But… that’s it for the good news. I cashed today. FINALLY. 0 for freakin 16, and I finally cashed tonight coming in 16th for $1274, good for a profit of $724. Pretty disappointing obviously, but it was an interesting tournament filled with good plays, interesting hands, a mistake, and a hilarious hand. Read on.
So these Venetian tournaments they’re running are called “Deep Stack” tourneys, and they sure start that way. Today 309 of us started with 10k, 40 min levels, and blinds at 25-50. However, in my humble opinion, they really screw the tournament up after the 1k/2k with 300 level. From there it goes 1500/3000/500, 2k/4k/500, 3k/6k/1k, 4k/8k/1k, 6k/12k/2k. In six levels the m goes from 6k to 36k, and during those levels they go hand for hand twice effectively cutting the hands played in two levels in half. It’s really frustrating playing a tourney when you have all the play in the world and it doesn’t matter, and then with 32 players left, 27 getting paid, the average stack is 5.1m’s. An easy solution to this problem would be dropping the antes down or adding a couple more levels, like 2500/5000/500 and 5k/10k/1k. Oh well… this ain’t the world series, but it could be structured better when the play actually matters.
Anyways, it was quite a roller coaster tournament for me. I started off in my usual manner, playing small ball and building my stack to 13k in the first two levels. In the third I got 3 outed in a 9200 chip pot, and went into the first break with 8300. Coming back from the break I shifted gears quickly as the antes came into play and re-built to 15k. We busted a few players, and then Andy sat down in the 6 seat. I was in the 8 seat. Andy had a few more chips than me, so I was glad that he was to my right. I had never seen the kid before, but he was young, so I assumed that he’d be aggressive and at least semi-decent. I was about half right. He was hyper-aggressive, raising about 7 of the first ten hands he played (also probably helped by some good cards), and he was an excellent player. Angst. I tried re-raising him a couple of times in spots where it looked like he was stealing, and he just came right over the top of me both times. Did he have a hand? Maybe. Did he know that I was weak? Probably. Honest to goodness after playing a couple of hours together, I can seriously say he is the best tournament player I have played against since the series. Well done Andy.
We went into the second break with me sitting at 8500 on the button, blinds 400/800/100. It was go time for me. Very first hand it folds to the cutoff, and I decide that I’m shoving blind if he folds. Nope. He shoves for about 10k. OK. Time to look. A A . Oh. I guess I call. And whadya know the SB decides to re-shove! I was up against the A K in the SB and the 7 7 in the cutoff. Flop A44, and I say, “I win.” Immediate triple up. NICE.
About two orbits later I bust a short stack, and another orbit later, with blinds at 6-12/2 (i think… maybe 4-8/1), Andy opens to 3200. I have about 30k. I look down at K K . NICE. No messing around here. I re-raise to 9k. It folds to Andy, and he calls. Flop Kxx all diamonds. Sweet. He checks, I shove, and he insta calls. He has the same black aces I tripled up with earlier. Ugh. What a cooler. The hand pretty much played itself and it was all going in no matter what, but I got pretty lucky there.
So now Devo has a ton of chips. With blinds at 6-12/200, a short stack goes all in for 8900 UTG. The player to my right with about 17k decides to just call for some reason. I look down at 55, think about for a little bit, and decide to call as well in late position. I had about 80k at this point. We see the flop 3 handed, 953 (zing!), and the other player shoves, I insta call, and he has 77.
NOTE: DON’T CALL HALF YOUR STACK WITH 77 VS A SHORTY. SHOVE.
So, In honor of Orel, I busted two more players with 55. Going into the third break I had 117,500, good for the chip lead, with one guy right behind and several in the 90 range.
After break I get moved to a new table pretty quickly, built up to 130ish, and this hand came up. I’m literally brand new to the table. I know one player, Harry from Canterbury, who is immediately to my left with about 60k. Blinds are 1500/3k/500. UTG opens to 6k, I have no read. Folds to the 9 seat (I’m in 10), and after much deliberation he shoves for 31,500. I have a stone cold read on this guy that he’s not strong. My range is 3/4 small-med pair, 1/4 two weak big cards. I look down at TT and want to isolate the weak player. I make it 60k. Oops… Harry calls behind, all in for 59k. I know he has me crushed. Folds to the UTG player, and he actually woke up with a hand. He convinced himself that I had KK however and mucked QQ face-up. He said he would mucked even if Harry was not in the pot, but him being there obviously made the decision easier. The weak player had AJ, Harry had KK, the flop was Q high (LOL), I never improved, and Harry scooped a nice pot. I thought about my decision a lot, and based on my read, my stack, and the accelerating structure, I made the right play and was just unfortunate to run into KK and possibly QQ.
Fast forward to the dinner break. I have 86,500, there are 32 players left, blinds are 3k/6k/1k, and the four stacks to my left are short to medium, only one having me covered. Average was 96.5k good for 5.1m’s. Retarded. During dinner I decide that I’m going to come out firing hoping to take advantage of the shorties to my left and the bubble play. First hand I pick up K 9 in the cutoff. It’s folded to me and I make it 18k (first mistake… shoulda been 15k). It folds to the big blind and he shoves. He was the shortest of the four. Long story short, it’s 46k more to me and I’m getting 2-1. If I fold I’m left with 68k. I’m playing for first, not 27th, so I decide to call, thinking that there’s a reasonable enough chance that I’m racing, a 60-40 dog, or at worst dominated and a 3-1 dog.
MISTAKE. Bad play. I didn’t have any solid reads, but this simple fact that this was the bubble and this player hadn’t exhibited any unnecessary gamble should have let me know that I was crushed. In the heat of the moment I forgot about this and stuck in the extra 46k and got crushed by AA. So retarded. If I make this laydown, I have a bunch of more chips later.
A few hands later I shove with A 3 , get called by the BB and double and a half up unimproved. Very next hand I shove with A J UTG, get called by AK, make trip jacks, and double+ up. Both hands I would have shoved with even if I had the extra 46k… so really we’re looking at about 90k extra I shoulda had. After the AJ hand I’m right back to 90k. I play through the blinds, and it’s folded to me on the button, same 3-6 blinds. I see Q J and raise to 16k. BB calls, 43k in the pot. Q43 flop, two diamonds, and he open shoves for about 60k. What the?!? I gotta be good here. I call. Nope. AQ. I lose, and am down to 11k with 28 players left.
Funny thing. Right before this hand, one table wanted to give 27th place money to 28th place. I immediately said no. There were three stacks with less than 15k out there! No shot. So, I turned into the bad guy, and next hand I’m down to 11k. LOL.
Two hands later I shove with K J for a monsterous 9k, am called by both blinds, and win unimproved. We play through, finally burst the bubble, and I have 19k. PHEW. Streak broken. I’m on the button. Oh, guess what? We’re re-drawing for seats. Oh goodie. I get put in the big blind. Proper.
1k ante, 4k-8k blinds now, and I have 10k left. I announce, “No bluffing me! I’m going all-in blind.” Cards get back in the air, a player opens to 30k early, and I stick in my 10k without looking. He says, “Oops. I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar.” He rolls over 84o. LOLOLOLOL! He missed even looking at my stack and did not hear my announcement. I actually had A T and get more chips. On the button I steal the blinds. Then, 7 handed I shove with A 8 UTG same orbit, and the player to my left re-shoves. Uh-oh. He has KK. 943 flop. I say, “How bout the deuce of spades?” Close. 5 turn. 6 river. I’m over 100k again. Pretty lucky….
We start playing hand for hand again, waste a bunch more time, and finally Linda Johnson busts 19th and we consolidate to two tables. With 16 left this hand comes up. A guy with about 220k opens to 45k, blinds 6-12/2. I see AKo, and shove, 59k more. Folds back to him, and he goes into the tank. Aparrently his hand was in the cookie jar too.
NOTE: IF YOUR HAND SUCKS, DON’T RAISE SO MUCH THAT YOU’RE COMMITTED TO CALLING!
I really wanted a fold here actually, figuring he had something along the lines of JT, but I figured that he was going to call eventually once he realized that he was getting better than 3-1. He did with QTo, JTx flop, and I never improved. GG me.
I’m pretty happy with my play overall. I made a decent mistake with the K9, got unfortunate in some spots, caught that sick AA and KK heater, got really lucky in several spots in the homestretch, and got pretty unlucky on the last hand. It’s kinda funny that if he had made a raise to 30-35k like he should have I might have still been playing, or if I win that hand then I’m above average again, but oh well… that’s tournament poker. It feels good to finally break the drought, even if it’s a small cash.
Thanks to Jim and Lara who sweated me most of the day, and to Lisa for stopping by at the bubble.
$340 Omaha 8 tomorrow. Fun! I think I may make it party day and drink many beers while playing. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Peace and good luck,