Vic Champs Trip Report (part 8 maybe?), To Little to Late, Vic Champs Main Event
“Procrastination is a lot like masturbation, it’s fun for a while but in the end you’re just fucking yourself.”
So they saying goes and so I have done to myself. Normally, I crank out a trip report within 48 hours of the hands played involved. I can easily remember the hands and stack sizes, not to mention the feel of how things gone down, what people said, the order of things, etc.
It’s been around a month since the Vic Champs main event, and every single day I tell myself “today is the day I write that god damn trip report already.” And yet, it doesn’t get done. Day after day things come up; life comes up, and it never happens. How did I finally find the motivation to sit down and grind it out? I told a friend if I didn’t get this (and a few other things I’ve been lazy about) done today I’d give him $100. So I’m paying myself to write it. This one’s hard to get down on paper, because there’s so much content I had to ask the casino staff to give me paper and pen so I could jot down the enormous quantity of hands I played. Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate my own laziness and didn’t bother to include stack sizes in the details, since I figured I could remember that much. For a week, maybe two, I probably could have. At this point, we’re just gambling…
While I vastly prefer having somewhere to live besides a hotel during a tournament series, the one annoying aspect of living in my apartment is having to wake up so fucking early in order to make the tournament at time. Today’s $2600 Aussie dollar main event goes off at noon, meaning I need to be awake around 10:45am. The result of having to be up at this ungodly hour is that I’m of course sick to my stomach again. Today feels bad to start off, but not quite crippling. At least I feel pretty awake.
My girlfriend drives me down to Crown and I dash out of the car in an intersection, desperately trying to keep from being late. When I arrive in the poker room I find myself a couple minutes early, and find my table. A bunch of old guys, one young guy on my direct right, and an empty seat. Works for me.
The tournament has an awesome structure with 20,000 starting chips at 50/100 blinds. Playing deep stacked against mostly recreational players is a ball, kind of reminds me of my WSOP ME days, and as I recall that went very well and had a happy ending for everyone involved.
At the start the play is a mix of very loose with limping and seeing the flop, and very tight when it comes to committing serious chips. The young guy on my right looks over at me quizzically, he looks pretty familiar.
“Hey mate! I read your Shannon Elizabeth trip report. That was hilarious!”
“Oh right, yea, heh. Thanks, it was a crazy series. I try to stay out of it a little more these days. I don’t think I handled it to well.”
”Yea, you could tell it was just this vicious stream of insults. It was excellent.”
Soon after the young player is moved to a different table and the empty stack shows up, Arul Thillai. Arul has perhaps the best tournament record of any player in Australia in the last few years, and he plays an ultra aggressive game. Lucky for me, he’s on my very direct right, meaning I’ll get to try and abuse that fact.
How tight were things in the early goings? Try this hand out:
Stacks: ~20,000, blinds 50/100
I hold A8o in the SB.
Preflop: Folds to MP1, MP1 calls, folds to CO, CO calls, button folds, I complete, BB checks.
Flop: A 7 3
I check, BB checks, MP1 bets 200, CO folds, I call, BB folds.
I check, MP1 checks.
I bet 400, MP1 calls. I flip up my A8 proudly displaying what is probably the winner or definitely chopping, and get shown A7. A8 no good sir.
There’s a weird trend going on at the table, where when they try to 3 bet my highly aggressive play, they reraise a tiny amount, or just the minimum.
Blinds 100/200, I hold As 4s on the button.
Preflop: Folds to me on the button, I raise to 550, SB raises to 1200, BB folds, I call.
Flop: Ks 6s 2c
SB looks at this flop suspiciously and checks. I check behind.
SB checks, I bet 1500, SB calls.
SB checks, I bet 4500. SB goes into the tank for quite some time and starts staring at me. He begins reaching for his chips in a way that really looks like he’s gonna call, shit, uhhh uhhhh, ummm, go for table talk?
”Pocket queens no good man.”
The small blind freezes. He looks at me and mutters “Well I don’t have pocket queens.”
I slightly nod my head. SB looks me over a bit, then folds.
“You were close, I had pocket jacks.”
”Well if queens are no good I certainly don’t like jacks chances.”
After this hand the table settles into a routine. Arul is raising around 70-80% of hands when it folds to him. I’m often 3 betting, or calling in position and making it hard on him post flop. We trade jabs back and forth for quite a while. I three bet him in all kinds of positions, he raises SB, I 3 bet BB. He raises UTG, I 3 bet UTG+1, he raises MP1, I raise MP2. I haven’t had a real hand yet though.
At one point Arul raises in MP at 150/300 and I 3 bet AJdd behind him. I realize after so many 3 bets with fairly shit hands, that this is an extremely stupid play because if he 4 bets me (which he’s capable of) I’ve got to throw away the best hand I’ve had so far. It folds back to Arul who quickly 4 bets and I start swearing at myself. I fold. Fuck that was stupid. On top of being very aggressive pre flop though, Arul is also quite skilled post flop.
My stack: ~22,000
I hold QcTc on the button.
Preflop: Folds to Arul on CO, CO raises to 900, I call, blinds fold.
Flop: Ac Kc 7s
CO checks, I bet 1200, CO calls.
CO checks, I check.
Arul checks, I check. Arul flips up Kd5d for the pot.
I hold KTo on the HJ. Blinds 200/400
Preflop: Folds to Arul in MP2, MP2 raises to 1100, I call, 4 folds.
Flop: A T 3 rainbow
MP2 checks, I check.
Arul bets 1600, I call.
Arul checks, I check. Arul flips up J8cc for the pot.
At this point, Arul is raising an enormous percentage of hands pre flop, maybe in the area of 85%. The table is really only a person game, with the rest mostly folding or getting post flop and outplayed. The only real mistake I’ve heard Arul of making on any consistent basis is pushing a bluff to hard and to far.
I hold Jc8c on the button.
Preflop: Folds to Arul on CO, CO raises to 1200, I call, SB calls, BB folds.
Flop: Jd 7c 5d
SB looks disinterested and checks. Arul bets 3000, I call, SB folds.
Arul bets 9000, I shove for about 14-15k total, Arul folds.
Arul starts laughing about bluffing off his stack. In the following hands he begins rebuilding it massacring the rest of the table. While my stack hovers in the mid 30’s, he rebuilds his back to the same area when the following hand comes up.
I hold JJ on the CO.
Preflop: Folds to Arul on HJ, HJ raises to 1200, I reraise to 3600, 3 folds, HJ calls.
Flop: K 7 5 rainbow
Arul checks, I check.
Arul bets 5000, I fold.
Aruls aggressive play keeps up, as does my 3 betting, but he loses a large pot to a tight player in seat 1. Having lost half his stack the hand before, the following hand comes up:
Blinds 300/600, I hold JJ in MP2
Preflop: Folds to Arul in MP1, MP1 raises to 1600, I reraise to 5500. A player in seat 7 goes “Wow, that’s like the billionth time he’s 3 bet you.”
”We’ll see about this one.” Arul politely replies.
It folds back to Arul who shoves for 22k.
“Well, I can’t fold, so I guess I call.”
Arul shrugs and flips up QJo. I dodge the 3 outs and bring my stack up around 50,000.
With Arul gone I continue to slaughter my defenseless table. Unfortunately, we are soon broken and I’m moved to the feature table on the rail. Sitting on the table under the red lights with a crowd of spectators sits Joe Hachem and on his left Sam Khouiss. Hachem is sitting with a decent stack, Khouiss a little more short though still alive. I know both fairly well and have played a little with both, and both are aware I don’t totally suck or anything. On the second hand at the table the following hand develops:
I hold 7s6s on the HJ. Blinds 400/800 with 100 ante.
Preflop: UTG limps, 2 folds, MP1 limps, I limp MP2, folds to Khouiss on button, he limps, SB folds, BB checks.
Flop: 7h 5s 3s
Checked to me, I bet 2000(that needs to be more next time), Khouiss calls, 3 folds.
I check Sammy bets 4500, I call.
I check, Sam checks. I flip up my 76 which takes the pot.
A few minutes after this hand we’re allowed to go on dinner break. They announce we’ll be given 40 minutes for dinner. What. The. Fuck. 40 minutes? 40 fucking minutes? On top of being given a totally shit dinner break, my stomach is catching up with me and I feel awful. I had called every restaurant in Crown earlier that afternoon trying to get a reservation and every single fucking restaurant was completed booked. I run upstairs trying to get into one of the walk in restaurants, but they to are completely packed. I settle on the Crown food court, and attempt to eat some Singaporean but feel so sick I can barely get more than a few bites down. I make my way for the bathroom and spend what feels like an eternity In the stall wishing I were dead. God I need to get this shit checked out.
When I finally get back to the table I’ve missed 5 minutes of play. God damn it.
I begin playing moderately aggressive though nowhere near as much as the previous table. Hachem is more than willing to 3 bet me on my left , and pops one of my late position raises to take it down pre. Another well known Australian local player shows up on my right, though he is far more of the recreational variety. A few minutes after he sits down the following hand develops:
Blinds 500/1000 with 100 ante.
I hold Jd 9d on the button.
Preflop: Folds to CO, CO limps, I limp the button, SB folds, Hachem in the BB checks.
Flop: Td 7c 6h
BB bets 2500, CO folds, I call.
BB checks, I bet 5500, BB calls.
BB checks, I bet 12,500. Joe goes into the tank for I think perhaps the longest anyone has tanked on me ever. There is an enormous amount of rail birds watching, and as he sits there contemplating I’m trying to decide if I’ll flip my hand just to be a show off. I decide I’d rather keep a good image. Man these red lights are hot, is it hot in here? Fuck, it’s hot. Hachem sits there shuffling his chips, thinking, thinking…..finally he folds. Pheeeew. I toss my hand in the muck. Sammy of course adds his 2 cents.
”Ha! You were bluffing Ton, stone cold bluff! You didn’t have a thing!”
”Not that time!”
”If you say so Sammy.”
The Australian local on my right keeps complaining about how many rounds its been since he’s won a hand. I don’t intend on letting him change that trend. The following hand comes up between he and I:
My stack: ~68,000
Blinds 500/1000 with 100 ante. I hold Jd Td in the SB.
Preflop: Folds to button, button raises to 3000, I call, BB folds.
Flop: Qh Ts 5d
I check, button checks.
I check, button bets 2000, I call.
I check, button checks. Button flips over K6o and I take the pot. He continues to complain.
Next hand I’m dealt ATo on the button. At 500/1000 blinds it folds to me and I raise to 2800. The SB folds and Hachem 3 bets to 8000 in the BB with a ~40k stack. I quickly grab two stacks of around 40,000 total and slide it into the middle. Hachem lets out an audible sigh and folds.
A round later, another Crown regular, Vic, comes to the table. I’ve played with him a lot in limit games, but never in tournaments. The second hand he’s at the table, the following hand develops:
Blinds 500/1000 with 100 ante.
UTG limper: ~65,000
I hold As Ks in the BB.
Preflop: UTG limps. UTG had only once limped before and had shown up with aces. I eye him suspiciously. Hachem folds, Khouiss limps behind. 2 more folds and Vic raises to 7000. It folds to me and I make it 14,000 to commit him but leave myself room if the UTG player insta jams his stack. UTG and Khouiss folds and Vic throws in the other half of his stack, then flips over AJo. I’m writing hands down that I’d played during the day and watch the action with disinterest.
Flop: 5 4 3
The crowd reacts but I don’t blink, and continue my writing after throwing Vic the chips I owe him.
I continue my aggressive and stealing play. Khouiss has built a stack that was at 2000 a little before the dinner break to now in the area of 45,000. continue my aggressive and stealing play. Khouiss has built a stack that was at 2000 a little before the dinner break to now in the area of 50,000. He is of course, constantly talking.
Blinds 600/1200 with 200 ante.
I hold 6d 6h UTG.
Preflop: I limp in. The entire table basically goes “WTF? You? Limping?” and seems suspicious. It folds to Khouiss in MP who goes “well I don’t care how dodgy that looks, I’m raising” and makes it 4200. It folds back to me and I call.
Flop: Kd Jh 9d
I check, Sam checks behind. Sam is now being very quiet. The one thing I’ve noticed about Sam is as talkative as he is, he REALLY talks a lot when he’s feeling confident and strong. That he goes silent here makes me suspect this flop isn’t what he was looking for.
I check, Sam bets 3000. I've seen him use these tiny little proding bets with hands he's unsure of, A high, mid pairs, or weak top pairs. I'm pretty sure if i raise here i don't need to raise much and he's already pretty weirded out about my hand. Also, if i'm wrong i might have up to 11 outs. He's also been really quiet thus far.
I raise to 8500, Sam calls pretty quick. Guess I was way off.
I check and Sam quickly bets 15,000. I fold and Sam flips up AhKd. “Hahaha! I didn’t even need that Ad did I Ton? I had you all along! Trying to bluff me eh? Not this time!”
The next hand develops 20-30 minutes later. Khouiss seems to think i'm bluffing a lot (i kind of was, wasn't really 'caught' per say outside the previous hand.) The BB in question is a really awful player who is way to loose and way to tight at all the wrong times. He basically does whatever the hell he feels like but is moreso pretty weak and if he has a hand he likes he starts jamming, no matter how much an overbet.
Khouiss has occasionally been open limping, so this isn't like some freakish event.
Blinds 600/1200. Antes 200.
My stack: 65,000
I am SB with Ks9s.
Preflop: Folds to Khouiss in MP1, Khouiss calls, folds
to me in the SB, i call, BB checks.
Flop: 3h 4s 6h
I bet 2500, BB thinks it over and calls. Khouiss thinks about it and raises to 8500.
This part is tough. What could Khouiss check the flop with that is reasonably beating me? I THINK he's smart enough to bet a set/two pair/combo draw on a board of this texture, so I'm having trouble putting him on a hand that beats me. Conversely, I'm having trouble putting him on a hand that i beat. Is he raising Ah with some other card? Straight draw/flush draw combo? a limped suited connector like Tc9c or along those lines? 6d5d that decided to check back a weak top pair?
I call, BB folds.
I check, Khouiss bets 12,000. Flush draw missed, not sure a 9 value bets here though? If he had a straight draw I’d think it was with the 5, though its not outside possibility he has a 7. I think about it for a long well. “Well Sam, this is either gonna be the worst call ever or the best call ever, I call.”
Sam proudly flips up 7h 8h, having check a flush draw/straight draw/over card draw on the flop. Sure as hell didn’t see that coming. Fuck, both those hands felt really gross and I feel like I completely botched them.
With the blinds escalating to 800/1600 and my stack dwindling I’m in bad shape. A lot of my open raises start getting jammed on and my stack gets in the area where I have to be more careful. I’m also never able to play a hand strong pre flop BECAUSE I NEVER HAVE A HAND. It’s 12:30, and after 12 and a half hours of play my hand quality is:
pairs QQ and above: Zero
AQ: 1, and it chopped with AQ.
AK, one of which took it pre, the other was cracked by AJ.
At 1am the blinds go up to 1k/2k and I’m floating around the 20-30k area. I jam KQ pre after a few limps and take it. Luckily Vic is a few seats on my right, and has a very obvious betting tell where he makes it 5-6x preflop with hands he’s very confident with, and 3X pre with hands he’s not sure of. I resteal on him twice, but times with J2o, when he makes it 3X, and he folds. A while later the SB raises and I jam 95o in the BB and he folds. I have yet to get caught showing a weak hand pre flop and for a while I stay quiet.
1:30am rolls around and we only have a half hour left. The quality of my hands still hasn’t improved, and the numbers I wrote down at 12:30 are still the same. I’ve been quiet for a few rounds when the following hand comes up:
The button is a middle aged guy who someone told me is a “good player.” I don’t remember who told me that. His stack looks to be about ~36,000. Mine is about ~29,000. I hold 6d9d in the BB.
Blinds 1000/2000 with 300 ante.
Preflop: Folds to the button who makes it 6000, SB folds and I confidently slide my stack into the middle. The button INSTA SNAP CALLS and flips up A6o. I flop a flush draw but in the end blank out. Good call sir? Whatever.
I end the Vic champs having cashed only 1 event, the PLO event which I never meant to play and didn’t know how too. I feel like I played well in most of the events (perhaps worst in the main event) and am now exhausted of live. I can’t wait to get back online.
Since that tournament a month ago as many know I’ve been back into the online scene. I realized playing live over the last few months that although I was often much better than the rest of the players around me, there are still so many spots that I’m just not very good in. Having realized such, I have restored my pursuit of being pokers greatest knowledge mooch. I’m still doing coaching with Ajunglen when we both find time, who I use for doing Sunday majors. I’ve asked NoahSD to coach me in 6 max events where his experience with cash will help me iron out my poor deep stacked play, and hired Sirwatts to coach me with my 100r hand histories, as few have been more successful against the thinking villains in that tournament than he has. I’ve also asked Luckychewy to teach me cash, again to help my deep stacked play. Even in the last few weeks I feel I’ve improved tremendously, and the results are showing. I’ve made more final tables this week than I think, perhaps ever, and already won 4 tournaments with a few days left in the week. After finally getting this done, I intend on updating my blog on a near daily basis, even if its not a full on trip report and just a sort of log of online events.
Events coming up in the future that I’m considering that could lead to live trip reports are Singapore, Seoul, Adelaide, Melbourne Cup, Syndney, Macau, and of course the Aussie Millions. All of these will be occurring before January, and depending how much I win online and how much staking Timex wants to do, I might play none and I might play all of them. But we’ll discuss that all next time…