It was another successful Sunday of tournament poker. I made it to a 5-way chop (approximately $1,300) at the noon event at Delaware Park. Thus far, for the month of October, I've played 7 tournaments for a total buy-in of $685, and cashed 3 for winnings of $2,217. Definitely feeling more confident in my MTT ("multi-table-tournaments") game, and eying some smaller buy-in WSOP events next summer (just for the experience . . .).
I bit more on the tournament in a moment. But first, a hand from a cash game at Borgata on Saturday:
Triple-P is new to the table, sitting on $325. There are two villains in this hand: Old Man Degen ("OMD") who is a Borgata regular and is sitting on about $180, and a young Indian kid ("YIK") in middle position who has me covered. OMD is UTG+1 and YIK is in middle position. OMD opens for $10 and YIK flats. I look down at AK spades and repop to $30. It folds around both OMD and YIK call.
($93 in pot preflop - YIKES!!!)
Flop is 7 A 9 (two diamonds)
OMD leads out for $30 and YIK calls. I put OMD on a decent A. Not sure where YIK is at, but don't think he outdrew me based on his mere call on a coordinated board. I continue my story and re-raise to $125, trying to take the pot down before the turn. OMD calls and YIK folds.
($373 in the pot).
At this point, PPP has $170 behind and OMD has about $30 left. I'm getting my money in on the turn no regardless what comes up.
Turn is the 8 of clubs.
OMD checks and I shove. He calls the last of his chips, as expected, and flips . . . AJ off. WTF? I three-bet pre-flop and repoped his donk bet on the A-high flop. How can he possibly think his J kicker is good? What can my range be with this line? Of course, perhaps OMD knew that the river would be a T, giving him the J-high straight and taking down a massive pot . . .
So, my read was correct, and I got my money in good. But, I was left wondering whether I played AK too big for a cash game? Any thoughts?
Shortly after the above hand, I flopped a set of 3's on a 345 (two heart flop) and called down three streets to a guy who flopped the wheel with A2. Yep, one of those days . . . Ultimately, however, I grinded back and left after 7 hours with a $35 profit. A moral victory of sorts . . .
On to Sunday's tournament . . .
$100 buy-in, 105 runners, $12,500 chips, thirteen spots paid. After level 1, I hit a dead patch for the next 5 levels. A constant barrage of 82, A3, K4, Q3, 72, T2 . . . over and over and over. I spent all of level six just looking for a hand I could shove and table without humiliating myself. No such hand ever came.
Level 6 began after the second break with blinds at $600 / $1,200 and my starting stack was down to about $5,800. Then, finally, I got some playable hands: I shove AT in position and take the blinds and antes . . . Pocket 4's, same result . . . pocket 6's same . . . pocket 8's same . . . I then flatted AQ from the button after the cut-off limped. The small blind, who was sitting on about $10,000 called. Flop comes out Q-high. Cut off checks, I bet it, and small blind, who is clearly sick of me after my 10 minute rush, shoves. I insta-call, he flips QJ and I felt him.
Shortly thereafter, I took a table change and sat down with about $22,000. Still below the $30,000 average at the time, but now able to actually play some poker. Three hands in, the following hand took place:
PPP is in the big blind ($50 / $1,000 / $2,000). Woman opens from MP for $4,000 (she has about $20,000 behind). It folds around and I look down at 55. I had been murdering with these small pocket pairs since level 7 began. I consider a raise, but have no read on this woman and figure, given her stack size, she may just shove. Having just gotten my stack back, I don't want to play for life with 55. So, I just call.
Flop comes down 588. Um. Cool. Pretty safe looking flop for a big Ace or any decent pocket pair to continue. I check and set the trap. Woman steps in and bets $6,500. I spring it and shove. With $14,500 in the middle, she contributes her last $9,000 or so and flips AQ. See ya. The Poker Barrister now has $40,000+ and is ready for a run....
A few hours later, we got down to two tables. I had an $80,000 stack - about average, and was determined to take more than a min cash.
Now, since I'm not Vegas Rob, and since I fully recognize the attention span of the average blog reader (myself included), I'll cut this post off here and pick it up later this week.