Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Long Day's Tourney Into Night (Part 2)

Part 1 is here.  We pick up right we left off.

Level 6 (50/200/400), $48,500.  Now we get to my least favorite hand of the tournament (except maybe for my bust-out hand, I suppose).   This was where I could have won the tournament right then and there. I called $900 with pocket 6's and there were five of us seeing the flop. It was 4-4-3 and the preflop raiser bet $3,600 and got two calls.  I was very certain my 6's weren't good and there were three players very interested in the hand, they likely all had me beat. What was the point of calling with my two-outer? And then I thought, well, I sure have been hitting a lot of turned sets today.  Maybe I could catch another one?  No, I decided, there's just no way I'm going to hit another.  I'll probably go the rest of my life without hitting another.  I mean no one gets that many turned sets in such a short time.  Yes, of course I know that the fact that I had just hit several had absolutely no bearing on whether I would catch another one this time.  Each one is independent. Still, I had to think it was just asking way too much of the poker gods to hit another one again so soon after the others.  I wasn't getting the right price.  It made no sense to call so I folded.

Well you know I wouldn't have spent so much time on this if the turn was indeed a 6 and if I had only called I would have hit another turned set (actually a turned boat in this case).  I was sick to my stomach.  On the turn three players put at least 4K into the pot.  The river was a 10 and I prayed that someone had gotten sticky with pocket 10's and thus caught a bigger boat than I tossed away.  Anyway, somebody put their last $8K in on the river, the preflop raiser called and the other guy folded.  The short stack had flopped a boat with pocket 3's.  The other guy didn't show (a mistake on the dealer's part, he called an all-in and should have shown, I'm guessing he had an overpair).  That huge pot would have been mine if I had called the flop.  Surely that guy who flopped a boat wasn't going anywhere and I would have busted him and he'd be left with a horrific bad beat story to tell.  I might have even gotten more money than he did out of the aggro who raised in the first place.

I had forgotten the cardinal rule that I always followed when I was playing table games.  Always bet the streak, never bet against the streak.  I was running hot catching sets on the turn, I should have bet it.

It would have been tough not to have cashed if I had taken that pot. I know you're not supposed to be upset about "what might have beens" when you make the right play, but I couldn't help myself, it took me a level or two to get over it.  I kept thinking that I could have won the tournament right there if I had called that flop bet.

Level 7 (75/250/500), $44K.   Early on I raised to $1,200 with pocket 7's.  It was five ways.  The flop was Jack-9-8.  I checked and called a bet of $2,100.  With the gut-shot I thought it was worth calling the smallish bet.  But the turn paired the board and I folded to a big bet.

The next hand I was the big blind with pocket 10's.  I called the big stack's raise to $1,200 and it was three ways.  The flop was low and it checked around.  I bet $2K on the turn card, a 9, which was now the highest card on the board.  The preflop raiser folded but the other guy called.  We both checked on a Jack river and he mucked when he saw my 10's.

Not long after that I got pocket 10's again.  Again I called the big stack's raise to $1,200 and again it was three of us.  The flop was King-Queen-5 and I called the big stack's bet of $2,100, it was now heads up.  There was no more betting and my 10's were good against his pocket 9's. 

Level 8 (75/300/600),  $39.5K .  Now here I made a little note to myself that for that previous level I didn't take any notes on the hands I lost.  You know, routine losses where I'd call a raise preflop and miss and let it go, or maybe even called a flop bet and then let it go.  I was finding it was getting too distracting to write down the hands that were not of much significance.  I did it that way for most of the rest of tournament. 

But not always.  After a limper I made it $2,200 with Queen-Jack, it was heads up.  The flop was Ace-high and I made a c-bet of $3K but he called. The turn was a blank and I checked-folded.

I opened to $1,600 with Ace-King and it was heads up.  The flop was Jack-high and I made a $3K c-bet, he called.  No more betting and he showed Ace-Jack to take it.  

Level 9 (100/400/800), $25,900.  Under-the-gun plus 1, I open to $2,200 with King-Jack off.  It was heads up.  The flop was all low and I bet $4K and dragged the pot.

In the small blind with Ace-King,  there was a limp and a raise.  I went ahead and shoved and took the pot.  I didn't really have to shove there, but it seemed like a good spot to take a chance.  The raiser was one of the aggros at the table and I didn't think he necessarily had that great a hand.  And if I did get called at least I'd get to see all five cards and that's what you want with Ace-King.  It was a calculated risk and it paid off.

I suppose in the back of mind there was the fact that the dinner break was coming up.  I certainly wanted to keep playing and I had a workable stack, but it did occur to me that if I did bust out there, at least I would be able to enjoy my dinner instead of wolfing it down with one eye on the clock to make sure I was back to the table in time for the first deal of the next level.  Again, I want to make clear I wasn't trying to bust there, not at all, but I suppose it was in my subconscious and maybe influenced my decision by possibly as much as 1%.

So we were on a 30-minute dinner break and I'd be coming back to level 10 (100/500/1000) with $30.5K.  The Venetian will give you a $10 food comp for playing in any tournament that has a buy-in of $340 or more, and this one qualified.  Note:  It's not well-publicized and it isn't automatic, you have to know to ask for it.  The $10 comp is good only at three locations: Café Lux, the Asian Noodle place and the food court downstairs (there's a food court upstairs that does not take the comps).  Well Café Lux would take too long, and the Asian noodle place is not my thing so it was the food court for me. Note: you could also use it for table side dinning but no way did I want that distraction while I was playing. I suppose I could have eaten anywhere and just held on to the food comp, it's good for a few months.  But since at this point I had no idea if I would get anything back for my $340 investment I figured I'd take advantage of the free food.  Or at least the partially free food.

There's a pizza place there that has semi-adequate pizza that figured to be fast.  Two slices of pepperoni was a bargain at $17.50. That doesn't even include a drink, which I didn't need since I had a bottle of water with me.  Wow, good thing I had the $10 comp, at $7.50 it would be close to what it was worth.  But to my surprise they said they wouldn't accept the comp. They did last time I tried to use it in April.   But they said they had been closed for awhile, they just re-opened and weren't set up yet.  Huh?  Well, I went next door where I got a foot-long hot dog and fries for a few bucks more than the comp.

I'm a fast eater and at least the food court wasn’t crowded (with those prices, no wonder) so I managed to get back to the tournament in plenty of time.

After dinner I was really card dead.    The only hand of level 10 I noted was when I raised to $2,500 with 9-8 of diamonds and had two callers.  The flop was King-8-3.  I checked and folded to a bet.  Turned out they both had me beat.  One had a King and the other had pocket 9's.  The turn was another King too.

Level 11 (200/600/1200) $23,300.  There was a raise and a call and I looked down at pocket Jacks.  I shoved.  The raiser had a big stack and he called, the other guy folded.  He had pocket 8's.  The flop was all blanks, but the turn was a Jack and, just for good measure, so was the river.  It was overkill and I suppose a waste of quads but what the hell, I wasn't about to complain. That got my stack up to about $44K.

I limped in with Jack-10 of spades.  Ordinarily I would have raised but the aggro was behind me and I figured he was just gonna raise anyway and if it wasn't too much I'd call.  But the aggro folded this time and three of us saw the flop which was Jack-10-5.  I bet $5K and took it down.

Level 12 (200/800/1600) $41K.  In the big blind with Queen-3, it folded to the small blind who completed.  I just checked behind.  The flop was a total miss, but when the small blind checked I bet $3K and stole it.

I opened to $4K with Ace-8 of diamonds and didn't get a call.

There was one limper and it was on me with pocket Aces.  I made it $5K and only the limper called.  The flop was King-high, two spades and I did have the Ace of spades.  I bet $10K and didn't get a call.

I opened to $4K with Ace-Queen of diamonds and had one caller.  The flop was Ace-high, two spades. I bet $7K and took it.

With pocket Jacks, I called $4,200 from a guy with a huge stack. Nice flop, I had top set.  I checked because I knew the guy would c-bet.  He did, $5.5K. I meant to make it a little more than a min-raise and thought I was making it $13K.  But I had a little brain-fart.  I grabbed two $5K chips but instead of grabbing three $1K chips I picked up three $100 chips.  So my bet wasn't quite a legitimate raise, only $10,300.  The dealer didn't say anything at first and the other player said, "What is that, a call or a raise?"  Not realizing my mistake, I said, "It's a raise."  I didn't clarify but the tone in my voice cleared added the word "duh."  The dealer said, "That's $10,300, that's not enough."  Still not realizing the goof, I said, "Of course it's a raise, "$13K.  His bet is less than half of that."

Well the player on my immediate left tried to intervene.  Let's call her Carol because that's actually her name and she had moved there when that really good player I told you about earlier busted out.  Carol made the same mistake I had and thought I had also bet $13K.  We were both under the impression that dealer was in error but finally the dealer picked up the $100 chips and said, "These are $100 chips, not thousand dollar chips….what are you, color blind?"

Well, that was uncalled for, I thought.  OK, I got it.  I’d been playing with both denominations of the chips since the beginning and just goofed and now I finally realized the goof.  But there was no need to get insulting.  I was embarrassed about the mistake but I was kind of pissed at the dealer.  None-the-less, the obvious ruling was that I had to make the min-raise which I did.  The guy folded.  So why make the fuss?  I guess he was hoping they'd consider my action just a call so he could see a free card.

By the way, I mentioned the lady named Carol there because she was either on my left or my right the entire rest of the tournament.  She was a middle-aged woman with a New York-ish accent who didn't exactly look like a poker player and came to the table with a huge stack.  My initial thought she must have gotten extremely lucky to build up that stack but the more I played with her the more I realized she was a very solid player who had earned those chips. You'll hear about her again.

Before the level was over I got pocket Jacks yet again and I opened to $4K.  Didn't get a call.

And that's the end of part 2, you can find part 3 here.


  1. Very impressed with the level of detail - One hand I kind of disagree with is calling with the seventh – part of it depends on where you are in terms of number of players behind you left to act I suppose but I just hate to call to try to hit the sucker end of a straight.

    I think the shove with AK is obviously correct - I think you might consider widening your shoving range in these tournaments actually.

    1. Thanks, Dan. I guess that was a questionable call but sometimes you get a guy who doesn't keep firing and I may get a free card on the turn....or maybe there's no more betting an my pair is good. I had a decent stack so it seemed worth it to me to make one call.

      Interesting that you think my shoving range is too narrow...I usually get the opposite feedback.

  2. I'm guessing you increased your stack by 20% with that shove - nothing wrong with making the aggressive players suffer a bit and taking that chance.

  3. Rob - let's not get carried away now, big fella ;-p

    "This was where I could have won the tournament right then and there."

    " I kept thinking that I could have won the tournament right there if I had called that flop bet."


    1. Haha. Yeah, I was maybe being a little dramatic there.I understand how poker works and I may very well have ended up finishing worse in the tournament if I had made that call, who knows. Everything would have been different from there on. I see early chip leaders get bounced before the money all the time.

      In fact, to get my mind off of it, I was telling myself exactly that at the time.

      Still, woulda been nice to have been the table chip leader then.

  4. What are you, color-blind?

    What are you, an asshole?

    Is the way that should have went down...

    1. Thanks man, but honestly, the last thing I wanted at that moment was to get distracted by an argument with the dealer there. I was just concentrating on winning that pot and then going on from there.

      But that wouldn't have been too bad a response.

  5. No, asshole might get you a penalty round, but "what are you, a jerk?" Was definitely in play there

    1. Well, I was fortunately cool enough to avoid getting into any dispute with the dealer and keep my concentration on the poker. But it was something I considered. Moved on from it fast, which was the right thing to do.

  6. Hi Rob Good to see you back in action. Not going to comment on how you played. I know that half hour dinner break can be a big help. My question to you is Pizza?? and or Hot dogs. I thought you were coming back from your big operation if I am not mistaken. I know its none of my business but shouldn't you be watching what you are eating these days. I want to keep hearing about your tales from the felt for many years to come.

    1. Thanks for your concern, Ed. I can eat anything as long as it's in moderation. When in Vegas I have a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch (with a BIG salad). Sometimes when I'm in a tournament I have to eat less than healthy meals but an occasional bad meal isn't going to hurt me.

      I just had all my lab work done last week and all my numbers are good.