Run Good at the IP Part one...

Okay... It's coming I promise.  Blogtacular posts await.  Just have to play catch up on all the family time I missed.  So, we'll get started a little bit today and come back to wrap it up in a post or two later.

Let's get the niceties out of the way, I have a very special wife who thought I was just going to Biloxi for a night or two last week only for me to return late Monday night.  My heavier pockets eased all the stress of the trip and for the first time she got to enjoy sweating me on the Internet in a poker tournament but I still need to fill up on some quality time with my two young uns.  Leaving her with a newborn and son who's in and out of his terrible twos is quite a bit different than life was a couple of years ago when I'd take off for a tournament with no worries.  Big thanks to my in-laws for helping out.

Yes...  I had a hell of a run at the IP which I need to encapsulate.  I hate posting after wins because it feels self-indulgent and bragging but oh well.   First of all, it doesn't happen if Gene D doesn't have his epic run to the top of the Casino Champion.  Two thirds and a second... wow!  Some were talking if it's the single greatest Circuit event for any player.  The WSOP media guy didn't know but thought it had to be up there.  Odd thing is  in the very last tournament Gene still could have been eclipsed by Ricky Romero from Louisiana.  If Romero won outright Gene could lose his seat in the free roll.  Right after I busted so did Ricky so GCP was guaranteed at least one seat in the Million Dollar free roll.   

Let's back track a little bit.  Of late I'm been running bad.  I'm sure I played bad too, I don't know of any player running bad that is playing optimally, and I can list recent mistakes I've made in spots I didn't need to make 'em.  In fact, I called Brian Lusk of Poker Immersion about a hand I played in the Donkley and I was asking him about my decision on a later street, and he basically reminded I had no business being in the hand in the first place.  Basically I lost with QQ a hand or two before and then I mangled some suited one gapper from the blinds because I tilted into playing it.

Yup, a hand I used to never play especially out of position because unless I hit it square on the button I'll never know where I'm at.  Let's say it was 810.  In that spot I hit a 10 and A10 crushes me.   So, I reflected on things and realized sometimes being able to outplay people doesn't mean you should try to every hand.  Preflop it was 3bet or a fold, rather than make two pair and run into a straight.

Anyway, that was a good piece of ammunition to get me thinking right again and quickly got me to playing a stricter range of starting hands.  Gene's success was even more helpful.  I had been questioning the grind.  Bubbling final tables and bubbling the money and being that guy that can't get lucky in those critical points in tournaments takes its toll.  Then I have to watch some short stack soar late and wonder why couldn't that be me.  Spoiler alert:  It could be.

However, as down as I was feeling and mulling over moving back to cash games and working on plugging all my leaks there instead of suffering the variance of tournament poker, Gene gave me hope again.  He's dealt with all the same mental trauma of being so close but so far away.  Then the switch clicked for him.

I said well if Gene can run good in a tournament series so can I.


The weekend for me is a tale as old as poker.  I arrived with low expectations and not much money in the pocket.  I late regged for the $235 mega for the 1k event with maybe a third of the field already on the rail.  I went card dead for most of the tournament but built up enough of an image that I managed to short stack my way to a seat.  One player gave me walks in my big blind after me and him had some words about the tournament structure.

Basically, they were supposed to play 10 handed, but with three tables left the TD said why not just play down to 18 and merge.  Obviously, that's a huge disadvantage to the short stack.  I was a short stack and not looking to pay blinds every two out of six hands.  I spoke up and said if that sheet says play 10 handed we play ten handed.  The other player asked something along the lines if I was a rules nit, and I somewhat angrily explained how I was at disadvantage.  In retrospect i believe he hadn't thought of that and just thought I was being anal by the way he responded to my retort with a shrug and a nod.

Then he went easy on my blinds.  Much appreciated and unexpected.  Afterward I apologized for my tone and he said he would have done the same thing in my shoes.  He's one of the leaders on the circuit points board.  I also had that dude in the pic, Chris Bigler, at my table, with a lot of chips, he could have just got up and gotten some ice cream.  In fact, several times other big stacks reminded him he was in a mega and didn't need to win the tournament as he tried to build big pots.  I spoke with him during the tournament and several times after.  He was a very nice guy that some of you might remember from a number of TV tables just at the beginning of the poker boom.  Apparently, since then he's been touring the United States in a camper and having a blast.  Still has it in terms of applying pressure to other players.  I guess he didn't win that million or so in tournament earnings by accident.

Anyway, I did just enough to earn my seat despite being card dead, the highlight being that I bested Bigler for a big pot too.  He complimented me by remarking how I qualified despite being short stacked all tournament when all the other players were dusting off their chips in coin-flips early.

So, I was definitely staying one more day.  Call up the wife and tell her the news.  She says "So you won money?"  I stammered, "Well kind of...  I won a 1k seat."  Her reply was something along the lines of can you spend a 1k seat?


The next day we are about to start and I approach a guy who has backed a friend or two of mine and asked if he wanted a piece of my action.  I wanted to get more than the cost of the satellite to at least go home a winner and freeroll the 1k tournament.  Think my conversation with my wife had something to do with that?  We agreed on a price and I gave up 15% of myself.

That tournament started out wonderfully.  I loved my table, unfortunately it was one of the first to break.  Mohammed Moeini was thankfully on my right and I felt like were kind of just picking on most of the rest of table.  He always seems to go deep in tournaments around the coast so I was enjoying the luxury of picking my spots around him.  Nice guy.  I chipped up pretty quickly.  Then they dropped New Orleans Circuit winner Fred Berger in the one seat and though he wasn't wearing it I swear I could hear his World Series bracelet jangle with every decision he made (plus the 1 milly in earnings).  Not as many weak spots in a 1k tournament.   With Berger there, maybe I was grateful they were breaking my table...  Side note, about Fred, I played with him in New Orleans and I watched him weild the power of position incredibly.  In about every limped pot or raised and mulitple called pot that he was in late position he joined the fray.  Everytime it was checked to him, he'd bet and most times add to his stack.  Seems like it's poker at its most obvious and easiest but I'm quite sure he was the only guy applying it.

Back to the 1k, they move me and ahhh, it was awesome.... (that's sarcasm) because they sent me to Bert Ladner, Carwash (Mike Schneider out of Georgia who just seems to dominate events like this), and November Niner John Dolan's table (remember him?  the guy in the hoodie up there).  Even worse there was this maniac to my left that they were all slobbering looking at with a ton of chips.  I didn't want to be in their predatory gaze by accident.  The guy would give all those chips away and promptly get them back in the (thankfully) short time I was there.  He was fond of 3betting and c-betting and triple barreling.  Don't know if he really understood anything about the game except for aggressiveness but sometimes that's all it takes--just ask Pius Heinz.  We'll come back to this guy later.

I win a couple of pots including some against the big three all next to each other in one corner and I'm feeling comfortable again.  I executed a move at the first table that I duplicated at the second and now it's in my permanent arsenal for every table move I make.  It's a fun one but I'm not sharing it.

My big hand came at Bert's expense.  There was a limped pot in my big blind and I had 67 I believe.  The flop came A95 (or something like that).  Checked around.  Turn was bingo 8 ball.  I checked next guy checked.  Bert bet, I called, first guy... raised... Bert called... shove time baby.  First guy folded maybe AK.  Bert stewed forever and showed a set when he called.  Board didn't pair on the river and I was chipped up.

Then, the TD tapped me on the shoulder and told me they needed me to move to balance the table.  Oh yeah?  Me, leave the murderer's row in the corner, with the maniac on my left, yeah...  good luck everybody, oh and I more than doubled up as a parting gift, yeah... thanks.

Then the put me down on maybe... a worse table...


SpamBx392 said…
The best 4 days of 2011 so far. I like the new design of the blog.#finishstrong
Anonymous said…
Great post and great run. Congrats. Can't wait to hear more.
Anonymous said…
Appreciate the insight, liked what you were thinking during this and some of the outside issues you had to deal with, explaining about the 1K for example. Something I hope to have to do down the road.


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