Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Was Cold, and So Were My Cards

As I wrote here, my first tournament of the Vegas trip as the 7PM at Planet Hollywood.  The next night I played another tourney, this time the 7PM at Golden Nugget.  I might have just gone back to PH again, but due to a last minute scheduling change, the PH tournament was canceled.  I found that out the night before when I was playing there.  But as I explained here, I had always had the GN tournament on my list of tournaments to play.

Like the PH tourney, the buy-in was $100 for a $10K starting stack with 30-minute levels.

This was my first visit to the Nugget this year, and the Grand Poker Series was in the Grand Ballroom, just like last year.  Unlike last year, the weather conditions inside were extreme.  It was freezing cold in there, at least at our table.  During the breaks, I couldn't wait to run outside to get warm.  This is a very common problem in poker rooms in Vegas; you’ve heard me complain about this before.  But in non-traditional poker venues, it is even more likely to occur and usually more extreme.  For example, people always complain about how cold it is inside the Rio convention center where the World Series is held.  The temperature in the ballroom was apparently set to the “keep ice cream frozen” setting.

The other issue with the tournament was the chipset they were using for this tournament.  Just like at the PH tourney the night before, two different denomination chips were almost identical.  In this case, the $100 chips were pink and the $5K chips were red.  But there was really very little difference and it was oh so easy to get them confused.  I don’t understand why the $100 chips weren’t black, that seems pretty universal.  It seems to me that there are enough colors in the rainbow so you don’t have to make chips colors that are too similar.  But I’ve seen this all over the place so it is a constant problem.

I’d taken a few very small pots when I was dealt Ace-King on the last hand of the first level (25/50).  I made it $250 and had two callers.  The flop was Ace-King-x, rainbow.  I bet $800 and they both called.  A Queen hit the turn and I checked.  They checked behind me. I guess I got a little nervous there because I know how people love to play Jack-10.  But when the river was a blank, I bet $2,200 and they both called.  However, neither showed when the saw my top two.

I really didn’t play a hand during level 2, so I was at $15,900 when level 3 (75/150) started.  There, I had pocket Aces and a guy had raised to $625 in front of me.  I had a little brain-fart there.  I meant to bet $1,800.  But for some reason, I grabbed three $1K chips instead of three $500 chips.  I can’t blame the chipset for that, those two denominations were perfectly clear.  My bet was actually $3,300.  The guy called though. The flop was King-Jack-X and I c-bet $5K.   He folded pocket 10’s face up.  At that point in the tournament, it was probably a bad preflop call on his part.  He had me covered.  I felt relieved my stupidity didn’t hurt me.

Card dead, I snoozed through level 4.  I reached level 5 (50/150/300) with $17,500. I raised to $800 with King-Jack off.  Two called.  The flop came Queen-3-2.  I put out a $2K c-bet and a player shoved for $5,900.  Yuck.  I had to fold.

I started level 6 (50/200/400) with $13K.  I was totally uninvolved until very late in the level, when I raised to $1,100 with King-Jack off again.  Again two callers.  This time the flop was King-high and I bet $3K and didn’t get a call.

Level 7 ($14K, 75/300/600) I opened to $1,500 with Ace-8 off (it was a monster compared to what I’d been seeing).  A short-stack shoved for a total of $2,275.  I had to call.  She flipped over Ace-King and her hand held.

By the start of level 8 (100/400/800) I was down to $9,500 and therefore really only had one move left.  I had just been so card dead all night.  So when I looked at pocket 8’s, I open-shoved.  I got called by a much bigger stack, but he only had pocket 7’s.  I actually flopped a set and rivered a boat for good measure.

Same level, I had enough chips to just raise (to $2,500) with Ace-6 of clubs.  There was one caller.  I flopped the flush draw, shoved, and took it down.

Even with those two hands, the blinds for level 9 jumped to 200/600/1200, so my $20K stack wasn’t enough to do anything but find a hand to shove with.   I did exactly that with Ace-7 off in the cutoff and no one called (it had folded to me). 

After a limper, I shoved with pocket Kings and……didn't get a call.

I reached level 10 (200/800/1600) with $24,500.  Soon after the level started they broke our table.  We were now down to two tables.  They ended up with 67 players total.

In the big blind with King-Queen off, I shoved after two limpers.  No call.

That got me to level 11 (300/1000/2000) with about $25K.  I was about to be UTG +1 when they took our big blind to balance the tables.  So I was UTG and looked down at Ace-Queen off.  Easy decision, I went all-in.  But it was even an easier decision for the guy behind me who had pocket Aces to call.  And I was done.  I guess I busted around 15th, 16th.  They were paying 7 I think, so I really didn’t get close to the money.

It was just past midnight, so I had played a fair amount of poker.  But as you can tell, I was just seriously card dead throughout the tournament.  Just never really got cards I could play.  Very frustrating.

And I was 0 for 2 playing evening tournaments.

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