This past weekend Landlord79
and I made our semi-annual trip to Tunica, Mississippi to partake in some poker and some good southern hospitality. Friday morning we took off and our poker weekend was off and running. Our plan for the weekend was to play a lot of 1/2NL at the Gold Strike
, 1/3NL at the Horseshoe
and planned to play the $100+$30 $3K added tourney at Sam's Town Tunica
on Saturday morning.
We arrived at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica at around 2:30 pm and checked into our hotel room, which was at a poker room rate of $50/night for the weekend. I decided that I just wanted to try and see if I could get a free upgrade without paying or doing the $20 trick. I am a mooch I know. The ‘Strike did say that they could upgrade us to suites for $75 more a night, but I politely declined. The next time I am in Tunica I will try the $20 trick and see what I can get. We unloaded our luggage and we were off to the ‘Shoe for some 1/3NL live action.
Cash Games at the 'Shoe
We walk over to the ‘Shoe, which sits next door to the Gold Strike. I sit down in seat 5 with LL79 in seat 7. I pretty much play ABC poker and am struggling to stay even. I am card dead for about 5 hours and managed to be down about $200. I rebuy to $300 when the following hand comes up:
It folds around to an older gentleman who seems to be a very straight-forward player who proceeds to raise it to $20. (When this man raises aggressively like he did he has shown down monster hands,) so I can pretty much put him on one of 3 hands. I look down at a monster, 3
!!!!!! Me and another guy call his PF raise. The flop is 8
. He leads for $40 and of course I call with an open-ender and a flush draw. Turn is the J
. He leads for $75 and I push for about $165 more and he eventually calls. We turn up our hands and he has AxA
. I asked him if he wanted to run it twice, b/c I run bad when it comes to getting 4 flushed. He obliged, but we were told that it wasn’t allowed at the Shoe, so I said OK. The river was a brick and I am now up about $200.
This next hand is a good example of “when should I lay down the nut draw” hand. I have JTo in the BB and UTG limps, it folds to the button and he min raises to $6. I call and UTG calls. The flop is A-9-8. I check, UTG checks, Button bets $20, I call and UTG check raises to $50. Button calls and I call. The turn is a brick and I check and UTG bets $60. Button folds and I call and brick out and I have to fold to a river bet and I miss out on a huge pot. After the hand UTG shows A9o for 2 pair. Looking back on it I probably should have folded to the $60 turn bet, but hey you learn something new everyday right??? What do you guys think?
I am now about even when the following hand comes up. LL79 has moved into the 4 seat on my right. A new guy, who has joined the table and is a live one, is sitting to the right of LL79 and I. It limps around to me in the SB and I make it $20 to go with AA. I get 2 callers including the BB and the CO (live one). The flop is a horrible one for my hand K-Q-J rainbow. I lead for about $50 and it folds to the Live One who has been playing pretty much every hand like he has a monster. He pushes for about $140 total. I feel that I am behind, but I am drawing to the nut straight and it is only $90 more, so I call and he turns over T
. (?????) The turn is a club and I have to sweat the river (which is a brick) and I win a nice pot. Did I play this correctly or should I have dumped the flop when he pushed in on me? I think it is an easy call, but I could be wrong.
As LL79 stated in his blog entry that 3 guys were making it very difficult to see a flop for anything less than $25, so I see a few flops and miss and eventually get back to even. At this point we should have gotten up and found a better game that we could control and not be caught in the middle of 3 guys who were having a contest on how many pots they could win. One of these guys has had his stack take some monster hits from running bluffs and getting caught. He was up about $900 at on point, but he lost a big pot on a bluff and lost another big pot to LL79 when LL79 had kings full, so he was pretty steamed. So he is at about $400 when this happens. I am also sitting at $400 and even for the day. It is about 10pm and we have been playing with this guy for about 4 hours.
Villain opens the pot from EP for $15. He gets one caller on the button (the Live One) and I am in the BB with A
and come along for the ride. The flop of A-J-7 rainbow is very good for my hand, so I plan on check raising the flop, but it unfortunately checks around. The turn was the 4
and I check hoping to CR once again. Finally someone falls for my trap. The initial raiser bets $20, the live one calls and I make it $75 to go. The EP raiser (villain) calls and the Live One folds. The river is a nice looking 5
. I lead for $75 hoping to get value out of one pair and the guy looks at my stack and surprisingly announces that he is all in. I have $197 left, the pot is now about $600 and I am left with a huge decision. I replayed the hand through my mind and the line he took didn’t make sense to me. I keep thinking when he pushed all-in on the river he must have had a set or two pair, but I couldn’t put him on those hands, because the turn made a flush draw possible and most people would want to get it all in on the turn with a set or two pair to get rid of the flush draws and straight draws. So I had ruled out that he had a set or two pair, but now I had to put him on a hand. Most maniacs would bet a flush draw like he did on the turn and when I check raised, he gambled and called the $55 more to win a big pot. This was my thinking… Am I an idiot? So the only hand I could put him on is a busted flush draw so I put my poker knowledge into the pot along with my $197 and called his all in with one pair and good kicker hoping that he would say that I made a good call and I would win a monster pot and all would be ok, but much to my chagrin he turns over 2
for the gut-shot straight that he hit on the river. Looking back I probably should have bet more on the turn when I check-raised. What do you think? So now I am busted and there is no way in hell I can play poker after that hand, so I go up to the room for some much needed rest down $400 for the trip.
Sam's Town Tourney
It is now Saturday morning and I am wide awake around 7am or so, so I head up to the Gold Strike poker room to check out the action. I end up playing for a couple hours or so and walk out down $16. I didn’t play many hands and was up about $40 when I 3-bet with AK PF and C-Bet and some guy check raised me and I had to dump. So LL79 and I get up from the table and go downstairs to get some breakfast and head to the tourney at Sam’s Town that started at 11am. So I am now down $416 going into the tourney.
The Sam’s Town tourney was a $100+$30 3K Added tourney with 128 runners. The Sam’s Town poker room gets high compliments from me. The employees of Sam’s Town make every effort to make your playing experience very enjoyable. Sam’s Town may not be a big name casino like the Horseshoe or Grand, but the poker there is just as good or even better if you are looking for a weak game. The ‘Shoe has the toughest game in Tunica.
So I sign up for the tourney and get seated. The structure for most casino tourneys is horrible, but this tourney structure was actually very good. We started with 4K in chips and blinds started at 25/50. The levels were 30 minutes long, so I was looking forward to getting a lot of bang for my buck. So everyone knows that tourneys don’t really start until the antes kick in and that wasn’t until level 5. The first break was after level 4 and I had a little over $2200 left after being card dead and chasing with second pair and a double gutter vs. a guy who had AA. Right before the break I was moved to a new table and within 10 minutes I knew this table was full of weak tight players.
Level 5 started with me having $2200 and blinds were 150/300/25 ante and I was on the button. It was time for me to either double up or play the cash games that were going on. Read LL79s blog for the cash game report. First hand after the break I am on the button with T7o and I push and win the blinds. NICE!!!! I just added 30% to my stack. I keep pushing it all in to steal the blinds and all of a sudden I notice my stack climbing and climbing and climbing. This is awesome. I have gone from being on life support to actually having some chips to fight with. There were two big hands that happened in Level 5-6 that got me were I wanted to be. This guy who was sitting on my immediate right min-raised from the CO and I looked down at A
and I just pushed in and it got back around to him and he went into the tank, but eventually folded. He ended up showing me 33 and I meant to flash him the A
, but I accidentally showed him the 2
instead. Ooooops!!!! I now knew that when I pushed to steal I had to have a hand.
The next hand really wasn’t a steal, but it was a big hand that got my over the hump. A lady who I had started the tourney with who was an idiot min-raised from the CO and I called with A
on the button. The flop was a beautiful 8-4-2 rainbow. She opened pushed for about the pot and I insta-called. She turns over A4o and I am now in position to make a run. In three levels at this table, I had gone from $2200 to around $25K in chips.
That table eventually broke and I was pissed that I wouldn’t be able to dominate the table full of weak tighties anymore, but the next table was even worse!!!!!! I stole a few pots at this table and was sitting pretty at about $45K when this hand comes up. I was sitting to the right of this guy who was using a couple of glued together riffle bullets for a card protector (enough said right?). I raise my usual 2.5x with Q
and the bullet card protector guy min raises me. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH MIN RAISES!?!? I call the raise and the flop is as a beautiful Q-T-8. I check of course and the guy bets about $3K with blinds at 300/600/100. I Hollywood it for a little while and eventually push it all in. He eventually calls with you guessed it 99. Before I could get “no Jack no Jack” out of my mouth it was already sitting where the turn card usually sits and I actually thought about shoving that rifle bullet up his a__. I have just taken a huge beat. If I would have won that hand it would have given me the chip lead with 25 left in the tourney, but NO!!! Now some guy who has an obsession with the NRA who spiked a 6-outer on me has a massive chip lead on the entire tourney field. I now have to come up with a new plan just to make the money. I’m back down $13K so I regroup and I start playing my game again. Blinds are now 500/1000/200, and I have to do something quick. I decided that if I made the money “Great”, but I am not playing to win a few dollars I want the first place prize of $5300. I raise about 70% of the hands and everyone would just fold. I was picking up every pot!! I was abusing the bubble like it should be done. I had almost every ante chip on the table. When the bubble busted I had close to $70K in chips. I went from $13K to $70K while we were on the bubble.
Revenge and the Final Table
We are now at the final table bubble and BJJIII must get revenge on NRA boy right? My thoughts exactly!!! I am in LP with A
and raise the $1000 BB to $3500 and NRA boy makes it $5000. LOL MINRAISEAMENTS!!!! The flop of 6-10-4 rainbow is a good one for me and I plan on a check raise vs this NRA member, but he checks behind me. The turn is an Ace. I check planning on CRAI this time. He follows up on the bet this time with a nice healthy bet of $10K and I milk him for all he is worth and I finally announce that I am all-in. He shockingly doesn’t insta-call and I think that he is going to fold, but he finally ends up calling with AQ. This time when I say “no Q; no T; no Q; no T” the poker gods are listening and I am now the chip leader of the tourney going into the Final Table.
At the final table I slowed down a lot. I stole some blinds, but nothing like I was doing around bubble time. A couple of hands into the FT, with 8 people left I am in the BB and one guy open pushes from EP and the SB re-pushes to isolate, but too bad for him I look down at QQ offsuit. I make the patented Hellmuth call and I have to sweat A
and AKo. The board bricks out and I have over half the chips in play with 6 to go. We knock out one more short stack and then a few orbits go around before this hand comes up.
I am no longer the chip leader due to one guy to my right just pounding the blinds and antes and I decide I need to quit being such a pansy. That guy that was doing all the raising and I were by far the best players at the table. It folds to the chip leader in the SB and he raises my BB of $6K to $20K, I look down at ATo and I immediately stuff my $120K in the pot and insist that I am all-in. He thinks for about 2 minutes and folds an Ace face up and said he had AJ, but I doubt it. After the hand was over and the dealer was pushing the chips my way I said, “You ain’t gonna to push me around, buddy!!!” After the hand we talked about a chop and I was more than willing, because I really didn’t want this thing to come down to an All-In Festival for all the money. The aggro guy and I both split the 1st and 2nd place money of $8K down the middle. We took $4K each and the other 3 players got $1205 apiece. They got screwed on the deal, but they agreed so I will take it.
This was only my 3rd live casino tourney and by far the biggest poker win of my poker career. I am mostly a cash game player, but I dip into tourneys when I am able.
And remember “Don’t be pushed around by anyone!!!!!!”