Venetian Deep Stack $340
The deep stacked looked like a great structure with 6,000 starting chips but during the tournament you notice when the antes kick in, it gets really shooty which I guess is expected, although this meant in the middle stages stealing the blinds and antes is crucial. I played pretty tight early on and got to a good start. There were about 650 runners but only the top 40 or 48 got paid, this was because at one time there was never more than 480 runners in the tournament as the other 270 were on the alternate list. This was our 2nd day in Vegas and clearly the poker fever was everywhere for there to be that many alternates.
I cannot remember to many hands but I did play very tight and played position more importantly. I got aggressive after I had worked out the table. I was looking really good until about 150 runners left when this one guy came to my table, who pretty much owned me! Everytime I entered the pot he would call or raise and then take me off the flop. He came to the table short stacked but doubled off another guy who bluffed him and then me and him had the most chips on the table. He raised in early position but he was raising every 3 to 4 hands, I was on the button with 44s and called, the flop came 3 5 Q, he bet and I called. The turn was an Ace and he checked to me. I thought for a while and fired a 2/3 pot bet. He thinks for a while and raises half my stack! Yikes! I had him covered by just a little bit but was not sure if I had fold equity here but there was still a chance I had the best hand. This was a make or break hand, yes I only have a pair of 4s but something was up, especially as he only bet half my stack and not the lot. I thought for a very long time and mucked.
I was left with 15xBB and it was push fold poker, I got it allin blind on 4/5 occasions which is my standard move in certain positions when it folds round to me. I then pick up my 1st legit hand for a while in Middle position and I had got my stack up enough that I could make a standard raise and not look like I am milking a hand. So I raise 2.5xBB and the BB asks me how much I have left (Sweeet!) but he ops to just call. The flop is Jack high with 2 spades and he insta shoves I insta call flipping my hand over and hoping to see a King of Spade but I have the K of clubs and a red K. He shows AJ no spade. So I am in good shape but the turn brings the Ace and I got out with 80 to go!
$1500 WSOP Event 49
Playing a WSOP bracelet event was definatley exiciting but after speaking to Jambon about the structure as he played this same event the week earlier I was going to have to accumulate some chips in the 4th and 5th level. There was 3200 runners making it the 4th largest tournament ever! I was certainly not expecting that many runners but that’s to rivercard.com I was free rolling in the event. I took some notes down after the tournament so I can talk about certain key hand accurately.
The first key hand I played was Q9, I had been raising a lot on the cut off and this guy in the BB got fed up. I made it 125 to go and he called, I flopped the straight! He fired out and I smooth called, the turn was a blank and I bet out, he called, He check folded the river and I was off to a nice start. I was raising this guys BB so much that when it folded round to me, he said. ‘oh I bet he raises’ so I did with 6-2off. The flop came 6 high that was good, he checked and I checked behind thinking I might get check raised here. The turn is a 2. He bets out and I call, the river completes the flush but its also a 6! He bets out and I over raise hoping he had a 6 to or maybe 77s or 88s, he mucks after giving a speech how I hit a flush! I smiled and we went on to the next hand.
The Table was pretty soft except one guy who was definitely related to the Tran family, JC Tran walked by and they shook hands, and other big pros nooded to him, so he was definitely going to be a problem on the table. He was very careful the way he played his button SB and BB, he was on my left so I knew I would have to play careful in the SB vs BB war but I fancy myself in that position. It then folds round to me in the SB and I limp with 77s he checks. The flop is K J 5, I check and he puts in a bet that he used on someone else that meant ‘I am betting in positon.’ We both started the hand as the chip leaders on the table with around 5/6k each. I call and the turn is an Ace. I check again and he bets out a larger bet. I decide to raise representing the QT or just an Ace which I know he does not have. He tanks for a while and calls, Yikes!!! Half my chips are in the middle! The river is a T, ok this is a very good card or a very bad card. If he had a Q to make the nuts I am screwed but it also makes it very hard for him to call me without the straight. But I had no real time to think as I wanted to show strength, I quickly fire out half my stack, he thinks for about 20 secs which felt like AGES!! And folds! Phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
I got my stack to about 8k and I get moved table. I did not play a hand for a full orbit then saw a few limpers limp on my button and I raise with 74, got one caller and I bet on all streets with a gutshot that missed! And he had top pair! I bluffed about 5k of my chips!! What was I doing!!! I should have shut down earlier on in the hand as I did not know the player very well! The next hand the table breaks!! I feel sick, playing so well then played one hand like a muppet!!
New table and I had work to do, with about 9 BB it was ALL in time! I shoved with 6d7d and got called by AK, I hit a 7 and double up. Then a few people limped and I found AT on cut off and shoved, no callers and that meant more and more chips! I then had enough chips to re raise and get people to fold which is always needed!
John Phan then sat down on m table! He was very lively and was showing off his great looking silver bracelet. However he lasted one hand! He sat down and someone raised his BB, he had AK and shoved and TTs held up!
I get on a little run and starting taking pots raising in late postion, it was just going right, for example I got a caller when I raised with 94, the flop was A 8 3 and I c/bet and it works! Its not great poker but it is great timing! Which is so crucial in tournaments like this with soooooo many runners! It was also announced that the top prize was $750,000!!! Hmmmm that could be useful!
I then win a coin flip for about a 12 BB pot and my stack was now something to use. I raise up with 3-5 and get raised! But the raise was almost a min raise, I felt I needed to call just to show I was not raising with nothing, also there is always a chance to get likely with a hand like 3-5, I mean I probably muck AJ and AT instantly. The flop is 7 5 2. I check and he bets out, I studied him and he did not look to comfortable and his bet was not very strong, so I set him allin!! He does not instant call which was nice and eventually mucks.
I then get my double, I know it tournaments like this the Allin move is sooooo important, I don’t think you can go the whole way with small pot poker or always betting less than the pot. The guy on my right raises and I mucked 99s earlier but decided to call this time with my 99s. The flop is T 8 6, he c/bets and I call, the turn is a 3 and he checks, I thought about firing here but decided I wanted to see a free card and was willing to fold if an Ace pealed off. The turn is a 7 and he checks again to me, I decided to use the Allin move here and I shove! He thinks for ages and asks me do you have a 9, I felt like saying No, but I kept quiet. He eventually calls with QT!!! I was feeling very good now!
There was this lady on my table who was a very strong player, she raised on the Cut off a fair few times which was my SB, she does so again but I pick up AK and then I shove her in, she thinks for a while and calls with TTs, which I thought was slightly weak, she was playing so well and I thinking getting all those chips in with TTs was a –EV move in terms of the tournament. I win the race and had a LOT of chips! Something like 48k, our table broke and I got moved to table 6, from 184 which meant I would be on this table a while!
Then everything went pear shaped again! I was raising more and won a lot of pots with no showdowns but then people started to shoved and I had to call as I was always getting more than 2 and a bit to 1. But they kept having AA and KKs!!!! I still had a good stack then this new played came on the table with over 100k in chips next to my 60k. There were about 400 left with 324 getting paid when he moved over. We played a few pots with him always having the best out of me! This seems to happen a lot, I get phased by a new player when I know the table so well! I need to maybe take a step back and pick on the weaker players in the future.Then lost a big pot with KJ vs KKs, opppps!! Then the bubble kicked in and I was down to 15 BB, the chip leader on our table raised every hand which was very smart! However there was one hand which I think he really misplayed, he raised like he had been doing. Then he gets re raised, and he sets the person in, who was clearly committed! The whole point of exploiting the bubble is to win the blinds and antes, knocking people out is –EV because once the bubble burst it will be harder to win uncontested pots. Oh well atleast he was lucky enough to be in that position to even make that mistake!
I get through the bubble and shove with KT on the button, A9 thinks for a while in the BB and calls, no help for me and I am out in 307th out of a 3200+ and cash in my first WSOP event!Thought I played well but there was definitely at time where I lsot concentration and tried to be a bit to clever! Think I might need to walk away from the table when I get that feeling next time. I also had 5% in Scott O Reilly who came 200thish
Will report on the other tournaments later otherwise the blog will get tooooooo long! But then again my loyal readers must be used to it by now! Hopefully these 2,000 words will keep you busy for the next couple days!