i rushed over to the rio on saturday afternoon after the blogger tourney (more on that in a later post) to buy in for the event. my plan was to play one satellite, and if nothing panned out to buy in for the full amount. i got on one line, but realized that it wasn't the same line for satellites. this totally trashed dude in front of me told me he'd save my spot if i wanted to look around, and when i found the satellite line it was at least 50 deep, and they weren't even running satellites b/c they didn't have any tables.
i get back on line and drunk dude is mumbling about being late for all three events he'd entered, and how he had a suite at some hotel and was spending too much time partying. "yeah, it kind of appears that way," i responded. people on line started snapping at us because we weren't going to the open windows fast enough, so i ended our enthralling conversation to throw down my thousand dollar shot in the dark.
drunk dude had mentioned being on high stakes poker in a couple weeks, and i was cursing myself for not offering him up the chance to stake me. luckily, he started talking to me as i emailed my dutch friends outside the main room at the rio, and i gave him the opportunity. he scoffed at my offer of 20%, but i told him that i'm far less of a gamble than the 80k he supposedly lost on the craps table yesterday. no dice, and so finally i ditched him for greener pastures (ok, the mgm and my friends anna and steve -- i'll cover my lucrative fri and sat cash games in another post, and try not to whine too much about my horrible mon and tues games).
i woke up around 9:15 and hurried to get ready so i wouldn't be late to meet irongirl
. we met in front of the buffet at the rio, where i ate a disgusting mix of eggs, waffles (yes i like waffles!
), chicken & vegetables (teppan yaki style), sushi and chicken fingers. if your stomach is hurting just thinking about it, you can somewhat imagine how i felt afterward. note to self: no more buffets before big poker tournaments. in fact, no more buffets before ANY poker tournaments.
now, for the actual event: ig and i made our way over to our seats. i was dying to meet change100
(longtime readers know i'm a fan
), and i think i saw ig talking to her from across the room, but i'll never be sure. turning my attention to my own table, i looked over at the woman next to me, and instantly found her way too familiar looking. shit, i thought, i got stuck next to a pro. i couldn't place her face, though the thick make up on her face was a dead giveaway that she was anticipating massive photography. another woman made her way over from a nearby table and said, "hi cheryl. i'm phil gordon's wife. blah blah blah. good luck." aha, i thought, her name is cheryl. i don't know any pros named cheryl, but she's clearly well connected in the poker world if phil gordon's wife is making a point to say hi.
we started playing, and the table was extremely quiet. everyone was very serious. i sized up my competition. (this is the part where if i had a better memory and/or took notes, i'd describe them for you.) i broke the ice a couple times by commenting on the lack of conversation, and the crazy hush that fell over the room for the first few minutes of the tournament. i was also still steaming a little from the fact that they introduced a lady from THE FUCKING SWAN before the event, who couldn't even muster up a proper "shuffle up and deal." change100 has a great post
up at pokerworks about this and other aspects of the ladies' event that i recommend.
at one point the woman next to me (my new buddy cheryl) asks if i've said i'm a comedian. i laugh heartily and explain that while i try my damndest, i'm actually an attorney in nyc. but once she says she's from la, in response to someone else at the table's question, i realize who she is. cheryl freaking hines, from curb your enthusiasm. love it!!!! soon after, she's in a two way pot with another woman, the flop comes 2QQ, and they get all in (cheryl reluctantly calls). The woman shows 22 for the flopped full house, and cheryl shows AQ. turn = 10, river = 10, and cheryl has counterfeited her full house w/ a full house of her own. crazy.
not long after showdown, i get involved in my first real pot. i'm steaming a bit from my fold of T8suited, when i then watched five other people limp into pot, and the flop came T88. of course. i would've scooped up some serious chips on that pot. so anyway, i pick up kings in mid position, and raise it up. at this point i've raised a few pots and everyone's either folded or folded to my cbets. big blind calls. as i sit there thinking "no ace, no ace, no ace" the flop comes down A rag rag. i bet out anyway, hoping she doesn't have an ace, but thinking if she calls i'm done. well, she doesn't call, but says, i guess maybe i'll be joining my friends soon, and goes all in. i hadn't looked at her chip stack (huge mistake) and her all in was only about double the size of my cbet. i was totally priced in, so i call, and say, if you've got an ace you've got me. she flips over pocket tens, phew, and i scoop the pot and send the grey haired lady from hawaii along her way.
shortly thereafter our table gets broken. i sigh, and joke that i'm sad my time next to a famous actress has come to an end. i tell cheryl that i love her show (i know, how lame am i?!) and move on to my next table. it seems tougher than my first, but i pick up a bunch of pots with my raises. i lost a bunch of chips when i cbet on flop and turn, thinking my opponent has nothing, but when she flips over pocket jacks to scoop the pot i'm a little stunned. i'm down to just over 2000 chips again (the starting stack) and starting to worry. then this hand comes, which is basically the turning point of the tournament for me. everyone folds to cut off, who pops it up to 500 (blinds are now at 100/200, and i can't recall if we've started antes yet, if so there were 25 in antes from each person). button calls, i make a very loose call (imho) with K8s in small blind, and big blind also calls. flop comes K rag rag w/ two spades. thinking that my top pair might be good, and wanting to take down the pot, i bet out 1k. i was scared to shove, b/c i could be outkicked, but i figured i'd see what the other ladies did. one woman, the initial raiser, called me and the other two folded. turn is another meaningless card, and i checked. now the initial raiser goes all in for her last 700. i take a deep breath and make the call. she turns over A5 of spades, river is a blank, and i scoop up a pot of almost 5k. back in the game!!! i am able to raise and pick up a bunch of blinds, and then a new player bets big. i am up to maybe 8k at this point, push her all in and she goes into the tank. finally she calls and turns over AK. we chop, but i was thisclose to her folding. other women at the table commented that they definitely thought i had AA or KK, but i figure that's just good. i can't remember all the hands perfectly, but i know i called an all in w/ 66 and scooped that pot, and then the same woman who had the AQ re-raised my raise all in. it was 2 or 3k to me, and as i made the call i said to the table, i know this is a bad call. i had KJ of hearts (but they were SOOOOOOOTED) and she flips over AQ. wouldn't you know it, jack hits on the flop, another one on the turn, and she's gone. my table is now sort of laughing at me making fun of my "i call" which apparently i said in the same sort of hesitant but sly voice each time. (good, they can't read me!) i am now running this table, until an attractive asian woman with a white chanel purse sits down, who has an even bigger stack than me. i call her preflop raise w/ AJs, flop is 998, i check, she checks. we check the whole thing down, and i'm actually thinking my AJ is good, but then she flips over pocket fives. i'm not sure if i bet, i take this pot, but i didn't want to risk her going over the top of me and having to lose chips, and i was proud of myself for keeping the pot small. i tried to do a lot of that at this point, just not overbetting the pot, trying to protect my stack but scoop up some chips at the same time.
our table (sadly) broke not too long after, and i was moved to the front section. it was strange, to be moving to a table that looked like it'd been together for awhile, and there was a very serious woman to my right who never blinked and just listened to her ipod the whole time. i am forgetting many hands here, but i called few all ins and took down some smallish pots, and virtually every time i raised the table folded. i was doing ok, and just building my chip stack. just as i was feeling pretty comfortable, our table got broken, and i moved to yet another. this table had a bunch of ladies with chip stacks larger than mine, and this is where i lost my first big pot. (unbelievably, aside from the hand w/ pocket jacks where i was crushed, and the pocket fives that beat my AJ, i can't think of a single pot i lost). then i made my first mistake. i had raised a few times and everyone folded. i decided to steal the blinds again, raising from mid/late position with A5s. i was called by a pretty asian woman on the button. when the flop came AJ5 with one spade i bet out a 3/4 pot cbet. instead of folding (like she should have) the woman on the button counts out about 4x more than my cbet and re-raises. now i'm hating my hand. i have top pair, but virtually any Arag beats me. she could have AJ, and i was actually thinking she might have JJ for a set. she obv could have been wildly bluffing, but that wasn't the read i was getting, so i thought for a long while and folded. i wasn't crippled, but it made a difference, and i needed to tighten up. just before the next break i got up to pee (shocking, right) and missed a HUGE hand. apparently there were a couple callers, a medium stack shoved, and the woman who took the pot off me earlier called. after going into the tank, the woman who placed 10th in 2006 folded queens, and another woman who i think was named sherry (and looked just like the woman who plays cherie jaffee on the l word -- imdb tells me it's rosanna arquette
, did not know that) folds 10s. shover has JJ, caller has AA, and now the big bully two to my left has a MASSIVE chip stack coming back from break. the table can't break soon enough for my taste, and now we're all moving to the back of the room where we'll stay for the duration of the day.
my next, and final table, was by far the toughest i sat at. just before the dinner break a grey-haired lady (lots of them in the tournament) with squirrely glasses min raises my big blind. i call with Q9off, and the flop comes JTrag rainbow. i'm convinced i made a huge mistake here by not betting the flop. i have open ended straight draw, there's no flush draw, and by betting, if she re-raises i've committed myself. blinds are at 300/600 and can't recall antes, either 75 or 100. instead i check the flop, and she shoves for 7500 more. now i'm priced out. there's only 4k max in the middle, and i tank, but in the end i can't make the call. it would have virtually halved my stack, and i'd be playing just to stay alive upon return from the dinner break. i fold, and much later she tells me she had top set. not sure i believe that, though, i'm thinking probably high pair (aces, kings?) b/c weird min raise, and if you have a set why shove? scared of the very small chance i have a straight draw?
astin and don try to calm me down over dinner at the tilted kilt, where i downed their fries and some pizza (not a good day for food) and hope that my newcastle relaxes me a bit. i throw all sorts of questions at them about hands and how to play and they just reiterate that i need to play position, try to raise, not call, and play my game.
i tried, but lost some more to the grey haired lady shortly after we return from dinner. i've raised a bunch of pots and haven't gotten any callers, so once again i try to steal the blinds from late/middle position. i have KT suited. she's in small blind and calls. she checks, i make a cbet of about 3/4 pot, and she shoves over the top. flop was Qragrag, and once again, i'm stuck. no way i can call, it would be even worse than the prior hand. i'm convinced she has nothing, but i have less nothing, not even A high, and if she has a Q i either have three outs or need runner runner to hit straight. (and i have no way of knowing how many kings were folded pre flop). so i fold and once again i've donked off a bunch of chips. prior to this i doubled up a very dangerous player (ipod girl from previous table) by calling her all in for what i thought was not too many chips. it was a terrible call, though, b/c even though i was in bb it cost me about 2.5k more to call, and all i had were pocket deuces. she flipped over pocket kings, and as a result of my donkey play she was able to amass some serious chips, which came into play in a later hand which was almost my siren song.
everyone folds around to me in mid position where i have pocket tens. in hindsight, i absolutely should have shoved here. all i wanted were blinds and antes, but i got greedy and just raised so i could sucker someone into pot (who's the sucker, though, huh) aforementioned ipod/KK girl (they are one and the same) in small blind calls my raise. i think blinds are 600/1200 and i raised to 4k. flop comes Aragrag and now i'm in trouble. i can shove, but if she's got an ace i've got two outs and i'm out of the tournament. so i check, she bets 6k, and i fold. i just didn't have the balls to make the call. however, i don't think she had that strong a hand, though i did put her on an ace, and i think if i go all in pre-flop she's outtie and i scoop it up. or she calls, doesn't have an ace, and i win the pot, but i'll never know.
now we're getting down to bubble, and several times i'm in the bb and everyone folds around, but the small blind pushes on me three times in a row. i have shit hands each time, and fold. grrrrrrrr. finally the bubble breaks, tears well up in my eyes, and i realize that for the last twenty minutes i have been playing only to make the bubble and have given up on playing to win. so two hands later, same sitch. everyone folds, small blind goes over the top, and i peek down at ATs. best hand i've seen in several orbits. saw threes and twos, but folded them given the bubble and my unease at getting into a race and losing the chance of making back my buy in. well, i decide that with only 8k behind me, blinds about to jump from 800/1600 to 1k/2k that it's now or never. i call, she flips over AK, and a K on the flop does me in. i pick up a ten on the turn, but the river doesn't do it for me, and i'm done in 97th place. talk about just barely beating the bubble!
i'm upset, and cursing myself for calling, but i think i make the same play every time. i would play some of the other hands differently, but there's nothing i can do now. i'll never know if a K or 8 would have hit against grey haired lady making me a straight, so i'm trying not to replay these hands too many times. i'm super excited at making it to the top 7% of a wsop event (even if it is the ladies event) and all i really wanted was to make my money back. so next time i'm going to set my sights higher and my goal will be to make it to top 5% or hell, final table one of these babies?! : )
i wanted to try and play at a ladies event in a/c this w/e at the borgata, but it's looking like the timing won't work out (how the hell do i get there by 10am on a sunday morning from the city) and plus i'm still jet lagged from my trip back and absurdly tired. so, perhaps i'll just freeroll it this weekend, and maybe try my luck at some cash games if i'm not too beat up. i'll write up a few of my cash hands later in the week (there were some sweet ones and some doozies) and i'm pretty sure that i need to work on making more money off of my winning hands, cause i got a lot of folds when i had the nuts, and i want to learn to milk it better.
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