40 minute levels, and we've hit 75/150 already. Little to report and still on starting stack.
Of course, the problem with gambling a little is that a large part of the room has decided on the same approach. I just banged it preflop against a stubborn older guy (we know that now), whose A6 offsuit shredded my AKs on an A629J board. Lost a small chunk but got most of it back in the following few hands to sit on around 27k.
A fair amount of upping and downing, just trying to catch one of the people who are obviously overplaying the shit out of one pair, just about to hit level 4 on a now full table and I'm on 26,500. approx 370 players have already signed up thus far, and today is the 4th and final flight of this particular event.
First beak, and my stack is about the same. The cushion of an extra bullet is a nice thing to have, but you can buy in or back into this thing for 18 levels, so there's no need to force the issue. The way my table is playing there will be plenty of time to get going soon enough. I'll crank it up a little if I get above 30k again, but for now just trying to outflop people cheap is plenty enough.
An older Scottish guy and my opponent from earlier who was in love with his A6 just played a sizeable pot. On the river one bet 2500 (blinds are 25/100/200 and the Scot quickly called. The bettor shuffled uncomfortably and turned over Queen high, for a busted everything. The Scot tabled AJ for ace high and won around a 9k pot.
You see occurrences like this a lot in tournaments, but for me the interesting part is that at a certain standard of poker (if you can call it that) people clearly try to second guess one another, get into each other's heads, try to read the pattern of betting etc. Here there was none of that. It was very simply that one person bet the river as he couldn't win by checking, and the other was too stubborn to fold his ace high and it was worth 2500 to him. That's not my conjecture, that's actually what clearly happened. That's not to say it's any bad thing or that anyone played horribly, it's just worth knowing when people are purely playing their own cards, or are thinking about other peoples.
Clearly I have the game sussed, and displayed this two hands later by betting into the Scot on the river with a busted draw, and he promptly called with third pair, whilst asking me "you didn't think I was folding did you?" The river bet was considerably smaller, but I'm pretty sure if I'd bet 5k the resulting call would have been the same.
Level five at 25/150/300, and still not far North or South of starting chips. Keep plodding for now.
Midway through level six and currently struggling to find something interesting to update. I have tried to limp behind a couple of the weak players but one guy behind keeps popping it up again to clear the stragglers. He's considerably more astute than most of the table.
Well, there you go, that's something interesting to update. Down to 20k when I flopped an up and down straight flush draw and bricked everything against my Scottish nemesis. Hi bet 5k on the river and after I folded he said "as soon as you tanked, I knew I was ahead". You were indeed Sir, I had nine high. Break time again for 15 minutes.
Back from break and again have punted my way back up to 26,500. I had to bet every street and shove on the end, but he gave it a little am-dram and then sigh folded. Not before saying to his neighbour "shit, I just can't get a read on him". It's almost like I've done this before. Now at 75/300/600 and we have 570 entrants.
Things have livened up a bit at the table now. The mood is upbeat, I've taken a few pots from Scotland (being careful to actually have a hand, he's not one to try bluffing against), and Mr A6 has spacked off his chips and is gone. We are at the pre-dinner break level of 100/400/800, and I'm STILL around 27k. Better than 0k, and still plenty of play in the thing.
I may as well have had an extra 5 hours in bed and a leisurely lunch today. We just hit the dinner break and i found myself on... starting stack of 30k again. Marvellous.
Caesars and PH are generous to allow the players a whole 30 minutes for dinner as a benefit of the $80 reg fee. This generally means you either go hungry, or queue up somewhere for 20 minutes only to try to scoff your food down and get heartburn. I'm actually a little hungry although I almost never eat whilst playing, and if i must I'll try to get up five minutes before end of level to avoid the queues and the scrum at the food places. This time I couldn't make it happen, and whilst the choices were Earl of Sandwich or LobsterMe (or if there was a little more time maybe Gordon Ramsay's "Burger"). However, the fact that I didn't get out early and that there were now huge lines, meant my dinner break turned into a walk around the block, and no food for me. Ho hum, I guess I'll eat tonight. I was trying to watch my weight on this trip anyway.
I just lost a head-scratcher, when a young slightly crazy acting Asian kid joins us. I have two red sevens, and the board runs our Kc4c5d6c8h making me a straight. He checks the river and I value bet 3k...he now shoves for 25k! Sigh. Well played mate, all yours. Back to 22k again.
I just took a flip with AK against Scotland's shortstacked 55. I hit trip Kings and send him packing. He was a nice old boy, used to be in the merchant navy. He was a bit of a calling station but was clearly just playing for the fun of it. He took his beats and was courteous, so good luck to him, people pay their money, they can do whatever they want. I'm back up to 30k or so just as the levels hit 200/600/1200.
Sorry, brief power interruption as my tablet battery died and I needed to wait until the next break to recharge it a bit.
We've just hit level 13, and whilst going up/down/up/down, I'm now back on 20k after losing an ugly one with 1010 vs 66 when he turned a six on a Nine high board. Ugh.
Almost 700 players in today's flight. Still not ideal in chips but with another five levels to play it's now time to get busy and get something going.
Two big stacks have been moved to my left, and things are getting a tad more difficult. I find 22 and jam the button, the guy agonises for a bit (he has about 120k to my 14k at 300/1000/2000). Eventually he goes away, and I claw a few chips back.
One guy who has been moved to the table is walking on water. He has bet out (as it turned outwith A8 offsuit). A largish stack decides not to mess about and basically shoves around 35-40k in with AK. The original bettor shrugs and calls (he originally bet about 6k), now committing his whole stack. He looks crestfallen as a King appears in the window, then collects the pot that is pushed to him as the board runs out K4756 to give him a winning straight, He continues with the game, and 5 minutes later, raises with AQ, gets repopped by AK, and again can't find a fold for his entire stack. This time he flops a Queen and busts another player, getting himself up to around 130k. What a life.
I wanted to play this thing coming out swinging today. One pal I spoke with before I left for the US looked slightly alarmed when I announced this intention, only getting the colour back in his cheeks when I explained it to be simply a general strategy if the table suited this, and if I was confident enough in a) my own ability to out-think people through the streets of a hand, and b) that I felt there were people seated who were capable of folding that therefore made the aggressive approach worthwhile. Today hasn't been one of those days. With the right line up, playing super laggy is fine. Past readers will know that I've been known to play some highly speculative hands on occasion back in the day, not at all because I'm expecting a miracle flop, but because I know I can get away cheap if I don't connect, and someone who plays far more mechanically can go off for a big number simply because they can't see a way to play except by overbetting when they have anything. However, on the table today as it unfolded with the stack with which I found myself, nuts and bolts were the way forward, with only the occasional flourish of heroics when allowed.
We are approaching the final break of the day, and with blinds now at 400/1500/3000, my 15k stack isn't looking too threatening to those around me. I squeeze out an ace and jam in mid/late position. The guy I mentioned who has twice sucked out, min-raises it and isolates me. Shit. Based on past form, I may well be ahead.
Over we go, and I find My A8 against.... K10 offsuit. Ugh. I guess I want the action as I need the double up, but if form is to be believed, he isn't putting a foot wrong.
The King on the flop appears to confirm this. Marvellous. Exit Kevin two levels before the end of play.
The way PH have structured this thing, you can buy back in for 18 levels (yes, that's really not a misprint), including the first level of day two. The cynic in me says this is far more about Caesars Entertainment (the closest thing in my mind to a Satanic cult in business as you can get) generating extra registration fees and thus more cream for themselves, than it is about being "for the players", and to increase awarded prize pools. I allowed a second shell in this, but I think buying back in with 10BB is a huge error, so we're not doing that, and will keep the powder dry for the next opportunity. I can do the "screw it, it's a staked packege, just have a punt" approach, but I think most if not all of you know me a bit better than that. Today was a bit uninspiring (I can jazz it up in the writing but would rather just be straight, and to be fair not ALL updates have been or will be like this one). Cast it aside and get ready for the next one, provisionally the Venetian $1600 2M guaranteed tomorrow.