(Editor’s Note: Evelyn Ng is one of several professional pros and poker officials blogging their experiences at the 2009 World Series of Poker with PokerNews readers. Evelyn’s blog of her Event #14 showing is worth a wider read, and so we share it with you here. Evelyn plays online at Bodog Poker.)
WSOP 6-Handed Limit Event #14
Even though I was a limit cash game player for over a decade before I started playing tournaments, I was never that excited about playing in limit tournaments. It always seemed like you had to run well pretty consistently the whole time to get deep. And due to the nature of limit games, it was too difficult to protect yourself from taking bad beats. I often found myself doing well in them for a while, but then inevitably, I always ended up frustrated and scolding myself for entering them at all.
My attitude completely changed after the $2500 Limit 6-Handed event at the WSOP. I had planned on playing in the $2500 NLHE event which started at noon, but Lex [Veldhuis] and I had slept in, and decided to give the short-handed a shot. This is the first time that they have hosted this particular event, and even though I did end up being frustrated by it, I have to say that this event was still the most fun I've had in the last couple years of playing tournament poker. In full-ring limit tournaments, a lot of the times I would find myself waiting for good cards, only to get suck-out on with little for me to do about it.
On a short-handed table, you have to be active in a lot of pots so there's not that much time to be bored, and it's also much easier to take advantage of the tighter or weaker players. My starting table was ok. Barry Shulman was two seats to my right, and Matt Woodward (a young limit games specialist) was to my left. The other 2 players seated seemed to lack live experience, and the 6 seat remained empty for a late sign-up. I had a very good start, getting a lot of hands and hitting flops, and I was able to pick up a lot of chips in the first level. By the 2nd level of play, I had nearly doubled my initial chip-stack and had established a strong image as well.
I wasn't thrilled when the 6th seat was filled by Gavin Smith, who had recently busted out of another tournament. Gavin and I had some history of playing limit cash games together, from playing $20-$40 limit in the late 90's at the Mirage. He was considerably a much more aggressive player than I was, and he was one of the toughest opponents in those games back then. I was happy that I had a lot of chips and that he seemed slightly tilted from his recent bustout. I knew he would be playing fast, but I was prepared to stand-up against him. It was good that Barry, who is also pretty aggro, was to his immediate left, so I was able to avoid getting involved in raising wars, without having the goods.
Gavin had lost a big chunk of his stack, when he pretty much told us in his own words that his plan was to go big, or go home. He came in raising with every hand until eventually I knocked him out. I was relieved that he hadn't ever gotten a hold of a big stack, because he was too fearless and dangerous to have in the game. Matt Woodward didn't have much luck either, and without the chips or cards, he didn't have a lot of room to maneuver, and he got knocked out in the 3rd or 4th level as well.
Three players had been knocked out from the original six, and each new player who replaced them was someone I knew... a very bad sign. Gavin's seat was filled my Justin Filtz (who I had gotten deep in a Bellagio tourney with), Matt's seat to my left was taken by John "PearlJammer" Turner, and David Baker--not 'Bakes' or 'WhooooKidd', but the other really good David Baker, who is also a limit tournament specialist and excellent tournament player.
Early on I had been getting good cards, flopping sets and making flushes, but then unfortunately, things started to turn. I had gone from a very impressive 20k, all the way down to about 4k. I was very tired after the dinner break (a very unnecessary break IMO), and I was getting grumpy too. Even though I wasn't feeling too great, another thing I really liked about this tournament was that the atmosphere at the table was much more social and jovial than most tournaments. Being limit, players didn't put on their No-Limit-Don't-F-With-Me faces on, and it felt more like a fun limit cash game than a WSOP bracelet event. Everyone was talking and being nice and polite, and it was really refreshing.
By the last few levels, the cards seemed to like me again, and I picked up pocket aces a few times and got paid-off on all of them too. I had gotten to a high-point of 39k, and finished the night with 26k, which I wasn't unhappy about. Lex was sitting at a table nearby, and over the course of the night I watched his chips grow and grow, and he finished off the night with a whopping 65k, 4th in chips going into Day 2.
We got home a little after 3am, and promptly went to bed exhausted. We got up nice and early for Day 2, but like one of those mornings when everything just seems to go wrong, we ended up running late and missing the first couple hands by the time we took our seats at our new tables. I hate missing hands. I also really don't like having no time to get settled into my seat and to size-up my opponents and their relative chip stacks.
I don't want to go over bad beat stories, but it was kind of a mean cosmic joke what went down as soon as I got there. In three hands in quick succession, I got out-flopped and out-drawn in total cold-deck situations. I felt like I had turned down the wrong street and gotten mugged! I comforted myself with the fact that there really wasn't anything I could have done about it, and that I was happy that I played the event and gotten that experience. It was nice to see that PokerNews had reported that I made "an elegant exit" after my bust-out...
Evelyn Ng has been sent to the rail after getting her last chips into the middle with top pair holding on a board of , but her opponent Bryan
Horton had turned two pair with .
The river bricked and Ng made an elegant exit from the Brasilia Room.
What really bummed me out was that Lex had taken a lot of bad beats and cold-decks. From the little I got to talk to him after I got knocked-out, and from his texts messages, I knew that he was really getting tortured and I was proud of the way he was handling it. A few hours later he busted-out, and it really showed how strong his character is that he was able to smile and joke about the sick series of events which had led to his demise. We decided that videogame therapy was in order, and headed over to GameStop to pick up some new games to chronic-out on!
Off to bed now... the Women's Championship is tomorrow. Wish me luck!!
***You can find me on the Evelyn Ng table on Bodog http://www.bodog.com***
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