Today was another frustrating day. We started the $3,000 buy-in limit event with 415 players and 3000 chips apiece. The 4th hand of the tournament set the tone for the whole event. With the limits at 25/50 I raised from the small blind with K7 (not a great hand but one that stands to be better than the two random cards the big blind is holding). The big blind called and the flop came down A 10 3. I bet (50 is the only amount by rule that I was allowed to bet) and got called. The turn was a 8 and I bet again. I didn't have anything, but my opponent (who was not very good at hiding his reactions) didn't seem to like his hand either. But, he called again. The river was a Q and I decided to trust my instincts and bet again. Sadly, my opponent called again. I turned over my K7, he flipped up 9 3 and won the pot with one pair of threes. 9 3? One pair of threes? Did I some how convince him I didn't have much by raising before the flop, and then betting the flop, turn, and river? If I wasn't sure he didn't, I might have thought he'd seen my cards (and even if that was the case he probably would have raised me on the flop rather than give me a chance to catch up). I later discovered that I had the privilege of sitting next to what was almost certainly the stupidest player in the tournament. I started to wonder where he came up with $3,000 to enter the event and I after some heavy thought I came to a conclusion. He no doubt was the victim of medical malpractice that left him with a severe brain injury and only recently collected a large cash settlement.
One or two rounds later when I was back in the small blind someone open raised to 100 and I made it 150 to go with Ac Kd. I hadn't won a pot yet and was hoping this one would brake the ice. Brain Injury called out of the big blind and the flop came down Q J 5 with 2 clubs. I didn't have anything yet, but there was a good chance that an A or a K would make me the best hand and if both of my opponents completely missed I might win the pot right there. Also, if I checked one of them would probably bet and I'd have to call anyway or if one of them decided to raise, it would at least give me some information about where I stood. I bet and got called by both players. The turn was a red 10, my dream card. I had the best possible hand and with all those big cards out there it was likely that my opponents would have something and pay me off. I bet out (100 my only option), Brain Injury raised me and I raised him back. He just called and the turn was a A (YUCK!). Now all he needed was a K to tie me. I was hoping he had something like two pair or three of a kind, but after a few bets and raises he showed me Kc 9c (Note: he didn't play this had badly at all, it was many other hands as well as other things he said and did that led me to give him his well deserved moniker). As the dealer was splitting up the pot he turned to me and said "hey did you see how good my hand was on the turn. Shoot, a straight and a flush draw." I couldn't believe it. I wanted to say "Yeah I saw it you freaking moron. When you hand was supposedly so good you only had an 18% chance to win and a 6% chance to tie. Great hand!!!" But instead I did my best to show a little class and said "yep, wow" much like you would do to a small child (who you don't like!) who has found a shiny rock.
The measly winnings from half a pot was the highlight of the the first two hours of play and I found myself with 1700 chips on the first break. Shortly after I came back with limits of 100/200, I won my one real pot of the day. I picked up AK in the small blind again and raised the one player who had called the big blind. Brain Injury reraised me and I just called. The flop was all small, but I checked and called anyway thinking "this guy could have anything and I'm only putting in 100 more with a chance to win the 800 that's already in the pot." The turn was an ace (a great card for me) and I decided to go for the check raise. Unfortunately, after a long pause Brain Injury checked behind me. I bet the river, got called, showed my hand and took the pot. It wasn't a huge pot by any standard, but it was good to break the ice and I thought maybe I wasn't doomed after all. Sadly, I was wrong.
Shortly after I picked up two other strong starting hands but they didn't turn into much. I found KK on the button, and reraised to 300 with it before the flop. The original raiser put in bet 4 and I figured he either had AA or QQ or maybe AK since he seemed pretty tight (KK was almost out of the question because I already had two of the K's). I started to think about what I was going to do if the flop came all small and I decided to bet the flop and then check call the rest of the way if I got raised (barring a K or some other miracle) The flop came down A 5 2 and I checked. My opponent quickly checked behind me (hmmmm I thought....note that my spell check's first suggestion for a replacement of hmmmm was WHAMMY! I wish I was thinking WHAMMY! instead) and the turn was a Q. I bet out 200 on the turn and my opponent raised without hesitation. As I folded I said aloud "wow that was really stupid, I don't know why I bet there." After all I couldn't beat any of the hands I put him on and a check on the flop would make sense if he had AA or QQ. As the dealer pushed him the pot he showed AA and lamented how he didn't win more. A few hands later I picked up JJ in the small blind after a raise and a rerasie in front of me I called 3 bets. We took the flop 3 way and I was disappointed to see both an A and a K on the flop, but at least it made it easy to fold my hand.
I lost a few more chips when I made a late position raise with QJ suited and ran into QQ. All of a sudden found myself on fumes. I was down to 425 chips with limits of 150/300 and in big trouble. After stealing the blinds with A 10, I had to go right back through them again and was back down to 425. Two hands before I'd have to take the big blind again I found QQ and raised to 300. The small blind noticed my lack of chips and reraised to 450. The big blind folded, I put my remaining 125 into the pot and we turned up our cards. I showed him my QQ and he showed me 66. A 6 was the first card off the deck and I was eliminated from another tournament.
Tomorrow is an Omaha event which is about my 5th or 6th best game (behind hold 'em, 7 card stud, 7 card stud hi-lo split, low ball, and chutes and ladders!) so I'll be taking the day off. I'm looking forward to a more standard Vegas night of drinking and gambling with my wife. My next event will be the $5,000 No Limit Hold 'em event (GASP!). I wasn't sure if I was going to play that one or not since it's a big one, but since I've got one money finish and I missed one event (Event #4 that started on day 2 of event #3) I have plenty of dough to make it happen. Also I'm sure as hell not going to sit around here for two whole days by myself (Jen is leaving tomorrow at 2 :( booooo!) doing nothing so it's really an easy decision. Plus despite my somewhat sub par performance so far I've been playing really well so why not get in there and give myself another chance. I'll fire up an event #9 preview and maybe a few other ruminations tomorrow.
Almost 1,000 posts since 2006 about poker including, tournaments, cash games, anecdotes, the overuse of exclamation points, and run on sentences from a retired poker pro who lives and plays in the Bay Area and is currently preparing for the 2023 WSOP.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
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My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions
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Mr. Huff You seem to be playing 100% so far, so I say carry on wit your bad self!!
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