Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Cash of 2012

2012 was marked by great[er] tournament success.  I had numerous cashes, most of which were in deepstack tournaments at Del Park and The Nugget -- tournaments with relatively good structures.  One tournament I was not, however, able to crack was the daily tournament at the Showboat.  I've mentioned it before, but I'll write it again -- the Showboat is generally a giant donkfest -- $65 buy-in, $20,000 chips, 20-minute levels, no antes.  It does not attract the best of the best.  Yet, it's a hell of a lot of fun.  I bubbled it once in November, busting 8th with 7 spots paid.  I just could not break through . . . until Saturday.
The Saturday 2:00 pm drew 76 runners.  I finished 4th.  The tournament came down to a handful of big hands played, a few well-timed lay-downs, and my ability to overcome mega-tilt after squandering $90,000 chips in a ten minute stretch.  Here are some highlights.  
The first few levels passed relatively quietly.  I was getting nowhere fast.  In level 5, with my stack down to $15,000, I caught a two-hand rush:
HAND 1: 
I was in the small blind with 3 5 off.  After 4 limpers, I completed.  The flop came out a delightful 4(d) 6(c) 7(d).  Bingo.  I checked.  Middle position bets $5,000; the cutoff raises to $10,000.  I shove.  Middle position goes all in for about $4,000 more, and cutoff calls.  MP tables a diamond draw.  Cut off tables 6 4 for two pair.  And I need to dodge a shitload of cards.  I do, and triple up. 
The very next hand, I'm sitting on $45,000 and look down at KK.  I raise to 3.5X and get a call.  Flop comes down A 4 K rainbow.  I check.  Dude shoves his last $12,000 or so, and I snap call.  He tables A4 and starts to celebrate when a 4 hits the turn.  Sadly for him, my Kings full beats his 4's full.  And, just like that, I'm sitting on approximately $61,000.
After a table change, I take down a few more pots (mostly uncontested preflop raises, or C-bets), and work my stack up to about $90,000, when HAND 3 hits:
I open-raise to 3.5x with AK sooted.  The player immediately to my left (a very capable player) shoves for $60,000.  I snap call.  He flips 77 and I catch a K on the turn.  $150,000 chips.
After another decent pot, I worked my stack up to $185,000:

Barring disaster, I'm looking very good to money.  But, I tell myself to keep the pressure on.  No min-cash.  Not today.  Of course, 10 minutes later, my stack was under $100,000.

HAND 4 was played against a TAG gentlemen, who was at my initial table, and who shoved the river on an AKT board with absolute air (76 off).   He played very few hands those first 4 levels we were together; but when he entered a pot, he entered strong.  He was on the button on this particular hand.  I was small blind.  Blinds were $2,000 / $4,000 if memory serves correct.  He limped and I completed with J2.  The board ran out 233, and the gentlemen leads for $6,500.  Sensing my hand was good, I decided to take it down with a raise to $22,000.  The gentlemen says, "Ugh.  Why did I bet that?!?!?!?"  And then proceeds to SHOVE his last $85,000.  Wow.  I still think my 2 is good.  But he could easily be shoving here with any small / medium pocket pair.  I fold.  He shows me a 5 . . . and a 2.  Fuck. Me.  Minus $26,000 chips (not to mention the nearly $100,000 chips I would have won with a call).  Tilt initiated.
A few hands later, I raise to $14,000 from middle position with KJ hearts.  It folds to the big blind who shoves her last $26,000.  I call.  She tables A9 off and neither of us hit the board.  Minus $52,000 chips.   
A few hands later, the small blind reaches me.  It folds around and I complete with K6 off.  Big blind checks his option.  The board comes down all rags.  We check.  Turn is a rag.  I bet $5,800 into $8,000.  Big blind tanks and calls.  River misses everything.  I feel like I can take this pot ($19,600).  I fire $12,000.  Big blind again tanks, and calls.  He tables K7 and his 7 kicker plays.  Unreal.  Great call, I guess (he claimed to put me on a missed draw . . . fair enough).  Minus $73,000.
The very next hand middle position shoves for $11,000 or so and gets two callers.  I'm in the big blind with 8 9 clubs.  There's $33,000 in the middle, and it costs me another $7,000 to see a flop.  I have to call here.  I miss everything, and fold to a flop bet.   Minus $85,000 . . . in basically a single orbit . . .  Mercifully, the 4th break hits and I'm able to walk the boardwalk to cool off.
I returned from the break, still sitting on approximately $100,000.  Plenty of chips to regather my composure and make a run....  I play tight, taking down blinds with positional raises.  Near the bubble, with blinds at $8,000 / $16,000, I steal the big blind twice with raises.  Both times, I had air, and told the big blind: "sorry; decent pocket pair . . . had to raise . . ."  Doubt he believed me; but who cares.
Twice I actually folded pocket pairs to opening raises.  Once 44, and once 77.  On the 44 hand, the original raiser had AQ and got called by 88.  Good fold . . . until a 4 hit the turn.  Oh well.  Better spots would come along.
Ultimately, I hit the final table with $150,000 or so.  An average stack.  6 spots were paid, and players started falling fast.  We got down to 4 players, and I was up against 3 fairly large stacks.  I had about $160,000 left, with blinds at $12,000 / $24,000.  I played my small blind with 8 T and caught top pair on a 4 6 T board.  Big blind bet, I called.  Turn was a 7.  Big blind bet, I shoved, he snapped and tabled the straight.  So be it.

It was a nice end to 2012, and felt good to finally get the "Showboat Monkey" off my back.  I finished 2012 with a slight profit over the course of 205 hours of cash.  A disappointment; but better than finishing the year in the red.  Unfortunately, I did not keep track of tournaments.  I suspect that, despite my numerous cashes, I was probably a bit in the hole at MTT's.  My resolution in 2013 will be to record all my tournament play as well.       
 Happy New Year,

Triple P


  1. Congrats on breaking through. Hope next year is better than this one has been.

  2. Congrats on the cash. Best wishes for some great poker luck in 2013. The skill we can always work on, but the luck ...

  3. I chopped that tourny at Showboat on Friday the 13th with 4 others. Donkfest and fun is an accurate description. Thanks for reporting and many more wins for you in 2013

  4. Nice work, Tino... The Friday/Saturday tournaments with the $5,000 guaranty have been getting nice crowds. Gotta feel good about chopping one of those . . .