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Friday, May 18, 2012

Main Event Time in the Crescent City

Last night, I was hanging out with a couple buddies, and the conversation turned to the standard topic the night before the Main Event.

"How many entries do you think it'll get?" I quite confidently blurted out that I think it will get close to 600. That was met with surprise and shared disagreement. Then it dawned on me that the $1k drew 232. But then I also realized that they didn't have a 2nd entry time on that one. Nor had a lot of the 'big boys' who only show up for Main Events gotten into town yet.

So, as I sit here banging out this entry, I've looked at the live updates and they are nearing 400 entries. In the 12pm start. Coming up at will have all of those (like me) who have opted for a later start...coupled with those who lost at noon and want to fire a second bullet. So my prediction of 600 looks pretty safe. It might even go over that. I think we are looking at the largest WSOP-C Main Event field ever in New Orleans. If ever there was a time for me to make a Final Table...this would be the event.

I've had a pretty rough event. There is no denying it. I've won 5 out of 16 SNG's...which sounds pretty good, except that I started out 3 for 4. I had another one of those runs where I was getting rivered with 3 or 4 players left..and 2 winners. I could easily have won 8 or 9 out of 16...which would be pretty solid. I did play one cash session, where I was in for $300 and out with $1250 in only two hours.

But if we talk about tourneys? Oh my gosh. I have literally NOT CASHED a single event all week. No noon tourneys. No nightly's. No Megas. Nothing. In the 1k...I started good...and then doubled up fully with 77 when I flopped a set against a guy with KK. I was at about 34k when I made a critical play that would turn the tide for me. At 75/150...a guy raised to 4 callers, and I flatted with KQ in the big blind. I held the K of spades. The flop came A-4-2....all spades. Wow. Nut flush draw. I checked to the min raisers...who bet 2500. Whoa! The guy in the SB...who was an OMRG...and pretty loose...calls the 2500. 

I now had a major decision to make. Fold and just preserve my top stack at the table and turn my back on a chance to win a HUGE pot...and cruise to the dinner break? Or get involved and take a shot to win that massive pot? One thing that came into play: the dealer was Vicky. She doesn't do much right for me. And in SNG's the past couple nights she had been torturing me...and then fumbling the action after the hand was decided...botching was really irritating. I tried to put that out of my mind. 

I wasn't just going to flat for 2500. Although maybe I should have. The first guy...I figured he just had like AJ with no spade...and decided to overbet the shit out of it to take it down...not expecting the OMRG in the BB to be sitting there with a made flush (3-6). So I knew I could raise him off the hand. And raising to something like 6k...with OMRG holding 22k...was just going to give him enough leverage to shove all in against me, forcing me to have to call and pray. So I figured, if I was going to play this hand at all...the right thing to do, since I had all of them covered, was to move in. So I moved in.

Initial raiser folds, like I thought he would. But the second guy...after realizing that my raise had him covered...started finally showing some hesitation. And I was pretty sure he was about to fold...and I was about to go to over 40k. But then he calls. Vicky failed to provide another spade. Then after the hand was over she tried to ship the guy my WHOLE STACK! And this happened while I was off doing a lap to calm myself down. Fortunately Shawn the floor guy moved in when he saw what she was doing and corrected the issue. It left me with about 11k. 

I never really recovered. We would come back from break and I would get 10-10 twice, losing both times. I would get KK, limp...get a raiser, re-raise...and end up winning a decent pot. I would enter a 5-way raised pot with 33...get a free turn, which brought me a 3...and won another nice pot. I was up and down between 5500 and 15,000 for about 4 hours. I got put into spots that were brutal, having to fold trip tens on a hand where I was 97% positive that the other guy either had a better ten...or a small set that turned into a boat. He assured me I made a great fold, and I guess I believe him. It was just a very frustrating day. The last big blow was when this dork raised in early position with A10...and I should have re-popped him with AQ at cutoff...but I think we all feel the same about AQ. Most of us anyway.

I flatted. The flop came A-10-Q. He checked. I bet. He called. The turn was a 7. He bets now. Unbeknownst to me...this pickle head was hiding a gray ($5k) chip behind his stack. My plan had been to coerce him into stacking off with a min raise if he fired out on the turn, thinking he only had 4500 remaining. So when he led for 2250, I raised him to 5800. He says "All in" and out comes this gray chip from hiding. WTF!??? Whatever, I wasn't folding anyway...just thought I was, get the picture. It suddenly became around 9500 instead. So when he cockily turned over his two pair...that were no good, I was happy to show him my two better pair...until the dealer gave him a fucking 10 on the river. 

Then that all-too-familiar feeling of being kicked in the gut showed up. Holy shit. Why? I was supposed to come over here, after the birth of Carley...and run like the wind, wasn't I? It's just been one humbling beat after another, all week. I was left with very few chips...which I got in a couple hands later with Q10d. I ran smack into 10-10. However, I flopped a flush! Still had a prayer. Cancel the prayer. I would get JJ in the small blind...and with action folded around to us...raised the big blind, who put me all in with AJ. He hit the ace...right on the flop. And I was out. I think that event was eventually won by Jacob 'Nocko' Naquin....a really good guy and a New Orleans local. I'm glad that someone cool won, at least.

I really have no desire to share all the other humbling and deflating beats this week. It really doesn't matter that much. It's just been a really brutal week of poker at a time in my life when I really need to be running good. I guess the one good thing that has been going on this week is that three of the nights, I've been able to get in my home and see my baby Carley. She is really incredible. And everyone was right when they told me I would discover a new kind of love. Also, my mother is here visiting from Seattle, so I really wanted to be able to spend a little time with her and not just be in New Orleans the whole time. She has a great relationship with Squirrel she has been in great hands.

I managed to play almost all the events. Much to my (and my backer's) chagrin. I think the only one running as poorly as me all week, has been my backer! Well, yesterday I decided to spend the afternoon with my family, and just come over at 5pm and take one shot in the mega. So I played the $355 at 5pm. I started out great. Got my 6k up to 14k and was cruising along pretty well. Then I made a read against this guy who was not a good player, and who was extremely erratic. I won't go too much into detail. Other than to say I raised with AK....had him re-raise me...which I called...then watched him check a flop of 2-3-5. The turn was a 6...and now he bets. But his bet left enough to cause him to fold if he had just fired with air. So it got me to thinking he was the kind of player who could easily have been re-raising me with AQ. Or, it was possible we had the same hand...AK. There was so much in the pot now, that I didn't want to surrender it to him. But I also didn't want to flat his bet. I thought there was a chance I could make him fold.

So I gunned it, moving all in on the guy. He tanks...ah ha! I got him! Caught him bluffing, right!?? "I guess I'm out...I call." Huh? And he turns over KK!!!! What the fuck!???  Yeah...your out buddy. Weird. And no ace or 4 would hit the river, and  now I had managed to fall to 2200. I would work my way back up to 9200...and were now 10 away from a seat. I might just pull this off after all. Nope. Forget it. Raised with JJ. Called by 8's. Flop comes 9-8-2. You know the rest of that story. Shit. And was too late to get into the 8pm. So I played the 9pm nightly. Joke. Lasted a while...but not long enough. in my car and drove home to Biloxi.

Before I did that though, I presented my backer with a listing of all that I had played, and where our balance was. Told him if he wanted to bail on me for the Main Event I TOTALLY would understand. What he did instead kind of shocked me. I had already contacted my buddy and asked if he had any interest in putting me in the Main, and he said sure. So at least I knew I would be playing for SOMEone. But when I showed this to my guy...he just flat out told me I was playing for him! And handed me buy in chips! Told me I could play at either 12pm or 7pm. 

That put me in a great mood. I mean...backing is a tough gig. I've done some of it myself, and its hard to keep giving money to someone who is running bad. So when someone believes in your ability enough to keep trying, it really really makes you (or me at least) want to give 100% effort to bring about a promising outcome. So when I lose, it really hurts. More so than if I was playing on my own nickel. I just hate to disappoint people. I have a odd feeling that this may have come from playing sports as a kid. When my parents or even friends were in the stands, I always felt pressure to succeed, and when I didn't, was pissed with myself. If we had a game, and there was no one there...and I sucked it up, I was never as upset. Is that normal? 

So I let my buddy know that I was in. He even proposed that I play at noon...and if things ended badly, he would be willing to pay my second bullet at 7pm if my other guy wasn't. With already 420 entered (as I just looked) and 600-700 now a real would NOT have been a bad idea to go with that strategy. But sometimes in life you have to look at what is most important. My Mom took a week off of work to come down and be with us...and I've been over there almost all week. She has to leave Saturday morning. So I thought it was more important to (a) get a good night sleep so I would be fresh and be as sharp as possible (b) go home and see my baby, my wife and my mom. 

The other thing...I really like playing the late session a lot better. For a variety of reasons. For one, I always feel like I play better later in the day. I am just kind of a night person. From noon til 4pm I'm always still kind of clearing the fog from my brain. In these Main Events with two starting get a lot of the big pros and guys with deep pockets who will play that first session very wide open and aggressive...knowing that if they lose, they can re-load and fire again at 7pm. And typically, when they come back at 7pm...they play a lot tighter and less aggressive. For a lot of reasons. One being that they are now in for $3200. Another being that now they can see just how much they are playing for..and on this occasion its going to be around $300k probably. Enough of an incentive to NOT play like a stupid asshole. And they no longer have the 'mulligan option.'

So, as I was discussing with some people this morning...yes, you can find yourself in one of those situations with one of those players who are willing to go broke, and maybe get lucky and scoop up some copious amounts of chips on the way to bagging up a hefty sum heading into Day 2. But on the flip side of can also get caught in the crossfire of one of those 'chip wars' and end up taking a horrendous beats and being left broke and trying to get back in for a 2nd shot at 7pm. I guess the RIGHT PLAY would be to always play at noon...and try to chip up...and be willing to play again at 7pm. But with my circumstances being what they are...I have no problem doing it this way. 

I'm going to do another blog right after THIS one...sort of a 'sights and sounds' from New well as some fun/exciting news to share. So...I think I will post this one second so it comes out on the top of the page!



~Coach said...

Good luck - hope you CRUSH IT!

Anonymous said...

If someone does not buy your wsop package are you still gonna head to vegas and play. What if someone was willing to chip in $2500-$5000 to buy a piece are you selling shares or just the whole package?