My life since the WSOP, by Joe Cada

joe-cada-pokerstars.jpgSo much has happened since the WSOP Main Event, it's a little hard to remember it all. There hasn't been as much poker as I would like. But how can I complain? Immediately after the main event, I went with my agent, Dan, to spend a few days in New York City. Letterman, CNN, CBS, front row at a Rangers game, WWE Raw, and my birthday in New York - all amazing, just not as much poker as I would have liked.

I did manage to squeeze in some poker on my trip to LA where I was featured on the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge with Vanessa Rousso and Daniel Negranu, and I was rooted on by my new friend (and fellow Team PokerStars Pro) Dennis Phillips.

By the time the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure came around, I was ready for a few weeks of nothing but poker. PokerStars is really turning its Bahamas event into a mini-WSOP. There are events that start every day, and they do something a little different than the American poker tours, where they have the main event happen closer to the beginning. That way if you bust, there's still plenty of action to look forward to.

I was happy with my play in the PCA Main Event. I got a little too involved in a hand where I knew I was beat, and I was out within the first few levels.

I played a few more events, including the AmFAR Celebrity Charity Tournament, which was pretty cool. Boris Becker, Montel Williams, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, and even Tony Almeida from "24" all played! I also played the six-max and another event with no results, but I was able to get a cash where it mattered most - in the $25,000 buy-in High-Rollers event.

It was a very tough field that included some of the best players in the world: Justin Bonomo, Lex Veldhuis, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Elky, Barry Greenstein, Nick Schulman, Dario Minieri, and Mike Matusow to name just a few.

On day one, I was lucky enough to river a straight with my pocket eights, even though Jani Sointula had pocket tens and rivered a set. The board came out 7-6-4-9-10. It's always a tough spot when the card that makes your hand makes a better hand for your opponent, and in this case, I was lucky enough to be on the positive end of that. I was able to make it through the day with around 100k.

I made it all the way through day two, and ended with 130k in chips, and I was feeling pretty good. Lately I had been busting out early. So I had a good feeling about this one to make it to day three. There were some guys with some monster stacks, but I wasn't that worried about it. I still had plenty of chips, so I was just going to keep playing my game, and keep letting other people make mistakes.

On day three I was able to add a bunch of chips to my stack when Brett Richey and I got it all in pre-flop. I raised on the button with pocket queens, and Brett re-raised me from the big blind. It's hard for him to put me on having a hand here since I usually play so aggressively. I moved in over the top, and he called for about 150k. He had pocket tens. My queens held up, and I had close to 375k after the hand.

It was a tough level, though, and before I knew it I was down to around 200k and then back up to around 400k. I made it through the money bubble (finally!), and then, unfortunately, due to math, I was forced to give Matt Marafioti a courtesy double-up because he had so few chips. My 10-8 was dominated by his A-10. It was a fairly standard play, but I didn't really need to take the 50k hit. After that, I got into a fairly huge pot with Brummelhuis where I was forced to fold on the river in a hand where I had invested almost 100k. I don't want to say what I had, but obviously I thought I was beat. This put me around 300k.


This tournament is very top heavy, and I was playing to win, and not necessarily to keep moving up prize places, so not too many hands later, fellow Team Poker Stars Pro Sandra Naujoks, raised from the button, and I shipped over the top with A-8. She ended up having me dominated (barely!) with A-9, but it was good enough to knock me out in 11th place. I'm not going to lie, though, it felt pretty good to cash.

The rest of the trip was fantastic. PokerStars puts on a great event, and as a Team Pro, they really know how to give you the royal treatment. I got to hang with a lot of cool celebrities, and I don't know if I'll ever get used to the fact that they are as excited as me to be in pictures. I'm just happy that I get an excuse to get my photo taken with them.

The worst part of the PCA was losing to fellow Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan on the giant water slide. Even worse, it's going to be televised on ESPN. He beat me by five lengths. He is a monster!

Next up for me is the NAPT Venetian. I'm very excited to be a part of this new PokerStars tour. I'm sure it's going to crush. Hopefully I'll see you there!

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news