Las Vegas – Day 3

This was the first day of poker.  I decided to play the Noon $130 Mega Stack Tournament at Caesar’s to get the feet wet.  Then I planned on heading somewhere – maybe the Rio to play some cash games.  It didn’t quite work out that way.

I got up about 9:30 am – ate some breakfast, did a little work and finally got out of the shower at 11:30.  Thankfully, Bill, my travel mate for this trip who rented a car agreed to drive me. 

I got to Caesar’s and found the poker room just minutes before the tournament started – it was a little late getting going.  But, the check in line had me miss the start. I took my seat at table 49, seat 8 about 5 minutes into the tournament.  We started with 15K in chips, 30 minute blind levels and blinds at 50/100.

My plan was to start slow – these are deeper structures with time to wait.  I also wanted to get comfortable.  I played an A/K – missed the flop and folded to a bet.  I limped UTG and folded to a raise.  Finally, I called a bet of 275 while in the BB with A/5 off.  I simply felt that I need to start to defend and we were going heads up.  I checked an Ace on the flop and called a bet of 375.  We both checked the turn and I knew my A was good.  I got my opponent to call my river bet of 350 and moved up to 15.7K in chips.

Level 4 helped define the tourney for me. I had dropped to about 12.5K in chips.  With blinds at 200/400 I called a bet of 1150 from the BB with 6s5s after the button called and we had 3-way action going to the flop.  The flop came down Qx/9s/2s.  I checked and the original bettor fired 2800 into the pot of 3650.   The button folded.  I tanked for just a few seconds.  My opponent in this hand was aggressive – maybe a little too much – and while I didn’t have a specific tell, something told me he had no flush draw and may not have anything more than A high.  I called believing that I’d be pressed to struggle with my remaining 8500 or so if I lost the hand.  The turn brought me my flush when the 7s hit the board.  I didn’t want to lead out – just in case.  I checked as did the villain.  The river was a non-spade Ten.  I now knew the flush was good and led out with a bet of 2500.   He raised to 6500.  I moved all in for a couple thousand over that and he called – showing his KT off suit and rivered K high straight.  He had nothing – I won the hand and now really felt I was moving into the zone with my 28.6K of chips.

Level 6 had me taking a ton of chips off of the older mobster-type guy in the leather jacket that had moved to our table 10 minutes earlier, and eliminating a short stack.  I limped with pocket Ts from EP.  The short-stacked button shoved with A/4 and Guido smooth called from the SB.  I also called.  Guido checked dark and the flop came down A/T/6.  I checked.  The turn was a J.   He shoved all in and had me covered.  I called fairly quickly and saw his A/T for a flopped 2 pair against my flopped set.  The river was a safe 5 and I moved up to 54.3K in chips.  Level 6 brought the end of the re-entry period.   We ended the level with 276 players left out of 417 buy-ins.

This level brought a break and almost my end.  Wandering about I saw Tony Johnson from Erick’s Bar signing up for the 4 pm Mega Stack tourney.  He’d clearly been partying, was happy to see me and bought me a shot of Tequila.  He’s a good host, though, knowing who he’s with.  He ordered the “black” tequila and told the waitress that I should have the “silver”.  The shot itself was just fine, but it was after 4 pm and I had only had breakfast….and a beer up to this point.   I scurried back to the table – arriving 20 seconds before the start of level 7.  And……began to feel queasy.  I ordered a water.   Tightened up more than usual and ordered another water. Towards the end of the level I began to feel better and on the last hand looked down at pocket Js.   Blinds were at 500/1000 and the villain in EP raised to 3300.  It folded to me in the SB and I 3 bet to 7900.  Villain called and half of his stack was in the middle. 

The flop came down K/K/8 – villain checked out of turn.  I bet 6500.  He moved all in for about 7500.  I called only to see his K/J.  He turned quads and I was down to 39K in chips with 184 players left.

The biggest suck out against me – and my big suck out both occurred in level 8.   Early in the level I raised in position with K/Q and got a caller.  The flop came out Q/Q/9.   He checked.  He check raised the 5 on the turn shoving all-in.  I called and he tabled Q/6.   He hit his two outer on the river and dropped me to 15K in chips.  Fate paid me back towards the end of the level when I shoved my Kh9h and was called by A/8 off.  The sweet (this time) river gave me the Qh and a flush to beat the villain’s trip Aces – bumping me to almost 27K in chips.

People continued to drop through level 12 and I moved between 30K and 53K chips.  The end of level 12 brought the dinner break and my $7.56 footlong hot dog.   There were 78 players remaining.

I was able to chip up to 90K during level 13 but dropped to 33K in level 14.  Such was my volatility.  By the time we reached hand-for-hand on the bubble in level 15 I was up to 75K in chips.  It took 11 hands to finally break the bubble and move into the money. 

I moved up to 112K in level 16 but with blinds at 6K/12K and a 1K ante it was still under 10 BBs.   With 8 minutes left in the level it was folded around to me in the SB with 95K remaining.  I shoved with K/6 and was called by the BB with 6s and 110K in chips.  I lost and went out in 38th !!

Tuesday brings the $200 deep stack HORSE tournament in the Binion’s Poker Classic.