There was a choice between the Venetian and the Wynn today. The Wynn buy in was a little bigger, and is only a one day event. The Venetian also give you slightly more starting chips, so I decided better the devil you know. I come in as we start level 2 with 25K, which I quickly turn into 30K by virtue of a boat versus a flush and some snappy wordplay to induce a call.
AQ into QQ with a Queen on the board bumps me straight back to 26K again. Ho hum.
Back to 30K again. A flurry of pocket pairs. I'm playing a lot of pots and chatting a lot. Unusually we have a very receptive table, which is good news.
Old Asian guy called my AQ raise with 9 10 offsuit and caught a ten to beat me. Shortly after he again calls, this time with 10 7 offsuit to again catch a 10 and shred my AQ. I can see we're going to have fun today.
level 3. 32K.
I drop to 28K, then raise with 75 and get one caller from the blinds who has shown himself to be hyper aggressive so far. Flop comes 779. Lovely. He leads out for 600, and I make it 1600 to go, he calls.
Turn is a 4. He bets 2000. I call.
River is a 6. He now goes all in for 30K!!!
This is a tough spot. What he's shown down so far could mean he's full of shit and just flexing his muscles. He might also have just two pair, or if I'm unlucky, maybe 7x. I think this over for 5 minutes. I'm not big on the buy in dictating your decisions, but it's a smaller buy in event, and I eventually make the call.
He turns over 85 offsuit for a straight. Nice hand Sir.
I decide I'm re-entering. I'm really not big on firing multiple bullets, but based on the play I've seen so far then being aggressive and amassing a big stack early in this seems to be the way to go. If needed I'll scrub playing the second flight.
I raise one on my new table first hand back from the break on level 4. I have 33 and get 2 callers. The board runs out K Q 9 K J. I win. OK...
25K becomes 46K, when my 53 comes up agains 26 on a 345 flop. A cheap turn card gives me a third five and the second nuts, and the 26 leads out for 3K with his straight. I make it 8K to go and he tanks and shoves. I'm losing to one hand so in we go and seeing him drawing dead is a pleasant surprise.
Up to around 50K, when I try to catch the big stack with QQ. It comes 10 high in a three way pot, and then pairs the turn and puts a King out also on the river, however my QQ is still good. The 100K stack on my right now looks more like 28K after he's played too many pots too aggressively.
I tried bluffing at one versus a short stack and he wasn't folding 99 on a 77JQ3 board, so I gave some back. Now on 50K or so as I've stolen a few small ones.
Second break and my stack is about the same. I'm playing a good percentage of pots and now have a handle on who's tight and who's just stubborn. When we get back it'll be 75/250/500 so the pots will be juicier. Presently the screen says 134/177 players and an average stack of 33K, so I am doing just fine.
Back to 45K or so, after going pretty card dead and just folding mostly. A few guys on this table have shown themselves to be pretty stubborn when they have one pair, even just bottom pair, sometimes calling down the whole way with it. I'm hoping to capitalise on it later on.
Just flopped a straight draw and flush draw, however neither were the nuts so I didn't go crazy. They both missed and i drop to 37K.
After missing a few more flops, I finally wake up with QQ in the big blind and it's folded round to the small blind, the aggressive guy who earlier had 100K. He now has 14K and just throws it all in. I obviously call expecting to be way ahead.
He turns over KK of all things, and I drop down to 20K after losing. Great.
18K as we hit level 8 and 75/300/600. I think I lost every pot I have played in the last level. Frustrating but am still zoned in.
Back up to 40K again when my As 10s gets there on a 7s 8s Jh flop and makes me the nut flush. I got lucky with the check-raise, because he'd actually flopped the straight, just proving that it's better to be lucky than good in this stupid game. Thank goodness. I was starting to believe in curses once more.
A short stack goes allin preflop for 7500 and is called by my aggressive neighbour who had the KK, and also one other. Flop is 6 8 10. Mr KK now ships it allin and is called by player 3. They go over and Mr KK and the short stack both have A9, the other guy has...44, which ends up busting them both. gamble gamble indeed.
122/194 left as we approach level 9.
Back up to 50K again, but I'd have been closer to 85K were it not for one bonehead who decided to interfere.
I raised with 10 9 offsuit, happy to steal the blinds. In true fashion for this line up, I get 3 callers. Fine. Flop comes 99K. That'll do our boy. I lead out for 4K and get one caller, turn is a Queen. Fine, he might have a straight, but I'm not going to keep inventing hands to be scared of. I bet 9K and again he calls. I don't put him on a Nine, rather more AK most likely.
River is another Queen. I have the underfull, 999QQ, and instead of any dramatics, I announce all-in. He doesn't snap call, and I know now I'm good. He tanks, and we exchange some dialogue. A few minutes go buy. Now one dummy who has a ton of chips decides to call the clock on him. My feelings on this have been made very clear before. I've never called a clock on anyone in my life, and am not about to start now. The guy also clearly has a huge decision and is not just showboating. The floor is called and they give him 30 seconds. With ten seconds left he asks "who called the clock?", as the final moments tick by. The count reaches zero and the floor announces his hand is dead. He now wants to call me and the floor won't let him! In my mind I am begging for the call as our discussion tells me he actually has AK. However they kill his hand and push me a reduced pot. I guess I shouldn't complain, but I feel a bit short changed...literally.
57K at 100/400/800. Nearing the 30 minute (!!!) dinner break.
I'm beating up on the same guy who had the clock put on him. I just hit 80K with average at 45K. Go Kevin.
Dinner break, back in 30. 112/209 left.
No dinner for me, not enough time to eat in a measure of comfort and relaxation. That's fine.
We come back and I dip to 75K after losing a couple of smallish pots, then, what I consider to be bad news...my table breaks. New faces all around.
People on my new table seem more than happy to get the lot in the centre with any old shit, so I've rocked right up. Some spotty kid just raised with K9 suited and a girl with JJ shipped. He looked like it was the easiest call in the world and slid in about 25% of his chips. Of course he catches the King and knocks her out. I feel a bit like some of these guys have no clue, but also no fear, which is a dangerous combination. I'm on 58K and haven't seen or won a hand for a good hour.
Argh. Last hand of the level, I have to stab at a pot on the river as I definitely won't win it by checking. I can't get my opponent to put down a shitty Ace. back down to 50K again. We take a break and restart at 300/1000/2000 with 63 players left from 214 starters.
Back from break and I go up to 59K again when I snap off an airball river bluff with third pair. This guy is capable enough based on experience so I don't get too out of line when I just call on the end.
I'm not upset to see our table now break. My new line up is totally silent and peppered with sunglasses and unsmiling faces. As I sit down, one guy shoves for 40K+ with 98 offsuit, he gets reshoved and heads up with AQ offsuit. Three eights win. Clearly this is a table where some of these guys aren't going to win, but could easily ruin my chance of winning, so a bit of caution is in order.
Down to 45K when my 10 10 loses to a scabby raise from KJ when he catches a Jack. Feels like a downswing, but I'm still sharp and focused.
I'm never openly going to be disparaging about the play of others, but so far based on what I've seen, there's no higher level thinking going on here. One guy who looks a lot like a giant housefly with his big mirrored shades just shoved 45K on a K A A 9 6 board. He had AQ and 10 10 decided to call him.
I just fold 44 preflop as it's 11K to go and way too much of my 45K stack. Of course I flop a set and would have won. Isn't poker fun?
Nearing level 14, and 57/214 remain. I am still comprehensively card dead. Except when I should have made a horrible preflop call with the 44 that is.
Up to 400/1200/2400 and I'm still seeing nothing. The housefly has raised quite a few pots and won uncontested. I'm pretty unconvinced some of these guys are good enough to fold anything at all to a reraise, but with my stack now being eroded to under 40K, I will likely be jamming it right up one of them if the hand comes along.
As advertised, I squeeze out an Ace, and someone presses my big blind. I make him play for all of it and he folds. Back to 49K again.
72K when I get aggressive with a flush draw that gets there. Average chips is now 100K but this is a very workable stack.
My table breaks yet again, and I get to 80K with As 3s when it runs out QQA3Q and I'm good. Shortly after I get JJ and play it cute, it comes K22 and two guys go crazy so I get away for the minimum.
43 left now. Approaching level 15.
Now on break. With the blinds and antes so lumpy I'm back to 73K again, but am doing fine.
A couple of expensive orbits of seeing nothing and I'm back to 50K again. Each pot is worth a minimum of 9500 so it's likely time to get moving once more and try to get up around the 100K mark. 40 players left.
Just seen a 270K pot where QQ got it in preflop vs of all hands....AJ. The AJ 4-bet shoved which was a strong move, but the QQ wasn't folding, and ended up being good.
Down to 45K when I raise with Ac Qc, and flop a gutshot draw. I fire again in a 3 way pot and both call. The turn blanks and now one wants to bet big and the other calls. Only a King on the river can save me so I fold. They are heads up and the Kh falls. Great. One bets 15K and the other calls, and 4h 5h wins with a flush, so I actually dodged a bullet as I know the flush draw and he wouldn't have folded had I raised him on the turn, but am now down to 45K on the last level of the day. This feels eerily familiar.
35 players now left, and down to 40K. It's 500/2000/4000. You guys do the maths. Not fun when you're catching nothing at all.
Christ. 42K and they've just called last 7 hands of the day. What a grisly spot for me. If I have roughly this stack I'd come back with 7 or 8 big blinds at the most, and I have a lot of big stacks around me. I guess we'll see what happens, but with 10K up for grabs each hand with no extra being put in, it's well worth shoving if it might get through, whatever cards I'm holding.
2 hands left, and I've seen squat. Down to 39K and I'll be in the big blind the next hand. What a great way to go....