Well, I might of waited too long to start this blog, but at least I'm starting it now. I'm tired of telling people things who could care less what I'm saying so at least here I can type it out and if someone cares then they can read what I write. If you don't care, don't read. =)
I'm about halfway through my third World Series of Poker and its not going too great. Hopefully this blog will help ease my tension in the search of a big win and I can release some of my frustration through written words. Toady's event was another $1500 NL crap shoot. These tournaments you only start off with 3k in chips and basically if you play one big pot early you are out. I have been playing pretty tight in these events but today I decided to play super tight, and it worked out to my benefit.
I arrived to the table about 20 minutes after the tournament started because I registered late. When I sat down I had just missed the big blind as the hand was being dealt, so I had to wait an orbit until the big blind to actually start playing. I folded probably the first two or three orbits because I basically had no hands to play or any spots to try to pick up the blinds. A couple of the guys at the table were talking about how tight I was since I had to wait an orbit to play then folded for a couple orbits. That's always a good thing when I can get the table to think I'm tight. I think people automatically look at me and think I'm a young, bluffing punk; Which I might as well be =)
The table was ridiculous. The guy to my right played every hand. The word "Call" rang in my hear hand after hand as it was the same high pitched screech every hand he entered. Some of the other guys at the table were betting 1500 into 700 chip pots, moving all in in the dark out of position without the nuts/nut redraw when they could still lose on the river, min raising with Aces, and re-raising with deuces. It was a pretty good table to start at and the players were dropping and the chips were being moved around. I knew once I could get some hands I would be able to take advantage of the table and my image.
The first hand I played I raised deuces from the hijack. I made it 250 at 50/100 and everyone folded. It was the first hand I had played in about an hour. I folded another orbit or two and a European player was moved to my right with chips. He proceeded to bluff them off in a small blind vs big blind pot where he tried to represent a turned straight and had to muck to the small blinds all in after a check raise on the turn. He then shoved his last 700 in vs a raise and a call and the first raiser isolated with AJ vs the Europeans Q8cc. The turn brought an 8 and he doubled up to about 1400. I am now under the gun and I look down at red queens, finally my first real hand. I raise to 300. The cutoff calls 300 and then the European player in the big blind instantly moves in for about 1100. I instantly re-shove all in for about 2600 and the cutoff folds. He flips over AJ to my QQ and the board runs out T78K2. He got a couple extra outs but luckily I dodged them to move up to about 4200 or so. Three hands later there is a limper in early position for 100, an active player makes it 450 three off the button, and I look down at AKhh on the button. I decide my best play is just to move in for around 4200 instead of re-raising, as this player sometimes would call re-raises with marginal hands. The first limper thought for about a minute or two before deciding to fold and the raiser instantly mucked. I saw the first limper and the guy next to him discussing that he probably should of called. Maybe he limped with JJ or AQ but it would be horrible for him to limp call with either of those hands for his tournament. Who knows what he held, probably something like AQ or maybe even 88-JJ. I'll never know with these guys. At the first break my stack was up to 4800, going into 100-200.
I had created a great table image I thought, only playing three hands in the first two levels with QQ being my only showdown/flop. When I got back to my table from break we were being moved to the amazon room (we started in the Brasilia room.) I was glad to see I would still have my same table for a while longer. We all bagged up our chips, handed them to the dealer and followed him to Amazon Green, Table 4. The second hand after being moved to the new room I look down at AQhh and raise it to 550. The cutoff, a tight, predictable player called my raise and the button thought before mucking. The flop came 336dd and I fired out 800. He thought about it for almost two minutes and decided to call. I figured he either had a weak pair here or a diamond draw. With my image I figured I could get him off either of these hands on the turn. The turn was great, it was another 3. I fired out 1450 and he instantly mucked and said "nice hand." At this point I realize the table is becoming more aware of my play. I think people get aggravated and annoyed when they see someone winning pots without showdowns so I made a mental note they might come after me more. It folds around to me on the button, with A2cc I make it 550 and the blinds fold. I made sure that I wasn't opening too many pots yet because I wanted to keep my tight image for when the antes kicked in so I could really turn it up on these guys.
So... so far I've played exactly five hands with only one showdown and I'm up to about 6500. I'm in the big blind and this aggressive, active Asian player makes it 650 to go 3 off the button. I have KJhh in the big blind and figure its a good time to see a flop with this guy, even out of position. The flop comes AdTh5c and I check to him while he thinks for a little and bets 800. He seemed pretty strong in his body language but his bet is pretty weak. I decided to see what developed on the turn and if I do peel off my Q I can probably stack him. I throw in the 800 call and the turn comes off the Qd, beautiful. I check to him again and he fires out 1800 pretty quickly. I have about 5k total left and he has about 5500 or 6k. I ask him if he has me covered and he counts out his chips, and I count out mine. I put the 1800 aside and I have 3200 left. I think about it for a minute or so after counting my chips and I announce all in. He instantly calls and asks me if I have the straight. I told him I had the nuts, and he flips over ATss. A perfect chance to double up. I hear one of the guys at the table say "He's drawing dead." I wouldn't expect anything else out of the mouths of the players in the 1500 NL. The river comes the Ac and I'm sent home to a nasty beat for a ~13k pot. Rough life this poker is.
Those were the six hands I played today and I feel like I played every hand to perfection. If I can continue to play this well I know I am bound to hit for a big score sooner or later. Hopefully I can stay focused and keep my composure and come through in the end, since the series is coming to an end. I will try to update this blog everyday with mostly poker content and maybe some real life content. I'm off to the gym now to workout as I've been doing about everyday out here trying to stay in shape.
-Tristan "Cre8ive" Wade