posted on January 28, 2013 12:15
The World Series of Poker Circuit kicked off at Harrahs Tunica last Thursday. I arrived in Tunica at 11:00 AM on Friday. I had intentions on waiting on Saturday to play the $365 re-entry tournament, but hey, this was a 64 hour road trip -- so I jumped right into Event #2 an hour after arriving...
This event fielded 611 players and first place was to pay $43,880. My first table was a weak group and I am always amazed by the level of play in these $365 events. "It ain't good". Players complain about Caesars Entertainment tournament fees in excess of 20%, but I have some good news for you in this regard -- maybe as much as 20% of this crowd could never win the tournament. No matter how well they run!
AN EARLY CDU (courtesy double-up). So I find Kings about an hour into this thing, and three-bet a frequent raiser. I wanted action, so I didn't hit it too heavy. Everyone folded to the original raiser and he four-bet. I five-bet, and he shoved all in on me with 8h9h. "That's what I'm talking about".
A few bad breaks. I had a lot of chips early, running my stack up to a high point of 26K, and I began to look at more flops. I played a JdTd in a three-way pot with position (limping and calling a big blind raise behind me). The flop came a KJT rainbow. First, let me say, I am not that crazy about this spot. The original raiser bet out and the third party folded to me. My opponent played pretty good, but I was sure he would check AQ, so I called. The turn brought a 5, and I had pretty well decided I was good. Was I good? Well, based on his demeanor and my read, yes, I thought I was good against a range he may be betting -- so I shoved and was right (he held AK). The river brought another 5, counterfeited my two pair, and that card was the difference between having 18K in chips versus 34K in chips.The chip average at this time was something like 13K. Eventually this table would break, but I doubled up a couple of short stacks along the way. I would raise, and they would shove their short stack, and I would be priced into a call. I remember two of these hands: my A9 < KK and my AQ < 55. When the smoke cleared, I still had an average stack after four hours, and with nearly half the field gone.
Nothing happening. After being moved to a different table, I learned my new table was much tougher than my previous. Such is the progression of these WSOP Circuit events, they get tougher as they go. My cards sucked, I became "Sir Fold A Lot" and eventually my stack dwindled to 10K. Dinner break was looming and the field was down to 200 players (with 63 being paid) -- and I pick up Kings with the chip average being 30K. A player under the gun shipped 10K (Tens) , I went into the tank like I was contemplating a tough call. I call, and it is folded to a big stack in the big blind. He snap called. I hoped it was because he had a big stack, but he snap called because he held Aces. I was out.
Event #3 ($365 re-entry tournament). This is the tournament I went to play this weekend. Event #3 did not disappoint as 1271 entered. First place was to be around $68K. There are really no big hands to tell you about in this tournament. I don't know how I went so deep, I really don't. The only hands of note was a pocket pair of Queens, my bustout hand, and I really played good. Late in Day One, I flatted a raise by a good player from St. Louis with Queens. Why? I had a good stack, the table was tight, and it was getting late. I had a stack well above average. I liked my chances at this point in time, and I opted to take the flop off three-handed, disguising the Queens.
Good decision. The flop came a ten-high board with two hearts. The original raiser led at the pot, I felt like he was committed and I shoved. This young man knows me, and he hated making the call with AT. I held and would take 70K in chips into Day Two (with the average being 60K). My recollection was 214 players made Day Two, and 135 were to be paid. Going into Day Two, I formulated this strategy:
Play to make the Final Table. Be willing to bust out of the money to get there.
Day Two Event #3 It was prime-time and this is the point of a tournament prime-time players make it happen -- or die trying to make it happen. I would have liked to have gathered some chips before the bubble, so I could abuse the bubble, but it never happened. I saw six flops Day Two. I defended my small blind twice, I defended my big blind twice, and I played two hand voluntarily in three hours time. One hand I re-raised Joe Hebda preflop and took it down with AcJc. The other hand was my bust hand. That is all there is to tell, it was that bad.
Bust hand. We were down to 120 players and I found KQ offsuit in the small blind (with Circuit standout Tripp Kirk in the big blind). Seat five (monster stack) opened the pot for 10K and it was folded to me, with eight big blinds. I shipped 32K and he called with pocket fives. My opponent held and I was out in 119th place with $568 for the effort. If I could have won that race, I would have had 75K (19 big blinds) with 110K being the average. The pay master paid me $568. "Congratulations!"
Yeah, fuck off lady :)
WSOP TUNICA RESULTS AND SCHEDULE
Event #4 (same day). Event #4 kicked off at 3PM Sunday. I had just busted in Event #3, and made a quick decision. "Awwww Fuck it man." I ate a quick lunch with Jaman Burton, and jumped into this event -- and maaaan, I didn't last long. I made a play at a pot, because I think they play bad. How bad do they play? Well. I watched a guy make it 450 to go with a 100 big blind. He was called four times, and another player made it 2250 to go. Five, count 'em, five players went to the flop -- which landed an A95 rainbow. The raiser bet 2000 and everyone folded. He showed 99.
My very early bust hand. In this hand, a player under the gun raised to 350 with a 150 big blind. I was the fourth call with 66. A fifth player called and the button made it 1100 to go. Another player called his 1100 and it looked like a weak call. When the action got to me, I shipped it, looking for a squeeze, a laydown or a race. This player had just sat down, it was his first hand and he was a late registrant. He tanked a long time, which was good for me. Finally he made the call, and showed AK. Lucky me. I guessed right, it was a race, but had hoped he had AQ instead and would fold. It was a race for a 25K pot, the flop came King-high (all diamonds). I held the only diamond, but the board bricked off and I was out -- in less than 90 minutes. Meh.
Event #4 fielded 306 players.
So I went to Tunica, played three events, paid $1095 in entries, lost $400 in the only cash game session I played and spent $260 on expenses. I cashed for $568, got an a hello hug from La Sengphet (always nice), went deep for $68K, and played for $48K along with entering Event#4. Add it all up, this trip was a $1000 kick in the nuts! But if St. Louisan John Adams can't complain about what happened to him on this trip, I would never complain about how it went for me...
The John Adams story. John is one of St. Louis' better players and he was second in chips with 15 remaining in Event #1. First place was over $28K. John picked up a pair of Aces at this point in time, and his opponent in the hand was the chip leader. The flop landed rags and all the money went in for a monster pot. John's opponent held Kings! But a King landed on the river!!!
Complimentary Johnny Law story. So I busted in event #4 before 5:00 PM yesterday, and bugged out with intentions of going home a day earlier than Cheryl expected me. Keeping peace at home is always the smart move. "Players. Respect your poker widows". So I get to that big bridge coming out of Memphis on a Sunday evening, and I am like the only guy on the bridge. So I crank it up over 75 mph and there is an Arkansas State Trooper parked at the end of the bridge, and his lights went off before I even got there. I pulled over right in front of him, it happened that fast. It was like I parallel parked in a parking spot right in front of him...
"Do you know you were doing 78 miles an hour across the water?" My reply was reactionary. "with a twinkle in his eye and a big smile* gave me a break -- and a warning ticket. "Slow down" he said, and I replied, "Sir. I promise I will not speed through the Great State of Arkansas the rest of the way -- and I will not open it back up until I hit Missouri". True story.
The whole exchange took less than 5 minutes.
*Exaggerated description in case that Trooper reads this.