Sunday, June 29, 2008

46th Place In The WSOP 2k.. =(

Alright, first off, let me say I think I played awesome. I came into the day at 24,000 in chips with the blinds being 800,1600 200ante for the first 30 minutes. I immediately started chipping my way up when I had an online player with 90k to my right. He raised on the hijack one time to 4400 and I shoved 88 for about 20k more and he was forced to fold. I worked my stack up to about 60k from winning pots without showdowns and then I lost a 30k flip when a player moved in for 12k at 1000/2000 200ante and I called in the big blind with AJ and he had A5 and turned the 5. After this pot I was back down to about 40k or so.

Now at 1k/2k blinds I definitely wanted to have more than 40-50k in chips. I was down about not having 90k (if I would of won the AJ vs A5.) I tried not to let it bother me and then this hand came up. It folded around to me in the small blind and I raised with 99 to 5200 at 1k/2k. The big blind called (I had been active all around the table so I didn't think he would give me credit for a hand here.) The flop came Q35ss and I bet 6600. He called and then turn came the 4d. I don't like when he calls the flop but my hand is pretty strong in this spot, considering he thinks I have nothing in my opinion, and I think he raises the flop with a Q. I check to him and he instantly bets 8k. I have about 27k total at this point and go into the tank. My feel for the situation is basically this guy doesn't have anything, and I decide to shove in for 18k more. He folds pretty quickly and I chip up again with no showdown.

A couple hands later I am faced with a tough decision when Kirill Gerasimov makes it 5500 preflop in third position at 1k/2k and the guy next to him moves all in for 31k total. I am on the hijack and look down at JJ. The guy who moved in moved in pretty fast and had been moving in a couple times but I didn't think he would do this really weak. If I called his all in I would be left with about 25k or 20k. So basically it was a huge call/shove if I was going to play the hand I had to be absolutely sure I wasn't crushed. Well, since I wasn't sure, I decided to muck. It got back to Kirill after I thought for a couple minutes and he thought and mucked a smaller pair. The guy went to muck and flashed an ace that Kirill saw. Its most likely this guy had AQ or AK but he might of had Aces as well. I'll never know and I don't care.

I get moved to a new table and the table seems alright. I sit around and watch for an orbit or so and realize its a pretty easy table. I open a couple pots and then this hand comes up. UTG Raises to 9k at 1500/3k (this is the first hand this guy has played in a couple orbits) and I look down at QQ on the button. I think about it for a while and no way I can ever fold here or just call, so I shove all in for about 50k more. He tanks it with AQ and mucks.

Just a couple hands later an online player shoved in 23k in 3rd position and it got to me in 6th position and I looked down at ATdd. I thought about it for a while, and with 4 people still to act behind me, I figured this guy had to shove a lot of hands, and I decided to call. He had QTo and I won and moved up to 120k.

I get blinded down a little bit and have about 110k to start this hand where I raise to 7800 on the button with 33 (blinds 1500/3000.) The small blind thinks for a little bit and makes it 20k. It gets back to me, I ask him how much more he has, he has 71k for 91k total and I started the hand with about 105k. I have him covered by like 15k and I shove on him. He folds pretty quickly. This hand was a huge turning point for me because I went with my read and wasn't scared to lose. I need to follow through with my instincts more because they are normally right in these situations (Like with the 99 earlier.)

I get moved to another table once again with Akat11 and g0lfa (online guys.) In my first couple of orbits I pick up AA, KK, and QQ with no action. Wow. I still have yet to cooler anyone this whole trip, like AA vs KK all in preflop. Oh well. I am about 160k at 2k/4k when the cutoff makes it 14k with 38k behind. I look down at KJo in the big blind and decide to shove on this guy. I definitely thought he could fold and I honestly didn't think he was that strong once I asked him to count out his remaining chips. He called pretty quickly. Uht oh. I turned over my KJ and he turned over 22. Wow. How did he call? The board runs out QQ38A and he doubles up and wins about a 120k pot. I go down to about 110k after this and I was shocked that he called/I didn't win with that flop/situation. Oh well.

Roothlus (another good online player) is then moved to the table and all three of them are on my left, ouch. I just hang around with nothing interesting and make it to the dinner break. Roothlus, Akat, and I all went to eat dinner on the dinner break at this BBQ at the Rio. We talked about some poker and just the table and how things would play out when we got back from break when the blinds went up to 3k/6k 500a. Me and Roothlus both had about 100k and Akat had 350k because he coolers the shit out of people religiously. Honestly, lol. UTG raises, he calls on button with KK, big blind shoves AKdd, UTG Reshoves QQ and Akat calls and wins a huge pot and eliminates two players to get all his chips (He plays well too =).) Anyways, we eat, Akat loses Credit card Roulette, and we go back to the tournament.

A couple hands back I raise to 14.5k on the cutoff with AJ and g0lfa shoves on me for 90k. Roothlus then reshoves in the big blind instantly. Wow. I muck and g0lfa flips over Ad9h and Rooth has AKcc. The flop comes K63dd and Roothlus is in sick shape to win a pretty big pot. The board comes running diamonds and g0lfa doubles up and sucks out nasty on roothlus. Roothlus was pretty upset, because he knows I'm not raising light there with my stack, and was pretty pissed g0lfa shoved in a9 there and sucked out obviously. Roothlus busts the next hand on a steal and now both the guys to my left have chips.

I hang around, shoving here and there, picking up zero hands and no chips. I blind down to about 80k at 4k/8k 1k ante with about 50 players left. I'm picking my spots to stay above 80k and I get down to about 60k and it folds to my sb. I look at the Ah and don't bother looking at my other card and move all in. g0lfa shows the 3c and mucks. I look at my other card and it was the Ks, for AKo. Ouch. I wish someone would have raised.

I still have 80k in chips and we are playing 7 handed. I look down at ATo in the hijack and shove all in. It folds to the small blind and he instantly calls. Shit. There is 0 chance I am ever good here. I thought he was going to flip over QQ for sure. He turns over 88 and I'm in a great spot to double up to about 180k chips and have a shot to compete for this title. The board comes K25K6 and his 88 holds and I am knocked out in 46th place, for $11,400.

It's really frustrating when you play really well, make a ton of correct decisions, and lose a couple flips. I don't mind losing one flip if I win the next one. They are called coinflips for a reason, right? But oh well. You cant lose coinflips late in a tournament like that and expect to have a shot. You can lose one but you cant lose a couple if you don't have the chips to support it. I was pretty handcuffed after I became a shortstack, because I couldn't really splash around and chip up and the KJ vs 22 pot really hurt because that took away all my leverage.

OH WELL. OH WELL OH WELL OH WELL~!!!!!!! I am sick of being a failure, haha. Just kidding, its just the nature of tournament poker. You fail forever and then finally win.

After I busted I went to PF Changs with Stu and his mom and that was awesome. I had lettuce wraps which is by far my favorite thing there. I wanted to go out tonight but nobody really wanted to do anything so I'm just going to finish this blog and then goto sleep. Last night I went to Kaizen (sushi place) with Roothlus and his 2 friends. Stu, Hans, Rob Miz, Louie and some others met us at Kaizen and we had a lot of fun messing around and talking crap. Slowly one by one Stu, Hans, Louie, Me and others left the table and went outside and left Rob with the bill. LOL. He had absolutely no clue we were just leaving one by one and he was there alone with one of his buddies and realized we all left and he had to pay. Hahahahahahaha. It was pretty messed up what we did but Rob is the man so he wont mind.

I might play the $1500 Horse event tomorrow. I really enjoy horse but I don't know If I will pass up playing online to play it. I'm pretty pooped from the 2k and every time I start a new tournament it seems like forever until you get deep into it. I was really hoping to make the final table but it wasn't meant to be.

Alright, I think I'm about done writing. This blog has gotten pretty long. On an ending note we had the creator of the Television shows "Moment of Truth" and "Next" at our table (when it was Akat, me, g0lfa, and roothlus) and I got involved in a pretty serious discussion about him and his show. I remember watching it a couple of times with my family and realizing how loaded the questions were such as: "Do you think you are a better father than your father?" I basically got on the guy about having questions with no distinct answers and he argued that people over complicate things when they are really black or white. I told him that's not really true, such as you could have a question: "Do you think you ever cheated on your wife?" If I think cheating is intercourse, and someone else could think going on a date with a co-worker to dinner while there is an attraction is cheating, the question has different meanings.

We discussed back and forth, he commented that he can READ people VERY WELL IN REAL LIFE and he started telling me about myself. Like the fact that I enjoy arguing with authority. I don't really know how he is an authority there, but whatever. First Impressions and assumptions are funny. I was just interested in his show and the reasoning behind it and everything. I also discussed the validity of Lie detectors and one of the players talked about how he had to take a lie detector test before and completely told the truth and it said he failed. -Shrug- You could tell the creator of the show was offended at first I think, but I was more interested about the show and talking to him about it than trying to attack him. Psychology is a great thing. On the flip side we talked about how the show could destroy relationships and then to make the guy feel better I said that the show could help a couple financially if they win money and also allow them to clean the slate and possibly mend a broken relationship.

Okay lol, I'm done. My mind wanders sometimes so I will really end this post here. Workout tomorrow, win a poker tournament, write a new blog (trying to update daily) -- all on the agenda for tomorrow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Short Going Into Day 2 of the WSOP 2k..


Basically I have 24k going into Day 2 of the WSOP 2k event that started today. It started with 2300 players and we played down til the money tonight (198 left.) It's cool to make the money but ONCE AGAIN I LOSE A HUGE POT ON THE BUBBLE!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME/THE BUBBLE? This hand I probably misplayed, well most definitely, but at the time I thought I was playing it how I should. Anyways...I just got back from dinner at Kaizen with Roothlus (adam), stu, hans, Rob Mizrachi, Louie, and a couple other people we know. Kaizen is always awesome and its great to have a spot you can go to at just about anytime during night or day and get a good meal.

I would write about some of the hands and the bubble hand and everything but I am dead tired and am going to get some rest. Going to wake up early to work out and get a haircut since I don't have to play til 2. Hopefully I get hot and double up and CRUSH!!! I need to make my first final table and win my first WSOP bracelet, so everyone root for me!! Law of Attraction! Look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about =) Ill update everyone tomorrow on the hands and hopefully I am chip leader going into the final table when I post again.

To my family and friends who are trying to keep up with all the progess, check out www.pocketfiveslive.com. It's event #48. They will cover me if I get deep in a tournament like I am today. They have some tidbits from today which is neat if you guys want to check it out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bellagio 1k, Other Random Stuff...

Tonight I went to dinner at the Bellagio with Stu, Hans, Stu's mom, Louie and Louie's wife, Flo. We went to Noodles and it was great. They have a lot of good appetizers and I enjoyed eating at a new place and a different environment. We saw Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rondo, Kevin Garnett (From NBA Championship Team Boston Celtics.) Hans, Stu and I went to the table next to Paul Pierce so Hans could play some blackjack but as we got there Paul Pierce was leaving. It was cool seeing all of them at the Bellagio. It's crazy how people put athletes in the spot light just because they are good at a single sport or a sport in general. That's just how the world is though. My dad always said athletics is overrated, and I think he's right. I always played sports my whole life as well as my dad but in that statement he just is saying that people can be role models and admired just for being good at a sport and that's basically it. So although we love sports to death and they are a big part of our life, I definitely see the truth in his statement. I would elaborate more but I think you guys can figure it out on your own lol.

I played the Bellagio 1k. I got there a couple minutes late and registered and was an alternate. I didn't get into the tournament for about an hour and a half after I registered. The blinds were 100-200 when I first sat down at my table. There was only five minutes on the clock until the break, with the blinds going to 100-200 25a afterwards. No biggie. I still have 50 big blinds in a soft field, but If I play that tournament again I know I need to get there early. They play in the Bellagio Poker Room, and not the Fontana Lounge, and its just way too small. They make players play 11 handed and that's just ridiculous.

My stack fluctuated between 10k-8k for a couple orbits as nothing too exciting happened. I didn't really get into any pots until I was down to about 8k at 200-400 25a and made it 1050 under the gun with 66. The big blind defended and we saw a flop of Q24ss. He checked to me and I figured I would just see what develops in this pot and not try to throw any more chips out and kill my stack if he did raise me. The turn came the Kc, we both checked again, and the river came the Ks and he checked and I checked. He turned over T7o for air and I showed my 66 and won the pot. I was pretty surprised to see him defend an UTG raise with that hand, but oh well, guess that was the player.

A couple hands later he raised the button to 1100 and I looked down at T8ss in the small blind and moved all in for around 7k more and he showed an Ace and folded. I figured he needed a decent hand to call my all in there, as I really hadn't played any hands and only showed the 66 down which was checked all the way, so I'm sure they thought I was a passive nit.

Next, I was on the hijack and picked up AKo. I made it 1050 and this European guy to my left (Who had called a players all in with AK on a 824dd flop the other player had JJ) made it 3300. I moved in for 6400 more and he called with J9ss. I guess he was priced in (He left himself about 6k after calling) The board ran out AsKJTs9. He turned flush draws and straight draws but luckily my two pair beat his two pair on the river. Aggressive Europeans =)

An orbit or so later the guy who had defended with T7o raised the cutoff and I reraised from 1100 to 4600 with 88. We both had about 18-20k he had a little more, so I was just hoping to take the pot there. He mucked and I went up to about 20k or so. I lost a small pot when I raised with A2o on the cutoff the next hand and the big blind defended and I fired a turn and checked the river and he won. So at this point I'm down to 18k.

Vanessa Selbst was also at my table, and she had gotten lucky on two hands. One hand in specific when a tight player raise to 1100 preflop, she called with 77. The flop came 842 rainbow and he bet 1600, she made it like 3600, and he shoved all in for 6kish more. She felt like she was priced in. She gave that little look like I know I'm beat but I'm calling, oh well. Well, she is never ahead in this spot ever vs this player and I couldn't believe she called. He turned over T8cc (I thought it was like JJ minimum) and she turned the two outer 7 no problem. I also saw her shove A5 shortstacked with no fold equity to an early position raiser which was pretty weird too (earlier in the day.)

So now a couple hands later she opens to 1600 in middle position and I have AKss in the hijack or next to it, and I've been active the last two orbits, repopping although I had hands. I decided to repop here as well, thinking that maybe she would put it in bad with AQ or something, so I raise it to 4600. The European I talked about earlier called all in for 3k and it got back to her, she thought about it for about 30 seconds and moved in. I called. She flipped over TT. The European turned over J9ss (once again lol.) I guess this is just a normal con flip hand and having an aggressive image when you are playing tight is good. The minimum I'm reraising there with is AK. I wouldn't reraise with AQ or a pair under Jacks, so oh well, I guess when I do have bigger hands that AK I will get it in 80/20 there. The board came T78hhh 4d Qh or something and Vanessa won the main 30k+ main pot and lost the 10k side pot. She immediately started berating the guy who called all in with J9ss saying "When I flop a Ten there I expect to win the whole pot I am pissed I am losing a 10k pot there regardless!" Although she won a 30k main pot. Whatever, cry some more. I said good hand, gave her my chips, paid the European his 3k in chips and left the tournament. I was pretty disappointed. AK once again destroys my tournament and racing sucks. Some hands just play out like that I guess.

I saw the movie "Wanted" tonight with Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, etc. It was alright. I went with my buddy Steve (SLEEZE) and he fell asleep during the movie lol. I guess he didn't enjoy it that much. It had a couple twists in it but I guess it could of been better. Its basically about a guy who was meant to be an assassin and there is some more to it but I'll leave it at that. You do get to see Angelina Jolie naked from the backside, so I guess that was worth the admission lol. It was pretty action packed but it could of been better, so if you like action movies its not a bad movie to check out.

I'm playing the 2k WSOP event tomorrow so hopefully I can make a Final table for once and take it down. The WSOP is coming to an end and I really want to have a strong finish in one of these events. I feel like I'm playing awesome with little mistakes so hopefully I can eliminate all the mistakes and get lucky and make a deep run at this tournament. Good luck to everyone playing, unless you're in a hand with me =).

Thanks to everyone who has shown support over the last couple days or just in general. I really appreciate it. Some of my friends in Orlando have contacted me and given me some insightful words. Other people have just been curious to how everything has been going out here too and that is also appreciated. I have a great family and great friends and I am really thankful for having so many good people in my life. Thank you to everyone.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1k Rebuy Tournament...

Today sucked. I can honestly say that I think the $1500 event was the one I was supposed to win the other day. That has been the only tournament this whole trip where I actually ran good (Aside from running AK into KK on the bubble and AKcc vs AA -- but I blew that hand.) I hate talking about running good and running bad and getting unlucky, I absolutely hate it. I feel like every day, every hand, is a new moment and I don't ever want to feel like I am in a bad "run" or something that can last for months on end. So anyways, that $1500 tournament I was winning races, making good calls, winning pots and my hands were holding (aka running good lol.) Hopefully I can have another tournament where I run "good" and can get deeper and have a better finish.

In the 1k rebuy today I shoved a couple hands during the first 2 hours of rebuy period and didn't get any action. I won some small pots here and there and at the end of the break I had 4650 chips and opted to do the double addon for $2k more so my stack went up to 8650 chips while being in for $4k, which is about the minimum in this tournament if you double rebuy and double addon. There were really no interesting hands before the rebuy, but I did pick up some stuff on the opponents at my table and I liked my chances after the rebuy period. I had Chris McCormack two to my left, Jon "pokertrip" Freidberg directly to my right, and Thomas Wahlroos across from me. The other players were randoms or people I never played with before. I recognized one more player but have no clue what his name was.

About 5 hands after the rebuy period ended this familiar player raised for his third time in about four hands and Freidberg called from the small blind and I called from the big blind with 9Thh. (Blinds 100-200, Raiser made it 500) I had about 8.5k to start the hand, Jon had a little under 8, and the other player had about 12k or so I believe, maybe 14k. The flop came A64s rainbow and we both checked to the raiser. He fired 1200 and Jon raised to 3200. Now I didn't believe the raiser had an ace either, and I was thinking about stabbing here, but his 1200 bet is pretty strong so I figured he had to have some piece of the flop. I figured Jon had to have a piece too but Jon raised to 3200 leaving himself 3050. Its a pretty big raise and it looks like hes committing himself, but I thought he was doing this on a bluff after I thought about it. I felt like shoving in here with air, but I gave the other player the credit for having a piece and folded. The other player called 2k and the turn came the 2s. Jon shoved all in for his last 3050 and the player called with AQdd. Jon turned a flush draw along with his gutter on the flop (He had 78ss) and the river came the 5h and Jon rivered his straight. After the hand Jon said exactly what I was thinking. "You raised like three hands after break already, I couldn't put you on an ace. I was folding if you moved in on the flop or I was check folding the turn if I didn't hit a pair or anything to improve my draw." The other player said "You were going to fold the flop or turn after you put in half your stack? That's good poker." He said sarcastically. It was a pretty weird hand and I wish I had a piece to shove on Jon there, because I didn't think he was too strong on the flop. And I think the other player should just put him in on the flop unless he 1) Wants to have Jon bluff off the turn or 2) If he thinks he has the best hand whats the point of just calling the flop and calling the turn all in if you think you are beat in the first place? The only purpose of just calling the flop is for Jon to bluff all in on the turn. If you are behind on the flop why even call? Either way, Jon got lucky and doubled up.

The very next hand Thomas Wahlroos opens for 600 (he had been in a lot of hands) and Jon Freidberg reraised to 1800 on the button. Since Jon just got a lot of chips through the double up I figured he could be reraising here using his new found chips and position. I looked down at QQ and was forced to make a decision. Freidberg hadn't done anything too crazy during the rebuy period, but I thought about him just getting chips, and thought he would reraise Wahlroos who was active with 99-AA and AQ and some other hands in the range. I looked at Jon he didn't seem overly confident in his hand, as he was just waiting for me to make my decision, and with about 8300 total I decided to reraise all in for 6350 more, on top of the 1800 raise, for 8150 total. He got a count and called pretty quickly, and flipped up AKcc. Damn. I mean, that's good for me, but I was hoping he had Jacks or something. The board ran out 34cc9h8h so I was safe going into the river, just needed to dodge an Ace, king or club. The river came the 9 of clubs and Jon rivered his flush to knock me out and win a ~17k pot. I'm only ever shoving QQ, KK, AA, and probably AK there. So I don't know how much I like his call, but I guess nobody who plays online folds AK, so it kind of makes me think back to the Bellagio 2k when I mucked AK. I wish I was just like every other Internet player and never folded AK. Oh well. When I fold AK I win, and when I jam it in like a moron (like in the $1500) I run into AA and KK, lol, fair game. Oh well, nothing you can do. I was going to play really tight after the rebuy period because normally people play huge pots after the rebuy breaks so I stuck to my strategy although I got it in as a coin flip.

That's all I have to say about that. Don't know what else to say. Tomorrow is another event and I will be playing it whatever it is, so maybe tomorrow will go better. Time is running out. I need to get that big score soon, before I leave Vegas.

Some Pictures and Online Poker..

I'm over at Stu's place right now with Hans, Rob Mizrachi (who's bad), Mike Mizrachi (The Grinder), and our other buddy Louie. We're all messing around playing online poker cash games. I played some tournaments online earlier and they didn't go so well. Tomorrow is the 1k rebuy and I'm excited about it. Hopefully it will go well. I'm really confident about my No limit game right now and cant wait for tomorrow. Just need to eliminate those little mistakes here and there and everything will go great.

I got a couple pictures from Hans' girlfriend Christy from when she was here the other day and we went out. She has some more pictures shes going to send me but here are some of them now.



Me, Hans and Christy at Cafe Martorano's at the Rio.



Me and Hans...



Hans, Joe (One of our friends from Florida), and me at Tabu.



Those are all the pictures I have right now. Christy will send me some more tomorrow I'm sure. We have some pictures from Kaizen, Tryst, and some other places I believe. I'll see when I get them. I'll update the blog tomorrow after I am the chip leader going into day two of the 1k rebuy =) Oh yeah by the way, Cafe Martorano's is an awesome restaurant at the Rio. It actually originated in South Florida where I live. It is located in North Miami Beach and it is better than the one they have in Vegas. If anyone is down in South Florida they definitely need to check it out. I think they realized how good it was and then the Rio paid the owner to come out to Vegas and run and create the one they have there. At least thats what I heard, who knows. Anyways you should check it out if you're in Vegas and enjoy Italian food.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

1500 Hand History and Other Random Stuff...

So after Hans chopped the Second Chance on Sunday night we went to Kaizen (the sushi place I talked about earlier.) Me, him, and his girlfriend Christy all enjoyed dinner and then we decided to go to Tryst at the Wynn. Tryst is the nightclub I talked about in a previous blog as well. It was alright. We just hung out, listened to music, and socialized with each other. We hung out there for an hour or so, the music started to get pretty boring so we decided to leave. We left the club and went into the casino and Hans wanted to play in the pits. Now I have said I wouldn’t play in this pits this year because its pointless and a waste of money, but Hans decided to back me in the pits LOL. He gave me some money and we sat down at the Pai Gow table. I think I went on to win like $80 and then he wanted to play Blackjack. I then lost all the money back at Blackjack and we were even, so it was worth the fun since we didn’t lose any money fortunately. It was fun hanging out with Hans and Christy and celebrating his win although we took it easy and just hung out.

Last night the same group of us went to Nine Steak House at the Palms because it was Christy's last night here visiting Hans and that place was awesome as well. I had their Lobster Bisque soup and then Main Scallops for my main dish it was really good. I suggest everyone try this place if you haven’t already. Their steaks are great and they have a ton of other good dishes and appetizers. After that we went back to Hans and Stu’s place and just hung out.

I think tomorrow I am going to play the WSOP $1k rebuy tournament, which can get pretty expensive. Hopefully I can get in the tournament for cheap and get some chips and make a good run at another good finish. I played it last year and it was a lot of fun and I think I was in for $7k. So hopefully this year goes a little better.

$1500 NL Hand History:

This tournament started off really good for me and I got chips early and kept accumulating chips throughout the whole tournament until I busted. The first hand that has any significance came early in the 25-50 level. I had RainKhan at my table and he was really the only threat, so I was going to stay away from him early and try to pick on the weaker players. At 25-50 a player limps for under the gun, and it folds around to the button who makes it 150. I look down at AKo and normally I would just call here so early in the tournament, but I think the button is just making a play for position since he didn’t raise so much and I'm not really worried about the limper. The players are pretty transparent so I think he would of raised a premium hand, better than mine. I decide to make it 475 and the UTG limper makes it like 1200 with 675 or so behind. The button folds and I think him not moving in and just reraising leaving himself chips is pretty weak, so I put him all in and he calls with AQo. I win that hand and go up to 5kish early.

I raise one hand with 33 to 150 and the button calls with 1200 behind and the big blind moves all in for his last 400 or so, I reraise all in to isolate, he flips over 89 and I win the race. Also at 100-200 I won 66 vs. KJ when I made it 525 in middle position and the cutoff shoved in for 1400. So I am winning some flips early and building my stack.

Another interesting hand at 100-200 was between me and Hevad "RainKhan" Khan. He limped for 200 in early position with a stack of about 2400 - 2800 and the button made it 800. I looked down at AKcc gain with about 6k in chips and decided to move all in again. I thought Hevad might limp with a big hand here, since he hadn’t limped the whole tournament, but my hand is strong and I have him covered 2-1. I’m the one putting him to the decision if he has a real hand or not. It got back to him and he thought about it for about 10-20 seconds and moved all in as well. The button folded and Hevad flipped QQ to my AKcc and I won another race when the king flopped.

I lost a couple small pots to a player on my right who didn’t like to fold middle pair to me or any draws, and he kept hitting so that was frustrating. I’m at about 9k or so when this interesting hand comes up. Under the gun limps, I limp on the button with 69ss and one player is all in for 25 chips. The flop comes J58ss and I flop a straight flush draw. Under the gun leads out for 900 with about 3k behind and I decide to play it fast and try to gamble for a big pot. I make it 3k and it gets back to the UTG limper and he moves all in for all his chips and I call. He flips over AhJs for top pair and top kicker. I turn the flush and he doesn’t hit a higher flush on the river and I win a nice pot and move up to about 14k or so at 100-200.

Another hand I have AcKh and a tight player makes it 700 in early position. I reraise him to 2900 and it gets back to him he moves in his total 4k. I tell him I think we have the same hand, and we do. He flips over AdKc and the flop comes AT5hhh. So all I need is another heart and I win the pot. I’m freerolling (cant lose can only win) for a chance at a 8k pot. The turn comes the Qh and I win the 8k pot and go up to 23k. Yes, I was running good in this tournament at this point =)

At 150-300 there are 4 limpers including a UTG limp, and I pick up QQ on the button and make it 1900. The under the gun limper shoves in for 5k and I call. He turns over AK and I flop a Queen and win another nice pot.

Also at 150-300 and ante an under the gun raiser makes it 800, Kwob (online player from the Bellagio) calls on the button and I call in the big blind with AQo. The flop comes Q83 and the under the gun raiser shoves after I check. Kwob folds and I call and he flips over Q6cc. He needs running clubs or a 6 and he doesn’t hit either so I win another nice pot. I’m up over 30k at this point and in great position to make a run deep. This table breaks which I was at in the Brasilia room and I get moved to the Amazon room. Unfortunately, Kwob was moved to the same table as well. He’s a good player.

At the new table there is another internet cash game player, AllStar6, I believe his name was. Him and Kwob end up going at it and Kwob wins a big pot AK vs. his KThh and Kwob goes up to like 30k in chips as well. One hand comes up between me and Kwob where he raises the cutoff and I have AQo in the small blind. I think most internet players would reraise another internet player here, but I think the best play is just to call. We are both very deep and I’m not trying to get into a huge pot out of position with this sort of hand. The big blind calls, the flop comes K72 rainbow and we all check. The turn comes another K and I think about leading out, but decide to knuckle again. Kwob bets and I think about it for a little bit. I don’t think he has a king but I think he is making a bet with like 99 - JJ or something and decide not to try to make hero calls down with AQ high and muck. We get into a conversation about the hand and I told him I thought he had 99 or TT or something and wouldn’t call him down with AQ and he told me he had TT. He’s a solid player so I'm glad I didn’t let my ego get involved and just played the hand the way I did.

I continued to chip up and play pots when this one interesting hand came up. I got moved to a great new table that I would be finishing the day at. The table had a lot of weak players, and I loved it. I raised one hand with KQcc at 400-800 50ante or so. I raised to 1950 and one guy called who had about 18k in chips or so. I had about 50k at this point maybe 60k. The flop came J53 rainbow. I bet out 2450 and he called. The turn came a 6 and I bet out 3800 this time. He thought for a little bit and called again. With him calling me twice and not really raising I figured he had a hand like 88 99 or TT. I thought he would of raised by now with a set or a strong jack. On the river the board paired 3 and I asked him how many chips he had left. The dealer counted out his stack of about 10k and I contemplated what to do. There was a lot of chips out there already and we were closing in on the bubble. I know nobody wants to lose right before the money, so I figured I would bluff the river. I waited for the player to move his chips back to his area, away from the middle of the table where the dealer was counting them out. I didn’t want his chips already out in front of him so he could call easier since they were already out there. So I thought about it for a minute and declared that I was all in. He asked me if I had a set and folded in about 10 seconds. Phew.

Another hand at 400-800 I make it 1950 with 88 in middle position and the big blind calls, leaving himself with 4400 chips. The flop comes A33hh and he moves all in. I think about it for a minute and think he’s on a flush draw. No way he has a 3. He could possibly have a baby ace and just want to pick up the pot, but I figure its a flush draw and call him. He turns over KThh and its still a gamble. He turns the Ks but I river the 8s and knock him out. It was a 12k or so pot, it wouldn’t of hurt me too much but its always nice to even win the small ones.

The guy I bluffed earlier calls my raise from the cutoff when I make it 1950 with K9o close to the bubble. He calls from the small blind leaving himself about 8k and the flop comes 933hh and he checks to me. I move all in and he calls pretty instantly with AQo the turn comes the 6 and the river comes the 2 and I knock him out and win a nice pot once again.

A short stack moves all in for 5k I have 22 on the button and decide to gamble, she flips over A5cc and turns the flush. No biggie, it was a gamble. Then a hand before the break comes up where I raise with A9o in middle position to 1950 and the button reraises me to 4400. Wow, what a small raise. This player was a fairly new player but I’m priced in and decide to see a flop. The flop comes A78 rainbow and I check to him. He bets 8k in a really shy manner. He said his bet in a real soft voice and he seemed genuinely nervous. Now if I take the information preflop and his flop bet, he made a small reraise, which is normally a monster with these guys. Now I have an Ace on an Ace high board and if he does happen to have pocket aces, would he really be firing 1/3 his stack on the flop where he flopped the nuts? I didn’t think he would. I thought he had like KK or QQ and I decided to move all in. I moved all in and he folded after about 10 seconds. When I got back from the break he said he had 99 and he played it bad. (The guy next to him said he should of taken a free card for the turn, little did he know he had 1 out.) Anyway, that was another good pot to pick up.

Again, nearing the bubble, a tight player who was representing Pokerstars (polish guy) made it 2900 under the gun at 500/1000 100a and I reraise him to 10k for the first time in 2 hours with AKo. He thought about it for a couple minutes and with 25k behind he opted to fold, showing AK face up. I told him good lay down =)

Online player "Gbecks" gets moved to my table with a good amount of chips and he’s the only player I’m worried about. One interesting hand and the only hand we played, he limped the cutoff and I checked my option in the big blind with QTo. The flop came AK6 and I checked to him. He bet 1600. He doesn’t need to have a hand here limping the cutoff, he mostly raises an Ace there, so I decide with a rainbow board I can call 1600 and maybe make a play on the turn or spike a J. The turn comes the Js putting two spades on board and giving me the nuts. I check to him and he bets out 4500. At this point I’m thinking he turned two pair with KJ, and I decide to play my hand tricky and instead of making a small reraise with the nuts, I raise 20k MORE, to 24500. I wanted to do this to confuse him mostly, but I think leading the turn would of been the better play. But I opted to check because he doesn’t need to have a hand there ever really, so I make the big raise and he thinks about it for a couple minutes and folds. He said he folded A6 for two pair. If he did really fold that, good fold.

Those were about all the interesting hands minus a couple from the $1500 NL event. I didn’t repost the two huge pots I played with AK since I already typed those up. Hopefully I can eliminate my mistakes, since in No Limit holdem one mistake can cost you a tournament. If I can stop making mistakes at points in tournaments then my results should become a lot better. Tomorrow is a new day and we will see how it goes.

On a closing note, congratulations to my sister and her boyfriend (Megan and Jeff) on their engagement. They have been together for about 7-8 years and decided to tie the knot. They will be getting married in September and I am actually the MAID OF HONOR. Haha. I’m not sure how that’s going to work, but hopefully I don’t have to wear a dress or anything.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cash Streak Ended...Congrats Hans on 2nd Chance Chop for 38k!

I had a two in a row cash streak going which ended today upon busting in the $1500 WSOP Mixed Holdem Event of No Limit and Limit poker. It was a horrible structured tournament. While we were playing No limit the blinds were 25-50 and during limit the blinds went to 100-200 with 200-400 betting. It was ridiculous. My buddy Stuart Paterson had chips when I busted (about 9k since he showed up tilted from busting the 100r online) so he was playing hands blind and getting chips, so hopefully he can take it down and win the bracelet he wants. He finished 15th in the 10k 8b tournament I talked about the other day for $33k, so that wasn't a bad showing. Maybe he is one of the best Omaha Hi/Lo players in the world =)

Right now I'm over at Stu's house he is renting for the World Series sweating my buddy who is about to final table the PokerStars 2nd Chance tournament. His name is Hans "miamihans" Winzeler. He's a sick player hes just lazy, hardly plays, and is way too negative sometimes. But hopefully he will grow up and mature and realize its just a game :) Just kidding Hans. He's my other best friend in the poker world besides Stu (That sounds like a middle school statement lol.) He lives down in miami about 45 mins from me and Stu but we get to hang out with him often. He's a good guy.

Before I get into some of the hands from yesterdays $1500 NL tournament I will talk a little about what I've been doing out in vegas besides poker and some places to eat and places to go for anyone who comes to visit. One place I go eat at almost all the time is a sushi place called Kaizen. Its right across the street from the Hard Rock. Its on Paradise and Harmon, and its unbelievable. They have a yellowtail sashimi appetizer that has jalapenos on it and it is awesome. They have a ton of good things to eat there and everyone should check it out. Its open til 4am every night and 6am Thurs-Sunday I think. Other than that the Palms has some great restaurants as well as Bellagio. The Fix is awesome in Bellagio and everyone needs to check that out.

As far as going out in Vegas I have only been out a couple times. I went to Tryst in the Wynn and that club is ridiculous. It is a huge club which has like three different bars and it overlooks a giant waterfall. I went there with some guys I met from online poker (Tim0thee, Stainley88, their whole house -- I don't know the others online names.) They are all a bunch of crazy Canadians and I had fun hanging out with them. They are all good people. We actually went to Pure in Caesars Palace as well. That club is huge with like three different rooms downstairs and then a club on top of the building which overlooks Vegas. Definitely a must go to if you're trying to party out in Vegas. I also went to a club in the MGM called Tabu. It was pretty small and the night I went they played house music, which I hate, so that place sucked. It was more of an older crowd and the place is really small actually. Its more like a lounge with really no room to dance or anything, not like I was dancing that night anyways to house music, but just in case anyone tries to go there, be aware. My Canadian buddies I talked about above are going to Tryst again tonight, and Hans' girlfriend is in town so they might want to go out as well, so I might end up going there again. I haven't really had any good experiences going out. Its hard to enjoy Vegas without some of my good friends from back home out here. I am more careful when I go out since I don't really know the environment.

Vegas can be pretty scary. If you are in any of the hotels and casinos on the strip you are going to be alright. They monitor their facilities fairly well, but walking the strip outside is a different story. There are some shady places and people around and if in some parts of Vegas the further you get from the strip the crazier it is. Just be careful when you are out here. Make sure you have some people with you who will look out for you and if you're drinking, don't drink too much. Be smart, take a cab home, know whats going on. Don't get stupid drunk. Other than that Caesars and Venetian have some smaller poker tournaments if you don't want to play in the WSOP events and I'm sure there are cash games all over, although they might not be that big. Just ask around at the casinos and you can figure out which places offer games for you. Alright, I will stop preaching now.

Hans is down to the final 7 and hes pretty short after losing AQ to AA, so hopefully he gets lucky and doubles up soon. He just doubled up vs gboro's 66 with QQ so hopefully he can take it down. Jeffbeesdat is also at the final table its not going to be easy. They are 6 handed now. Haha, so Hans went outside away from me after he lost AQ to AA and went into his rental car to finish the tournament. The hand before break, still 6 handed, Jeffbees raised the button with AKdd Hans shoved black 5s and the flop came QJ6dd and somehow he faded and I ran out to the car and he wouldn't even roll down the window haha. Hes such a fish, honestly. I have to sweat from another room. Hes back in the room from the car, his laptop battery was dying and hes the chip leader now down to 3. He will take this down for sure. He just chopped it HU vs a guy who did some pretty silly plays for 38k. He probably should of played it but oh well, Congrats my man!!!

I'll post the hand history for the $1500 NL tomorrow or later, this post got long already, haha.

More Disappointed Than Last Nights 13th..

Yeah. I didn’t really think it was possible, but it is. I am more disappointed and down about the WSOP $1500 NL than I am about the 13th place finish in the Bellagio 2k last night. I have been saving all my hands the last couple of days so I can come back here and blog about them but I don’t know if its best to sit here and go through all the significant hands or if I should just give the gist of what happened. So you guys let me know if you enjoy reading about the hands I encounter throughout the tournament or you would rather just have more meaty content (Post a comment, send me a PM on http://www.pocketfives.com/, etc.) So on that note, I guess I will explain what happened today and give a tournament report and then if everyone doesn’t like it I will stop doing the full reports.

Anyways, here’s what happened. Basically I was up to 88k at 500/1000 100a or so and then got down to about 80k on the ABSOLUTE bubble of the tournament. I have Gbecks at my table and other than that the table is very easy. Under the gun makes it 5k ON THE BUBBLE with about 24k behind and I am right next to him and look down at AKo. I raise it to 17k and it folds around to him. He thinks about it for a little bit, I told him I will show him regardless (I like my hand but if he will fold QQ or JJ to make the money I’d rather just take the pot there.) He states he cant fold his hand and he moves all in for about 30k total. I call and he flips over KcKh and the board runs out 228cc7cTc. I stopped looking after the turn and prayed for a red ace. Oh well, no way to get away from that hand with my stack and his stack on the bubble. This player was also an amateur player and made some ridiculous plays/bets. He shoved 6k UTG at 300/600 1a with QTdd and beat a players AA on an A92ddd flop all in preflop and then he also made some ridiculous plays with mediocre hands, so I didn’t mind losing the hand to him there.

We make the money and I have about 50k in chips at 600/1200 100a and the same player from above makes it 6500 (WOW!) in third position. I look down at AcKc and start weighing my options. From how I’ve seen this guy play for the 3-4 hours I was at the table I know I have to reraise him. There’s already about 10k in dead money in the pot with his huge over raise and I don’t want to reraise to about 20kish and have about ½ my chips in the pot and fold? I couldn’t ever do that I don’t think. So I made probably the worst play I could of done and I moved all in for 50k. Now before I continue let me explain why this play is horrible, at least I think it is. First off, what am I ever going to get called by? AA KK QQ? I mean he definitely probably folds JJ and maybe QQ and worse, he might fold AK. So does that mean I’m just praying to pick up the 10k dead money in hopes that he doesn’t have AA or KK and folds? So was I bluffing? But I don’t necessarily think if I raise it to 19k or 20k and it comes back to him and he moves all in can I fold after having 1/2 my chips in the pot? Anyways, it gets back to him and he says he has to call. You know what this means. He tables two aces and I am done in the tournament in a disappointing 259th place with 270 paid (2700 total players about).

This situation just completely sucks. I don’t really know how else the last hand could play out. I had 50k to start and I think average going into day 2 would have been around 30k or so. Also, there were 30 minutes left in the night but that doesn’t factor in to anything. I’m playing to win. With all that being said, verse that player, I probably should reraise to 18k or something and fold to a shove. Its such a tricky hand and after laying down AK in the Bellagio 2k, I just wasn’t sure how to play this hand. If I reraise and it gets back to him and he moves in I think he can only have KK or AA, honestly. This guy was just one of those guys who is in the tournament and enjoying life and has an idea what he’s doing but not a professional. You guys know what I mean. He would never make a move. But I played the hand out the way I did because I knew he was fishy and who knows. I wanted to pick up the 10k without worry. -Shrug- So I blew my shot at 630k and a WSOP bracelet in two huge hands versus the same guy. The AK Hand vs. his KK I don’t mind but the last hand has really been bothering me for the last 2 hours since I busted.

Maybe I will write the whole trip report later but right now I’m pretty tired and really disappointed. I ran good in this tournament up until the end and I really thought it was my time. I finally was getting hands and accumulating chips and winning races and playing great, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I will write about all the hands later. I’ll probably go to the gym and work out now or go to sleep early and decide what I’m going to do for tomorrow.


EDIT:
Talked to a couple people, Roothlus, some others..and I'm basically an idiot. I have zero invested in the pot, the guy is pretty stupid nitty, and his 6500 raise and these guys who overbet that much normally are nutted. I noted this earlier in the tournament but looked down at AKcc and was blinded by my hand instead of thinking about the best options here. So basically I should either 1) flat call or 2) just fold. Basically Roothlus said it the best and we have such a big edge in these fields we can pick spots where we get chips so much easier. And I had chips, I had 50k still and I could still cause major damage with that. I would of liked to keep the 90k I was at at my peak but I don't mind the AK vs KK on the bubble, I need to play it like that with stacks how they were, but the AKcc vs AA was definitely played bad, regardless if its a cooler or what. Cause its not. This guy was tight, yes. He did some dumb stuff throughout the tournament (Like shove all in for 20bbs+ from sb into my bb with a small pair he said) but none the less the guy was tight and my hand is not made and I need to be smarter in situations where I am in a good position to have a good shot in the tournament. Jeez. I hate always getting deep and then doing something stupid. At least yesterday in the Bellagio 2k I didn't do anything stupid, but today I blew it. Sorry guys.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good News and Bad News...

Its almost 4 in the morning out here in Vegas and I just ate dinner and am about to get some sleep. I have good news and bad news in this blog. I guess people want to hear the good news first. Well one of my best friends in the world, and in the poker world, Stuart Paterson is down to the final 2 tables of the 10k Omaha 8b tournament. He’s going into day 3 below average chips just under 100k but I have confidence in him. He claims to be the best 8b player in the world so we will see (Haha, just kidding Stu..) But we know he’s the man in 8b, its his game. So hopefully he takes that down and if he makes the final table I might drop everything I do and sweat him cause I know he really wants to win a bracelet and he deserves it.

Now onto the bad news... I just bubbled the Bellagio 2k Final Table. There were about 180 players and the top 18 paid and I came in 13th place. It sucks. I played really good today for two tournaments in a row, and hopefully I can continue to keep playing well. I saved a bunch of hands in my Blackberry so I could write them here so I guess I will start writing a full trip report, although I’m pretty tired.

**DISCLAIMER: Read on if you want to hear about the 13th place finish in the Bellagio 2k, with detailed hands and thoughts. If you don’t want to hear about the 20 or so hands just stop here lol**

Anyways, I got to the Bellagio about an hour after the tournament started because I had to go to the Rio first and get cash for the chips I had. I bought into the event at the Bellagio and was about the 10th alternate in line. I finally got a seat when they made tables 11 handed and the blinds were 100-200 with a 20k starting stack. A couple hands after I sit down I get a glimpse of how poker at the Bellagio is when you give maniacs 20k in chips and low blinds to start. The chip leader of the table raises to 600, the cutoff calls 600, the big blind calls 400. The flop comes 356ss and the big blind leads out for 1800, the chip leader makes it 5500, the cutoff caller moves in for 20k, the big blind moves in for 20k (roughly) and the chip leader calls off 15k or so more (he had about 30-40k) The big blind flips over A2ss, the chip leader has AcAd and the cutoff shover has 66. The board runs out TsKs and A2ss wins a 300 big blind pot, wow. I don’t know who played their hands worse, but I just watched in awe as the A2ss just purely gambled and the aces called off when he is never ahead there. I mean the cutoff shover has 66 at worst if not a flopped straight. He is always going to have a set there (unless player dependent otherwise)

So now I realize I need to just relax and be patient and I have 100bb and now this guy with 300bb is two to my left and he looks like another internet player. The first hand I play UTG limps for 200 I limp in 4th position with 99 and the button makes it 800. We both call. The flop comes Q9hh4s and we all check around. The turn comes Ks and the utg limper bets 1400. I called him and the button folded. The river comes the 7h completing a flopped flush draw and he leads out for 3600. I figured there’s not much value in raising here, he either has JT or a bluff or QK but I doubt I'm getting too much value from other hands so I decide to just call and he turns over Ace high and I rake in a decent pot to start off.

The next level comes in and the blinds are 100-200 with a 25a. I raise to 550 with 22 on the cutoff and the chip leader repops me to 1575. I call him because we are both deep, he has like 60k I have about 27k or something. Flop 894ss and he continuation bets and I muck. No biggie. I wonder how long he will keep this up for. I definitely thought he was a player who would use his stack and position so I didn’t really like him on my left. A couple hands later like 3-4 people limp and I limp on the cutoff with 96ss. The chip leader who has 60k makes it 1200 in the small blind and everyone folds but I decide to call, with position and thinking he is doing this with a lot of hands. The flop comes 723 rainbow. He leads out for about 2600. I decide this is a great flop to float and try to pick it up on a later street, so I tank it and call. The turn comes another 2 and he checks to me. I tried to represent a flopped set, turned full house and thought for a little bit and checked behind, since my hand is made now of course and I am trapping him to bet the river =) The river comes another 7 and he checks again. I didn’t really like this card because I didn’t want him to call me with Ace high since the board double paired, but I have to play it how I played it and I fire 5500 on the river and he mucks. I of course, being the moron I am, show the bluff. I showed this basically to tell this guy to stop messing with me, which I wish I hadn’t of done. Here’s why...

The very next hand the blinds are up to 200-400 25a or 50a I don’t remember, and I pick up QhQc ... Wow what a perfect time to pick up a real hand! I raise the hijack to 1050 and the button calls, he was a tight older player, and the big blind calls. The flop comes 667dhc the bb checks to me and I bet out 1800. I figure let me see where I'm at. The button folds and the big blind thinks for a little bit before calling. I wasn’t really worried I still thought I had the best hand. The turn came the 8d and he lead for 6k!!!! I couldn’t believe it. His line made no sense, how did this 8 help him? Did he have 68 and turn the full house? Nothing made sense to me as he about potted it on the turn so I decided to peel again. I called the 6k and the river came the Ad. He moved in for 16k and I had about 19k. Again, I just was confused. Did he have 9T, did he river a flush some how? What could he possibly have and now he’s moving all in on a river Ace when I could very much have pocket aces. I figured this guy had to have 8s full or a complete bluff. I gave him credit and instead of trying to make a hero call and be wrong, I folded. He showed KJss and I said nice hand. Wow, did I get completely outplayed. I had the right read on the turn and should of known he was on a stone bluff. The ace of diamonds is actually a great card for me on the river because my hand looks like aces and he’s still firing into me on the river, so unless he has 8s full I don’t think he can bet any other hand except for maybe A6 or something. I could be completely wrong about all this but that’s just what I came up with after he showed me the bluff. I would of been at about 60k if I could of called him there, but oh well. I shouldn’t show bluffs haha.

The next significant hand comes later down the tournament when I was moved to another table, I had been there about 4-5 orbits and gotten a good feel for the table. This European guy in the 4 seat, had severe betting tells on his preflop opens and I figured them out pretty easily. He was making it 2500 at 600/1200 100a with weaker hands and 3k with strong hands. I have about 25k or so at this point and have just been floating above water after the QQ hand. The guy raises to 2500 in 3rd position and it folds to me in the small blind and I have A4. The hand before he raised my big blind and I thought about it with AT but I mucked and decided not to shove on him or play the hand out. So this time he makes it 2500 and I decide I can try to steal the pot from the small blind, so I make it 7500 in the small blind with A4o. He calls about instantly. I’m like oh shit. The flop comes A56d and I am saying "Phew" in my head. Although I don’t necessarily love the fact he called me preflop, I don’t really think he has a big hand here, especially a big ace. So I decide to lead weak and maybe induce a shove on a bluff or see what he does so I bet 4500 with about 13k behind. He instantly moves all in. Shit. I cant fold. I was just praying he didn’t flop a set. I thought about it for a minute and figured I was good and I induced a bluff shove and decide to call off my last 13k (I know I could of folded and had 10bbs, but putting in 12k and folding with 13k is probably horrible, but if I think I’m beat I would of folded) Anyways he flips over 78dd and I faded his straight draw. The turn came 6 the river came Q. Yesssss finally chips!!! I move up to about 52k or so now.

I raised to 3k with A9o in 3rd position, normally I muck, but I had a good image and decided to get a little more aggressive and build my stack. Amir Vahedi called in the big blind (he defended the orbit earlier when I raised with KJcc and flopped K72cc when I was short) so he defended again and the flop came K92hh. He checked and I decided to check as well. The turn came the 8s and he bet out about 6500 which was about the pot. I figured he didn’t have much, he had about 12k behind. I really didn’t think he was strong given his body language and attitude, and he of course cant think I have anything checking the flop, so I shoved all in on him and he folded. I have more to say about Amir later in this blog. Keep in mind that I watched Amir call off like 18k preflop leaving himself with 4k. He had AT and the other player had 77 and the flop cameKJ3 and the player put him all in and he called and rivered the ace.

Anyways, this table breaks and we are down to about 50 players now. I have a good stack at about 70k and I am really liking my position in the tournament now. The blinds are now 800-1600 200a and I raise to 4200 in 2nd position with AThh. I get the button and the sb and the bb who all call. The button thought about mucking for a while but he called, so I wasn’t really worried about anyone. The flop came KJ3h one heart. The small blind shoved for his last 11k and the big blind folded. I figured he could shove just about anything. Any Jack, maybe even an 3, QT, 9T, a King, etc. He cant be too strong just calling preflop though leaving himself 11k. I decided I was getting a good price with already 25k in the pot and called. The button folded and I told the small blind he was ahead. He said no he wasn’t. GREAT!! He flipped over QT and the board ran out KJ3TQ giving me the nut straight and about 90k in chips.

Now I’m really in great shape but can tell I have a tough table with some good players who have chips as well. The blinds now are at 1000-2000 200a and UTG makes it 5200. The small blind calls and I call in the big blind with T7cc. The flop comes JT6cc and the small blind checks. I figured it would be strong to lead out this flop and basically get it in all day vs. anyone who wanted to gamble, haha. I lead for 8800 and the under the gun raiser moves all in for 49k. The small blind folded and I thought for a minute. Wow 41k more to me, its a big coin flip I'm about to get in against aces, oh well. I have to gamble now. I call. The guy flips over.....AdQc... WHAT!?!?! the turn comes the 6s and the river comes the K.... OF CLUBS, completing my flush, although I just needed him to brick =) That pot was a huge pot and got me up to about 150k or so. I really still cant believe how this hand played out and I guess leading into pots where other people have control really bothers people. I might add this play more into my game.

Okay well back to Amir Vahedi. He played some hands absolutely horrible. Now normally I am not a critic of how people play, but Jesus. This guy is bad, or played very bad today. He makes it 7500 at 1500-3000 300a on the hijack and the small blind made it 30k (Vahedi had 31500 total) The small blind was a tight player and Vahedi called the 30k leaving himself 1500. The small blind bets 1500 in the dark on the 922 flop, and Vahedi calls with QTss. The small blind turns over AQo and Vahedi turns the T and wins the pot. Wow. One more Vahedi hand.. The chip leader of the tournament makes it 9k at 1500 3k and I flat on the hijack with AQhh, the button, a monkey shoves in 30k more and Vahedi reshoves for 60k. The CL asks for counts on both and mucks 66, I muck my AQhh (Vahedi said lets gamble! I thought he had AK) Vahedi turns over AJo and the button turns over 55 and the board runs KK6J2 so Vahedi wins another pot he had no business being in. Anyways, Vahedi ended up bubbling which was good but wow I couldn’t believe how he played. He might of been tilted since I needled him a little bit about "Having to be willing to die to live" in poker. (IF anyone has seen the old WSOP he said that before lol)

Okay so now were down to 3 tables and I’m moved to a table with Kwob and some other players. I have about 120k or so now and the blinds are 3k 6k 1k and we are getting closer to the money, with 18 paid. Some short stacks are shoving and one short stack shoves the cutoff into my big blind and I wake up to 33 and have to call 30k more, so I call. He flips over K3cc, awesome, and I spike a 3 on the flop and win a nice pot to go up to about 160k or so. A couple hands later the hijack makes it 17k and I shove all in with AK in the small blind and he mucked. I’m accumulating chips and things are looking better, as I'm up to about 200k now. With about 22 left the cutoff shoves all in for 32k and I call with A9o in the small blind and he flips over K3o. I beat this hand already! The board runs out 88227 and I win another pot and go up to about 230k. This is awesome. Getting it in good and it holding up, wow, I love poker.

We end up making the money after Vahedi busts and we are now rearranged and playing 9 handed at two tables until we get down to 10 for the final table.

The VERY FIRST HAND after making the money and getting to a new table, this guy moves in 75k preflop at 3k 6k 1k in 2nd position. It gets to me in the small blind and I look at TWO RED ACES. ACES!!! The first time I've had them ALL TOURNAMENT. THANK YOU POKER GODS! I think about how to play it, the chip leader was in the big blind with about 400k, and I figured just to isolate so I shove and he folds. The guy flips over KsJc and I table AdAh. Perfect. He’s drawing slim for a 160k pot. The flop comes ATcc5 and He gains outs he never thought he would ever have in his life. I’m praying for no club or queen on the turn. The turn comes the Qs...Wow are you kidding me? Seriously poker is fucking rough. I don’t pair the board on the river and this monkey wins a 160k pot off of me. I went from about 240k to 160k after this hand when I should have 400k. Damn. I handled it well though, I think.

So I open another pot with 44 in early position and get a call and the button reraises and I go down to about 140k when this sick hand comes up. The blinds are about to go up to 4k 8k and this one guy has shoved in two times in a row, and now shoves all in for his third hand in a row under the gun for 80k. The guy to my right in 3rd position INSTANTLY Calls 80k. I look down at AKo. Wow. What do I do here? I never fold AK ever. Maybe I need to start. I think about it for a couple minutes and decide that 140k is fine and I have no fold equity cause If I shove in 60k more the guy cant fold who called 80k already (he had about 200-250k). I show Mr. Tim Caum (He was at the table.. nice guy) what I muck and throw it to the dealer. They flip their hands. UTG has AJhh and the guy to my right has QQ. Another guy says he folded an Ace and the flop comes K45, turn is A and river is 2... I would of won, and I’m hating my fold. I would have 400k going into 4k 8k but instead I am stuck at 140k. I think back to a couple hands before if my AA held up I would of had 300k and would of reshoved over the QQ and won probably a 500k pot and been the tournament chip leader with about 600k-800k. So I think that hand really changed the whole dynamic of my tournament because I would of definitely played that AK if I thought I had fold equity. Oh well.

So I’m down to about 120k and I’m hanging in there, get blinded down to about 90k and pick up KK utg and make it 20k (4k - 8k) and the bb defends. The flop comes K95css and he checks to me. I bet 10k with like 60k behind and he calls. The turn comes the 4c putting two flush draws on board and he checks again. I tanked it for about a minute and tried to give off the vibe like wow I need to hold onto my last 60k chips I have nothing here! Well, I bet out 15k leaving myself with 45k -- please shove on me. The guy made some confused face and mucked. I probably should of played this hand super slow, checking the flop, etc.. But oh well.
I muck a couple other hands like the chip leader raises to 22k in middle position 7 or 8 handed and I muck QK on the button with about 140k and he shows AJ and I’m glad I didn’t gamble. The blinds go up to 6k 12k 2k and I’m now down to about 90k. I shove a couple hands and get back up to around 150-160k when this hand comes up. Kwob moves all in under the gun for 96k right after we got into the bigger blind levels of 6k 12k. It folds to me in the small blind with 77. Damn this is a tough spot. Kwob played pretty tight but I know he has to open up his shoving range being so short especially when he’s about to lose 24k after being hit by the blinds, and I figure I need to play for the win and think about it and decide to call. He turns over TT and I’m immediately upset I didn’t muck. Oh well, there is luck in poker, hopefully since I got unlucky before I can get lucky now. He wins, board is like A532A or something and I double him up. I go down to 70k now and shove a couple more hands and get back up to 120k and then get blinded down when my final hand comes up.

The chip leader, who was very active in a ton of pots, makes it 35k under the gun and I look down at AQo in 2nd position (we are 6 handed or 7 handed -- 13 left) and I shove all in for 51k more. He calls and flips over TT. How the hell does he have a real hand here? I lose the race 67287 or something and he wins and I’m eliminated in 13th place. First was 112k and 2nd was about 70k, so I was really looking forward to my first six figure cash if I could of won this tournament. Oh well there’s always tomorrow. So that’s how my tournament day went today. I played for about 11 hours, cashed for peanuts, and was completely disappointed. I registered for tomorrows 1500 NL WSOP event and hopefully I can play well like I did the other day and get some chips and make a run at this.

Maybe this blog is lucky! I was thinking that when I was getting deeper and deeper in the Bellagio tournament. I was saving hands on my phone to write down to my audience (if there is an audience haha) and was thinking how this blog will hopefully improve my game. If anyone wants to comment on hands or have me post hands on www.pocketfives.com (a poker website) or other places, so we can discuss them and discuss why I did what I did, or didn’t do, I will do that. Hopefully things keep getting better and I keep playing well and I don’t do anything stupid. If I do anything stupid I will write about it here. For example, a couple months ago in the Foxwoods 3k NL tournament I got it all in preflop with AKdd vs. Justin Bonomo's AA at 25/50 10k starting stacks. =) I'm sure you will hear more stuff like this while I continue this blog, or hopefully not! But I will tell you old stories if I start playing perfect all the time, which I doubt is possible =)

I’m about to get some sleep its almost 5 in the morning. I'm dead tired. Hopefully I can wake up early and work out and then get ready for this tournament and hopefully my boy Stu makes a run in the 10k 8b. I am hating myself for not buying a piece since he asked me to buy one but its alright, I want him to win so I don’t mind. I'll write more about Vegas and just other things in general non poker related when I get some more time. Goodnight everyone.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My First Blog..

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