Friday, February 10, 2017

Run Good, Run Bad!

Just want to say a big congrats to all the locals who kicked butt at the Beau Rivage Million Dollar Heater and the just recently completed Boomtown HPT event.  Nice to see some of the good guys run good.

First and foremost, my partner Gene D went deep at Boomtown despite being deathly ill the morning of day two.  Great result for a class act.  He earned that one, and faded the bubble breaking with an all in at the same moment as the eventual bubble boy Maurice Hawkins go it in.

Jeff Sager went deep at the HPT, somehow holding late on Day two when he got it in with Pocket Kings and was called by I think Queen Jack?  Good for him.  Big Phil is a regular at the Harrahs weeklies and bar tournaments and he confesses to being on fire right now.  Great for him.  He's playing well too.  Saw it first hand at Boomtown where he kept applying the pressure.  I know he bluffed me off at least one hand.

Chris Canan pounded the satellites at Boomtown time and time again.  He was really keyed into those events.  Steve Bierman took down a Seniors event before letting somebody else win something as he went skiing in Utah.  Hiep Doan continues to climb the ranks of Louisiana's all time money list and has proven definitely he deserves his results because he keeps producing.

Jerry Giroir couldn't stop cashing at the Beau Rivage.  Another trend that doesn't seem to be abating.  Well done Jerry and to Prissy too who was having success.  Seems only a matter of time before he runs good enough to get another outright win.  Also, shout out to Ronnie Hope who's crushing too and coming back with chips in the bag at the Scarlet Pearl.

Unfortunately, I did not have any results to join them in tournaments.  If every tournament offered a free seat to their next event for the bubble boy like the WSOP Main Event does, then I would be stock piling buy-ins.  I've grossly been the bubble boy or one off it at least 10 times the last couple of months.

It's gotten to the point, where if I get it in good with a dominating hand and my opponent holds a queen I expect the worst.  Here's a recent couple of hands for me to bitch about (which are representative of ton of unbelievable hands in criticals spots) as the bubble neared on one tournament.  Short stack shoves preflop, I raise with JJ to isolate.  I get a caller from the blinds. Flop comes 9 high.  He checks I push.  He calls off with QJ (queen high) saying it's best hand he's seen all day and he can't fold now (?).  Short stack reveals Queen Three.  Normally, I'd like my chances.  After a queen fell to lose me the pot (and triple up the short stack who also hit his three),  a couple of hands later I get it in with AQ (me) v. KQ to bust on the bubble.

Everybody has bad runs or bad beats, just need to weather the storm, but it's so weird how these things happen in repeating patterns even though I know it's all random. Makes it even more frustrating.  I hold QQ them QJ.  I push them chips.  I'm looking forward to take a break after this weekend until probably after my family trip to Disney.  I feel like the bad beats and bubbles have compounded to me contemplate playing poorly and impatiently too.  Or at least the urge to play poorly and impatiently is now there.  That's not a good thing.  Also, I hear myself complaining about the bad run and bad beats.  Nobody likes complainers ergo I don't like me (as I'm devoting part of my blog to this double the self-hate :) ).  I also hate that the loudest groans in the tournament area of late are usually just after I play a hand and they get there in harsh fashion.

Before I take a few weeks off, I will check out the Scarlet Pearl's latest quarterly event.

I hope you are run better than me.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Boomtown! Fan Fire! Heater! Spoilers!

As always since this is first a poker blog let's start with poker. first.

Boom!

Finally, there is another option for tournament poker players in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  Have heard great things about the Heartland Poker Tour.  Will get to see it firsthand at the end of the month.  100k guarantee on the reentry event, an 1100 Main Event with multiple flights, and lots of ways to get into all the tournaments cheaply through single and multi-table events.  Big update on the front page of www.gulfcoastpoker.net.

Heater!

Going to the Beau.  I still have yet to put together my package.  A lot of folks are rolled over into it.  And a number of ya'll have asked me for details.  I think I should get it done by Monday Night.

My buddy Kenny will be wearing a dress for Flight A because he lost a bet.

You better believe I will be there for that.  Especially, because things seem a little tense between him and his good buddy Charlie who he made the bet with.


FAN FIRE!

So I finally tried out this App which allows you to win tokens and use those tokens for prizes.  Pretty cool format.  I played it for two NFL Games, Cowboys-Eagles and Saints-Falcons.

Positives: it complemented the game I was watching without getting in the way.  Before the game you answer about 10 questions regarding the outcome.  Quick to do.  Then every change of possession it gives you about four choices on possible outcomes for the resulting drive.  Had fun predicting the plays.  Very easy to click through.  Set it up with a couple of friends and maybe we did a little something to make it more interesting on the side.  Definitely will play again.  Think it enhances games you are watching but maybe are not that into.  Also don't think it takes away from games you are really invested in emotionally.

Negatives:  You can't edit your picks.  No misclicks. Also, some of the questions are almost misleading.  I answered that I thought the Dallas running backs would get x amount of yards for the game.  I assumed it was rushing yards, but the category was receiving.

Also, it's important (if you are making it interesting with friends) to actually watch the games.  Sometimes if there is a quick change of possession, the app alerts you to four new questions, and you don't know where a team is on the field making some questions hard to answer.  In the Saints game, after a recovered onsides kick the questions steered for the Falcons drive applied to the Saints (silly because totally different intentions).

I found this at the end of the football season.  Wish I had more time to play with it.  That said, I'm sure it'll be up during the playoff games.  Maybe I'll play while at the Heater.  Still don't quite understand how the tokens and prizes work.  If you'd like to join me in a league please use this code to sign up  https://www.firefan.com/?code=Wildbillgcp

Spoilers!

So, went to the cinema with my son.  The ticket taker, despite our best efforts to not know what happened in the Star Wars movie, promptly, politely and cheerfully asked if we knew the ending was going to be...xxxxxxxxx.....  Then she mentioned another piece of information to spoil it even more.

Delicious!  A bit like turning on a game and in the pregame Bob Costas tell you which team won't catch a hail mary at the end to lose.

Why watch the movie when I can have a 18 year old's two sentence synopsis.  I looked at her like she was crazy completely dumbfounded she would say that.

Sure enough everything she said would happen... happened.

Think that should be a fireable offense or at least an instant refund on the ticket.

Anybody from AMC theaters read this blog?  Shoot me some free tickets.

Holidays!

I hope everybody had a great end of the year.  Had a lot of fun milking the last of the magic out of Christmas.  Don't know how many years left I still have with all my children believing in the elves from the North.  Have enough older friends telling me to soak up every moment because it's so fleeting, so trying to, still time moves faster for all us.

Exclamation Points!

I have a daily limit of one.  I'm a little over that. When somebody gave me good news recently, I noticed I got a little out of hand with them.  What am I, a sophomore who just got her learner's permit? Will try to not use any for January!  I meant January.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Students crushing it.

I should probably piece together the emails I sent to my investors for the WSOP and my summer. Some good nuggets in there that are not here.  Wow, I'm really behind in updating.

Fast forward to this past month where I played the Beau and the IP.  I want to give a quick shout-out to both staffs, for carefully planning two series at once that I think helped each other out rather than competed to the detriment of the other.  Genius of Henry Garrison, Paul Dutsch and the decision-makers at the Beau to stagger their re-entry event and Main Event with the IP's.  Personally, I think having these tournaments at the same time can draw better than having them back to back.  I know this year scheduling kind of forced both casinos in the same slot.  However, if possible with a little coordination and co-operation (which I realize could be more difficult then it was this year going forward) they could both really benefit.  It's not unrealistic to think two big events at once could make Biloxi the center of the national poker scene for a week and half.

Personally, I had a pretty disappointing week going deep in a lot of events, bubbling way too many (Grrrrrrrr) and min-cashing other events.  I chopped a nightly, won a mega but it felt like I was step or hand away from a lot more.  The min-cash in the Beau Rivage Main event smarted for a couple of reasons.  For one, a guy I'm helping out entered the final day of the IP Main Event.  I wanted to earn more than him ( :) but didn't come close) and more importantly I wanted to sweat him as he chased glory  And, for two, a min-cash always sucks especially with the big payouts are only a table away.

Speaking of others... What a week it was for the guys I'm coaching/helping out with their games.

First off, Steve Bierman,  a voracious learner, who only cares about getting better and better and better.  I can't be more proud of the dude as he navigated a really tough final day at the IP Main Event to get the biggest score of his life over 70k!  Not only that he came in with a final table strategy and executed it perfectly to have a shot at the ring and all the glory.  Great job, Steve!

Here we are celebrating Steve's previous biggest score in January of this year at the Beau with Jeff Sager.  Guy's won what over 100k this year?  Still two months to go.

This time, Ben Saxton and Joe Hebert joined us for the drinks to salute Steve's win.  Bricks of cash might have been gratuitously on show at one point.   At least Steve didn't leave them in the bar as he did with his check in January (shout out to Mack Trelles for running him down that time).

Steve won a lot of money, but the other guy I'm helping out with Chris Canan, pictured below, won his first two tournaments to start the week and finished 5th in a turbo at the end of the week.  Chris, is also a really hard worker, and is constantly looking for improvement.

As much as I'd like to take some credit for either one of these guys improvement, truth is both these guys are responsible for their own success.  They work hard, constantly think about the game, constantly tweak their games, and want to improve every aspect of the way they approach poker. They have questions and we collaborate to get the answers. Inspiring the way their hard work and improvements have turned into results.  Been fun, seeing all the milestones they've hit.  Chris got his first WSOP cash this year too.  And Steve is becoming a bit of a WSOP-C beast.

This week Steve told me he has his eyes set on passing me in the Hendon Mob results and that he'll do it sooner rather than later. I used to not care all that much about those rankings, but since learning that Steve and friend Kenny Milam are aware of the comings and goings of these metrics I also now pay a lot more attention to them.  I kind of I hope he and Chris do pass me.  The sooner the better as long as they preferably  finish behind me in the tournaments we play together.  By all means win everything I'm not in.

Alright enough bragging about other people. Going forward, there is a Pearl River event at the end of the month.  I love that their main event only has a $50 juice out of the $800 buy-in and that the casino and the staff are really trying to make everything as player friendly as possible.  Gene D, and I will be back there.  Got to cash higher than Steve and Chris in those events after all.

Oh, and this week I plan on making it through the Scarlett Pearls Big Slick Open on one bullet and winning it.  Don't know if that'll make Hendon Mob, but if I do it, Steve can rest assured I'll send those guys an email about it.

Also, big shout out to all the people who did well in Biloxi too many friends to mention here  (see www.gulfcoastpoker.net).  And for those that did't do well but I had the pleasure of seeing again.  Never let it be said, there aren't good people in poker.  Most of the people I know are great folks.

Speaking of which, one of my investors, who is super nice (even puts up with my other side of the political spectrum views) is going through  a rough patch after a loved one suffered a terrible auto accident.  My prayers and thoughts are with her.  If you do pray, take a moment and include L.K. and her family in yours when you get a chance.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Red Rock Day Off Trip Photo Essay

So, feeling like this after I busted the Main Event:


I decided to go touch the mountains, that for the last few years I've only looked at from the windows of the Rio, way off in the distance under a haze.



We headed to the Red Rock Mountains.  So named because the iron in the rocks have oxidized red.


Red.


Went Hiking.


In and around the mountains.



Saw some big vistas.


And little critters:


Little Hands:


Plant life:


Hidden streams:


Natural Monoliths:


Trees:


Trees:


Trees:


Big Critters:


Teeny, tiny, hidden chip 'n dale critters (look by the tree):


Sunbathers:


Mine shafts:


People:


Lichen:


Old West balconies:


Melting Mountains:


Mining Towns:



Old Wagons:



More ranges:


Soaring Opera:


Quick Nevada Wedding Chapels:


Quick Nevada Burials:



Monday, July 11, 2016

Main Event Blood Bath

At the Cabana at Mandalay the day before Monkey and I were talking about how bad you'd have to run to bust the Main Event early.  I said I'd need a lot of coolers/bad beats.  Maybe three or four massive ones.  Don't tempt the poker gods with hubris.  They showed me exactly how many I'd need to run through a 50k starting stack.

This will not be me this year.

( Another bit of hubris, I've had friends post hand histories usually turning monster stacks into crumbs late in a tournament, and I admit I suspected they were somewhat made up or at least exaggerated.  Part of me just didn't believe they could run so bad.  Well, now I'll believe anything.  This run bad may sound unbelievable but I did live it.  Just gross).

I had to Curb My Enthusiasm


What a day.  Crushing spiritually.  Kept saying this will turn-- it has to turn.  And part of me loves running bad early, because if I survive, and I keep surviving the potential is there to run great late.  And this story will only be more epic.  Been short plenty of times and turn crumbs into cash so I stayed positive, but it didn't matter.  Rationally, I only don't like a couple of spots and lines in the following hhs.  Feel free to be critical.  If I made mistakes you'll see them..
   
I just want to say thank you to all the support and belief by the investors the last couple of years.  Many of you have said things privately or in DMs that have made me treasure the experience.  So as a thank you, if you don't like being cornered in the Rio by a guy telling bad beat stories, turn away now!

Anyway if you enjoy torture, my hand histories in Main Event from Hell are all here for your displeasure:

1. Second hand two red aces. (SECOND HAND!)  Old man utg +1 raises.  He seems confident.  YUM!    Folds to me on button. I raise.  He 4 bets.  I tank.  He looks like he's never folding.
In my head, I can see he's prepared to make the trip home and say I lost with two kings on day 1.  YUM.

I want to give him that story.  However, I think prudent play is to let the board run out (he's never folding).  And blast away the river if it looks clean.  I will not pay him off if he makes a set and will be a little cautious if a Queen hits though I'm fairly sure he has only KK or somewhat less likely the other two Aces

Flop Jack high.  He checks.  Okay check behind for now (HE'S NEVER FOLDING I'M NOT LOSING VALUE).  Turn a third spade.  He bets.  Okay.  (No spade, no spade, no spade about to bet  at least half my 50k stack... on river) then a spade.

He checks.  Ugh.  I... check.  He says those four spades killed his action.  HE WAS NEVER FOLDING... what an optimal scenario had he not had... two black kings.  Seccond nuts and he checks.  Well, I  know I like this table.

2.  Run QQ into AA.  Fun.  Board saves me this time.

3.  KK into 1010.  Old guy opens.  I three bet he calls.  Flop is Jack high.  He checks.  I bet.  He raises.  Arguably I could have found fold here.  Turn brick.  He lessens his bet.  Odd.  Call.  River another small bet.  Call.  Set of tens.

4.  Ak.  Bet two callers.  Flop King.  Bet. One caller.  Turn 5.  Bet called.  River brick.  Bet called.  He shows set of 5s.

Did I mention I loved my table ... literally as you can see they want to keep me around and not get any value for their hands.  Just needed an uptick in luck.

5.  K10 suited on button with a limper.  I bet, limper calls.  King high flop.  I bet he calls. Turn is brick.  I bet big he calls.  River is an Ace.  He checks (again).  This time I check.  He shows A6.

6.  I have AK raise a limper.  He and a blind calls.  Flop is King high.  Limper donk bets, I raise, blind folds and limper calls my bet.  Turn puts three diamonds on board.  He check calls my bet.  River four flushes.  I don't have diamond.  He checks.  I turn AK into in a bluff.  He snaps calls with pocket 6s and the six of diamonds.  Ugh... what?

7.  I have Ad9d on button.  One limper.  I raise.  SB calls.  Limper calls.  Flop is Ace high.  Check, check.  I bet.  SB calls.  Limper folds.  Turn puts two diamonds out there.  SB checks.  I bet... really want to hit flush.  He calls.  Brick flush.  River air ball.  He checks.  I... check.  He flips AK.  Unbelievable.

Did I mention I love my table.  What's not to love about these guys?

8.  I have AsQs in sb.  Limps to me.  I raise.  BB calls.  Limper calls.  Flop is two spades but also two sevens.  Bet call call.  Queen ball turn.  I bet fairly large.  Blind folds.  Limper calls.  River is a 4 of spades.  I bet with Ace high flush.  Limper raises small.  I just laugh and just call.  He has pocket fours of course he does.  WTF!

9.  5d6d in bb just a limper.  Check my option.  Flop 7d4xKd.  I bet.  He calls.  Turn brick I bet he calls. River a brick (of course).  I feel he has a weak king at best but most likely a smaller pair.  I bet stiffly.  He snap calls.  *He had also shown an ability to call two streets and then fold river.  Otherwise I don't try.

Btw, I wrote these hands in different places on social media and texts so some may be out of order.

10.  AQ in SB.  Two limpers.  Raise.  Call. Call.  9 high flop.  I cbet both call.  Turn a six.  I'm done.  Check.  Bet. Bet. (i fold).  River brick.  Bet call.  They both turn over 96 o/s to chop with two pair.

Really, really?  Can this be happening.  How can I have the greatest table ever and run like this.  Limp, calling with 96 off suit.  Share outs and hit both their cards.  Huh?

11.  Short stacked.  I'm at 10 bigs.  (blinds 150 to 300).  Guy makes it 750.  I shove for 3200.  He...  folds.  What?  What?

I have?  Two red aces again.  I show table.  They are laughing at how bad I'm running.  Of course you have Aces when a guy makes a terrible fold with 60k in front of him.  Even the guy that I kind of made a rival (by stealing from him the few pots I actually won) is sympathetic.  They discuss how bad it is to run so bad in the Main Event.

12.  Bust out hand.  Suited A9 on button.  Shove.  SB calls with 88.  Okay, not bad.  Flop is KQ10.  Not terrible, any Jack, any 9, any Ace.  Turns is a king.  Wow.  Facecard, facecard, facecard...  River is a... the final tease.  A face card.  But one of the two that don't work.  King ball. Good game me.
Let's go team!

I'm playing a couple of bullets in the one drop.  And will be supporting/railing my friends and fellow minions still in the Main.  Congrats to Laura Crafton, Gene D, and Robert Harwell for making it through.  Also, a huge thanks to all the investors, and Monkey for putting me in and believing in me again.  Pretty crushed for you guys that I'm out so early.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity as well as all the wonderful people I've met or become social media friends with through this.  I think those still repping us are all class acts and easy to root for,  Let's go Minions!


Main Event Blood Bath

At the Cabana at Mandalay the day before Monkey and I were talking about how bad you'd have to run to bust the Main Event early.  I said I'd need a lot of coolers/bad beats.  Maybe three or four massive ones.  Don't tempt the poker gods with hubris.  They showed me exactly how many I'd need to run through a 50k starting stack.

This will not be me this year.

( Another bit of hubris, I've had friends post hand histories usually turning monster stacks into crumbs late in a tournament, and I admit I suspected they were somewhat made up or at least exaggerated.  Part of me just didn't believe they could run so bad.  Well, now I'll believe anything.  This run bad may sound unbelievable but I did live it.  Just gross).

I had to Curb My Enthusiasm


What a day.  Crushing spiritually.  Kept saying this will turn-- it has to turn.  And part of me loves running bad early, because if I survive, and I keep surviving the potential is there to run great late.  And this story will only be more epic.  Been short plenty of times and turn crumbs into cash so I stayed positive, but it didn't matter.  Rationally, I only don't like a couple of spots and lines in the following hhs.  Feel free to be critical.  If I made mistakes you'll see them..
   
I just want to say thank you to all the support and belief by the investors the last couple of years.  Many of you have said things privately or in DMs that have made me treasure the experience.  So as a thank you, if you don't like being cornered in the Rio by a guy telling bad beat stories, turn away now!

Anyway if you enjoy torture, my hand histories in Main Event from Hell are all here for your displeasure:

1. Second hand two red aces. (SECOND HAND!)  Old man utg +1 raises.  He seems confident.  YUM!    Folds to me on button. I raise.  He 4 bets.  I tank.  He looks like he's never folding.
In my head, I can see he's prepared to make the trip home and say I lost with two kings on day 1.  YUM.

I want to give him that story.  However, I think prudent play is to let the board run out (he's never folding).  And blast away the river if it looks clean.  I will not pay him off if he makes a set and will be a little cautious if a Queen hits though I'm fairly sure he has only KK or somewhat less likely the other two Aces

Flop Jack high.  He checks.  Okay check behind for now (HE'S NEVER FOLDING I'M NOT LOSING VALUE).  Turn a third spade.  He bets.  Okay.  (No spade, no spade, no spade about to bet  at least half my 50k stack... on river) then a spade.

He checks.  Ugh.  I... check.  He says those four spades killed his action.  HE WAS NEVER FOLDING... what an optimal scenario had he not had... two black kings.  Seccond nuts and he checks.  Well, I  know I like this table.

2.  Run QQ into AA.  Fun.  Board saves me this time.

3.  KK into 1010.  Old guy opens.  I three bet he calls.  Flop is Jack high.  He checks.  I bet.  He raises.  Arguably I could have found fold here.  Turn brick.  He lessens his bet.  Odd.  Call.  River another small bet.  Call.  Set of tens.

4.  Ak.  Bet two callers.  Flop King.  Bet. One caller.  Turn 5.  Bet called.  River brick.  Bet called.  He shows set of 5s.

Did I mention I loved my table ... literally as you can see they want to keep me around and not get any value for their hands.  Just needed an uptick in luck.

5.  K10 suited on button with a limper.  I bet, limper calls.  King high flop.  I bet he calls. Turn is brick.  I bet big he calls.  River is an Ace.  He checks (again).  This time I check.  He shows A6.

6.  I have AK raise a limper.  He and a blind calls.  Flop is King high.  Limper donk bets, I raise, blind folds and limper calls my bet.  Turn puts three diamonds on board.  He check calls my bet.  River four flushes.  I don't have diamond.  He checks.  I turn AK into in a bluff.  He snaps calls with pocket 6s and the six of diamonds.  Ugh... what?

7.  I have Ad9d on button.  One limper.  I raise.  SB calls.  Limper calls.  Flop is Ace high.  Check, check.  I bet.  SB calls.  Limper folds.  Turn puts two diamonds out there.  SB checks.  I bet... really want to hit flush.  He calls.  Brick flush.  River air ball.  He checks.  I... check.  He flips AK.  Unbelievable.

Did I mention I love my table.  What's not to love about these guys?

8.  I have AsQs in sb.  Limps to me.  I raise.  BB calls.  Limper calls.  Flop is two spades but also two sevens.  Bet call call.  Queen ball turn.  I bet fairly large.  Blind folds.  Limper calls.  River is a 4 of spades.  I bet with Ace high flush.  Limper raises small.  I just laugh and just call.  He has pocket fours of course he does.  WTF!

9.  5d6d in bb just a limper.  Check my option.  Flop 7d4xKd.  I bet.  He calls.  Turn brick I bet he calls. River a brick (of course).  I feel he has a weak king at best but most likely a smaller pair.  I bet stiffly.  He snap calls.  *He had also shown an ability to call two streets and then fold river.  Otherwise I don't try.

Btw, I wrote these hands in different places on social media and texts so some may be out of order.

10.  AQ in SB.  Two limpers.  Raise.  Call. Call.  9 high flop.  I cbet both call.  Turn a six.  I'm done.  Check.  Bet. Bet. (i fold).  River brick.  Bet call.  They both turn over 96 o/s to chop with two pair.

Really, really?  Can this be happening.  How can I have the greatest table ever and run like this.  Limp, calling with 96 off suit.  Share outs and hit both their cards.  Huh?

11.  Short stacked.  I'm at 10 bigs.  (blinds 150 to 300).  Guy makes it 750.  I shove for 3200.  He...  folds.  What?  What?

I have?  Two red aces again.  I show table.  They are laughing at how bad I'm running.  Of course you have Aces when a guy makes a terrible fold with 60k in front of him.  Even the guy that I kind of made a rival (by stealing from him the few pots I actually won) is sympathetic.  They discuss how bad it is to run so bad in the Main Event.

12.  Bust out hand.  Suited A9 on button.  Shove.  SB calls with 88.  Okay, not bad.  Flop is KQ10.  Not terrible, any Jack, any 9, any Ace.  Turns is a king.  Wow.  Facecard, facecard, facecard...  River is a... the final tease.  A face card.  But one of the two that don't work.  King ball. Good game me.
Let's go team!

I'm playing a couple of bullets in the one drop.  And will be supporting/railing my friends and fellow minions still in the Main.  Congrats to Laura Crafton, Gene D, and Robert Harwell for making it through.  Also, a huge thanks to all the investors, and Monkey for putting me in and believing in me again.  Pretty crushed for you guys that I'm out so early.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity as well as all the wonderful people I've met or become social media friends with through this.  I think those still repping us are all class acts and easy to root for,  Let's go Minions!


Saturday, July 02, 2016

888 2016 Wrap-UP

Bullet number one of the 888, the first big tournament in my package started out rather nondescript.  You get 5k in chips and 30 minute levels.  Essentially, the Harrahs weekly I grind all the time with just a little bit better structure.  Should be in my sweet spot.

We started five handed, max in this tournament is 8 handed, and a guy I recognized on my left seemed to be the best player of the other four.  I hit some big early hands, turned a straight and flopped a flush, both times my opponents showed and had nothing.  Hate getting monsters too early.

An older gentleman at the table I decided to target kept hitting hands so maybe a bad choice.  I tried to bluff him once after he bet pre, he c-bet the 9 high flop and then he checked turn and river.  I had A10 and some back door possibilities.  I thought I had some showdown value but there were also some small pairs and better Aces,  I might be able to fold out so I bet.  He called with JJ.  Based on what he had I was happy with my sizing but in reflection that's results oriented I should have bet more or just checked as my stack was so shallow.  Many of the hands I wanted to fold might have called for the price I set.

Earlier he checked down and got zero value with Aces after 3betting pre, so maybe I should have checked.

Then Praytush Buddigga sat down with his 4 million plus in live tournament poker winnings.  I recognized him but couldn't place him.  Probably means he's good.  Thanks to Ross Leitz for some first name suggestions and a google search, I discovered...

Guy is a bit of beast.  A Duke graduate (didn't know at time), he probably didn't like the Tar Heel on my hat.  He won the Scripps Spelling Bee as a 13 year old in the early 2000s.  His winning word was prospicience (a word that my spell check doesn't recognize).  Credit to him, he must have had to foresight to look ahead and study that word.

Six handed, then seven handed the blinds still came fast and furious.  You can not afford to lose too many hands. I played with my target when I defended my big blind with Ah4h.  I flopped a four on a pretty dry board and called his cbet.  Turn gave me a flush draw and he bet big-ish.  Before his bet I was pretty sure any 4, Ace or heart would give me the winner.  Now, I wasn't so sure my ace was live.  Still I called as I was pretty sure I could get a full double if I hit.  The river tricked me as I just saw a red flash while studying him.

After a moment, he shoved, I looked to the board and saw the bad news that it was a diamond.  His play prevented me from even having the option to bluff. I doubt I would have.  And I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have worked anyway.  Considering the way he played over pairs he was likely very strong.

That hand hurt and the blinds felt like they were circling even faster, with a ton of quick hands and numerous preflop folds.  Didn't help that I couldn't catch a hand.  Also Praytush fairly quickly went to work putting his full stack in the middle in a couple of hands and the others seemed to copy him.

Ultimately, I looked at AQ with ~ten bigs.  I put most of my stack in and then Buddiga stewed.  He looked to see my crumbs behind. Then he just flatted.  Ugh.  My spider sense told me he had a big hand, but he had the prospicience to just call and try and induce somebody else to join the hand.

Flop came 9 high.  I had too few chips to fold and pretty sure he wasn't going to let me check it down to river.  So I shoved and he called.  Showing KK.  Ugh.  No Ace or running cards came to save my first buy-in.

Then he looks at me and says in angry tone, "Can you spell... Bust out?"





*Okay, he totally didn't say that.  But some variation of that should be his catch phrase when he busts people (with a sense of humor), as it sounds like it's common for his opponents to ask him to spell things while at the table.

Here's more on him:

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/05/25/from-spelling-bee-champ-to-professional-poker-player/

 So, flight be had to go better right?  It did.  Early on I had more chips than I ever did in Flight A.  Problem is I caught a lot of huge hands early where people, again, were less inclined to play big pots.
One big one, I had AK.  An older tighter player opened and I three bet from the button.  He called.  Flop came 2AA.  Ugh...  Not getting paid by a lot here.  Maybe should have bet really small but didn't.  Checked.

Turn was an A.  So yes, I had quad Aces.  I was happier because now all those pocket pairs he called with have a boat.  He checked, I checked with the plan to bomb the river and hoping he can catch something if he didn't have a pocket pair. An eight hit, he checked and I bet large and he snap folded.  Guessing he called me with KQ? How he didn't have a full house there so frustrating.

Next hand I defend my big blind with KJ against another tight player and flop comes KKx.  I bet small and he insta mucks.  Ugh.  I run a couple of semi-bluffs, some 3bets with air against an active player and chip up.  Then they bring this guy to my table:



You never want a friend at the table especially when you've been sharing a ton about each others game.  Steve Bierman also has been crushing this year and is an active player so I expect my rather docile table dynamics to change quick.  I'd been picking on the short stacks, but loquacious Steve did change things.  He fussed at the kids to respect their elders and to stop opening every hand.  I prepared to enjoyed the show, but it was short lived.  Steve 3bet shoved on a guy with pocket Jacks and didn't hit his outs.  He definitely had one shot to raise my big blind and took it.  Seems like he knows I don't like to play out of position against good players.  Yes, I'm keeping count of my big blind raises Steve.

Around us, people bust fast and furious.  I see several top pros at surrounding tables and oddly, I take pleasure when turning around and then seeing their seat vacant.  This may be the fastest WSOP tournament because it's the same structure as the Colossus BUT with a critical difference.  You play less hands because the max you'll have at a table is 8 and often you are six handed.  Blinds eat up everybody's stack and bustouts happen faster then they can balance the tables.  The few times we have a full table there is slightly more play.

We get some new additions to the table with large chip stacks.  I play a significant pot with a euro when I opened KJ suited.  He flatted from a blind.  Flop came Ace high.  He donk bet into me.  I called, thought about raising, thought about folding, but ultimately felt he was weak and would reevaluate on turn.  Turn was another Ace.  He checked, I checked (thinking my read was right) and planned on betting most rivers.

River brought a third heart and I figured I could be good with king high as played, but there were a bevy of hands I could fold out that were better than mine if I bet.  When he checked, I opted for pot size bet which was half my stack to indicate I was committed.

He promptly shoved.  Yuck.

Pot was so big I contemplated calling with King high.  Such an odd (impossible?) spot for him to bluff though.  I know I need to fold.  I try telling a couple of light remarks he shows nothing.  Then I say, "I have an idea... how about we do over this card and instead of me betting I just check.  You want to pretend that bet never happened."  He finally cracked.  A big authentic, eye crinkling smile, and I know there is zero chance for me to hero call and win.  I fold.

Now I have crumbs with the bubble coming.  Double yuck.

Fully four people at the table expressed some surprise I could fold on the river with so much of my stack in and so little behind.  (I kept track in my mind).

A couple of hands later there is an open and a call.  I look at AJ in the big blind and get it in.  Call, call.  Flop is QQ5.  Bet call.  Uh-oh.  Turn is a 9. Check-Check.  Come on Ace or Jack, I'm thinking.  River is a 9.  Wait, that's actually not a bad card for me.

Asian kid bets big into side pot.  Euro folds, and I say, "tell me you have pocket 8s."  He demands the side pot before showing his... 44.

My QQ99 with an Ace beat his hand as he had to play the board.  Nice.  That triple up, enables me to make it to the stone bubble.  All the guys that shook their head at my prior play?  Yeah, all busted.  Told you I was keeping track.

Going hand for hand, with the next person to bust not making the money, I look at AJ, UTG +1 with 8 bigs.  Normally, this might be a shove for me.  I muck, there is a bet, a raise and a call.  I would have lost to both hands as one player had AK the other a pocket pair.  The very next hand I had 1010.  I had already shoved that hand three times to survive (no calls).  This time I fold it.  There is a bet and a shove (!).  Kid that shoved, had been playing rather tight and said afterward he had Aces when the initial bettor folded.  He said he busted the day before with QQ on the stone bubble and laughing said his range in that spot is now exactly AA or KK.

Boom!  Money bubble bursts.  We have a cash in our second event of the series.  Now time to run it up.

I double and win a couple of pots.  Finally, they break our table, with me and the kid to my left having survived all day side by side.  It's always a tournament goal of mine to outlast everybody on my starting table.  Somehow, I don't think we played one significant pot over the course of the day.  I hope there was some mutual admiration as I pretty early on I rated him the other best player at the table and we chewed up the newcomers for long period.

I get moved to a new table and run card dead.  All big stacks.  I'm going to shove and get called somewhere so need to find a hand.  I get one through and they move a shortish stack to my table.  I recognize him (Michael Andrews?) from New Orleans.  Think he just cashed the high roller there.



Finally, a stack I could hurt.  He's also sensible so I know he's not just going to call off with any two.  As soon as it's his big blind I shove with out looking at my hand.  Folds quickly to guy one from the button. He stews and finally calls.  Michael has air and folds.

I turn over the cards to reveal 10 7.  Guy on the button with not that many chips had A3 (I don't love his call... it is a turbo but he seemed a little shallow to call with any ace with three players to act).  I'm not that big an underdog.

But... his Ace high holds and I go to the payout cage.

Well, back at it at 10 am today.