maria knowing not only that I had numerous live outs against her value range, but a portion of her range was drawing hands that would have difficulty firing on a brick because she's smart enough to know I'm aware those missed hands are a decent part of her range. The river brought the Th, and when I checked Maria considered her options then checked behind. I tabled my hand and Maria mucked hers.

It turned out that my table was even softer than I could've hoped for. The most hilarious hand of note was watching a player in the SB open shove about 30,000 into a pot of perhaps 2,500 on AJ3 rainbow flop into three or four players in a raised pot, then tabling his top set of aces when everyone folded and saying "I didn't wanna see anymore cards." Although most of the table was playing fairly donkish, all three of us professionals failed to accumulate chips and exchanged knowing looks about the hands we were witnessing. I was pretty card dead pre and certainly wasn't flopping well, resulting in giving up most pots that saw any betting beyond the flop. I didn't play another major pot until hours later when we were at the 100-200-25 level, and again it was against Maria. It folded around to the hijack who limped for 200, and right behind him I raised to cutoff to 800 with AJo. It folded to Maria in the BB who called, and after the limper called too we saw a flop of Ad Kh 5h. Both of them checked to me and I flung out a bet of 2,000. Maria made the call and the limper folded. The turn was the annoying 5c and we both checked. The river was the curious 5s, and when Maria checked I debated what kind of sizing was most likely to get called and opted for something in the middle then fired in a bet of 4,500. She thought for a little while then assembled the necessary chips and put them in the pot. She mucked when I tabled my hand.

In between hands where I found just enough showdown value against Maria I mostly bled back chips to everyone else. I never really found any bluff situations I liked, occasionally got out of line with a 3-bet or squeeze preflop, and won almost zero pots with value hands. The only spot I found to get out of line was very similar to one I discussed earlier in this entry from the main event. It folded to the CO who raised to 1,025 at 200-400-50 and I called with ATo on the button with a stack of 22,000 that was covered by my opponents. The BB came along then led out on a QQ8hh flop for 1,600. Again I knew from the way he was playing it was very improbable that he was leading any good hands, so after the CO folded I made the call. The turn brought the 7h and when the BB checked I bet 4,000, leading to a tank fold from him.

Nothing happened through the rest of the level, and it wasn't until we returned from dinner at 300-600-50 that I played a large pot again. It folded to a young guy named Joe I'd had dinner with who opened in MP1 to 1,600. He was pretty active, and with 66 and about 30,000 effective I made the call in late position. It folded to Maria in the BB who moved in for 12,800 and after Joe folded I considered the math of the situation, realized it was about 11,000 to win 16,000 against an aggressive player smart enough to shove wide against such an active opener, and made the call. Maria had AQo and when the board ran out T7332 I had knocked out one of the few other pros on the table.

Unfortunately, making the table softer made it no more profitable for me. I continued to lose every small pot I played, and my stack remained above the 40,000 mark only briefly. At the end of the level I had about 35,000 left to my name, and we broke for 10 minutes at about 12:30 at night. I sucked down what was probably my fifth coffee for the day and told myself I just had to get through one more level to still be alive for the Summer. We returned to play at 400-800-75 and a couple orbits after we sat down I ran my first big bluff of the day. With about 35,000 in my stack I opened 22 in MP1 to 1,600 and a man of perhaps 40 called behind me. He'd been somewhat active over the course of the day, and both called preflop and peeled the flop very wide. He had run a very weird bluff checkraise in a three way pot against Maria and I much earlier in the day then failed to follow through on the turn or river, and had done a few other small weird things. I had been quiet for the level and had not run any lines that involved multiple streets of aggression for the whole day. We went heads up to a flop of Kh Th 6d and I fired out 2,200 in what was assuredly a poor spot to continuation bet. This type of guy just isn't folding enough and is going to occasionally take it away on future streets, and he also might check down with ace high on boards like this. The player in MP2 called, and when the turn brought the As I reached for chips and fired 5,400. He thought briefly then made the call. The river brought a 9d, and I figured that he had quite a few medium strength hands in his range that would just call the turn and fold the river like KQ,KJ, JT, QT, plus have a few that were drawing with showdown value like 5h6h or 9h7h that would snap fold. I lined up a bet of 13,500 and flung it in. He thought a little, shrugged, and announced that he was calling and tabled AJo. I winced and slid my hand towards the muck, annoyed at myself for having bet the flop in the first place.

I did what I could to keep my head above water and my stack around 20 big blinds. I lasted all the way until they announced that there would be just eight more hands. With six hands left in the night we played a hand that began with "Haffizle" moving in UTG for 12,300. It folded to the player in MP1 who had been riding a short stack for some time who announced that he was also all in for 16,000. I was a couple to the left with 16,000 and AKo, so naturally I shoved and started hoping I was up against two pairs under my hand. When everyone else folded the hands were exposed; 66 for Hafa and AK for the other short stack. The board ran out 743JJ and I was left with just a few thousand. I got it in with A9dd on one of the last hands of the night against JJ, failed to hit, and at 2:30am was finally finished playing poker for the Summer. Fortunately for me April was patiently waiting around the Venetian for me to finish, and we proceeded back to the Chewy manor so she could relieve the tension of my constant failure.

Days after everything ended I sat in the office of the house doing math with Mad Dog to figure out our financial circumstances and how much make up I had acquired in the year following the 2010 WSOP of poker. He too had entirely bricked out the series, and the tone around the house was one of seriousness and exhaustion. It turns out I had played 27 events over the course of the Summer, none of which I cashed in. The make up figure was a little above $213,000. It had been accumulated in the course of exactly 12 months.


I've never completely bricked a Summer before. If we want to get technical, I've come close to bricking an entire year; I have only one live tournament cash in those last 12 months. On one hand it's easy to shrug off because it's not actually my money, but on the other I feel the guilt of causing further financial strain on a friend whose Summer was as bad as mine.

Returning to normalcy after the series has been awkward. For my entire adult life, normalcy meant the online tournament grind, and even after eight years I still looked forward to it almost every day. While I knew it was all very tenuous for a variety of reasons, I never quite imagined that they'd just turn it off like a light switch and suddenly invalidate my career choice. When I became a professional gambler I accepted it came with the risk of potentially losing near everything, but I thought I'd at least get a once in a lifetime reckless experience to go along with "losing it all" instead of just waking up one day and finding out a bunch of assholes in suits decided it wasn't real anymore.

Long term, it doesn't really matter. If they take away one outlet for an obsessive work ethic then I'll just pour myself into all the others. I'm moving around with the World Poker Tour quite heavily this season, and will still play a moderate schedule of live poker. I just don't have it in me right now to go grind a bunch of small to mid stakes live cash games, so that idea is out. Instead, I've decided to focus myself on a creative project and write a book. I intend for it to only partially be about poker, and will be a combination of personal experience mixed with thorough research and detailed educational content. My goal is to get it in done in time to coincide with the release of BOOM. After everything that's happened, I rather like the idea of laying around reading and writing for months on end. It certainly beats the alternative of laying around, staring up at the ceiling, and debating which of us is higher.

Read Tony "Bond18" Dunst's full archive of blog entries here.

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Tony "Bond18" Dunst is a well-known online Multi-table tournament (MTT) pro. At age 20 he won a package on Party Poker for the Aussie Millions, and nearly final tabled his first live event. In 2006, he made a run in the WSOP main event, finishing 198th. He switched to online MTTs and found 2+2, where he began to learn what he was doing wrong and fixing his game. Tony plays 8 hours of online poker every day and moderates the MTT forums on 2+2. Click here to check out some free training videos from Tony and other pros on Card Player Pro or to start your free seven-day trial.

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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