Wednesday, July 08, 2009

One Lottery Ticket Please Part III

This is part 3 of my recap of playing in WSOP event 51. If you're gonna spend your hard earned time reading it, I suggest you start here first. I only offer this advice because I'm looking out for you and concerned with you living your life as well as possible.

3:54 PM. The powers that be break my table. It's a shame too cause I had a pretty good feel for how these guys were playing. And my image was immaculate. Everyone's seen me play tight for 3+ hours. Then go on a rush. If I played more hands now I definitely could have gotten some courtesy folds.

3:56 PM. I walk over to a different section and sit down at my new table. I look around at the chips. Everyone is small. The most is like 6000. Except for seat 1. He has a big stack that's pretty sloppy and because I'm on the other side of the dealer I can't get a good look at it. He has his smaller denomination chips in front too, blocking my view of his larger chips. Shame on me for not pursuing this information more arduously.

4:08 PM. I fold my first 5 hands. Taking it slow. Getting to know the table.
Around 1000 players are eliminated, leaving around 1800 left in the field. The average stack is approximately 7000. I'm very aware of how fortunate I am to have over 12k in chips. It gives me the freedom to make some moves and play some poker. It also gives me the freedom to sit back and fold if I need to.

4:09 PM. It's my big blind at 100/200. There are 5 limpers and the small blind completes. 1400 committed to the pot as I look down at ace king suited.

What to do?

I can go conservative and tap the table. It's not completely absurd. No one would ever put me on ace king later in the hand.

Of course the disadvantage would be when the flop comes out ace, 10, 4 and I'm letting someone with ace, 4 take some chips from me.

Ace King plays well heads up. I don't need to see a flop with 6 other people. I got chips. I say raise. The only question is how much?

In hindsight I wish I made a smaller raise. You know. Something like 800. Or 1000. In that moment I didn't want to raise too small and create what El Guapo might call "a plethora" of callers.

So the guy who controls the voice box in my throat said "Sixteen hundred more."

A complete overbet. I'm satisfied to take down the 1400 out there, and if one of these smaller to mid range stacks wants to repop me with pocket 8's, I'm happy to race.

One advantage of sizing my bet this way (I thought) was it might create the image of a mid pocket pair. Isn't this how lots of your friends play pocket 9's? Pocket 10's? Pocket Jacks?

They're terrified of seeing a flop. So they overbet preflop.

The guy in seat 1, under the gun, with the indiscriminate sized stack calls.

Everyone else folds.


He might have limped with aces.

He might have me out chipped.

Optimistically I might be about to increase my stack to over 25k.

But truth be told, this was the exact kind of situation I was hoping to avoid at this point of the tournament. I wanted to reraise mid stacks. Not play a big hand out of position against the only other guy at the table who can bust me.

The flop comes out 2,4,9. One club. Which happens to be the suit of my ace and king. This isn't an awful flop for me.

As far as I'm concerned my mid pair is probably still the best hand. Unless he's hit a set, or is in fact slow playing aces, I'm in good shape.

If I had pocket jacks I would bet out here. I don't want to check, have him check behind me and see an over card hit on the turn.

There's 4600 out there. If I had only raised 1000 there would be 3400 out there. But unfortunately there's 4600.

I play with my chips and eventually decide to slide out 3750. 5550 of my chips are now out in the middle. Almost half my stack. I think this bet shows I'm potentially pot committed. I ain't talking about a marijuana addiction.

The gentleman in seat 1 takes his time.

He studies the situation.

I sit calmly and stare at the chips in the middle of the table.

Just like I would do with aces.

It's like old times.

I'm waiting for him to fold.

He doesn't.

After a minute or so he declares he's all in.



All I wanted to do was play conservatively and hold onto my 12k chips until opportunity presented itself and now I'm stuck in this spot.

Come on Robert.

I ask how many chips he has. He tells me he has me covered. That doesn't answer my question. I haven't seen any chips move from his stack so I get the amateur dealer to remove 3750 from his stack and put it in the middle. Let me see how big this move is to him. I'm not posturing. I really have a decision to make.

As an aside, I am disgusted with myself for not knowing exactly how many chips he had. Yes the angle is difficult. I can now see he has his bigger chips to the left back of the stack where I couldn't see them. But whining about it now is just making excuses. It was my job to know beforehand.

Okay. Back to the moment at hand. He has presented me with two huge problems.

1- He can't fold. I can't reraise him and get him off his hand. He's taken that move away from me.

2- I don't think he has air. I do think his hand is ahead of mine right now.

Still, this is tough for me. There are mucho chips sitting in the middle. I'm getting close to 3 to 1 on my money. If he has a pair, I'm close to even money on this call. It may look like a donk call to those of you playing along at home but it has some merit. I'm 25% to win a hand that I'm getting 3 to 1 on. People flip coins all the time. This ain't that different.

Let's get one thing straight. I'd have 25k in chips if I win. How often do I have a 25% chance to have 25k in a WSOP tourney when the average stack is 7k? Yes there's a 75% chance I'm walking out the door. But 25% of the time I'm a monster stack. And unlike years past I can do some damage with a big stack. I'm not here to fold my way to the money. I don't need to cash in this tournament to buy groceries and pay rent. I've come to Vegas to win hundreds of thousands. This could be a step in that direction.

What could he have? Pocket aces? He limped under the gun. And called my raise. Knowing full well I'm probably leading out on the flop.

What if he has a set? A set of 9's? That's the hand I can remember losing to the last two times I've walked out of the WSOP.

Yeah. If he has a set I'll have a hard time forgiving myself. It'll be a long ride back to L.A.

But if he just has a pair?

And the really sick thing here is I think I can suck out on him. I swear. I'm totally convinced he will turn over something like pocket 8's and I will show my hand and he'll gasp as I hit a king on the turn. Then he'll get to tell me how poorly I play.

25% big stack. 75% go home.

If I fold I still have over 6k in chips with blinds at 100/200. I'd be slightly below the average. Folding would mean I'd simply have to start over.

And then I remember my mantra.

If you told me I could have 6000 chips in event 51 at 100/200...I'd take it.

I like my tournament play too much to have a 75% chance of walking out the door.

Wow it's so gross to have given away almost half my stack on this hand.

But I fold.

And the gentlemen who outplayed me in seat 1 turns over pocket 5's.

Wow. What he doesn't know is I'm too big of a donk to fold tens here.

If I had the over pair I'd be up to 25k.

Well on the bright side, at least the flop didn't come out ace king 5.

Then I'd be getting on the freeway for sure.

The woman sitting to my right asks me if he had me beat.

There's no good answer.

I want to say I folded pocket 3's.

That my antenna clearly picked up his pocket 5's and I made the big lay down.

Instead I sit there in silence.

To be continued.


TripJax said...

Keep posting it...enjoying the recap...(except for your

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RedXBranch said...

"to be continued"......uh....when?
nice lay down, though.....when you are behind and know it....fold.