Tiptoeing along currently. No need to get super out of line, and I'm not re-entering, so let's see if someone can gift me a double up. Level 2 and I'm still on around starting stack of 15K. 230 players so far, hopefully in for a long day.
Weird moment just arose on what is generally a friendly table. A guy flopped a straight earlier and won a hand, and has just played another pot. The flop comes KQ8, and I say to him when he bets "well, I know you don't have a straight".
The guy on my right now pipes up and says "you're not allowed to talk about the hand, unless you're heads up".
Actually there are a few things about that statement that aren't right, I won't even get into it, but...really? You're going to be that guy? Never mind. I let it go.
Approaching level 3 and still on 15K. Gently does it.
The other Englishman at the table busted. He was unable to come off the gas, and this isn't the table on which to be going full throttle. I actually like this table a lot. I'm on 16K at first break, but it's a nice combination of old rocks, and guys who will overvalue two pair with a straight on the board. Not time to open up just yet, for now just nick the odd pot and keep on the curve.
Talking does reap benefits sometimes....
Back from the break, and I get into a three way pot with Qs 10s. Flop comes 6s 8s 9d...great for me. One guy bets out and I raise him on the come. The other guy folds, and the original better calls. Now I know that my opponent overplays his hands, so at the risk of sounding like a poor man's Matt Damon, now I hope a spade falls and I can take him to value town.
Well, that's kind of what Matt said I think. My memory comes and goes.
Turn is the As. A fantastic card for me. He checks to me and I bet 1900. He now raises to 5K, and I ship with my flush for 7K more. He looks like he has a decision, and good naturedly, I cajole him for a few minutes, whilst being careful not to overstep the line. After a few minutes, he calls, and turns over.... A 10 offsuit for one pair.
It's very rare (again) for people to be drawing dead against me, but I rake the pot, and say little in victory. Obviously I talk and mess around in general play, but not when I win or lose a pot. There are times to talk, and also times to belt up. He looks dumbstruck, and after the hand essentially says I talked him into calling. Happy days. Up to 27K.
I lose a little with AK a while later but am still going just fine. Shortly after I make 2 pair, and get it back again.
24K at level 5, 50/150/300. So far 252/334 remain.
I'm still liking this table a lot. It's a slow burn, but there's no real danger. Most players are pretty open and easy to read, so I'm just gradually increasing and avoiding the land-mines along the way.
Obviously I just hit a huge land mine, after doing everything right. Well done our kid.
A girl who I've played with before, who is capable enough, but is fairly ABC just raised and I call on the button with Qs 7s. I know she's doing it with a big holding but these are the spots where you can occasionally outplay and bust someone who can't see past their own hand. We see a three way flop when someone else also calls.
The flop comes 6d 7h Js, and she C-bets for 1800, I dwell and call taking off a card, and the other player gets out.
Turn is the Qh. Perfect for two pair for me. Unless she has QQQ I'm 99% certain I have her totally locked up. She bets 2800, and I raise it to 6000. She then snap shoves for the rest of her chips, so now I know in my mind it's either Aces or Kings. Either way I'm winning and I call in what is probably the biggest pot on the table all day so far. She tables AA as advertised. I love it in those occasional moments in life when I'm right about stuff. They happen more often in poker for me than anywhere else! :)
The river unfortunately, is now a Jack, counterfeiting me and unhappily giving her the pot as she has just made Aces and Jacks to beat my Queens and Sevens. I say nothing as it all gets pushed the other way, but I know I played it well, and just got the shaft for my efforts. Welcome to the luck element. I'm sure others won't see it quite like that, but I guess that's where we are going to differ. Don't be afraid to gamble, know just where you are in the hand, and try to get someone to get all their money in badly against you. That's about all I can do. If you look past the actual hands, that's exactly what just happened, however there was one card to come, and I got unlucky.
So, I'm now on an ugly 7K when it would have now been around 60K or so had the Jack not just paired the board. Eight outs on the turn and she got there. Never mind. If you get upset by stuff like that, then don't play poker.
Approaching level 6 with 243/347 players left.
Apologies for the delay, my laptop died and I didn't have a power lead. Surface Pro's are nice machines, but the battery leaves a lot to be desired.
Level 7, and I bust in maybe one of the weirdest exit hands I've ever seen. As you may know, I don't do the hand histories/poker stories stuff, save for this website, and were it not for shareholders, I'd maybe not even do that. People who know me personally will attest that I just don't do poker stories. They're boring, mainly only explained for the benefit of the person telling them, and no-one really cares, which is maybe why I embellish the blog with a healthy dose of sarcasm as filler. I always feel that the paying public deserve a little something for their faith, and I try to be painfully honest when it comes to tournament updates. The non-paying readers get the bonus of being in on things for free also, since making the website private always seemed kind of silly. I'm here alone, so can obviously make up all sorts of fairy stories should I wish. However it's not me, and since I play from my gut, sometimes things will look a bit...odd. There are legions of people out there who read books, and watch training videos, and are sure that poker is "solvable" by using a formulaic strategy, which is everything I disagree with, and why I don't play online (which is all of these things). Here's the exit, and I await emails and comments from people who disagree and think my play was a massive error. Or maybe a few who "get it". Either way, it's fine. The one caveat is, please only write to criticise if you have more than me in live cashes. Otherwise, your argument might lack some weight. Here we go...
Of course, all good poker stories start with "well I called a raise with 23..." right?
Level 7, at 75/250/500. I have survived after the killer hand where I was counterfeited, but am on around 6K, now. Most people nowadays just ship and hope, but I'd rather do things a different way and give myself a better chance.
I'm in the big blind, with 2d 3d. There's a raise from the guy on my left, who said (and I'm pretty certain it's not far wrong) that this is his first tournament. It's 1100 to play, and all fold to the small blind who completes.
Now, before anyone goes off on a rant. Yes. I know I have 23. That's not the point. I win more pots with speculative hands like these, than with the textbook big starting hands. That's because one of my strong suits, and something you don't find in the books, is knowing where you are in situations. It's a good price to take a flop and hopefully double up to get back in contention, so I call also, leaving myself about 5K. Off we go, three way.
Flop comes 4d 6h 9d.
So I have a gutter, a flush draw, and two undercards (the last bit is a joke, but bear with me). First to speak with around 4K+ already in the middle. Ship it! At least I have another way to win if they both fold, right? I move all-in, and hope no one has any of this board, or that I get there if they have.
Of course not. They both call. In fact, the guy on my left shoves, and the guy on my right calls the shove. I must be in huge trouble here right?
The original raiser tables....AK. Yes AK. No flush draw, no pair, nothing. Ace high.
The second guy, who has called an all in and then also a reshove all in turns over...Qd Jd, for a bigger flush draw. Yes he's beating me but it's still an ugly call given the action. He could be in terrible shape, and the first two player's money is already in the pot so we're not folding. Anyhoo.
My two undercards are actually live! Sadly the flush isn't. Now you see why I said it looks weird?
The board runs out with two massive bricks, and everyone misses everything. My Wynn main event is over, and I lose to...Ace high, and Queen high! Good game everyone.
I won't labour the point. Some will understand the call preflop and the shove on the flop into two players. Some will think it stinks. Either is fine. I still sleep pretty well at night, and am very aware of the dynamic that it takes more strength to call a raise than to make a raise. I'm out, but in the same spot I'd likely do the same thing again. As I say, I can invent a story, but the truth is probably in this case more entertaining. Or not, depending on if you're me.
That, as they say is that. Everyone who had shares is getting a return on the trip, and I'll be in touch with all shareholders individually soon. The staking part of the trip is over, though I'm here a few days more so I may still play something small on my own dime. I'll write a final epilogue once I've got my head around it and thought of something mildly entertaining to say. As always thanks to the good people for support, messages and sarcasm. You all know who you are xxx.