Email I sent for those that bought a piece of me:
Fired several bullets to win our way into the Main Event on my own dime through Megas. Those did not go well. Several times I was a couple of spots away from the seat. I also tried to arrange to buy a seat from a cash player that had won it to save us a little money in the package. He asked for 1k and I hoped to get him down by negotiating. Unfortunately, we missed each other (he no showed the first meeting) and when we finally did meet up I had to leave in the middle of one of my megas and rush over to the cash room.
(One of the floor people had been trying to help me out with this and called me when the player got there).
I told him let's discuss the seat. He said sorry. Despite committing to the floor person who set things up for me now he had changed his mind. Now, he had been able to get off work for Saturday and was going to play. (**I saw him bust and rebuy on his own dime on Saturday--looks like he lost my 1k and 1125 of his own money).
Nonetheless we'd go in full price on the Main Event. However as mentioned last time, in the package details I listed it around $1600. It was actually $1125. Thus we've freed up money for at least two more tournaments. One of those tournaments I already played and I took third in, unfortunately, it was not a huge score but I'll get to that.
So, predictably the only events worth playing at the Harrahs tournament were the rebuy and the Main Event. Turnout has been atrocious. The rebuy we finished 36th in. I also jumped into a nightly earlier in the week only to discover barely anyone was playing. We chopped that which made a tiny payout to the guys with the Half shares. The Main Event didn't go so well.
I liked my table. I also liked my image and despite losing an early pot I had been able to chip up over starting stack and things were going well. I had three or four other players who seemed like they'd supply the rest of us helpings of their chips.
Mike Horchoff (congrats to him just won his first tournament the event before hand) was in late position when I'd be in the blinds. He's an active aggressive player who can put his stack in on a cold bluff. Blake B also joined the table, who like Mike is a very talented player and can put you to difficult decisions with nothing. Mike recently made a WPT final table and Blake has three rings I think. Other than them and the talented Danny Doucet (another experienced winning player) I liked my table. I figured for now, we'd be fighting over the other players chips.
Nonetheless Mike and I did mix things up. I opened with 87spades in early position. Couple of callers and he called in late position. I flopped second pair on a 9 high board with a straight draw and didn't cbet. I liked my hand but wanted to see what everybody else did. Checked to Mike who bet. I called and decided I'd check raise him on the turn, after the others folded behind me, to test him. Turn was a low brick. I checked. He checked (okay, he didn't have much). River was a Jack. I figured I'd check call a possible bluff out of Mike. Thought if I led, he'd just fold anything but something that would beat me, and didn't want to give him the option to raise my third pair. Feel I'm good there most of the time.
Unfortunately, I checked and he overbet the pot. I didn't like it. It screamed Jack or nothing. In his eyes my hand is fairly transparent. I flopped either top pair (9s) or second pair and maybe didn't like my kicker, so I checked called the flop. His big bet if he hit the Jack is made knowing I might call. Thus, I considered folding (I know that he knows that I know...). However, as I've said before I know he's capable of firing and even shoving with air... which makes his bet even more effective. I considered a raise but his bet size was going to get me to commit too much of my stack. If he had a bare jack he might fold, but then again with the pot bloated he might not or worse he might raise. Ultimately I followed my plan and called, he had QJ and rivered me.
After taking that hit and bouncing back, I was really comfortable on the table, but then made a mistake. At this point, I should have recognized my table was still giving chips away without too much conflict and there was no need to stir things up or make too many moves. Not yet anyway.
Nonetheless, I decided when I'd be under the gun, with Mike on the button, I'd go into my Main Event bag of tricks. There is a move I like to do which is a fairly safe way to accumulate some chips and I'll usually do it once at every new table I'm at... if the dynamics work. I limp under the gun usually with a rag hand I'd fold 100% of the time. Get some limpers and then let the aggressive player try in late position and steal all that free money. Action to me, I reraise.
Usually, it's an insta-fold because every time I've seen somebody else do this move it's always aces (popular play is to limp raise them under the gun). Thus, I also only do this move against good players that recognize it, Mike fits the bill for that. Even better, my image is perfect for it as I'm a "tight" middle aged player--just the kind of guy that does this. Granted there are times the loose player will pick up a hand but he'll either fire back at me pre-flop or just call. Unless I smack the flop I'm just willing to fold that hand away. That's the point of doing it with a garbage hand like 72. Suddenly, you are getting value from that hand, and if the other guy wakes up with a hand you can get rid of it real easily. As the 2+2 crowd would put it, I kind of polarize my range here, so since this has seen print, I guess I'll have to sprinkle in some other holdings too.
So I decided to pick up some free money and knew I was limping any two under the gun. I spied A6 suited, which, to me is a fine hand to limp with anyway. Say the loose player doesn't take the bait. I don't like playing out of position, but there I'm looking to hit a flush or a couple of sixes. I'm also not going nuts if I hit an ace. Predictably I get a couple of limpers behind me. I see Mike think and fire out a bet from the button. Everything is going great.
I reraise and I don't think he likes it. I suspect he's giving me credit for the type of hands I'm representing AA or KK. So far so good. Then it blows up on me. The guy right behind me is short stacked and decides to shove for slightly less than my bet. Didn't see that coming. I decided not that big a deal, if he just limped initially, I'm not too worried about it because my Ace is probably leading most of the time there. I don't like that I have to show I limped raised with Ace rag but whatever. I might get more action from the other players at the table after this showdown, and I won't even be risking the total of the raise that I was willing to lose. So not terrible.
Then it gets back to Mike. He doesn't like it but asks how much the short stack shoved for and it's almost the size of my bet. I realize he's priced in to call with a lot of hands. I don't like that. I think I started the hand with 17 or 18k. Mike made it a little over 1k and I fired out ~3.5k for the resteal. Short stack had less than 3k.
He calls. Flop comes J high two spades. That's a great flop for me. Hard to put Mike on a Jack, I've got an over and the nut spade draw. I also have a line that indicates I have an over pair to that board. There are very few hands Mike can call with. I bet 6k of my remaining stack basically indicating I'm committed to the hand expecting to take it down. I can tell Mike doesn't love it but puts his stack in. Gross. I never like to put all my chips at risk on a draw. Hate it. I also try to play these Main Events with as little variance plays as possible. Basically, I'm trying to minimize the spots where I let chance decide my fate.
Here I've blown things up. There is over 9k in the pot before I put my 6k in. Then Mike shoves and I have roughly 8k behind. So now the pot is almost 30k. Call 8k to win 30k. I'm almost getting four to one on my money here and it's likely at a minimum I can win with any spade. It's also possible any ace wins it. Let's say Mike has QQ I win almost 50% of the time. Let's say he flopped top set, I still win 27% of the time. I'm priced in even against his best holdings. Plus, should I win I'd have a great stack for my style of play going forward.
Then there are weird hands like a straight draw (can't remember if there was one) or second nut flush draw that I'm already beating and my equity is even better. Unfortunately, because things got weird, I'm can't fold. I knew that when I saw the flop and made my bet so I called pretty quickly.
One of the hands I didn't want to see was what Mike turned over KJ of spades. Here I win only 40% of the time. I didn't improve and I busted the Main on a draw.
The funny thing is from Mike's perspective he's probably shoving thinking he's behind but has too much equity to fold. He believes his flush draw is live and possibly can hit another jack or king to win too. If I have Aces or most overpairs with a spade he's only a small dog. If I have the overpair with no spade it's 50/50. There is way too much "extra" money in the pot for him to fold his hand regardless. He's trapped and I'm trapped. If I have Queens he's a favorite. The flop was a real cooler for either of us.
Btw, the short stack who blew up my plan to take an extra 1500 or so of free money had 87 suited. And thought he had good equity against a couple of overpairs like Mike and I could have had. I prefer a fold there if I were him but it's not necessarily the wrong move. However, it ended up costing my tournament so I was a little bitter.
Sidenote: I jumped into a cash game to wait for the 5 pm event to start. That same player was there and took a big pot off of me when we both flopped sets. I liked him even less.
I played the 5 pm and steamrolled it. Got a lot of cards and it was smooth sailing. Again with a stack I cruised over people. Literally had 40% of the chips in play at the final table. Paid three. When we got three handed I had 70% of the chips. I would have asked for almost first place money with a chop, but the other two stacks were so uneven. A girl player had almost no chips and the dude at the table had the other 25% or so. He kept making eyes at her stack and I knew he'd be fine with an equity chop after we busted her.
She was like MRSA and wouldn't go away. She'd get short and double. Finally, after a while, I felt the momentum turn on her and knew she was about to get it in bad. Just that sense you have. Then the other guy who had chipped away at my stack a little bit (out kicking me when we'd flop top pair and other brutality) started asking if we could take a break so he could he piss.
I didn't want to give the girl a break. I said no, because I felt things were going to be over soon. It was 70 minutes until the next break. At the same time he was a super nice guy and I didn't want to be a dick and make him run to the bathroom. Also, if he did do that with his blinds unprotected I didn't necessarily want the girl to open up things and me feel forced to call. I pressed to continue playing.
Then a couple of hands later I caved in. I regret it.
We stopped and did a bathroom break.
Predictably the woman had regrouped and the dude seemed completely reenergized too. Hmmm... wonder what he did in the bathroom. Bastard.
She went back to being patient but then maybe got too patient and slipped to four big blinds. I min-raised an Ace from the button. She called (half her stack in) from the small blind. The dude in the big blind (folded? WTF). Flop came 955. She shoved and I called as I would have any flop. She had a pair of nines. He folded... 95. At that point it would have been over. And I would have taken about 2200 (first place paid 2600) second 1500 and third 1k. Or maybe we would have set some aside and played for the rest with me as a heavy chip favorite.
But... he folded.
It was like the break turned everything upside down. Then I proceeded to get Aces three times. You can guess how that went though I never doubled anybody fully except for the girl who got it in bad with King high against my ace preflop. I also kept hitting second best on the flop and within two levels became the short stack. He was big she was second in chips. I looked at KK in the big blind. He limped from the small. I shoved and he called with Ace rag. He hit an ace. They quickly did an equity chop before I even got to the payout table and I felt like at least 1200 or so had slipped through my fingers.
I went to the cash table and joined in a game with the dude from Game of Thrones who plays Jaime Lannister. Almost didn't recognize him at first because he had both his hands. Have to watch the show to get that one. It was hard to spot him for real because his hair was over his face and he wore reading glasses. I've seen him on Jimmy Kimmel and knew he was Danish so his accent gave him away a bit.
Like his character, he had a ton of money in front of him, and I quickly got a seat change to be on his left. He tilted hard as he made a transparent bluff that got picked off by a cash game regular and was giving some of it away. I had a ton of Game of Thrones references and jokes run through my head but didn't bore him with that. Instead we started talking and I was encouraging him. He turned things around. I wanted him to have chips, because selfishly from a player's perspective I had an edge on him and position. That being said, he was a nice guy so I was kind of rooting for him as well.
I never broached the subject of who he was. I feel a lot of times the actors and athletes that play at Harrahs frequently when in town, feel comfortable in the cash games, because nobody harasses them. They are just another player with money--usually a lot of it. Think it's kind of an unwritten rule for the regs to never go fanboy. So, I didn't blow his cover, but I do think the kid on his right quietly told him he knew who he was and was a big fan. He seemed genuinely appreciative but remained low key.
Cash wasn't going well for me, and I've made the mistake of waiting for hands against a table of bad players that never came before so it was about time to go. Despite the game being Juicy, I was about to pick up until a guy I know who won a bracelet last summer at the WSOP sat down.
He's super nice and always makes me laugh so I played a little longer, just to shoot the shit. Glad I did because suddenly I found some hands, I won with Kings three times and Queens once. Needless to say I chipped up and this time the actor was encouraging me. We had lost together and now we were both winning together.
Anyway, it was late and I had to get home so. I was tired and not willing to put my new found winnings at risk, so finally I said my goodbyes. My phone had died but a friend volunteered to covertly take a picture of the actor for me on another friend's phone. My wife is a big fan, we both love Game of Thrones, so I wanted to show her why I was later than normal. You know how I like to be low profile with celebrities? Well, the dude peered up at the person taking the photo and then saw me looking at the phone afterwards.
So much for that.
Anyway, as far as the package goes we have at least two bullets to fire at the 500k guarantee Jan 3rd. and a 340 tournament to play. Obviously, if we advance to day two in the big one, we'll play something else later in the week as an alternative for the second bullet.