Thursday, June 03, 2010


And it feels like shizznit. I really can't even explain how I lasted nearly 6 hours in this thing, but I was never really in it, and I saw as few good situations as I have ever seen in a big event like this. It was just so many 92o's and Q4o's and 83s, etc., and the few times I was able to see the flop, I flopped top pair exactly one time. Over seven hours. So sweet.

So we started off WSOP Event #8 with 4500 in chips, and with over 2300 runners which really, really shocked me given the smaller size of these events in the recent past and since this was a mid-week Wednesday event near the beginning of the Series. I did not have anyone I knew at my table, but I know that fellow blogger Thomas Fuller was seated at the table right behind mine -- before I had a chance to stop by and introduce myself, my table broke (and then his) within the first half hour of play or so and I was whisked away to table 101 in the white section of the amazon room. I also saw Erick Lindgren at the table right next to mine, as well as a number of other recognizable pros along the way which is always one of the big highlights of coming out here during World Series time for me.

Anyways, we started with 4500 chips thanks to the recent "3x the buyin" rule at the WSOP, and as usual in these low buyin donkaments at the WSOP, the play at my starting table was truly frighteningly bad. I would equate it to the play in the nightly $26 mtts on the major online sites (for reals), and not even a shade better. Which makes sense since these events at the WSOP are basically the lowest possible buyin for anyone who wants to take a shot at the big time, which is sort of how I think of those nightly $26 mtts on full tilt or stars. It's the same quality of player for the most part, a least in the earlygoing before the fish start to get thinned out in the live events. Literally, on the second hand of the tournament, the guy to my left raised preflop and got called by the button, bet out on the TT8 flop and got called, bet out again on the raggy turn and got raised. The guy to my left thought and thought and then eventually smooth called for about half of his remaining stack. On the raggy river the guy to my left then inexplicably led out for the rest of his stack against the guy who had just called him on the flop and then raised him on the turn. The other guy agonized -- something most players in this tournament would not consider doing given his hand -- and then eventually called down and showed AT for the easy double with trips-top-kicker. What did the guy to my left have? Try to reason this one out for a minute given the above history and then skip down a bit for the answer.

A7s. Unimproved. This for $1500 on the second hand of a WSOP tournament against a guy who had called preflop, on the flop and even raised on the turn. I was completely flabbergasted, but like I said, does that not sound exactly like what you would see on the second hand of the 32k on full tilt? Anyways, so that shitforbrains had 75 in chips left after that hand, and then I had to sit and watch him win a hand allin with J5s and then another pot with Q3 and still another allin preflop with QQ all in the span of maybe 6 hands, getting him up to around 800 chips. Maybe 15 minutes in to the tournament, I picked up my first hand of the day with AQo in 2nd position and kicked it up to 150 from the 25-50 blinds. The asshat shorty to my left pushed allin on top for another 650, and given his stack size and the ridiculous hands he had shown down (other than the pocket Queens a few hands earlier), I had to call for another 500 into 875, figuring at worst I was racing if not likely ahead. Of course he showed pocket Queens again and I was down below 4000 almost before we started. So ghey, these tournament luckbox bitches, oh how I hate them so.

Right before my table broke I won my biggest hand of the entire day (sadly), when I called a preflop raise with QJs into a 4-way pot. The flop came QT4 with two diamonds, and it checked around, with me not wanting to bet into this draw-heavy board because two of the four players in there with me so far had shown themselves to be tight enough that I was at least afraid of KQ let alone something better to beat me. But when it checked around to me again after the offsuit 6 on the turn, I figured I was likely ahead -- I mean, who checks twice with KQ or AQ on a draw-heavy board like that, into a four-way pot no less? -- so I bet out for 450 chips into the roughly 650-chip pot. The player to my left -- a new guy, since the idiot from above had already busted after getting caught reraising allin preflop with K5o - raised me to 1200, causing the other two guys behind to fold, and leaving me to a tough decision. QJ as I noted above did not seem particularly strong to me on this board, but try as I might I just could not see this guy checking a big hand from last position into a 4-way pot on the flop, and I know that by checking the flop myself I had at least made it seem plausible that I was actually weak. I thought and thought, looked at the pot with close to 4000 chips in it, and looked at my remaining stack of around 2500 chips, and although I was not at all sure I was ahead, I ended up pushing allin in a spot where I was not even sure if I wanted a call or a fold. My opponent thought for a good long while and eventually folded, and as I scooped up around 6k in chips for my high of the day in this tournament, our table broke and I was on to a new set of flonkeys to figure out.

The rest of the first couple of hours was fairly uneventful for me, and by that I mean I stole a few pots, did not get dealt any good hands, and folded a few times after sinking some chips into the pot early. I ended the first break with 5550 in chips, up about a grand from the starting stack and in what I thought of as just-ok shape heading into Hour 3.

The two hours between the 1st and 2nd break were about as slow and crappy for me as it can ever get. It was as I mentioned above just an unbroken string of shitty cards with even shittier kickers, and I believe I saw a total of 4 flops over the entire two-hour span. Along the way I did manage to steal a couple of pots, two of them preflop on resteals with semi-playable hands KJs and T9s against loose-aggressive players, and in one case I did raise three preflop limpers with pocket Queens and got them all to fold for what was my only other semi-big pot of the night (also, sadly). However, after seeing so few playable cards over a few-hour span, I felt more or less compelled to c-bet the flop on the few times I managed to see one, and I managed to lose my c-bets into two of the four flops I did see when my opponent raised, or in one case when I actually had second pair with pocket 7s only to face a raise and then a reraise in front of me. Those preflop-raise-then-cbet-folds each hurt when you don't have a big stack, and by the end of an extremely boring and frustrating Hours 3 and 4, I was sitting on only around 4300 chips and getting down to near half of the average chipstack left in the tournament.

We started Hour 5 with blinds of 150-300, leaving me with only around 14 big blinds to start, and putting me in a precarious situation where I knew I had to try to make something happen for myself or risk becoming irrelevant even if I did double up. Unfortunately, the other players at Table White-101 were not down with my plan, and over the ensuing hour or so I ended up having to fold in the only three pots I played, one of which was a steal attempt by me with J8s on the button which I had to fold to a sizable raise from the big blind with the big stack, a guy who had barely played a hand in two hours of sitting with him and who I did not see raise any pot -- either preflop or post -- even once the entire time. The other two were ones where I raised preflop with TT and then had to eventually fold to a lead bet from my opponent on a lovely AKQ board (gotta love that!) and another where I c-bet a flop with A9o unimproved on an 864 rainbow board and again faced a raise from a big stack. Sure I could be ahead on a raggy board like it was, but I was not about to bust from the WSOP by calling down with A9 unimproved on a board where even a shitdonk with A6 would have me beat with a pair.

One thing that was a constant issue for me in this tournament -- and frankly, has been a lot for me of late, including once in the recent BBT5 Tournament of Champions and again in one of the MSOP events I played last week on full tilt -- was that I kept being severely punished because I know how to fold, in spots where most of the other fonks at the table would surely have called from behind in my situation. So, for example, one time I called a preflop raise from late position with my KQo, but then faced a large reraise from the big blind, and the original raiser in early position folded to me. Would you call there, for what amounted to about a third of your stack? If you said yes, then (a) you probably have a poker blog, and (b) you suck conch at this game. I folded, one other player behind me called, and we saw a flop of -- you guessed it -- 9TJ. The big stack at the table ended up winning the pot with the ass end of the straight when an 8 fell on the turn, which clearly would have meant mega chips for me. And what a fucking downer too, especially to an emotional guy like me, to make what I know is the clear correct poker play and then to be thrashed immediately for making that decision. That was during Hour 4. Again during Hour 5, I called a preflop raise with pocket 7s from the big blind against an utg raiser and a middle position caller. The flop came down 88K, I checked, the big blind surprised me by checking behind, and the MP player checked as well. The turn card was then a Ten, and when my opponent led out, I felt compelled to fold given the now two overcards on the board plus of course the chance that he could have had an 8. Again, aleady being short-stacked like I as almost all the way throughout this afternoon of play, I was not about to call down to the felt with what amounted to third pair on a board when I already had the guy pegged for a strong hand preflop, maybe a solid pocket pair or an AK/KQ type of hand. I felt I had to fold. Of course, the river brought a 7 and I would have nearly doubled up, with me again getting totally spizznanked for making the clearly right play in a hand where I would have been mostly allin when hopelessly behind if I had called. But again, especially being the emotional, tilty guy that I am, this happening for the second time in the span of maybe an hour in a tournament where otherwise I could get absolutely nothing going, I just grew more and more frustrated as the afternoon wore on.

As a result of all this fun, by the time Hour 6 began with blinds of 200-400, I was still sitting on a measly 4900 chips and obviously in dire straits to find a double-up or even just a race where I could have a chance to regain a relevant stack. I got just that chance when I open-raised preflop with A4s and got called by the big stack who had played at least 25% of the hands at our table over the previous two hours. There is a guy like this at every table a couple of hours in at every major live event I have ever played -- someone amasses a big stack early, and then they bully the table relentlessly for hours in making full use of the chip utility that big stack gives them, or bust out trying (I especially love it when that guy is me). Well, this was the guy who called my raise early in Hour 6, and with my stack being what it was, I knew I could not just lay down to his aggression once again. Luckily, I didn't have to be concerned as the flop came down A64, giving me the hidden two pairs and suddenly I found myself hoping that the big stack bully actually had a big hand. I pushed allin for only about the size of the pot, and the monkey instacalled with -- you guessed it -- the JackAce. Of course I barely had time to celebrate getting back into the tournament -- this double would have only gotten me back to just under average anyways at this point, but hey it's a start -- when a 6 natchy fell on the turn, counterfeiting my two pairs and giving the rest of my stack to the bully with the JackAce.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone eliminated me from a World Series of Poker tournament playing the JackAce like a fonkey. But for some reason the same shitmonkeys who play the JackAce also love love love to instacall with it -- the instacall is what makes the hand so invincible, in case you didn't know -- and in this case the guy clearly did not even consider that his unbeatable JackAce could be behind before pushing enough chips into the middle to put my tournament life on the line. So while I took a stoopid beat to get busted from this tournament, in the end, even winning that hand would not even have quite gotten me back to average, and I am left feeling very similarly to how I felt after my very first World Series, when I got short early and then Joe Hachem sucked out a 6-outer on me allin on the turn when he rivered his flush against my higher pair. I could not get a damn thing going in this event, I did not play well, and in the end I paid the price as a result.

So now this opens things up somewhat for the next couple of days. I will spend tonight looking over the WSOP schedule (I do not recall any good tournaments running on Thursday, but I will check) as well as considering what other daily tournaments or tournament series I might consider playing in tomorrow. Right now I will need to get over the negative feelings about how today went -- my not playing particularly well, never being able to get a damn thing going, and especially those two hands which would have got me off to a very nice stack early but instead were I chose to make the correct fold and then got instantly ass-smacked for it -- but I imagine I will be up for some more poker action in a few hours. I may head back down to the amazon room and try to win back some of that buyin at the 2-5 cash tables, or I may head over to MGM early and play some cash there instead while I await the first of my friends around 9pm tonight. Right now I'm gonna take some time and stew over today, just like I did last year after a poor poker performance the very night before recording my biggest-ever score in the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza. Failure tends to motivate me as much as anything else, as I really fucking hate to lose, and especially to play shitty poker doing it, so I am looking to do whatever I have to do tonight to get back into a winning frame of mind for when I will look to make a better tournament run on the morrow.

For the rest of tonight, it'll just be me enjoying being in Las Vegas in all its glory.

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Blogger BLAARGH! said...

that sucks hoy... better luck in the next one.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

And here I was pre-booking a ticket to Vegas to watch you at a final table ...


12:01 PM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Hey man, sorry I didn't say hello. I was planning to, and then the next thing I knew I turned around and your table was broken.

It's not easy to conjure chips out of thin air playing 10-handed poker with short stacks. I wouldn't take it hard. You obviously didn't have many hands. Why do you think you played poorly? Didn't seem like you made any mistakes. Do you feel like you should have made some more moves?

2:51 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Great recap. GL in any other events you play.

9:48 PM  

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