Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time for another update

Dan is still alive, but he missed an opportunity to double up when his pocket Aces were called by...Aces!

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At the first break

(At the first break) Dan was at 3100 at the break, and is now at about 4700.

The Man at Work


I think someone was just Wamboozled!

An Unlikely Seat Draw

2050 players on Day1A and David Grey (left) and TJ Cloutier (right) draw seats right next to each other.

The Craziness Begins Today!

Event #2 begins in a little over three hours, and Dan is slated to start the event today. I don't start until tomorrow. Dan's drew for his seat: Amazon Room Red, Table 16, Seat 7. They have the Amazon room broken in to quadrants I guess to make it easier to locate tables. I wish him the best of luck, and if I have any news to report I will try to post it via the phone. Hopefully, you can also follow Dan on Cardplayer's site as I'm sure he will be the Day 1A chip leader throughout most of the day and Cardplayer will have their own blog of significant hands and chip stacks on their site.

Dan and I were able to get some poker in yesterday, and I ended an 8-hour session down $90. I had initially started out very well, being ahead a little over $250 after about two hours. Then I lost my whole stack (except for $1...I had him covered) in a hand where my opponent rivered his 5-outer for two pair. That took me down $300 overall. After rebuying, I worked my stack up to a little over $850 (net +$250) over the next 5+ hours, when another 5-outer for two pair on the river took a bite out of my stack to leave me ending the session down $90. I felt I played well, and was making good decisions, just got a little unlucky in two larger pots. I plan to turn that around today as I build my stack up today.

I'll do my best to keep you up to date! Talk to you soon!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome to the 2008 WSOP!

Well, Dan and I are here! We've observed some of the $10K Pot Limit Hold 'em, and I got to spend some quality time with Jennifer Tilly. I happened to be next to her while she was registering for the same event as Dan and I. Unfortunately, it was after she had been knocked out of the $10K event. We talked for a couple minutes, and she was gracious enough to go over the details of the hand that knocked her out of the tournament.

Jennifer found herself a little light on chips after losing a large pot with pocket 8s in the hand prior. She was then dealt AQsuited, a player in late position had raised, and Jennifer thought the player was stealing so she reraised. The player then came over the top of that bet with another raise, and after Jennifer thought for a while and calculated that she was committed with her hand, she called with her remaining chips. Her opponent had pocket Jacks, and the flop was 8-9-T, with two of the suit that Jennifer had. Jennifer was pretty sure that she would have gotten it all in there anyway if she hadn't reraised preflop because of the gutshot straight draw, nut flush draw, and two overs. The turn gave her opponent the straight, and in poker cruelty, the river was what ended up being a meaningless Ace. She was knocked out, but she mentioned that she did outlast TJ Cloutier and Shannon Elizabeth. She may have mentioned something else about Shannon that I thought involved herself, Shannon, and me, but that may have just been me doing some daytime fantasizing at that point, too.

We discussed that a little bit, and she was telling me about some of the stuff she had done to prepare for Pot Limit poker because she hadn't played it before that event. We talked a couple more minutes, but I don't think she's leaving Phil for me...yet. We both drew a Sunday start date for Event #2, so maybe I'll get lucky and get another shot if we draw the same table. :>

...must focus on poker...must focus on poker...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I can't stand it! I need to be in Vegas...NOW!!

Well, we are within a day of arriving in Las Vegas for the 39th Annual World Series of Poker. Dan and I are scheduled to leave Milwaukee at 7am tomorrow and arrive in Vegas at 9am. That should give us plenty of time to drop our luggage at the Bellagio and get over to the Rio for opening ceremonies and to take in some of the eye candy that will be in the halls around the convention center. The opening event is a $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold 'em Championship. I won't be entering that event, in case you were wondering. Maybe next year. I plan to try and capture a photo or two of some pros at the tables and then make my way to the cash games that will be taking place.

For those interested, I have provided a link to view the structure of the event which Dan and I plan on participating, which is Event #2, a $1500 No-Limit Hold 'em event. There will be two starting days, so I don't know which day will be day 1 for either of us.

Based on the structure and that it's a got a two-day start for Day 1, my goal for the event is going to be to try and double up in starting chips by the end of Level 4, and then again by the end of Level 7. Play is supposed to be completed at the end of Level 10, and if I can double up one more time by then I would be happy as well. Obviously, I'll collect anybody's chips at anytime I can, but I feel that I will probably be able to "play comfortably" if I have a chip stack that equates to the amounts I stated by the time I reach those levels. Hopefully it will work out so well that counting my own stack won't be a high priority...wouldn't that be nice?

Also, I have figured out and have tested posting to the blog using my cell phone, so I may try to post some pictures that I capture with my cell phone and will also try to do updates when on breaks. The posts that come from the cell phone won't have any titles/headers, and may be brief and contain cell phone shorthand, but that's the best I can do until I actually get back in front of the computer and type up an "official" post. I will try to do that when that opportunity arises (Hopefully, not until play is completed on Day 1, and then again until play is completed on Days 2 & 3!). Talk to you soon, and hopefully I'll have some good news to report!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gambler, the Card Rack, and the Jersey

As I make my final preparations for the trip to the World Series of Poker there was, over the Memorial Day weekend, the sixth of seven Cream City Poker League Events. The event has been a popular event, having been hosted over Memorial Day weekend in years past at the same location. Pete and Angie do a great job with hosting the event, and the tournament went off without a hitch. There were 19 participants. As usual, the tournament got off to a slow start. There were only two rebuys in the first three levels when participants are permitted to rebuy once if their stack is lost to another player. We only had two tables, one consisting of nine players and the other of ten. It just so happened that the table of ten was the table that had both of the rebuys, so after the rebuy period was over the table of nine was beginning to run low on chips in relation to the blinds that have to increase during play.

I was fortunate enough to be at the table that started with ten players, and I didn't find myself in trouble early with my chip stack, so things were going pretty well. One of the players was accumulating a lot of chips and playing lots of pots. He had made trips early in one hand, and then flopped a straight in another hand. Also, he was playing lots of hands and not having to show down very many of those hands so it was hard to put him on what sorts of hands with which he was coming in to pots.

Because this was the last CCPL event before the WSOP I wore my Full Tilt football jersey. It has my name on the back along with my lucky number, #11. During the first break I ran in to Mark while grabbing a beverage and he and I started discussing a hand that he had played, and I explained how I would have played it at which he commented, “That’s why you’ve got a jersey…Hey, do you mind if I wear that when we go back in from break?” I thought it would be funny so I gave Mark my jersey to wear for the remainder of the tournament. It became even funnier because he commented to me that I would have to knock him out to get my own jersey back! More on that jersey later though.

After the rebuy period ended the table of ten was the first to lose players, and to keep tables even the table of ten actually had to pull one of the players from the table of nine away, taking more chips away from them. I was sitting somewhat comfortable in chips when I got involved in a pot with an all in short stack. I held AsQs and my opponent had a small pair. I lost that and it cost me about 1/3 of my stack. The blinds were starting to creep up, and with the blinds at 200/400, my stack at about 1900, and I was one off of the button, also known as the cutoff, I elected to raise with a pair of 2s in an effort to steal the blinds. I hate 2s because if you end up playing against someone with them you know that you are either in a coin flip/race situation, or you are way behind because everything is either an overcard or overpair. I only had to get past the button and the blinds, and I hadn’t been showing down ridiculous hands so I moved in. Well, the button (also the large stack), called immediately. The blinds folded and I was shown:

Kc Kd

which left me drawing pretty slim. As the flop was dealt a deuce appeared and I was spared momentarily. The rest of the board bricked out for the Kings, and I had doubled up through the chip leader!

Shortly after that I went on an incredible, albeit brief, run of great hands. With each table at 5 players and waiting for the final table to be set, I was dealt QQ and a player moved all in ahead of me. I called, and my Queens held up against my opponent's AJ. That set the final table, where I drew seat nine. I was then dealt the following hands: Hand #1 - Ace-Jack suited and a player called with Ace-Ten, Hand #2 - Ace-Queen and a player called with Ace-Jack, and Hand #3 - after a player had moved all in ahead of me I looked down and had Ace-King (my opponent had Ace-9). In all three instances I had more chips than my opponent and my hand held up. In an extremely short amount of time I had eliminated four players and moved in to the chip lead. When a player is getting an absurd amount of good starting hands they call that player a card rack, and I certainly was a human card rack for a while.

Since I was now the chip leader I could afford to sit back and let some of the smaller stacks take each other out of the tournament. Eventually we got down to the four people who would get paid: Rock, Mark (still wearing my jersey), Woody, and I. I went on another brief run and was able to knock out Rock and Mark. After Mark’s elimination he took off the jersey, but now Woody wanted to wear it for our heads up match! I guess the only way I could get it back was to win it back! :) Woody and I bounced back and forth for a brief amount of time, but then I got very lucky against him in the last hand of the tournament when my A8 went up against Woody’s A9, and I caught an 8 on the flop and river to make the winning hand and capture my second CCPL win this season. In all honesty, I think that whoever drew seat 9 for the final table probably would have won this tournament with the cards that I was getting. It was a nice way for me to finish in a tournament before heading to Vegas.

We played a cash game afterwards for a while, and Mark started up his blog. I hope that I can report what the link for that will be in my next post as I look forward to reading it!!

It’s only four more days until the World Series of Poker, baby!! Shuffle up and deal!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rolling up a Stake and Going to Vegas

We are now inside of the two-week mark before Dan and I leave for Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker! I’m getting very excited.

I was working this past week in Boston, and I spent the later portion of the evenings working on the bankroll for the Vegas trip playing on Full Tilt. It was a roller coaster week playing online, with me starting the week losing on several tables, then hitting on a bunch of tables, and then losing again at the end of the week. All in all, I ended pretty much where I started while playing those evenings.

The Red Sox were out of town so there was no chance to take in a game at Fenway, but I’ll post some pics here of the area around Fenway. I did make it over to “America’s Oldest Restaurant”, the Union Oyster House, which is set near Quincy Market on the Freedom Trail.

After returning from Boston, I had the opportunity to play in the Coldspring Club’s WSOP. The host of the event, Don, does an excellent job with this event. He even took the time to prepare an “economic stimulus” package for two of the participants that had travelled from a long ways off and were participating in the event. Very nice! All in all, 32 players got together to fight it out in that championship. I don’t know who won the event as I was knocked out somewhat early in the event when I lost a race with AQ against someone’s pair of 5s. That hand wasn’t really the killer, though. The killer was when I got greedy in a pot with a weak flush draw. In that hand I had 8-6suited. I had limped, and so had 4 other players, including a short stack. The short stack made a small raise that I knew would be called by all of the others so I called, too (Mistake #1). The flop brought:


After the flop the short stack moved all-in, which I was anticipating. With the flush draw on board I thought I would isolate against the all in player. I thought that by raising the bet would push any other weak hands out of the pot (Mistake #2). The action itself wasn’t the mistake; it was my thinking that it would push other weak hands out of the pot that was the mistake. What happened next was that the player to my immediate left reraised the raise I made. Everyone else folded back to me, and then I went in to the tank. At the very least I thought my opponent had a King, and since the King of spades was on the board that meant he couldn’t be on a flush draw. I really thought my opponent would be holding a hand like King-Queen (two pair) there to be reraising, so after calculating that I was getting 4.5 to 1 on the pot with my 2 to 1 draw for the flush I decided to call. The short stack turned over a pair of 8s, and the reraiser turned over As-Ts, for a gutshot straight draw and flush draw. I hadn’t anticipated that with his reraise. If I had thought he would make that move with spades, I would have had a clear fold since I now realized I was drawing only to a 6, and that was to win the side pot! (I also could hit the case 8 to win the side pot, too) I would need two runners for a straight or trip 6s to win the main pot. None of that happened, and I was left being the short stack. I doubled up once, and thought that I got my chips in good with the AQ, but my aggressive opponent had actually picked up a pocket pair when I got it all in that time.

I also had golf on Sunday, so I didn’t get much online poker over the weekend, and I’ve now cashed out completely from Full Tilt’s site as I eagerly await the arrival of those funds so that I can take that out to Vegas with me! There is a Cream City Poker League event coming up this weekend, so I will have one last chance to get some poker in before the World Series trip.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Crushing a Dreamcrusher

Only three more weeks until Dan and I make the trek to Vegas for the World Series of Poker. I’m so excited! I’ve been playing a lot more poker lately as I’m trying to build the last of my Vegas bankroll. I’ve also been talking with friends who have recently returned from Las Vegas, and they have had some pretty good stories about things that happened to them while out there, so I thought I’d share a couple here.

My friend Adam was heading out to Las Vegas for an extended weekend, leaving on a Saturday and returning on Tuesday. He had planned to get in to a poker tournament that had a buy in ranging from $300-$500. After his arrival on Saturday, he had stayed up all night and then found himself at Caesar’s when he decided to get in to a noon tournament that had a $550 buy-in. What he didn’t realize until after he was registered was that this was a World Series of Poker Circuit Event, and that the tournament would run over two days with Day One wrapping up approximately 14 hours from the start time. I certainly don’t think he would have registered for this considering his sleep situation if he had realized how long the tournament would last.

Upon taking his seat, he found himself at a table with Randy “Dreamcrusher” Jensen. If you are unaware of who he is, he is a pro that has been taped during the WSOP Main Event play reading a book on Day One. His reason for this is that he believes that he always screws up a hand during Day One, and that if he reads his book instead of playing his hands he’ll avoid this screw up. He’s also made a couple of WPT final tables, too. Well, very early in the tournament, Jensen and another player get involved with some action preflop and the flop comes: A-2-x. The unknown player gets all his chips in with Jensen at that point and they turn over hands. Jensen is holding 2-2 for a set of 2s, and the other player has A-K for top pair. The turn and river show up: K-K, giving the unknown player the pot and crippling Jensen. It’s also at this point that Jensen starts berating the player for his play. Based off the way the post-flop action happened, Jensen had kind of made it obvious that he could be a pair of anything. I think it’s pretty funny since he was initially happy to see the hand he was up against. After all, he was better than 98% to win when the chips all got in the middle, and you can’t ask for too much better than that.

As play continued, Jensen continued his ridiculing, and was able to accumulate some chips. He then got involved with my friend Adam and a couple other players in a pot. Adam was holding K-J when the flop hit the board: A-Q-T. Well, that would give Adam the nuts. Adam led out with a small bet and got a couple callers. The board didn’t pair on the turn and the straight was still the nuts when Jensen decided to get all his chips in the middle. Adam insta-calls, and the “Dreamcrusher” was given a rude awakening with his A-T and a path to the rail when his hand didn’t improve. Jensen questioned why Adam would lead out instead of trapping with a bet after that flop, but considering that Adam got Jensen to put all his chips in to the middle I think the answer was made pretty clear to probably everyone but Jensen.

Shortly after that Adam got involved in another pot holding Ks-Js. Some of the effects of his lack of sleep and the hangover were setting in as well. After the flop arrived:


his opponent moved all in. Adam went in to the think tank to think about his straight draw, flush draw, and overcard. Now, you can probably imagine what not having any sleep for the last 28 hours and being hung over can do to you while trying to think about something like this. Eventually, after some considerable time had passed he announces, “I’ve lost track of how many outs I have. I have to call.” I crack up just picturing how that came out! As it turned out his opponent had K9, and was even behind in the hand, so Adam didn’t need to improve. Adam won that hand, and found himself with a healthy stack of chips when another pro arrived at his table. This time it was Men “the Master” Nguyen. Men is a multiple Poker Player of the Year champion. You probably don’t want to see him at your table, and here he gets the seat to Adam’s immediate left. That is also probably a spot you don’t want him either because you’ll be betting in to him.

Adam correctly deduced that Men would try to steal from him a lot, and Adam was able to push Men around a little bit with some aggressive action with some trash hands. He even had Men muttering to himself after a blind v. blind battle where Adam had raised, gotten reraised, and then reraised back himself with a hand that let’s just say was definitely not in the “premium” category.

I’m sorry to report that Adam didn’t make it to the money in this event, but it would be hard to have not lost on the hand that Adam lost. Adam was dealt pocket Jacks, and after a J-8-x flop (Jack high, three suits), his opponent moved all in. Adam called, and his opponent tabled Ad-Kd. Well the board had a diamond, and the turn and river were also diamonds to give his opponent a flush. The only other way his opponent could have won would have been if the turn and river were Queen-Ten for the straight. That’s just an ugly way to get booted from a tournament.

I hope that I don’t find myself on that end of a bad beat when I’m playing at the World Series of Poker three weeks from now!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saturday's Lesson Has a Short ROI

I had to put this post up because this just happened last night while playing poker online, and the first thing I thought of was the scenario from Saturday’s CCPL event. In that hand I flopped trip Aces and found myself in 3rd place and paying someone off in a 3-way pot because I had played it wrong. Well, this hand has a similar feeling to it, but I managed to play it the way I should have played the hand from Saturday. To set the stage, this happens to be the very first hand I am playing of the evening. I sat down with $100 and waited to post. As you go through the hand history I will try to put what was going through my head. So here I am in the big blind:

Full Tilt Poker Game #6317448653: Table Lost Miner - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:11:46 ET - 2008/05/07
Seat 1: tommy_corn ($256.20)
Seat 2: rlatjsdo ($206)
Seat 3: jim16 ($161.30)
Seat 4: SikNast ($0), is sitting out
Seat 5: iluvemisa ($492.60)
Seat 6: CaptnGoose ($98)
Seat 7: Phantom Aces ($100)
Seat 8: dadpoker9 ($199), is sitting out
Seat 9: cptSlow ($231.25)
CaptnGoose posts the small blind of $1
Phantom Aces posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to Phantom Aces [As 5h]
- a moderate holding, I’ll either fold or check.
cptSlow calls $2
tommy_corn folds
rlatjsdo folds
jim16 calls $2
iluvemisa folds
CaptnGoose calls $1
Phantom Aces checks
whew, no raise!
*** FLOP *** [4s 3d Jh] not a great flop. I will definitely check and hope to see a turn
CaptnGoose checks
SqueezR sits down
Phantom Aces checks
cptSlow checks
jim16 checks
*** TURN *** [4s 3d Jh] [2h]
CaptnGoose checks
Phantom Aces has 15 seconds left to act
Phantom Aces bets $6
– rather than slowplay my hand I decide to bet a small amount
cptSlow calls $6
jim16 raises to $21
awesome! I was looking for someone to do this!
CaptnGoose has 15 seconds left to act
CaptnGoose raises to $50
OK…What the hell is going on?
Phantom Aces has 15 seconds left to act Looking at CaptnGoose’s stack, he’s just check-REraised and committed half his chips. He’s not folding, and he has to be strong. Either that, or this will be a great bluff. Also, jim16 is getting great odds to at the very least call CaptnGoose’s check reraise. I’ve only got $6 invested here, and although I don’t like folding here because I’ve got the 2nd nuts, it’s very possible that somebody limped with 5-6 here and I’m drawing to a 3-out chop, possibly worse if they have the 5h-6h.
Phantom Aces folds - One of you buttmunchers better have the 6-high straight!!
cptSlow has 15 seconds left to act
cptSlow folds
jim16 has 15 seconds left to act
jim16 raises to $100
CaptnGoose calls $46, and is all in
jim16 shows [5c 6s]
CaptnGoose shows [5d 6d] sweet again!
Uncalled bet of $4 returned to jim16
*** RIVER *** [4s 3d Jh 2h] [Kd]
jim16 shows a straight, Six high
CaptnGoose shows a straight, Six high
CaptnGoose ties for the pot ($104.50) with a straight, Six high
jim16 ties for the pot ($104.50) with a straight, Six high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $212 | Rake $3
Board: [4s 3d Jh 2h Kd]
Seat 3: jim16 showed [5c 6s] and won ($104.50) with a straight, Six high
Seat 6: CaptnGoose (small blind) showed [5d 6d] and won ($104.50) with a straight, Six high
Seat 7: Phantom Aces (big blind) folded on the Turn

It was nice to see that I was able to make good decisions here. Since one of the players had me covered had I either called or raised there, I would have ended up losing my whole stack to the player who had me covered. So the way I look at this hand was that I saved $92 by making that small bet on the turn and then learning what everyone else had. Had I checked on the turn, I don’t know if I could have gotten away from whatever action that may have happened after that because I probably would have been one of the raisers. Now, I'm still not happy about how I played my trip Aces on Saturday, but at least I was able to learn from that mistake.

OK. My next post will have those WSOP circuit stories that my friend told me about. See you at the tables!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Look Before You Leap!

This past Saturday was the 5th event of the Cream City Poker League’s second season. The league is a group of people that I’ve known for quite some time that enjoys playing poker. To be perfectly honest, the event really isn’t so much about poker as it is about getting everyone together on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean serious poker doesn’t take place though!

The commissioner of the league was unable to make it to the event due to a car problem that happened on his way over to the host’s home. The hosts of the event, Jeff and Jen, contacted me and requested that I bring my chips and asked if I would “run the show” for the evening, which I didn’t have a problem with at all. I’ve run tournaments in the past, and I think that probably played in to why I was asked. I found my tournament poker chips, and it was off to Jeff and Jen’s!

The tournament went fairly smooth. No one at the tournament was brand new to the game so I didn’t anticipate any serious issues, and there were none. I did have a few hands that I’ll talk about here. The first hand involved myself and two others. I had about 4000 in chips (we start with 2000) and was in the small blind with A5suited. The person two to my left (UTG) raised to 200 chips. Everyone else folded to the button, the button called, and I called. The flop was: A-A-6. This is where I made my first mistake in the hand. I checked, hoping to trap a player with my trip Aces. The player UTG also checked and the button went all in for 1585 chips! I hadn’t anticipated that. I thought that one of the other two players would only bet, not bet their whole stack. So now I started thinking things through. If the button had an Ace I was almost certain to be beat. Also, if the button had an Ace why bet so much? The bet didn’t make sense. Also, I had another player to act behind me yet. If the button was bluffing and the other player had the remaining Ace then I would certainly be caught after putting my chips in to the pot. Red flags were going off everywhere, but I was looking at my trip Aces and ignoring the gut. Also, I should have considered that I would still have 3800+ by folding instead of putting my chips at risk. All that, and I still called. The UTG player went all in, and I knew immediately what the button had: 6-6 for a full house. Also, I knew that the UTG player had the remaining Ace, so I was beat all around. The board bricked out for both of the trip Ace hands, and the button nearly tripled up with his full house.

What I should have done to avoid this situation was to probably lead out with a small bet. If I had done that, the UTG player would have either called or raised, the button would have then raised, and my decision to fold would have been a no-brainer at that point. There’s almost no real downside for me either by putting the small bet out there. If neither player has an Ace (or full house) I’ll win the pot right there with the small bet, and they are unlikely to improve enough to call anything anyway, or if they have the Ace (or better) like they did I find that information out and am able to get away from the hand. After analyzing that I realized how poorly I played it to get stuck like that. Nicely done, Mr. McKnight (the button).

I never really recovered from that as I never found a good hand to get my chips in to the pot. I did find a really bad spot to get them in, however; and that’s how this post got its title. I was very shortstacked and in the small blind, and had made the decision before the hand was dealt that I would move all in if no one was in the hand already. I then had to record that someone was knocked out of the tournament. I was marking down that someone had been knocked out on the ledger when the action got to me and I declared “all in!” Jen, the Squirrel, was in the big blind and folded her hand. I turned over my cards and showed the 8-2offsuit. What I wasn’t aware of was the fact that another player, Angie, had called earlier in the hand so the hand wasn’t exactly over yet. Well, it was too late to retract my bet since Jen had acted, and Angie called me with her Ace-King. The board didn’t help me and off to the rail I went! What a donkey play on my part!

The rest of the tournament went off without a hitch. There was one other exciting hand that took place right at the money bubble. With 5 players remaining, the action went as follows:

Rock (Under The Gun – UTG) - moves all in as a short stack

John - calls

Adam - raises All In – he has more chips than anyone

Mark - then goes in to the think tank. After making the declaration “In a tournament there’s one hand that you have to fold that you would normally not fold. I think this is that hand” he folded QQ. Actually, that’s probably some good advice.

Angie - folded

Action back to John because Rock is all in, and John calls.

The hands were:

Rock: 3-3 Adam: As-Ts John: Q-Q

So Mark and John were both dealt Queens in five-handed play! Well, the board came:

x-x-Ten-x-Ten (I don’t remember all the cards. Sue me.)

flopping a Ten and rivering a Ten to give Adam the hand and eliminate two players.

The tournament wrapped up with Adam knocking out Mark in 3rd and Angie in 2nd place. I did discover that I made another mistake as fill-in commissioner. I paid everything out to all the players instead of keeping the required amount for the Tournament of Champions! Oops! Maybe I’m not cut out for this “running tournaments” thing after all. Oh well.

I also found out that Jen has some nice pictures from the event posted on her blog, Pocket Full of Squirrels, and she recaps a little of the action there, too! One more thing, I didn't realize until today that I didn't have the "comments" configured correctly, so if you'd like to leave a comment now you should be able to do so. Prior to today only blogspot account holders could post comments. Check it out!

I’ve got some good stories from a friend who was out at the WSOP Circuit Event at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas for the next post! Only 25 days until the WSOP begins!! Woo-Hoo!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Time to get caught up

Wow, it’s been a long while since I’ve done these. I have run into a few people lately that have told me that they really have enjoyed the blog about poker, and asked when I’d be starting up again, so I guess that’s now. There have been lots of changes for me since the last posting. I’ve moved, and when I moved I wasn’t able to retain my Internet Service Provider. Due to that I was forced to transfer all of my Yahoo-related things to a new, free, email address that Yahoo was more than willing to provide. When I made that transfer though, the Yahoo 360° page didn’t transfer along with it, and now when I try to access that page I’m told that the email address no longer exists. That’s the reason most of the postings stopped. I’ve decided to start over here. I had most of the old postings, so if you’d like to get caught up on the World Series of Poker and other happenings all of those postings are here now. I hope you enjoy it!

I will try to put some posts that describe some of the events of 2007 and I’ll try to date those accordingly so be sure to look at the 2007 posts, but they probably won’t have as much detail as posts going forward.

Less than a Chip and a Chair

As the World Series of Poker draws near I am trying to get in to larger tournaments so I can practice maneuvering larger fields. It’s one thing to play in a tournament and do well, but if it only has 20-40 players, or even a couple hundred, that’s vastly different from trying to maneuver through a field of over 3000 players.

With that in mind I qualified for Full Tilt’s Sunday 750K tournament. The field in that tournament had 3626 players. The top 522 were going to make the money. You start the tournament with 3000 chips, and within 25 minutes I was down to my last 520 chips. Not good. I had KK, and when the flop was Q-5-2, the player that had pocket 5s was able to double through me. Luckily he had fewer chips than I did. It took me about an hour, but I was able to get back to the starting amount before the second break (they have a 5 minute break once an hour). I kept plugging away, and with about 775 players left I found myself involved in a big hand with one of the Full Tilt Poker Pros, Michael Craig.

If you are unfamiliar with Michael Craig, he is the author of The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King. It’s a book about a banker from Texas, Andy Beal, taking on a group of professional poker players in the richest heads up match played. He is also a co-author of the Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide.

The blinds were 200/400 and the antes were 50. In this hand I was in the small blind and Michael Craig was one off of the button (also known as the cutoff). Everyone had folded to him, and he raised to 1100. I noticed from his play here and from playing in another tournament with him that he likes to steal a lot, so when I had Kh-Th I thought I could reraise and he’d fold if he was stealing, so I repopped it to 3800. I had started the hand with about 16000 in chips. Michael called. This led me to believe he had a legitimate holding. It didn’t matter much once the flop hit though. The flop was: T-T-4. If Michael really did have a hand, I thought I could get him to put it all in if I put a bet out because a raise from there would basically commit all the chips. So I led out and bet about 4000. Michael moved all in, and I called immediately. As it turned out he was stealing, but he also hit. He had Jack-Ten! The turn card was a King, and that locked the hand up for me. Michael lost the hand, but he had me covered by 48 chips! That really sucked, since you collect your entry fee if you knock out a Full Tilt Poker Pro. It’s what happened next that was really amazing.

Michael had less than the amount of an ante at that point. Usually the smallest chip in play in a tournament is the size of the ante, but when you play online, you can have less than that since there is no need to eliminate chips from play. So officially, he had less than “a chip and a chair”. If you’re not familiar with that poker player mantra, it’s basically a poker player’s way of saying never give up. Over the next half hour he managed to work his stack back to over 20000 chips. Michael Craig keeps his own blog at Full Tilt, and he goes in to detail about the comeback here:

My screen name is Phantom Aces, so if you read Michael Craig’s blog at the link above he references me a couple times there. During his comeback I was conversing with Michael Craig using the chat function on Full Tilt’s tables, and he was explaining his reasoning in the hand to me. He had originally planned to resteal after the flop, depending on what the flop was. When it happened to give him trip Tens the plan was simple. Unfortunately, I also had trips with the bigger kicker.

I went on to cash in 145th place, which isn’t too shabby out of a field of 3626. Ironically enough, Michael Craig outlasted me, as he went from less than a chip and a chair and rode that all the way to about 65th place. Very impressive. I also need to thank Michael for the feedback he gave me.

I’m looking forward to trying to play in a couple larger tournaments. The WSOP is only a month away!!