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HPT Bounty and League Week 5

By: JWK24 @ 17:24 (EDT) / 489 / Comment ( 7 )

I get to the casino and register for HPT event 5, which is a $185 bounty tournament where $25 of it is on every single person’s head in it.  There were 156 players that entered.  I draw table 7, seat 2 and I don’t recognize anyone from event 1 nor the ME satty that I played.  I do find out that seats 3 and 7 are regulars in the $10 and $25NL games at the Horseshoe (nearby casino that has the WSOP Circuit that I’ve played in multiple times).  With this being a bounty tourney, I expect there to be some crazy play, but what I’m about to find out is crazy. 

I start off the tourney with 12k in chips at 25/50 blinds.  It’s early, my table is ready to gamble (could double for any online freeroll very easily).  The table standard raise for this level isn’t to 150, but rather to 325.  This starts to get real expensive, as I’m picking up hands.  I see AK, AQ, AJs, ATs (button), 77, and 44 ALL on the first level and see the flop with each.  Unfortunately, I don’t hit a single flop and everyone else is going nuts betting post-flop, so I need to muck all of them.  During the first level, seats 3, 7 and 10 all get knocked out.  Two of the three were by betting, then overbetting to try and bluff someone off a made hand or shoving with total trash!  They all end up re-entering (which they can do until the end of level four) and go figure this one... they bust again by the end of level 2. 

The blinds go up to 50/100 and this level is more the same.  I get 66, 88 and TT.  I call behind with the 6’s and 8’s and try to set mine and miss while the TT, I make a standard open-raise to 300, get four callers and see an A K 4 flop.  With that many in the hand and being out of position, I don’t even make a c-bet, as I know I’m beat and fold to their bets.

The blinds now go to 100/200 and I wish that I could say that things change, but I can’t. I open with AK to 500, get two callers and see a Q high flop.  I thought about making a c-bet, until I notice that seat 6 is already reaching for chips.  With this being the case, I’m not wasting any and check.  He picks out 2500 in chips and is called by seat 9.  Needless to say, that’s in the muck.

The blinds now go to 150/300/25 and seeing antes kick in without having won a hand and spending chips to see flops, I’m really hurting now, as I’m down to just over 4k chips.  I get another spot from the BB when three players limp and I look down at 88.  I’m a bit short to set mine, but being in the BB, I decide to check.  The flop comes 8 9 T.  Finally, I hit a flop!  However, that’s a very wet board that a limper could have hit.  I lead out for 1200 and only the SB calls.  The turn is a rainbow 3, so that shouldn’t have changed anything.  Now, the SB decides to lead into me for 2200.  This bet, along with the way that this guy has been playing (cash player that isn’t used to tourneys, I found out a little while ago) says to me that he’s trying to keep me in the hand and probably has a draw (I’m putting him on the diamond flush draw that’s out there).  I’m absolutely pot-committed (although he most likely don’t know it), so I decide to call for the reason that I expect him to fire again on the river and I’m not mucking my set.    I have also seen him fold to two all-in’s and didn’t want to scare him out, as I desperately need chips.  The river is a blank and he actually checks.  I put the rest in and he mucks. 

A few hands later, I pick up AK again and make a standard raise with 3 limpers, to 1100.  They all muck, so I pick up another one.  I end the first session with 10850 chips, a far cry from the 4k that I had a few minutes ago.

The blinds now go up to 200/400/50 and this level has a huge hand in it.  I’m in the SB and get five limps before me.  I look down at AJs and decide to call behind, as I don’t want to reopen the betting as the initial raiser has been playing very aggro.  The flop is A J 8 with two diamonds.  Having top 2 pair, I need to lead and make a bet of 2500.  It folds to seat 9 that tanks, then shoves his last 4750 in.  It folds back to me and with as many chips as are in the pot, I snap-call him, as I’ve got great pot odds and am most likely ahead.  I flip over my AJ and he shows AT in diamonds.  I’m ahead, but this could get interesting.  The turn is the 6 of diamonds.  Here we go again, UGH!  However, the river is the J of spades, which gives me a full house and a $25 bounty!  Along with this, I’m up to 21k chips, which is an above average stack.

When my stack gets down to 19k from the blinds/antes, my table breaks and I move to table 16 seat 4.  This new table is totally different than my previous one and I immediately see that I won’t be able to steal much, as seat 6 is the table bigstack that likes to splash chips around.  The blinds go up to 300/600/75 and I do get a chance to steal.  Seat 5 had busted already and there was a new player that was seated when another table breaks to get down to 100 left.  I’m in the BB and it somehow folds to me and I look down at A3s and decide to make a standard raise to 1500.  The BB looks at his cards and immediately mucks, so I win a pot.  We hit the second break with 94 remaining and I’m right at the average stack, a little over 19k chips.

The blinds now go up to 400/800/100 and we get a couple new players at the table due to other tables busting.  We lost two tables on this level, so we’re now down to under 70 left.  Seat 1 is the only notable player we get, as he’s got a huge stack and has four bounty chips.  The first hand I’m involved in, I look down at 66 from UTG and make a standard raise to 2k.  It folds around to seat 1 that shoves and is called by seat 3.  Well, 66 is not a hand that I want to get involved in a multi-way shoved pot with, so I muck and lose the 2k chips.  It’s a good thing I mucked too, as seat 1 has 77 and seat 3 has AK and spikes and A on the flop. 

I now get a raise to 2k from seat 8 and it folds to me in the SB.  I look down at AdKh and decide to flat, as this player hasn't played a hand in the twenty minutes that I've been at the table.  The flop is A 9 5, all hearts.  I make a value bet and the opp shoves on me.  With TPTK and the nut flush draw, it's a snap-call for me.  The opp turns over AK of spades and since I've got him covered, I'm now freerolling for another $25 bounty!  Unfortunately, no more hearts hit the board, so we chop.

Another table breaks when the blinds go up again and I’m now sitting on a re-steal stack of 17BB after I go thru the blinds once.  Just before the blinds go up again, I get an open by seat 1 and a call by seat 3 and look down at 88.  This should be a perfect situation for a re-steal, so into the pot my chips go.  Most likely, if I get called, I’m in a race, but with 17BB that is soon to be 10BB, I’m more than willing to take a race.  I need to get to the top 12 to get ITM and have nowhere near enough chips to get there, so I’m looking for any situation that is +EV in order to accumulate chips.  Unfortunately for me, while I’m miles ahead of these two, the BB re-shoves… BIG TROUBLE… as he flips over AA.  The best hand holds and I go out in about 58th place.  I played well, just had one of those days where I was getting cards, but couldn’t hit a flop.

I now am faced with a decision.  Either drive home thru downtown in the middle of rush hour (puke and probably take me 3 hrs to get home) or I can drive to Joliet and get there and play the league. 

I opt to go play the league and see that there are 40 that show up to play tonight and I start out at table 5, seat 5.  My initial table is probably the easiest one as the only decent player is in seat 1.  The rest are either way too loose, way too tight, the league nit and a calling station.  It’s a table that I should be able to take total advantage of and I quickly see that this is more of the same from the afternoon.  I’m getting hand after hand after hand to play, AK, AQ, AJs, ATs, QQ, 77, 88… and either miss the flop completely or in two of the instances, I get 3-bet by the table nit.  When he 3-bets, I’d even muck QQ and if he’d 3-bet both preflop and post-flop, I’m even mucking KK!  This goes on the first 2 blind levels.  At the start of the third level, the first table collapses and I get the unlucky end of this deal, as one of the best players in the league gets… the seat on my left.  This blind level is no different, case and point being this hand.  I get in from the button with A4s and get two aces on the board… and can’t even make a bet as there are four hearts on the board too.  Needless to say, in a 4-way pot, trip A’s is nowhere near good, so I don’t even waste a chip betting.  I end the first hour with 2725, down from my 4k starting stack.

We come back from break, when the antes kick in and now I go card dead.  The good thing for me though, is that a number of players are busting, including seat 6.  The blinds now go up to 200/400/50 and another table collapses and here’s where things really start to get interesting.  I’ve only got 1100 chips now and the seats on both sides are open.  Of all the people to draw, I get Cowboy Larry on my left (smart, tight, conservative player that is very good at shorter tables.  He’s actually the only one in the league that has ever beat both Dave and me HU) and Dave ends up in the seat to my right and immediately makes a comment about how short-stacked I am.  I get my first spot on the table nit’s BB.  I look down at KTo and in go my chips (at least on this one, Dave’s already folded).  Since it’s not even another blind to call, the BB should call with ATC.  He tanks for a few seconds, asks how much it is to call and calls with A/rag.  Not sure what he was thinking about, as I’d call there with two napkins.  I spike a T and get my first double up.

The blinds now go up to 300/600/75 and now Dave’s getting short too, as he’s only got about 10BB and is looking for a spot to accumulate chips.  Cue up the announcer, “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!” and now starts the ‘Hoss vs. Lango the Luckbox Shove War’.  He knows I’m going to be shoving anything with equity and I’m smart enough to know he’s looking to do the same and is going to be shoving light.  

The first battle is on Dave’s BB and I look down at pocket 10’s and needless to say, with about 2.5BB, it’s a no-brainer shove.  It gets back around to Dave and he looks down at A4 and calls.  My tens hold and I’m up to about 4k chips.  An orbit goes by and we’re both passing on some trash hands. 

Round 2 - DING!  I now pick up AQ and when it gets to me (Dave’s out of this one), I’M ALL IN.  This time I get called by seat 1 that has a middle pocket pair and the race is on.  I get a Q on the flop, so I’m now also on the chip roller coaster and up to about 9k chips.

Round 3 – DING!  I’m in the BB and it folds to Dave and it’s his turn to shove.  I look down at A9 of diamonds, which should be well ahead of his shove range and I’ve even got him covered now, so I can take him out.  I snap-call and he flips over 68 diamonds.  I’ve got 2 overs and have his flush draw counterfeited.  The flop is 6 x x, so he lands the first punch.  I fire back on the turn, as it’s a 9!  The river… 8, so instead of him being out, now he’s doubled and left me really short again.  It’s hard enough to beat Dave on a normal day, as he’s the smartest player.  With him taking luckbox lessons from EasyChips4U (the king of the luckboxes, and a very smart player too), it’s basically impossible to beat him… LOL.

The blinds now go up and another table collapses, getting us down to 20 left.  Good thing I played today, as this will definitely now be a keeper score and keeps my 25 point bonus intact, which if I get a couple deep runs, could get me into the top 10 and avoid the semis.  The notable player here is seat 3, as it’s a smarter player with a HUGE stack.  Glad he’s on my right.

Round 4 – DING!  Dave makes an open raise and I look down at 66.  I’M ALL IN!  It gets back to Dave and since I’m all in for less, he doesn’t even have to make a decision.  My pair holds and I’m back on the upswing of the roller coaster. 

Dave has already mucked and it folds to me and I look down at ATo.  I’M ALL IN!  This time there are no takers and I pick up the blinds and antes.  I hit second break with about 7k in chips, but the fun’s far from over.

We get back from break and the blinds are now 500/1k/100 and we avoid the first few hands, as a couple of the other players at the table bust.

The next one Dave isn’t a part of.  It’s his BB and I look down at AK of clubs.  I’M ALL IN!  This time, I’m called by a shorter stack than me, Cowboy Larry in seat 6.  While I’m hoping to have him dominated, I’m most likely in a race, which turns out to be the case when he flips over 99.  His nines hold and I’m now down to about 3BB again. 

Rounds 5 and 6 – DING!  Once again, it’s Dave vs me.  I win one, he wins one, so we’re back to about where we were before these two as the shorter one won both… of course, I get them in good both times.

Round 7 – DING!  This one’s interesting.  I raise and he calls, and with an OOP call, I expect him to have a stronger hand.  The flop is ten high and we get it in on the flop.  I’m hoping he flips over AT or KT since I have JJ.  What does Dave turn over… pocket jacks for a chop!

We’re now down to 12 left and cue up Round 8 – DING!  However, this one isn’t just Dave and me.  I look down at AQ and needless to say, it’s an easy shove for me.  This time, Cowboy calls and when it gets back to Dave, he calls and sees a 3-way flop.  The flop is K x Q, so I’ve got second pair.  Both of them check the flop, which at least gives me some hope, as there was a small side-pot for them to win.  The turn is a blank and now Cowboy bets out 2500 and Dave folds.  I flip over my AQ and Larry shows KT for top pair and his pair of kings holds.  Guess the headline from the shove war ends ‘Cowboy Lassoes Hoss’. 

It did make for a very, very entertaining half hour of poker and with a 12th place finish, I have a keeper that should move me up a good bit in the standings when they come out later today.  I found out from Dave later in the evening that Cowboy ended up being the one that crippled his stack at the final table, as he finished 7th.

There could be another blog on Friday, as I have a chance to win a raffle for a $180 HPT ME qualifier seat Thursday evening, so we’ll have to see what happens.

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