Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WSOP Circuit event 2

Back at Caesars for their $1060 buy in. We start out with 2500 chips. One hour levels.

They move slowly. 25/25. 25/50/ 50/100. Yep yep yep. 100/200.

It's a fascinating structure. Not a lot of chips but by keeping the blinds low for the first 3 hours they really let you fold and wait for a hand.

And fold I did. I think I played only 2 of my first 31 offerings.

After two hours I was up to 4600 without ever having alot of chips in danger.

We go on break. I see Jeff Madsen, Shannon Elizabeth and James Woods chatting by the sports book. I stare at everyone staring at them. They're like the cool kids in high school. That's if you were allowed to ask the cool kids in high school to take pictures with you.

In the third hour I have a minor setback.

I flop an ace high flush draw (ace queen) on a low rag board. I put the preflop raiser on a medium pair. In fact lets call him that. Medium pair guy.

Medium pair guy bets the flop. If my read is correct I have 15 outs against him and his medium pair with my overcards and flush draw. This makes me the favorite here. I know I want to see two more board cards. I also don't know if I'm going to get paid off from the two players behind me if a flush comes on the turn. So I decide to get all the money in there now.

I push and they both fold. I get called by medium pair guy calls and he turns over his (medium) pair of 10's. I'm very happy. I've gotten exactly what I wanted.

The fact that I miss on the turn and river is inconsequential. The real reason I'm mentioning this whole hand is because immediately afterwards one of the players (who folded to my flop reraise) starts giving me shit for betting him out of the hand with my draw.

He complains to me that he would have made jacks and thus beaten the medium pair guy's pocket 10's and so he says I screwed up by betting because we could have eliminated the medium pair guy.

This is a pet peeve of mine. People who insist you must check it down anytime there's a player all in. Sure it's one thing if you're at the final table and the next player going out moves everyone up on the money payout scale. Or you're on the bubble and knocking out one more player will get everyone in the money. But when there are 300 people left in the tournament I don't give a rat's ass who gets knocked out next. I'm just trying to win the pot.

Now say what you will about my raising rather than calling in that hand. Perhaps my raise killed the action behind me. That's an interesting conversation. Do I want that action? Or is it better to keep the pot smaller by playing the small stack one on one? But either way this is a different discussion than the importance of trying to eliminate players.

This guy is pissed at me because he would have won the pot if I hadn't bet him out. But at least he should be honest with me about it. Tell me "Damn it, If you hadn't of bet I would have won the pot." Instead he's calling me out and telling the table I've made a poker error by not calling and checking to eliminate this other player.

These moments are gold at the poker table. Because your ego wants to show everyone how smart you are. Even though it's often better to have everyone think you're dumb.

I compromised with a sarcastic "I want you to know that the entire reason I'm playing the tournament today is to eliminate this guy." And I pointed to the medium pair guy.

Although me being me I said it too dryly and no one got my joke. I think a few of them thought I had some weird vendetta against the medium pair guy.

Why shouldn't they? I said I did. It's the entire reason I played the tournament today.

Ah, the good times of tournament poker.

Soon after I pick up Ace 10 suited in the big blind. Big stack raises 2.5 the big blind from the cutoff seat. The button called and so did I.

Flop is 10 8 6.

I have this bad habit lately of checking top pair on the flop. I'm well aware of it. I like to check my top pair against overly aggressive players because I can often trap them when they try to steal pots from me. I let them do the betting for me. I fully realize that when I don't bet and someone else catches up to me it looks weak and pathetic. That's the risk I take. That's how I roll.

The original raiser is sort of loose so I do my weak check, fully expecting to call whatever this guy bets. I assume I'm ahead here. But then check this out. The original raiser checks. And the other guy bets. But something about the way the guy threw his chips into the pot scared the shit out of me. And so I folded.

Something just told me to. Not sure if this voice said two pair, set, overpair or straight. But something said "your ace 10 is no good."

Preflop raiser calls.

So what happens next? Another 10 on the turn. Now I feel sick.

There's a bet, a raise, a call.

Action that could be mine.

River = ace. I folded my full house.

Another bet and call.

Winner shows his pocket 8's. He flopped a set.

This was a great series of emotional reactions. First I felt good for folding my ace 10. I was way behind his set on the flop. But wait a minute. I would have won the hand with a higher full house.
Bad fold! I would have tripled up. This was the moment in the tournament where my bad call was going to work out.

It's one of those suck out hands that has to happen when you win these tournaments. And I missed my moment. This was the hand I was supposed to get lucky on. I'm supposed to do the wrong thing at the right time. And instead I did the right thing at the wrong time.

As for the ending it was the second straight day that I got knocked out with pocket aces. And what's worse is it was the second straight day they lost to pocket eights. What's up with that?

It happened right after I had just doubled up with kings versus pocket 10's. Somehow someway my very next hand was pocket aces. What a card rush.

Unlike yesterday the pocket 8's didn't make Phylis Diller a straight.

No. Today the pocket 8's gave Ed Asner's a set.

Can't wait to see which TV Land actor sits to my left tomorrow.

Lets conclude this entry with some words regarding pocket aces.
1-They are powerful.
2-They destroy free will.
3-I can't fold them preflop. Unless I feel sick.
4-Thus pocket aces give me no choice. I must play them.
5-If it's my time to get knocked out of the tournament well then it's just my time to get knocked out of the tournament.


dave said...

That is a pet peeve of mine too Rob. And you did the right thing by not starting the "Rob Cohen School of Professional Poker" at the table. That is another pet peeve of mine.

You played the hand right, and got unlucky. What are you gonna do?

Check Raise Chin said...

That Sucks Rob but luck is a huge part of the game. The moves you make don't work out and then the moves you don't make work out...funny game.

Q - if you raised all in preflop could you get those other two guys out and take it down right there?

Just curious. I'm guessing you were playing for the draw b/c if an ace hits you could be behind based on the original raise or you hit a 10 which you still could be behind.

I know you had odds to call the original bet pre-flop but might a all in squeeze play work there b/c with A/10 suited and you acting first after the flop, this puts you in a pretty bad position even if an A or 10 hits the board.

just curious on what your though process was on this particular hand pre-flop.

EskimoQuinn said...

Yes I think a preflop all in probably gets them both to fold.

However if they call me it's going to be a bigger ace or pocket pair and I'm going to be in trouble. And then I'm gonna have a hard time explaining to myself to the ride home how I got knocked out of this tournament with blinds at 50/100 and plenty of chips left.

I am more likely to make the move you describe when we have larger blinds and antes. That's a necessary part of going deep in tourneys. But I don't play aggressively enough overall to do that at 50/100.

The irony here is I also might actually make the move you describe but with a complete crap starting hand. I do this because I don't expect to get called. And since I'm in trouble either way if I do get called, it really doesn't matter what my cards are. So why waste my ace 10 suited on a bluff? Ace 10 suited is a fun hand to see a flop with from the blinds.

Meanwhile despite my reasons for not reraising you were certainly on target in this hand. Because either they'd have folded to my preflop raise or I'd have hit the runner runner full house on them.

So yes raising preflop is absolutely correct.