Poker in Pravets, Fifty Shades, and grinding the micros

I just returned home from Bulgaria where I won the Main Event at the Pravets Poker Masters. The tournament drew mostly French, Swiss, and Bulgarian players and was held at a beautiful spa and golf resort. I loved the property and enjoyed the spa nearly every day.

The Main Event had a €1,100 buy-in and thankfully had re-entries because I didn't last more than three hours on Day 1A. I bought in again on Day 1B and had a totally different start. During the second level, I played a massive pot that set up the rest of the tournament for me. With 75-150 blinds, I raised to 400 from the cut-off with pocket fours and both blinds called. The flop was 7-6-4 with two spades and I bet 925 with my set. The small blind raised to 2,800 and the big blind three-bet to 9,000. I was quite sure they both had a five for a straight draw or spades for a flush draw, and since both were really ultra-aggressive players, I moved all-in for 25,000. Both of them called.


Notch up another win for Team PokerStars Pro

Guillaume de la Gorce was in the small blind and showed 5♠9♠ for flush and straight draws and the big blind had just a five for a straight draw. The turn came the nine of clubs, but I made a full house when the board paired sevens on the river to win the 75,900 pot. From there I had triple the average and started to run over the table, not only with my experience, but with my large stack as well. I was raising some really crappy hands, but I was also getting enough good hands that my opponents were really confused. They started to stay out of my way because they thought I was a dangerous player.

I accumulated chips very consistently throughout Day 2 and made the final table as the largest stack. Although I took a bit of a hit when I lost three of the first five hands, I turned it back around and eliminated the sixth, fifth, fourth, and third place finishers. I had a 3.5 to 1 chip lead when I got heads-up with Marc Natan and ended up winning the final hand with pocket aces against his A♥3♥. I was so thrilled to take first place and won €19,326.


Palovic playing in the World Cup of Poker

Palovic publishing inc
Now that I'm home again, I'm back at work on two book projects. One is a poker book and the other is a novel. Hopefully both will be on the market next year in Slovak language and English. The poker book will have four sections. The first will be on psychology and will also teach poker players how they can benefit from meditations traditionally used by monks and martial artists. The second section will delver deeper into poker mathematics, the third will cover strategy and theory, and the fourth will explain the thinking behind some hands I played in both live and online games.

My novel is a bit of a dramatic thriller. The main character is an ultra-rich guy who inherited a fortune when his parents died, but he still works as a detective because it was always his ambition, ever since childhood. He wants to be a good cop, one who can't be bought or bribed. He has an uncanny ability to read people and he uses it not only in his work, but also when it comes to women. He's quite a seducer and a playboy. My ex-girlfriend actually told me to read Fifty Shades of Grey since it has some similar themes, but my story is very different. I'm most excited to write the scenes when my detective uses his psychological skills. I'll be able to use a lot of the things I've learned about non-verbal communications in my poker career and apply it to his character--how he analyses people's emotions, his thought process.


Drag Palovic? Or is it his girlfriend?

Oh, one last thing. I've also discovered that while I'm working on my books, I always have something else going on in the background, like a movie or TV show. I thought why not do something for the micro-stakes players on PokerStars instead? I've been playing 1c/2c no-limit games several times a week for a few hours at a time. I'm having a lot of fun with it, so come by and see me at the tables!

Dag Palovic is a member of Team PokerStars Pro. Read his bio here.

Dag Palovic
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