AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

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BentonBlakeman
AVP Resident Pro & Blogger
 
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AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby BentonBlakeman » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:28 pm

Hello AVP!

For those of you that don't know me, my name is Benton Blakeman and I am the new Resident Pro here at AVP. I look forward to discussing poker strategy with all the members here in the strategy section of our forum, as well as supplying strategy articles and hand history analysis on a weekly basis. I will also try to update this blog weekly as well, and my goal is to give insight into my life as a 30 year old professional poker player with a family in a post Black Friday world. I can also be found on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman.

My background in poker stretches back to 2001 when I first started taking poker seriously. I was 20 years old and was living in Thibodaux, Louisiana and attending college at Nicholls State University. Every night I would head out to a local bar where we would play $4-$8 limit hold em. It was here that I ran into an old family friend who had lived in Vegas from 1978 to 1991. He taught me the correct way to play limit poker and effectively became my poker mentor. I won immediately and started building a bankroll, which I promptly spent by buying a new motorcycle. I guess that is immaturity at its finest!

After graduation in December 2002, at the age of 21, I decided to pursue my love affair with Las Vegas. I packed up my Ford Mustang and made the 24 hour drive west. I settled on Silverado Ranch Boulevard in a 450 sqft studio apartment. After settling in, I eventually found a job at the Palms Casino and Resort. I did every job in the poker room from prop player (yes, they actually had those before the poker boom!) to eventually becoming a shift manager when the "High Stakes" side opened. I really enjoyed working in the industry, but my desire to play poker full time eventually got the best of me. I spent from March 2004 through August 2004 working a full time job at the Palms, and then playing poker full time after work. Because no limit hold em cash games weren't extremely popular yet (except at the Palms where I worked), I spent most of my time playing $30-$60 limit hold em at Bellagio. In September 2004, after a 4 month trial run of playing full time, I quit my job at the Palms and started my new adventure as a poker professional.

Immediately after quitting work at the Palms, I started experimenting with playing no limit there. As with almost all people who attempt to play poker for a living, I had my ups and downs. Luckily for me I surrounded myself with other good players who helped me analyze my game and fix some of my leaks. Also, I started dating a dealer from the Palms who understood my lifestyle and was very supportive through the rough times. By 2006 I had made the transition to playing no limit hold em cash games almost exclusively, with the exception of a mixed game every now and then. I very much enjoyed living in Las Vegas, and was extremely happy with my situation there. In August of 2006 though, a few things changed. First, a roommate who was living with my girlfriend and I stole from her which really soured her outlook on Vegas and some of the people there. Coincidentally, the same day as she found out about our roommate, her sister called her and offered her a position at a company in Austin, TX. With everything that had just happened, and a chance to re-enter the business world, my girlfriend and I decided that a move to Austin would be a good thing for us. I was playing a lot of poker on the internet at that time, so being in Vegas or Austin seemed like it wouldn't matter to me as I could just grind full time online.

Well, plans didn't go as smooth as I had expected. It turned out that I hated Austin, was always sick there, didn't make any friends, and really missed live poker. I did get into playing tournaments online and found some success there. By late 2008, my girlfriend switched jobs and we moved to Houston, TX. I liked this a lot better because her family lived in Houston and we spent a lot of time with them. Also, since Houston was a major hub for most airlines, I was able to do a lot of traveling to Las Vegas and Los Angeles for poker (and all non stop flights!). I felt much more comfortable leaving since my girlfriend had her family right down the street to keep her company while I was gone. Overall Houston was a good experience, but once again her job responsibilities changed and she was transferred to her company's office in Mobile, AL. In May 2010 we took a trip to the Bahamas and got married. Two days after returning from our WeddingMoon, we left Houston and moved to Daphne, AL where we purchased a home. Daphne is a suburb of Mobile and is located about 25 miles West of the Florida state line, 35 miles East of the Mississippi state line, and 25 miles North of the Gulf of Mexico. Daphne has been a good home for us because in April 2011 my wife and I were blessed with a son, and my parents only live 3 hours away so they are able to spend time with their grandchild. Daphne is also only 1 hour away from the casinos in Biloxi, MS, namely the Beau Rivage where I play every week. Currently I am a regular in the $5-$10-$20 NL at the Beau, but have played as high as $50-$100 PLO. I don't play many tournaments anymore, but I try to keep up with tourney strategy and would be happy to discuss tourney hands/questions with members here.

Up until Black Friday I played 90% of the time online. I was a Team Pro at FeltStars.com, which is a skin on the Merge Network. Post Black Friday, FeltStars cut ties with its Team Pros and I no longer play on nor endorse the site in any way. It was during this time that I met and became very close friends with AVP CEO Jon Friedberg. He had me as a guest on his TV show, and we also spent countless hours reviewing hand histories with each other and discussing poker strategy. It is this continued friendship that now leads me to becoming a contributor to AVP. I hope that this relationship lasts for a very long time, and I truly hope that I can help all the AVP members with their poker game.

If anyone has any poker questions, please post them in the forum and I'll be happy to give my input. Hopefully we can generate some thought provoking hands/scenarios in the threads.

Also, I have been blogging since October 2009. Feel free to look at any of the old blogs. They can be found at http://www.bootntee.blogspot.com. Moving forward, I will no longer post blogs there, but will keep my weekly blog here at AVP.

Til Next Time....
Follow me on Twitter (@BentonBlakeman)
http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman

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LasVegasMichael
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:16 am
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Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby LasVegasMichael » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:01 pm

Welcome to the AVP Blogger World, Benton!

Thank you for joining AVP and I look forward to your contributions!

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Zin
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Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby Zin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:10 pm

Welcome to AVP Benton, looking forward to reading your blog.

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BentonBlakeman
AVP Resident Pro & Blogger
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby BentonBlakeman » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:11 pm

LasVegasMichael wrote:Welcome to the AVP Blogger World, Benton!

Thank you for joining AVP and I look forward to your contributions!


Thanks Michael. I hope both you and the rest of the AVP family find my future blogs both entertaining and insightful.
Follow me on Twitter (@BentonBlakeman)
http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman

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BentonBlakeman
AVP Resident Pro & Blogger
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby BentonBlakeman » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:12 pm

Zin wrote:Welcome to AVP Benton, looking forward to reading your blog.


Thanks Zin, I hope I don't disappoint! Enjoy.
Follow me on Twitter (@BentonBlakeman)
http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman

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Bargeguy
Straight
 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:06 am
Location: Gulf South

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby Bargeguy » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:38 pm

I'll look for you the next time I'm playing at the Beau. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, it's my favorite room- I've played there for 3-4 years now and it feels like home whenever I'm there.

I'm looking forward to reading your blog, you've no doubt noticed Scott's blog and I'm thrilled that someone else is willing to take the time to blog about their histories and thought process since it's very educational and entertaining for a hacker like me.

Good luck at the tables and thanks in advance for your efforts.

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vookenmeister
AVP Blogger
 
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Location: Manassas, VA

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby vookenmeister » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:45 pm

Excellent!! I look forward to teaching you the game... oh wait, nevermind.

seriously, excited to have you onboard and I look forward to discussing strategy and following your blog.

Great write up by the way. I'm very happy to hear that family is important to you and you've been able to successfully maintain that difficult balance between poker and family.

oh and feel free to suggest corrections on any of my posts.... constructive criticism is the best way to improve!
- pls excuse my typos... I'm prob on my iPhone

Please check out my AVP blog: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9638

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BentonBlakeman
AVP Resident Pro & Blogger
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby BentonBlakeman » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:05 pm

Bargeguy wrote:I'll look for you the next time I'm playing at the Beau. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, it's my favorite room- I've played there for 3-4 years now and it feels like home whenever I'm there.

I'm looking forward to reading your blog, you've no doubt noticed Scott's blog and I'm thrilled that someone else is willing to take the time to blog about their histories and thought process since it's very educational and entertaining for a hacker like me.

Good luck at the tables and thanks in advance for your efforts.



Please come say HI if you see me! I'm normally there on Thursday through Sunday when I'm not in Vegas. I really can't wait to meet fellow AVP'ers.
Follow me on Twitter (@BentonBlakeman)
http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman

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BentonBlakeman
AVP Resident Pro & Blogger
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby BentonBlakeman » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:07 pm

vookenmeister wrote:Excellent!! I look forward to teaching you the game... oh wait, nevermind.

seriously, excited to have you onboard and I look forward to discussing strategy and following your blog.

Great write up by the way. I'm very happy to hear that family is important to you and you've been able to successfully maintain that difficult balance between poker and family.

oh and feel free to suggest corrections on any of my posts.... constructive criticism is the best way to improve!



LOL, hey, I'm hoping to learn here as well, so I'm sure you can teach me a thing or two! Poker education never stops.

Thanks for the kind words and I do hope you enjoy future blogs, upcoming strategy articles and hand analysis reports.

See ya in the strategy section!
Follow me on Twitter (@BentonBlakeman)
http://www.twitter.com/BentonBlakeman

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grrouchie
AVP Blogger
 
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Location: Las Vegas

Re: AVP Resident Pro Benton Blakeman's Blog

Postby grrouchie » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:05 pm

Welcome to the site!

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