I look forward to the PCA every year, not only for the awesome tournaments, but also for a chance to continue a long-running tradition. Noah Boeken is one of my best friends from the Magic community and for years now we've shared a room at PCA. This year, Nacho Barbero joined us and when the three of us weren't downstairs playing tournaments, we were up in the room, playing Magic for thousands of dollars a game. It's really the only chance we get to play for such high stakes. Unfortunately, I didn't get to play as much Magic as I wanted this time because Noah and Nacho lasted a lot longer in the Main Event than I did. I suppose the silver lining was being able to use my unexpected stretch of free time to get in some more hours playing on PokerStars. I also managed to do well in a side event and finished the PCA with a profit.
I flew home to Las Vegas after PCA and hung out with my family for a few weeks before playing in the NBC National Heads-Up Championship. I was especially excited to play because I discovered that I'm one of eight players who have played this tournament all eight years it's been running. I must have spent three hours looking up all the players and crunching the stats. What can I say, I like to look at that kind of stuff! There weren't really any soft spots this year, but I thought I had a decent draw going against John Hennigan in the first round. While John is a tough player and I respect his game, I thought my chances were better against him than any of the online legends in the field. But on the fourth hand of our match, I three-bet ace-queen out of the big blind and hit a queen-high flop. I led out small and he moved in for almost a full stack. I didn't feel like he'd do that with a lot of hands that would beat me and I put him on something like queen-jack, king-queen, or a draw. I snap-called and sure enough he showed king-queen. However, the turn came a king and I ended up being the first player out. I was so heartbroken.
The next day I flew out to Atlantic City to play the WPT Borgata. I have a soft spot for this event because it was one of the first WPTs I played and I ended up finishing second to Daniel Negreanu. It was really exciting to get heads-up with one of my favorite players at the time (he's still one of my favorite players, but now he's more like a peer). I didn't make it there in time to play Day 1A, so I registered for 1B. I fired two bullets, but unfortunately busted right after the dinner break in a pretty gross spot. I'll spare you the bad beat story but it was a two-outer.
It was disappointing to lose and be out of the tournament, but the good news was my fiancé Yvette and our daughter Lili were in Honolulu visiting Yvette's sister. She has two children, a four-year old and a two-year old who is basically the same age as Lili. Since I busted the WPT and had another unexpected stretch of free time, I decided to fly out and join them. We spent ten days there, just relaxing, laughing, enjoying our surroundings and playing with the kids on the beach.
Now that's a silver lining.
David Williams is a member of Team PokerStars Pro