Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Saturday Tournament Cash

It's Sunday morning.  Another day in the office getting ready for depositions next week in NYC.  I was, however, able to squeeze some poker into the schedule this weekend.

I drove out to Del Park Friday evening.  It's the midst of the Delaware Park Poker Classic, which is running from March 14 to April 2nd. 

Saturday's "big" event was a $340 NL deepstack.  Given that I generally suck at tournament poker, I decided not to buy in to the event.  I did, however, take a shot at winning a seat through the Friday evening $65 satellite.

Del Park takes its tournaments seriously.  They even re-felted the tables for the Classic.

I couldn't get a thing going in the Satellite.  The $65 got you $7,500 in chips, at 20 minute levels.    I don't think I ever got my stack much higher than $10,000.  Eventually, sometime shortly after the second break, I was sitting on just over $8,000 with the blinds at $800 / $1,600.  I look down at AQ on the button.  Guy directly to my right open shoves for $9,100.  I put him on a hand like 99, TT, JJ and figure I'm likely looking at a flip.  Having been virtually card dead all night, I figure its a good spot to race and either get some chips to play with or get on with my life.  So, I call.  And Cut-off shows AA.  Wow.  Did not expect that.  I would have thought AA or KK would have put in a raise and tried to at least get one of the blinds to come along and see a flop.   Busted out around 41 out of 165 or so.... (top 15 got seats . . .).

Saturday morning, I got up and made the 30 minute drive Southeast up Route 13 to Dover.  I got to the poker room just after noon and (to my complete lack of surprise) found two tournament tables and a lone $1/2 NL cash game going.  Dover is the anti-Charles Town.  Mercifully, after about 20 minutes, they opened a fresh $1/2 table and the action was spectacular right from the go.  The young guy directly to my left bought in for $200 and went busto within 15 minutes.  The other 8 players (including a 70 year old woman who played -- and BET -- nearly every hand) were likewise not afraid to splash chips.

This was my first cash game in about a month (I had not played cash since getting back into the black), and I think I was less patient than I should have been.  I bought in short for $200 (which was about the biggest buy-in for the table) and got stacked about an hour in.  I started the death-hand with about $165 in chips.  After a few limpers, I looked down at K6 spades in the hijack and limped in.  Brilliant start to the hand.    Button and cut-off also called.  Flop came out K 2 6 with two hearts.  It checked to me and, continuing my brilliance, I checked.  CO checks and Button bets $20.  It folds around to me.  I figure the button is protecting a K against the draw with that bet.  I flat, with the plan of check-raising the turn.  Turn is a black Q.  I check and button bets $40.  I shove for $100 on top ($140 total).  Button calls and flips KQ.  Opps.  Right read  . . . sort of . . .  After requesting that the button RAISE his KQ preflop next time to put me on notice, I rebuy . . .

I ended up making back the $200 and turning a small profit before heading back to Del Park to grab an early dinner and register for the 7:00 pm ($150) tournament.

The 7:00 pm got 174 runners.  I had a bit of luck early on, including a double up with AA against KK, where I limped UTG, got raised by KK, repoped to $2,800 and induced KK to shove . . . easy game.   Started with $10,000 and eventually built my stack up to $35,000 shortly after the first break.  But, as tournament poker goes, a $35,000 stack can disappear fairly quickly.  By the third break, I was down to $15,000 after three levels card-deadness.   Blinds were in the $2,000 / $4,000 range.   My mid-stage / late-stage tournament strategy is virtually non-existent.  In short, I have no clue how to play.  On this night, however, my strategy was to double or go home before my stack slipped any further to the point where a shove had no fold-equity at all.   Luckily, the cards fell in line - sort of . . .  After an agro raised to $12,000, I shoved my 88 and doubled against his AQ.  A short while later, with my stack around $23,000, I responded to a $12,000 raise with a shove of my KQclubs.  Here, I'm certainly not sure whether I played this remotely correctly.  But I felt like I still could not play much poker with less than 6 big blinds, and KQ was the best hand I had seen in nearly two hours.  So, I shoved.  Villain flipped AJ and I sucked out when a K spiked the river.   Got the stack up to just under $50,000 and was able to play some poker again . . . or, at least I would have been able to, had I gotten anything remotely playable.

Somehow, I survived to the 4th break.  Suddenly, I went from shoving my stack in hopes of going busto so I could get some sleep, to stressing over the bubble. 

Two tables remaining . . . several other shortstacks, but no guaranty I could outlast them.  First things first, the table captain collected $10 from the remaining 20 players to pay the bubbles each $100.  A nice gesture, for sure. 

After folding a few hands, I'm sitting on just over $22,000, and look down at AJ.  Can I outlast two more shortstacks to burst the bubble?  Maybe.  But I have to shove in this spot.  I do and, incredibly, it folds around.  While I think I would have welcomed a call, I'll take the $25,000 in dead money.

Shortly thereafter, we're still at 20, when the blinds hit $2,000 / $6,000 / $12,000.   I fold a few K3, Q7 type hands, thinking there must be something better to shove.  But at $2,000 an ante, and after folding another round of blinds to raises and calls ($18,000 in chips), I'm quickly faced with the reality that I won't be able to even post my next round of blinds.  And then it happens.  A quick one-two punch as numbers 20 and 19 hit the rail.  The very next hand, I'm dealt big slick and shove what amounts to a little more than a big blind.  One person raises and another calls.  When a K hits the turn, I triple up.  But I'm still about 4 or 5 triple-ups from being competitive.   Yet, players start to fall . . . and, before I know it, another 10 minutes passes before I'm forced to shove my 45 of hearts and bust out in 12th place.....

Now, its back to the office for another week of fun . . .



  1. Congrats - always nice to get into the money! Somewhere, someone is posting a rant about "I had some idiot dominated and got him to shove with just KQ (did that idiot really think he was good there????) and, poker being a cruel game, the donk sucked out on the river! FMLSMH!!!"

    Run well, sir!


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