Trip report: Possibly too level-headed

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Tourney summary - Event #10 ($2,000 NL)

Final tally - 63'rd/15xx for (40% of - I'm fully backed) $8,359.

I started out at a pretty decent table and quickly chipped up to 5500 from the starting 4K from blind steals and playing smallball. I lost a bunch of it during the 2'nd hour when I raise/folded KJo from the SB (live poker is so easy that when they RR you from the BB you can easily do that), then reraised someone with QQ and checked behind an ace high flop (he bet the turn, I folded, he showed AK. Pretty standard for live) and ended up with 4,050, up 50 chips. That was the only time I went backwards in chips for most of day 1. The highlights:

-At 100/200. two people limped and the button made it 1100 of her ~4K (?) stack. I had JJ in the SB and chose to simply shove (I had her covered by a thousand or so) since I wasn't really going to call OOP. She showed me AK, took a minute and folded face up(!)

-A hand I wasn't in but made me laugh: During 200/400, a huge LAG with at least 30K limps UTG, someone else limps, and an old guy who has a weak/tight look all over him but also has a monster stack limps on the button. 5 people see a Q 6 2 flop. It's checked to the button, who bets close to the pot, and folded to UTG, who immediately checkraises to 5K. Button takes exactly 2 seconds to call, and we see the K hit on the turn. UTG checks, button now bets 3K into 15K, UTG insta-CR's again to a whopping 9K, button takes 30 seconds, agonizes and folds J 8 face up. The LAG, of course, flips up QJo, no hearts, and starts to celebrate while the button dejectedly moans about how the fourth heart had to hit.

-One of those weird bluffs that you can only pull off live/I hope the BB isn't reading this: after just getting to a new table, I raise 77 UTG and it's folded to the BB, who calls. Something about the call puts me on edge, but the flop comes 4 4 3 and he checks, so I bet anyway. The BB instantly puts out all his yellow 1K chips and checkraises me just under half his stack, leaving himself all the smaller ones. I know exactly what he has and should really fold, but again, something about this tells me "forget pot odds, he's folding so many better hands to a shove". I ask him to count his chips while I think about it, and this + the small chance I'm bluffing with the best hand = me putting him all in after about 30 seconds. He agonizes, tells me he puts me on kings, then folds after a full 2 minutes.

But wait, it gets better: A half hour or so later, I raise AKs UTG at 3/6. MP calls and the BB reraises to 5600, now about a third of his stack (the previous series of hands has me chipped up to about 30K). Of course, I shove. BB says something like "goddammit, this is the exact same situation and the exact same hand", curses himself and his fate again, then folds JJ face up. This time, I show my hand. He mutters something about "how can he put his tournament life on the line with no pair" under his breath. Live poker is awesome.

The first time I lost chips the entire tournament was on the bubble, when I got repopped PF a couple of times. I went from a high of 35K down to 18K or so, but doubled up on a 70/30 (my first all in that got called when I was covered and the last until my final hand), won a flip right afterwards, and ended the day with the 66.8K stack I mentioned.

Day 2 started on a good note. A few hands in, I raised J5o from the SB to 6K, planning to fold to a shove from the BB, who had around 19K total. Of course, I forgot about the antes which made it an autocall, so I really should've shoved in the first place and instantly regretted it when the BB moved in. I disgustedly said "well, I have live cards, I call", flipped the J5 and watched the BB turn over...76o. Okay. A few hands later, I had 90K and reraised an LMP raiser on the button with AK. He (properly given my image) shoved AQ, I called and held up and probably had the #3 stack (170K) in the tournament out of around 90 people.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much it. After I moved to my last table (only the second one I would say was really tough), I chipped down to 140K at 2/4K blinds until the following 2 hands:

On the hand before my bustout, an MP player, a well known pro and a solid TAG, raised in MP. Justin Bonomo (ZeeJustin), sitting to my left, called. BB, a short stack, clearly didn't like his hand much but called anyway, and three people saw the A J 2 flop. ZJ and the BB both checked to MP, who bet a fairly large amount, ZJ instantly checkraised the minimum, and the BB, who again hated his hand, finally called all in (everyone in the building could probably put him on a weak ace at this point.) MP instashoved, ZJ thought a few seconds and called with AQo, no diamonds - a call that, even getting somewhere between 3:1 and 4:1, was honestly the worst I've ever seen him make. MP had AK, by far the bottom of his range. Of course, a queen hit the river, MP hit the roof and got a 20 hand penalty for crumpling the offending queen into a ball, and instead of being out of the tournament, ZJ had a ~500K stack.

On the next hand, I raised with AJ in LMP, ZJ called from the cutoff and the BB overcalled. The flop came A 5 4, BB checked and I decided to CR ZJ all in as I knew he would bet the vast majority of his hands here if checked to/I could make him fold a naked heart (plus, I could get away if the action went "ZJ bets/BB shoves", something that could well happen.) ZJ did bet, BB folded, and I checkraised as planned...into his T 9 flush. Oops. I'd still make this play again given the circumstances, so I'm not too disappointed, but I do wish he hadn't hit the 3 outer on the hand before.

It wasn't a great ending, but a smooth start to the WSOP - hopefully I'll be following this up with more as the events go on.

1 for 1 so far

Short update since I just got back from a long day: I'm in the money at my first WSOP event of '07, the 2K NL (Event #10.) 125 of 1500-odd people remain; I have a 1.5x average or so stack, although it'll only be ~22 BB once the blinds go up again and the structure is very fast late. We resume play at 2 PM (Vegas time) tomorrow and play down to the final table.

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