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Grinding away with chip, chair.... and hopefully + ROI


My Day with The Shark

By: JWK24 @ 18:25 (EDT) / 980 / Comment ( 15 )

The first day of WSOP Event 51 was fairly uneventful.  When I get to the pavilion room white section, table 96 seat 8, I see that they are using the table to sort the chips for the tournament on it.  I was hoping that they’d leave a few million there, but no such luck.  My table has two smarter players (recognized them from playing in Circuit events), one two to my left that was a very loose and the other two seats to my right that was varying between TAG and LAG.  The one to my left must have been very lucky with as many hands as he was playing. 


Of all the hands to get for my first hand in the WSOP, I get a raise and a 3-bet by who I find out to be an extremely tight player and I look down at the tank hand.  If it folded to me, I’d have opened it, but no way am I calling a 3-bet, so into the muck it goes.

Within the first session, I 3-bet with KK and won a pot on the turn with a flopped set of 3’s.  At the high point of this two hour session, I was up to just under 20k chips from my 15k starting stack and I hit break with 18075.  I had gone back down to 13k chips, but turned a full house two hands before break.

The second two hour session, I take down a few pots preflop and on the flop and get my stack up to 24875 when we hit the second break, four hours of play into the tourney.

Just under 5 hours in, I look down at TT and make my standard raise and get 3-bet to 875.  Since the stacks are deep enough to setmine, I call and see an AKQ flop.  I check to the 3-bettor form the button and when they make just under a pot-sized bet, into the muck my cards go.  I guess that going this long without losing a hand when seeing a flop is a good thing, but the streak had to end sooner or later.  At least it wasn’t a train-wreck hand where I lost a ton of chips as I’m still sitting with about 20k.

The third session I could have slept thru.  I was totally card dead and the good thing for me, the blinds are still low enough that I can just keep folding and folding and folding and I’m not losing many chips.  Just before break, we finally bust someone from the table, our first of the tournament and it took a flop of set over set to finally felt someone.  At the third break, I’m sitting with 18900, which is still a very large stack compared to the blinds.

During the fourth two hour session, my table finally breaks (one of the last in pavilion white to break) and I move to the green section, table 213 seat 3.  This table is a totally different dynamic compared to the first one, as there are a ton of chips at it.   Three of the player have over 100k.  Having all these chips means that I’m more likely to get called with my better hands and can build my stack up some.  This holds true to form, as I pick up TT and AK on a king high flop and take down a couple needed pots.  After 8 hours of play, I’m sitting with 21275.

The last hour of play today is one that all poker players wish to avoid.  I’m getting cards that I need to see flops with, but can’t hit a thing.  If I could have hit a flop or two, I’d be in great shape, but instead, I’m losing chips at a much faster pace than I’d like to.  When the hour is over, I bag and tag my 12400 chips for day 2.

Just before and after the end of my day 1, I see two things that I don’t want to see.  Sailor Moe busted right before the end of day 1 and when I find Felix, he’s really short and has only about 4k chips left (he busted later on day 1).

When I go to the Rio for day 2, I find out that there were 7862 entries, 3814 left with 792 getting paid… and I’m sitting in 3207th.  Not the finish I wanted for day 1, but I still have a chair for day 2, which over half of the field does not.

I go and find my new table, Amazon Room table 426 seat 7 and see a number of tv cameras in the area.  When I see who the other players at my table are, I quickly find out why, as this is one of the feature tables.  It will be very interesting to see if any of the footage that they shot is used on the ESPN telecasts, as I know they specifically filmed me on a couple hands because I heard the producer mention me.  When I first get to my table, I see that seat 9, two to my left, is Alex Masek, owner of eight WSOP circuit rings.  The dealer sets the chip bags on the table and Alex and I see something really interesting about seat 10’s bag.  There are two small sharks with a PokerStars logo on the top of them.  That immediately tells us who will soon be sitting in seat 10, Humberto Brenes.  Partway thru the day, when we bust someone, we get another WSOP circuit ring winner into seat 3, so my table has 9 circuit rings, two bracelets and everything else that Humberto has won.

We start off and in the first orbit, I get into a hand with Alex.  I open with AKs and he flats me preflop.  The flop totally misses me, but with only one face card, I decide to make a c-bet and see how he reacts to it… not well for me, as he makes a raise that screams value to me, so I muck.

There is now a very interesting hand between Alex and Humberto.  Alex flats and open from seat 5 and Humberto calls along in position.  They see a 3-way flop of AQJ and when seat 5 checks, Alex open-shoves.  This takes Humberto totally by surprise as he’s expecting a very accomplished player to make a standard value bet.  Humberto goes into the tank and I can tell he’s very frustrated with the hand.  He mucks and so does seat 5.  Humberto now tries to get Alex to show his cards, but I’m sure Alex saw the same things that I did and he mucked his cards and wouldn’t tell Humberto what he folded. 

Humberto starts talking about the hand and is trying over and over to get Alex to tell what his hand is and after a few hands, when Alex doesn’t say anything, Humberto starts asking the others at the table what they think he had.  A couple of the player’s responses were IMO, way off, enough so that even Alex started cracking up laughing at two of them.

Level 11 is where I make my first move.  I’m down to about 7000 chips and need to shove soon or I’ll lose any fold equity that I have.  It folds to me in the hijack and I look down at QT of spades and here goes nothing… I’M ALL IN!  Alex calls, and so do the blinds, so I’m now in a 4-way pot, not what I wanted to see.  The flop is KJ4 and it goes check/check/check.  The turn is an ace. I’ve got the nuts, but it does put a heart flush draw out there.  The heart flush draw hits on the river, but when all three check, I’m figuring I’m good.  My straight holds and I’m now up to 28400 chips and have playability again.

As we hit break, I have 24800 chips and am walking out of the room with Humberto.  That hand with Alex is still driving him nuts, as he can’t figure out what he had.  He says to me, “Remember that hand that I mucked?  I keep going back to him having KQ, as his bet shove looked like a draw or a bluff with a low pair.”  That was interesting, as he didn’t tell anyone else what range he put Alex on.  I replied back to him that I thought there two other possibilities that were in Alex’s range.  The first would be a very risky play, especially against an experienced opponent, as he could have been trying to protect QJ for two pair.  Humberto, then says to me, “Maybe, but I don’t think so.”  Then I said, since he’d shown down three connectors in that two hour session, I also wouldn’t rule out T9 as it would have given him an OESD on the flop and a shove and call would price him in for it.  Humberto now just freezes for about 5 seconds like a light bulb went on, turns, looks me right in the eyes, gives me this huge smile and says “T9… You’re right.  You got it!  That’s what he had, he had T9.”  Humberto’s demeanor now totally changes, as he’s no longer frustrated with the hand.

As we get back to our seats, Humberto tells everyone that he thinks that there are now about 2400 players left and he’s right on target when the board updates to 2432 left a couple minutes later.  When Alex comes back, Humberto turns to him and says, “I know what you had now.” with a big grin on his face.

Getting the respect of a player with Humberto’s ability has its plusses and minuses.  His two sharks that are guarding his chips and cards, one faced toward Alex and the other he rotated to whomever he was playing the hand with.  That changed after the break, as one was still pointed at Alex, but the other became permanently pointed toward me.

Another part of the first two hours continued, but this time with me.  Humberto in the first hour was intentionally playing hands against Alex (best player at the table other than him), and now he decided that he wanted to start stealing my blind, hoping to get into it with me since he also would have position in the pot.  My first BB, he makes a standard open and when it folds to me, I look down at 28o, so it’s an easy fold.  When it gets to his BB, it folds to me and I look down at ATo and make a standard raise.  If he's going to start stealing mine, I'll gladly see what happens when I steal his.  When it gets to him, he picks up the shark and starts playing around and flashing the light at me with it, then mucks.

The same thing happens the next orbit.  He raises my blind (and shows the ace of diamonds when I muck my 37o) and I’m getting the chips back when it’s his BB, as I’m raising again, this time with 33.

The next orbit, he doesn’t get a chance, as both players before him are already in the pot.  However, he doesn’t get a break on his blind, as I open 78s.  This time, I can tell he’s getting frustrated with me taking his blind since he didn’t get mine this time, tanks for a few seconds, grabs the shark pointed at me and says to me, “The shark isn’t ready to eat yet” and mucks.  I reply back, “I wonder if shark steak is on the menu?” and get a reply of “Oh no no no no no”, as both of us are laughing.

When I get to UTG, I look down at AK hearts and make a standard opening raise.  Humberto flats behind me, hoping to see the flop in position against me.  Seat 5 has other plans though, as he’s short and 3-bet shoves.  I know I’m well ahead of seat 5’s range, but Humberto’s flat could be something speculative or a big hand.  I decide to raise to isolate seat 5 and make it expensive for Humberto to see the flop if he does have a speculative hand, so I 4-bet re-shove.  The shark quickly mucks and seat 5 turns over AKo.  I do get two hearts on the board, but not three, so we chop.
I don’t get to steal his blind the next orbit, but I’m back at it the second time, as I 3-bet an open from seat 4 with TT and take the pot down preflop.  I find out later, that did an update on Humberto’s stack at this point that showed him down 8500 chips… guess whose stack they went into?

I now get involved in a hand with seat 5, as he open-shoves on my BB, when it folds to him.  When it gets to me, I go into the tank, as I’m running the equity numbers for calling in my head.  When I’m done, if I have two live cards, which my 78o should be, I’ve got enough hand equity to call, so in go my 5600 chips.  The opp flips over QT, thinks that he’s doubled up and says, “How can you call with that?” The flop is 6 J 6 but the turn is a 7 and another 6 comes on the river, so seat 5 gets a hoof to the rail.  As I’m scooping up my chips, both Alex and Humberto look over at me and smile, as I’m 100% certain they know that I had the correct equity to call.

That hand gets me up to about 30k chips, but I end the two hour session with 21900 and 1623 players remaining, as I had to fold two places where I would have tried to steal, but while I had hands that I’d gladly steal with, I’m not calling shoves with them.  Two of my blinds that I had to fold went into Humberto’s stack.

With 1500 players remaining, I’m down to 16500 chips, as the blinds are now 1k/2k with an ante, so they’re starting to eat into everyone’s stack.

After I steal another two sets of blinds to get to 23k chips, our table unfortunately breaks.  As we bag our chips (we bagged them because we were moving to a different room, instead of racking them to move to another table in the Amazon Room), we had a couple minutes to kill due to waiting for another table as they were moving 6 tables at once.  I go over to Humberto and Alex and tell them that it was a pleasure being at their table and shake hands with them.  Humberto gives me another big smile and said it was fun. 

I now move to the white section of the Pavilion Room, as they’re consolidating this tournament to the black and white section.  I draw table 134 seat 7 with under 1200 players remaining.
When I get to the table, I’m not getting much for cards and head to dinner break (end of level 15) with 18k chips and about 1200 players remaining.

I get back to my table and I’m looking for anywhere to shove, as I’m guessing that I need a double-up, maybe two, to get ITM.  I get my first chance when I look down at KQs on the button and announce, I’M ALL IN!  The BB snap-calls me with A5o.  The flop is J T 5, so he hits a pair but I’m open-ended.  The turn is a blank, but the river 9 keeps me going with a straight.  I now have 35k chips and my goal is to get to 50-60k by doubling or stealing, as that’s the target I think will get me ITM.

The tables in the black section are breaking fast and we’re now at 1100 players left.  Two orbits go by and I don’t’ get any playable situations, so I’m having to muck, especially when the other three short stacks shove before me.

As we get down to about 1000 left, I’m back to a short stack and am definitely looking for another spot to shove.  When it gets to my SB (had to fold 37o in the BB to a shove from a midstack that was playing very tight), I look down at A8o.  The BB has just over double my stack and playing extremely tight.  He’s only played one hand since I sat down and showed ladies.  Due to the stack sizes and how tight he’s playing, I’ve got about the most fold equity I can have and announce I’M ALL IN!  Unfortunately, I did not like the result, as the BB snap-calls… which is big trouble.  He flips over AT and has me dominated.  The board runs out AJK46, so I’m out in about 1000th place. 

Not exactly the finish that I wanted, but I did outlast over 6800 players (including a large number of pros) and had the most fun that I’ve ever had at a table when I was at my table in the Amazon Room.  I played very solid for over 16 hours (top 13%) and held my own by being positive chips at the toughest table that I’ve ever been at in a live game.   Hopefully this tournament becomes a standard one in the WSOP rotation, because if it is, I WILL be back.

I'll be making another blog tomorrow about the last two tournaments that I played, the PHamous $10k GTD and the Aria Classic Bounty tournament.  From what I'm seeing, it may involve a Hendon Mob flag (once they get caught up). 

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