Bring it 2014!

As exciting 2013 was, I feel ready and ambitious to tackle 2014 head on.  2013 is definitely going to be a year where I am going to look back and feel nostalgic towards.  To recap: 

  • In the beginning of the year, I had a lot of freedom (perhaps too much leeway) as I didn’t have any obligations to school or work.  It was both a time of enjoying my free time, as well a time of struggle – a struggle to find purpose and meaning in life. 
  • In the middle of the year, I got to do a lot of traveling and be able to live life at large, including an awesome and epic Vegas trip.  
  • In the summer, I attended 5 weeks of boot camp, which was in stark contrast to how my life has been 6 months prior. However, now looking back I believe it made me become a stronger and more confident person as I was forced to be out of my comfort zone many times over.   
  • In the fall, I started my long awaited journey as a medical school student.  There were certainly ups and downs, but I still managed to travel a little bit and do other fun stuff: such as handing my ass over to Maryland Live over and over again.  
  • 2nd blackout in my life happened on my birthday.  It also marked the 3rd time I lost my wallet. 
  • Last but certainly not least, the highlight of 2013 was definitely being exposed to EDM and attending various venues, notably EDC and some other ones towards the latter end of the year.

All in all, these experiences as a whole has continued to cultivate me as a person, and I am excited to discover myself and develop my character in the year of 2014.  Being in medical school is a challenge, but I never want to lose sight of self-improvement.  I want to become more involved with activities that will allow me to basically become a  a better ‘me’ than I was the year before.  

So as I have done last year, I once again want to set goals/resolutions this year.   

  1. Be more organized/responsible.  This is something I feel like I have been improving and will be something to continue to work on this year.  I am more laid back than most, however, I also value productivity and efficiency.  Starting medical school has certainly set up this nice routine where I am somewhat forced to become more productive/responsible, and if anything I think medical school has had a positive impact on me in that regards.  Besides this, I want to further extend this category into being responsible with my decisions, small or large.  I want to be responsible in keeping up with relationships that I deem important, as well as wean away from those that I believe are harmful/toxic to me.  Last but not least, medical school tends to have a hazardous effect on the health of the students, and I would like to be able to keep up with my fitness as I have done in the past.  This requires a lot of discipline and once again responsibility on my part. 
  2. Figure out my direction in life.  Either be in it to win it, or don’t waste your time. 
  3. Confidence. Continue to learn how to stand up for yourself, to take initiative, take charge, and be comfortable under your own skin in any circumstance.  Be confident in everything you do, and don’t take shit from anyone.  Embrace the thrill of leaving the comfort zone when necessary.  Lastly, remember that the situation is only embarrassing if you are embarrassed. 
  4. Hobbies.  
    This one probably deserves its own paragraph.  Poker has done many things for me besides providing me with the financial means.  For one, it gave me the opportunity to meet some of my best friends right now.  It lead to other experiences that expanded my horizon and outlook on life.  It filled me with a sense of accomplishment when I was struggling in my ambitions to become a doctor.  I felt acknowledged and respected.  However, I think I am now ready to slowly move on by playing less and less hours.  In a nutshell, I think that while poker has done all these great things for me, I realized it also took a toll on other aspects in life.  For one, it is really time consuming and the nature of the live scene can easily take your weekend away.  Secondly, it also affected my ability to socialize with others, as I can go on with multiple hours while not saying a single word — mainly because I don’t want to deal with stupid bigots.  It also helps that I have been on a somewhat cold streak, and I can’t put in that many hours as it is anyways.  However, I will probably still play here and there, but I think poker will be less of a priority now.  I find more value now in being able to engage myself in activities that will improve myself as a person, and although I haven’t quite found what that is yet I think I will (hopefully) continue to explore my options. 

Hope anyone who is reading this will also have a happy and prosperous 2014!



Winding down..

As another year comes to an end, I am regretful I wasn’t able to update more regularly.  2013 turned out to be a very eventful year for me.  I had some of the best times in my life, where I know I will look back in the future feeling nostalgic about 2013.  I’ve also gone through some pretty rough times, but nothing too unbearable.  Overall, it was another growing period, and I am once again glad to have accrued all these experiences this past year.  Most importantly, it was a year where I thought long and hard about who I am and what I desire in life, and I would like to believe there was some self-actualization in this process.  I still haven’t figured all of these things out yet, but I think I am at least one step closer towards figuring all of this out.

Just 3 and a half months ago, I started my medical training… NOT in far away Iowa.  I got off the waitlist for a school in Maryland called USUHS in July, shortly after my Vegas trip (will a TR come for this trip? Dun dun dun.. We shall see how good my memory proves me to be…).  As this acceptance meant I no longer had to move to the middle of nowhere, this was a no-brainer decision for me.  I said ‘yes.’ What I was not prepared for was the military lifestyle that accompanied me saying ‘yes,’ with my first introduction being none other than ODS (basically a milder form of boot camp).  As I spent that one month in Newport, Rhode Island, you could say that my life took a complete 180 – going from living like kings in Vegas to living in hell, having to comply to some commands and to follow a strict schedule that I really couldn’t care less about.  Not a single day went by during those days in Rhode Island without me thinking “This is bullshit.” I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it, but those arduous 5 weeks finally went by.  3 days later, I would be starting school.

Fate would have it such that upon my arrival back to MD, Arundel Mills, which is basically where I grew up and hung out back in high school, would open up a poker room.  And not just any poker room – but a poker room that is anticipated to be one of the biggest ones in the area rivaling Borgata, where big games were anticipated to run regularly.  And that not even being 20 minutes away from my house.  It was insanity.

Fate would also have it as such that I would be going through basically my biggest downswing.  Ironically, this happens AFTER I start medical school, where I would literally have to squeeze time out of my schedule (time that I really didn’t have) to go play.  Nobody really wants to read a whiny post so I’ll keep it short.  Looking back, it was like torture.  Every time I played, I would be either a very small winner, or losing heaps.  Without getting into too much detail, I did lose some significant pots as being a favorite (80-95% favorites), which opportunities do not present themselves regularly.  Aside from being 1 for 5 in these rare all in moments, there were of course other instances where I would get it in being behind, some out of bad play, but mostly just in spots where I couldn’t avoid.  I was 0 for 11, about 3 months in, without having a winning session over 100bbs at Maryland Live.  I guess you could call that a statistical anomaly.  I just couldn’t win.  My confidence was affected.   Poker was stressful.  Naturally, I found myself distancing myself from the game.  Even for someone like me, who I consider to be someone who enjoys the game for what it is, it was too much to handle.  Poker just wasn’t fun anymore.  [/rant] (k I guess that wasn’t really short)

With that being said, I found myself visiting back to the felt here and there, with every time thinking to myself ‘why do I put myself through this torture.’  I guess degens gonna degen.  Thankfully, things started to change from last week where I finally had two big winning scores (knock on wood).  But for now, poker seems to be on the back burn.

Hmm… other things that happened this yea. I blacked out for the 2nd time in my life on my 26th birthday.  Of course, I start another year losing my wallet, my credit cards, and earphones that I had just bought couple weeks ago. I really got into EDM this year and went to EDC for the first time and had an absolute blast (once again, TR? maybeeeee).  Production might be something I might be delving back into in the future. 

So yea anyways, I feel like I needed this filler post because it’s been long overdue.  In a nutshell, I am grateful as always for where I am now. Will be looking into finishing the year strong.  The next post will hopefully be a long awaited trip report! Keep your fingers crossed. 


Quick life update:  


Man, time flies as it is already mid-2013.  My year so far up til May or so has been a lot of day-to-day stuff: interviewing for schools, a lot of fitness, and a lot of pokering in between.  After receiving my acceptance to medical school about two months ago, I was able to make some traveling plans for the summer.  Most recently, I just came back from Korea where I had an absolute blast.  I usually visit Korea every 4 years or so, and this time around it provided me with some perspective in life, which I may get to in a later blog post (probably not).  But all in all I just had an awesome time with friends, family, and obv eating amazing Korean food.  I realized especially during this trip that being Korean is an undeniable part of who I am, and I am proud to admit that I am not just an American but a Korean-American.  I already feel nostalgic about the trip and can’t wait til my next visit there. I also had the chance to stop by Japan, which was my first real trip to a foreign country on my own, and I greatly enjoyed exploring a new culture as it was quite the learning experience.


Another big update for me is how I will be starting medical school very soon, where I will be attending Des Moines University located in Iowa.  Many of you guys will know, as I reflected on my earlier blog entries, how I have been persistent in starting my career in medicine, and it feels pretty surreal that I will be starting soon.  I do have worries as to the somewhat sudden and abrupt change in lifestyle that will accompany me being far away in lowly Iowa, which also means I won’t have the liberty to do certain things (aka play poker).  Nevertheless, I can honestly say that there is just so much relief knowing that I will finally be able to start, and I am absolutely stoked to embark on this new chapter of my life.


Poker-wise, I’ve played a lot of poker in between waiting periods as I had a lot of free time on my hands.  I’ve played about 400 hours this year at both ctown and Borgata with pretty good success.  Since I was jobless, I found myself playing more to have some consistent income rather than to feed my ego.  This led me astray from certain high variance spots, both in terms of playing in bigger games at the Borgata, and also by being much in line at the tables.  But now that I only have a couple months left and with Vegas impending, I def want to take some shots at bigger games and crank it up a notch to make it epic before I start school.


My upcoming plans for the remainder of the summer is to travel a bit more and basically try to enjoy life before I start school.  I am leaving for Seattle today to meet up one of my buddies for Korea, and we will be driving to Vancouver together, which I imagine to be good times.  Next weekend I am traveling to Boston with some college friends, and about 2 days immediately afterwards I am leaving for Vegas with NO return flight scheduled yet.  Balla. As always, words cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunities that have been given to me and for the opportunities that lie ahead, and also for my friends and family here and afar who have showered me with nothing but love. Thanks for reading.



Vegas Trip #2 (Part 1)

So I’m sitting here on my couch reminiscing about Vegas.  It’s only been about a month since that trip, but I already have strong pangs of nostalgia from the trip, mainly because it was so… epic.  Starting from the infamous craps roll to the biggest pot I’ve ever played at 4AM which just happened to be the very last hand at my very last night in Vegas to get me unstuck for he trip, it really was a pretty surreal experience.  Also let’s not forget all the wonderful food we ate (literally, every single meal was good except maybe 1 or 2) and, of course, me losing my wallet at Rhino and having to go through an ordeal about not having an ID.  Trips like these in general are just a nice break from the mundane routine life that we go through, and certainly Vegas was not an exception. Ironically, the day before the trip I wasn’t necessarily too excited, probably just being emo and wanting to spend the last week of 2012 pretty low key.  Little did I know for what lied ahead…

12/25 (Tues.)

It was the day of Christmas, and… I forget what I actually did this day.  Maybe it will come back to me later.  Ohhhh that’s right.  I ended up having a late lunch/early dinner with my extended family at my aunt’s house because my parents were still in Cancun.  I still needed to get back to my apartment and actually start packing for this trip.  As it turns out, there was a lot of things that needed to be packed and a lot of last minute errands to be taken care of back at home before I could actually leave for Jie’s house.  The plan was to pack everything, go to Jie’s house, and have Min take us to the airport at 5:30AM (solid).

I got to Jie’s house closer to 12AM, which was super late (solid moment #2).  Lo and behold, as I enter Jie’s house I find none other than Minsoo Kang himself sitting on Jie’s couch with his cheesy ass grin as he is whopping Jie’s butt in NBA2K13 (speaking of which, Jie got a “notice letter” from the “community” of his condo couple days ago about an incident of profanity and obscenities being yelled at during the middle of the night.  Pretty sure this may have been the night when this occurred).  They are in their usual taunting matters, which they like to call “bantering,” but I know Jie is just trying to pour all his love for Min because he won’t be seeing him for the next two weeks or so. I’m just settling in watching them play, but also taking in my last moments and mapping out in my head one last time our itinerary for the trip.  Get to L.A. by 10AM, rent a car, have lunch real quick at this Chinese dumpling place that Jie’s been raving about called Dim Tai Fung (ended up going twice lol), drive to Vegas by mid afternoonish and grind some until we were to pick up Tom late at night. We would stay in Vegas until the 31st and then drive down back to L.A. to celebrate New Years with some of Jie’s friends, and the last remainder of the trip would be spent on eating our little lives away.

With that in mind…. obv fall asleep around 3AM cuz that’s what we do.

12/26 (Wed.)

We wake up at 5AM in order to catch our 9:30 flight and I’m pretty delirious but excited at the same time.  Min was kind enough to drop us off and we would soon be off to board our flight.  I’m always a little paranoid about TSA because of the sheer amount of money I have on me, but obv we end up just breezing through no biggies.  So to save some time, long story short flight was fairly unremarkable, except for a stretch of very (and I mean VERY) strong turbulence where I literally thought ‘this is where I might ship it even before I get to Vegas’ while falling back asleep.  But next thing I know when I wake up my eyes we landed just fine.  We rented our luxurious Ford Focus at AVIS (where I actually bumped into an acquaintance I knew from Maryland who also happened to fly out and rent a car, unlikely, but not improbable I suppose).  It was about 10:30AM by the time we got into our cars, which translated to 1:30PM EST.  Considering how Jie and I haven’t eaten anything up to this point, we were starving and headed over to Dim Tai Fung.

We arrive there around 11:30AM and please someone explain to me how this soup dumpling place is already packed with hordes of people waiting OUTSIDE the restaurant.  Apparently this place has two locations right next to each other and both of them were absolutely jam packed.  Unfortunately, we did not get a seat until around 1:00PM, which was once again, 4:00PM EST… Safe to say I was pretty cranky because I was just soooo hungry.

Adding to the annoyance factor.  Someone please explain to me why driving from L.A. to Vegas, which is known to be a roughly 4 hour drive, would take us 8 hours.  EIGHT WHOLE HOURS.  But the answer to that rhetorical question was simple:  just too much traffic.  So once again I shall cut to the chase and say we get to our destination at Cosmopolitan at 9:00PM, pretty fatigued, but nevertheless excited.  Even though it’s only been 6 months since my last visit here, which was also a very very good trip, I was still getting giddy about being in Vegas.  The atmosphere is really like no other.

We finaaaaaaaally check in to our rooms, which was quite nice actually.  So since our plan was to get here by mid-afternoon and grind some before picking up Tom, I would honestly say that our plan worked out pretty well…not.  Okay so now we only had about an hour and a half to kill, which certainly not enough time to grind unless grinding entailed getting to the B and putting our names on the waiting list just so we can see PEACE.  So Jie and I did what other prudent degens would do in the exact same spot: go shoot some dice.

We head downstairs to go check it out.  Jie and I start a table (one of Jie’s favorite pastimes and joys, starting craps tables) each buying for $500.  We want to take it easy and set the tone right for the trip.  Don’t want to end up shipping it so hard in our first encounter with the gambling gods.

So I start shooting, and to my surprise I have a somewhat decent roll.  Jie’s turn, and Jie has a somewhat decent roll too, which didn’t make us much money but prob put us around even.  We had little foresight as to what would happen next.

Random nag stroller probably in his 50-60’s joins us at the other side of the table.  There was nothing unusual about this sight; Jie and I had plenty of people just join us when we start tables.  He buys in for about $100-200, once again not an uncommon sight.  Then he just starts chucking the dice: no setting the dice, no dice control, no taking his time and focusing before each throw, but literally just fucking chucking it like he just ran out of fucks to give 30 years ago.  This is usually a bad sign.  I would say 9,999 out of 10,000 times (yes. cuz I played for 10,000 rolls) this ends up in the shooter crapping out.  However, who would’ve known this would’ve been the 1 out of 10,000 time.  DUN DUN DUN.

Jie and I are wary at first, so we agree upon betting $18 each on 6 and 8 and seeing where it goes from there.  $18 each.  $36 total invested.  About 30 minutes later, this is what was on the table: $1k on 4, $700 on 5, $300 on 6, $300 on 8, $700 on 9, and $1500 on 10. YES.  WE ACTUALLY HIT THE 10 WHEN WE HAD $1,000 USD.  The man just kept hitting number after number, point after point.  It was literally the sickest thing I’ve seen in my craps career.  When he finally crapped out, I looked at my stack and I had roughly $7,200.   We, of course, insta-cashed out.

So now Jie and I are back in our room, giddy as shieeeeeeeeeeeeet because of what just happened and I just can’t stop laughing.  Seriously, what just happened there? We started from $36 and somehow ended up about $6700 in 30 minutes.  A great way to start the trip, most definitely.  We were just chilling in the balcony with Jie having a smoke reminiscing what just happened (not much to reminisce btw because it just fucking happened an hour ago).  And I took this beautiful view:


Life was good.

We finally pick up Tom at the airport, not without some minor difficulties but it was fine.  Another thing Jie kept on stressing besides the Dim Tai Fung soup dumplings, was that we HAD to go to Spearmint Rhino the night we arrived to Vegas to “set the tone.”  For those that don’t know, Rhino is prob the most renowned gentlemen’s club in Vegas.  I’m not really into that stuff so I’m pretty whatever about it.  Sure enough, we go there and it’s pretty dead inside.  The promises made by Jie of girl:guy ratio being 2:1 was not going to be fulfilled that night.  We end up leaving somewhat disappointed, and decide it to just call it a night, but not without high anticipations of what the next day will bring.

12/27 (Thurs.)

We wake up around 11AM and it’s a beautiful morning.


With the epic heater from craps the night before and the anticipation of getting to play some poker in the heart of Las Vegas, I was eager to start my day.

For brunch/lunch, we decide to go to Wicked Spoon just downstairs.  I was overall impressed with the food, but didn’t have much of an appetite because of the anticipation ahead.


We then decide to walk around a little before actually heading to the B, which will become our sanctuary for the next couple days.  I needed to buy some shoes so we decide to check out Krystal mall, which had all the higher end stores.

IMAG0049 IMAG0048  IMAG0050

(Inside Krystal mall)

We stepped into LV and I actually saw a pair of shoes I was somewhat interested in, but I wanted to explore my options a bit more so opted against it for now.

We then go to the Aria to check out what games are running.  And ahhhhhh the memories.  They are literally flooding in to my head.  Had such a good time on my first real Vegas trip here.  But enough with the nostalgia, anyways, we go to the Aria poker room and it seems pretty dead.  Not to worry though, we would soon take the tram over to the legendary B.

I should mention this here, the premise of this trip during this specific time was based on Jie’s “insider” info that games were supposedly very good right after Christmas. So naturally, we had high hopes that many high limit games would already be running.  I was probably envisioning at least 2 $10/20s with maybe a $10/20/40 or $25/50 game.  Keep in mind this is only 2PM, so I may have set the bar too high.

To our disappointment, we get to the poker room and there’s only one $10/20 game going.  It looks like a pretty good game, but there were 3 of us and only one table to share.  Not the most ideal situation to have 2 players you’re not going to play against to be at the same table.  There was one open seat, so we had to decide which of us 3 would end up taking it.  We end up drawing for it, and Tom, who happened to be at the bathroom not aware of this abysmal situation (lol), was first up, followed by me, and then Jie.  Jie getting the shorter straw said he was probably just gonna go to the Wynn because he saw there was a $10/20 running on the bravo app (amazing app that keeps track of what games are running in the local area at a given time.  *Unfortunately, Bellagio is not a part of the bravo system).  Telling Jie that I might join him later if I have to wait too long or if the Bellagio game sucks, I wish him luck and I decide to wait around a little.  Sure enough, a seat opened up soon and I was able to start playing.

What on the surface seemed like a pretty amazing game actually ended up being a somewhat dull game with nitty grinders with not much action going on.  That was combined with me not being able to get anything going.  There was a guy who was sitting to my right who was clearly a recreational player in his 40’s-50’s but had a pretty good idea how to play (“R”).  Only hands I remember from this sesh is me flatting his bvb open with a weak K.  Floating him on a benign A high flop and firing turn and river on what I remember to be where everything got there and he could only literally beat a pure float on the flop, which, of course, he decides to call anyways of course with an A pair 9 kicker.  This is of course without any history.  Solid.  $2k off the bat in a nitty game, not necessarily a place you want to be.

The only other hand I remember is that I noticed this R guy liked to 3bet iso the only fish at the table. So in one instance, I decide to cold-4bet with K6cc to $760 after his 3bet to $260.  He tankkked before finally folding saying he folded AK.  Lol don’t know if I believe him but okay.

But unfortunate for me, the rest was just me bleeding away not getting anything going.  Meanwhile, Jie has been texting me how awesome his game is and how there is this guy from Macau who is literally driving the action to generate $10k pots almost every hand.  Since I couldn’t get anything going and the game was so incredibly assy, I decide to make the big move and call it quits only 2 hours into my session to catch a cab to Wynn.  I was also thinking to myself during the cab ride, this is the beauty of Vegas: to not have to be confined at one casino but be able to play at multiple casinos wherever the action is, esp given that higher stakes games don’t run often.

Jie is really good about putting names on, and he thankfully put me on the list even way before I got there so I was only #3 on the list.  Mad props. But it seemed like forever for a seat to open up.  So I decide to become a tourist and check out the waterfall scene that I vaguely remembered from my trip to Vegas 5 years ago with my family, but haven’t seen in my most recent trip:


Finally after about an hour of just sort of waiting around I finally get a seat around 4:30PM and sit with $6k.  My first impression is that the “Macau” guy is sitting on about $40k and is clearly driving the action.  Other guys… somewhat disappointing as they are only sitting on about $1-2k stacks.  It was clear that they were just sort of “Wynn regs” who probably plays $2/5 and is taking a shot at this Macau zilla.  Turns out, he is NOT from Macau (nice one Jie) but is a Korean that may or may not frequent this casino often, as he was known by name by the players and staff.

To my dismay, he would often leave the table, so I was forced to play a bunch of shortstack poker to get some zilla action.  The only other player that had a healthy stack to play some deep live poker was this Chinese guy named Frank, who seemed like a local pro.  He was already rubbing me off the wrong way with his constant raises, iso’ing, 3betting, don’t know what it was but it was most definitely irking me.

Another side note: one of my poker friends recently gave me the nickname, “King Cobra.”  He explains it as such (paraphrased), “Danny, if people generally stay out of your way then you don’t go after them.  But once you start to get irked at something or someone openly challenges you, man, they better watch out because you are gonna go right for their head and strike them with your venom and they won’t know what hit them.  Oh and plus, your head is bigger than your body so that fits too.” Whatever, I dig it.

So clearly this guy Frank was rubbing me off the wrong way f so I needed to get him.  It was an absolute need.  He’s been raising a loooooot of pots and finally he decides to just limp in EP, probably aware of his own image.  Good thing you decided to slow down Frankie boy cuz you were starting to irritate me a lil.  But meh too late. I was on the button with 45o.  Don’t give a fuck raise to $120 and he calls.

Flop ($270): 246r

He checks and I bet $180 with my mid pair + sd.  Sort of a no brainer bet; I’m not really trying to pot control here with a pair of 4’s with 2 streets to go.  I think it’s more profitable to turn my hand into a semibluff against an opponent I don’t have history with and try to take the pot down, if not now then by barreling on scarier cards if he decides to continue with a pp.  Plus my hand is somewhat deceptive if I do make a straight or tripssss.

To my surprise, he c/r’s me to $480 very quickly.  It was a small check raise and it was very fast.  I certainly could’ve 3balled him here, but figured there are enough air in his range where I don’t necessarily have to turn my hand into a bluff.  Plus, if I had an overpair in my range, I would probably proceed by flatting anyways (against a thinking player, I must consider my own perceived range as well as balancing my range).  I decide to call.

Turn ($1230): 7cc (bringing backdoor clubs)

He deliberates for a little bit, then checks.  Hmm interesting now I have a decision.  I pick up an open-ender and my opponent checked to me.  I decided to go with the betting route: if he does somehow have a higher pair, or has something like 87s that tried to bluff and picked up a pair, I have the perfect type of hand to apply max pressure on turn and river as I would have if I Had an overpair, while at the same time having the potential to be able to improve to trips, two pair, or straight.  Plus, you know.  Fuck him.  I bet $920.

To my surprise, he makes it $2920 to go. We were about $6.5k to start the hand.  So he literally put me into a decision.  For one, his line did not make ANY sense at all with any type of holding.  I was also thinking, wowwwwwwww did I really just get double c/r’d here? I was getting pretty ticked off, but I was also trying to think objectively.  It seems like he could have some legit hand here (although I was flabbergasted as to what he could have), he could certainly have clubs (although in hindsight he might just barrel with club draw then to go for the ambitious c/r but I wouldn’t rule it out completely).  All in all, I sort of had no idea what to think of his range.  People just don’t double c/r that often.  Although in hindsight, it the “feel” that I got from his second c/r was considerably stronger than the first c/r.

So in the end, I decided to just call with about half my stack invested.  This may seem questionable, and while I’m not advocating this is the best play, I felt that I would be able to play better in position by deciphering his range depending on which river card fell and depending on how he reacted.  In a nutshell, I thought I would be able to make a better river decision. This stemmed from the fact that I didn’t want to shove (and rarely have worse call me), and didn’t want to fold either (obv cuz he’s gay).

River ($7070): 3c

River brings me a straight and also completes the backdoor flush.  Frank seemed a little hesitant on what he wanted to do, then just announced all-in.  Certainly not folding on this river card when I pretty much have no clue on his range, so if he just happens to have clubs here, so be it.  Ended up being a somewhat easy decision for me.

And that’s when he flipped over 777.  Looool wow pretty sick.  I matter of factly flip over my 54o and end up scooping a nice $13k+ pot.  Visibly, Frank was steaming and tilt-reloaded for 10 flag chips ($5k each), before he probably thought it best to call it a night and quit early.  So I’m off to a nice spot cuz I ended up luckboxing it obv.  But of course that was only the beginning to the session before I would tangled with Tom, the Korean zilla…

To be continued.

This is cute.

Somehow rediscovered my old blog and dug up this gem.  Little Danny circa Jan 2009.  Enjoy.



Rebluff AI on the river is one of my favorite type of hands.

***** Hand History for Game 23478625846 *****
$200.00 USD NL Texas Hold’em – Thursday, January 01, 10:27:58 ET 2009
Table Elinor III (Real Money)
Seat 1 is the button
Seat 1: Bober1 ( $598.35 USD )
Seat 2: howard174 ( $209.35 USD )
Seat 3: danlim1 ( $326.10 USD )
Seat 4: Sweet.kr ( $215.00 USD )
Seat 5: Azimut85 ( $200.00 USD )
howard174 posts small blind [$1.00 USD].
danlim1 posts big blind [$2.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to danlim1 [ 7d 3d ]
Sweet.kr folds
Azimut85 folds
Bober1 folds
howard174 raises [$7.00 USD]
danlim1 raises [$22.00 USD]
howard174 calls [$16.00 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 2s, 2d, 6h ]
howard174 checks
danlim1 bets [$32.00 USD]
howard174 calls [$32.00 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 4d ]
howard174 checks
danlim1 checks
** Dealing River ** [ Kc ]
howard174 bets [$72.00 USD]
danlim1 raises [$270.10 USD] (all-in)
howard174 folds
danlim1 wins $254.00 USD from main pot

Villain was 28/20/2 w/ no real history. Preflop, I 3b w/ trash from bb against sb b/c it puts them in such a crappy spot a lot of the time w/ fairly marginal hands. Also, esp. w/ no history they will fold quite often. When he calls, I put him on a range of pp’s and high overcards. Flop is pretty benign and I make a standard cbet b/c I thought he would have to fold his overs, and would shove over the top w/ something like 88+ so i can comfortably fold, etc. He calls, and I put him on mainly pp’s, or possibly overcards that is being stubborn to fold.

Turn is a good card for me and gives me tons of outs. He checks and I found this a good spot to check behind. Reason being, if his range here is mainly pp’s, then I am most certain stacking him if I hit on the river. If I bet here, he is most certainly shoving w/ his pp, and then I am behind most of his range when I call, etc.

Now river is quite interesting. If villain checked here, I was going to put in a huge river bet b/c I would also play AK the same. Instead, he puts out a huge river bet for me, nearly pot-size. Now, the specific K of club is crucial imo. When he puts out a huge bet on THIS card, he pretty much narrowed down his range to 66, 44, or 22, since AK and KK would have 4b PrF for sure, and he can’t have a straight in this spot. Notice how if let’s say something like a 8 came out on the river, I can’t even be thinking about this being a rebluff spot b/c his range is still very wide when he bets this huge. What also helped is that most somewhat thinking regs will think ‘K is a good bluff card’ etc. So I went w/ my gut and shoved w/ 7-high and he insta folded.

Notice how villain had ~$85 behind after he bet $72. Lol I ❤ poker

Helloooooo 2013! Without any hint of exaggeration, it really is unbelievable how fast 2012 came and went; yet with its expedited arrival and departure were many great and positive things that happened during the year (one of them NOT being the world ending.. OH REALLY?).  So it’s time for some pondering and self-reflection.  Here are some notable things/accomplishes for the past year:

  • Weight maintenance.   This is a pretty big one for me, to be able to maintain my weight loss from last year and continue to go to the gym regularly… well for the most part at least. I’m sure I’ve probably gained another 5-10 pounds from my recent L.A./Vegas trip, but I am going to get back on the diet/fitness grind using the new years as motivation.  Overall, huge success for me.
  • Poker.  Did pretty well this year, not only did I win manies (ironically, the most I’ve won to date comes after black Friday), but I’ve played with some of the toughest players in some of the biggest games I’ve ever played in and was able to hold my ground.  My recent trip to Vegas playing $25/50/$100ante with average stacks of $30k+ on the table was probably the climax of my poker journey this year (more on this in a later blogpost).
  • Traveling. Was able to go to various places including Chicago, Vegas (x2), L.A., N.Y., etc. was able to meeting diverse people, widened my perspective, all that good jazz.
  • Friends.  Developed some new friendships and delved deeper friendships with existing friends.  Also, keeping in touch with most of my friends is a big accomplishment for me.

Probably more, but I’m drawing a blank.

So I know a lot of people are big on resolutions when new year comes around, but I’ve never been a big fan of making them.  I am too much of a realist and know myself too well to think I can stick to something for as long as one full year, unless I really meant it. Well, I really mean it this time.  As Jie and I have discussed over this past trip, I feel like 2013 will be self-improvement year.  So although I have set yearly goals in the past, this will be the first time where I’ll be setting resolutions, and vowing to stick to them.  Here goes:


  1. Be more organized.  I have always been somewhat of a forgetful guy, but these past couple months have been especially bad.  No more losing valuables, no more messy rooms, no more spending idle time on stupid shit.  Have a set schedule, and stick to it. 
  2. Be more responsible.  This one goes hand in hand with the first one, but no more being late for meet ups.  Minimize the procrastinating; If i need to do get something done, don’t waste time on scramble or gems, just DO IT.  Be proactive. If I say I’m going to wake up at a certain time, wake up at that time.  Also take responsible measures by not staying up late at night.  Stay disciplined.  Etc. /rant.
  3. Take my faith more seriously.  I want to at least attend church regularly, perhaps attend a small group, and be able to form those deeper connections with other believers that I feel like I have been neglecting for a while.
  4. Talk to everyone.  This one might seem a little weird, but I’m becoming to realize more and more how talking to everyone can really improve you as a person, whether it be you improving your communication skills, or just by broadening your perspectives on things.  Even if it’s just a store customer asking them how their day is going, don’t shy away from convos.  Talking is free, and it doesn’t cost anyone.
  5. Be daring.  If you want to do something, just go for it.  If you want to apply for something, go for it.  If you want to talk to someone (ahem, female), just go for it.  Don’t think twice.  Learn how to pick up your balls and just do it.  As Russell Peters says, be a man.

As for actual goals:

  1. Fitness/Diet.  Really stick to 5 days a week hard workout/eating well.  Let loose (but not too loose) on the weekend. 
  2. Travel.  Notably, I am really looking forward to going to Korea while my brother is still studying abroad there.  During the summer time, if all works out even go backpacking in Europe. 
  3. Investment/Real Estate.  This is an ambitious one for me.  I’m already in my mid-20’s now, and I feel like it’s time to actually do something with my finances instead of just “letting it rot” (as I like to tell Tom).  I would really love to be able to invest in a real estate property given the housing market nowadays, but I know it’s much easier said than done and will take a lot of research on my part with many considerations needing to be made in order for me to be able to make the best purchase possible. 
  4. Potentially find a new hobby on the weekends.  Whether it be biking or going out to Ara, try to diversify my activities during the weekends instead of simply just going to Charlestown. 

As I have mentioned previously, I had a lot of fun in Vegas/L.A. this past week with a lot of craziness going on.  I think the best word to describe it is: epic.  It really did end with a great bang to close out 2012.  I am planning on blogging a TR, probably nothing too extensive, but just for memory’s sake.  That’s all for now, happy new years everyone.

It was a cold morning on the 7th of November.  It happened only a little over a month ago, but it feels like ages ago.  I remember going to work feeling a bit annoyed at the fact that I, once again, had to report to an office I have never been to before.  This was often the case at the time where my boss/doctor would request for me to be wherever he would be at a given day as he had multiple offices in the DMV area.  The day went on in its typical fashion, me being his slave and doing whatever the fack he needed me to do.  He then left the office asking me to send him via email whatever we were working on.  I remember he absolutely made sure that I sent this to his email before I left the office that day, his reasoning being something along the lines of, “cuz you know, if you don’t send it to me by today then you will forget.” Lol I found this kind of odd at the time because I usually have a pretty good track record of being responsible at this office.  My boss/doctor often talked nonsense and said random shit for no reason, so I just kinda ignored this and dismissed this case as such.

Anyways, I sent him that email, then received a phone call from the HR lady at Landsdowne, VA that I needed to report to her office.  God, I remember thinking wtf that’s like 40mins away, and when I inquired if we could just talk over the phone she curtly just told me that I needed to come into the office.  I remember being pretty irked, if not infuriated, on the drive there.  I was pretty sure I was gonna get yelled at something that I didn’t do, and even if that wasn’t going to be the case, I knew whatever she wanted to talk to me about was not going to be worth my time and energy.  What I didn’t expect, however, is how she sat me down and started with “Dan, there is no easy way to say this…” Next thing I know, I am laid off.

Mixed emotions rushed through my veins.  I know that I certainly felt relieved that I didn’t have to report to that shithole the next day where I felt like my job responsibilities was simply to do all the dirty little work that my doctor didn’t feel like doing instead of being a vital part of the clinic.  My responsibilities were important, however, not essential.  Besides, it’s not like I wanted to work at a place where the doc buys $10k statues on e-bay to garnish his million dollar house, and somehow has to let one of his employees go simply because of “financial reasons,” anyways.

At the same time, worries also came to my mind, as I was now “jobless.”  It wasn’t so much that I was worried about not having any income, but more that I didn’t know what to do to continue my experiential profile.  However, I was already preoccupied by my bday weekend coming up, followed by a Borgata trip with all the boys the following weekend.  Being laid off also gave me the prospect of potentially playing my second ever live tournament that Monday.  So I was naturally excited for these events and kinda put my academics/ambitions on the backside.  I was so worked up to this point being fizzled out by having to work a stressful 9-5 (more like 8:30-8:30 at times).  It was time for me to enjoy my freedom.

Fast forward a month later, and next thing I know, I feel like I am now at a place where I feel pretty lost in where I am at in life.  The freedom up to this point has certainly been nice, but with the liberty to do whatever you want, wake up whenever you want, comes a price you pay if you let anything become permissible.  I wound up going to the Borgata every weekend for the past 4 weeks (minus thanksgiving weekend) for about a total of 14 days over the past 28 days.  The natural lifestyle of a degen combined with my lack of discipline now has me at a spot where 1) I have been sleeping around 4:30-6:00am and waking up at 12:30-3:00PM every single day, 2) I have gained 10 pounds, 3) would do absolutely nothing productive during the time I am back at Tysons.  I would get certain things done and go to the gym occasionally, but my workouts would be half assed and I would basically feel very unproductive.   That combined with my death session this past weekend at the Borgata followed by handing my ass over at the pit for no apparent reason (seriously, don’t know why I did that) had me rethink about my newly acquired freedom since the day I got laid off.

I feel like I abused the freedom.  I have no one else but to blame myself, but the way that things have been going, it was almost a natural progression from a somewhat disciplined life to where I am now.  I actually won a decent amount of money my first two trips; in fact, it was so much money over a short amount of period where I became desensitized and lost value of what it meant.  I realized that winning that much money over a short period of time made me almost take it for granted, and subsequently it didn’t mean too much until I handed a lot of it back this past weekend.   As they say, you never know something’s good until it’s gone.

So anyways, on the drive home, I made a couple resolutions on the way back with Jie and Min, where I made it a case where I would,

1)   Absolutely not wake up past 9:30AM on the weekdays
2)   Workout 5 days/week minimum
3)   Only drink twice a week maximum
4)   Minimize the sweets
5)   Minimize the cussin

I remember the weekend after my bday after a weekend full of debauchery and winning manies at ctown, I told Jie and his friend David who visited from Chicago at the time how even though it was only a week after I got laid off, I felt a bit disheveled and said the following phrase, “need to organize my life.”  They kind of gave me a wtf response, since I won a considerable amount of money that past weekend and they know of my general success in poker.  Ever since then, that became a little inside joke between us where they will say “don’t be a danny,” etc. However, I now realize that my life cannot be happy unless I can focus on other aspects of my life that I deem important: my fitness level, my friendships, and ultimately my aspiration to become a physician in the future.   I really do need to organize my life somehow where I feel like I have some sort of structure.  I will stick to these resolutions, and not lose sight of what is really important.

So with all of this being said, I did have a very interesting experience at the Borgata, being a semi-Borgata reg for the past couple weeks.  I still won a considerable amount of money over this period.  I played with some of the best, including the 2012 world champ and his good friend/backer who are both absolute beasts in these games, as well as with some of the local regs who have tons of experience in these games and consequently are some tough cookies.  I was able to hold my ground for the most part, but also made some mistakes where I feel like I learned from now.  Overall, it was a good experience and it was nice to be recognized by my “peers” and gain their respect to be a true contender in these games.  More importantly, I am convinced that I am certainly a winner at these stakes in these games.  However, the lifestyle that it requires of me, having to spend a whole weekend with sometimes spotty games and the amount of variance that is involved leaves me to think that it is not compatible with my current aspirations and lifestyle that I want for myself.  I am still grateful for these past couple weekends and I will probably not return to the Borgata until next year (if the world doesn’t end by then, that is :P).

So I have a trip to L.A./Vegas coming up after Christmas with Jie and Tom and I would imagine it would be good times.  But until then, I really want to get my life back in order.  I am highly anticipating the trip and I hope to have some good results there.  Until now and then, however, I’m trying to plan out my life, be a little more responsible, stay a little bit more disciplined, and get my life in order. Hopefully, I will have a good update for next time.   A lot of rambling in this post, but if you have made it this far, thanks for reading.

P.S. I have most of the Part 2 of AC trip back in October typed up, but just didn’t bother to post it because I have been lazy.  Although it’s a bit outdated since it was already 4 trips ago, I’ll probably end up posting it anyways.