I won the tournament, the $2500 Deepstacks Poker Tour main event at the Grand Sierra Resort. We resumed play on Day 2 with 17 players left and finished until there was a winner. Things went my way at times and I was lucky to come out ahead.
Early on in the day at 1k/2k a loose(ish) preflop player made it 4500 UTG with about 25-30bb stack. I played with him a lot on day 1 and was comfortable pinning his range here. Roothlus flatted 2 to his left with ~28bbs and another player I knew flatted with under 20bbs. I had TT in the small blind with 160-170k stack. I was really only worried about Roothlus in this spot and contemplated flatting or raising. I decided to raise since there was almost 20k in the pot already. I 3bet to 16k and it folded to Roothlus who went all in for 39k (high 30s or so) more. I had been pretty aggressive but I didn't love the spot against him. I knew his range was polarized to a few hands. I still was priced in though and made the call. He had JJ and I ended up flopping a ten against him. Another good player busted at the other table as well. It was good for me that a few of the really good players were getting knocked out.
I chipped my way up some more and when we were playing 5 handed I lost a big pot 99 vs 88 all in preflop for 150k pot at 1.5k/3k. The board ran out JT29Q. That was a rough one, but that's how it goes. You get lucky, you get unlucky. I was knocked down to around 200k after that hand. A player busted from the other table and we had to redraw seats for the final ten. Only nine places were being paid.
I had a good, aggressive player to my left who I used to play a lot online with. His online name is "ricestud." He didn't have many chips but he ended up busting the 10th place finisher for us to go to the final table. The final table was being recorded by the Deepstacks 360 degree camera and a couple other avenues of technology. It was cool to be a part of a filmed final table. That was my first recorded final table. There were some nuances such as the bright lights, having to use the hole card cam, and keeping your chips stack to your side. The CEO/Owner of Deepstacks, Chris Torina, also made the final table.
The first person to bust at the final table was actually ricestud. There was an older gentleman named Bill in the 9 seat. I was in the 1 seat and sometimes when Bill tried to show his cards to the hole camera they would be exposed. He raised the button one hand and I saw a jack of spades flash. I told the floorman and they made him expose it to the rest of the table. It was just me and ricestud left in the hand. I mucked A5o from the small blind and ricestud decided to move all in for about 20bbs or less. Bill decided to call with QJss and beat A6 on a T8x9x board.
The rest of the final table was pretty slow until a guy busted in 8th TT vs AK all in pre. The player who held AK, who was also a student at the Deepstacks camp (Leon), won the hand. The next guy to lose after that was Chris Torina. I actually knocked him out. He only had about 55k or less at 4k/8k and there was another player who had 40k. All of the other players had a minimum of 200k. I had 420k and raised to 17k with 35dd on the hijack. Chris moved all in with KJo and I won the pot and knocked him out in 7th.
Bill was crushing the final table now. He was playing 50% or more of the hands. I was playing a couple pots with him but I didn't get out of control. I was chipping up nicely and then lost a pot to Bill when he limped the SB with 69o and I raised him with QTcc. He called and the flop came QJ9c he check called, turn was a 3, he check called again, and the river was a 6 and we both checked. He rolled over 69 for a rivered two pair. That pot was pretty big at the time and knocked me down to about 300k. We were now down to 5 players. A few hands after that I opened to 17k UTG with QQ and a short stack raised me to 50k in next position. I put him all in for his remaining 60k and he called with AJo. The board ran out 723JJ and he doubled up. At first I didn't even realize he had AJ because I was anti sweating the ace haha.
I won a few big pots off of Bill after that. I had about 220-240k at 4k/8k 5 handed and opened T7cc UTG. Bill defended his big blind and the flop came T83dd he led into me for 25k and I raised to 65k. He called. The turn was the 2s and he checked, I fired 80k this time. He called. The river was another 3 and he checked. I checked back and he rolled over 79o for a missed straight draw. The very next hand he raised to 20k from the small blind and I called with T6cc. The flop came QJc6 and he bet 25k on the flop. He literally would bet every flop so I decided to float him here, I still could have the best hand. The turn was another 6 which was the best card for me. He checked, I bet 40k, and he called. The river was a 3 and he checked again. I fired out 120k and he called. I won another pot and took over the chip lead.
Bill busted a short stack with A9 vs AT and the other shortstack busted and we were now 3 handed. Me, Bill and Leon. I took a couple pots off of Leon and Bill. Eventually me and Leon got it in my 77 vs his AQdd. He only had about ~25bbs at the time so it was a pretty easy spot for both of us. The board ran out 723d6dAs and I won the pot after having a sweat. When I entered heads up I had 1.1mil to Bills 450k.
I decided to play really small ball against Bill. He wouldn't ever 3bet but he would call 3bets. He would limp the button and I even checked hands like 77. There was no point in building pots out of position vs mediocre hands. We went back and forth a little bit and then I won a couple big pots off of him. I min raised the button with AJo he defended. It came T87hhh I had no hearts. He check called. The turn was 9d, he check called, the river was an Ad, he check called again and I scooped a pretty big pot. I grinded him down some more and eventually limped the button with 44. He checked. The flop came 874cc he led into me for about the size of the pot, 25k. I made it 75k. He called. The turn was another 7. He check called 84k. The river was the 2d and he only had about 150-180k behind and check called all in with 86o. That was the final hand of the tournament. It felt great to actually win a tournament without making a deal or a chop. Typically in Florida that's not always possible because people know each other or just really want to make a deal. This tournament had a great structure and there was a TON of room for play. Entering heads up Bill still had almost 50bbs.
When Deepstacks gets the final table up somewhere I will link everyone to it so they can watch it. Thanks again for everyone who followed the updates on Twitter and everyone who reads the blog. I really do appreciate the support. It was overwhelming and awesome to have so many people rooting for me. Thanks again. Many more wins to come.
Final hand of the tournament.
Sterling silver coin/trophy I won.
The day after the tournament ended, Monday, I was supposed to get on a flight back to Florida. I woke up at 9am and got ready for my 12:40pm flight. A couple days earlier was daylight savings time and we had to spring ahead an hour. I set my watch and my phone automatically adjusted the time. I woke up, got ready, and headed down to the casino floor to meet up with Chris and Grinder. It was about 10:30am and they were trying to convince me to goto San Jose for the WPT Bay 101. I contemplated it for a while. I had two hours before my flight, so I hung around deciding what I should do. I had knee surgery scheduled for Friday. If I made a deep run at the WPT I'd have to cancel my surgery.
I sat on a bench outside of the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) for about 20 minutes trying to figure out what I should do. I came to the conclusion that there was too many variables already set in motion for surgery and it was best not to mess with it. It's not easy to schedule a surgery, so I wanted to get it out of the way. At around 11am I got into a cab and headed to the airport.
The Reno airport is only 5 minutes away from GSR. I arrived at the airport and walked up to the US Airways desk. A lady approached me and asked me what flight I was taking. I told her the one to Phoenix and proceeded to check in through the kiosk. She told me it was too late to check in. I looked at my phone, it said 11:10am. I showed her and asked her why? She then told me it was 12:10pm. I was in shock haha. Apparently my phone jumped back an hour at some point the night before and I was operating under the wrong time. My initial itinerary was to fly from Reno to Phoenix, 40 minute layover, and then get in to Florida at 10pm. I now had two options. Fly the next day at 6:30am or take the next flight to Phoenix at 4:30pm. I chose the latter. I had to fly to Phoenix, wait 6 hours, fly to Charlotte, wait 2 hours, then fly to Florida and get in at 10am. It was an inconvenience but I wanted to get back as soon as possible.
The surgery went as well as possible. It's only been two days since it happened but I'm handling it. There's a lot of pain and I'm on some heavy pain killers. This operation went better than the first one though so I'm hoping for a quicker recovery time. I played poker Friday night (night after surgery) and then today as well. I am going to grind online tomorrow too but I will probably just play most of the bigger tournaments. I have been playing on my laptop with no extra monitor and I'm not used to playing more than 8 tables on it. Today I had 14-15 so maybe I will be able to adjust for tomorrow.
My leg after surgery.
Me playing poker today while hooked up to a machine that slowly bends my knee. I'll have to be hooked up to this machine 4 hours a day for probably 10-14 days.
Hopefully I can have a successful Sunday and a few sweats to take away some of the pain from my knee haha. See you guys at the tables in the afternoon.