(cuz i don't belong.. here in heaven...) or can i...
December 4, 2021

It was May of 2003. Limit hold'em was the game. More and more limit hold'em. Started from $2-$4, $3-$6, $4-$8, $6-$12, then $8-$16 in less than 3 months. We played those games viciously. I didn't care to read any poker books. Not that I was trying to be stubborn, but more because I was the illterate-type. Beating $8-$16 wasn't easy. I was going through the usual ups and downs of the hand ranges. I'm going to skip to about October/November of 2003. One day, my friend Ryan and I, decided to go to the Sycuan Casino in San Diego instead of Viejas Casino which was our weekly spot. I saw and sat down in a $3-$5nl game. It was my first time sitting in a no-limit cash game, and the buy-in ranged from $200-$500. I watched the action from the sidelines and was immediately fascinated. I had previously played in and had decent success in on online nl tournaments, but had never actually played in any nl cash games. I thought to myself and said to my friend Ryan, "It's like a tournament, but the blinds never go up. Dude, I can absolutely destroy this game!" I was right. I did destroy that game that night. I don't remember the exact amounts, but I'm guessing around $1500-$2000. When I first sat down, I wasn't sure the exact amounts to raise, so I just copied what others did and went with the flow of things; everyone seemed to raise 3x or 3.5x so I did just that. Also, I tried to concentrate and memorize as much information as much as possible. Just like I did on PartyPoker, I took mental notes and tried to gain other players' strengths and weakneses. But I did this as much as possible while listening to my iPod. I have to confess that music is my life. I'd rather be listening to a soothing music than be part of a funny conversation. I love all types of music. From Chopin to 2pac, Tony Bennett to Norah Jones, and from LeAnn Rimes to Chris Tomlin. But my playlist was filled with mostly R&B. (to be continued...)

6 years to remember (the beginning)
December 2, 2021

I'm going to start this blog by apologizing for any grammar, mathematical, sequencial, and/or any kind of mistakes that I may make. With that done with, I want to start reminiscing how poker has changed for me in the past 6 years. I remember playing 4-8 limit hold'em (I barely got into the game with a long wait list) to watch Chris Moneymaker winning the main event. I remember my friend Richard running across the old Morongo's Casino telling me "Man WTF! That Chris Moneymaker won! Dude, he's so lucky!" Haha. Rich-Diggety, how can I forget those days... Anyways, I played poker all summer long with certain gambling friends (Richard, Jeff, James, Kyle) after my graduation of 2003 and man was I stuck in a never-ending roller-coaster. I remember I loved to play the game, but the only problem was that I couldn't figure out how to know if I were any good or not. I was never the reader or write-type of student in grade school, but more of the mathematical, counter-strike playing, wanting-to-gamble in church retreat type of kid. I was immensely ahead of my class in math at an early age thanks to my mom who would put my sister and I into a private tutoring studio called 'Kumon'. However, she would brutalize us until we got everything 100% right and maybe that's why I'm still traumatized by numbers. If I were to close my eyes, visualize those days, and if I fall deep asleep, I'll probably have nightmares... by the time I was a senior in high school, I absolutely hated math and wanted no part of it. I just wanted to play poker every day and drink on the weekends. I remember writing my own "doctor's notes" during Physics class and driving an hour and a half to the Morongo's Casino only to realize that there were no games. The very first game my friends and I played was 7-Card Stud. I had previously watched my dad in 8th grade on the side beat out 3 other guys (who were friends) who tried to cheat my dad knowing that it was his first time playing. However, my dad won all the money and when he saw the sad look on those guys' faces, my dad ending up giving them all of their money back. I remember I angrily yelled my dad, "Dad! You could've at least saved some for my Oakley's!" So 7-Card Stud was the game I chose for all of us to play after turning 18, and no more Psoy (which I was one of the elites from Torrance lol), but the game quickly changed to limit hold'em after we started going to the casinos... (to be continued)

September 9, 2021

Nice wedding Paul.  Job well done my friend.  Now it's time for you to step up your game.

My First & Daniel Alaei's Second Bracelet...
June 10, 2021

Wow!! It's really funny how fast things turn out... I won the 1k nl event with over 6000 poker players in 5 days... There were a lot of lucky situations, but I feel like I played the finals table pretty well esp. after Dan Heimiller busted... You guys can watch it on espn360.com... Dan was definitely my toughest opponent (so tricky & has the heart of a lion) at the final table... But luckly, I was fortunately enough to get heads up and was all in with KK vs. 88 and didn't get sucked out... I also want to congratulate my great friend Daniel Alaei for his 2nd bracelet (10k World Championships Omaha hi/lo) tonight... His excellent display of poker truly inspired me to finish this WSOP with a bang!!! I hope all of my friends win their first or multiple bracelets... They immensely deserve 'em...

I am extremely excited about the 10k 2-7 nl single draw tomorrow at 5pm... I have a really good feeling about that tournament... I might not have the most experience in the world in that game, but I feel like my momentum will help me to outlast the best players in the world in the purest form of online poker...

I want to personally thank Tom Hall & Chris Parker (founder of Asian Poker Tour), Tommy Le, Nam Le, JC Tran, Quinn Do, Chino Rheem (The Poker Pack) for their endless support...

All of you guys should come to the Asian Poker Tour Macau event on August 12-23 which is going to cost $4300 US for the buy-in! It's going to be such a great event & a lot of fun! You guys wouldn't want to miss it!

Lastly, I want to the thank EVERYONE for the immense support. I honestly cherish every single one of them. Also, I want to send a whole lot of good luck to everyone who is playing in the WSOP as well as all the side cash games!!!



Steve Sung



I haven't posted in a while, but I'm in AMSTERDAM, so that might interest you. lol.
May 13, 2022

     So, I'm sitting here at the NH Hotel (Center) in Amsterdam waiting to fly to Paris, France in a couple of days to play the 10k Euro tourney at the Aviation Club.  I've been here for a couple days relaxing and it's been great.  Seeing the advancement in society among these Europeans make me wonder if the United States will EVER catch up to their level and standards.  The truth is, these Europeans are just naturally smarter than the average Americans.  What makes this possible are the diverse environments they grew up in, the cultural differences that they innate, and their individualism mentality.  These people grow up wanting to be individualistic, so that if they were ever to bump into an American in the future, they'd be more prepared and would know exactly what to say to them, compared to normal Americans, who went through normal public schooling.  Anyways, swaggering from the topic, in the past couple months.  I've been mostly busy travelling around the world playing poker tournaments and vacationing.  What most people don't understand is that these tournaments are extremely exhausting, and adding to all the travelling involved, it makes it very tough to be able to focus throughout the tournament.  Also, there's the dilemma involved where you don't want to tire yourself out before the series of the biggest poker tournaments in the world in WSOP.  So, I guess what I've been doing is pretty risky, considering that I want to do so well in this year's WSOP, but in the end, I'm glad I chose that choice.   Anyways, I've been doing quite well in the past couple previous online poker  tournaments.  I've been making it deep in like EVERY tournament I've been playing (pretty crazy thinking about it all actually. lol).  However, I have to admit, I did go complete mind blank at the 25k Bellagio tourney in late April.  I had 1.4 million in chips at the 1500-3000 level. Do you know how that feels to have that many chips which such miniscule blinds?? It's like inexplainable.  Anyways, I decided not to discuss this with anybody, since theoretically, I knew I'd be the first to tell you not to do such a dumb thing in that spot.  I guess that's what created that saying, "Do as I do, don't do as I say."

     I got paid somewhere around 40k US for my effort.  Even though I truly, truly believed that I was going to win the tournament, I'm still glad that I saw some accolade for it.  But that didn't stop me from my constant thinking of the blow-up that I made with 1010 against AA. 

     After Bellagio, I went to Monte Carlo, Monaco, with my friend X, which I'll just call him that just in case.  X and I went to Monte Carlo expecting it to be just another tournament, and came back (although I'm still in Europe) with a complete surprise.  This feeling of surprisement is by far the most magical feeling.  For instance, seeing the different cultures collide, was a beautiful thing.  They did it so smoothly, and it just kept making me wonder if the United States will ever get to the level.  It felt like I left US in 2009, and went to 2029, still living like 2009 in 2029 and wanting to adjust to 2029.  So I decided this is where I need to be. 

     In Monte Carlo, we stayed in Novotel which when we were first looking for rooms told us it was only 10-minute walking distance to the actual casino where the tournament was held.  However, later we found out it was more close to a little over an hour walk.  It was very beautiful there.  The scenery is unmatched.  I don't think I've ever seen a better-looking views from a hotel room in my life as I did in Tmay's room.  That was just stunning.  Anyways, the tournament started off great, was a little bumpy in the middle, and then at the end I really got screwed in a pot where I got rivered and although I did pay him off on the river, it was a complete blank and I did put him on Aces Up, but I still called him.  But I was just annoyed by the river in such a critical spot in the tournament.  Then it happens.

     It's morning, playing a little online poker, still a little shocked by my beat and busting out in like 40th place, X is chillin' in the room getting ready for Day 2 of the High Rollers tournament, I get a messaged from a friend on AIM.  He tells me my friend Jackie passed away.  My first reaction was a complete numbness to my whole body.  I just couldn't comprehend the words like I knew I was supposed to.  It felt completely indescrible.  Who would murder such a beautiful, loving, caring, trustworthy person?  I just didn't get it.  Who would dare throw the most warm-hearted person in the world down a 11th floor hotel building??  What the fuck!  I've been trying my hardest to get by with this whole situation, but it's hard.  I might not have known her as well as certain people, but I did know her.  I knew how she was and what kind of person she was.  You'll be very missed Miss Jackie Rhee (1984-2009).

     The day I found out about Jackie's death, I decided to play the 5k Euro 6-handed while sweating my friend in the High Rollers.  I felt like it was the best thing to do to get things off my mind as much as I could.  So, when I got to the casino to register, they told me the person in front of me was "the last" entrant.  I was completely shocked!  I felt like i NEEDED to play this tournament and couldn't let anything stop me.  So, I tried to use all the possible charm I had left in me, and she somehow agreed to register me in.  Although, I ended up bubbling this tournament with some ridiculous beat I'd rather not talk about because it's almost unbelievable, I had a great time expressing my complete inner feelings through this short-handed where I was able to play more hands with more variance.  

     Now we went off to Venice, Italy.  I honestly didn't know what to expect.  All I have heard was that it's a city by the bay, and you have to travel everywhere by boats and ships.  Also I, having this strange phobia of eating certain type of food, already prejudicely stereotyped the whole city in itself.  But, unlike I expected, I have able to eat the food there!  The seafood was just fabulous.  This one seabass dish called "Brazino con Vendure" had the freshiest feeling I've ever had eating fish.  Also, the casino where the tournament was held, was fabulous.  It was very high-classed (trait which completely attracts me about Europe) and had a great staff behind the whole ordeal.  So X and I decided to play on day 1a, so that if we busted early, we could go back and could've tried to make it to Jackie's funeral which was going to be held on Saturday.  The tournament was quite possibly the most softness high buy-in tournament I've ever played.  Long story short, I played all day 1 of 9 levels, and another level of day 2 feeling extremely confident, and ended up busting and feeling more miserable about the fact that I blew a huge opportunity of beating up on with such easy players.  By the way, X ended up busting on day 1.  So, we decided to GTFO and where else better than Amsterdam!  Right??  Now, X left couple days ago, and I'm still here waiting on the Paris tourney; that's where I'm currently standing. 

     I have decided to move to "somewhere" in Europe.  Not only are the people and the environment so amazing, the tournaments here are still growing while it's dying in the US, and most importantly, it'd be where I'd be the most happiest.  So, I don't know exactly where and the exact dates yet, but I have made a firm decision to move to Europe sometime after the WSOP.  I'm just going to give it a try and see what happens from it.  Maybe it will be the beginning of a new chapter in my long, adventurous life...




Steve Sung


back in la. norcal was pretty relaxing..

4 months ago
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