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CELEBRITY and CHARITY INVITATIONAL POKER EVENTS
by Kenna James   
Saturday, 08 March 2008


A Lazy Week at Home


 
 

Thursday March 6, 2008

I played in the celebrity invitational this past weekend here in Los Angeles. I made it late into day 2 only to go out 24th in the star-studded 400 player field. Since it was a freeroll only the top 6 got paid so it was a long journey with no water at the end.

My key hand came with about 30 players left. I had an above average stack of 180,000 with the blinds at 3k-6k. David Singer brought it in for 20k UG and I looked down at pocket TENS. David had about 160k and the BB was kind of short. With this fast paced structure I felt that David would be raising with a wide range of hands here so I made it 60k to go. Beverly Kruskal a long time LA player goes into the tank for literally 5 minutes and ends up finally folding pocket JACKS.

As soon as she mucked Singer, tired of waiting and forgetting where the action is, slings his cards into the muck out of turn. The SB now decides to move all-in for 89k with his A/K and of course I called the extra 29K and we’re off to the races for a 200k pot which would vault the winner to the chip lead in the tournament. The flop fell 7/5/5. Turn 7. When the river fell an ACE it took any momentum that I had left. I had survived two race situations that I had lost earlier but we were now getting late in the day and the blinds were skyrocketing.

Blinds moved to 5k-10k and not wanting to reduce my fold equity further I decided to make the move for 70k UG with AT suited and moved all-in. I got called by a Tim Phan who was short stacked with AJ in the SB. He had about 50k which left me with only 20k and I was literally blinded out two hands later.

I was going to fly to Vegas and compete in the Wynn tournaments this week but decided to stay home, spend time with the kids and rest up for the Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament this coming Monday. It was a lazy week for me which I really needed. I got 8 hours sleep most days, hung out with the kids and watched my son come in to save the game for his high school baseball team. Watched American Idol and did errands that I always put at the bottom of the to-do list.

I’m back on the horse today for as I type this I’m on a flight to Portland, Oregon for the GFS/Ronald McDonald House charity event. My friend Joe Graziano who is a big supporter and organizer of this event every year flies us up first class and puts us up at his estate while we attend the meet and greet functions and charity tournament over the weekend.

This is a great event that supports very sick kids and their families. The Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families in need so that they can be with their children that are dealing with their illness far away from home. There are so many charity and good cause poker events these days. It is an amazing the transformation poker has had from the smoky back rooms, cheats and gun slingers, to being used as a vehicle to bring people together and effect positive change in people’s lives.

On Monday we will fly down on Joe’s private jet to San Jose for the BAY 101 Shooting Stars event. I feel good about this event and look forward to seeing Marco and all my friends up there. Each year there are special stops along the tour and these two are certainly a couple of my favorites.

Enjoy the journey,

Kenna James



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