Sunday, May 28, 2017

"I Wanna See You Naked....."

Now I'm getting back to that $340 tournament that I played at the Venetian on my birthday.  You know, the one I mentioned here.  To remind you, the tourney had 40-minute levels, a 24K starting stack, a $25K guarantee and even had a 45-minute dinner break.

The blinds start at 50/100.  The very first hand, I was under-the-gun with Ace-10 of clubs.  I opened to $250 and had two callers.  The flop was 10-high and I bet $500, one call.  I bet $1,000 on a blank and he called.  We both checked a blank river and he showed 10-9.  I don't recall ever winning the first hand of a tournament before.  In the greater scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing.

Folded to me in the small blind, I made it $300 with Ace-10 off. He called.  Ace high flop, I bet $500 and took it.

After a limper or two, someone made it $600.  I called with pocket Jacks.  It was three-way.  The flop came Ace-high and everyone checked.  The turn was a blank and this time the preflop raiser bet—$800.  I was tempted to fold, thinking I was losing to an Ace but then I thought some more. If he had an Ace, wouldn't he have bet the flop?  I mean if he raised preflop with Ace-anything, how does he not bet the flop?  I figured if he had an Ace, the only way he wouldn't bet the flop was if he had two Aces and was slow playing a set.  So I called. It was now heads-up.  He checked a blank turn.  I considered betting but I figured if I was right he wouldn't call and why risk money if I was wrong and he showed up with a crummy Ace?  A lot of tournament players raise with any Ace.  So I checked behind and he showed King-Queen for nada. 

I'll skip ahead to level 5 (25/150/300), where I had $17K.  I had Ace-King in the big blind.  There were two limpers so I made it $1,800, both limpers called.  The flop was Ace-King-x.  I checked hoping to see if someone else would bet, but it checked around.  After a blank turn, I bet $5K and got one call.  The river was a blank and I bet $8K, but didn't get a call.

The I got pocket Kings.  After a limper, I made it $1,100.  It was three-way.  The flop was 10-5-2.  A guy donked a $2K bet.  The other guy folded.  I considered just calling, but did the guy really flop two pair with that board?  And if he caught a set I figured he would more likely check and let me bet.  So I raised to $5K.  He tanked for a long time and then said, "If I call, I'm here to the end."  And with that, he folded.

Level 7 (75/300/600) $26K.  Late registration ended as we started this level.  Recall that we had started the tourney with around 30 players.  We ended up with 80.  There was a slight overlay of $2,600.  Not bad. At the beginning it looked like there'd be a much bigger overlay than that. I thought it was interesting how this was reflected in the prize pool.

The whole time during the registration period, they showed the prize pool on the clock as being what it would be if there was no guarantee and no overlay.  I wondered why it didn't show the prize pool as being $25K since that was the least it could be.  But no, it jumped a little bit with each entrant.  Finally, a few minutes into this level, right after reg closed, they made the adjustment and it showed the full $25K prize pool, and all the payouts showed a small increase.  They were paying 8, with $8,500 on top, $5,200 for second.  The min-cash was $1K, which I thought was pretty good. Well more than the "double the buy-in" requirement I have.

It folded to me on the button so I made it $1,700 with Ace-6 off.  Both the blinds called.  The flop was Ace-King-2, I bet $4K and got a call and a fold.  The turn was a blank and we both checked. The river paired the deuce. He led out with a $4K bet.  He could have had trips but I thought it was much more likely he had an Ace and we'd chop.  I know, the "rule" is you're never suppose to call if you only expect to chop, but I felt like not calling there was most likely throwing money away.  So I did call.  Sure enough, he had Ace-8.  The 8 would have played but for the deuce pairing on the river.

As soon as that hand was over, they broke our table.  We were down to 50 players.

Last hand of the level, I opened to $1,600 with Queen-10 of clubs, two called.  There were two Aces on the board but also two clubs.  I c-bet $3,500 and took it down.

Level 8 (100/400/800) $27,500.  I opened to $2K with Ace-Jack.  Only the big blind called.  Flop came King-10-X.  I c-bet $3K and he check-shoved for $12,500.  I thought about it awhile but decided I wasn't yet desperate enough to risk half my stack with just a gut-shot.  I folded and he showed one card—a King.

I got Ace-Jack again and raised to $2K.  One caller.  Condensed version: we both had Ace-Jack and we chopped it on a Jack-high board.

I messed up a hand with pocket 7's.  I opened to $2,100 and got a call.  The flop was Queen-Queen-Jack.  I tried a c-bet of $3K and he called.  There was a King on the turn and he shoved (slightly less than my stack).  I folded.

In the big blind with Ace-9, it folded to the small blind who just completed.  I snap shoved.  He folded.

After a limp, I shoved with Ace-Queen; no call.  Next hand I had Ace-King.  This time I opened to $2,200.  It was three-way. I shoved a King-high flop and took it.

Level 9 (200/600/1200) $24K.  I shoved with pocket 10's after a limp.  The limper tanked forever but eventually folded.  He showed his cards—Ace-Jack off.

It folded to me on the button with Ace-7 off.  I shoved.  The big blind tanked forever before folding.

That got me to the dinner break.  It was nice to have 45-minutes to eat rather than wolf down a meal in 10 minutes.  I don't think I could have eaten that foot-long from Subway in 10 minutes.

Towards the end of the level right before the dinner break, I noticed something unusual.  They had broken another table (not mine) and we were now down to three (10-handed).  But somehow, one of the players didn't have a seat.  Yes, they goofed up and broke the table one player too soon.  Rather than re-assemble the table, they just stuck the player roaming around look for a spot into a full table and made that one 11-handed until another player busted out!  Awkward.  Fortunately it wasn't my table.  I dunno how they decided what table to shove 11 people into. I hope they decided by eyeing them and picking the one with the skinniest people!  It was a few hands into the next level before someone busted and we were down to three 10-handed tables.

Level 10 (200/800/1600) $23,500.  Under-the-gun plus 1, I open shoved Jack-10 off and took it. In the small blind with Ace-King, following two limpers, I shoved.  One guy tanked for a good while, but I took it down.

Level 11 (300/1000/2000) $29,400.  Soon after the level began, I was moved to balance tables. I saw a couple of players from my first table there.  There was also this older guy next to me who started singing.  Presumably he was singing along to the music he was hearing thru his ear buds.  He kept singing the same line over and over again..."I wanna see you naked. I wanna see you now."  Not sure he sang anything else, he was singing that line over and over again.

I tried to ignore it but one of the guys from my first table was giving him strange looks for the song he was singing.  The guy kept insisting that it was from The Ramones.  "It's a Ramones song.  You must have heard it. 'I wanna see you naked....'"  The guy kept singing it between hands, sometimes even during the hand.

Finally the guy who didn't like the song asked the guy, "Who sings that song?"  The guy, somewhat exasperated since he'd mentioned it a dozen or so times, said "The Ramones."  And so the guy from my first table said to him, "Well it should stay that way." 

I was impressed.  It was the most clever and least aggressive way I'd ever heard anyone tell someone to shut the f*** up.  And it worked.  The guy stopped with the "I wanna see you naked."

Now it may come to a shock to my readers but I'm not a big Ramones fan, even though I think I I liked the movie, "Rock N Roll High School."  (By the way, there's a poker connection with that movie—Vince Van Patten was in it.) I wasn't familiar with the song he was singing so the next day I tried to Google it.  And I couldn't find any such Ramones song.  Anybody know what he was talking about?  The best I can figure out is that there is a song from them called "I Wanna Be Sedated" and maybe somebody did a parody of it and turned it into "I wanna see you naked" or something close.

There was a woman at the table and if the "I wanna see you naked" lyric bothered her, she gave no indication of it.  She was a very attractive woman, blonde hair, mature, smartly dressed.  She was not a kid.  Still, it was shocking when, in response to one of the guys talking about being "old," she said, "I'm older than you are."  I dunno how old the guy looked but he clearly thought she was younger and everyone else did too.  I can't recall if the guy ever said how old he was but she said, "I'm 57."  Wow, she looked amazing for 57.  Actually she looked great if she was 37.  And to be honest, she could easily have passed for early 40's or even late 30's.  As I said, a very attractive woman.  No one could believe she was 57.

Note:  I know poker players cannot always be trusted to tell the truth.  And furthermore, women lie about their age all the time.  But I've never heard of a woman lying about age to make herself older.  The exception would a teen-age girl with fake-I.D. trying to get into Hakkasan or a someplace similar.

It folded to me in the cut-off with pocket 4's.  I shoved and didn't get a call.

And then....and then....well, I got the dreaded pocket Kings.  Believe me, I was very happy to see them.  I was beyond desperate for chips.  Of course, as soon as I saw them I knew my chips were all going in.

But first, the beautiful 57-year-old woman made a standard opening raise in early position.  She was well-stacked.  Hey, I mean she had tons of chips, get your minds out of the gutter.  No seriously, I think she was the second-chip leader at the table and I'd already seen her open a fair amount of pots.  Also, she had folded a few times to three-bets, and even mentioned that last time she folded.

She was obviously a good player and taking advantage of her big stack to pick up more chips.  So her opening range was pretty wide.  But then another guy shoved and it folded to me.  The guy who shoved appeared to have a similar stack to mine. In other words, he was desperate too. 

I didn't even ask for a count.  There's no way I'm folding what everybody on the planet except me thinks is the second best starting hand in Hold'em in that situation.  With his stack, in response to a standard raise from a big stack, his shoving range is a lot more than Aces and Kings, right?  He'd shoved Ace-King, maybe Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, any Broadway pair, maybe even 7's or 8's up.  I've seen people in his spot shove King-Queen or King-Jack—maybe not even suited.

So, easy shove for me, a decent chance for me to get right back into it with a double-up or even a triple-up. It folded back to the lady.  She tanked for a long time.  She said something like "every time I raise, someone else has a hand,"  And finally she did indeed fold.  And she said, "You won't believe what I folded."

The two of us remaining flipped over our cards.  Of course, he had two Aces.  Yes, two god-damned Aces.  Long story short:  I didn't suck out.

After the count, it turned out I had him covered—barely.  I was left with $3K—2/3's of the big blind!  Whoop de doo! 

Meanwhile the lady said, "You know why you didn't catch your card (to the other guy) and you didn't catch your card (to me)?  Because I folded Ace-King."

Ok, it didn't appear that I'd ever be able to use that information.  But the guy next to me was obsessing over it.  He said to me, "I don't believe it.  No way she folds Ace-King.  She's got so many chips.  She'd call if she had Ace-King."  So she'd lie about her age and that she folded Ace-King?  I dunno.  I don't think she'd lie, unless she had figured out that somehow telling that story there would help her in the tournament down the road.

I dunno that it was such a bad fold, either.  The first guy's shoving range is pretty wide, but my shoving range—in response to a raise and a shove—has got to be a lot narrower, right?  And against not one but two all-ins, how good is her Ace-King?

A hand or two later, I shoved with Ace-3 off.  There were two callers.  They didn't bet any street.  I flopped an open-ended straight draw.  Missed it but caught an Ace on the river and that was good enough to get a triple-up.

But a triple-up didn't help much when I was so crippled.  Next hand I got Ace-10 and shoved again.  The big blind called me with King-7 of clubs.  First he caught a King, then he caught a flush.  I had the Ace of clubs but there was no fourth club to save my sorry ass.  I was done.

It was 8:45 PM, so I had been there for 8-3/4 hours (eight hours of play when you consider the dinner break).  I think I busted out like 24th or 25th.  Despite the lack of cashing, I really had a good time, enjoyed playing in the tournament, and felt the $340 investment a worthwhile one to play that much poker.  

As I said earlier, I really like the format of this tournament.


  1. I would think that the reason you got the good money for the min-cash is because they only pay 10% instead of 15%...granted in a 80 person tourney that's only a 4 person difference, but to even give them 500 a piece is another 2k from the price pool.

    Sounds like you made some good plays and had a decent run though.


    1. Thanks! Yeah another reason the money for the bottom was better....there was an overlay. I think if they had reached the $25K without need the overlay, they might have paid another player or two.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Dale. I appreciate it.

  3. It's gotta be "I Wanna Be Sedated." The syllables work out.