Tongue is firmly in cheek, don't sweat it. Some of what I write is purely my thinking that the site needs content, and like it or not, when the primary topic of the updates is event after event after event, it's hard to make each update unique, so you take the lemons life throws at you and try to spin them into a pithy paragraph. I have precious little room for self pity in poker. It's the annoying younger brother to bad-beat stories, and quite honestly, nobody cares. Really. Even if they pretend to. So suck it up buttercup, and get onto the next one, or find something else to do with your days. A large part of poker, and especially tournament poker, is about getting your dominating hands and huge stacks destroyed at the worst possible time. Make peace with this, and you'll sleep far better at night when it happens, which it inevitably will. Of course, Stuey Ungar notably once said "show me a good loser, and I'll still show you a loser". Wise words.
So. Back for even more fun and merriment today for the $600 DSE double stack. A two flight event. I'm in the current spot of feeling like I'm playing just fine, better than fine in fact, but needing the rub of the green at the key moment. That's likely what the rest of the field also think, so I'm far from special. Suit up, and let's go round again. Updates from noon.
I appear to be seated next to Barry Shulman in every tournament this trip. We get on well enough nowadays and I generally know where I am with him, so it's all good. No early fireworks for me at least, and I'm still on the 30K start stack as we hit level 2.
A very cute and friendly Canadian girl arrives and sits on my lap. Sorry, I mean, on my right. She lasts exactly two hands as she gets the lot in with QQ preflop, and a beard with JJ simply can't fold for 30K. Immediate Jack on the flop, and he busts her. She leaves without saying a word, clearly disgusted at the call. Welcome to the Venetian. It was only all-in preflop at 75/150.
Valuetown. I just punted Kc Jc hard on a Ks Js 3h flop. 5d on the turn, and the opponent jams when the 2h falls on the river. I'm not folding. He flips over K2. He was drawing dead and luckily for me he got there. Our hero is up to 61K as we near the close of level 4.
86K. The boy done good.
I saw a flop with Ah 6h, which came down Kh Qh 10d. I like this a lot. I fire 4k, and get THREE callers! Holy crap. The 6s falls on the turn giving me a pair, but no improvement. I fire 5K, and now one player drops out, leaving Barry, and the guy who weakly called with the JJ vs the Canadian woman earlier. I need a heart or a Jack for the nuts on the end.
The river is the 8d. Oh crap. It's a big pot, and I feel like after the effort I've put in it really belongs to me. I jam the lot in.
I know Barry can be flaky. He can certainly afford the buy-ins (x 100) but he also doesn't like giving it away once he might be beat on the river. He has around 18K left, and shuffles about, but finally folds. The other guy is quite weak, and I'm far more worried about him calling. Bluffing against players who have trouble folding is rarely a good move. He could call with two pair in this spot (which would almost always be wrong but that's people for you), but my huge bet here gives him a tough decision as he also has an awful lot of chips (around 60K). This is my main basis for the bet I made. He finally folds, and I show the table my pair of sixes with busted draws for advertising value and on we go with a very healthy stack for this stage.
Another player busts, and Dan Heimiller gets moved to my table. He's a good player, a bracelet winner, very tricky, aggressive and astute. He immediately gets a run of hands, coupled with two or three absolute Christmas presents from other players. The final hand before the break at level 6 he flops a set, and gets paid on the turn by TWO players who have two pair. He catapults up to over 150K..must be nice. I could REALLY do without him on the table with a lot of chips. The only saving grace being he's on my right so I have some pot control. I'm on a lower but still respectable 88K as we hit the 10 minute break.
Level 7 and little has changed,. The table has filled up with new faces. Barry, Dan, and the guy who busted the Canadian girl with the JJ are all still here, and the pace is a bit more sedate. 82/124.
Lost one when I tried outplaying the Chinese kid on my left. I missed my draw on the river but couldn't pull the trigger, and he won with ace high. I'm pretty sure he was calling unless I moved him in, and that was hard to do with five high. Down to 75K. Average is 47K as we go to 75/300/600.
Another hit when my 10 10 loses to a woman who can't fold K7 suited and then turns a King. 60K. Ugh. Keep the momentum going. Upwards again hopefully.
Back to 75K again when I get creative with 23 and make a straight. Poor kid looks like someone just took away his candy. It's rarely personal with me, but he looks decidedly pissed..
31K. Just lost a pot to the weak JJ player. Unfortunately when i flopped two overs and a flush draw, he flopped a set, and I couldn't get there. Sigh. Still in the hunt as we approach the dinner break, albeit with less chips.
Back up to 53K when I snap-hero call a kid's 18K river bet with KQ with a Queen on board. He's a capable player, but my QQ is good and I scoop a nice pot to get back into shape with 30 minutes for some food.
Back from my Indochine Chicken and shrimp, and Pineapple/Basil Mojito on the break. I quickly chip up to 67K when I flop trips, and take more from the stack of the kid I beat with the 23 earlier. Quite honestly I think his head went after that. He busts pretty horribly afterwards when he shoves KK, and a woman at the table CALLS 25K or so preflop...with... Jh 7h. She makes an ugly flush and sends him spinning out. I have no idea what the thought process was there...it was a huge chunk of her stack but she decided J7 was the hand to call with. I move to a new table. 67/142 left and we are at 100/500/1000.
48K as we hit level 12. I'm tuned in and playing well, but can't seem to find the defining hand to get back into shape with.
I lied. Boom. 100K my QQ vs AK. I call the preflop raise, and jam when he bets on a 446 flop. He calls around 35K more with AK anyway!!! I hate the call, and have a flutter when a paint card appears on 4th street. However it's an innocuous Jack, and the river is a brick. Still, it was a nasty moment. 53/142 left.
96K with 49 left. Average is 87K.
Yet another table move, with a hyper aggressive kid on my left with a big stack. Time to tread carefully. 47 players remaining. We are approaching another 10 minute break.
One guy raises in early position to 5200. The guy behind him shuffles around and makes it 12K. He has a big pair. It's written all over his face. I have Ad 3d and I call the 12K leaving around 95K behind. I think with a favourable flop this is the way to have a great day 2 stack. With my chips at the moment, I'm OK but will be below average unless I build by the end of play, another 3 levels or so. The original raiser folds, and the flop comes out 345 rainbow. This is in my mind actually a good flop for me. The (in my opinion) overpair bets 15K, and I call, hoping for a scary card on the turn. The turn is a 6. A great card for me, now putting 4 to a straight out on board. He now clearly doesn't like the board and checks. I calmly bet 20K. He thinks for a while, and then reluctantly calls.
The river is a 9. No help for me, but he has no idea where he is in the hand now, and I've structured my bets so I can drop the hammer at the end. He meekly checks. I slowly move all-in for around 60K more, and he looks genuinely pained. To call now is around 3/4 of his stack. He asks for a count, cuts out his chips, puts them back, looks like he's trying to find a fold as there's a ton of ways his hand can't win based on the betting pattern. Occasionally I'd say something, but this time I don't want to give him any reason to call so I stay silent. He thinks for a good 5 minutes, then reluctantly calls.
I table my hand, and as most do in these spots, he screws up his face and tries to analyse what I just turned over. It's all-in and a call so the hands must all be shown anyway, so I speed up the process by saying to him "your overpair wins...kings or queens".
Then he turns over Kings which wins on a 34569 board. That's my lot.
There will undoubtedly be a few folk reading who won't like the way I played it, and even a few who will tell me it was played wrong on my part. Most know me, and also know I'm my own strongest critic. I can only say you had to be there. I'm guessing a lot of these guys also haven't got my record playing tournaments, so even though the hand lost, I'm still OK with the move, even if ultimately I ended up being called by someone who couldn't find a fold on a super scary board. This isn't arrogance on my part, it's just confidence in my own ability. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but you deserve more kudos for making the effort and creating the action than for simply trying to hang around and hoping you get a succession of amazing payoffs. You can always look at it another way, and say he had the best hand, and made a good call. That works too. It's all subjective stuff. I'm already over it. But I really do feel like I'm playing right in the zone at the moment, but just can't get across the line. End of day 1A... try again in the A.M.