Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Caesars Indiana WSOP Circuit Trip Report

I got to Louisville around 9pm on Wednesday night, checked into my hotel, then drove out to the Casino. I talked to them about registering for Thursday's tournament and the lady said I'd need to be there by about 9 am in order not to be an alternate. So, I decided I wasn't going to play very long that night and I'd go back to my hotel and try to sleep around 1 or 1:30. That business taken care of, I sat down in a 1/2 NL game and started losing. I couldn't find much in the way of cards, called a few raises with pocket pairs, didn't flop any sets and got away from AQ on the turn after flopping top pair, when a lady to my right made a straight. I also paid $6 every half hour for the privilege of losing my money. Just as an aside, I'd never played with a seat charge before and I really think that it screws tight players pretty hard. Anyhow, I finally got fed up around 1 am and left after dropping about $150 on the night. Not a good start to my trip, but I was determined to win it back.

I didn't get much sleep that night and finally gave up and went down to Caesars at about 8:30 am. Unfortunately, the lady from the night before had led me wrong, the computer system is down and I can't register for the tourney yet. So, I spent the next 3 hours wandering around killing a little time losing money at video poker and basically just wasting time. I finally got to sign up around 11 o'clock which was when I had originally planned to get there until the lady steered me wrong, and of course I wasn't an alternate. The tourney got underway promptly at Noon . The structure was decent with 50 minute levels and 2k starting chips, starting blinds were 25/25, then went up to 25/50 in the 2nd level. Unfortunately I was pretty card dead for the entire time. I think I played like one hand volunarily in the first level when I limped with JT and folded the flop or something. It was a hand that I was forced to play though that would screw me. Towards the end of the first level I was in the small blind (both blinds were 25) with 42o and got to see a free flop. The flop came down 448 and with, I believe, 125 in the pot, I bet out 125 right away. I only got called by one player, and older guy who I didn't have much of a read on except that he wasn't very good. The turn came an Ace and for some reason I decided to check and see what he would do. As it turned out he had 2 chips left at that point, a purple 500 chip and a green 25 chip...he threw both in the pot, but announced 125. It was a pretty small bet and I smelled a rat, but I felt like I had to call with trips. The river came a Ten I believe, putting no straights or flushes on the board and again I checked. My opponent then put his last 400 in the pot. I thought for a bit and figured his most likely hand was probably A4, but I thought he could also have A8 and eventually I made the crying call. Unfortunately, he did have A4 and I was down to about 1100. In retrospect, I really feel like I should have folded that river as any 4 was beating me.

After that hand, I did a lot of folding. I got Ace-rag alot, but other than that no hands of note. I never saw so much as a KJ or KQ and had one pair the entire tournament. I made it to the first break (after the 2nd level) with 950 in chips and blinds going to up to 50/100. Early on in the 3rd level I found an ATo in the CO or hijack and open-raised to 300 to pick up the blinds, but that would be the only pot I'd win in the tournament. I folded for another round or so and was back down to 950 when the blind got to me again. I was in the BB for 100 and the older guy from the trip 4's hand limped, then the SB (who was pretty new at the table) raised to 600 and I looked down at pocket 8's and had a decision to make. It was my first pair of the tournament and the best starting hand I'd had, yet this guy had just made a bet that pot-committed him, not to mention that it was an overbet that was nowhere near the standard. The only things I'd seen from this guy so far were that he had called a raise with 99, then folded face-up when the flop came all overcards. After thinking long and hard, I decided to fold fearing that there was just too much chance he had an over pair. In retrospect, I don't know...but that may be the hand I should have gone with. The very next hand though, I was in the small blind and the same older guy limped, then the guy to my right (who was now the button) limped also and I looked down at AcTc and put my last 800 in the pot. I figured I had enough that I might be able to induce a couple of folds and pick up 300 chips and live to fight another day. Unfortunately, the button had a fairly large stack and decided to call me with 44. I lost the race and it was GG me.

When I look back I really feel like I played the tournament pretty well overall. I didn't make any major mistakes and I didn't donkey off my chips. All of my moves are at very least debatable in my mind. In some ways, I feel like I should have gone with the 8's, and a friend of mine who I've discussed it with thinks I should have, but I think the situation dictates that the ATs was a better hand to move in with and here's why...with the 8's I knew that I was going to be all-in no matter what I probably best-case scenario I would be in a race. With the ATs, I really felt like I could possibly just pick up the dead money and move on to another hand, nobody had shown any strength so if I got called by an Ace my kicker figured to be good and as it turned out, I ended up losing a very close race. Anyhow, I think I'm going to end up posting that sequence in tourney strat and see what kind of responses I get. All in all, the $550 tourney was a good experience for me. I played well and I found that the level of play was pretty bad. I definitely plan to play in another one sometime when I have the money as I believe that these are just as beatable as any $20 online tourney and the structure really seems pretty similar to that.

After the tourney I got in a 10/20 game for a few hours and after being stuck as much as about $390 I fought back and quit down $220 after about 4 hours. I didn't play bad, but I ran pretty bad for most of it and just couldn't get anything going. I'll be going back to the boat today for a while and I'll try to get some of my losses back. I'm not sure what I'll play. I could play 10/20 again, but that would take the last of the cash that I have on hand for poker. I might play a little lower, but either way I hope to finally post a win for this trip.


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