I really don't know what I can add about this room that hasn't already been said 8) . It's very well run, thanks Anthony! The dealers are extremely competent and know how to move a game along. The tables and chairs are great. Cocktail service is above board, being able to order GOOD water and top-shelf liquors; and what I really like is that the servers ask each player individually what they want, nice! Oh, and let's not forget the carving station, scrumptious! Plush waiting area with plenty of reading material.
After sleeping in late, I headed down to the strip, parking at TI and making the easy walkway trudge over to the Venetian. I bought in direct and headed upstairs to the little Italian coffee/pastry shop for a quick pick-me-up prior to the commencement of cards. After polishing off "breakfast" I made my way back down to the room and settled in for some deep-stack poker. It's T10,000 for a total of $550, they take the $10 add-on as you buy-in. The field was shorter than I'd expected, MUCH shorter. With cards in the air, there were only 55 runners, eventually making it up to 72 total before the cut-off. They'd pay the final 9, if you could get there Rough totals, but $11k for 1st, $7k for 2nd, $5k for 3rd then 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4% and 3%.
L1-3, 25/50, 50/100, 100/200, break
I have 56o in the bb and 3 of us, lp limper and sb, see a flop of K74 - 2 hearts. The sb and I check, then call a 150 bet. I'm not too worried about the flush but with 6 outs, I just about have the right odds to draw. The Turn is red and my heart skips a beat, but it's a diamond, and an 8 at that . I check behind the sb with a well-disguised straight. The lp player leads out for 500 and the sb smooth calls. Gotta make a move now. I check-raise it 2000 total and the lp player folds but the sb goes into think-mode, eventually folding. She said she had 2-pair as she wonders out loud about my hand, mentioning a better 2-pair and even a straight...??? I reply that I was on the flush draw and didn't feel that they were that strong.
I then get AA with 4-way action on a non-threatening board. I lead the flop and get heads-up with the same player from the hand above. She check-calls my Turn bet and with nothing to worry about on the River, I make a small value-bet after she checked. She folds out and I take down another nice pot.
I'm making my normal small talk with the table and find out that we have Tony Korfman with us at the table. Apparently we has a web-site and is writing a poker book, isn't everyone Nice enough guy and a good player from what I obsevre. He I get tangled up on the next hand. I raise utg with pocket jacks and Tony is the only caller. I make a standard continuation bet on a rags-rainbow flop and Tony smooth calls. The Turn is a nasty ace and after some contemplation, I check as does Tony. The river is another blank, and the only way I think I can win, is to make a strong bet, hoping he'll buy my story. He mulls it over and finally mucks his cards, and I take down another nice pot!
I'm in early position with 77 and the utg player, the same lady from the 1st hand, throws out a single 500 chip without announcing raise, so it stands as a call. Knowing she wanted to raise, I'm getting it good to hit my set and stack her if she can't get away from her big pair or AK, etc. I call and the bb checks. 3 to the flop and the most beautiful of beautiful cards falls in the middle of the board, my 3rd 7. The bb checks, she leads out for 300 and we gets heads-up when I smooth-call. A king falls on the Turn and she leads out again for 300. I raise to 1300 total and without hesitation she pushes! I have her covered and now I’m wondering if I’ve just been out-set’d. If I have, then so be it. I make the call and she’s drawing dead as she tables AKo. The last hand I get is QQ utg, and take it down on the flop.
We’ve off for our first 15 minute break and I’m sitting with 23k in chips. We’ve lost maybe one or two players and I’m feeling GOOD!
L4-6, 100/200/25, 200/400/25, 300/600/50, break
I get KQo twice and lose once with it making a standard continuation bet and win with it the other time, when I flop top-pair. I also take down 2 bb v sb hands against Blake, a player I recognize from my last trip, we’d played against each other in the $660 Binions UPC, a very solid player, who happens to know Shawn Rice. We talk a bit about that tourney and other stuff. He warns me the 2nd time, we tangle from the blinds I take down a small pot with AKo. Then I get moved to a new table.
The VERY first hand I see is KK in late position against a single limper. I raise to 800 and get flat-called. Board spikes an Ace and I know I’m toast. He leads out, betting the pot and I muck my hand face up….image established, either I can be run over or I can make a smart lay-down, he flashes the ace Thank you Sir!
At 200/400/25, utg pushes for 4200, it’s folded to me in the bb with AQs. I mull over the possibilities and make the call, knowing we’re racing. I get no help as his 8s hold up. Turns out, he’s from Tampa also, thankfully we haven’t played against each other, 3 times in one week would be just too much! I’m down know but nowhere near dire straights.
I’d been talking with a very nice lady about playing aces and how she hates to get ‘em cracked, how she doesn’t even want a call with ‘em. Several times in a row, when folded to her, she makes a lp bet and takes down pots without a showdown. She’s around 5k in chips, and I’m getting tired of getting pushed off my blinds. I make a plan that next time it happens, regardless of my hand, I’m going to re-raise her. Doesn’t take but an orbit or two and sure enough she leads out when it’s folded to her but instead of her normal raise, she just min-raises to 1200 (300/600/50). Alarm bells shoulda been going off, but I had a plan, :lol: I raise to 5k straight, per the plan, but I’m thwarted when she inst-pushes. I have to call as it’s only a couple more chips to call and sure enough, she tables pocket aces. I don’t even want to show my cards, but most at the table know what I was doing, so I don’t feel too bad I turn over J7o, and we’re off to the races :lol: I get some flop help when I spike a jack, she looks like she’s going to puke! I cut out the rest of chips getting ready to push to her, doubling her up when I make the suck-out of the day! Unbelievably enough, another jack falls on the turn and with no help, I bust her. We head into the second break and I’m back up to 23k after 4 hours of play! 3 tables are left, 27 players. We’re a LONG way from cashing, let alone the real money for 1-3, time to settle in for the long haul!
L7-9, 400/800/75, 600/1200/100, 800/1600/200, break
I take down pots with JJ utg and AKo, uncontested. I have to fold pocket 8s twice to heavy pf action before it gets to me, and strangely enough, I open fold pocket 9s due to physical tells from a lp player, thankfully I was right
I open-raise from the sb and take it down with 92s I raise with KK utg, then push against a late-position re-raise of 8k. He thinks it over before finally folding. I then push AQs from the bb against a lp raiser, hoping he’s raising light and I was correct and he folds the pot to me. As you can tell, it was all I could do to stay ahead of the blinds, for 2 hours of play, I damn sure didn’t have a lot to work with! We go into break and I’m sitting on 29k, a short stack at this point considering all the brown stacks I’m spying. Only 2 tables left, 15 players. We’re getting close, but that only counts in horse-shoes, hand grenades, and teenage sex….’cause if you got close, you tell everyone you did it anyway
L10-12, 1k/2k/300, 1,500/3000/500, 2k/4k/500, break
I do all I can to stay ahead of the blinds, but it ain’t an easy task. I wasn’t looking to just cash, but finally making a final table after a week of playing would be nice! I keep Harrington’s “M” FIRMLY in mind, and after coming back from break, I know I only have 3 orbits before I go down in flames, losing all folding equity! At a cost of 5100/orbit this is going to be difficult if not impossible, but anything can happen, right? I pick my spots and stay ahead of the blinds open-pushing with 56s and AQs, there’s no more “real” raises for me, it’s fold or all-in. I also push pocket aces, as I didn’t want to alert anyone to my hands, alas, I get no action. Players are dropping off, but again, I’m not looking to just make the final table. I don’t even bother looking at the other table, I’d firmly made up my mind to play as needed to chip up and if “M” dictated pushing, the push I would!
Amazingly enough there are a couple of big hands that knock out players and a bit before going on break, during the 2k/4k/500 level, we form up the final table. Remember though, only 9 get paid. A player brought it up before I could as our table broke about making a “save for 10th” but we had to wait for all players. As we did the re-draw for seats and the button, Anthony, the tourney director brought it up and everyone agreed without too much prodding. We all take out $50 from our pockets for 10th place. They won’t make money, but it’ll reduce to the buy-in by $500, so instead of costing $600 ($550 + $50 save) it’ll end up costing 10th place $100 for the tourney, not a bad deal.
I’m making friendly with the new players at the table, getting names, making jokes and having fun, after all, we’re at the final table, right The kid with hat, sunglasses and headphones, busts when his top-pair is rivered by a straight, ugly, but at least we’re in the money, donkey money, but money nonetheless!
There were a few other memorable hands, like the bubble boy busting when his QJ didn’t hold up against A7, even though he’d paired his jack on the river….too bad it was spades completing the opponent’s ace-high flush. Just happened to be the same player, I had to lay down Kings against earlier!
9-handed, I know all the players names, and am making nice-nice, you never know when it might come in handy I also get a read on why they’re there. Like Frank in seat 1, who was just happy to cash, GOOD info; or Stan in seat 5 who doesn’t care about the money. I’m short, along with one other. With 720,000 chips in play, I only have 30k of them, and that puts me in a bad shape! We’re just about on the next break and I find myself utg with 99. I make an easy push. I get a “good luck” outta seat 1, Frank and right in step, Perry says, “f*** that, bad luck” It’s folded around to Tony, same gentleman from earlier, in late position. He takes his time cutting out my push and finally makes the call. For a slim moment, I think I might be racing, or even ahead, but no such luck. He pushes in the chips and tables pocket aces, just damn! Flop provides no outs, and I’m looking for 2 cards. Turn is another blank and I’m standing up, putting my card protector in my jacket and grabbing my Amstel. But I’m SAVED when the most beautiful of cards hits the river, it’s the 9 I needed and I’m chipped up!
We’d lost 2 players during this time, Frank, the guy that was happy to cash and Mike, a young local who looks about 16, black hair with streaks of blond. Don’t really recall how they went, but I know we were down to 7 as I was hoping to get my blinds in before the break!
I post my 2k sb and it’s 3 way, against a lp limper, Jay and the bb, Perry, a cowboy from Canada who bred and broke horses for 30 years. I’m sitting with 87o and make the extra 2k call now that I have some chips to work with. The bb checks and the 3 of us see a flop. I can’t believe my eyes and do my best to keep my heart from jumping outta my chest when I see the board, 878 all I can do is hope against hope that it hit one of the other players or let them catch up! It gets checked around. The turn doesn’t change a thing, and it’s checked around again! The river completes straight draws and now I have to do my own betting. I lead out for 10k and the bb folds, but FINALLY, I’m going to get action. The lone player left raises to 35k straight and I only have about 45k total, so I stick it in and he makes the crying call, tabling the river’d straight. I roll over the flopped boat and chip up to 109k 2 different players congratulated me on the play, NEVER putting me anywhere near that strong
So with 7 left, everyone is around 100k. There are however 2 players under that mark by several thousand, with 2 players above that mark by just as much. We head off to break and Anthony, the Director, stops the clock as he and Tony start figuring out a chip-chop. It takes a while to figure out, and thankfully in the process, get a bit longer break with the frozen clock. When all is said and done, the figures have us essentially locking up 3rd place money, with some a little more and some a little less. We’re all in agreement, save for one lone hold-out. There aren’t any monster stacks but the holdout does and closer to 150k. He says that we’ve played this long, why not just finish it…I offer him a Cuban cigar, he doesn’t smoke. I offer him my card protector and get a few laughs. I even state that I need to eat to maintain my blood sugars but replies that he just had a granola bar. There’s no convincing him and the table mood has taken a down-turn. I fully understand wanting to play it out, he even stated the money didn’t mean anything to him but after nearly 10 1/2 hours of play, a chop REALLY sounded good! Anthony lets us know, that it’s the last time the clock will be stopped to figure out chop totals, so with no consensus, we start up level 13, 3k/6k/1k.
Ironically enough, the lone hold-out, Stan was nearly busted earlier when he got it all-in against Tony, 77 v AA, and Stan river’d a 7 to take down a nice pot. Both players on my left, Perry and Frank are muttering about busting Stan We play exactly one orbit before KARMA comes back to bite Stan right in the ARSE as he busts in 7th, taking home 5%, roughly $1700 for his 10+ hours of work! As soon as he stands up, I prompt the table to open up chip-chop discussions again and although Tony and Jay have a bit more than the rest of us now, with yours truly at 94k, the figures are tallied with the clock running. At about the 23 minute mark, all figures are out and the 6 of us agree I walk out the door onto the strip, lighting up a Cuban with $4324 in my pocket after tipping out.