How did the blind-all in lunatic end up? Down I hope.
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Well I’m back from Atlantic City and I have plenty of poker related issues dancing around in my head. Don’t think they’ll all fit in this writing so I’ll break things up a bit.
My original plans called for leaving early on Monday morning (reservations Monday thru Wednesday nights at Borgata). My friend offered me his room on Sunday night so I made the drive down to AC early Sunday morning. Had breakfast with my friend and settled in to watch the Giants play the Eagles in yet another sloppy football game that saw the Giants come out on top. Met up with my friend after the game and hung with him in the poker room for a couple of hours before heading to dinner. My friend took off after dinner and I was on my own.
Having not played live poker for 6 months this trip was completely about getting back into the groove and preparing me for the Borgata WPT series that begins in mid January.
Sunday night I spend about 4 hours playing in a $2/$5 NL donkfest and I drop $1000. Nice. The plan is to play the WSOP Circuit events at Harrah’s on Mon, Tues and Wed. so I head up to the room for a good nights sleep. Wake up way too early Monday morning and am bored so I head to the Poker Room with coffee in hand. The high limit room is dead so I sit down at $2/$5 NL again. About an hour in I’m ahead a negligible amount when a kid sits down and takes $200 out of his pocket. Dealer hands him 2 stacks of red and he moves them all in blind before receiving his cards. He gets called by K7o loses and repeats. Wash rinse repeat over and over again……….. Triples up on his 4th try and shoves $600+ in blind next hand and busts it. Next hand he’s back to $200 blind shoves………. Meanwhile I’m sitting a few seats behind him and hand after hand I can’t find a broadway card let alone 2. This process continues until half the table winds up all in on any given hand. This was the sickest $2/$5 game I’ve ever been in and as luck would have it I remained beyond card dead. After a while I become so frustrated I decide to pick up and leave.
Harrah’s WSOP Circuit Event 3
After breakfast I head to Harrah’s to register for the Monday event. The process is smooth and quick. Say hello to a couple of friends before the tournament starts and then settle in for what I hope will be a long day. We start with $5000 chips and 1 hour levels. I chip up a tad in the 1st hour. Early in the 2nd hour ($50/$100 blinds) I badly misplay a hand that costs me half my stack. One thing I’ve always been pretty good at is “live tells”. I pick one up from an early position raiser, he’s STRONG, seriously STRONG. After his raise to $275 and a couple of calls I look down to see AQo in the big blind, ugh. I say to myself that I need to throw it away but my right hand won’t listen and calls, huh? I quickly check the AJ4 rainbow flop and the opening raiser leads out for $500. Folds back around to me and the battle between my brain and right hand continues. My right hand wins, I flick in the $500 chip. The turn is a 10. I say to myself there’s absolutely nothing I can beat here except pocket KK’s or QQ’s but I KNOW he won’t bet again with one of those hands. I check with the intention of folding to a bet. Villain bets $700 and my right hand decides that it’s worth chasing a gutter ball for only $700 more. Seriously if you could see what transpired between my head and hand you’d fall over laughing. I had no self control. The river’s a brick and I check again. Villain doesn’t hesitate and tosses a $1000 chip to the center. Fold, Fold, Fold…………….. my right hand calls. Villain flips over AK and I want to punch myself in the nose or at least sever my right hand. I mean really, what’s the matter with me???
Now short stacked I know I need to step on the gas and double up or leave. I have the button a couple of hands later and with a couple of limpers I find A8 and raise it up. The BB must’ve picked up on my “move” because he shoves all in with about the same sized stack as I have. I picked up on a little something too and snap call him. My A8 is ahead of his J10o. The 8 on the flop wasn’t necessary and I double up to the mid $4000’s. On my next button I pick up KJss. With a couple of limps and a sweetener raise to $275 from the cutoff I decide to flat call. The limpers come along for the ride and we see an AsQs9d flop, yummy. It checks around to me, really? Nobody has an A here? I fire $1500 thinking that I’ll take it down here but not minding if I get a customer. The opening limper who is the same villain from hand 1 raises enough to put me all in, everyone folds and it’s back to me, OK I call. He’s got A9 and I have a trillion outs and miss the entire world with my royal flush draw of spades, meh!!!
I head back to Borgata and have quite a talk with myself. Amateurs’ play that AQ hand the way I did, good players pick up tells and trust them while amateurs’ choose to ignore them. Amateurs’ exude no self control at the tables. I’m rusty, yes, but I’m no damn amateur! The trip has started off on the wrong foot and there is more rust in tow than I realized.
I somehow willed myself to sleep, deciding that the cash tables were the wrong place for me at the moment. I woke up feeling a lot better, grabbed some dinner (Fatburger mmm mmm good) and headed for the high limit room, determined to play some good poker. I took a seat at $5/$10 NL and had a nice 7 hour winning session.
Got a pretty good night’s sleep but woke up feeling sluggish on Tuesday. This live poker stuff is tiring. Breakfast didn’t help so I decided to just relax for a while and skip the WSOP Circuit event #4 at Harrah’s. Several years ago I couldn’t have made that decision. In my mind it’s that ability, being able to be honest with myself that has made me a better all around player. There was flat out no way I was going to be able to play 14 hours of solid tournament poker and I knew it. Despite feeling tired I knew I was completely back in control and ready to do some good things at the tables. Early afternoon I sat down for a winning 12 hour session that included time at both the $5/10 NL and $10/$20 NL tables. I played really well and felt really sharp. I was now completely focused and a different person than the guy who arrived on Sunday morning.
I’ll pick up in part 2 with highlight’s of Harrah’s WSOP event #5.