Another brick in the wall
A nod to yesterday's stellar performance.
I'm currently sitting in today's $1k event. Coming up on level two still on starting stack on a nice chatty table. I'll post more in a bit.
With reference to yesterday, as I've said in the past I can be more critical of myself in poker than anyone else possibly ever could. Those who know me are aware that I really don't like picking hands to pieces with people and listening to monologues on the "correct" way to have played a hand. I simply don't agree there is a correct way always, and I tend to feel things are far more situational, meaning sometimes folding a boat feels right, and sometimes shoving with air feels right.
I was going to say that of the few people I do mention stuff to in person, yesterday whilst they understood I wasn't happy with my play on the exit hand, they largely just said given the situation and the table dynamic it was just "one of those things" and that I shouldn't beat myself up about it. I'm not really giving myself a super hard time about it, I just felt that it was a mistake, and I'm honest enough to admit to myself and others that I think I played it wrong at that time. Not beating it to death, just saying is all.
The play on this table is pretty unorthodox. One guy never calls, just raises. Another one just calls EVERY time. Two people have bet the absolute life out of pretty dogshit hands, and I think two players may actually be asleep. It's a minefield.
This table's been both fun and really unusual. One guy busted literally first hand, in pretty ugly fashion and went off muttering to himself. I've dropped about 500 chips seeing flops with worthy hands that have not improved. We're on level 2 now with a full compliment of players at the table.
Play on this table gets weirder by the minute. People seem to literally be playing any pair any draw like their life depends on it. Coming up to first break and I'm on 1800. Gone into my shell a bit whilst the insanity happens all around me.
Back from the break and into the 50/100 level. The play as said in here has been pretty loose but also very weird. I think rightly or wrongly that just digging in for a while is the answer. Obviously with 18 bigs I can't really slip off for a light lunch and leave my stack unattended.
So far that seems to be the right idea. Just played QJs cute in a pot where the board ran out 8QJ3......9, and I got action from an over zealous AJ. I'm back to 3200 now.
Perfect. Everyone fold to the blinds, the sb raises and I find AK in the bb. He has aces and the flop is king high. Somehow I manage to lose 1100 and not my whole stack.
For those who like the numbers, currently we have about 2300 players for todays $1k. Still grinding along.
Starting level 4 at 75/150 and I'm back up to 3k again after opening up a little and flopping good. The Indian guy who came to the table and immediately(before even playing a hand) started squaring up the table seating plan is now gone. He probably played about 75% of hands so he certainly got his money's worth.
Two new players have arrived. One in good spirits with a short stack, the other with Dre headphones, a hoodie, lots of small chips and double the starting stack, and apparently no vocal chords that are immediately apparent . We've seen this movie before...
Up to 3800 now after playing some position and knowing the spots. Still a cautious plod but feeling ok.
Just moved tables and got bent over the baize and soundly rogered...
Small raise and a flop of 269 two spades.
He shoves around 2200. Obviously I call.
Turn spade, river spade and he wins a 5k pot leaving me on 1150. I think I may still be the most cheerful person on this table even after that, largely because getting upset about it would be pretty pointless.
Shoved my short stack once and stole the blinds. At 75/150 with this stack I can't really rest on my laurels.
Count on my new table:
Electronic devices: 9
Smiles: me and possibly only two others.
Made the second break. Obviously the picture shows where I am, and really where I don't want to be. An older English guy just moved to my table with probably 50k, and immediately found KK and ironed out two more victims. It's a tough life.
I can try to stay on life support, but given the mood and play on this table that isn't going to work. I think I'll need to jam, or even call with a marginal hand hoping for a double or treble up, even if it means just getting lucky together a few chips. Just stealing the blinds won't do it since we're only going to be 100/200. Wish me luck. Everyone else seems to be having some.
And that was that.
Back from break and jam the first hand with an ace and get it through for the blinds. Second hand one limper and again I jam with AQ off. Mr 50k calls me with his 66 and it holds. Disappointed, but I felt I played pretty well today and just didn't get the rub of the green at all. If my set holds I'm probably up to about 8-9k by now and cruising. Instead I'm looking at my next event.
Saturday morning blues
The Saturday being err... Saturday,and the blues being my table in the Blue section in Brasilia. Clever aren't I?
Feeling unusually good today. Not sure why. Still nice and positive about my poker, and confident in my reads and feel for my tables. Positivity is no bad thing, unless of course you're positive you're going to have a bad day.
My day hasn't started amazingly, flopping a nut straight/nut flush/gutshot straight flush draw first hand, and losing to one pair (AQ). I could have probably shipped the flop but it's entirely possible that i wasn't getting folded to and I'd be out by now. Having said that with that kind of a hand I'd normally get it in. Instead 4500 is 3500.Ho hum.
Whilst generally pleasant, my gut instinct tells me after 3 orbits that this isn't going to be a table overflowing with fun and laughter. No big deal, just good to be aware of.
Ok cancel that, it's not the morgue I was anticipating. The table's now filled up and a few people are talking to one another, whilst the rest are stoic or glued to their devices. Better anyway.
Midway into level 2 and it's not a great start, running 2 pair into a hand that virtually moved me all in on the river and taking another bite of my stack. I do think that occasionally I will overthink things and make folds that a lot of other people wouldn't, certainly nowadays. One guy on here just called off his whole stack on the turn with one pair(AK). He's now out so maybe I'm not so stupidly cautious after all.
Decided to get more aggressive after going down to 1900. I'm now back up to a healthy 4200.
Obviously aggression in these tournaments is the winning strategy. Up until the point you run QQ into KK, which I just did. The kid who has been semi active and pushed me off 2 pots just raised again and I found QQ in the blind and decided enough was enough. I 3 bet, he min-4 bet but I think based on what I've seen he's creative enough to do this pretty light in position. I jam, which I think gets called by AA or KK only. Obviously he has KK. End of the 1500 for me.
I'm not sure what to think. Normally I'm not nearly so aggro early on in these events, there are generally enough bad players to just harvest the free chips and climb slowly. I drew a line and decided that my table wasn't so weak and I needed to up the 3 and 4 betting to get a stack today. I picked the wrong spot and the wrong player with the wrong hand.
Comments welcomed. I think the aggression I'm trying was warranted bearing in mind I've been playing these events with a short stack because I'm plodding pretty cautiously, but even with aggression, getting it in with QQ on level 2 preflop is a mistake, even though others are doing it with worse.
Maybe that bit doesn't read so well, but I'd rather be honest and say what I think, than make up a bullshit story to make myself look better and paint a picture giving the impression I'm horribly unlucky. Of course if the queen flops or I find a bad player with JJ or 1010 it's a different story, but I didn't, so there it is.
Regroup and get my head right for tomorrow. Sorry today's sweat was short and sweet. At least it wasn't short and bitter.
They've created a monster
Even for the uninspired,that title was pretty easy to come up with...
Today is Monster stack day at the WSOP, and they really do appear to have created a monster. What started as yet another gimmick to make their poker offerings more varied for the audience, this time by offering a more traditional(at least nowadays)starting stack of 15k as opposed to the normal 4500, appears to have been a massive hit before it even starts. Mostly people with limited understanding bleat about having too few chips in the smaller WSOP events(only 180 big blinds in the $1500). My opinion is that if they actually looked at the structure, and didn't need to feel the need to just spazz out anytime they saw ace-king, then they'd realise that they have plenty o f chips. Learning how to play them of course is a problem I can't help them with. Anyway, this format started out as a novel idea, and has already proved so popular in terms of entries that they've had to add a second flight at 5pm to the start day because they anticipate a huge player turnout. I'll keep you posted on the numbers as they unfold, but either way I'd guess it'll be a very nice one to win, or even to final.
I had a late one yesterday evening, and some errands to run earlier today, so I skipped level one of today's event, and sat at the start if level two.
I'm not sure how to get the lost chips back, I'm down to my last 594 big blinds.
I've madly spun my 14850 up to 15,350. I feel I can relax a little again.
Currently we only have 7000 entrants. I'm pretty sure I can get this wrapped up before tea time.
First 20 min break and I'm sitting on a tournament winning 15500.if they could just give me the bracelet now it'd be so much more convenient.
Now half way through the next level and I'm not getting super busy.the table is a little quiet but pretty friendly. I'm not getting super creative with either poker or table antics right now. This looks like being a LONG day.
My cutting-edge reporting skills aren't really being tested on the table right now. No real swashbuckling or acrobatics, just plodding along and waiting for the next blind increase. Currently I'm still around the 15k starting stack approaching the second 20 min break.
Immediate fireworks on return from the break, where I flop a set of 8's on an 8 10 J two spade flop. First guy bets out heavy (1k), his neighbour makes it 4k, I fold(I know, I'm so bad) and they go to war and get it in.
They table 79 for the straight, and 7s10s for a gutshot straight flush draw.
The board runs out a straight anyway and they chop. I lost 500 chips.
Halfway into level 5 and STILL little to say about anything. I've drifted down a bit to 14k or so but it's still a slow walk until the blinds get bigger, or we lose some of these coconut-heads playing every pot like it's their last.
Just got wounded in the 3rd of these monster draw spots on the trip. Flopped a pair and a straight draw, turned a flush draw as well, bricked the river. KJ didn't find a one pair fold, and was good. Down to 11k starting level 6.
Nearing the end of level 6 and I'm currently a bit disappointed with the way things are going. I'm now on 8500 from 11k. Apart from my laydown with the 888 earlier, none of my hands have materialised into anything meaningful at all. The table isn't terribly tough, nor is it particularly easy. I'm just no catching hands. The 25 antes kicked in a while ago so at least there's a bit in the middle to win, but it's still way too early to get too flairy and generate chips. Just have a proper hand at showdown is the MO here.
Back up to 10500 after my 76s turned out to be the best hand. Now on 20 min break.
Right. New rules. My table just broke and I've been reseated in the Brasilia room on table Red #75.Again they seem a nice bunch but the French guy on my right has a MASSIVE stack, of probably 60k. The table so far seems normal but we shall have to see what happens.
I've just had my daily dose of Rio WSOP pain and I'm out.
4 people limp and I'm on the button with Qc6c, I steal raise to 1200, 3 of them call.
The flop is a pleasing Qd6d7s. First two check, one woman at the table bets out for 2k, I have around 9700 and I just jam. Everyone folds to her and she sigh-calls and tables Kd7d for a pair and a flush draw.
She misses the flush.
Unhappily however she rivers the 7 to make trips and beat my 2 pair and bust me.
Not a happy outcome, but again I was not unhappy with the action, and the win there puts me on a very heathy 23k or so. Maybe I'm just unlucky. I guess I need to play better.
I'm most likely going to run out of these snappy "days of the week" titles pretty soon. Enjoy them while they last. God loves a trier.
Video seems to bea bit tricky at times to upload to the website, though I do think it's a very good addition to updates. What'd be better is an update(video or typed) where I say "right guys, we're in the money and now through to day two". Regardless I don't want to rely on video and just be lazy, I'd rather talk about something specific, or do a pre or end of days poker post. Anyway, I will get back to writing actual stuff today.
I can be brutally realistic about tournaments. A bad spell can seem to go on forever, and sometimes afterwards it's easy to question whether the move made at the time was the right one for that time. So far on this trip I'd give it probably 63/35in favour of the hand just playing out naturally, with the 35 being either a misstep, or the right move that maybe I didn't need to do at that time. Hindsight of course is always 20/20.
Today's $1k as we know is normally quite busy, and you never know what to get in terms of some guys will happily ship 3k in immediately, and some will play it like it's actually a WSOP event. I feel OK and am up and about nice and early so let's see what unfolds. More to come soon.
The first table I have in Brasilia seems fairly fast and loose with a lot of flops being seen. It's 25/25 with a 3k stack and a one hour clock. Two guys just got 5500 in the middle. One had a set, one had a low straight. There was a flush and higher straight on the board. Batten down the hatches.
Just flopped trip queens, he flopped 3's full. Managed to lose the minimum, on 2k from original 3k
A couple of new and aggro players have sat down. Most pots are getting opened and re popped. Pots a bit bigger than I'd normally expect at 25/50. I went from 3k down to a less than ideal 1200. Now back to 3100 by virtue of finding the aces and the other guy missing his monster draw. Shows I'm not the only one who misses those then.
Made the first break, with a squeaky "Jesus really?" moment on the final hand. A small amount of preflop action, with me putting another player on 88 or 99, and shipping, hoping to illicit a call against my JJ. He pondered and we had a chat, last hand no one wants to go broke now etc, and he showed 88 and gave it up. Small victory. I'm on 3500 at the break. Just come back and starting level 3 now.
Up to 5k. Playing small-ball pots.
"You'll never win this tournament folding some of those hands".
The nice aggressive kid on my right plays almost every pot and is incredulous at some of the folds I've made and the way I've played some hands. Luckily on his first ever WSOP trip he's willing to educate me for free. I very visibly made notes of his tournament advice on my iPad, much to the amusement of the rest of the table. A bit late someone Googles me and informs him this may not be my first rodeo after all.
Just played a pot with him and gave him the treatment. Now he's not sure whether to shit or wind his wristwatch. Up to 6k.
Even though my stack's OK, it still feels like it could all go in on this table anytime. We're 15 mins into level 4. Players coming and going, the mood is still fairly good, and no one can really put me on a hand because of my style of mixing it up.
Currently about 1700 players and I'm still on 6k.
Down to 4500. Saw a few flops that turned to dust. No major complaints. Break in a bit for 20 mins before level 5.
I just popped up to 7k before the break. Against the only player at the table who I think is irritated that everyone's having a laugh and a good time, I raised his blind with 55. He ships his last 1800 with K8 offsuit and I decide to try to replace him with a more cheerful player instead. I hold and he leaves, after having said 3 words all day.
20 min break.
Back from break and up to 100/200. I'm quickly up to 8200. Gaining a little momentum now.
Players still busting out fairly fast. I'm feeling ok and not going too crazy. Just keep plodding. We're already down to 800 players from 1738.
Down to 6600. Missed a bunch of flops.
Sorry the updates were a bit slack last hour or so, I got moved tables twice, and have been pretty active and thinking about stuff. I've made the dinner break on 9k which is fine. Will post more in a bit when I can.
Back from break and the screen says 550 players remain from 1841. Not sure if these are the final numbers but must be close.
Lost 2 small pots immediately on return, now on 7k at 150/300/25.
Down now to 5500. Hands ok just no flops that correspond. Some deep stacks on my table and lots of 3 and 4 betting. Patience.
Going down pretty fast, both my stack and the players. Now 470 left. Pretty aggro table with no easy spots. I'm on 5k. I think the best approach here is to find a hand and play it hard, rather than try to see flops when the standard raise is 625-700. Too expensive with this stack. Wait it out and go with the hand.
I guess waiting for the hand was the right strategy...
Just found the aces, vs an over aggressive AQ, and am now up to 11,500, my high point of the tournament. My table then broke just as I was about to post the big blind. Weeeee. Average is 13k, and 410 remain.
Just had to lay down AQs and AK when the preflop action went mad on my new table. I would've lost both times. One guy on my new table must have 70k. Back to grinding again I guess.
We just all went to 9 handed instead of 10, which is obviously more comfortable,but also means the blinds creep in that little bit quicker.
We're still probably 200 players from the money, and whilst I've no desire to have another long day for absolutely nothing, I still feel playing as the aggressor and not being passive reaps better long term rewards. The big stack on my table just proved that with his AQ, smashing the short stacked allin guy with JJ to pieces and adding probably another 12k to his already huge stack. He's opening lots of pots and using his stack well, so if I get it all in the middle with him, I may have to clench and pray because he looks willing to gamble a bit against the low men.
I think the slightly noisy video from the break uploaded. Isn't technology a wonderful thing? All I need now is to develop some on-screen prescence and then have something good to report!
My bad on the antes. It's 300/600/75, not 300/600/50. Which clearly will make a huge difference to my strategy
Just had one of those "life" moments. Almost shipped AQ, but there were 2 All-ins before me, and despite it being a good treble up spot for a shorty, I let it go. They show 77 vs AJ and the AJ proceeds to makes trip jacks. Whew.
Poker really can be more brutal than any bad relationship, and believe me, I've had far more than my fair share of those.
I flat an early min-raise with AhJh in middle position. Everyone else folds.
Flop As 3d Js. He immediately open shoves with 8s9s, I call for 5k. He rivers a scabby flush and I'm out. Well played Kevin.
I'll tell myself it's all character building stuff. Busted after yet another 11 hours, this time 110 spots off the money and surviving through some 1400 odd players. Some of them extremely odd. Little to do unfortunately but wish everyone luck and leave.
Will maybe write a bit more if I get home in one piece. Thanks for the supportive messages x
WARRIORS OF THE WEEKEND
Hurried post. Off to today's event shortly, more to follow!!!
Nice first table. 90% of the players are good natured and indulging in a bit of friendly chat. Only one surly one. It's all good. Erica Schoenberg on my left looking very pregnant. I'm splashing about in a few small pots, my stack neither up not down by a huge amount.
Just been informed by the Wynn DIRECTOR that more updates would be appreciated. Doing my best baby.
Next update isn't quite so hot.
On what's been a pretty good table with not too much fancy footwork, I've just shoved 1600 on an A33Q board, after some fairly lumpy preflop action.
I'm pretty sure it was a spite call based on the table dynamic. Sometimes being the friendly lovely active guy gets great results. On this table I think I got the call from the only guy who genuinely wanted to bust me and have me gone from the table. It happens, and I'm disappointed, but I can at least take from it that I feel I'm playing my hands aggressively, and strongly. I think maybe this was a freakish outcome but if course not super unusual as people come in with all kinds of hands, even for a raise as had happened in this instance. No criticism, people can play how they like. The pot was considerable before I shoved, and with the preplop and post flop action, if I win it I'm likely on 11k or so which is well above average.
I'm out approaching level 5.
Leaving Rio now but will write or video more later.
A shame because
No, I haven't abandoned you. About two solid days of faffing around with the "easy to upload" video blog feature on my website hoster seems to be anything but. A shame because if I can get this to work it'd be quite cool. I'll keep trying and if not we'll go back to doing it the old fashioned way.
I THINK (!) that the video I tried uploading has finally decided to work. It was a tester, so let me know if it plays OK, spends ages buffering, crashes etc, and hopefully in the next one I can attempt to say something more meaningful and interesting x
Four Card chicken
$1500 pot limit Omaha today. Starting in a while.
Halfway into level one and little to say, as was expected in Omaha. A few bust outs on other tables early, but on mine no-one's spazzing out with one pair just yet.
Around 650 players at present. No car-crashes to be seen thus far. Just won my first small pot, and still around starting stack. No heroics.
Just beat aces when I turned a straight with a flopped wrap and back door spades. Not a huge pot but still nicely on the average stack. Now 750 players signed up.
Up to 5000 chips. Value bet a straight on a flushed board against the only player I have pegged in the table as weaker then the rest. He had a set and paid me off anyway. Still tiptoeing.
Comfortably up to 6k with the 2nd nut flush getting a little river value from my opponent. Pretty sure I've got the image of someone only playing proper PLO starting hands, which at this stage is no bad thing. A few peoples stacks are already dwindling, so I'm just keeping in with the pack. The last PLO tournament I played I had monster draws that all vaporised once all the money was in. Even though PLO is about the draw more than the hand pretty often, still no need to go ballistic when people around are making tiny mistakes for me.
First break. My 4500 is 5500.
Ok cancel that first break posting of joy. Literally the final hand as I just typed that the following hand comes up. The car crash picture above is appropriate.
Ac Qc 5d 8d
Flop 7c 6c 4h
We get it in on the flop. Me with a set and a straight flush draw, him already with the made straight and the nut flush draw. The flush immediately hits and I'm out. Slightly in shock to be plodding along so well and then play a huge pot on the last hand of that level and suddenly be out.
LIFE IN MY HEAD
Random musings time.
Yesterday hurt. No other way to put it.
You see people displaying all kinds of histrionics when they bust out of poker tournaments, best hand or not. Right or wrong, my approach is always to keep it even, and just say good luck and get up and leave. In all the time I've been playing, no-one's ever given me the chips back because I originally had the best of it, or just that I deserved to win the pot more than the other guy based on my play. I really believe it's just not productive to get upset or bitter because of a poker loss. Having said that I still feel bad. For me, for the backers, the readers, anyone who actually cares.
A few years back I came 18th in another WSOP side event, losing two consecutive pots to the guy who went on to win the bracelet. I was disappointed then too, but as I say to people who ask (or even people who don't) the second you let it go and stop it gnawing away at you, you'll feel better about it. I still think that's the truth, so I'll put yesterday behind me and just move on. What could have been if I made my draw is what never was. So that was that.
I guess I'm talking a bit about different stuff mentally. Taking a stake from investors to play lessens my personal poker outlay for these trips certainly, but also means I'm effectively a sponsored player which to me imposes a new element of pressure. Doing my best and not letting people down is something that matters to me. Not to the point that I'd ever knowingly just make what I think is the "wrong" decision just to try to squeak into the money in an event. I've been doing this (poker) a long time and I trust my instincts. Sometimes I'm wrong. Mostly I think I'm right. Sometimes I'm right and then I go and lose the hand anyway. That'll be poker for you. Yesterday when dangerously short, I jammed twice with literally nothing on a kid on my table who was shaking like a shitting dog. It was clearly his first World Series and he didn't (in my perception) want to go out on a marginal hand. He had the chips at the time, and I needed them, so it had to be done. That's where the instincts come in especially when you're short on chips in bigger events.
All I'm saying is it's not always simply about a run of cards or lack thereof. Sometimes temperament and mindset just takes over, at least with me. Not going all Obi-Wan-Kenobi on the reader, I'm just saying what I think. I've been knocked about so badly at key moments in poker over the years That I really don't feel the blows anymore, but it is important to me that people see where I'm coming from and why I do what I do. Yesterday doing what I did meant folding for about 9 solid hours, then getting busy when I could get busy, and playing a pot to have a real shot at something, which unfortunately turned into sawdust at the magical moment.
I'm lucky I think to have certain things when away and alone like this. My wife isn't really a poker girl, which is great, but she is hugely supportive and will always keep me smiling and keep me positive when we talk. I have some really great friends in poker, both out here in Las Vegas, and in the UK. They know me well enough to know I don't labour the point and analyse a hand to absolute pieces, but likewise they generally say the right thing and give me worthwhile opinions on stuff if I'm starting to flag a bit, or they are honest enough to tell me if they think I've just made a mistake when I need a sounding board. I'd always rather have a small core of knowledgable friends who's opinions I value and respect, than 2000 Facebook added "friends" whose opinions I really don't.
Next event is PLO. Fasten your safety belts.
DSE FALL 2016
Trials and Tribulations