Poker players aren't widely renowned (with exceptions of course) for their physical prowess, or for eating right or making many good life decisions for that matter. In fact, if ever you feel a bit bad about any aspect of yourself, go walk around a busy poker room during festival time. I pretty much guarantee you'll come away from the experience thinking " wow, actually, things really aren't that bad."
To buck the trend a bit I woke up at 5.30 am today, which is a possible by-product of having a job for a while now. No big, I got plenty of rest and decided that instead of trying to sleep I'd get up and be productive instead with some of the bits I need to do whilst in town. After doing some odd jobs and eating a bagel with enough butter and Marmite on it to clog up the Thames estuary, I swam for about an hour until I literally couldn't swim any more. I'm very fortunate that when I'm in Las Vegas I rarely stay on the strip in a hotel, and far prefer the normality of a nice house with a swimming pool and a bit of down time when not in an event. It's nice to wake up and not instantly hear slot machines. You have the minor inconvenience of driving in to the strip and parking up every day, but only if you view that as an inconvenience.
Today was a toss up between the Venetian or the Wynn. I've opted for the former and will be playing from noon today.
Well thus far it's been an entertaining table! The three seat has played (I think) every single hand since we started. He lost a sizeable pot early on and since then has been justifying playing any two napkins and shredding people's genuine hands with brutal regularity. I think he was down to 4k from 15k, and is now up to 25k or so again. Not a criticism in any way of course. I'm a big advocate of people being allowed to do whatever they like with their chips, it's just nice if you can be the beneficiary when you spot what they're doing.
Whilst I was typing this, he decimated his stack back down to 10k again. I need to get in more pots against him before he's toast!
My 15k is now 12,500. Not terribly concerned, this table has the potential to make it into 50k in two hands. It's 75/150, one guy just made it 875 and got five callers lol. K10 off suit won with one pair and explained "I was priced in."
Ask and ye shall receive. Up to 23k when I flop a set of 9's versus AK on and AK9 flop! Silly as it sounds, the way the action and the body language went I felt like that's what he had and I was actually ready to fold if another ace or king rivered. Clench everything and the river bricks and I move in, he looks like someone finger banged his cat and makes a crying call for the bad news. Good stat to level 3 at 100/200. Currently 302 players in.
Just had a tap on the shoulder and turned round to see the familiar face of James Akenhead who stopped by to say hello. I like James, a nice kid, a very good temperament at the table and a great player, which is not a commonplace combination among a lot of people you find in poker rooms. He's got a good stack in yesterday's $1,100 event with 168 players left from over 2800 starters, so let's hope he can do the business.
As for me in the slightly humbler $600 event, we're approaching the first break and I'm still nicely over average on 23k. A few more useful players have replaced the casualties, but that's not always a bad thing to have at the table. Off outside for some sun and an overpriced gondola ride. Well, some sun anyway.
Back we are and cranking into level 4, where the antes have now kicked in. I suffered a minor setback upon return when I flopped a set of 5's on a 5QA board, and the turn and river were and ace and a queen. The villain wanted to milk another 1500 on the river but I gave it up. Back down to 17k. Ho hum.
Starting level 5 and we're at 50/150/300. Almost 400 players in now. My stacks gone down a bit from seeing a few flops and missing, but it's all good. The vibe of the table is pretty friendly and chatty, win or lose. A far cry from most UK tournament tables which is why I've largely stopped playing there now. Clock says we have lost 100 players from the 397 runners.
Interesting spot here, as I'm below 15k and have time left for a spin up or re-entry should I choose. Re entries are permitted for the first 6 levels and including the second break, and it's certainly within my budget to do it. I wouldn't totally rule it out but I'm more inclined against it as I'd be coming in against stacks 3,4,5 times as big but more importantly on a totally unfamiliar table. Sit tight and see.
The guy earlier who was swinging at everything has been up and down like tower bridge all afternoon. He just destroyed the life of the guy next to me, who raised big with QdQs and bet out big on a 539 three diamond flop. The 4 on the turn looked like a blank and when the nutjob jammed the QQ didn't like it but called. He looked a tad green when he found the opponent had called a massive flop bet (around 8k at 200/400) with a non diamond A2 gutshot draw that got there. To add insult to injury he rivered a queen for a set that was no good. It's a wonderful table and no mistake...
Outside soaking the rays up on the second break. Aside from early on I've not really seen a decent hand or connected on a flop for a good two levels whilst the bodies fall around me. Not enough wiggle room with my stack to get cute so I'll be punting when I come back to the table.
Back we are, and the final numbers are 280 players left from a total of 481 starters. Blinds are now 75/300/600 and I ve got a less than wonderful 8k.
Being card dead in these things isn't fun. It's better to have double the average and splash around a bit, but you take what the day gives you, even if the day has divided to give you a shit sandwich. I'd rather get it in with a realistic double/treble up shot than be calling off only to find I'm in a horrible spot. I guess we'll find out shortly!
Karma not being kind today. I'm not out but the next worst thing happened. My table broke. Now sitting with a bunch of unknowns with a short stack...not where I'd like to be.
Not quite the way I'd like to play the hand but it came down to gut instinct. A biggish stack raised by big blind to 1300 at 75/300/600. Everyone folded and I looked down with wonderment at...
Q6 offsuit. Marvellous.
We were heads up and I smelt a rat, but also felt I was getting called if I shoved, so I saw a flop of 467 with him. He now moves me in for my last 7k.
I dwell, then tell him in the nicest possible way that I kind of feel like he's full of shit, which illicit a a wry smile and a laugh round the table. I reluctantly call, saying I think I'm winning but am not liking it. He tables J5 for an up and down straight draw.
Clench everything, and wait for two blanks to run out. Win a small pot immediately after and I'm back to a not ideal but considerably better 16k as we colour up and hit 100/400/800.
Just got it in with AJ vs a short stack's 22, flopped an ace, and he turned a wheel to resuck... Down to 17k again.
In other news the guy I hero called with Q6 and told him he was full of shit turns out to be Carlos Mortensen. How we all laughed.
Back we came, now at a full table again as they've filled the seats and broken a few. numbers say 143 left here from an original 481 starters. For reasons superstitious or otherwise I don't look at the payouts and stuff until it actually matters, and I'm guessing we're not there yet so it'll keep.
Motoring a little at last now. Finally seem to have found my groove, am hitting a few cards and am starting to push a couple of people around on this table. Up to 66k at 200/800/1600. Average is 59k.
Sorry the updates have been a bit slow last few levels but as you can appreciate its a bit closer to the business end of proceedings and I've needed to focus a tad more than previously.
I'm now on 212k, the average is 91k and 79 players are left.
Just for the great Action Dave...
...who's asking me on Facebook for an update and for me to make the giraffe change colour :o)
Tournament atricion does funny things to people. Earlier today I was on 7k and fighting for oxygen whilst everyone was dancing around me. Not literally, that would be stupid.
Now I found myself on 100k and loving life. Largely due to finding the boots on the button. I'm trying to work out how to get some value out of the guy who just made it 4k, when the woman on my right who's pretty solid decides now is the time to spazz with KJ off suit and jam in 27k!
A little play acting on my part but the original raiser is done with it once I've called, and she doesn't hit any miracles to spoil my evening. I'm kind of miffed I've waited a whole two days before picking up AA on the button. I must be losing my touch.
111 players left as we approach level 12 and 300/1000/2000.
A bit of typing space as we find ourselves hand for hand! 55 left and 54 pay. I'm on around 190k with the average at 130. Feeling good and not getting (too) out of line (too) often :)
We're in the money. All investors can now quit their job and start looking for a villa in the French Riviera. You can't buy one with the bowl of rice your getting, but at least you can look, it'll burn up a few hours.
Regardless, first hurdle completed and let's crack on with the next bit. Getting to the end of the day and bagging up for tomorrow.
Ugly atmosphere on my table now where one guy raised with A9, older guy with A10 came over the top. The A9 dwelt, and shipped 140k (at 500/2k/4k) and the A10 reluctantly made a very big but correct call. A nine flopped and the A10 got chopped down to matchsticks. He then proceeded to spend about 10 minutes blustering and berating the A9 on what a bad player he was and how it was such bullshit etc. it's poker for Christ's sake. Some people can be as nice as pie and then become such babies when they take a beat and it doesn't go their way. I know we're all human but I just don't get why anyone would ever take such a silly thing as a game of cards personally. I guess we're all made differently.
Apologies for the updates fizzling out yesterday, my battery died.
Not the battery on my device. I have about 12 devices on the go. My own battery. That's what happens when you're old and you play tournaments...
Back today for an 11am start and people are quickly dropping. I've won/lost a few and am sitting on about 200k. The current numbers are as follows:
Total runners 481
Players now left 36
Joy and then disaster.
I just turned kings full (that NEVER happens to me) and got paid, pushes me up to a very comfortable 255k. Loving my life. Carlos Mortensen is back and on my left and short, so needing to be careful when I steal.
Now the disaster bit. Just raised on the button with AK, that fun tournament hand. I inform the big blind that because I don't like playing pots against people with either sunglasses, beards, baseball caps or headphones, he plays a massive part of the demographic I try to avoid.
He repops me and I jam trying to win it there and then. Unfortunately he has KK so decides to gamble. Miraculously I flop a king so I wasn't going anywhere on the flop either. I turn the nut flush draw but don't improve, and I lose a pretty huge pot and spiral down to about 85k
I've heard a few people around the tables bemoaning their bad fortune this morning. One guy actually thanked me for yesterday telling him to just let it go when he took a sick one, and said that it actually helped him a bit as he was tilting all over the place. I'd be hypocritical if I started spouting off myself after i just lost the big pot, so I just move on and try to regroup.
Crash. Burn. Next. Etc.
Out in 33rd. Proof of that which I often preach. AK is often a shitty hand to get too busy with in tournaments. When you miss everything it's easy to spot, but when you hit and still lose it's not always so straightforward.
I've got around 80k and we're on level 17 at 1000/3000/6000. There's a small raise and a shorter stack jams. I look at this as a good spot to get back into the game and I overshove with AK. Player behind me looks like he wants to cry, and then also goes all in. On their backs:
My AK vs the original raiser's Q10, and the other player's....QQ. Just an ace then right?
An ace flops, followed by the case queen. Marvellous.
The QQ gets up and whoops and hollers, and does a little jig to celebrate. Well played everyone. 33rd pays $1,356 which isn't going to see me retiring anytime soon, but it's a cash so I guess I'm doing something right. My next main event on the schedule is the WSOP Millionaire maker tomorrow. It's early today and I'm here, so in going to play the Venetian $600 bounty which is a small one-dayer that's just started. I'll jump in and start updates in a new chapter.