Chasing EJ – Chapter 6: Jason Hewitt

Before I get to poker results, let me tell you about my strange experience when I walked into Tannery Row—where LKQ is run.

Jason Hewitt spotted me right away. I have played with him several times at Cherokee and LKQ, and he seems like a cool dude. I always imagined him smoking ‘something different’ while surfing.

When Jason saw me, he immediately said, “Hey, Tyler, I fold a lot.”

This seemed random. Now I had to wonder if I told someone he folded a lot, and if that person told him that I said that. And now he was messing with me? I shot him a quizzical look and he continued.

“Listen, man. I need your opinion on something.”

“Okay,” I said, thinking this would be poker-related.

“The Freezeout is tonight, but I have this itching desire to grab a couple of slices of pizza from down the road, drive back here, and sit in the car and listen to Hootie & The Blowfish. Does that sound crazy to you?”

“No … not at all.”


I’m not sure if Jason was in the Freezeout that night, but I don’t remember seeing him. Maybe he went Hootie.

I almost cashed in this event, but ‘almost’ is irrelevant. Either you cash or you don’t. EJ also busted, so this was a wash.

I got some zzzzs and hit Cherokee the next day. The instant I sat down at a 2/5 NL game the player across from me said, “Ace-Ten is the nuts here.”

He had obviously seen the video with Mike B. We talked about it and had a good laugh. And the older dude to his right kept staring at me when I wasn’t looking—I would look up and he’d turn away. I’m not sure what that meant. He was probably a secret reader or something.

Cherokee was cool in one sense and not cool in another. It was cool to see a lot of players and dealers I knew. What most people don’t know is that while I’m friends with some players, I’m much much more likely to be friends with the staff at any venue. There are reasons for this.

I’ll get to the not cool, but first I’ll let you know how I did. When I was down $200 in the cash game, I took my $100, went to grab some dinner, and then played the tournament. The prices at the Noodle Bar went up and the quality went down. Avoid. I recommend Osaka, which is off property.

I finished 4th of 95 in the tourney for a nice cash, but I looked at the ticket and saw that they take a 25% rake. Another negative for this tournament is that if you were to buy-in at Level 6, you would only have 10 Big Blinds. You’re much better off playing at LKQ. It’s much deeper.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the atmosphere at Cherokee. At the same time, it’s no secret they’re greedy. When you’re greedy, you lose market share once competition arrives. I predict Cherokee will lose market share to two rivals over the next year. This has nothing to do with the WSOPC in August. I think that will be a huge hit due to pent-up demand.

I returned to LKQ the next day for more live games and the Bounty tourney at night. I was up around $1,200 in the live game and tried to stay a little longer, but a deal is a deal. If I say I’m going to be somewhere, I’ll be there—barring any unforeseen circumstances.

I fired twice at this tourney and failed. It was one of those tournaments where your reads are on but a player behind you has you beat when you’re committed. This isn’t an excuse though. If I had played better, I could have avoided these situations.

How many times does it work that way? Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? You rewind a tournament and say to yourself: If I had just folded that hand, I would have still been in. And it’s usually a marginal hand (not always). It’s often the people that fold those hands that finish ITM. Fortunately, EJ also busted. I never root against a friend. But I’m rooting against him during this 10-tourney deal.

Overall, this was a profitable trip, which had a lot to do with two live game wins and the 4th place at Cherokee. At the same time, I didn’t gain any ground on EJ. I guess I should be content with a 1-0 lead halfway through the duel. That’s not a comfortable lead, but that’s why I like it. I like the edge.

By the way, I was joking about Jason Hewitt. He never said any of those things. I forgot to mention him in previous chapters, so I gave him his own chapter title and wanted to see if you would buy it. You poker player, you! 🙂 I’ll continue to mention more LKQ folks going forward.

For those who don’t know, the atmosphere at LKQ is incredible—way different than a year ago. If you play here, you’re going to feel like part of a poker family. It probably won’t feel that way the first time because people won’t know if you’re just passing through or a one-timer. But after your third visit, you’re going to be hooked. This isn’t just about the play, it’s also about the people. It really is an incredible venue, and I wouldn’t write that unless I meant it.

However … this only applies if you play in the live room. The tourneys are awesome, but the live games are where you really begin to bond with LKQ. It’s a strange thing because you don’t even need to bond with anyone specific. It’s just an overall feeling that you belong. You’ll see. But that’s only if you like high-action poker, quality music, good service, comfortable chairs, and a fun and friendly atmosphere.

With the ‘Chasing EJ’ 10-tourney duel, the results only count if both of us are playing in the tournament. As of right now, I plan to be there on the 20th or 21st . I’ll play some live and then tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. There’s an outside chance I’ll stay for the tournament on Tuesday.

When I’m there, we’re going to create a YouTube video that will blow away anything we have done up until this point. If we do it right, this will be a whole other level. It will require a lot of planning and then about 1 hour of filming (probably about 20-30 minutes of actual footage). If we do it right, it will be well worth the effort. Hope you enjoy!

Scoreboard Update After 5 (of 10) Tournaments…


# of Cashes: 0

Total Earnings: $0



# of Cashes: 1

Total Earnings: $377

Chasing EJ Chapter 7 Coming Soon.

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