I spent seven hours at the tables today, watching four episodes of Prison Break, waiting in vain for pocket aces....
I woke up at 7 this morning, still under the influence of the virtually irreversable almost uncurable effects of a hellish jet lag. I sure hope that they will find some cure or whatever in the not too distant near future which will ban out and crush the horrible effects of air travel. Sleepy as I was, I crawled from under my comfortable blanket to reach for my laptop in the darkness so I could "check some stuff online." I was planning on not spending more than a couple of minutes surfing the web to find the information I was looking for. Minutes became hours, and my plan to get some sleep so I would be ready for the $1500 Pot Limit Hold'Em tournament were basically shot to pieces. Great planning, but reality bites...I spent four hours soaking up the radiation my laptop emits, you don't really think about stuff like that normally, but if you look in the mirror after such a long "Internet run" you basically look like you've lived through a nuclear storm. After staring at my mirror image in shock for a few seconds, I went to the living room to look for David. He was supposed to wake me up at 10:30 so we would be able to get to The Rio in time. He was nowhere near the living room, and I ended up finding him in his bedroom, still fast asleep. I woke him up and we immediately shifted up a few gears, and were in the car within 30 minutes.
At the first table I played at I encountered some familiar faces. Quinn Do was also present. He is a young agressive player who won the $2500 Limit Hold'Em tournament in which I myself finished in 9th place last year. While the first hand was dealt I saw Peter Dalhuizen, who is also spending the next five weeks in Vegas to be part of the WSOP experience, and we chatted for a few moments before I looked at the cards I was dealt. I noticed that Quinn limped in first position for 25, and I also limped with 56o in the cutoff. The button made it 100, Quinn called, an so did I. Darn! I had promised myself to play tight, but now I had 100 of my 1500 points sitting in the pot, while holding 6 high.
The moment I saw the rainbow flop with 4-7-8, I completely forgot about my playing-tight-resolution I had made earlier. Quinn checked, as did I, and the button made it 200. After a few seconds Quinn decided to call again, I decided to refrain from raising and called as well, so both payers would have a chance to improve, and so any of them could form a better second best hand, so I would get paid more on the turn and the river. Turn card was a 9, Quinn checked, I bet 350 because I did not want the button to check. My strategy worked, he folded, and Quinn called. The river showed a J, so a Ten would make a straight. Because Quinn made calls after seeing the flop and the turn, I did not figure him for a T which would complete a straight, and if the river would show a J I could rest assured that I was holding good cards, and put Quinn on two pair. Quinn still had 850 sitting in front of him, and I wanted to get the most out of the situation, so i decided to make a bet he couldt not resist calling. Hehe, Quinn payed like he was paying through his teeth, and to top off his misery filled self loathing mumbling, I showed him my straight. 2500 gained, quite a good start. After this fun hand Peter was seemingly amused, and he retired to his own table to play some hands himself.
The best thing about Pot Limit Hold'Em is that weaker players lose their most important weapon, the ability to go all-in! This is the main reason why most players feel that Pot Limit Hold'Em is a game that requires more skill. But even with that said, No Limit Hold'Em will always be the number one game in America for some reason, referred to by many as "The Cadillac of Poker".
As time progressed, many tables I was playing at were broken up, and I kept ending up at tables with players I had not seen before. I lost some pots and I won some, my stack got as low as 4000, and as high as 10.000.
After playing six levels, it was time for the dinner break. Frank Sinopoli, David "Chino" Rheem, Peter and myself decided to head over to a new sushi place; "Naked Sushi", about 10 minutes by car from The Rio. Frank had pre-ordered since we were kinda pressed for time. The moment we arrived we were immediately seated and could start eating. The sushi was GREAT, I will make sure I pay them another (few) visit(s). Only on days on which Jean is not cooking of course.
After a good meal we returned to the pit. Before I knew it I had lost 10,000 chips. I bubbled around 140th place. 99 players would finish "In the money". Many will say; "Too bad, no money made" or "Darn, so close to getting paid". I get knocked out of tournamets at this stage regularly, and so do many other good players. I try to win everything I play, I go for first place, always. If I play to get in the money, only to have to take more risk to get to first place, I am wasting my energy. The big money is made when you finish first, second or third, and by going for those positions, I feel I will make more money in the long run.
The most important hand I lost was when I made it 2,000 to go with 55. Tim Phan moved all-in for another 4200. I took a few minutes to think, and realized I would get 2 chips for my every one chip, and even if I lost I would still have about 4000 in my stack. Tim Phan is a very agressive player, so chances were good that he was holding two overcards, and that my call would be a good one. Unfortunately he showed me his TT, and no help came for me on the board. I bet my last 2000 in the next round on a flush draw which got destroyed by a top pair.
Oh Well, tomorrow is another day. Many bubble baths will follow in the next few weeks I'm sure, but if i get to bathe with a bracelet, I'll forget all about that, just imagine what that would be like... Hopefully those pockes aces will show up sometime soon, otherwise my Ipod battery might run out again while I am watching Prison Break, and that would be a real shame....
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