Ok, so here’s the tournament report for the record…
A 350+50 (whee, big rake) deep stack tourney that opened the Borgata Winter Poker Open - They got over 650 runners for Day 1A and put out 90 tables for Day 1B in the Event Center upstairs… and filled every seat.
1556 entries, only 120 pay, 1st place over 100K.
So, I get to Table 52 about five minutes early and am actually the first one there. It slowly fills up – all male, with a couple open seats to my right at first and three youngish, reasonably decent looking players to my left.
It’s funny, if they’re younger than me (35) and look somewhat of ethnic – I figure they’re at least decent and a little laggy. Those older than me, or standard northern white boys, I figure are either supernits or muppets. Until someone proves otherwise, those reads actually prove reasonably accurate for the next seven hours.
Anyhow, we start off 500BB deep at 25/50, so I end up limping in a ton of pots at first to try to spike a flop. Nothing interesting really happens – I end the level right at my starting 25K stack. – but a couple of things are really apparent.
- The 5/6/7 seats to my left are incredibly laggy preflop and incredible stations postflop. They seem like they know what they are doing, but are getting involved with some marginal holdings, even for deep stacks. They will not be bluffed and make a lot of hero calls on the river.
- The 8 seat is godawful, the 9 seat is erratic, and the 10/1 seats old nits, so I’d like to play pots with them, but have to get through the kids who have position on me. Table draw did not do me any favors. As a result, I tightened up a lot on my opens to avoid playing too many pots out of position throughout the day.
I limp 44 in MP during this level, end up going four to the flop, which is a nice A4x rainbow. I lede at the flop and get no action with my set, boo.
We start actually playing semi-interesting pots in Level 2.
I open raise AQo UTG to 325 at 50/100, only the BB calls.
Flop Q78 with two diamonds, I have the Ad. BB checks, I bet 600, he calls.
Turn 9, BB checks, I bet 1100, he calls
River 6, BB checks again, I probably miss a value bet here, but I can’t see him calling all three streets with just one pair, he could have a lot of junk two pair hands, so I check behind and showdown, he mucks.
A little later, the six seat minraises to 200, the seven seat calls, I flat with AQo in the big blind.
Flop AT9, I decide to check this and it checks around.
Turn 5, I lede for 550 and only the seven seat calls.
River 5, I value bet 1100, get called, I show and the seven seat mucks.
I raise QQ in the cutoff to 300, only the six seat calls in the small blind.
Flop comes down an icky AK8 with two hearts, and he donks out a 300 chip bet.
I decide he’s never doing this with a hand that can take any heat, raise to 1K, and he folds.
Between this and some other preflop raises/steals, I get up to 30K in this level just playing small ball. Others at the table aren’t doing this.
Example, two limps, erratic nine seat (40ish Asian) threebets to 600, folds around to the blind in the two seat, a young kid who has already done this
** horrible eight seat limps, two seat raises from the button, eight seat calls.
Flop is three rag cards, eight seat bets, two seat calls
Turn is an ace, eight seat bets, two seat raises, eight seat FOLDS KK FACE UP, two seat says "Wow" and shows the table 92o for complete air…..**
With this in mind, two seat reraises to 3600. limpers fold, asian calls.
Flop 96x, action goes bet call.
Turn blank, two seat bets again, now the Asian seat shoves for a little bit more, two seat has to call.
Two seat – AA, naturally.
Asian – 66. niiiiice preflop call, sir, for 20% of your stack. Set mining rules.
I flop another set after openraising with 33 during the last hand of level two. I lead the flop and get two folds again…. Boo.
I do have two hands in Level 3 (75/150) that cancel each other out.
Asian opens raises to 450, now tilted two seat with 6K behind flats, I call with AhTh in the small blind. Three to the flop.
Flop a decent J94 with two hearts, I check, Asian checks, two seat bets 1K, I raise to 3K with the nut flush draw to isolate, intending to call a shortie shove. Both players fold.
Later, one of the nits raises from UTG to 500, I call with ATo in late position, all fold.
Flop A53 with two hearts – he checks, I bet 650, he calls.
Turn 2h – he checks, so I check behind.
River 5 – he donks out 750, I decide to call with aces up out of curiosity and information gathering more than anything else – and get shown 55 for the nizzles. I consider myself lucky I only lost 2k there - not sure how he doesn't raise the flop.
We lose a player here or there, but the basic lineup holds. I also fall into a pattern of bouncing between 27K and 32K for the next four levels. I raise and steal the blinds a couple of times, then I’ll open a pot, get called in three places, then have a bet and flat call when it comes around to me on the flop and have to fold to give it all back.
Then I run into hands like this:
Level 5, 150/300/25 antes. I open raise QJs in the cutoff for 1K, the six seat (which I swear has flatted half my openraises, regardless of position) calls from the small blind.
Flop J26r, he check/calls 1000.
Turn A, he checks, I decide to check behind.
River blanks, he checks. I’m wary that he has an ace, but decide to make a thin value bet of 1500 instead (probably needs to be more to look good/get a Jack to fold) – and get called by A7o. Boo floats that get there.
I end up making winning most of my chips with hands like this to stay level, where I’m basically making a move on a weak player who I know I can force to drop a hand.
New eight seat (who’s just as bad as the last two guys in that seat) open limps 300, gets one caller, I complete from the SB with K8, four to the flop
K23, we check to the open limper, he bets 1000, only I call.
Turn 5, I check, he bets 1200, I’m almost 100% sure I don’t have the best hand, but can get a fold with a raise to 3600 - sure enough, he tanks and folds. I must have raised flop or turn bets at least 7-8 times and never got called or threebet.
While I’m treading water, the six and seven seats are just stationing themselves to huge chip stacks – people keep bluffing the river on them in great spots for it, and they keep calling with one pair hands and low flushes that shouldn’t ever be good, but somehow still are. This basically sucks, because they start flatting even more of my opens to annoy the shit out of me. Naturally, because I really can’t limp or open light with this crew, I keep seeing flops I’d make trips on… if I were still in the hand :-(
Once Level 7 starts, I decide to get a bit more active – we’re at 300/600/75, I have 50BB, and it’s time to start growing the stack. I open raise the first three pots, the last with QQ, which I show, and eventually get to 38K during the level.
I do get caught forgetting about stack sizes – two limps to me, I raise to 2100, and the guy next to me in the five seat shoves for 10K with the perfect resteal/squeeze stack. Since it’s 8K more to me, I really don’t have the price to call with A7o, and I fold (boo)
Another amazing pot…. A limped four way pot where that six seat leads a 543 flop for 3K, nine seat/erratic asian calls, then a new player reraises from the blinds to 13K. BOTH guys tank and call.
Turn is an 8, puts two hearts on board. New player shoves for 20K. six seat tanks, finally calls again, asian finally folds.
New guy – 54 for top two. (I was so sure of a set or straight for him)
Six seat - 3h2h…. hmm.. building a big pot where he’s never in front and could be drawing really, really thin.
Yeah, river’s the 9h. New guy just walks away from the table like he’s shot from a cannon.
After being pretty careful all day, playing some solid small ball, I get sloppy with stack sizes again and spring my first leak...
Level 8, 400/800/75 antes. This is a recording.
Two open limps, I raise to 3100 with A7o on the button, the five seat squeezes again for his 10K stack… but this time, counting all the antes and blinds, I only have to call 6150 more into a nearly 10K pot. I decide to gamble and call, even without the right price. He has ATo. I do not suck out, and drop back to a 26k stack.
For the rest of the level, I’m pretty quiet – no real good spots to mix it up. A new player comes in and basically gets gifted 50K by the seven seat, who has exhibitied MONSTROUS station tendencies.
The seven seat gets raised on a QJ99 turn, three hearts, by the new guy, tanks, asks how much is left behind, and calls, River is a T, so there’s a flush, four-card straight, and a pair on board. New guy shoves around 30K.
Seven seat tanks, finally calls.
New guy shows A9 for just trip nines. They are good. Somehow, the seven seat called off 40k, counting the turn, and couldn’t beat trips, which the new guy’s absolute worst hand outside of complete air...
Later, seven seat tries to bluff the river on the new guy on a double paired board, gets called by an underpair, and it’s good. So he’s starting to spew chips like mad….
So, we’re at the last hand of Level 8, I’m UTG with AQo, and, following the “people want to fold and go piss/smoke/whatever” rule, open to 2300. Only the seven seat calls, everyone else folds. I ask to see his stack before the flop, and he’s still got a few grey 5K chips, so I’m covered here.
Flop A53r. Since I checked when I hit the ace before against him on a dry flop, I decide to lede for 2500 – and I get raised to 7500?
I think about this for a bit…. I figured him for a pocket pair or Ax when he flatted preflop. I really don’t think he is playing a set this fast against me, and something just told me he didn’t spike two pair…. I don’t really like this spot, but as bad as he’s been spewing, I thought I may still be good. I call.
Turn is a K. Obviously, not the Q I was looking for, and KK just got there, but on the other hand, nothing really changed from the flop. If I was good on the flop, I’m still good now. I decide to check (which I would do even if I improved) and see what he does, let him spew if he wants…and he bets 10K.
This sucks. I have about 16k left. Next level is 500/1000/100, so I’d be in push monkey mode and immediately in the BB. I tank for a couple of minutes. He looks strong (not in a tells sense, but in a comfortable sense) but given what I’ve watched all day so far, that could mean he thinks AJ is the nuts here for all I know.
I decide, reluctantly, to shove the last 16K in. He calls, flips up AKo. Nice to be drawing dead. GG me.
Yeah, obviously that was a complete misread. I told myself before the tourney not to stack off with one pair – and sure enough the first time I shove is the last time (and the only time my stack was below 25K, sadly enough) If I didn’t see him play so effing spewtastic, I don’t think I let myself get stuck there. However, it points out a couple of bigger leaks.
- I have a really, really hard time letting go of a TPTK hand when raised on a dry flop. Wet, drawy flops, when I’m deep stacked, early in tournies… not as much of an issue, because reverse implied odds suck in those spots. But for about 30BB effective… sigh. The bad spot in the hand was bet/calling flop raise. I need a better line in these spots – I hate the bet/fold, but it probably was proper here, especially since it was the first time I had a flop lede raised in six hours – I’d done it quite a few times to the table, but it didn’t mean anything to me when I did it, because I never had a monster. Hell, at least check/call for pot control and evaluate the turn, because it’s a way ahead/way behind hand I want to show down, but not stack off with.
- I failed to respond to these monkeys raising bets, as opposed to them flatting everything. They were calling down so, so light, but a raise in that spot should be AK/A5/A3 everytime, and not an overplayed AJ/AT/KK/QQ. Dumb dumb dumb me.
- I needed to fold the turn and take my chances being a shove monkey with 16K in level 9. I’m good at it. It’s a live tourney, people fold a lot more than they do online. One double up and I’d be right back at 30K – not great, but I’d still have chips. The risk/reward ratio just is not in my favor there when I shove.
Anyway, I got up, told the guy nice hand, and that he threw me off by flatting AK preflop there (another misread by me, I didn't even consider AK that much when I was thinking about his hand range, even though it was pretty obvious in retrospect) and walked out. And thus ends the report.
*For some reason, felt more jazzed up for this one than I did when I played the WSOP ME in 2006. Maybe because I haven’t played live in AC in almost two years. Still the same for the most part, I noticed.
*1500 players for a $400 tourney in AC in January. Poker not dead quite yet, at least at the Borgata.
*Table was so so so boring, though. Hardly any talk, chatter, or anything moderately entertaining. Bunch of guys listening to music and pushing chips around. It almost felt like work. Honestly, it would have been more fun playing online, sad to say.
*Level of play was.. interesting. The bad, nitty players were really non factors - I probably made most of my chips off of their folds. Table would have been much, much better for me if the kids were on my right so I didn't have to run my plays directly through them. However, it was a pretty passive table – think there might have been four or five reraises preflop all day long that weren’t standard shortstack shoves…– a TON of flat calling. I felt pretty comfortable and had a nice, TAG image that wasn’t overly nitty. I was able to pick a lot of good spots to steal some blinds, pick up pots, and slowly chip up according to plan, playing smallball – and as soon as I decided to turn it up a bit more, I went too far and overplayed my holdings.
*I’m better at tournament poker. I can handle the swings in it much better, I’ve noticed. I can lose a pot, get sucked out on, lose a big flip, whatever, and I stay pretty even-keeled and mellow about it. Very little bothers me there. But the most standard, typical cash game pot goes against me, and I start tilting like crazy. For whatever reason, bad play, bad luck, variance, I expect the swings in tourneys or SnGs, but in cash games it literally drives me nuts. Bluntly, every time I play a cash game anymore, live or online, I just get destroyed over and over again. When I play MTTs and SnGs, I can make a consistent buck. Time to focus on that.
Hey, I did take down one of those silly 90-man turbos late Wednesday night blowing off steam, so yeah, that about figures. Back to the online realm for me, I guess....