We have two players at the table sporting sunglasses. Neither looks particularly impressed by my choice of T shirt today, so... that's mission accomplished I guess. It's also very possible that since they're both wearing shades in a dimly lit room, they can't even read it properly.
Level 5 and I'm on 30k after a few missed flops. Still plodding. My friend with the beanie just decided to call a 16k all-in shove with 44. The raraiser had AK and made a straight, doubling up and taking chips that the beanie is supposed to be giving to me shortly. Merry Christmas.
Level 6 and 89 players now at 300/600/600. Obviously there's a lot of luck (both good and bad) in these things , and a lot of players who take part have precisely zero chance of winning anything; they just make far too many fundamental mistakes. In the short term, they can amass a big stack, but they almost always blow up at some point. The problem is that in their journey towards destruction, they very often can ruin your chances of winning, either by design or by accident. Of course, the irony is that you want players like this in the tournament, it's what contributes to the value. So I can't complain about it. I've been outdrawn twice and missed three flops, so I'm down to 22k.
Just under 20k as we approach the second break at the end of level 6. I'm not overly fussed. There's certainly chips to be had on this table, I just need to make sure I don't run out of gas before I can get them.
Level 7 and 103 players at the moment. The tournament still looks like pretty good value, but I thought that yesterday as well when we were 9 handed, so what do I know...
One of the sunglasses crew just got his aces smashed by 10 9 offsuit. He's still muttering to himself. I guess everyone isn't reading the same books as him. I'm still looking for a decent spot, but it's been pretty lean for the last few levels.
Mr Bean(ie) just busted another two players with a bag of bollocks when he rivered a straight. He's running like god right now, but has the chips to see every flop, and there's a lot to be said for that.
I just got a little bit of love from the poker gods. Looking for a resteal spot, I get it in with 77 and find myself up against the other pair of sunglasses, who has 88. I flop a boat, so that's always helpful, getting me back up to 29k again.
We've lost one pair of sunglasses after his AK failed to hit anything. He got up and left without saying a word, which is about as much as he spoke when he was playing for the last few hours. The other pair just made quads on the flop with his pocket 5's and won a sizeable pot from Mr Bean. He's puffed himself up a bit now and is clearly quite proud of the way he played the hand.
Apologies to anyone who was on the edge of their seat, transfixed by the riveting spectacle that is my live updates...There was a brief interlude whilst my website decided to crash on me, since some dummy didn't renew the domain. This means that whilst the site worked fine, and was all still secure, if you tried to access the updates it sent you to a holding page selling web hosting, used cars, hand jobs, whatever. I had to jump around figuratively, make payments, reset DNS protocols, all the fun stuff...Hopefully, after a bit of financial foxtrotting, I'm again up and running. I'll spare you the history. We're at 800/1600/1600 as we near the end of level 10. I've been up and down a fair bit, but am still swinging, and have approximately 50k with 59 players left of 135 starters. We will play down to 16 players.
Don't worry, I haven't headed off to the blackjack table and decided to spin the investor's money into a freeroll for the WPT $10k. The website still was having gremlin issues, but now are all resolved, some 15 hours later. I busted the $600 in 29th place of 135, and as I said, 16 went through. I took a few shots in the hours that followed. Some worked, some didn't. My exit hand was interesting, to me at least, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll explain it below.
I had about 105k, which was below average, and we were at 2k/3k/3k at level 13. It costs 8k per round to play, so whilst not terminal, I had bigger stacks all around me and this number of chips wasn't going to see me into day 2. I'd seen the standard number of ugly bust outs, and had observed the big stacks (correctly) using their position and advantage to good effect, picking up extra chips by bullying and pressuring the shorter stacked players, often with mediocre or poor hands. I have no issue with any of this, it's what you're supposed to do if you have chips in the later stages of a tournament. I'd already decided that I wasn't going to let my stack drip away and be under constant pressure, so this meant making a move, or taking a stand at some point. To me, it's always better if you ask the question of the other player, rather than put yourself in a spot where you are calling off your whole stack and hoping you hit, or that you are right about the situation. All that being said, here we go...
I look down at Ad 10d in mid position. I'm one of two, maybe three slightly shorter stacks at our table. The guy on my right, who has more chips, but not a ton more than me, opens to 8k, which has been the standard amount for a while when players come in for a raise. With more chips, I might take a flop, but having been at this table for a while and seen a lot of showdown hands, I decided that raising or folding were better options than flatting. This is very often the case in tournaments anyway; passive play like calling is best mostly avoided in my opinion, especially later on in the day. I raise to 21k, which get's the remaining players to quickly fold, and puts the onus back on the original raiser. He had (I think) around 140k-150k or so. He calls the 21k and we see a flop. It comes 10h 4c 7c. It's a good flop for me certainly, but when he checks, I opt to check also, for reasons I'll explain in a bit. The turn brings the Qh. He dwells, and now bets out for 25k. I look at the 65k or so already in the middle before his bet, and declare all-in for about 85k. This puts him in a difficult spot, and he now goes into the tank. He says he has a huge hand, and says whilst he is sure he's not winning at the moment, he also has a lot of ways to win. This tells me he has clubs most likely, and also a pair or a pair and a straight draw perhaps. My reason for checking the flop I will now explain, is that I want a card to come off, thus leaving only one card to come. A lot of players will quite happily just call off their whole stack on the flop with 2 cards still to see, but the better ones won't do it on the turn with no hand at all, and now only one chance to hit. It's risky, but often is the right move. In this case, I feel it was the right move for me to make, but was at the wrong time, as you will see.
He counts his stack and deliberates, clearly in something of a quandary. He finally calls, and tables... Kc Qc for top pair and a flush draw. The river comes a nothing card, and he wins the pot. I wish everyone good luck and leave, finishing 29th.
I don't fault the call at all, and I think given he had 2 overcards and the second nut flush draw on the flop, if I jam the flop with top/top, he is almost certainly going to call the shove there anyway with two cards to come, for the reasons I explained earlier. I'm unlucky that he catches the queen on the turn, as if it's a non- club, non king, non, queen, he now most likely can't call my bet, which I would still have played exactly the same way.
The way I play often raises a few eyebrows at the table, especially with the American 2+2 crowd who are easy to spot by the way they fist bump and jerk each other off in the poker room. If some pleb wants to say "hah, you waited until you were losing in the hand, then gave away all your chips", then have at it by all means. It's always fun for me to see people smirking and muttering to each other at the table, mainly because they wouldn't play that way themselves, and to them this seems like highly unorthodox, or even bad play. I guess we're not all playing the same game, and I'm perfectly fine with this, mainly because I know I've won more playing tournaments with my style that the vast majority of them, and also because a lot of them play the very predictable type of internet min-click poker that's very common in the last few years. It's normally quite straightforward for me to assess the way they play and then exploit them pretty easily on a day to day basis. That being said, I'm out, and I didn't make day 2. It's OK, it happens. I'm fine and at peace with my play, and had it worked, I'd be in a much stronger position, and I didn't just bleed to death in the attempt. Them's the breaks. It would, of course be much easier for me to simply say on here "I busted out in 29th when my A 10 loses to K Q", but I don't think that would be a fair representation of what happened, which is why I go into greater detail here, even if it puts me in a less favourable light. A few of the people who invest in me don't pay too much attention to the updates, and are quite happy to simply get a win/loss number at the end of the trip, but for the ones who like a bit more, there it is. It's funny, the people who know me are aware that away from this site and the updates, I pretty much don't discuss poker at all, and certainly don't dissect hands or tell hard luck stories. When I publish something here, I am of course leaving it open for the keyboard warriors to rip it to shreds. I'm a big boy, it's fine. But I think no one could ever say I'm not totally up front about everything. So, there it is. A short break now, before the next event, the Venetian $400 in their next series, which takes place in just over a week, before we then head on to the WPT, and hopefully to better things.