WSOP Trip Report Part Two (amusingly brief)
My troubles really began on the 7th hand of the event. I find myself on the button. UTG open limps for 25 chips (we all have almost exactly 4,000 chips at this point. I’ve actually already raised twice pre-flop and took down the blinds both times). The next few players call. I believe the dealer called and two of the players from the adjacent table, so I obviously call with 87s on the button. There are 14 to the flop. If ESPN had been there, they would have said 7 to the flop, but whatever. The flop comes down 852 with two clubs. This gives me top pair, and a flush draw. Somehow it checks to me. A smarter man would probably agreeably check behind, but I want to discourage overcards and I figure I’m in pretty good shape against most hands here, so I bet 150 into the 175 chip pot and three other players find a call. One of them is already on my list as hella-bad because he ran a gutshot down on an Ace high flop two hands ago. The pot contains 875 when the turn delivers a red 4. This is an odd card for me. I probably picked up four more outs to the gutshot and as I struggle with the question of how much I should bet, the SB fires out 500 chips and everyone else folds. I think over my options for a minute, but conclude I can not possibly fold and there is no real value in raising, so I just call. Now the pot holds 1,875 chips. The river pairs my 8, which could have been one of my outs. The SB again bets 500. This seems like a sick spot. He could easily be making a blocking bet with an overpair or bluffing a busted flush in the oddest line of all time, but would he call a raise? He could also be milking me with 76 or some kind of goofy full house like 82. Getting like 5:1, I don’t see how I can fold trips and I don’t see a point to raising there. In hindsight, I actually think a fold might have been correct, but I cannot find it on the spot. I call with a sigh and he tables 55. 1,200 chips from my starting stack of 3,000 vanish in the first orbit.
I remain undaunted and focus on restealing from the only other aggro player at the table. He is on immediate right and is visibly frustrated with me. At one point he asks me if I can see his cards. I hover between 1,500 and 2,000 for the remainder of the level managing to hit my low water mark at the end of the level when I raise QQ from the button, get called by the big blind, c-bet the Ace high flop, check the turn and call a small bet on the river. I tap the table when he shows his flopped top two pair. Nice hand, sir. Well played.
Level two is more of the same. I have to scale back on my aggression since my LAG play has diminished the respect I get at the table. There are still really only two players willing to play pots with me. One guy literally only plays two hands the entire first two levels. Once he raises and shows AA and the other hand he doesn’t show, but unsuprisingly doesn’t get any action from his UTG raise. Since he didn’t show, I assume it was AK. Most of my table is quite tight, actually. They will play multi-way limped pots, but there is very little raising and I think I’m the only three better at the table. By virtue of some clever play and missing every possible set, I manage to back my stack back down to 1,100 late in level two and obviously I have to shift gears a bit now. I figure I might be willing to resteal given the right situation, but it doesn’t actually arrive. Finally I raise AJs from MP3 and my awesome image results in three callers. I raised to 150, so the pot is 450. I have 950 behind. The flop comes King high with only one heart. I think about making a c-bet, but there are two players behind me and my image is not exactly stellar, so I check. To my amazement, the two late position players also check behind. That seems pretty good. The turn is a baby heart, giving me the nut flush draw and the BB fires out 300. I think for a bit and decide he could easily be betting any pair here and the guys behind seem unlikely to have much, so I jam. Two folds, and a tank fold from the BB. He was probably just doing it for show. This puts me back at 1,750. As the level draws to a close, I raise three limpers and chip up to 2,075. It appears that the next hand will be the last hand of the level and half the table bolts for the exit. However, a flop bet takes it down and the dealer looks at us and asks if she has to deal another hand with 18 seconds on the clock. “Hell, yes” say I, eyeing the empty BB and the departing back of the loser of the previous hand. There are only three of us at the table and I’m pretty sure they don’t want to play a long hand with me. I peer briefly at my 73 after one of the other two players folds and bolts for the exit. One player left who is still stacking his pot from the prior hand, so I raise. He eyes me suspiciously, certain that I have absolutely nothing and tosses KT into the middle, saying that I’m lucky he didn’t have a hand there. I cheerfully agree and end the level with 2,150. Every chips counts, I guess.
I’m actually feeling pretty good at the first break, despite the fact that I didn’t actually do what I had hoped. Early in the third level I look down at KK. I’ve chipped back up to 2,500 or so at this point by resuming by aggressive ways. I raise the UTG limper to 600, hoping that this is the time they get fed up with me. The small blind calls me as does the limper. The small blind is actually one of the better players, so this is not the best outcome, but I wanted action and action I got. The flop comes down J95 with two hearts. I, of course, have no hearts. The pot has 1,900 chips in it and I have 1,900 behind. I consider a shove, but decide instead on a little 800 chip bet. The small blind shoves on me. I have him covered by 250 chips so it is essentially 800 more to call, so I snap call before it can be counted. I actually miscounted and thought I had him covered by 100 more, but it didn’t change anything. He groaned and rolled AJ with no hearts. That is about as good as I could have hoped for. Actually better than the flush draw I figured he held. The turn popped off Ace and I’m down to 2.5 big blinds.
I’m UTG+1 in the very next hand and I get 83 off. I actually contemplate shipping my stack, but I figure I have two more hands and I’m not 100% sure everyone has noticed how short I am. I get 73 off on the next hand and decide I’ll take my chances on the big blind (this is almost certainly wrong, but I can’t help myself). Fortunately, I would have whiffed on both hands, but I probably should have shoved and hoped to triple or quadruple. On the next hand, my big blind, it folds around to the Button who open limps. I consider shoving my last 150 now, but decide it might be more amusing to ship it on the flop. At this point I haven’t looked yet. The flop comes Qxx rainbow, so I decide to take a peek. I resolve to check anything that connected and bet anything that missed. I look at two black Aces. This sucks. I guess I should have tripled before this hand. The Button bets 200. As near as I can tell, he still hasn’t figured out that I have only 15o left. I obviously call and double and a fraction to 550. Now my M has reached the lofty heights of almost 4. I feel rich. I get 52 in the small blind and there is a raise and a call, so I decide to take no part of that. On the button I find 77 and there is a single raiser in front of me. I shove 500 (he min-raised to 200). He obviously calls and I flip for my meager stack. He pairs on the turn and I say my goodbyes.
Obviously if the KK hand holds up, I have a playable stack of 5k or so and I continue my maniacal ways. I feel fine about the outcome, although I never really got traction. Losing half my stack on the first orbit was damaging to my strategy. In hindsight, I really could have lost less on that hand. I’m not certain what to do with myself, but I’m thinking seriously about grinding some limit poker.
My will is weak, however. There exists a non-zero possibility I will instead drink to excess. One or the other. I see as I hit publish that Hazey is also out, so drinking has increased in probability.
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