Thursday, May 26, 2005 

Getting there is half the battle...

It's official. I have won my entry into the 2005 World Series of Poker main event. Thank you PokerStars!

Happened Sunday night in the wee hours of the morning. Earlier that day I entered a satellite tournament on PokerStars. Paid $5.00 entry fee to participate in a tournament which if won, gains one entry into a $160 double shootout for the world series of poker main event entry. This satellite consists of a last man standing format in that as individuals loose all of their chips on a table, they are eliminated from the tournament. This particular tournament allowed for unlimited rebuys in the first hour and one add on at the first break. Rebuy meaning purchasing additional chips for $5.00 when you run out for the first hour, and an addon meaning you can add on additional chips one last time at that first break. I added on just the one time and played a fairly solid tournament. Ended up with a respectable chip count and continued to maintain. Top 80 or so people gained entry into the next tournament. Ended up gaining that entry with a little room to spare.

Later that evening, I prepare for the next tournament. Being a more expensive tournament, I'm expecting a better caliber of player, however, I never assume I'll be playing better players overall. This tournament however is formatted differently. A double shootout consists of playing one table until you are the last man standing on that one table as opposed to a multi table format. If you win that table, you advance to the next and final table. Last person on that table wins the trip and entry to the World Series of Poker.

While this format will prove a challenge, I stay focused and play my game waiting for quality cards. Takes a different approach in this type of format, I modify accordingly. I end up playing extremely well on the fist table and continue to build my chip stack. As time continues, the playing field decreases. To the point where I find myself heads up. Few hands go by, I end up with 7 2 in the big blind. Small blind limps in. Flop comes 7 2 k. He comes out betting moderately. I return with a moderate raise, he goes hog wild and pushes all in. I call. He has K off giving him top pair to my two pair. Blank blank. I win the first table.

As I move on to the next table, I make mention to my wife that "hey, one more table and i'm going to the series". She chuckles and gives me that knowing nod i'm sure many of you online poker players have received from your significant other. 10 minutes later and she's in bed. Takes some time for the next table to get underway. I keep myself entertained playing small limit holdem. Table finally starts up. I immediately take a hit and find myself small stacked. I find myself behind for a good while. Tell myself to be patient and endure. Made a mental decision to just practice a little more pathnames and await my move and attempt to double up. The cards finally come with a good run of pocket pairs. I push all in on a few and win the race and find myself now very far ahead of the table. In so doing, several opponents are eliminated. I take the responsibility and begin to be somewhat of a bully with my large stack. Works out to my advantage and continue to pull chips and now find myself heads up. I'm in shock that i'm this close to the actual World Series of Poker. At this point, even though i'm 300% further in the lead of my opponent, choking is running rampant in my head. How many different ways can I screw this up. Instead of getting lost in such thinking, I had to clear my mind and finish this on my terms. I continue playing aggressively. Ended up loosing two key hands I was leading until the turn and river. He get's close to even yet I'm still slightly ahead. There soon after I take 2 key hands and now find myself 10k to his 1.5k. Time to close the deal. I pull a Kx and force him all in. He takes the bait and loosed to me pulling a King on the river. He would have had it with his Ace high had I not hit.


The unobtainable dream is now reality. The one thing I wanted to do more in life than anything else has now become the real deal. I proceed to burst into the bedroom and wake my wife with literal hoots of joy. I was floored and simply in shock.


So here it is...a few days later, and only now am I able to write about it. I'm flying high. Nervous but confident. Creating this blog will now allow me to express the roller coaster ride i'm about to embark upon. Should be one helluva trip. The first place price I walked away with consists of the 10K entry fee to the main event at the World Series of Poker. Additional 1k for travel. And 9 days hotel in Vegas. Plus plenty of goodies provided by PokerStars. Having one this seat through PokerStars, I'm asked to wear the PokerStars brand for the lodging in return. My reaction? Hell yes I'll wear your logo. All of you nay sayers still think online poker is rigged? I got news for ya!



Whats in a name?

So, poker players generally have a nickname. If you can think it, someone's using it. For online poker players, a nickname is a necessity to ensure ones privacy. Plus, everyone always hope they become famous enough, or infamous enough to have such recognition, your known simply by one word.

So, my nickname? Nothing too fancy schmancy.....

Amarillo Slim?


Yes sir

How in the hell did I come up with JvilleWhip? Funny you should ask.

So, few years ago I head north and return to my old stomping grounds. Returned to Mass. but decided to take a detour to Foxwoods casino in Conn. Played poker here often back in the early 90's. Was very anxious to get back and play some quality poker. Having been in Jacksonville Florida for several years at this point, the Poker scene was non existent.

Ended up playing quite a bit of studd as well as low limit holdem. Ended up on one table with several obvious locals and quite a few obviously my senior. Fairly friendly game. Small chit chat. Being the young guy at the table, wasn't privy to much conversation. No big deal mind you. Older gentleman to my right comments on a decent run I'm on. I return polite conversation and end up embarking on an extensive tutorial on the inner workings of the poker mind, as well as more than I ever wanted to know about his family down in Florida. As it turns out, I mention I'm visiting from Jacksonville Florida. At this point, I was just amused he hadn't asked if I knew his grand daughter. The hot streak continues. I end up pulling 3 or 4 more pots in a row and this same gentleman refers to me as the Jacksonville Whip. This amused me to say the least. Over the course of the next 3 hours this gentleman and now the others around him continue to refer to me as the Jacksonville Whip. Upon returning to Jacksonvnille, I made an additional mistake by sharing this story at my local card game. Needless to say, the name stuck and I've been using it online ever since. JvilleWhip pretty much is now my permanent fixture across several online poker sites. The name shortened to accommodate for the amount of letters allowed on most sites.

If you should happen across my path online, say hi!


Monday, May 23, 2005 

The goal... The dream

While some people have obtainable goals, dreams and aspirations, I tend to set mine a little beyond my reach. Would hate to think I had nothing to strive for.

While some dream about winning millions of dollars in the lottery, my goal, my dream, is to win millions of dollars playing in the World Series of Poker.

Poker has been my passion and my hobby for well over 15 years. Something I casually enjoyed growing up quickly turned into something that I took very seriously yet enjoyed tremendously. I love the rush, the adrenalin of Poker. If you've ever played for money, you know the rush I'm talking about. When you put your hard earned money on the line, poker takes on a whole new meaning. Before poker became commercialized, before the world series was an actual rating boost for ESPN, even before Rounders, I had aspirations of making it big on the poker circuit. While this was always a fun hobby in other's minds around me, I continued to be a student of the game. As I continued to learn the theory and strategy behind the game, the more I excelled my game. And please understand, I am by no means a "Pro" or an "expert" if you will. I am simply an individual that loves the game while striving to improve my game along the way.

So, a long time ago, I made the mental note that someday I would "make my living playing poker". I know how absurd this sounds. If I were not familiar with the in's and outs of poker, I too would think it crazy. But at the age of 30, I have every belief that with the right set of circumstance and the right frame of mind, one could live comfortably playing poker.

Make no mistakes, I do not make a living laying poker. While poker supplements my income nicely at times, I have not made that proverbial leap of faith. Plus, I enjoy my chosen career a great deal.

Back to my goal. To sit down at the World Series of Poker comfortable that I just spent 10k on the entry fee. Winning those millions, while certainly great, matters not to me. Being able to say I played with the best poker players in the world, that's the nutts right there. Will I get there? Stay tuned...


5/23/05 Welcome

Friends and family have expressed interest in learning more about my poker exploits, hence this blog. I hope to update regularly while bringing a humorous approach into my writing. While I take poker very seriously, there is far too much in this community to laugh at.

So, with that being said, I hope you enjoy.


About me