I apologize for the delay in getting this second (and final) part posted. To refresh your memory of how we got to this point, you might want to read part 1 again (or for the first time, even) here. We pick up right where part 1 ended, right after I my set of 9’s had been beaten by a straight.
They had been breaking tables before this and sure enough, as soon as this hand was over, the broke ours and a couple of more. I was in the Brasilia room and we were given bags to put our chips in. I later found out that bags (instead of racks) meant you were moving to a different room, not just a different table in the same room. And because they were moving several tables at once (at least three, might have been more), we all had to wait for the last hand to be completed at all of the tables they were breaking at this time. So we were ready and we just had to wait around for all the other tables to finish their hands and gather all their belongings. In the meantime, there was a woman in a red shirt telling us that when we started moving to follow her, and that we were headed for the Amazon room.
After a few wasted minutes—and remember, the tournament clock is still ticking during all this—we finally started moving, but we were following some guy, not the woman who told us to follow her. I dunno….maybe she was now at the end of the line, but it didn’t seem like I had any choice but to go with this group, at least there were players from my table in this group. When we got into the hallway, we sort of almost got mingled in with a different group that was coming from a different room and headed to a different room than we were. I have no idea if I even ended up where I was supposed to be. But it seemed like it took forever to get to the Amazon room, where the guy who led us there, couldn’t seem to find anyone who know where we were supposed to go. Eventually a floor person showed up and started handing us seat cards and I managed to find my seat. Sheesh. That took not an insignificant amount of time.
At my new table, there was a lady in the center who was getting a massage, and honestly, for a few minutes, I thought she it was a guy. Not that she was unfeminine looking. It’s just that she was buried into the chair (and the cushion the massage girls use) completely covering her front. She had long red hair but it was wrapped around her face so that at first glance it looked like it might have been beard.
Anyway, in late position I opened to $275 with King-9 of hearts. Only the bearded lady called. The flop had two hearts on it. The lady donked out $525 and I called. The turn was a blank and we both checked. I hit the second nut flush on the river and the lady bet out $1,025. I just called, although it was unlikely she had the nut flush. She showed a busted straight draw. Sweet pot.
Back to $5900 at the start of the 3rd level, with blinds of 75/150. The only hand I noted from this level was a raise with Jack-10 of diamonds and taking down the blinds.
That took us to the first 20-minute break. I had considered taking a bathroom break during play, knowing that the Men’s Rooms would be mobbed at break-time. But when I saw how fast they were breaking tables, and how they were doing it, I decided not to. I couldn’t imagine the hell that would result if they broke a table and someone was away from their seat at that moment. Would they wait to do the march to the next table until that player returned? Would they take everyone else and just a leave a note on the chair for the missing player? Would someone be assigned to move the person’s chips and all their belongings to the new seating assignment? I didn’t want to find out.
The lines were ridiculously long at all the Men’s rooms near the venue. This was one time it when there was much less of a line (if any) for the Ladies room. I thought if I just walked all the way into the Rio, I’d find a Men’s room without a line. But a lot of other people had that idea too. By the time I gave up and got into a line, I had walked all the way to the Men’s room nearest the Rio poker room (if you know the layout of the place, you realize that’s a really long walk—any further and I would be peeing in the parking lot furthest away from the WSOP venue). At least this line wasn’t too long. The trouble was that by the time I was done and heading back to the convention center, my 20-minute break was almost up! I walked as fast as I could without actually running and missed about two-three minutes of the next level, one or two hands. At least I wasn’t one of the blinds and the antes hadn’t kicked in yet.
Started level 4 (100/200) with $5,450. After a player limped in, I raised to $700 with Ace-King off. The limper called and we saw a flop of King-Queen-x. He donked out $700. With stack sizes what they were, I thought I should just shove so I did. It was my first all-in of the night and he folded.
Then I stole the blinds from the cut-off with 8-7 offsuit. First in, I raised to $500 and took it down.
Started level 5 (25/100/200) with $6,750. I three bet Ace-King of spades from $500 to $2K, and didn’t get a call.
Not sure how I got down to $6,100 at the start of level 6 (25/150/300) as I didn’t write down any bad hands. Was it just from blinds and antes?
Midway through the level they were breaking tables again, and it appeared my table was not long for the world. Sure enough, they came by with chip racks—meaning we were all moving within the room, not moving to another room. I got my seating assignment and it was two tables over from where I was. In other words, the table they sent me to would be breaking real soon.
And in fact before I had even finished getting my small supply of chips out of the rack, they were moving my new table, where I had never played a hand! They were moving a bunch of tables at the same time, and we had to hang around and wait again for a few other nearby tables to break. This time we were given bags, meaning we were moving to a different room. Finally we were ready to march to our new location. Guess what? They were taking us back to the Brasilia room, where I had started out!
Another long march through the hallways of the Rio convention center. When I finally got to my new seating assignment, I had easily lost 15 minutes of the 40-minute level. Umm, that really sucked. Sure not playing saved me some ante money, and maybe even some blinds money, but I couldn’t afford losing the opportunity cost of not playing any hands for that much time out of a 40-minute blind level when I was desperate to find a way to pick up chips.
I was still trying to get my bearings at my new table when I thought I saw an opportunity to steal. It had folded to me on the button so I raised to $800 with Ace-4 offsuit. The blinds folded, but somehow, I had missed the fact that Under-the-Gun had limped in. Damn. I probably would have made the same move if I had noticed, but I would have raised to a bigger amount if I saw the limper.
And then the limper made a big raise (the ol’ limp/re-raise!) and I had no choice but to fold.
The level was coming to a close and we were about to take our second break. My now less than $5k stack was going to be pathetic at the next level (50/200/400). So I was quite happy to look down at pocket Queens as I saw the tournament clock tick down under a minute. This was the first decent hand I’d seen in a long, long time. A player with a similar stack as mine went all-in in front of me. I really had no read on him since I had just gotten to the table, but it didn’t matter, no way could I do anything but go all-in with the ladies.
It was heads up and he flipped over Ace-King offsuit, which was ok by me. It was a flip and I had a slight edge. The flop was something like 7-7-6. Another low card hit the turn. Only one card standing between busting and a double up. And then a damn red Ace hit the freaking river. The dealer counted stacks and he had a few more chips to me. The break had started and my tournament was over.
So I gathered my stuff and headed for the parking lot. It was after 11PM and I was through with poker for the day. Too tired and frustrated to even consider heading anywhere else, I knew it was back to the room for the night.
On the way out, I happened to pass by The Trooper who was hurriedly heading back to the tournament area, still alive at that point. We said hi but he was rushing to make it back to the tournament, so we didn’t really talk.
If you follow this stuff, you know there was some controversy at the end of the event over the prize pool distribution. First place turned out to be “only” $638K, with the total prize pool being $11.1 MM. Some of the game’s more well-known pros howled about first place being such a small percentage of the pool. That’s less than 6% of the total pool.
Really, pros, really? That first place was 1,130 times the buy-in. Seems like a pretty good ROI to me. This was always supposed to be “the people’s tournament,” a tournament for the masses. I don’t think any of the big name pros bothered with this, this was a bracelet event for the rest of us. Once you realize they have to pay out 10% of the entrees…a whopping 2,241 people…..how much do you think they were going to pay first place?
I’ve ranted before about this (see here), the problem is that they pay the bottom too little, not that they pay the top too little. Go ahead and try a winner-take-all tournament and see how many paid entrants you get. I actually almost approve of the min-cash for this tournament… $1,096. That’s close to double the buy-in (but not quite), which to my mind is the absolute minimum the min cash should be for any sizeable tournament. So anyone who isn’t happy to collect $638K for a $565 buy-in should just not play it next year, and shut the fudge up.
A few days later I was happy to learn that my retired blogging buddy Chris Abramski was not stumped by the tournament, and finished 977th, to take home $3,300. Nice going, Chris!
Things to come: One of the reasons for the delay in getting this second part posted was that I was involved in another tournament—a long one. For the first time ever, I actually made it to day 2 of a multi-day tournament and had the experience of “bagging and tagging” my chips! I had a nice payout and it should make for a few epic blog posts in the hopefully near future.