"I got my shades on waitin’ for the sun to shine my way. Got my boom box, suntan lotion, waitin for action. They say when you play with skills good luck could happen." Jay-Z - Guns and Roses.
Well, I thought I was playing with skills, and I guess I was fortunate in some spots, but my luck ran out in the end I suppose. I busted the Borgata Main Event 3k buyin a couple hours ago. I went into day 2 with 20.4k with the blinds at 500/1k 100a. My starting table was amazing. I had Matt Brady (live poker pro who just won Aruba tournament for 1 million a couple months ago) to my direct left. Everyone else at the table besides one player was tight and straight forward. Since I was so short I decided I would sit back and see how the table was and determine what I could get away with, who would call me with what, etc.
I met Matt over the summer when I was in Vegas for the WSOP. We played together at Caesar's. He really impressed me today. He played great. I will talk more about that and him in a little bit but let me tell you how my day went.
The first hand I play I get.. ACES! YES YES YES! I have about 18k and make it 2600. Everyone mucks. Oh well, at least I know they exist! I get down to 16k and move in with QQ in middle position, everyone folds again. I also pick up JJ and shove, no callers. I am still hovering around 18-20k.
The first semi interesting spot that comes up is when a player on the cutoff makes it 2700 and I move in from the big blind with QKo. He folds pretty quickly to my 18k all in reraise and I move up to 24k in chips.
Another pretty sick/easy fold for live tournament came when the guy to my right, who was a very tight player, makes it 3700 preflop at 500/1k. He raised from the hijack and I am to his direct left with 88 on the cutoff. Normally this is a shove online all day long vs. an aggressive player but this guy was tight and it's a deep stacked live tournament. I decided to just muck. No biggie. This was the second hand this player had played I believe.
Now the levels move up to 600/1200 100a and the same tight player from above makes it 4300 preflop in 3rd position. I am in 4th position and look down at TT. This spot is soooooooooooo close. I mean I was baffled what to do here. This guy is such a tight player and this is really only his third hand he's raised. I have 24k in chips. I tanked it for a while. I figured I just had to let it go and wait for a spot where I know I am getting it in ahead. I thought for a little bit and decided to muck. He showed me AKo. He said if I shoved he would of had to think about if he wanted to call and gamble and race against me. Crazy to think I could make a player with 80k-100k fold AK to my shove there but he mucked AK later in the tournament so I believe him. I don't mind my fold here but I definitely think it was close. If I knew he could fold AK/AQ I think its closer to a shove but I didn't know that and I knew he was super tight and went with the muck.
I shove AJo on the hijack for 20k and move up to 23k. The blinds are still 800/1600 200a. Everyone folds. The player in the 3 seat was active and was tricky and limped for 1600. The button (who was also a tight player) makes it 4500. I'm in the big blind with 77 and 16k total. WOW. What made me fold here was two things. When the first guy limped he looked at my stack and then did something that made me believe he had a pretty good hand and didn’t mind gambling against me. Also the fact that the button was tight and I didn't think he would do this with a hand like 22-66 or anything. He could never fold either so I made an easy fold. The limper reraised to 12.6k and claimed JJ while the button raiser claimed TT -shrug- If it limps to me I probably shove but I don’t know if the first guy really had JJ. The button probably really did have TT though.
About an orbit later, I still am blinding down waiting for a good spot to get my chips in. There are 3 limpers in the pot when I am in the small blind with 23cc. I have 800 invested and call 800 more with 10.7k behind. Matt checks his big blind and the flop comes 22d8hh. We all check and the turn comes Jd. Putting two flush draws out there. I decide to check again and hope that someone fires. Matt bets 2900 and Jason Young (who was moved to the table a little bit ago with chips) calls the 2900. I then move in for 10.7k. Matt folds and Jason calls with K5dd. He hits the Ks on the river but it doesn't help him and I go up to 37k in chips.
The blinds are now 1k/2k 200a and I raise a couple pots with KJdd and A8cc in good position. I have a great image so nobody is playing back at me, although I've had it in the hands I've been in. I raise ATo one off the hijack and the tight big blind defends. It looked like he wanted to reraise me preflop but he decided against it. The flop comes 689ss and I had As. He checks to me, I bet 6800 and he tank folded. I imagine he had a hand like AQ here. Up to 44k.
This next hand is probably the second most interesting of the day. I make it 5200 preflop with 88 and the button calls and Jason Young calls in the big blind. The flop comes A73hh and we all check. The turn is the Kd putting two diamonds up as well. We all check again. The river comes the 7s and Jason bets out 8300. At this point I am almost positive my 88 is good against Jason. I really don’t think he would bet a King here and I don't think he has an ace in this spot. A seven might be the most likely of combinations but I really felt like since me nor the button showed any interest in the pot that he was going to take his stab at it. At this point I see the button show his hand to the guy next to him. When he looked at his hand originally in the hand he squeezed it so I knew he had some paint. I thought he might of had KQ or QQ/JJ. But like I said he showed his neighbor his hand which made me believe he didn't care about the rest of the action in the pot. The only problem with me calling Jason here is that I thought the other guy might come along with KQ if he didn't think I had an ace. Instead of just calling Jason I decided to raise the river. I made it 11k more on the river over his 8300 raise. I left myself with about 20k in chips. I feel like my hand definitely seems like AA or KK here. Jason turned over 45dd and said he had 14 outs or something and mucked. Normally I just call the 8k on the river and don’t risk the other 11k but I wanted to squeeze the button out. The button said he had JJ, so he wouldn't of called anyways, but I took a different line here which turned my hand into a bluff although I didn’t have to. I think its a pretty interesting spot since normally I just call because I was pretty sure I was good (which my read was right) but I wasn't sure about the button getting in there with a K. I am now up to 65k after this hand, awesome!
Things are looking good until this hand comes up against Matt. Let me give a little history to the day. Me and Matt have been talking all day about hands. I have been honest with him and shown him some of my hands and he has shown me some of his. Sometimes people lie about their holdings and other things at the poker table but I felt like me and Matt were being straight up against each other. We were staying away from each other because the table was so good and there were other spots at the table. We also talked about a hand where he said if he had 99 on a 752hh board sometimes he checks behind because his hand cant handle that much heat. With all that said this hand comes up:
I make it 5200 on the cutoff with AQo. The big blind is the tricky player who has been really aggressive playing back at Matt a bunch, but hasn't messed with me. Matt calls on the button and everyone else folds. The flop comes 222. Normally my hand is pretty good here on these flops. As long as he doesn't have a pair I am good. I also know that Matt could definitely have a pair here, or nothing, and float me. I decided to check the flop and see what develops. The turn comes an 8. I check again and this time he bets 6800. I wasn't really convinced at this point. I know my hand looks like AQ/AK but I still wanted to see what happened on the river. I could play AA or KK like this and super trap someone but I didn't have it this time. The river comes another 8, making the board 22288. He asks me how much I have behind after I check the river, and he moves all in (puts me all in for 48k.) Now this is where the psychology comes into play. I don’t think he ever has AK. I think he reraises QQ-AA against me preflop. I also know he could just have any suited connector or like QJ KJ KQ, etc. So I limited it to this: I thought he could have 99, TT, JJ. I also thought maybe 33-77 and he got counterfeited on the river. The only problem with the river is the fact that I'm calling the chop. I couldn't really see him just putting me all in on the river with 99, TT, JJ because he could still get value from me since my hand looks so much like AK/AQ. I definitely thought he would shove 33-77 since he got counterfeit and wanted the whole pot to himself. I also thought he would do that with all of his other bluff hands like 56 suited, qj, qk... I tanked it for a while and asked if this was one of those hands where he checks behind with TT because it can't handle the heat? I ended up thinking about it for a while, and decided that he was tricky and capable enough to play 99-JJ or even AA or something like this and it would be stupid to call for a chop. I ended up mucking and he later told me he had 33. I don't mind my fold here at all. I think it comes down to 33-77 and 99-JJ and I think he value bets 99-JJ but I could be wrong. Maybe I should call the river given that thinking but Matt plays good and I let him have it. I also could have bet the flop and went from there. Sometimes I fire two bullets on boards like that but I didn't want to do that against Matt because he wouldn't fold JJ or TT there against me.
Matt also made a sick laydown and gave me some insight to live play. Tight player makes it 5500 at 800/1600, other guy who won AQ vs. AK and got short again, shoved in 25k and Matt had AKo in the big blind and 50k. He ended up tanking and mucking. The first guy had AA and busted the other guys TT. Matt's reasoning for the hand was that the first guy was tight and opened big and that he didn't think the second player would move in with AQ again since he did that earlier and beat AK. So he would be flipping against the second guy at the minimum and he still had the tight first over raiser to worry about. His thinking was spot on. We talked all day until I busted and he really understands live play. It was interesting seeing his opinion on poker and talking to him about hands because it will help me in the future when I play more live poker. It definitely is a different game and he got me thinking differently which is good.
Okay, on to my tournament again. Jason Young makes it 5k at 1200/2400 from the cutoff and I have 89ss in the big blind. I call the min raise and the flop comes AT2s. He bets 5k and I muck. The next hand he opened Q3o, so I guess I could of shoved here in this spot but I didn't mind that I called. I had been patient all day I don’t just like moving in with 9 high praying they fold. A couple hands later a tight player limps for 2400 and I move in for 39k with AKo. Everyone folds. I didn't want to make it 8500 and have to brick a flop or have someone behind me flat call and I play out of position so I shoved to pick up the 8k in the pot. I am now up to 47k.
It folds to me on the button and I look down at KJo. The big blind has about 25k and the blinds are 1200/2400 300a. I think about what to do. KJo plays pretty good on the button, and I wont fold to the big blind either, or I wouldn't even raise. I thought about just moving in and that seemed like a little too much with 42k in chips, although I am picking up about 6k. I decided to raise to 6200. Matt thought for a little bit and moved all in. The big blind folded and I had a decision. I thought for a little bit and folded as well. Matt told me he had QK. I would never call it off in this spot but I wish I would of shoved preflop. We talked about the hand and Matt says he folds AT, QK, but better he would call. I know shoving for 42k there is a lot but I don’t mind gambling vs. the big blind with KJ or having a chance to pick up 6k. Also only a couple hands Matt calls me with have me crushed. If I knew he folds QK and AT there it's probably a shove. I don't mind how I played it again. Oh well.
So here comes my bust out hand. A couple hands later I have 35.5k in chips and the blinds are 1200/2400 300a. I am short stacked like I have been all day. I am in third position and look down at TT. I think the only right play in this spot is a shove and I moved in for 35.5k. It folds to Jason Young in the big blind and he asks me If I want action? I said "Yeah." He called. I thought for sure he called me with like 66-88 before he flipped up his hand. He turned over AQcc and the board came KQ2cc3hAh and I was out.
I battled hard and felt like I played pretty good today. I didn't do anything to jeopardize me having a shot. I got into a flip to get up to 70k and I didn't win it. Oh well. It is frustrating that I had some hands and didn’t get action and that all the pots they were unopened and everyone folded. It is also frustrating that I was up to 65k and couldn't keep increasing. I felt like I played really good today and did all I could. I am happy with how it went.
I will be leaving to go back to Florida probably tomorrow. It will be nice to get back home and start playing online again. FTOPS is coming up and hopefully I can have a better run than I did last FTOPS. I am DEFINITELY WINNING AN FTOPS EVENT! I'm getting better by the day and soon everything will come together. I will update the blog tomorrow or the day after and talk about my first experience to Atlantic City a couple years back. It should be a good read.