Drove up to AC friday night after work. Donked slots and video poker until 4:00am, slept, got up at noon and walked over to the Showboat for the 2:00 tournament. It was the strangest tournament I've ever played.
By way of background, the bad beat jackpot at Harrah's is up to $680,000. As a result, all of the Caesars casinos are packed with nits playing 15 hour sessions of $2/4 limit. The Showboat, rather than having 6 tables in action on a Saturday afternoon, was filled near capacity. Also as a result, the room is stretched for competent dealers who know how to manage the game . . . With this backdrop, 78 runners entered the afternoon event.
$68 entry. $20,000 chips. 20 minute levels. No antes. Donkalicious.
By the end of the second level, I had chipped up to $30,000. Gentlement to my left, a Jersey local (sweet accent and all), had chipped up to over $40,000 when he turned quad AAAA's and doubled up against a rivered straight. The two of us then went heads up on a hand where we both turned a K high straight. The river action went like this. I bet $5,000 (one grey chip). He raises to $10,000 and tosses out two grey chips. I call and flip out another grey. We both table the straight. Dealer "pushes back" our bets and starts dividing the chips. When the stacks are returned, I look down and count my chips - $26,000. I'm short a grey chip. I say to the dealer, "sir, I started the hand with $30,000. I got back $26,000. I'm missing a grey. His response: "I pushed back the bets." It's clear that Jersey scooped one of my greys. Frankly, I'm confident he did it accidentally. I say to him, "hey, did you get back $5,000 too much?" Dealer is already pitching next hand. Jersey says, "I have no idea what I started with." Awesome. I again tell the dealer "I'm $5,000 short." He ignores me and looks to UTG for action on the hand. Awesome.
Not sure what my option was at that point, aside from calling the floor, who I assume would be able to check the camera. But, I'm not holding up action on a $65 donkament over this. I decide to let it go, and simply internalize my tilt. And yes, I'm on mega tilt.
Several hands later, same dealer, I'm in the 2 seat and on the hijack. The 1 seat folds and I open with a raise to $2,400 with J8, making a move. I flip out my chips and dealer says, "It's $5,500." Huh? There's not a single chip on the table aside from the blinds. Dealer says, "I announced a raise," as the 10 seat slides out a stack of chips. HUH!?! The thief from Jersey next to me says, "I heard nothing." Of course, no one heard anything, except perhaps for the 10 seat who somehow must have wispered a gigantic opening bet. What now? Already on tilt to start the hand, I call, miss the flop, 10 seat over bets the pot and I muck. OK. Now I'm REALLY on tilt. I decide to get up and take a walk until the break, because I'm going to tilt off the rest of my stack if I don't.
Post break, I sit back down to $20,000 - the starting stacks. Which sucks, considering I was playing well and chipping up and, in my mind, had $10,000 chips taken from me because of a shitty dealer. But, it's the Showboat, and the game is being played ABC. With a series of C-Bets, check raises, and value bets on the hands I actually hit, I chip up to $75,000. Then it happened.
Sitting in the big blind, I check my option blind and go heads up against the cutoff. Flop comes out 8 T K rainbow. I check dark. Not sure why, other than I'm board. Villain bets $3,500. I check the hole and see Q9. Jackpot! Flopped the joint. I flat. Turn blanks. I check. Villain bets $5,000. I raise to $12,000. He calls. River blanks. I check. Villain bets $8,000. I raise to $20,000. Villain calls. I flip my Q9. It's only then that it hits me. I have Q high. There's no J on the board. I just lose half my stack with a misread. OK. This one's my fault.
I never recovered. Ended up shipping my last $9,000 shortly thereafter with AK spades, got called by QJ, who, of course, spiked a J and sent me home.
Today - Sunday - I stopped by Del Park on the way home for the nooner. $100 buy-in, $7,500 chips, 20 minute levels. 113 runners. I chipped up well, built my stack to $35,000 by the second break, and was feeling good. Raising and re-raising. Playing good TAG poker. I hadn't even had to show down a hand for more than a level. Then the wheels fell off. Guy opens to $1,800, one caller, and I three bet to $5,000 with QQ. Original raiser folds, and caller flats. Flop comes out K 7 2. Old man donk bets $5,000. Hhhhmmmm. What could he have.... Muck. Old man triumphantly shows his AK. Yep, he got max value out of that hand.
Several hands later I again three bet to $5,000 with JJ. Again, orignal raiser folds. Again, old man calls. Flop comes down A Q 5. Again, old man donks out. Muck. Old man shows AJ. Simply brillaint.
Shortly thereafter, I open from the cutoff with AK, and get called from the button. Flop comes out K J 9 (two hearts). I C-Bet $4,000. Button raises to $10,000. I fold. Button claims he had QT and was afraid of the flush.
Things did not get any better, and I eventually busted 26th. Not a bad run. I feel like my tournament game is improving. Might be time to read up on late game strategy. I feel very comfortable playing until the latter stages. Not sure I'm playing well, though, when things get critical.
One more week of work; then off to the West Coast - San Fran for the Mets-Giants series, then Vegas... Delightful.