Friday, July 11, 2008

I Can't Close. 80th Place At Caesar's...

I'm writing this post as the sun is rising from my bedroom back in South Florida. It's good to be home but its disappointing that I didn't win any tournaments while I was out in Vegas. Being out there for the WSOP and other tournaments which have big prize pools and big money to be won is exciting because there aren't many other places in the world where you can win money like that. It's hard to find live tournaments that offer 100k+ to first place. Oh well. Let me first start off this blog by talking about Day 2 of the Caesar's tournament.

Like you guys know I started Day 2 with 70k above average chips with 180k going into 2k/4k 500a. We all had new tables and my table seemed pretty good. The chip leader was two to my right and nobody looked like they would be trying to mix it up too quickly. I folded for about two orbits until the guy in second position looked like he was going to fold his hand for a while then decided to make it 12k. It folded around to me in the big blind and I looked down at A6dd. Normally this is a fold all day until I die, but like I have said in previous posts, I like to go with my reads and I decided to make it 42k. I am priced in to call his all in at this point because he has about 65k-70k behind. He thinks for a couple seconds and mucks.

A couple hands later the chip leader raises in late position and I'm one off the button and reraise his 11k raise to 33k with QKo. He thinks about it for a minute and makes it 105k and I muck. I decided to raise the chip leader because 1) He was a tight player, he wasn't one of those chip leaders who was going to mess around and mix it up. He just played ABC poker basically. 2) I thought I had a read on him when he was raising that he didn't really like his hand. Guess I was wrong. He said he had QQ which I believe and I kind of kicked myself after for not just seeing a flop in position, so that was my mistake.

I got moved to a new table and the blinds are now at 3k/6k. After about 4 hands I am dealt AQo in the sb and the cutoff makes it 20k. I have 140k and shove all in for 120k more. Although I am new to the table I just have to assume given the position of the raiser and my stack this is an easy shove. He mucks. The very next hand the table chip leader with about 400k-500k raises in mid/late position and I have AKdd on the button and shove for 150k more. I think the second shove looks weaker because the first guy was saying I didn't have anything, blah blah. The chip leader thinks for a little bit and then says 150k is too much to gamble and folds AKo face up. Wow, what a great table you're at when the chip leader is mucking AK preflop =)

I end up shoving on the button's raise of 14k (he has 80k behind) at 3k/6k from the big blind with A4o. He tanks it for a while saying he has a "real hand raising the button" although I know this player from the day before and know his 14k raise is garbage. He shows K9hh saying if it wasn't me he would call, lol. So apparently our history of playing the day before got me the tough K9hh laydown!

I finally pick up a monster when I look down at KK under the gun. I have been pretty tight and haven't lost a pot yet at the new table. The table is pretty tight as well and nobody is getting too out of line. The guy to my right (in the big blind) is the most active player at the table but he has shown some hands. I raise it to 21k at 4k/8k UTG and the bb calls. The flop comes Q93 rainbow and I bet 27k, praying he has QJ or even better QK. He mucks. I almost checked this flop to get action on the turn because I don't think he needs a strong hand to call my raise from the big blind for 13k more. I think hes in there with almost any two decent cards and he might fire the turn if I check.

Two hands later a player limps, I'm in the big blind with 8d4s and we see a flop of J23ss. We all check the flop and the turn comes the Ts. I decide this is a good pot for me to stab at and bet 13k on the turn into the two players. The first limper calls and the small blind folds. The river is the Th. At this point I'm pretty confident the limper wanted to see another spade fall on the river, and I don't feel like he can have much here. I think he bets the flop with any piece and the only real hand I'm worried about is some random T. I bet 25k on the river and he instantly mucks. Phew. This pot was a pretty nice takedown although it was a small pot.

I don't pick up absolutely any hands. I have a couple bad spots where I have ATo on the button and the CL is raising late position and it's a bad spot for me to move in on him considering he has had some hands and hes raising it pretty big preflop. I also muck QK to him one time when I could of shoved, but I gave him respect as he wasn't too active and his raises priced him in. I get down to about 100k at 8k/16k 2k ante and shove J9ss next to the cutoff. The button reshoves and turns over AsKh. The board runs out AQKddd2d6d giving us both a flush and we chop the pot.

I fold a couple more orbits and the blinds are really eating me alive. Taking 44k from my stack an orbit. I just need an unopened pot so I can shove my chips in and hopefully take the blinds and antes. It folds around to me in the hijack and I shove 85o for 91k total. The big blind has about 200k and calls instantly with A6 and I see my way to the payout table after a AK2A8 board. I received about $1500 for my cash in 80th place.

It appears like I keep getting deep in some of these tournaments but just cant seem to get on the rush or get deeper. I don't know if I have some issues in my game in the later stages or what.

ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT MY TIME IN VEGAS FOR THE 6 WEEKS is that I NEVER COOLERED ANYONE ALL IN PREFLOP! I never once got it in AA vs AK or AA vs KK, KK vs QQ or anything like that all in preflop in any tournament I played in. I think this statistic is pretty ridiculous and I don't really know what to say about it. The only time I was ever all in preflop with aces the whole time I was in Vegas was the main event where I got it all in preflop AA vs .... AA! When you think of tournament poker and you are not getting in big pots with your big hands, I really think its almost impossible to win a tournament. Maybe I'm doing everything I need to do I just need some more things to go my way, or maybe I need to pick some more spots where I shove lighter over raises when my stack is getting lower or something. I will definitely be thinking my late tournament strategy play over and trying to come up with some answers.

After I finished the Caesar's tournament, which was supposed to be my last tournament in Vegas, my buddy Steve convinced me to come to the Bellagio and play the Mega Satellite to win a seat to the Bellagio Cup 15k entry tournament. He said it started at 7pm and when I arrived around 6:50pm he told me it didn't start til 10pm. I hung around, talked to one of the dealers who was interested in becoming a full time poker player. She lives in France but comes back and forth to the U.S. and she had a bunch of questions about being an Internet/poker professional. She was very interested and she feels like it is her time to try to make a living off poker. Good luck to you! She was a nice lady and she helped me kill about an hour while I was waiting to play in a $350 SNG to win a seat to the Mega.

The SNG was probably one of the softest SNG's I've ever played in my life. Some of the players had absolutely no clue about SNG strategy and I got pretty unlucky and lost the SNG to some idiot. From then on I bought into the $1600 Mega. It had about 80 players and my table was unbelievable.

When I sat down at my table I think 4 of the players were drinking alcohol, and it was just madness. In the 50/100 level a player to my right (who said he won a million dollars in a tournament -- who was a complete monkey) was calling 4k allins with A5 on QT5 boards vs QK and hitting two pair on the river. Then he would double someone else up the next hand and just shove in 2k-3k preflop. He shoved in AJ after a raise and a call and the initial raiser called off with KJ. This table was just absolutely bonkers. I ended up getting it in with KJdd on a K74dd board when one player led for 275, one of the monkeys made it 1700, and I shoved my 4k stack over his raise. The first bettor had 77 and the monkey folded 56o he said, which he would of won. I rivered a J but I needed a flush and I lost a huge pot at 50/100 that would of definitely pushed me into contention for the seat. After all of this I went home and prepared to head back to Florida.

I want to thank Steve "The Sleeze" for helping me out when we were leaving Vegas. He found a great cheap flight the night before we were leaving and helped me return my rental car and get everything else situated. When I was returning my rental car the lady inspected the car and said "Tristan what is this?" While she was back near the trunk. Now I stayed in a gated community and parked my car in a garage attached to my condo every night, and didn't get in an accident or anything the whole summer. I am very good keeping things in good condition, especially if they aren't mine, so my heart jumped a bit when I started to walk to the rear of the car.

I looked at the trunk and etched in the back of the car was "PANTIES OFF!!!" Someone keyed my rental car. What the hell? I flipped instantly. I was very upset. I cant believe someone would vandalize a car like that. The biggest thing that bothers me was that this company allowed me to rent a car from them without giving me a daily surcharge fee (For being under 25 which is normally like $25 dollars A DAY.) The company gave me a break when I was renting the car and saved me a ton of money and now I return it with damage. I wish I would of spotted it on my own so I could of called and told them myself, but I genuinely had no clue it happened. Now I have to pay for some idiot's pleasure. I hope whoever keyed my car gets what they deserve since I can't be the one to do that for them. Karma, please take care of that for me.

Here's a picture of it. It's hard to see from the reflection of the sun...

After I returned the rental car and that drama ended, I couldn't wait to get out of Vegas. Me and Steve got to the airport about 45 minutes before our flight was leaving but there was literally nobody waiting to go through security and we made it well before we started to board. When we booked our flight we both got row 4, him getting the window seat, me the aisle, and the middle seat was not booked. The guy at the airport told us it was still not booked. When we were sitting on the plane we had to sweat every passenger that walked by for about 30 minutes, waiting to see if they were going to sit down in the seat. Lucky for us, we run good at anything non poker related and nobody had purchased the seat!

About an hour or so into the flight I am sleeping and some moron jumps over me and asks Steve if anyone is sitting there. Steve says "No." (???????????????????) and the guy proceeds to sit down. What the hell Steve? You are supposed to say we bought the damn seat for extra room so nobody sits there! The guy sits down and I immediately hear some beeping. I am not stereotyping here lol, but this guy was either some Latin Origin or Middle Eastern and all of a sudden I hear this beeping. I can't say thoughts of suicide bombings didn't run through my mind. Haha just kidding. It was just a weird coincidence I suppose. (Him moving to our seat, then the random beeping from the row behind me or somewhere, and the mystery behind the guy who came.) This guy is obviously rude and taking up all the elbow room and his shoulders and my shoulders are touching. He jumped over two elderly people who were in the aisle about to go to the bathroom to get into the seat. My blood is boiling at this point and I'm about to flip on this guy. I wouldn't mind if someone had a reason to try to come into the seat. It's not like it's my seat, so I can't really say I should have rights over it over someone else who bought a ticket on the flight, but to move from your old seat to sit in between two people is pretty weird.

So instead of me flipping out on this guy asking him why the hell he is sitting here, I decide to make him uncomfortable so he cant sleep and I start talking really loud to Steve. He finally gets the hint and we start conversing, passing shit over this guy, I keep nudging this guy (really when he sat down I became so uncomfortable. The guy just made it seem like he was going to take the territory of all three seats and i wasn't cool with that) and then I went up to get to the bathroom. When I got back the guy was gone. Thank god.

We landed, got out stuff, and Steve's girlfriend picked us up and drove us home. Thanks again. Now I'm back in Florida and have a lot of work to do with poker. I have to make up for the losses over the summer in Vegas and get the ball rolling again. Stu will be back in Florida in a couple days. He drove out to Vegas so he is driving back and probably wont be home for 3-4 more days. Hopefully everything is safe with his drive back. My other buddy Hans came home the night after he lost the Main Event so I'm sure I'll see him soon too.

It was another interesting summer at the World Series. I am disappointed I didn't make any final tables and lost money on the trip. It was nice seeing everyone again and meeting new people and making new friends. Hopefully we all keep in touch until we are back in Vegas for next summer. I don't know how the blog is going to operate now that I don't have daily things to update about the poker lifestyle. Maybe I will add some more personal content or just talk about random things and hands. I have some pretty interesting hands from some events in the World Series I think I am going to talk about in future posts. One hand between me and Krantz (Pr1nnyraid) that is pretty sick that I think will make for good conversation. Til next post...

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