If you’re gonna do damage playing poker, you gotta do it right. I’m talking $10,000 to $20,000 a day if at all possible. Today I almost broke that record, but it was for the downside.
I started off the day by waking up in my condo at about 11:45 am and getting to the tournament one round late. I was assigned to table 56 and when I asked which table it was I was directed to a table with a bunch of high stakes pros at it. Fortunately, I was actually placed at the table right next to it with a few players who appeared to be fish. My starting stack was 3925 because I lost a few blinds while I was out.
As usual, I was playing my tight game, looking for anything that I could get that was worth a raise. I don’t see any point in playing a pot early on in a tournament unless it’s either late position with enough limpers or something I am willing to raise or call a raise with. I made a few calls with hands like Q10s and J9s, only to miss completely. I also caught a double gutshot straight draw and flush draw with a hand that I saw a free flop from the big blind, but I missed.
After about a half of an hour, I picked up AQo in middle position. The blinds were still 25/50 and I raised to 250. The typical raise for the table was between 125 and 200, which seemed pretty passive compared to tougher tables. I got three callers and the flop came K98 and I bet out after two of my opponents checked to me. One opponent raised, and both me and my other opponents folded. After that hand I was reasonably short stacked, enough to change my play to a tigher, more aggressive style. I waited for my next big hand.
A half of an hour later I picked up AKo under the gun. With 1600 chips and an average stack at the table of about 5000, I felt like my stack was shorter than average. I limped in for 50, hoping for a raise. Baaaam! Like clockwork, the next player raised to 225 and four other players called. I made it appear as if I was trying to take down the pot by contemplating my move and looking around the table. I shoved my entire stack of 1600 and all four of the players called. The flop was J86 and there was a small bet that pushed all but 2 players out. The turn was a 5 and the river was a 2, both streets were checked down. Pocket 10’s took down the pot and that ended Event #5 for me.
I walked from the Fontana Lounge over to the poker room and put my name on the list for $10/$20nl. I started out by trying out with a couple short stacks. My first buy-in was for $800, which I lost in a coin flip match. I’m lucky that I didn’t have more though, because I had AKs and lost with a pair of Kings to a set. My second buy-in was for $1,000, which I successfully brought up to $2000. Unfortunately, I lost this to a solid player on my right who hit a better hand on the flop.
I had enough, so I put over $20,000 on the table and played by usual deep stack game. Before I knew it, I was down $10,000.
I do commend one of my opponents specifically though. He made a famous Phil Ivey play on me, which I couldn’t call even though I knew for sure that he was bluffing. The hand went as follows:
Preflop: I’m on the big blind in seat 2. Seat 3 raised to $100 and there were several callers. I called because there was so much money in the pot with Q10 offsuit.
Flop 334 rainbow: I check, seat 3 bets, everybody else folds, I call to setup a turn bluff because I’m in the big blind and any good player could put me on a pair or even a possible 3.
Turn 4: I check, seat 3 bets $600, I raise to $1800. Seat 3 contemplates for awhile, then raises all-in. I told him that I knew he was making a perfect bet and that I couldn’t call. He showed A9s, a hand that was close to what I expected to see.