It’s Wednesday or Thursday and I’m heading out to the Bellagio for the 2pm 5k event. I say ‘Wednesday or Thursday’ because in Vegas knowing the day is pretty much useless and irrelevant. On this particular day, whichever it is, I’ll be trying my luck at the Bellagio for the second time. If the Bellagio’s series of tournaments for the summer can be faulted for one thing, it’s that their probably running too many 5k events, which people probably don’t have the money to pony up for THAT consistently, so we’re getting some very short fields.
Today’s field would only get around ~50 players, which I would say breaks down as follows:
~10 average (read: bad)
My table gets a roughly average distribution of those players, including a hung over Kush in seat 1. Too much beer and video poker Kush, but at least you flop straight flushes (in video poker naturally.)
For the first few levels I try to see cheap flops or raise pre with good hands but I can’t get anything going. The only semi interesting hand of the entire 2 hours goes as follows:
The player on my left had min reraised somebody once pre flop and had AhKh, which hit an A on the turn after C-betting the flop and stacked the awful villain. He seemed pretty tight, so I’m pretty sure he’s min reraise range pre is very tight and he probably over values AK and doesn’t understand how to play it.
His stack: ~15k
My stack: ~7k, I hold JJ UTG+1, blinds 50/100.
Preflop: UTG calls 100, I raise to 400, UTG+2 reraises to 800, folds back to me, I call.
Flop: 8 3 3 two diamonds (I have none)
I check, he bets 1000, I call intending to fold if he continues with confidence.
I check, he bets 2500, I fold.
After that things continued to go wrong when the blinds went up to 100/200 and every attempt I made at getting involved went straight to hell. Seated on my immediate right is well known internet MTT player kwob20, who’s a very nice guy and managed to get Rolande De Wolfe quite annoyed with him when the following hand developed:
Preflop: Folds to Wolfe on the button, Wolfe makes it 600, Kwob calls, BB folds.
Flop: Qh Th 4c
Kwob checks, Wolfe bets 1000, Kwob shoves, Wolfe calls. Kwob shows Kh 9h and Wolfe Ks Js.
Wolfe angrily gets up to the table and makes some remark about Kwob’s pre flop call, then storms out to the porch.
A few rounds after Kwob picks up some chips, I find a way to get them back from him. I peer down at 9d 2d in the SB at 100/200.
Preflop: Folds to HJ, HJ calls, folds to Kwob on Button, Kwob calls, I complete, BB checks.
Flop: 7d 5h 3d
I check, BB checks, HJ checks, kwob bets 575. I decided that vs a standard live player I would be shoving here, but since kwob knows I’m online the way to look strong to him (and hopefully get him to fold a middle pair or something) is to CR half my stack instead. I make it 2000, BB folds, HJ folds, and Kwob moves in. I call and he shows 33, [censored].
Whoa, a draw actually got there. I double back to almost 10k. Unfortunately for me, things would never go above that. I mostly fold for about 2 or 3 rounds and the blinds go up to 100/200 25 ante. A few on my right is a very aggressive middle aged player, I think John Gale. He’s aggressive to the point of sloppiness though overall plays fairly well. He’s been opening a lot of pots when I see an opportunity to make a move 9 handed, after having played very tight for a while.
Gale (MP1): 15k
Hero holds 4d 3d on the HJ.
Preflop: Folds to MP1, MP1 raises to 600, MP2 calls, hero raises to 2300, folds back to MP1, MP1 considers his options and calls, MP2 deliberates forever and also calls.
Flop: Ks Qs Ts
MP1 leads out 4k, MP2 shoves, I fold, MP1 calls. MP1 shows Ah Ad, MP2 Kc Qc.
The KQ held and my squeeze completely failed. I continue to fold for a while until the next interesting hand comes up:
MP1 is a young solid player who seems to know what he’s doing. Button is a middle aged player who is obviously recreational (read: awful, loose, spewy, bad) and remarked to the table “I’m just killing time here while my wife shops, she’ll do way more damage than this tournament.”
Hero holds Jc 9c in the BB at 100/200 with 25 ante.
Preflop: Folds to MP1, MP1 makes it 625, folds to button, button calls, SB calls, hero calls.
Flop: 6c 7d 9s
SB checks. Hmm, I am almost positive if MP1 bets he has an over pair, he’s not leading AK into 3 players on this board. If he checks and the button bets, he’s bad enough that I have to shove on him, assuming SB doesn’t raise. I also check, MP1 checks, button bets 1500, SB folds, I shove, MP1 folds. Button sighs and states, in a 100% serious tone “Well, I guess I have to call” then flips up 77.
That’s it for me today, at least I’ll be available to pick up A_Junglen at the airport. After Wardekar and I pick him up we head out to Nath’s place where a group of 10 of us hangs out playing beer pong and enjoying the hilarious dancing antics of Randalflow. God knows how anyone could ever shoot straight in beer pong watching that kid in a groove. After the get together four of us head to the Korean BBQ for a late night food run and we end up getting back fairly late. I won’t be getting nearly as much sleep as I’d prefer, and tomorrows event is $1500 NL, which promises to be an absolute horror house.
When I jerk awake to my standard morning wake up call I’m really not feeling quite up to everything. However, I’ve promised I’d meet Mlagoo to get money I can give to Stevepa. I half awake stumble down to the poker room, where neither Mlagoo or Stevepa are anywhere in sight so after waiting around for 10 minutes I decide to just go back to the room and back to sleep. While walking out I run into Stevepa/Pacman/Sirwatts who are waiting in line and talk me into playing, including Pacman loaning me $1500 since I’ve forgotten mine in the room. Fine, whatever, [censored] it, I’ll play this stupid 60 BB start stack event.
My first table is out in the tent, which will rotate throughout the day from being way to hot to momentarily temperate then way to cold. Glad I brought a jacket (obv.)
By the first break I was up 5k after making a flush and getting paid off. In the second two hours I went very hot by picking up AK about 5 times and either winning a flip or hitting it, as well as flopping a set of jacks and stacking someone. Unfortunately, I don’t really have anything CLOSE to an interesting hand that involves a thought process or a real decision to make. Things were just very standard and by the 2nd break I am up ~14k. By the time we go to dinner I am up to around 19k, and the only semi interesting hand was a pre flop decision with AQ which I’ll be posting in HSMTT.
I go to dinner with A_junglen and Iweargoggles who was at various periods of the day, on and off my table. We never end up in a pot however. After the break we begin approaching the bubble and things become painstakingly slow. When we’re about 5 players out hand for hand begins, and I now have a short stack of 15k. After the dinner break I’ve gone COMPLETELY card dead and basically fold for hours. As we approach the bubble I realize in a field this soft I can play aggressive and nobody is going to fight back. For example: The CO raises to 3.5k, I jam 15k with J5o, blinds fold and he insta folds AT. 2 from the money I raise 9To and get jammed on by a middle aged guy who begs me to fold and flips up AA.
On the hand before the actually bubble (270 cash, 271 left) a guy who has announced to the table he will only be raising KK and AA, and already raised once saying “you know what I have! I’ll show!” then flipped up KK to prove his honesty raises it up with about 20k. It folds to me in the BB with 83o and I count up my stack.
”You already know what I have, I’ll show, I promise!” I look over at his stack. I’ve got 18k, him about 20k, so I guess I can’t put him to a decision for his entire stack. I decide to fold 83o face up and he shows me his KK. He then informs me “If you’d pushed, and actually covered me, I definitely fold. I didn’t come all the way from Alaska just to finish 271st.”
When we finally enter the money the room goes completely nuts with people shouting and applauding. I lean back in my chair to look over at Goggles who’s also leaning back. We look at each other and break into laughter, knowingly rolling our eyes.
By the end of the night I still fail to get into any interesting hands as most people are so short from stalling on the bubble everything is push/fold. At one point with 20k in the SB it folds to me at 8/1600 and I look down at AQ and shove into the BB who has about 11k. He tanks then announces “okay, I’ll gamble with ya!” and after playing tight for hours I expect him to perhaps show me a mid pair. Nope, the man flips up K2o and after flopping my A I have 30k.
Unfortunately, after this hand I wouldn’t win another pot for the rest of the short evening and finish the day with 22,200. Day 2 doesn’t begin until 2pm so I’ll finally be able to get some sleep. By the end of the night I am so exhausted I can barely see straight.
Coming back the next day was an equally pointless and boring story. I fold for 10 minutes, with 18 and 1k/2k 300 ante blinds jam J4o on the button and with a stack full of black 100’s that looks much bigger than it is announce jokingly to the BB who starts thinking over his decision “You dare to consider calling a stack of this magnitude!?” He looks longingly at his cards and folds.
A few hands later with about 22k I look down at 33 in MP1 at a 9 or 8 handed table and jam when folded to. It folds to the button who calls this time and the blinds call. The button flips up AQ and flops a Q to end my day. Okay, fair enough, all feels pretty standard and boring to me. At least I never have to say I’ve never cashed a WSOP pre lim event (which, going into this event, was in ~25 attempts.) I’m not even sure how much money I get, I didn’t bother to collect it, but it’s roughly 4k.
That’s the problem with the $1500 events. They’re as close to a simplistic and pointless grind as a MTT player is likely to encounter. They’re also enormous fields of awful players who would be very fun to play against if we were deep enough to really be able to manipulate them. Tomorrow is another $1500 event which I walk down at 1:30am to register for tonight. I run into Badgerpro on my way and tell him to come hang in line for a moment while I wait to register.
“No way man, I just waited through a 50 minute line that’s stretching out the door and there’s only 3 tellers, your on your own, sorry. Tell me what your table number is tonight though, and GL.”
I walk down the hall and see Badger is in fact correct, the line is well out the door and perhaps got even worse. I smirk to myself about what a fish Badger is to have waited through all that.
5 minutes later I am walking back to my room fully registered without the slightest delay. Hey Badger, next time you run into me, come along for the ride and I’ll show you how it’s done. For now its time I get some sleep, see EVERYONE tomorrow.