Friday, September 30, 2016

The Last Summer Tournament (Part 1)

This is the report on my last tournament in Vegas this summer. The previous tournament recap started here, the Aria WPT 500.

We are now at Sunday, July 3rd.  I couldn’t play in a regular tournament Saturday because of the charity event I played in that day (see here).  And by this time, with most of the big summer series winding down, there really weren’t many options for me, tournament wise.  As I explained here, I knew that there would be absolutely no tournaments I wanted to play in on the 4th, so for sure this Sunday was really it for me.

It was the last day they had the 1PM, $150 tourney at the Golden Nugget.  And since it was the last day, they knocked the guarantee down from $20K to $10K.  Oh well, I was sure they’d beat the guarantee, it would still be a nice prize pool.  And I did like the tournament.  And really, it was my only viable option.  So I headed downtown.

As you might remember, the tourney started with $15K stacks, 30-minute levels, blinds starting at 25/50.  The first hand I got involved in ended up as a three-way chop.  I had Ace-9 and there was a wheel on the board.

A few minutes later, with the tournament less than 15 minutes old, I had pocket 7’s in the big blind and called a normal raise.  I think three of us saw a flop of Queen-7-2, rainbow.  The preflop raiser bet, and I decided to just call, it was now heads up.  The turn was a brick, the guy made another bet, I check-raised, he re-raised and we got it all-in (I didn’t write down complete notes, so I dunno if he shoved or I did).  He flipped over pocket Queens.  Damn.  Tell me, does anyone out there sniff out a set of Queens and slow down there?  Let me know.

We both had similar stacks, basically the starting stacks.  I missed my one-outer, and after counting our stacks, I was left with exactly two $25 chips.  Time for the miracle comeback of all-time. 

I was now the small blind so half my stack was posted before I saw my next hand.  Of course, I was going all-in no matter what I had, but it turned out to be King-Queen, not bad.  It was heads up and I don’t remember what the other guy had but when I caught my King on the river, it gave him a flush and I was done.

Wow.  That sure wasn’t what I had in mind for my last tournament.  As I gathered my things, I started thinking about the full day ahead of me.  I hadn’t really gotten my tournament itch scratched.  Furthermore, I already knew that there were no tournaments I wanted to play in the next day (the 4th of July).  This was it.

I virtually never re-enter a tournament, but this seemed a good time to make an exception.  There was, after all, more than half of the first level left.  It’d be pretty much like starting a brand new tourney.  It actually made a lot of sense to re-enter.  By the way, the only other time I can recall re-entering a tournament was also a situation where I busted set-over-set, a story I told here.  But that time, I was ahead when I got all my money in, and the guy sucked out on me.

So I went back to the podium and plunked down another $150.  They sent me to a table that was just opening.  In fact, there were only a few players there and a dealer was just starting to set up.  So I had to wait.  Then I noticed a guy I recognized with a tourney entry in hand.  It was someone I didn’t really want at my table.

I’ve mentioned this guy before, he’s the guy I called “Bruce” in the post here.  He’s a nice guy, but man, is he a tough player. He usually starts out a tournament being extremely aggressive, raising more than half the time preflop, big raises too.  Can be a real pain in the ass.  Again, just talking playing style.  I’ve looked him up and he has more than his fair share of big tournament cashes in his tournament career.

If I thought my luck was bad losing set-over-set in the first level, it appeared it was getting worse.  Bruce not only was coming to my new table, he had the seat directly on my left.  He was almost guaranteed to make my life miserable for the rest of the day.  The only positive was that I knew what I was in for from the get-go, and thus could adjust the best I could.  I was thinking that I had made a big mistake re-entering, just knowing I was going to have to deal with Bruce.

As I mentioned, Bruce is a nice guy and he recognized me as well, and while we were waiting for them start dealing at the table, we were having a friendly chat, talking about the summer tournaments we’d played.  Just the other day, he had chopped this very tournament three-ways at around 2AM.  I asked him if he was planning to play in the main event at the Rio.  He said he was and was hoping to satellite in.  Hmm….that reminded me.  I knew that across the way at Binion’s, their tournament was actually a satellite for main event seats.  It was a $565 buy-in and they were guaranteeing one seat.  I knew registration was still open.

So of course I mentioned this to Bruce. He was intrigued, and said he wished he knew about that before he’d bought into this tournament.  I pointed out that, since we still hadn’t been dealt a hand yet, it probably wasn’t too late for him to get a refund and walk over to Binion’s for the satellite.  He seemed very interested.  Man, I would have loved to have gotten him out of my hair.  But despite my best efforts, he stayed where he was, directly on my left.

By the time the dealer was ready and there were enough players to start, the second level had just begun.  So that was mildly frustrating.
And as if my day wasn’t already full of bad luck, the first playable hand I got at this new table was the dreaded pocket Kings (although why I consider that a playable hand is beyond me).  Someone had raised to $300 so I made it $900.  Only the initial raiser called.  The flop was 7-5-2, rainbow.  I bet $1,500 and the guy check-raised to $3K.  I called.  The turn was a low card, this time we both checked. The river was an Ace, and we both checked. He showed Ace-8.  Strange.  Am I supposed to bet the turn after his flop check-raise?  I guess he figured I might have an Ace-King type hand and might fold to his check-raise.  Whatever, it was a bad start.

I opened to $275 with Ace-King and it was merely 6-ways.  The flop was low and no one bet.  I bet $1,500 on a King turn and took it.

That got me to level 3 (75/150) with $13,500. I called $600 with pocket Queens; it was three-way. The flop came Ace-high.  I called a $1,200 thinking it might be just a c-bet or a lesser pocket pair.  I figured it was worth a call on the flop to see.  But a King hit the turn and I folded to a big bet.

I opened to $400 with King-Queen, had two callers, and took it with a c-bet on the flop.

In the big blind, I had 10-9 off and there was no raise.  The flop was 10-7-2, I called $600 from the small blind.  Called the same bet on an Ace turn.  She didn’t bet the river and took it with Ace-7.

The last hand of the fourth level was kind of interesting.  I opened to $400 with King-Jack of spades.  There were a few callers and then a guy made it $3K.  I folded and then everyone else seemingly folded.  The guy who made it $3k slid his cards forward and the dealer swooped them up.  There was just one problem.  The guy on his right still had his cards and was thinking about his action. 

But the three-bettor’s hand was gone, and the pot was awarded to the only player left with cards, the guy who had only called my initial $400 raise. The guy who had accidentally mucked his hand was really pissed, but there was nothing that could have been done.  The dealer said that he had warned the guy before that he was mucking his cards too fast (if he had done that, I hadn’t noticed).  He said, “Consider your cards as a security deposit.  You don’t give me the cards until I give you the pot.”  The truth is, however, that the dealer should have been more alert and not accepted his cards knowing that the action was on the player in front of him.

The guy said he had pocket Kings.  Geez, and I thought I had lost every possible way with Kings.  But that was a new one on me.

Called a few hands during level 4 that I had to abandon after the flop. That got me to level 5 (25/150/300) with $7125. I opened to $800 with Queen-10 and didn’t get a call.  Then I opened to $800 with Ace-10 and had two callers.  The flop was Ace-high and my flop bet took the pot.

Level 6 (50/200/400), $7800.  I open-shoved with Ace-Jack and took it.  Then I raised to $1,100 with Ace-Queen and took that as well.  Raised to $800 with Ace-9, one call, took it with a flop bet on an Ace-high board.

Last hand of the level, I had King-7 of clubs and no one raised.  Seven of us saw a flop that had two clubs.  I led out with a bet—unfortunately I didn’t note the amount.  I had two callers.  The turn was a King and I shoved, and there was no call.

Level 7 (75/300/600), $15,700.  In late position, it folded to me so I bet $1,700 with Queen-7 of diamonds.  A short stack called.  The flop was low, so I bet $2,200, which was enough to put him all in.  He snap called with pocket Jacks and took the pot.

I opened to $1,800 in early position with King-Queen and didn’t get a call.

We’ll leave it there and wrap this up next time, see here.


  1. The only way I can see laying down your set is if you had a player who you knew would never do what he did unless he had top set. You were just given a nasty, nasty tournament cooler.

    1. Thanks....yeah, I don't see how I could have done anything else, really And it was early so I had no idea what kind of player he was.