Monday, May 4, 2009

Allow me to Introduce Myself

Saturday, May 2, 2009

(Columbus, OH) --
My name is Matt Schwade, I am an aspiring poker player looking to conquer the sport. I can't say that I consider myself a great or even good poker player at this time, but I am willing to work my butt off to get there. And I believe if I stay true to my style, that I'll win my share and if I 85% of the time I'll have my money in when I am leading-- now having the hand hold up is a different story.


A little background on myself. I began playing poker about the same time I met my wife, August of 2005-- maybe a little after. In my first live tournament ($100 re-buy), I think I played pretty well, but I was a bit nervous and played a lot of starting hands; I was easily pushed around and intimidated by the much more experienced players that a $100 buy-in drew.

My second live tournament was at a golf course near where I live. My brother n law picked me up that evening and we raced over to the golf course where we played in a $50 buy-in, plus the opportunity for two add-on's for $25 each. I remember calling a big raise in that tournament early on with QJ of spades and flopping a full boat vs. my opponent's AK. That got me a lot of chips early on to where when it came time to do the add-on's, a lady couldn't believe that I chose to do so.

Later in that tournament, I was folding a lot of hands to the point where I was a bit shortstacked with about 15 people to go. I looked down at A6 of clubs on the button and limped in to see if i could hit some fireworks. The big blind, who was also shortstacked raised double the big blind, so I went along for the ride. The flop was AA2, and I checked my trips. The big blind then went All-in and I immediately called (Not sure I would do the same now, but it worked out then). He turned over KK to which my trips held up and gave me a near double-up as I barely had him covered.

I distinctly remember after that hand, saying to myself "I'm going to win this tournament. I am determined to win it." I ended up making the final table, but I was clearly the shortstack when I got there. Once there, one of the first few hands I looked down to find a pleasing AA underneath.

Raising just double, I got the chipleader to come along for the ride out of the BB. I got a pleasing flop with Ac, 6c, 7h showing on the flop. The BB checked, and I checked as well. The turn brought out a 6h giving me the near nuts; the only thing that could have beat me was if the BB turned over Pocket 6s. I bet out the pot, and the BB called. The river brought out a 9c, what turned out to be the best thing I could have done. The BB checked, and I went all-in with my Full House. I was ecstatic when the chipleader called my move and he flipped over the nut flush with Kc Jc. My pocket aces was by far the biggest hand of the tournament.

I had pocket Queens twice as I raked in pots and put myself in a strong position to win the tournament. When it got to heads up, I had a commanding 4-1 chip lead and I was aggressive and so was the other guy. Every time I picked up an Ace, I went all in. And it seemed as though the other guy did too.

Finally after about 15 hands of heads up, I raised all in with Pocket Queens and the guy called with A9. My queens held up and I won $1100 for first place. The money eventually went towards a portion of my wife's engagement ring, but this is what fueled my poker career. A big win in just my second live tournament.

My next tournament, I ended up chopping 2nd and 3rd place with a guy and it was a part of final table strings.. I made 5 straight final tables before I lost my card protector. It is a University of Dayton basketball coin (my alma mater) that was given out back in 1984 commemorating the 1,000th win and Coach Donoher's 353rd all-time win. I lost it at Argosy (Boat casino) after winning about $150 that night at the 3-6 limit table.

I didn't make a final table in my next five tournaments. Finally, one day while I was at lunch in my car, I spotted a Don Donoher UD coin on eBay!!!! For 99 cents!!! I emailed the guy, and I asked him if he'd be willing to use buy it now and end the auction early. After an email back saying he doesn't want to do that, I fired back an email that said I'd give him $20 for it. He quickly ended the auction and put it up for me as I buy-it-now :) I don't think he realized how much I was willing to pay. The very next live tournament I played in I got to the final table!!!


I started out playing on PokerStars, but really didn't like the setup, look, or the bad beats! Quickly jumped over to Full Tilt Poker, and have been playing that ever since. Within my first year of playing online, I qualified for the $500 buy-in 100 seat guaranteed WSOP qualifier. I had to finish in the top three of a tournament that was I think 87 people. I am not 100% sure, but I think the buy-in was $24+2 token that I won from like a $4+.40 earlier. Either way, I was stoked about my opportunity to appear in the WSOP Main Event by winning my way and finishing in the Top 100. I read a bunch of books, Phil Helmuth, Phil Gordon, Dan Harrington, etc. I played so tight for most of that tournament which was about 2,000 people strong.

One guy that was two positions behind me raised up literally like 20 hands in a row and I was getting absolutely pissed. Finally, when I was in the small blind, I looked down to see that I had A-8 of clubs. Now here I am playing so damn tight, and this guy was frustrating me by stealing blinds every hand, and I said I'm not going to stand for this anymore! He's a maniac as Helmuth puts it and I'm ready to make a stand! So everyone of course folds to him and he's one off the button and makes a big raise.. Here we go!! We're pushing over the top of him! We're going to get him. It came time for me to act and I call an All-in! Whoah, wait! An all-in? Oh Crap! I was so fired up to make a stand that I didn't realize the guy in front of me acting had the same idea I did! CRAP! CRAP! What did I just do? And of course the BB folds and the maniac calls. Of course I had him dominated as my A-8s was up against his 7-8o, but the guy on the button had A-9o. He hit his 9 and unfortunately for me, the maniac hit his 7 :(

To this day, I still think about that hand. I risked my entire tournament life on A-8s against a hefty raise and a re-raise, all because I didn't stop to think when it was my turn to act. :( A-8s!! A tight player went out on that bad of a starting hand!

I finished at about 1100 of 2K and I've been longing to have another shot at qualifying for the WSOP Main Event.

I'm still a pretty active poker player. I host a 20-30 person home game each month on a table my brother n law and I built. A couple summers ago, we built a table that had a race track, cup holders, and get this-- CAMERAS for pocket cam!

I decided recently that I was going to try and qualify for the Main Event again this year. After all, I have to redeem myself... which leads me to my latest objective:


1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog...It's nice when you can start off your POKER blog with a $535 win.. Great job on that tournament.. Good Luck in the 150 Seat..

    I copied your idea, but I don't have anything to show for it yet. Hopefully I can get some exciting results in the next few months.. http://wsopchase