Wow, this is turning out to take quite some time to get finished. I’m only just getting past the halfway point now and it’s been three weeks. I already have some ideas for some post-Vegas discussion, but I want to get this finished first. So, soldiering on…
There was no answer when I tried to arrange a wake-up call the night before but thankfully the alarm on my cellphone was enough to wake me up. I got showered and dressed and then prodded my roommate to see if he was going to join me. He grunted and waved me off. I wandered downstairs, wolfed down some McDonald’s and ended up with in a cab to the Aladdin with Joaquin, Joe Speaker and Mike.
We found a bunch of bloggers milling around the room and bought in. I knew I was in trouble when I discovered that Otis was sitting to my left. My outlook didn’t get any better when I sat down with the rest of my tablemates and saw another shark at the far end of the table. The line-up looked like this:
Seat 1: Chilly
Seat 2: Scurvy Dog
Seat 3: Hank
Seat 4: Shane
Seat 5: Obie
Seat 6: Ryan
Seat 7: Al
Seat 8: Mike
Seat 9: Yours truly
Seat 10: Otis
(thanks CJ for filling in the blanks). At least Al would keep it entertaining.
The first hand I play is Q5 offsuit from the big blind. The flop is QT4 and I decide to check with my miserable kicker. It’s checked all the way around behind me – four or five players, if I recall correctly. When the turn is a blank, I decide that maybe I have the best hand and bet out for 150 into a similarly sized pot. I’m called by one player who I put on second or third pair. I bet another 300 on the river and am called. I was hoping to take the pot, but still figured I was good. He shows Q9o and takes down the pot. I certainly wasn’t expecting a hand like that to be played from middle position or to be passively check with only two players to act behind him on the flop. Of course, I discovered later that he was a non-blogger and somehow found his way into the tournament, so I guess that explains it. Or I’m just no good at poker. Either was, I’m now down T500 from my initial T2000 stack.
I take another hit when I raise pre-flop with AKo, get one caller and then fold to a bet into a JT9 board. There’s just too many ways for me to be behind there.
With the rapidly escalating blinds at 50/100 and T1075 left in my stack in early position, I am ready to fold to a raise in front of me. But I peek to see AKs and have to reconsider that decision. The table has been playing pretty tight and I may actually be facing KK or AA. But I can’t really fold in this spot. And I was out of position – though I had position on the raiser – so a call was no good. And there was no raise I could make without putting up more than half my chips. So it’s time to push all-in. But the big is surprise is when I am called by the same individual who won the pot off me earlier with Q9. He’s got my covered, but not by much. The original raiser thinks about it for a while, but eventually folds his small pocket pair – the hand I put him on when I raised.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky with the call as he turned over KK. Oh boy, I’m in bad shape. In fact, in as bad as shape as Pauly was when he was almost made Gigli with the same cards against Chris Halverson. Fortunately, I managed to follow Pauly’s example and escaped an early exit by catching an ace on the flop.
Unfortunately, the ridiculously fast structure was eating up my stack at a rapid pace. And with someone at the table going all-in nearly every hand, there weren’t any chances to speculate with mediocre hands. In the end I called PokerProf‘s all-in bet without looking for the big blind. I had less than three bets left, including the blind, so I had to call with pretty much anything. Unfortunately my T3o is pretty much nothing and never caught to get ahead of Prof’s hand. I was out in 37th and quickly headed to the bar to join Al for my first SoCo shot of the weekend.
After rinsing the bad taste of the tournament from my mouth, I signed up to play a little 3/6. As usual, I broke just about even at the end of the session, but I did have the privilege of finally meeting JP, my fellow Canadian down in Vegas. I just wish I could have spent a bit more time chatting with him, particularly since I was dealt KK just after he visited. I limped from early position and had a large field stick around for the KQQ flop. Bingo! I was able to slowplay this into a decent sized pot by getting in some late raises and re-raises against the fish at the table. Unfortunately, she bolted after the hand ended, pretty upset about being beat out of such a large pot. Of course, those extra chips just encouraged me to speculate in a few more of the large family pots but I wasn’t able to take advantage of the pretty juicy table. I do know that John (April‘s friend was having a fairly decent run and I think that continued after I had to head out with my buddy for a rather disappointing meal out on the cobblestones of the Aladdin’s Desert Passage, the faux outdoors market lined with shops and restaurant. At least the surreal painted sky and contornist show added some amusement.
Next: nickels, nickels and more nickels!
So far in this year’s World Series of Poker, 6 Canadians have made it to the final table of an evet, earning a combined $318,005. Of course, this counts only the poker players who still count Canada as their permanent residence, and since there’s little action here for pros, most have moved down to Vegas. It also doesn’t help that three of the most prominent Canadian poker players, Evelyn Ng, Isabelle Mercier and last year’s Player of the Tournament, Daniel Negreau have failed to make a final table this year. They have cashed in some events, but nothing too significant…yet.
The Las Vegas series:
Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 1)
Day 1 – A Grand Ol’ Time (part 2)
Day 1 – Sunrise at The Plaza
Day 2 – I … See … Famous People
Day 2 – Storming the Castle
Day 3 – The Main Event
Day 3 – A Bucket of Nickels and the Shrimp Sundae
Day 3 – Nugget Poker
Day 4 – Finally, A Win!
Day 4 – Komol O
Day 4 – A Night in ‘The Suite’
Day 5 – Goodbye Las Vegas