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WSOP League Week 4

By: JWK24 @ 13:52 (EDT) / 56 / Comment ( 4 )

There were 42 players that showed up to play tonight.  This number’s significant, as the floor manager said to me beforehand that we need to average 41 players to get to 10k in the prize pool and we need to hit that mark if there is going to be another league after this one.  So far, every week has been over 41, which is a good thing.

I draw table 7 seat 7 and when I get to the table, I have the exact opposite impression that I did from last week’s first table.  Instead of it being loaded with the best players, of the ones that I know, I should have a pretty large skill advantage on everyone here.  Unfortunately, I know this will be the second table that breaks, so I’m hoping to put my advantage to use before I get moved.

We start out at 25/50 with a 4k stack and the third hand I have the hijack raise to 150 and on the button, I look down at JJ.  My strategy for tonight is that since I’ve had two really bad weeks, I need to do some ladder climbing in order to get some league points, so I’m going to play a bit more conservative so that I can last longer.  To get into the semis, I need to be between 11-40, but due to my two horrible weeks, I’m only in 45th going in and I need to improve that if I want to miss next week to go play in the HPT bounty tourney.  I decide to flat and see a flop in position.  I’m glad that effsea’s not in the hand with me, as the flop comes 278 rainbow.  The opp checks and I decide to bet 225 (just over half pot), that the opp quickly calls.  Since he didn’t lead out, I’m putting him on two overcards, which means that my JJ is ahead.  The turn is a 3 and the opp checks again.  This time I bet 375 and the opp tanks for a second and calls.  The river is a 5 and when the opp checks again, I bet 550.  This time the opp folds and I take down my first pot of the night.

The blinds now go up to 50/100 and after 5 limps, I look down at 88 in the SB.  I’m in a perfect situation to set mine, so I call and the BB checks.  The flop comes AKQ with two hearts.  Needless to say, with this many in the hand, my pair is beat, so I check and fold when the bets start flying.

Two hands later, I get two limps in front of me and look down at AK.  I make a standard raise to 500 and get one caller, the BB.  The flop is Q83 and the blind leads out for 800.  Needless to say, my AK is heading straight into the muck.

The blinds now go up to 100/200 and the first table breaks.  Looking at the board, I see there are only 32 left, so my table won’t be far behind.  There are two new players at my table and although I don’t know either of them, they’re both VERY short stacked and after seeing them for a couple hands, I know why.  They limp into every single pot, needless to say, a huge chip leak.  We hit the break and I have 4450, up from the 4k starting stack.

The antes now kick in, 100/200/25, and I look down at QQ from UTG and make a standard raise to 500.  I’m hoping to get some action, but was nowhere near ready for what I see.  The button decides to shove his last 2650 into the pot (which I’m 100% ready to call).  However, the BB decides to re-shove for over 8k chips (and is a player I’ve never seen before).  Into the tank I go.  If I wasn’t trying to ladder climb, I’d have probably made the call, but with over 30 left in, I need to get a better finish, so I decide to muck.  It’s a very lucky thing for me that I did.  The button flips over AKo and the BB shows JJ.  The flop is AQ3, all spades.  The turn is another spade, giving the BB a flush.  If I had seen that flop, I’d have been broke there 100% of the time.

Two hands later, I pick up JJ and with 3 limpers in front of me, I decide to flat and see a flop in position.  I could have raised, but wanted to conserve some chips.  The flop is AK5 with two clubs and it’s a good thing I didn’t raise preflop, as one of the opps had AQ and I’m able to make a very easy fold to their flop bet.

When it gets to my BB, I get the two serial limpers and a complete from the SB.  I look down at KQo and check.  The flop is Q58 with two clubs.  I make a value bet with my top pair and get not one, but TWO shoves.  Needless to say, my top pair isn’t any good, so into the muck it goes.

My table now breaks due to players at other tables being knocked out and I draw table 3, seat 9. 
When I get to the table, I see that seat 10 is a decent player, so is seat 3.  There also are a few known weaker players and a few unknowns.  I quickly pick up reads on 3 of the four unknowns, which I hope to put to use in future hands.  One is the seat to my right.  It’s an older guy that limps into everything… unless he has a monster, then min-raises.  Needless to say, I’m avoiding his min-raises unless I have a premium made hand.  

My first hand is when I’m in the CO and it folds to me.  I look down at A5o and since I hadn’t played a hand since moving (over an orbit), I decide it’s a good time for a steal and raise to 500 (standard raise to 2.5BB).  Everyone folds and I pick up some needed chips.  That’s the only hand that I get to play at this blind level.

The blinds now go up to 200/400/50 and I get involved in an interesting one.  I get three limpers and on the button, I look down at AKo.  I know that at least 2, if not all 3 of the limps are most likely weak hands (players that like to limp and see flops and one is an unknown).  I’m going to raise and decide to put in 2100 (just over half my stack).  The reason that I didn’t shove is that I wanted to try to get the short stack to play the hand and he’s known to fold to shoves, but is kind of sticky to other bets and my AK should be well ahead of his limp range.  Everyone folds, although the player two to my right went into the tank about it for a couple minutes.

The blinds now go up to 300/600/75 and some players are starting to bust.  I’m just sitting around watching, as I’ve gone totally card dead (too bad 28o wasn’t a prop hand or I’d have been in great shape).  Just before break, we’re now down to 20 players left and my table is the one to break and I move my chips to table 5 seat 6.  I don’t even get to see a hand when I get there, as the break hits before I can get dealt into a hand as I had to skip one while the button passes.  My stack is at 7225, but I lose 25 at break as I lose the race when the green chips are taken off the table.

The third hour stars at 500/1000/100.  This is normally the level where a large number of players are knocked out due to the large blinds… but NOT tonight.  A whole one, yes, only ONE player is taken out.  That is not what I want to see, since I’m trying to ladder climb for points.  Being card dead this level doesn’t help either.

The blinds now go up to 600/1200/200 and from my BB, I get the button (opp from table 3 that tanked over my AK bet) that limps.  I look down at T8s and since our stacks are just about even (I’ve got him covered by a couple hundred chips), I decide to shove and try to maximize my fold equity.  Into the tank he goes again.  After about 3 minutes, he decides to fold and I pick up a very badly needed pot.

The next hand I get is another one that I would have went about differently if I wasn’t trying to ladder climb.  With my last pot, I now think I’ve got about enough chips to get to the final table since there are 16 left and three very short at my table and I really need the league points for a FT.  I’m on the button and have UTG make a raise to 2800.  His previous raises were min raises to 2400 and with this being one of the best players in the league, it’s causing a number of alarms to go off.  UTG+1 now decides to ship in his last 5600.  I’ve got about 8k chips and look down at AQo.  If it was just me and UTG+1, I’d have put my chips in, in a heartbeat.  However, that non-std raise from UTG makes this a much tougher spot.   He’s one of the chip leaders, a smart player and if I re-shove, I’m NOT going to be able to isolate UTG+1.  If he’s got any hand with equity, which I’m assuming he does, he’s going to call my re-shove and try to take me out too, as I’m pretty sure he looks at me as his largest threat at the table.  I decide to muck, which I’d never do there in a standard tourney.  UTG+1 shows AJ and UTG shows KQs.  A Q hits on the flop so UTG+1 is out. 

A few hands later, the blinds go up to 1k/2k/300 and we get down to 11 left.  Right after I pay both of the blinds (1/3 my stack), we’re down to 10 left, so I move to table 6.  Here’s where I get very unlucky.  I draw seat 2, the worst card I can pick, as the button starts in seat 10.  With the blinds this high, going from BB to SB to BB to SB is about the worst-case scenario. 

I’m hoping to pick up a hand in the blinds, as I badly need a double up.  The first hand, I have seat 4 make an opening raise and seat 7 shoves.  I look down at 25o and decide not to get involved, as I can ladder climb a place by folding, as player 4 basically has to call the short stack shove.  She does and seat 7 is eliminated.  My SB is not any better; as there is a raise and 3-bet preflop and I look down at 23o, a hand that I’m not playing in a multi-way pot.  I muck and the player that 3-bet takes it down on the flop. 

The next hand, I get a min-raise from mid-position and I look down at J7o.  Hoping to be up against only one opp, I call.  Unfortunately for me, that doesn’t happen.  Seat 3, the very good player that was UTG in my AQ hand from earlier, shoves and is snap-called.  OOPS!  Seat 3 turns over QQ and the other shows AA.  I actually have some hope after the flop, as it comes T 9 4.  I’ve got more outs than QQ does!  Unfortunately, I don’t see an 8, so I’m out in 9th place.

This finish, along with the 20th in the first week, should lock me into the semis as long as I show up three of the next 5 weeks (I’ll be there four of them).  While I’d have liked to be able to go for the win, I needed to lock myself in to play week 10, so I basically accomplished that goal.
I won’t play the league next week, as I’m going to be playing a number of the HPT events.  I’m going to play event 1A, a 32k deepstack, two-day tournament starting on Friday, a main event satellite and also event 5, a bounty tournament next Tuesday.  I’ll be doing a blog on these tournaments also. 

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