Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kids in need

Some of you may or may not know, but I am board member of a non-profit organization called Colombianitos (little Colombians) based here in Atlanta, and due to the economic situation we have been facing we are struggling to keep these kids in school, off the streets and out of trouble. Currently, we are at risk of having to shut down one of our programs due to lack of funds.

Colombianitos recently won the first Unicef award of Beyond Sports, a true Global competition of how sport can be used for a social cause. The award was handed over by Lord Puttnam here his words: "On July 9th in London, Lord Puttnam, Ambassador for UNICEF UK, presented the first UNICEF Children’s Rights Award to "Goals for a Better Life" run by COLOMBIANITOS as part of the Beyond Sport Summit. The award recognizes the importance of sports as a tool for positive social change. Lord Puttnam proudly presented the award recognizing "Play is a right and sport is a fantastic tool for promoting and fulfilling children’s rights, as demonstrated by COLOMBIANITOS. We have seen sport lead to real change." Read more here:, also here:

If you would be so kind to adopt/sponsor a child, it would help us tremendously while changing a kid's life. You can click on, it's only $25/mo to sponsor a kid!

Thanks! Matthew

PS. You can watch a short video on Colombianitos down below . . .

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Main Event time!

I leave today to play the main event of the WSOP. This is the time of year that I get really excited about poker. This is it - nothing beats the excitement of the main event. I always have a good bit of confidence going into this event. I've cashed 3 of 5 years, including a 33rd place finish. I know what it takes to cash in this event which gives me a big "experience" advantage. It also helps that I've been there, done that, so my concern is not on cashing but doing deep which helps me when other players become much more conservative and tentative. In the past, if I've survived Day 1, I cash. The first double up is always the most important.

However, the structure of the tourney is different this year. First, we are only playing 8 hours instead of 10. We also get 30,000 in chips to start rather than 20,000. About 5 in 6 players are surviving Day 1 this year compared to a little over half in previous years.

Over the first two days of the main event this year, the average stack at end of day is 37,000. So basically, this year more than any other, nothing is won on Day 1. I basically want to survive and would be perfectly content with a stack between 30 and 40K going into Day 2.

So I fly out today and arrive in Vegas around 2:30. I play tomorrow starting at noon Vegas time. I will be giving updates at

i've cashed 3 times in this event - there are only two things missing - a final table and a win!