Thursday, June 28, 2012

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - End of Level 10 (400 Ante)

First hand back from break, one player opened for 300, and another called. I saw AQ, and 3-bet to 2000. Everyone folded.

After a lot of folding, the 60's gentleman opened from SB to 600. It folded to me, and I 3-bet to 2100 with TT. A Kid in the Hyjack shipped it All-In, and had me covered. SB folded, and I went in to the tank. I would have 8100 left if I fold. Also, I saw that Kid talking to Melanie Wisner on break about stalling so he can get to the money. So far, he has been acting incredibly slow in spots that should be automatic. It's hard to see him squeezing here, so I folded. He didn't show.

At the table behind me, Phil Hellmuth and Men "The Master" are verbally sparing, and so far it's been friendly but loud.

Now, back to the folding, which there was a lot of. When we got to Level 8 (400 ante), I was under 6000 chips, or 15 Antes. It was time to start shipping before the level went up, there just wasn't an opportunity.

Eventually, I looked at 88 from the SB, and insta-shipped for 4200. It folded around to the 60's European gentleman, who went All-In for over 20k from the Hyjack. The others folded, and he proudly showed KTo. The Door Card was a Ten, and the Flop was QT3. The Turn and River were [QT3] 9 J, giving me the Straight, but giving him a K-high Straight.

I was out of the tourney about 10 - 15 players from a min-cash of $2409.


Overall, I'm very happy with my performance today. After I badly butchered KK in Level 1, I recovered and played very well. I adjusted to my tables, which were very Internet Pro heavy. I used selective aggression to pick up pots when the opportunity presented itself.

I had two problems today, my seat draw and a total lack of cards. I was in Seat 3 at my second table, where I spent most of the day. Seat 1 and Seat 5 were Internet Gurus who were playing 80 - 90% of the pots, often against each other. Their chip stacks had many wild swings, but neither cared about that. With them always wanting to see Flops, the proper adjustment for me was to drop into Super-Nit mode, and pick my battles. Unfortunately, those opportunities were few and far between, as you have already read.

But the problem with Super-Nit gear is that I need to get a few hands, and that just didn't happen. I was getting the occasional hand before the Dinner Break, and I was able to slowly build my stack without risking it. But after Dinner, I just didn't have anything, and that was when the structure kicked in.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - End of Level 8 (200 Ante)

There have been a few changes at the table. Ylon was out shortly before the Dinner Break. Alex K was out shortly afterwards. No "known" players took their seats. Most of the Internet Gurus are still here, and still splashing around. 

For Level 7 (100 Ante), I basically anted off. I played almost no hands, and might have won one small pot. 

In Level 8 (200 Ante), it folded around to a player in Mid position, who raised to 300. He took Alex K's seat, and he's a 60's gentleman from Eastern Europe who barely understands a little English. So far, he seems to be playing like a 60's gentleman (tight). It folded to me in the Cutoff, and I decided to use my table image by 3-betting to 1100 with 95o. Button folded, and Mid called. Flop Kd Tc 4d. He checked, I bet 2000, and he folded. 

After that, it was more card dead for me. In the 2nd to last hand before the break, it limped to me on the Button, so I happily called with T8o. Flop was J 8 7. It checked around to the I-G on my Left who bet 800. I was the only caller with Middle Pair and Gutshot. Turn was [J87] J. He checked, and so did I. River [J87 J] 7. He quickly checked, and it was obvious that he was done with the hand. I bet 1500, and he snap-folded. 

That really helped my stack, that was starting to get low. I'm back to 10900, which is OK, but not great. Next ante is 300, and i need to start getting some chips 

There are 171 players left. I'm guessing we'll be around the Bubble by next break.

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - End of Level 6 (75 Ante)

Even though there are less recognizable pros at my table, most of the rest seem to be online pros. They've been swapping stories about other players, old glory about scores on 'Stars and 'Tilt, and living overseas to play on 'Stars.

The Min-Limp for 25 has become standard for about half the hands. I tried to sneak in with 88 in EP, but folded after a raise and 3-bet.

The first real pot I played was halfway the level. First player came in for 200. About five other player called, including me on the Button with 75o. Flop was Td 7d 4c. First player bet 650, which seemed incredibly small and weak to me. Only Ylon called when it got to me. I quickly raised to 2000, and they couldn't fold fast enough. I do love my Super-Nit table image.

My next Button, it was a limp-fest, including me with 53s. Flop Qc Qs 3c. The BB, one of the online gurus, bet 300, and I was the only caller. Turn [Qc Qs 3c] 6s. He bet 475, and I called with a Pair + Flush Draw. River was a brick, and we both checked. He had AKs, and I won the pot. Good thing the Spade didn't hit the River.

A few hands later, I finally looked down at a hand, AKo. I called a 200 preflop raise, along with a few other players. The Flop was K-high. I just kept calling the initial raiser's bets, and I was good.

The Min-Limps continued at the table, and I joined in only on the Button or maybe the Cutoff. I limped on the Button with 99 for deception, but missed my set. Later, I limped with Q3o on the Button. Flop was Kh Kc Qc. It checked to me, and I fired 300. I expected to get a few callers on that wet Flop, but everyone folded.

I have 11900, or 119 Antes for next level. Not sure exactly what that means, but it feels comfortable.

The official total for today is 939 players, but only 288 left (probably less than that). With 117 getting paid, we should have no problem getting under 100 tonight.

Will I be one of them? Stay tuned to find out.

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - End of Level 4 (50 Ante)

Good news is that the next seat filled at the table was a gentleman over 40. Bad news was that it was Will Fialla from a broken table, and sat on my direct Right. Then came Jon Racner, who sat between me and Chung. The last seat was filled by another Kid who many players at this table knew.

Thanks to this wonderful table draw, I stayed in Super-Nit mode. Also, I wasn't getting any starting hands. I did lose a pot with AQ, and blinded down to around 3000. I finally opened a pot from EP with JTs for 225. Five players called, and the Flop was T87. I bet 750, and one player min-raised to 1500. I shoved for 2800, and he called with 87o. Turn was a brick, but the River was a Ten for the double up.

Three hands later, a few players limped for 25. I have JJ, and raised to 300 from Hyjack. Cutoff shoved for about 2k. Button (Racner) folded, then Chung asked how much I had behind before shoving All-In. We had about the same stack. I'm assuming he did his "limp in the dark" move again. It's hard to believe that he has JJ beat, especially since it's Chung, so I called. Chung had AQ, and the Shortstack had AT. Two Tens hit the Flop, but Chung missed. We counted the stacks, and I had him covered by 200 chips. This got me over 9000 chips.

Not long after that hand, early in Level 4, they broke our table. My new seat was Table 2 Seat 3. At first glance, this was a much better table for me. It's a bit older, and I only recognize one player, Ylon Schwartz, who won my HORSE bracelet two weeks ago. About 30 minutes later, Alex K sat down in the empty seat. He's the Russian who was at Jerry Yang's Final Table in '07.

The play at this table was similar to the old table. About half the players "limped in the dark" for one Green chip. I think it's an incredibly stupid move to blindly get into pots out of position, but an action junkie needs action.

I've stayed in Super-Nit mode, and played almost no hands. I have no interest in playing their reindeer games, and I'm gonna stick to my plan.

I have 7625 chips. The tourney timer shows 913 entrants.

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - End of Level 2 (25 Ante)

So far, play has been what I expected, with the opening raise being in the 75-150 range. Naturally, there's been a decent amount of 3-betting, and the occasional 4-bet. Although, as play went on, I think some of the Kids got bored, and started limping. Chung even limped "In The Dark" a couple of time from the SB spot.

As for me, I tried to keep my VPIP low, especially out of position. The first big hand I played was with Ks Kc, and I royally fucked it up. I was the first caller of a raise from one of the Kids. I was hoping someone would 3-bet, but they didn't. The board ran out 6c 5c 4s 7s Jh. I just called all three Streets, including 1800 on the River. He had 98c for the 6-Card Straight.

This left me with 1150. I anted down to 1025, and 4-Bet All-In with TT. The 3-Bet guy had 77, and I doubled up.

Next big had was me raising to 150 from the Cutoff with 65o after two players limped. Only a 50's gentleman called from Early Position. Flop was 7c 5d 4d. He lead out for 125, and I raised to 525. He called, and the Turn was [7c 5d 4d] 6s. He checked, and I shoved for around 1400. Fortunately, he didn't snap-call. He went into the tank for almost two minutes. I wanted him to call, until he did call with 97d for the monster draw. The River was 6d, giving him the Flush, but giving me the Full House.

This got me close to my starting stack of 4500. No more big lots for me as I nitted it up a bit. The table went from 6 handed for most of Level 1, to 8 handed. It's almost all Kids, with just me and the 97d gentleman are the only players over 40.

On surrounding tables, I can hear Daniel N is holding court at his table. On the table behind me, a foreign player was ejected for having an open wound on his arm. I'm. It sure of the details, but the player was very upset.

I have 4550 chips, for a sweet profit of 50. We currently have seven players at the table, as one just busted. The tourney timer shows 809 players, and climbing.

WSOP #49 $1500 NL Ante Only - "Shuffle Up & Deal"

First, a quick recap of yesterday. I played in three Daily Donkaments, and three Single Table Satellites at the Rio. I played two $125 and a $175 STS, and airballed all of them. However, things went much better in the donkaments.

In the 10am Harrah's $60 that had 47 runners, there was a 4-way deal where I got $600 as one of the two chip leaders. In the 7pm Orleans $75 that had 83 entries, there was a 4-way chop for $820 each. This marks the first time that I have ever cashed in two donkaments in the same day, and it seems hard to believe that it took this long.

Today, I'm at Table 55 Seat 4 in the Brasillia Room. So far, the Dealer seems to speak almost no English, and was thoroughly confused when the Floor was giving instructions.

Right now, there are six players at my table right now, a mix of young and old. However, one of the Kids is Joesph Chung (3rd place in the '10 Main Event). He's in Seat 7, which is two to my left. Joy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coin Flipping Contest

Yesterday was the $340 Heads-Up tourney at Caesars' Palace at 4pm.

Match #1 - I walked up to my table, and my opponent was already sitting there. It was a 50's gentleman from France. He barely spoke English, and was trying to ask the Dealer about this tournament. Evidently, he didn't know this was a Heads-Up tourney, or just didn't understand the concept. This seemed like a good draw for me.

Another point of confusion was the structure. Heads-Up can be a little confusing at first, with the Button acting first preflop, but last afterwards. But the first level was 100/100, and that made it even more confusing since we both have the same blind. The French gentleman was very confused, and even the Dealer called the Floor over to verify what I was saying. I kept saying that things would make more sense when we get to Level 2 (100/200), and having two different blinds did help.

Anyways, I was the Button for the first hand, and checked with T5s. He also checked, and the Flop was A-high. We both checked, and the Turn was a 2nd Spade. He bet 300, and I called with a Flush Draw. River was not a Spade. He bet 1600 (that's not a typo). I chuckled a bit, and mucked. He showed AA, for a Set.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hand Of The Day #96

$8/$16 Omaha-8 ~ Venetian ~ 06.17.12

One player limps in. Hyjack raises ($16). He is Data from the CPMG, my former home poker group from Cleveland, and a bunch of them are in Las Vegas for this weekend. I'm next to act in the Cutoff, and I 3-Bet ($24) with As 7c 7h 4h. I know that doesn't seem like a hand to 3-Bet, and that is correct. So why did I do it?

Many people say they don't like going to casinos with their friends, because they don't want to take their money when they could just do it in their home game. I don't have this issue, as I have no problem separating business from friendship. I actually was looking to get a couple of hands for the blog on this trip. Plus, I want to get my hands on some Cleveland money, as it smells just a little sweeter to me.

Back to the action... It folds to the BB, who calls the two bets. This isn't surprising, as he has been a world-class calling station so far. The Limper also calls. Flop is 8c 6d 5s. The BB bets ($8). Limper folds. Hyjack calls. I raise ($8) with the 2nd Nut Straight and an A4 Low. I doubt my Low is any good, but my Straight should be good, as it's doubtful that someone has 97 in their hand. The BB calls, but Data in the Hyjack 3-Bets ($24).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body

After my flame out in the $1500 HORSE, I grinded Daily Donkament for a couple of days. Here are the results.

Wed 06.13 -
8:30p Luxor $65 6/14

Thur 06.14 -
9a Rio $70 7/11
11a MGM $80 11/61
3p Harrah's $60 30/89
6p Flamingo $70 16/30
8p Mandalay Bay $80 (Ante Only) 2/10 $215

Fri 06.15 -
9a Caesars $70 25/35
11a Stratosphere $65 8/33
4p Planet Hollywood $65 4/41 $185
8p Hard Rock $60 14/23

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Satellite Man '12

I arrived at Rio at 2pm on Tuesday 6/12. The plan was to grind single table satellites, as I will be playing in the $1500 HORSE event on the following day.

Last Longer are very common at the Rio. Players voluntary put up $20, $40, $100, or more, and do sort of a side tournament. This is to add some money to the prizepool, but doesn't add any juice to the WSOP to take. Sometimes, the Last Longers are between two players, or they could be for the all ten players. I was a little leery of handing someone else a $100 bill. But this is such a common practice at the WSOP, I would be stunned if someone ran off with the money.

#1 $125 - 1k chips. 15 min levels starting at 25/25. A couple of the players were buddies, and they were rather social. It was a fun table. However, the cards were quiet for me. In the 50/100 level, I raised UTG to 225 with AA, and all folded. Towards end of level, I raised from Mid with JTo. Button called, and BB shoved for 500. I reluctantly called, leaving 450 behind. Button called, and Flop was 8-high. I checked,  and Button shipped. I folded, and he showed A3c, no pair. BB had AJ. Boards ran out Q 9, which would have given me the Straight. Naturally, the Blinds went up to 100/200 right after this hand. I folded my BB to a raise, and shoved my SB for 250 with A7. The BB had 74c, and I doubled up.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Golden Nugget $240 HORSE

I didn't plan on doing a Running Log for this tournament on Monday. However, I ended up typing up some notes on each break about what happened.

"Shuffle Up & Deal" - We start with 12k chips, and levels are 40 minutes long with Level 1 being 50/100. Therefore,  we start with 120 Big Bets, which means the first few hours of this tourney are meaningless. There is no danger of going broke, or getting a big stack. I'm gonna play ABC tight, in order to set up a table image for when the levels and pots are more meaningful. It would be like sitting at a $3/$6 table with $720. You can't win or lose enough compared to what we started with.

Rather large crowd, according to the locals, with 15 - 18 tables set-up. That is a lot more than the $135 NLHE tourney that just started on the other side of the room. I assume it's due to the $1500 HORSE on Wednesday.

Some pros that I spotted in the field include Tom McEvoy, Ylon Schwartz, and Chip & Karina Jett.

Break #1 - 13275 chips heading into 200/400. First hand I won was in Razz, and I hit the Steel Wheel. In Stud-8, I hit Quad Aces, and scooped when the Low missed.

Joke told at the table. "What's the difference between a poker pro and a large pepperoni pizza?"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WSOP #27 $1500 HORSE - End Of Level 4 (150/300)

The empty seat didn't show up. After about an hour, one of the Floors walked by and grabbed the stack, saying that nobody bought that stack. About thirty minutes later, the player showed up with a receipt in his hand for that seat. Evidently, that Floor didn't bother to check with the cage to see if the seat was actually sold, and just made a decision on his own. No wonder the WSOP is getting so much criticism this year.

My cards never improved. I was doing so much folding, that I wasn't paying attention to what game we were playing. In one of the few Stud hands that I played, I got to showdown with just a Pair of Fours, only because my opponent checked 6th and 7th. I was surprised with she showed a Flush, and mentioned that she didn't bet because she assumed that I had a Low. I took a quick glance at the placard, and it said "Stud-8". I had no clue that was the game, and I might have mucked a Low. I know I had 44 and a Face Card, but I'm not sure about the rest. It's probably 50/50 that I had a Low, which would be a total bonehead mistake by me.

In Hold'em, I got my last 550 in the pot with a Set of 8 against a Gutshot, and survived.

In the 150/300 Level, towards the end of Razz, I finally got a playable hand, and completed with (23)A. Another player with a 3 called. We eventually got All-In by 5th Street.

Me (23) A K 4 J
Him (56) 3 Q 3 T

I drew a 4 on 7th, and my Wheel Draw became a J432A. He drew a 7, and had a T7653. I was one of the first 25 players knocked out of this event, which had over 800 players.

This was one of those tourney where I just never had a chance. I'm sure I will run like God in my next $60 Donkament. That's how it usually goes for me.

WSOP #27 $1500 HORSE - End Of Level 2 (75/150)

My table has seven players with one dead stack who hasn't shown up yet. Probably a pro who's playing a Day 2 or Day 3 later.

I have no clue on the attendance, as they have no numbers on the timer.

The first dealer we had was extremely new to dealing. When we switched from Omaha-8 to Razz, she was thoroughly confused by the Button Ante of 75. She asked the two players after the Button to post the Blinds, and started dealing from the Button, rather than from Seat #1.

The good news is that my table has been rather social. One of the Poker News reporters (Rich Ryan) is playing on his off day, and we've had some good discussions about current events, both poker and non-poker.

The bad news is the cards. They have been dreadful so far. I haven't played many hands, and whiffed on most of the ones I've played. We just completed the Razz round, and I was dealt a Pair in five out of the eight hands, including JJ twice.

I have 1875 chips, which is less than half of the starting stack. Coming into today, I thought I would have no problem making Dinner Break, and a decent chance of making Day 2. Now, I'm not sure I'll make the next break. Things could turn around quickly, so we will just try to be patient.

WSOP #27 $1500 HORSE - "Shuffle Up & Deal"

I'm in the Brasilia Room, Table 47 Seat 4. When I got to the table, there was a Kid in Seat 1 and a 40's gentleman in Seat 2. The 40's guy was asking the Dealer about betting, and how much he could raise. He said he hasn't played a Limit game in a long time. He then asked about Razz, things like if Straights and Flushes are bad. I think I have a good table draw, as there is nobody I recognize at my table. However there are three open seats.

We start with 4500 chips. The levels are 60 minutes long, and we start at 50/100.

Although there are no pros at my table, this event is stacked with them. This is the only event today, as there is no tourney at 5pm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

$3/$6 Mixed At The Imperial Palace

I got to play in the legendary $3/$6 Mixed game on Sunday night, which is the longest running low limit mixed game in Las Vegas. They ended up with three tables, with a bunch of local dealers showing up for the 3rd table. There is a set list of games, although some tables altered their list. Here is the list of games that we played at our table, followed by some thoughts on the more bizzaro games, and I'll finish with a summary of my session.

The Flop and Draw games have blinds of $1/$3. The Stud games have a $1 ante, and a $1 bring-in. We played eight hands of each game. In the Draw games, only six players were dealt in, as UTG & UTG+1 were dealt out when the table was full of eight players.

1: Omaha-8
2: Razz
3: 2-7 Triple Draw
4: Double Flop Omaha
5: Stud-8
6: Badugi
7: 4-Card Crazy Pineapple with Ocean
8: A-5 Triple Draw H/L (8 or better)
9: 3-2-1 Omaha
10: Baduci
11: Razz-dugi

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Live Blog: Ivey & Hellmuth Go For Gold

First of all, I'm not a fanboy when it comes to Poker Pros. I don't spot them in the hall, and go Owww and Ahhh. But when Ivey & Hellmuth are deep at Final Tables for bracelets at two different events at the same time, it's pretty fucking huge.

When I finished up at the Imperial Palace $3/$6 Mix game (more on that game later), I headed to the Rio to see history happen. Not just to see each of them win their bracelet, but see the circus that this is causing.

I walked into the Pavilion Room at 11:45pm. On the stage where they do the afternoon Bracelet Ceremony is the Final Table of the $2500 Razz tourney. Phil Hellmuth is in the 5-seat across the Dealer, and his only opponent is in the 10-seat. Hellmuth has a big chip lead, and has dominated this Final Table all day.

The crowd around the stage is around 100 watchers, and is slowly growing. Pros I see watching include Eli Elezra, Layne Flack, Gavin Smith, and Todd Brunson. Hellmuth just got up from the table to say hi to some of them. There are some seats on the stage, but I cant see who is in them.

Midnight - I head over to the Amazon Room to watch the $10k Pot Limit Hold'em Final Table, which is being held on the Main Final Table they use for TV. It's 3-handed, with Ivey in the 3-seat, Andy Frankenberger in the 8-seat, and Ali Eslami in the 1-seat. I'm not sure of chip totals, but Ivey was in the lead when I last checked Poker News.

Friday, June 8, 2012

LOL Donkament #10

Peppermill 6:30 $65 Bounty - 06.07.12

We had 29 runners for this one. I started with 9000 chips, and the levels were 15 minutes long with a fast structure. There is a $10 Bounty, which seems like a waste of time. You need to knock out seven players to get your buy-in back. If someone does that, then they will probably win the tourney.

I got off to a good start, and collected three bounties by the first break. Normally, my goal is to get to 15k by the break, which is before the 500/1000/100 level. This time, I got to almost 28k, and was one of the big stacks at my table.

However, things didn't go as well after the break. There was a young player at the table who we will call Alex. I've never seen him before, but he seemed to play straight forward. He limped in for 1000. I raised to 3100 from the Button with 77. Alex and the BB called. Flop was K94. They checked, I bet 6100, and only Alex called. Turn [K94] 9. We both checked. Alex bet 8000 on the River, and I folded.

I went rather card dead after that hand, but Alex kept scooping up pots without showing his cards. It was really annoying how he kept sucking up all the pots at my table. I don't know if he was getting hit with the deck, or just had wonderful timing when he stabbed at a pot.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Early Sunday morning, I will be loading up the car, and heading south to Las Vegas for the 2012 WSOP.

Last year, I went down for ten days, and it was too long. So this year, I'm only driving down for a week, then driving home for a week, and then driving down again for a week. This means I will be spending four consecutive Sundays driving across Nevada. If that sounds a little messed up, then you may be right. This may end up being a really bad idea.

Another difference from last year is that I won't be staying at a casino. I know it's sacrilegious to go to Sin City, and not stay at a casino, but I'm treating this like a business trip. I'm staying at hotels that have a kitchenette in the rooms. The rooms are not cheaper than those at a casino, but I can make some of my meals in the room, which will be much cheaper than casino food. I'll be staying at a different one each week, so I can compare them. Once again, this may end up being a bad idea, but we will see.

My itinerary will basically be the same as last year. I will be playing in two $1500 WSOP events (one each week), along with a few $200 tourneys, various daily donkaments, and the occasional cash game.