I went to the Belle for the first time to check out their poker room and play one of the satellites for the Mid States Poker Tour. When I arrived they had one seat open. 45 players (including rebuys) meant there would be 9 seats (20% of the field).
The play, ummm, was suspect at best. People calling off with marginal hands and huge stacks. Short stacks calling every raise to see flops. I felt if I didn't get unlucky I'd be alright. I took a couple of beats and got short right before the first break. I decided I'd rebuy if necessary, so it was time to double up (or double up by rebuying) and called with J10 in late position. Flopped open ended in a multi-way pot (they were all multi-way pots) and made broadway on the turn with a Ace. We got it in. The very next hand one off the button I limped with suited connectors. A call station raised from the button and then an older fellow in the big blind who called everything stewed and called. I was ready to proceed very cautiously. I flopped a flush. Checked to me. I led out. The button shove and so did the blind. I called, but not too happily based on the action (different players different format I might consider a fold). Surprisingly, based on they action they held AA and KK (King of hearts). Both had a story to tell as they got snapped by 56. Lol.
So, I went from 6k to 40k in two hands. When I made the final table on the stone bubble 40k was plenty of chips to have. In fact, I actually had less than that. I took a couple of gross beats along the way including a guy who shoved with a flush draw and a gut shot. I had a bigger flush draw and top pair w/ AK (flopped an Ace). He hit his gutterball. It happens. I remember this only because a few rounds later when somebody sucked out on him he was trolling the player and bemoaning his luck. Short memory I guess, especially considering he called a raise with J4 suited or some such nonsense.
Deep, the play didn't improve. I watched guys with huge stacks mixing it up when they could have folded to a seat, people overplaying Aces, short stacks with like 8bbs calling every raise and hitting one out of four hands to stay alive. A good player with a bunch of chips, not paying attention, folded to a shove of 11k, when he was in the big blind with 8k. He thought it was 11k more instead of 3k. I made a point after that anytime a shortie shoved and action got to me, of asking how much the shove was for and asking how much the big blinds were from there on out before looking at my cards to keep people thinking. One time a lady limped and a guy barely doubled the big blind on his shove.
Somehow the big blind folded (with a ton of chips) but the limper called and won.
They played a cash game afterward where the capped the rate for an abusrdly small amount and promise to do the same during the Mid-States Poker Tour. I will be back, and be back often to play the $250s. I believe there is only a ~10% juice on the Main Event. We all bitch about the juice but now there is finally a tournament with a reasonable juice in our backyard and I'm not sure there will be a huge turnout.
Even if it's a hassle to play, we should go en masse and in force to show all the tour operators how well we'd support a reduction in rake, no matter the locale. So if you get some annoying facebook message from me do your part and show up. 10% juice.