There's too much stuff for me to put into one post, so I'll just start off with the trip report from Saturday's 1500.
Most of us coming from the SA house/Nath's place actually got there late and wound up as alternates. We had a wait of about an hour to get in the game and basically all missed the first level, meaning we'd start off at 50/100 with 30 BB each - almost push fold poker right from the get go. At first glance, my table looked tough, with Humberto Brenes (already familiar with me from playing 9 hours of razz) and Phil Laak both seated opposite me. That turned out to be very wrong, though - it was the easiest table I've ever played at live, by a mile. Unfortunately, I just couldn't capitalize on it due to a total lack of cards at the right time, but some of the play was completely unbelievable.
I got involved with Laak early when I raised K
in MP and he called from the small blind. Phil was basically playing his PSP for 15 straight minutes thus far and was completely ignoring the table, so when he called I knew he had a real hand. The flop came 6
6x 6x and he checked, so, like a true Internet donkey, I took a stab at it anyway. He called, of course (the reason this is a bad cbet is that he probably calls 100% of his range here) and the turn was the Q
. We checked it through (now that I at least had a draw which 'might' be good this is a super easy check, especially since the Q hit a bunch of hands he was floating with), the river was another Q, and he overbet shoved. A lot of the time, that queen counterfeits his small pair and we chop, but it's just not a spot I can profitably call him in [I have to split something like 80% of the time to do it], we both knew it, and so it was really an easy fold. Sometimes there's just nothing you can mathematically do (or even represent) in poker to win the pot.
I chipped back up with an uncalled PFR or two, then had another weird hand. An Asian player who'd been pretty call stationy so far but dressed like a professional (basically, something like a doctor or lawyer who was there to gamble) open limped in EP and I raised A
in LMP to 400 to isolate. He called and the flop came 9
. It was clear he had 'something' but didn't like it very much and checked. After thinking a couple of seconds, I decided that he'd fold enough for me to bet my completely worthless hand anyway and bet 600 into the pot of 800. He visibly agonized over it but finally called. The turn was the K
, he instachecked, I was obviously done with the hand and checked behind, we both checked the 2
river as well, and somehow my hand was good at showdown. Whoops. Thanks to that hand, I finished the second level with 3600 or so.
Immediately after the break, the blinds went to 100/200 and everyone at our alternate (ie, shortstacked) table had 10-30 BB and were starting to shove. This led to the following 3 hands in a row:
1)Phil Laak, who'd just got caught bluffing, had ~800 chips and visibly didn't care about the tournament at all, shoved from the cutoff. BB, who looked pretty young and aggressive, decided to pot odds call 1/3 of his stack with the mighty 85o. (Whoops again - make that 'young, aggressive and bad'.) Phil's Q9s held up and he chipped up to around 1800.
2)Next hand, I got TT UTG and raised to 600 of my 3.6K. Someone called in MP, and then the SB, the bad kid from the last hand, shoved 1500. I, of course, reshoved and got it heads up with the kid's A3s (he obviously crushes my UTG range there, right?) Board: 632AA. I run so hot.
3)Next hand, some terrible player limped and Phil Laak shoved his now 1800 chip stack in MP. I looked down on A8s in the BB with ~2600 and actually had a decision to make - it's a subpar hand, but it sure seemed like I was ahead of Phil's 'shove to get the limper's free chips' range here. Eventually, I figured I may as well shove (the 'double up or busto fast' idea played a role in that) and got HU with Phil's KQ as a nice 60/40 favorite. Door card: K. I run so...wait, there's an ace in there too. Sweet, I finally busted somebody recognizable.
That got me to 4600. I then proceeded to float between 4K and 7K for two hours, getting exactly one premium hand and basically stealing to stay alive, while the people around me - all massively bad at poker - moved mountains of chips around with awesome hands like:
100/200: Humberto Brenes raises to 500 of his 2650 chips in the cutoff. The button calls and the two of them see a TT6r flop. HB bets 600 of his 2150, the button makes it 2K straight, HB shoves, and the button...folds rather than call HB's last 150 chips getting about, oh, 20:1. HB shows something that isn't quads.
Regardless, HB busts shortly thereafter anyway after restealing from someone likely to call him light with the awesome K2o.
100/200/25: Someone limps in EP. The cutoff, a gigantic calling station most of the time, makes it 1K. The button, who's definitely good at picking up the phone himself, calls the 1K. The SB, who actually seems to know what he's doing, shoves exactly 2K, the EP limper folds, the cutoff calls (raising to isolate is not an option at this table) and the button overcalls.
Flop Axx. Check check.
Turn T. Check check.
River J. CO checks again. The button shows KQ, checks behind and says "I couldn't bet, since you let me get there. Anyway, at least we got the SB out."
I can't make this stuff up. Has anyone ever told these people they're trying to win a poker tournament?
100/200/25 again: The unfortunate loser from the last hand is now UTG+1 and makes it 800. MP calling station calls, as does an old nitty looking guy in the CO. (I'm the BB in this hand with 4500 and determine that I'm shoving any two cards with reasonable equity against the old nit's range before looking at my hand. Immediately after that thought, I look down, find 85o for the fourth time in the last two hours, and quietly fold.)
The flop comes T95. UTG+1, who has about 4K behind in this nice 3K or so pot, checks. MP also checks, at which point the old nit, with visibly shaking hands, quickly puts out 3K, a sizable chunk of his stack and a slight overbet. (In other words, he has jacks, or maybe queens if he's feeling extra cautious.)
UTG+1 now instashove CR's for a grand total of 4100. MP folds, meaning the nit is now getting roughly 10:1 to call an all in with an overpair. He agonizes for a full minute or so, then finally makes the call with (of course) jacks. UTG+1 turns over A9o and completely seriously says "nice call". Turn 5 (that's just to make sure I know how good I run.) River x. Nit has a mountain of chips. I /kill self.
I bust at 150/300/25 with 4500 chips after raising on the button with A
and getting called by both blinds. I'm planning to shove something like 80% of flops if checked to, and the K
flop that I actually hit for the second time in four hours certainly doesn't hurt that plan. SB folds, but the BB instacalls with - of course - KQ. I actually make my flush on the river, except that it also gives the BB quads. Sigh.
So much for that particular tournament. Sunday went a little better, though...