Inside The Poker Tour (21)
Day two of the Bike WPT event started with the blinds at 200-400 with a 50 ante for 90 minutes. I did not know most of my opponents although Allyn Shulman (what a great name for a no-limit hold'em player!she has a short stack) and a young fellow that I was at a no-limit hold'em final table with the previous year are there (he has a big stack). We start about 15 minutes late as many had not unsacked their chips by the official start time of 4:15pm and the first hand is not of note.
The second hand is very noteworthy as it is passed to the button and he raises it to 1300 off a stack of about 19,000 and is re-raised to 3600 by the little blind, who is a sober looking young man with a lot of chips. I look down at 8-8 in the big blind and while I would be happy to challenge one player with such a holding it is very hard to play behind a raise and a re-raise for more than 25% of my stack and so I have to muck it. The exact amount that it would be okay for me to call here is something that I reveal in my coming CD about how to play every hand in a no-limit hold'em tournament in every situationthis only takes about 7,000 pages to cover but with about two clicks you will uncover the answer to this...and to every common situation. For one moment I look smart as the button re-raises it to 6,000 and the little blind squirms and squirms and calls. Now we should consider the probable holdings of the two players; I imagine that the player on the button has KK and the little blind holds AQ suited. Well I am way wrong and the button is busy proving that he is a donkey. The flop comes A82 rainbow and the player who mucked 88 is gnashing his teeth, haha, so much for theory! Theory, after all, comes from a mathematical baseline that is altered a bit by practical situations. Now the little blind is not fooling around any more and moves all-in. Now the button squirms awhile and certifies his donkey nature by calling. The little blind holds AcKc and the button holds AhJs. No problem. Off comes the jack and the donkey more than doubles up.
Two rounds later I have about 11,000 and make it 1250 to go from midfield with the same AJ, the cutoff has not played a hand yet and now moves all-in for 5200, ayah! It is 3950 more for me to call and the pot holds his bet of 3950 and a prior 3800. Almost the magic 2 to 1, and if I were to lose what is likely an unfavorable match-up I still have 5200 in chips. Not much, but about four and a half rounds of cost and enough to have a realistic chance of coming back. I further think over his possible hands and am not enthralled with the matchup as I imagine AK, AQ suited, AJ suited, 88, 99, 10-10, J-J, Q-Q, K-K, and A-A. Would he re-raise for his tournament life with 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, A-10, or a weaker suited Ace? I did not think so, but as long as he did not hold AA it was worth the risk. I call and he turns over Q-Q. The flop reveals Q94 and then gives a tease card 10 before flaming out (for me) with a deuce on the river.
Somewhat later I move all-in with 7-7 and am called by 8s9s by a big stack who brightens up considerably when he sees what a "good" matchup he holds. It comes AA294 and I am gone. Gone to brand x casino when I should take the freeway home and pull the sheets over my head. Tomorrow will arrive, but not soon enough.
The bottom line is that day two at the Bike was way too short for my happiness to happen. On the other hand I have noticed that myself and many other players are much more emotionally intense about getting knocked out of tournaments then we are about large results in cash games, even big losses. Usually when I get knocked out of a tournament I need to sleep at least once before I am okay, now on some occasions it does not bother me at all, and on other occasions it takes three sleeps to get over it... and it does not seem to relate directly to the hand or the result. Sometimes I am disturbed when I come in second and at other times I can finish tenth and have no problem.
The most poignant exits of all seldom are shown. After Todd Brunson was second to Johnny Chan in the Superstars II at Morongo he told the TV people in the interview room that he wanted to put a bullet in his brain! I told them they should give him a little space instead of shoving the mike in his face and they told me that they like the heat of the moment!
We all have some horror story to tell, of course, or we would not be on the rail. Steve Zolotov tells me about his getting crippled by a hand where his opponent does not notice that Steve made it 3,000 to go over a big blind of 800 from up front and so makes it 2200 from the button. When informed of the earlier raise he has to put in 800 more or give up the 2200, and if you have ever had a drowning child in front of you that is not much of a choice and he calls the 800. The flop come AhAc2h and Z bets 5,000 at it with QhQd and his opponent calls. It now comes 7h and Z checks and opponent bets 8,000. What to do now? Z calls. River is the 9c and after check, check the hands come over with the mystery hand being the As3d. Game, set, and match soon to follow. I tell Z to wait until the following morning to drive back home.
Somehow the fact that Haralabous Voulgaris, the Mizrachi brothers, Tony Cousineau, David Chiu, Chip Reese, Tom Franklin, Toto Leonidas, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Don Zewin, Ron Rose, Men Nguyen, Steve Brecher, Barry Greenstein, and Mel Judah are also out (among many others) does not take the sting away.
How about the beat Kahaner puts on AA to take the chip lead in the stretch drive for day two? He holds AQ and after the layout of AJ9KT takes it down and goes over 440,000 in chips.
And the capper is a play that Tom Franklin comes up with in a live BHOT (Bedugi, Hold'em, Omaha, Triple Draw deuce to seven) 80-160 game. Giving it the old lowball squeeze and seeing that he has 3 no spotters of different suits in Bedugi (where the idea is to get the lowest four card hand you can with four different suitsthere are three draws in this game) he raises 5 limpers from the little blind and it is three bet by the upfront limper Patti G, all call and now Tom discovers he is holding 333J and has to draw three. He fires out a bet in first position and is raised again by Patti, he calls and with two other opponents draws one while Patti is pat. Now he fires out 160 and is raised by Patti for a third straight time with one other player bowing his head and calling behind. Tom re-raises and raps pat before the final draw. On the end he bets out for the last time, gets called and shows 5A23 of four suits for the second best possible hand! Wow!
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