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WSOP-C Nola: Recap Part II

Another Day.  Another bubble.  This time the stone cold bubble.  

The Mega only had 49 entries.  They were gong to award 4 players 2k in chips and the 5th player $1800 in cash. This was the type of event that would set up the series nicely for me, and everybody that bought a piece of my package.

Grinded through the field.  Entered final table with chip average.  Went card dead and took a minor hit when I called two small stacks shove with AK and was up against vs. AJ v. 99.  AJ took it all.

At seven handed a player got a one round penalty.  Then another player brought up the idea of a save.  6th and 7th would get 400 and everybody else would get 1800.  I looked at the table and it was very likely I was one of three short stacks playing for the final spot.  I agreed and so did every one else.      

Then the following transpired.  The guy who brought up the idea shoved.  I was in the small blind and looked at qq.  I was calling off and then the button a giant stack went over the top all in.  What?  Classic mega dilemma here.  I read the button for an overpair and folded.  He had kings and won.

Next hand I'm on the button and the big blind is player on the penalty and the small blind has slightly more than me and is one of the short stacks.  I planned on shoving any two if folded to me.  There was some commotion with the floor and the table talking and everybody absentminded folded to me.  I was about to shove and the small blind just did something that set off my radar.  I looked at 64 o/s and decided he looked like he was calling anything.  I folded, he showed me pocket kings.  After the tournament he told me he was trying to signal me to fold because he had kings (okay???  signal received?)*.

The next hand it's folded to me, with a dead small blind, and I spy AJ in my hand.  I shove.  The big blind deliberated way too long.  Then called with Q4.  Queen in the window.  They all celebrated jubilantly their $1800.  I didn't.

*Incidentally when we were at two tables he shoved pocket threes, another short stack shoved pocket 99s and I called with QQ.  Board went four flush and pocket threes took it all.  Then he came back to make the money and we didn't.

On the weekend, I fired two bullets in the reentry.  

My first table was what I'd expect on a final table.  Ashley Butler, who has been on a two year Heater including multiple deep runs at last years world series, the WSOP Europe, and on the circuit, Blake B, a two (or is it three) time WSOP-C ring winner, Lonnie Haywood (a beast in her own right the last couple of years), and Cory Pasano (who destroyed the Million Dollar Heater) were all on my left.  The dead money satellite tournament was also represented with three players who have participated over the past ten years.  

To make matters worse, a guy who felted the fish at the table was on my direct left with all the chips and then the murderers row.  They couldn't break that table quick enough.  The good thing is, after losing some with over pairs, I really didn't have any hands to mess around with and I was so tight they were letting me steal to stay afloat.  Ashley of course four bet once with 8d6d and snapped off Lonnies kings with a straight flush.  That's the way he runs.  Later after Lonnie built up a stack again, they got it in with Ashley's AA holding against her QQ.  Nonetheless a fun table.  I got it in with the best hand a couple of times late and my hands held.

So, I move to another table and chip up a bit.  Then I spy pocket 9s under the gun.  I have no read on the guy to my left.  I bet he calls.  One of the blinds call.  Flop is 8 high, two spades.  I lead for a big, go away bet and am called in both spots.  Turn is a brick.  I put the rest of my stack in to protect my hand confident I'm ahead.  Guy next to me calls.  Other guy folds. Caller shows As6s of spades.  He hits the spade on the river.  Big pot would have put me right in the thick of things, and the table was to my benefit.  

I renter and promptly have as many chips in the second level of the second flight as I did the entire first flight.  I keep going  up and things are ginning.  Getting called when I want and getting away with steals.

At one point I was close to 50k.  I look up at the screen and that late into flight A which was still going, I was already at chip average for that flight (but in flight b that started five hours later).  So, I was crushing it.

Then I look at AA.  A guy opens under the gun.  I threebet he calls.  Flop is 662.  No way he has any of that.  I bet a biggish chunk hoping to induce him to shove thinking I'm being a chip bully (and allowing him to think he had fold equity).  He did shove and I called.  He turned over 63.  Good bye 15k.

Btw, I later got him back when he had an overpair and I called his 3bet with Ahxh knowing I could take a big pot if I got there.  I flopped open ended, turned a flush draw, and got there on the river.  He bitched about the hand...  I told him we were even.  We weren't.

I played til late in the night.  They announced three hands left.  I had around 40k.  There was a weak player in the BB who's blind I had been stealing all day with an UTG bet.  I look at Kings and like my chances of him finally playing back at me.  I raise.  It's folded to the button who was the villain from earlier.  He 3bet.  I hate the fact, I'm about to put all my chips at risk three hands from the restart, but I'm never folding kings to him in that spot, and I do what I'm supposed to do and shoved.  As soon as he didn't insta-call I wanted him to call.  Eventually he called with AK (btw, it's gross how many competent players completely overplay AK imo), he played enough with me to know I rarely if ever 4bet light.  We win the sweat and come back with 83.4k.

On interesting hand that happened earlier in the night, I wanted to share: I had a guy who was fairly decent but still kind of new to poker limp for the first time in five hours in early position with a lot of active players after him.  I look at A9 on the button.  I know he's limping AA or KK here.  A9 is not a great hand vs. either but I had position and it was only a limp.  I hoped to thump the flop.  The BB checked and I thumped the flop.  99x.  BB checked, limper bet.  I called.  Turn was an ace.  He bet I called.  The river was a brick.  He bet and I stewed.  

Despite my full house I found the turn to be a terrible call.  Even if he doesn't give me credit for a 9, now if he has KK he can be afraid of the A and fold to my raise.  If he has AA, I'm crushed.  AA is so unlikely (he has to have the case two aces while there are six ways he could have KK), I decide I need to make a thin value bet and KK might call.  I decide to min raise.  He calls and doesn't show and compliments me on the hand.  Then the table started discussing the hand and saying that I loved the A on the turn.  

Actually, I hated it.  I didn't want to see an A or K.  I also told them, that had my opponent shoved the river I would have folded.  Nobody believed me, but that was literally my plan.  The min-raise allowed me to bet for value six out of the seven hands I was against and probably was the most he'd call.  It also left me with enough chips to fold had he shoved.  The min-raise in that spot is incredibly strong.  In fact, him facing a min-raise on that board  he has to give me credit for a monster.  To shove over the top could only be the nuts or second nuts (which I had).     

I was happy with the way I played that hand even if the other players didn't really understand it.

My table draw, again was terrible to start the day.  All youngsters that have a lot of results and no weak spots.  Again, I was somewhat fortunate to not have many playable hands, and had the good timing to steal in position and maintain with air.  

81 would make the money.  They broke my table, and my new one got worse.  All the good players came with me and the guys waiting for us were machines too.  I looked at the rest of the field and I literally would have been happy being on any other table.  There was one bad table and I was on it.  We made the money in a drama free bubble.

Finally, they moved me to a new table.  In the BB early, UTG raises.  He's a local player, who's good and aggressive, but a step below the rest of the field,  I see Aces.  I have about 75k ish at this point.   I threebet large ~25kish, again trying to look like a steal and giving him the illusion he could 4bet shove and have fold equity.  He called.  Flop came 10 high.  I shoved.  He stewed, okay he didn't flop a set, I want the call.  I do some of the things I do physically to try and induce a call and he says "I guess this is a donkey call, but I call."  He's got AQ for two overs.  Runner, runner, board shows a ten high straight and we chop.

Then they moved some of the young studs over including Aaron Massey and some others.  Can't tell you how many times before the action got to me it was bet and raised and I looked at garbage.  I went epically card dead.  Finally, for fear of blinding out I shove a small pair and got called by AsQs.  He hit his ace, then had a flush on the turn.  We finished 43rd for $864.

By the way, as good as those players were I saw them routinely make the same mistakes.  If a guy had big stacks of little chips, they never asked for counts and sometimes a player would shove, not even doubling the bet and these guys would fold because I guess they couldn't count chips.  Yet, if you had a meager stack of big chips they'd call.  I didn't think really good players would make this mistake but I saw it at least three or four times.  Which is weird cause I tend to err the other way and not see big chips and call off too much.

I regged quickly for the next $365 and immediately regretted it.  My card dead run continued, and though I'm really patient, it was annoying.  I look at Aces (anybody notice a theme here) with about 8k.  My week feels like it's been all 37 o/s and occasional Aces or Kings.  Little in between.  It's strange.   I bet and get called twice.  Board is 10 high, two diamonds.  Mike Horchoff a good player was on the button.  I bet he called.  Turn was a diamond.  Mike is very aggressive and pounces on perceived weakness, I decided to cede the aggression to him on the hand with the intention of check calling twice, and hopefully inducing a big river bluff.  That was the plan at least.   The board was getting scary but Mike's range is so wide I don't think I can or should fold aces to him all things being equal.  He bets a biggish amount behind me.  Call, so far so good.

River is a card which puts a straight out there two ways if he's playing suited connectors.  It also increases the chances his pair just became two pair.  So I don't like it but I'm still prepared to call off.  I check and he throws in big chips (way more then he needed to) but more than the ~5k I have him in my stack.  I remember him doing this a year ago in a tournament we played but it was against another player.  Usually, that's a bet of intimidation and you should call because the player is trying to look strong (though that's not 100% as Mike Caro's tell book and others will suggest people only put big chips out when they think they'll get them back).  

I find with aggressive young players it's often a strong is really weak tell.  Mike H, as I stated is a good player, so I knew he was also capable of going one level beyond that and trying to induce a call with a monster.  I couldn't remember the outcome of the hand or if it went to showdown from a year prior.  So I stewed and talked myself out of it and went against my plan.  A day later mike told me had 64 of hearts and thought he could only win the hand by barreling off.  Ugh.  Mike would later make the final table against my friend Prissy.

Now, I was stewing because I wanted to call and folded.  The frustration mounted from the tournament before.  I saw a bet and a call and I looked at AJ.  I shoved.  The bettor folded and the caller, who barely played a pot all day, looked me over and eventually called with Jacks.  Clearly, not a spot I'd normally shove and considering how few hands the caller played maybe not the best squeeze spot.  

I decided I played so bad in that $365 that I would add another one to the package schedule and play Wednesday (as originally scheduled) for full percentage, even though I'd buy it on my dime.

Wednesday, I fluctuated between 8k and 15k.  Again, a bad table draw.  Most of the players looked like they couldn't drive six years ago, and all were talking about their online screen names, and winning heaps on the Internet.  I don't mind them, because like I planned against Mike (though I wimped out in that instant), I know how to extract value and I can chip up.  I'd just prefer some weak spots at the table, and I didn't really see any.  I like to make fishy bets against these guys and induce aggression.  For example, against one kid, Pedro Rios I think is his named, I raised from early position with AK.  I hit the King and checked to him 100% sure he'd bet.  He did.  I called.

The turn was like a 3 making a rainbow board.  I quick fired a bet which, makes no sense whatsoever.  Confused, he thought through the hand, and did what they tend to do when somebody acts fishy to them, just up the aggression.  He raised me big.  I called.  He didn't like it all.  I didn't think he could call a river bet so I opted to check and see if he put another barrel to the hand.  He didn't. and I scooped, and he shook his head wondering what I was thinking when I showed AK.    

Okay, that was a good hand.  Here's the bad.   At the end, the button who was sitting on about 25 big blinds, I thought less because I missed his grey chip shipped it in an unopened pot.  I looked at AA.  Um, yeah, I'm all in.

He turned over AQ of hearts (noticing a theme here, yet?).  After he flopped a King of hearts and Jack of hearts he caught up quick.  Turn gave me hope, but the river was the flush.  I sat at the table thinking I had him covered and noticed everybody staring at me, what am I missing.  Oh that grey chip of his.  Yeah, I'll sheepishly exit now.  

Later that night I won a sit 'n go (that was chopped).   I also played the nightly turbo and my JJ found somebody's QQ, for no cash.


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