Poker Results

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paulbaxter
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Re: Poker Results

Post by paulbaxter » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:39 am

Correct and correct. I often think of David Sklansky's definition of mistakes in poker: would you have played differently if you knew what his cards were? In this case I think I played it pretty much right (other than being a big underdog pre-flop), and just got unlucky. An 8 came on the river.

You have to be lucky to win at tourney poker. One of my hands from one of the tourneys I won I had 66 against 99 and happened to draw a straight. Definitely a mistake on my part, but these things happen.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:18 pm

MHS suggested we finish up 2016 at one of the local poker rooms. It was my third trip to Black Hawk, CO in about three years, and my first of 2016, though we're pretty active attending and especially hosting hold 'em tournaments at our home. Mostly we wanted to go up and soak in a bit of casino atmosphere before heading back to this event coming up in February.

Anyway, the Golden Gates casino has 17 tables in its poker room and while it's typically a big tournament destination, they had a promo running from noon to midnight yesterday which kept the cash games full full full ($1000 per hour give-aways for the high hand). Because of this they only ran tournaments on the five tables which don't have gators (drop boxes for the rake — I know it's done differently in different places, but in Colorado, the state law is that the rake needs to be *dropped* into an inaccessible box rather than just pulled into the dealers' chip trays). Both MHS and I signed up for the 10am turbo tournament (she was #7 on the reserve list, I was #8 — which meant that we needed seven or eight folks to bust out before we'd get seated, which happened during the second level), and neither of us did anything. I think that tournament went about twenty deep on the reserve list, which was a joke because it was a turbo. As it was, coming in on the second level, I started with 3000 chips and the blinds were 100/200.

The noon tournament, however, was a 30,000 chip, 30 minute level, deepstack. And coming in late for that tournament is definitely no big deal. Some of the regulars for that tournament say they don't even like to buy into it until 2pm (letting them avoid some of the landmines). Well despite starting with 50 runners, it ended up with 86 total entries and over $14,000 in prizes. We chopped at the final six and since I had about 29% of the chips in play, I ended up negotiating my way into first place money. :) MHS is snake bitten by the poker of late (her 10am tournament consisted of two hands, JJ and KK, and guess how those worked out?) which takes a lot of the luster off of it all. I went through two years worth of the snake bite myself -- just in our home games (which has a lot to do with my lack of desire for playing in the casinos). I know her game is way beyond solid, but she's in the throes of self doubt (which, of course, tends to be a bad feedback loop for how you play).

Anyway, it's fun to be able to say that I'm a guaranteed winner in the casinos for 2016 (small sample size, though). We ended up cashing out around 11:30 pm — just in time to spend the New Year driving home.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:56 pm

I've wanted to come back to this post for the past few days and document a bit more of the deepstack tournament (mostly for me, but you may find it interesting as well).

As seems typical for me in successful tournaments, I dipped well below the starting stack in the early stages. Only a few hours in, I found myself at the 13 big-blind stack and was looking for chances to three-bet all-in and accumulate some chips. Unfortunately those chances did not present themselves and I found myself sliding down to the 8-10 big blind level (I had about 12,000 chips and the blinds were at the 600/1200-100 and 800/1600-200 levels), which took me out of the "ideal 3-bet all-in range" and put me in the "first-raise all in" category. Which means I had myself convinced that I was two-minutes away from being done with the tournament. Fortunately I was able to find some hands with which to chip myself back up into the playable range without having to show anything down. I kept the upward trend going for the next few levels (not ever needing to win an All-in) and at the 2000/4000-500 level I got the key hand for the tournament.

At a full table of ten, mostly populated by folks I'd been playing with for a few hours with a few late entries, without any monstrously huge stacks at the table, I was sitting four to the left of the dealer button (second to act). I had about 90,000 chips and stack sizes were mostly about my size with a few shorter players (maybe in the 25-40k range) near the button. I'd played the full tournament with the player to my right -- he had taken a beat in the first orbit or two which saw him ship about 2/3rds of his chips to an opponent, after which he wandered away from the table for about 45 minutes (I assumed to get his head back on straight). This wasn't a big deal because the structure was so slow and the initial blinds so paltry compared to our stacks. Anyway, I thought he played reckless in that early hand (but somehow didn't shovel the rest of his chips in after, in my opinion, he had committed himself to a pot), then played very solid once he came back to the table. Before he acted, I looked at my starting cards and saw :Ah: :As: . Imagine my delight, then, when his first play was to make a full 3x raise to 12,000 (sitting on a stack of about the same size as my own).

I thought about my options, and considering there were eight players available to act behind me, I pretty quickly dismissed any thought of only calling along. I put in a second raise to 30,000 chips and expected to either take the pot preflop, or to just get the rest of my chips in the pot on just about any flop (maybe not a :9d: :Td: :Jd: board, but on any reasonable board). Imagine my continued delight, then, when the player two to my left (a transplant from a different table, who had demonstrated circumspect poker strategies thus far) decided to push all-in.

Looking at things from his point of view: he saw a solid player put in a full raise from under-the-gun (I say full raise, as more typically first raises had been in the 2.5x BB size), followed by a pretty active player (me) putting in a good size re-raise after a pretty quick decision. There certainly could've been some possibility that we were both bluffing at the pot, but those chances were extremely slim. I hadn't "played back" at the player to my right the whole tournament.

Anyway, action proceeded around the table with all folds until it got back to the player to my right. And he, in turn, decided to put all his chips in the middle as well. I, of course, also shipped my stack and immediately tabled my cards (to the dealer's frustration, as he then had to figure out if there was going to be a side pot or not). As it turned out, I had both my opponents just barely covered (by less than 5k chips in both cases), and my opponents then turned up their hands: :Qc: :Qs: for the player to my right, and — and this was pretty hard to believe — :Ac: :Jc: for the "bold" player two to my left.

QQ played his hand fine. But AJ?!? All I could figure is the guy looked at his cards and fell in love with his hand before either of the players to his right took any action. And once we started putting chips in the pot, he decided that he was coming along for the ride. I mean any amount of rational thought would have let him know that there was about no chance I had AT or worse or that I'd be putting in a big 3-bet with something like 99. And he had no reason to think that he would be able to push both his opponents out of the pot with his all-in move. It was very much a terrible play.

Obviously my hand held up, and I tripled my stack and became the dominant stack at our table. Shortly after that was the tournament dinner break (I'd never played in a tournament with a dinner break before!) during which I found myself eating dinner with the guy who'd end up taking second place (holding 25% of the chips in play when we chopped the prize pool). After the break I ended up getting moved twice as tables got collapsed, and rode a final-table chip roller coaster which saw me bounce between average-stacked and chip-leader the whole time. Quality of play from my opponents didn't really stand out as being significantly improved until I was at the final table, so it was very nice for me (and my sanity) to basically be ahead of the pack from that point forward.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by paulbaxter » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:40 pm

Every once in a while the obviously correct play pays off then :D
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:30 pm

paulbaxter wrote:Every once in a while the obviously correct play pays off then :D
As is my general wont, after successfully getting aces all-in preflop, I declared it "was all skill." It always surprises me when I run across folks who don't realize I'm being sarcastic.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:33 pm

I got let go from my job late March this year, but have a severance package which takes me deep into the summer. I've always wanted to play in the WSOP, but summer holiday season has always prioritized other things (generally dragging my wife to visit my aging family a couple of time zones away). My birthday is in early June.

So, with encouragement of MHS, I signed up for The Colossus this year. In fact, she's paying for my buy-in as a birthday gift (EXTREMELY GENEROUS!). Due to what used to be yearly December trips to Vegas with non-poker playing friends, I managed to make my way into Harrah's rewards system, and they were kind enough to give me a hotel room at the Rio free for the month of June (excepting the weekend the EDC is in Vegas). Well "free" anyway, but with a $15 daily city resort fee and an additional $X amount in taxes each day, etc. But pretty cheap. I'm flying out this Saturday afternoon, expect to play the Sunday morning day 1 flight (with the opportunity for one reentry during that flight and if that doesn't work out then I'd have the opportunity to try the flight which starts later in the day). The return flight is scheduled for very early in the morning on 6/8 (so after I win the event, I won't be able to stay out *too late* partying that night). I'm excited. I'm excited to play, but I'm also excited to go see the spectacle. A college roommate of mine moved to Vegas to coach poker and started a training site and now pays his bills by playing at the tables. He's also written a few books. I'll get together with Doug while I'm out there.

Anyway, as a warm-up, I thought I'd play in a few local casino tournaments this week. With all the big players out in Vegas the local dailies are running at about -50% typical attendance. Tuesday's event saw 40 entries, and today's had 48. I ended up finishing in 9th on Tuesday and 8th today (earning no money either time). My Tuesday crippling hand saw me sitting on 17BB UTG holding AA. I wasn't as aware of my stack size as I should have been (though had I known my exact chip status, I'm not 100% sure I'd have played it differently given the dynamic at the final table), but ended up raising to 8k (antes were 500, blinds were 1.5k and 3k). I got shoved on by the button (who had slightly fewer chips than I) and obviously called. He made a set of 7's on the turn and I had less than 2BB remaining. Busted the next hand. Today's event saw me shove my 77 from UTG on a stack of 15BB and get called by the AA. Neither hand improved. GG me.

I played really well in both tournaments and was reading the tables extremely well (which is not something I'd often say about my game). I was nervous going to the casino on Tuesday (I hadn't played in a "big boy" poker tournament since NYE) and my return trip today I was really confident. The noon tournament is not structured well (so probably a pretty good trial run for the early levels of The Colossus!) so not ending up with any monetary result to show for it doesn't take away from my confidence in the least. Knowing poker like I do, that means I'm in for a serious comeuppance out in Vegas next week.

I did have one notable event to share today. Prior to making the final table, I had about 12 BB and was sitting in the BB. The UTG player (immediately to my left) shoved for something like 11BB, and things folded around to me and I looked down to see :Ah: :Qh: so I called. He showed up with :8h: :6h: And then this:
Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image

I had him dead on the turn, so I didn't really care what would come on the river, but then the guy across the table from me (not the one with the cool jade frog card protector) pointed out I had made the royal. My phone was out of my pocket and the photos snapped before the dealer could even think of shoving me the pot. I'm pretty sure this is my first royal flush ever, and I know for sure I've never had one in a casino before. Pretty cool, but that and $5 will get you a sugary covfefe drink at Starbucks. Still, pretty cool. Not one level earlier we had a hand where :As: :Ac: got beat by :Ks: :9h: after an all-spade run-out including the :Js: on the river giving the K9 a straight flush. One-outer. After that hand and my own royal a few minutes later I claimed that "Black Hawk is rigged." True story.

Wish me luck next week. Last year's Colossus had 21,613 entries (3,245 folks cashed), and was won by a dude from Boulder, CO. It was the second biggest poker tournament ever (behind only 2015's inaugural Colossus at 22,374 entries). I figure after my results this week (9th, and 8th), I'm due for a 7th place finish in this one, right?
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AWS260
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Re: Poker Results

Post by AWS260 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:41 am

Good luck!
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Re: Poker Results

Post by LordMortis » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:17 am

I know it's impolite to discuss money but holy hell, the numbers associated with that are inconceivable to me and it's nigh impossible to get past that. Good luck! I hope to hear a fantablous AAR and not only that I hope you have the best time evar but I hope you cash in... cash out? cash up? End up in the money and sweet money at that.

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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:00 am

The money side of the entire WSOP is really hard for me to understand as well. They hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in prizes in the span of about 70 days. And around town there are countless other (smaller) poker tournaments and (especially) cash games going on 24/7. It's not hard to think that on the order of a billion dollars are changing hands at the poker tables in Vegas in late May through late July each summer.

To me, that means there are a lot of lesser-qualified players losing money in their home town casinos and in their homegames to better players who are then taking those dollars out to Vegas to feed that machine at a higher-end of the pyramid. I fear I'm one of those folks doing exactly that.

Specific to my intentions, it's amazing to me that MHS is basically gifting me a $600 birthday present. She's so generous in the general that it's no longer surprising to me when she goes so far above and beyond at special times, but I'm still amazed. I only hope that the additional pressure of me playing on gifted money doesn't affect me during the tournament.

My realistic expectations are for me to bust out during my Day 1E flight and not rebuy, marking it all up to a poker-related experience. If I somehow end up bagging chips at the end of my Day 1 flight, then everything beyond that is a total bonus. Because I'm expecting to bust out early on my trip, that means I need to bring entertainment dollars for the remaining three full days I'll be in LV. As I said before there are LOADS of other poker-related events going on at the same time all around town, so I expect to find my way into lower-stakes tournaments and see what happens. But the amount of money I need to bring to make sure that the end of my trip doesn't see me sitting alone in my room, moping and doping, flat out busted is sizable. Especially sizable for a guy with no job. But fortunately I've managed to sock away my poker winnings for the past few years and have dedicated that money to a trip such as this one. So while it may seem astounding to someone not familiar with that background, I'm pretty comfortable with what I'm about to undertake regardless of the results.

I'm excited!
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:08 am

Good luck and congrats on the Royal! I guess that casino didn't give out $$ to the high hand of the day (or hour)?

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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:22 am

Ralph-Wiggum wrote:Good luck and congrats on the Royal! I guess that casino didn't give out $$ to the high hand of the day (or hour)?
Thanks -- I'll take it!

No high hand bonus for tournament play. Had it happened on the cash game table, it'd been worth $100 for me (this casino hands out $100 HHB every hour for weekday daytime play and that number can be as high as $1000/hr during promotions).
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:23 am

AWS260 wrote:Good luck!
Appreciate it! Positive luck is my best chance at having something good happen.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:54 am

I'm back from my trip.

I ended up playing in one WSOP event, and four other Las Vegas daily tournaments between the Rio and Caesar's Palace. Between these five events I had a total of six entries (I re-entered one tournament after busting out) and I made the money one time. For WSOP events, they typically place the top 15% of entries into the prize pool, and for Vegas dailies the number is the top 10%. So converting 1 of 6 entries is only a slightly better result than expectation for player with average skills.

Fortunately the event I cashed in was the biggest buy-in and the true reason for my trip. For Flight #5E of the Colossus, I took 286th place out of 3966 entries. I've officially got a Hendon Mob entry (which means that in the future when opponents look me up, they'll see that I've actually played poker before). I'm in the top 2000 money winners in all of Colorado!

The one re-entry, however, also occurred in the biggest buy-in event, which means that the net poker profit for the trip was rather paltry and easily swamped by my expenses. Still it was a fun experience and I'd love to make a return appearance next year.

They say the WSOP is something you have to experience to understand, and now that I've gone through it I would agree that no words, VLOG, or 3D AR drone footage could ever do it justice. The pros who appear in the media (on TV, in online reports, writing books, producing tweets, running websites, releasing videos, etc.) are everywhere. My first sighting was Chris "Judas" Ferguson (surrounded by a horde of sycophants) during a break of The Colossus Flight #5D. But you could almost reach out and touch a pro anywhere you went for the extent of your time in the WSOP area. I'm not prone to being awed by celebrity so this was more of a neat side note to the trip, but I ran into some true fans of the personalities in the sport who seemed to make this a focus of their trip (so it was really cool for them).

Seeing thousands of people playing poker in the same room at the same time, literally, was a moment (probably the moment) for me best embodying the word awe. Walking through the Amazon room and hearing the cascade of people from all around you riffling tournament chips nearly stopped me in my tracks. The first moment was unlike anything I've ever experienced and likely something I'll not forget. I'm glad I came in a day ahead of my tournament and walked down there just to get a lay of the land ahead of time. I ended up wearing long sleeves the whole time (good choice) and cargo pants with a few Clif Bars in my pockets (also a good choice). Breaks were sufficiently long to use the bathroom (though the men's room lines were LOL long), but not long enough to really have a meal. They did have drink services at the tables, but with "real" money on the line most players shied away from alcohol.

Knowing that MHS and a few of my local buddies wanted to follow my performance, I used a phone app called "My Stack" to keep my chip counts up to date during each level. I had hoped that I'd have been able to access the history of my entries (as it also allowed me to put in notes about significant hands for each level), but it appears that information is now lost. Probably good news for any short attention span OOers as that's going to keep me from giving you the full core dump.

My first table was all men. A couple of guys were wearing sunglasses (no one in a hoodie, though). Play was restrained as everyone was getting used to the mechanics of the room and the tournament. I half expected to run into aggro players fixated on making the opposition uncomfortable, but no one at my first table fit the bill. I chipped down a bit at first (first hand, me with KJ; flop: KJ6, turn: A, river: 5; me losing half my stack to his KK and flopped top set), then chipped back up to a peak of 6700 chips (from a starting stack of 5000), before going busto before the first break. I only have my SMS messages with MHS to tell me what happened, and it appears that I three-bet into an active player at my table with AQ and he had AK to knock me out. (I have no recollection of this whatsoever, but I've played a lot of poker in the last week.)

What I do recall is marching back into the cashiers' area at 11:30 am and asking the poor girl to put me into the "noon deepstack tournament". The Rio has multiple daily deepstack tournaments which get hundreds of players. They play out over the course of 12-15 hours. They're not bracelet events, but still hold pretty good value for the poker players. I wanted in and I wanted in the noon. The poor girl behind the cashier's window was confused and eventually showed me the list of events going that day. There was no noon deepstack tournament to be found. And since I was in no mood to wait around for the (actual) 2pm DST, I spite re-entered Flight #5E. As it turned out, that was a good choice.

I got seated shortly before the first break, and again I was at a pretty nondescript table. For the most part stacks weren't grossly larger than my (new) 5000 entry chips, though I did end up getting seated at a Bosphorusean seat between the two Symplegades at the table. I was quickly forced to no screw around and just play solid starting hands (which forced me off of any mild tilt I had been experiencing, and was probably a pretty good thing). Both players were European by accent, and they sort of epitomize my experience with the Europeans over the course of my stay in Vegas. I liken it to the hockey world, where the league is filled with skilled Euro players but doesn't tend to have its second-tier roles filled with Euro muckers and grinders. Only those players good enough to travel across continents bother with coming over to North America to ply their skills. And "good enough" in poker means aggressive.

Well, I made my stand by pushing all-in preflop, first-to-act, with JJ and ended up getting called by both guys on either side of me. Guy to my right had AK and to my left AJ. When all hands were revealed, someone at the other end of the table mentioned they threw away a J, so I had no realistic opportunity for my hand to improve. I felt rather low when a K-high flop came out, but was somewhat relieved when I noted it was all diamonds and that I was the only player with a diamond in my hand. Sure enough my perfect :6d: came on the turn and just like that I tripled up vs. the other two big stacks. I knocked out the guy to my left in the very next hand (which felt great, as he was pretty douchey), with me holding KK and outlasting his A4. In the span of five minutes I went from meek mouse to a legit player at our table.

I also got a lot of chips in a hand where I 4-bet shoved from the big blind over a UTG raiser (bad player), UTG+1 3-better (short stack), and UTG+2 cold-caller (who looked not strong). Only UTG+1 called my shove. I had AQ, he had A9s. I flopped 2-pair and won all his chips.

Shortly after the next break, our table got broken down and I got moved to where I would spend the next six hours or so. This table dynamic was very different from what I had seen so far. There was a dominating stack three seats to my right and a couple of other active (and good) players at the table, one sitting two to my left and another sitting just to the right of the dominating stack. Only the big stack was one of those aggressive Euros, but he epitomized everything I learned to "hate" about their play. He opened between 1/2 and 1/3rd of his hands and since he had so many more chips than other players he was able to play aggressively throughout the hand. I ended up taking a stand against him on two separate occasions and both times he had the goods (making me look silly). One of those hands is pretty notable.

Playing many blinds deep from UTG+1, I raised with 44 to only get called by the Euro in the SB. One of the strong player tendencies I had noted was that he had been checking every flop on which he had made top pair (no matter the value of his kicker). The flop came out Q76 rainbow. My plan had been to flop a set and take a big pot off this kid, but apparently the dealer wasn't down with my intention. I was feeling done with the hand (planning on checking behind if he checked) but to my surprise he bet into me. Well that was interesting (and unexpected). My initial reaction was to just fold anyway as I can't beat anything here. But it felt like unforced aggression on his part and I convinced myself to float (just call behind) and see what developed as the hand played out.

The turn comes a 5, giving me an open-ended straight draw. This time he checked, and I've got two legitimate options. Option A would be for me to take advantage of my live read that he never bet out with a top pair hand meaning he's probably weak and would fold to my aggressive act. Option B would be for me to check behind and take advantage of my last-to-act position which enables me to play rivers very intelligently (getting my chips in if I make a straight, not paying him off if a bad card comes and he bets). Option B is the more standard play, and what I ended up doing.

The river comes a 9 making the board read: Q7659. He checks again. At this point I'm sitting there thinking that while this card didn't hit *my* open-ended straight draw, I could've just as easily had 88 in this hand in which case I've now got monsters in my range (from his point of view). Sure, he also could have an 8 in his hand, but he'd been playing so aggressively in the hours before that I'd have thought there was no way he'd check with a made straight here. So I mustered my courage and fired in a large river bluff. Well he instantly started pissing and moaning and shifting around in his seat uncomfortably and initially seemed convinced that he was going to lay down his hand. I sat there stone quiet, just focusing on my breathing and staring at the button (which is my way of being inscrutable at the table). He probably internally debated for about four minutes before he finally called. All I could do is say "you're probably good" as I flipped over my little baby pair, and he was exuberant when he flipped over AQ for top-pair top-kicker. It was a gutsy call on his part, but the right one. And it just had to happen to be against me that he broke strategy and actually had bet his flopped top pair. Argh.

Not long after I had gotten moved to this table (I was sitting in seat 6), a long-blonde-haired hippie dude with a purple-hat-on-sideways, carrying a paperback and a backpack got seated across from me (in seat 10). He instantly looked familiar, but it wasn't until break that I confirmed that I was now playing with Leif Force. He had gotten TV coverage years ago for a deep run in the Main Event, and the production team made him look like a laid-back slacker type who was just too cool for school and all the money and math involved in playing poker. Turns out he was a relatively chilled-out surfer dude who mostly just wanted to read his book and play his cards when good ones came along, but also was as narcissistic as I've seen at the table. When he folded his cards, he'd push them forward about a quarter of an inch, and then his eyes would go right back to his book. If you were sitting directly across from him (as I was) you'd question whether he was folding or thinking. But if you were the dealer at the table, sitting next to him, you'd have about a zero percent chance of knowing his intention. And if you verbalized this to him (as nearly every dealer had to), he'd just say, once, "If I'm not holding on to my cards, I've folded." If a second (or third or any additional times) time came up where the dealer paused before irrevocably mucking his hand, he'd just look up from his book and smirk (generally to me, as he knew I had been paying attention) at the discomfort he was putting the dealers through. The dealers were understandably hesitant about just pulling in players' hands, as once cards are mucked, there's no reversing things. But he didn't care (he definitely delighted in their discomfort, actually) and kept playing his too-cool-for-school game to his own amusement.

Shortly before the money bubble, I ended up knocking him down to an insignificant stack, when he raised from EP (sitting on about 12 BB) and I convinced myself that he was sort of just goofing around after not having played a hand in a while. As action was proceeding around to me in the big blind (sitting on 11 BB) I had considered pushing over the top with any two cards. With action on me, I looked at my cards for the first time and without really considering it, I fired all my chips into the middle. It took him a few minutes of agonizing before he actually called my all-in (another bad read on my part, I suppose). He had AQ and the board ran clean for me and my 55. He had no troubles telling me what a bad play I had made (as did the Euro in seat 3) and I've spent a lot of time thinking about what they didn't like about my play. Near as I can figure there are two things at play: It was close to the bubble and there's no way an amateur player like me should be willing to lose his whole stack with a small pair when I could easily just fold my way into the money and my unpredictability made their game harder so they'd try to "control" my play (making me easier to play against) with a bit of social engineering. It's sort of the Phil Hellmuth bratty outbursts where he tries to convince other players to not play garbage cards so he has an better shot at reading their ranges. Anyway, I doubled up and this terrible play on my part gave me enough chips to avoid going out around 595th (which was the beginning of the payouts) to my eventual finish at 286th place. Leif did stick around for enough hands to mincash (his fourth mincash in four Colossus flights, according to him).

But I've sort of skipped ahead of myself. An hour or two after getting to the table and fortunately being able to dodge Seat 3's aggression due to my favorable position, I went on a pretty good heater. I wish I'd had my notes available as I had a good combination of playing well and running well. At one point, well this happened:

Image

Now I wasn't really third in chips for the whole Flight, but I *was* third in chips among the people using their My Stack app and the folks their live reporters were following. And I *was* doing better than actor (and Popehat antifan) James Woods.

My bust out hand was a lot like what happened to me in the daily tournaments in the days that followed. I ended up getting short stacked and in a position where I had to push any favorable cards preflop and hope for the best. Somehow I ended up with this terrible power to push my hands into someone holding pocket aces. In this case I busted The Colossus holding pocket 3s and managed to not outdraw the guy holding the preflop nuts. (I also busted two of the other five tournaments holding 77 into AA, and 98s into AA.) Good game me. Go collect your money.

What I liked about The Colossus was that I was capable of playing my game and winning some money. I didn't have to be all aggro over the table to stay steady with the other players. I didn't ever have to be playing junky hands like J9 or the like. It took going into the fourth break, the sixteenth level before I really started feeling like I was not in the top half of player skills at the table. Realistically I ran well when it mattered (I chatted with many folks over the course of the next few days who had horror stories of firing 5 bullets, 6 bullets, one guy said he had a buddy enter an amazing 11 times — without cashing. But then I look at Leif Force's story about how he could literally sit there reading his book and honestly only playing his quality starting hands and he converted that into four of four cashes.

I'd love to go back and play again next year. But I don't think I'll ever be returning to Vegas for a five day trip by myself again. The solitary poker tournament life, it's not for me.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Semaj » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:21 am

The Meal wrote: Image
I actually looked at that for a moment and went: I am not going to be in Vegas until next month for the main event... Oh yeah... the other James Woods...

Which reminds me, if I see him, I'm totally lecturing him about disparaging my good name :)
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Semaj » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:50 am

Which reminds me.... I may have forgotten to congradulate you on your run in the colossus... A few of my friends and I debated trying to enter that one, until we realised we couldnt get there quick enough, lol.

I agree with you...

I'm assuming since it was almost 4k entrants, they had the big rooms open as well and used the amazon for big players... like poker/tv stars and big chipstacks. They did something similar for the main event when I went, with the big camera setups in the amazon room.

The first time I walked through and saw the vastness of the room and all the people playing poker, it's not an easy description, it was pretty amazing. When we checked out the amazon room, my friend was naming people i didnt know and I was like: there is Ivey, there is Raymer, there is Daniel Negranu... And then I promptly sent a picture of paul pierce to a few friends because the cameras were on and he had almost no chips, lol. Oddly enough when we went back 4 days later, he had a monster chipstack and a bunch of super tall guys railing him.

(I looked it up, apparently he made it 3 days and probably busted after I saw him...Linkyhere)

Regardless, I enjoyed the main event so much last time I went I'm going back this year.

I'm hoping maybe to enter a few of the minor tournaments around it and mainly play a lot of cash games with people who bust out and have passed thier stop-loss for the day (Which is when they dont care about the 300 bucks the are blowing because they just lost 10 grand in the main event....).

What were your big takeaways from the trip? You planning on another one? You think you might do more WSOP stuff in the future if you do?

Also I havent been to vegas in a year or three, anything you did besides poker you think I should totally do while I am there?
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:26 am

Semaj wrote:Which reminds me.... I may have forgotten to congradulate you on your run in the colossus... A few of my friends and I debated trying to enter that one, until we realised we couldnt get there quick enough, lol.
Thank you! I'd love to go back out again for this tournament next year and see if I couldn't cash in a few more flights. I'm probably underestimating how lucky I got this time around, but at the time it sure felt reasonable that I could make it into the money again.
I'm assuming since it was almost 4k entrants, they had the big rooms open as well and used the amazon for big players... like poker/tv stars and big chipstacks. They did something similar for the main event when I went, with the big camera setups in the amazon room.
The Amazon was consumed with Day 1 flights for the Colussus while I was there. Other events were going on in the Pavilion, and they actually had moved the big stage over to the Brasilia (which was a switch from previous years, by my understanding). I believe when they have real TV coverage for the Main Event, the "Mothership" will be moved into the Penn & Teller per normal.
I enjoyed the main event so much last time I went I'm going back this year.
Wow, that's fantastic. After my experience this time around, I'd love to buy in for that. Someday...

Play well and run even better! (And change your name to Semaj Woods for the tournament, so I know which one of you to root for!)
I'm hoping maybe to enter a few of the minor tournaments around it and mainly play a lot of cash games with people who bust out and have passed thier stop-loss for the day (Which is when they dont care about the 300 bucks the are blowing because they just lost 10 grand in the main event....).
My buddy who lives off poker income basically has taken the Tommy Angelo viewpoint on the WSOP. He won't play a single tournament the whole time, and yet expects to make his yearly nut in the span of about 7 weeks of cash play. I'm not nearly good enough a cash game player to give that a shot, but it seems pretty viable based on what I hear from experienced players I respect.
What were your big takeaways from the trip? You planning on another one? You think you might do more WSOP stuff in the future if you do?
The biggest take away was an understanding of the spectacle which is the WSOP. I had no idea what was what until I experienced it first hand. Now when I see coverage on the main stage or see photos or vlogs from the tables, I have a sense of what those players are going through. I'd love to go back, but am in no position to make concrete plans (I'm in the process of changing careers at the moment — so bigger fish to fry). I doubt I'd try to win my way into a $10k event while at the Rio, but if I could build a roll or win a local qualifier, I'd love to give the Main a shot. I'd go back out for The Colossus again. The Millionaire Maker seems a good event. There's an 888 which seems reasonable. The Giant looks fun, but requires a level of commitment I'm not sure I can muster. MHS and I sat down together to figure out which events may make sense for me, and I'm not nearly willing to put a hefty share of my roll on the line for the bigger buy-in events.

Last year she went out for the Ladies Event (right before the Main), and I'd go out to support her for that (while playing dailies or offsite non-bracelet tournaments) if she wanted to go back.
Also I havent been to vegas in a year or three, anything you did besides poker you think I should totally do while I am there?
Not really this trip. I have a buddy who lives out there and he and I got together a few times, but nothing remarkable to recommend. Doing Vegas alone made those times I *didn't* want to play poker a bit of a slog (which in turn meant I gave money back at the craps tables). I'm not at all interested in doing that again. So if I do make it back for the WSOP, I'd do it (preferably) with MHS or poker buddies.

There are lots of great advice in this thread (forumserver.twoplustwo.com), but I enjoyed this post the most.

Also, it would seem that I'm out from under the window of potentially exhibiting signs of Legionnaire's Disease, so I've got that going for me. Two cases from March and April earlier this year (and still finding the requisite bacterium in the Rio water system) — which made it into the public while I was staying there. I'm in the high risk group for that sort of thing, so I wasn't super thrilled (but better understand why my room was comped).
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Re: Poker Results

Post by LordMortis » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:44 am

Thank you for the write up. I wish my brain was still sharp enough to make the pretense to play poker seriously. I'm a bit sad the likes of absolute, etc... are gone, where you could do freeplay tourney to try and win like $2 after a few hours in tourney. I know they got you in to bad habits for serious poker players but I still enjoyed them.

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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:14 am

LordMortis wrote:Thank you for the write up. I wish my brain was still sharp enough to make the pretense to play poker seriously. I'm a bit sad the likes of absolute, etc... are gone, where you could do freeplay tourney to try and win like $2 after a few hours in tourney. I know they got you in to bad habits for serious poker players but I still enjoyed them.
I miss those free tournaments with real (small) cash prizes as well. That's about all I miss from online poker, though. I really to enjoy the live game so much more. In theory one should treat those freeplay tournaments as if you had your own money on the line, and you should do well in so doing. But in practice, it's pretty easy to decide "I'm bored, let's do something dumb and see if it works out" or (especially) run into other folks doing the same. The winning move was to use them as an opportunity to practice discipline, but what's the fun in that? :)
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Re: Poker Results

Post by LordMortis » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:26 pm

The Meal wrote: The winning move was to use them as an opportunity to practice discipline, but what's the fun in that? :)
Sometimes I'd be 3 hours into a tourney I knew was going to go 5 hours just to get 50 cents or upwards of nine hours to get a few dollars to play with and you could literally hear repeating to myself like a mantra "patience, dumbass."

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Re: Poker Results

Post by pr0ner » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:49 pm

From the WSOP Main Event:
https://twitter.com/PokerGO/status/884193297840840704
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Re: Poker Results

Post by tjg_marantz » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:07 am

Ugh

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Re: Poker Results

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:42 pm

I played in my first casino run tournament on Sunday; easier to do now that I live in a city with multiple casinos nearby (St. Louis). It's been awhile since I've played poker with any regularity, but the entry fee was only $40 and it seemed like a decent way to pass an afternoon.

We began with 10K in chips (blinds at 100/200 I think, levels increased every 20 minutes) and things got off to a rough start. Perhaps the most important hand for me was the first of the afternoon and I wasn't even involved. Two guys went all in after the river with four hearts, including the ace, on the board. The guy that called the all-in showed a pair of 8s (???!!!!) while the winner, who sat two seats to my right, had the high flush. This means he was immediately the big stack at the table and was able to raise constantly pre-flop, including almost every time he was the button and I was the big blind. It didn't help that I wasn't getting any cards; I don't think I saw a flop for the first two levels.

The first hand I did end up playing also went poorly. I had pocket 9s and raised pre-flop something like 2K (3ish times the BB). One guy called me. The flop came out and I hit my set! Unfortunately, there were also three clubs on the board. I made a raise of about half the pot and the one guy called. Next card that came out was another club. The caller raised me all-in and I had to fold. That hand lost me a good chunk of my stack.

I hung on to the first break but only had something like 2.1K in chips left with blinds something like 400/800. So not so hot. I knew that my only hope was to go all-in and double up a few times. A few hands after the break I had A/9 and was close to being the big blind, so I pushed all in pre-flop. Four people called and went to the flop. The flop came out in blanks for me. Three players checked and then the big stack made a pot-sized bet and got the other three players to fold. We flipped over our cards and he had top pair. But then on the turn came an Ace and I quadrupled up! At least one of the folders after the flop said he would have won if he had stayed in, so thank you big stack!

Still, with around 8K I wasn't in great shape. So soon enough I had to push all in again with :Ac: :Kd: . One guy called me and flipped over suited 8/9. The flop came out something like :5d: :9h: :9c: . I get up to get ready to leave, but the turn and the river both bring clubs and I manage to win the hand with an Ace high flush! After that, I can't remember many hands but I know that I doubled up again pretty soon after.

At this point, the blinds are getting pretty high. With 18 players left (76 total entries) the blinds were at 2K/4K and I was sitting on around 13K in chips, a good bit below the average stack. I'll need to start getting some hands or I'll just be blinded out. I'm the big blind and it's folded around to the button (the same big stack guy) who raises up to 8K. The nice, older woman to my left pushes all in with 16K in chips. She has me slightly covered. I look down and see :Ah: :Kh: . I figured it's now or never and also push all in. The button calls for an extra 8K in chips. We all flip over our cards. The button has :Qc: :9c: and the small blind has :Jc: :Jd: . At least I have two over cards. Unfortunately, the big stack hits a queen on the flop, no Ace or King come out, and both the older woman and I are eliminated.

Still, after getting down so low at the beginning, I felt pretty good about finishing in the top 20. No money (only top 8 paid out), but was still a fun way to spend 4 hours. And I didn't feel like I played any particular hand badly. Maybe I'll try again this weekend....

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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:31 pm

Sounds like a good structure for a $40 buy in. Glad to hear it was an enjoyable experience. I'm probably going to play a bit more casino poker in the weeks ahead. Play well and run better!
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