Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

From The Other Side Of The Table – Day 30 Of The WSOP

Share this
I got here a little early today as I know what it's like on the day of a weekend $1,500 NLHE tournament. I'm all the way on the other end of the Rio in Buzio's and I'll make that long trek soon, but as I was walking in I already witnessed eager players clutching their registration cards heading that way. I'm excited sure, but not excited enough to show up at my table 30 minutes ahead of time. My plan for the day... I don't have one. I think too many players make that mistake of going in with a preconceived notion of how they are going to play, but until I see who I am playing against and how they play, I truly have no idea how I will play. I might be the biggest maniac in the world or I might turn into the Rock of Gibraltar. I honestly have no idea, but rest assured the way I choose to play will be the one that I feel maximizes my potential for success.

I start out as I normally do, playing tight the first orbit and figuring out what everyone else is doing. I am in the 8 seat and my table is pretty tight with the exception of the 2 seat and the 10 seat. The first hand I play, I raise to 150 with the blinds at 25/50 and get one caller. The flop comes K-J-6 and the big blind (the 2 seat) checks, I bet 200, and he folds.

I fold A-10 suited when this kid in the 4 seat, who I have a feeling is probably going to be one of the better players at the table raises in early position. He's picking his spots early but I suspect he'll open up at some point. I get pocket jacks and raise to 150 again but everyone folds. A couple hands later I get A-J in early position. I'm not a big fan of playing A-J/A-10 type of hands in early position, so I fold the hand. It turns out to be a good move as two players get it all in with aces and kings (not that I would have stuck around with that action anyway, but I at least saved 150).

I called a raise from the kid in the 4 seat on the button with pocket 9's. I still don't have a good feel for how he plays yet, so rather than re-raise I decide to take the more cautious, keep the pot small approach. The flop comes Q-Q-10 and he leads out for 200. I call. The turn is a 6. He checks, I check. The river is a 2. He checks and I check behind mainly because I want to get some information about the kid and the only way he's going to call a bet here is if he has me beat. He has 10-8 suited and takes the pot, but I've gotten some good information that his openers aren't necessarily strong ones.

I get 8's again and raise to 150. This time I get three callers, from the 10 seat, the small blind in the 1 seat, and the 2 seat. Not exactly what I was hoping for but the flop is as it comes Q-8-4 with two diamonds. It's checked to me and I bet 400 into the 600 pot hoping someone has a queen and is trying to check raise me but they all fold.

It seemed like I was getting 8's and jacks a lot as I get two red jacks under the gun and raise to 150. Everyone folded to the big blind who called. The flop was Q-7-4 all diamonds and we both checked. The turn was a 2 of diamonds and we both checked again. The river was a black 9 and I bet 200 this time and the big blind folded.

Two hands later, I get A-K suited in the small blind. There are four limpers so I make it 650 to go, a bit of an over bet but intentionally so as I wanted to make it look like I was making a move to just pick up the dead money. One of the limpers had about 1,500 total in front of him and he decides to go all in. I call and he has a medium pair, 6's. I hit a king and knock him out and move up to about 5,500 in chips.

The very next hand, I get aces on the button. A loose kid who had joined the table with a short stack had limped in from the cutoff and I make it 450 to go. I'd been pretty active at the table thus far (mainly because of the hands I had been dealt) so this was a good time to get a big hand. He called me but the flop wasn't one I liked that much... J-10-9. He checked and I checked. The turn was a 2 and again we both checked. In hindsight, I should have bet here but I didn't want to get check raised by a J-10, K-Q, draw type of hand that would make me fold. The river was an 8 and he checked again. Knowing that there was a ton of ways he could beat me, I went ahead and checked, showed the aces, and he mucked and I fortunately won the pot. Even though I'd played a lot of hands, the hands I had shown down had been strong ones, so I was hoping that would give me some respect when it came to my steal attempts.

I took about an orbit off and raised first to act from middle position with A-8 off. Another new player, in the 3 seat this time, who was acting like he knew it all and who was playing way too many hands, made the call from the big blind. The flop came Q-9-7. He checked, I made a continuation bet, and he folded.

Same story, next orbit, I open this time with Q-J of hearts and the 3 seat again calls. The flop comes 8-8-5 with two hearts. He checks, and I make a continuation bet. It looks like he wants to check raise me but since he only has about 2K left in front of him (and I wasn't going to fold if he pushed), he decides against it and folds.
I pick up a pot out of the big blind when three of us see the flop and it comes 5-5-4. I lead out after the small blind checked and both players folded. I had J-9.

I finally play another pot with the kid in the 4 seat. This time I call another raise of his with K-Q suited. I thought about re-popping him but I really didn't want to get involved in a big pot with him. An ace came on the flop and I folded to his bet.

The loose guy in the 2 seat limps, I limp on the button with A-4 with plans of trying to take the pot post-flop from him since he's pretty transparent with the way he plays. The flop comes K-4-4. So much for “stealing” it. Sure enough, the 2 seat leads out for 250. I make it 750 to go. Unfortunately, he folds and I pick up the small pot.

Joe Pelton joins our table then. I'm probably the only one that recognized the former WPT event winner. He comes to the table with about 10K and proceeds to lose about ½ of it when he calls the kid in the 4 seat's all in with A-Q. The 4 seat had queens and doubled up. It was really the only mis-step I would see Pelton make. He played a very solid, tight aggressive game and picked his spots well.

I by no means play perfect poker this tournament, and I make a big mistake when I call a raise from the big blind with K-7 suited. The flop comes Q-9-7 rainbow. I check and the pre-flop raiser (the 10 seat who had been very loose) moves all in for about 2,000 into the 1,000 pot. The bet puzzled me. If he had a big pair or had hit the board, wouldn't he make a 500-750 bet I asked myself? It felt like an A-K, A-J, K-J type of hand that missed. I made the call and he turned over aces. So much for my brilliant read. I get lucky though and spike a king on the river to knock him out and I am up to 7K. Gotta get lucky in these things and here was luck box hand #1.

I get A-Q on back to back hands and open with them both times to 550 with the blinds at 100/200. Both times I am re-raised and both times I fold. After the 2nd hand, I heard the re-raiser say to the guy next to him, “I had Big Slick that time too” meaning I avoided disaster there pretty well.

I call a raise from the kid in the 4 seat with A-10 out of the small blind and the flop comes 10-4-2. I check and he follows suit. The turn is another 4 and I lead out for 700. He calls. The river is an ace which I feel is a really good card for me. I lead out with a bet I think he will call... 1,200. He thinks it over for a time, looks like he wants to re-raise, but decides against it and just calls. He mucks after I show my cards and I'm up to about 9K.
I of course proceed to lose 1K back to him the very next hand when his A-10 hits a straight against my A-Q that hit a pair on a J-9-8-Q-4 board.

We're about to leave Buzio's for the main tournament area. I'd been talking with the 7 seat for the majority of the time we'd been playing and we'd had a good conversation. His name is Tim and he is a mortgage broker from Phoenix. We both had family back in Alabama, so we talked about the South and poker of course. On one of the last hands before we left Buzio's he limped under the gun and I made it 1,050 to go with A-J. Everyone, including Tim, folded. Me being the poker player that I am, I lied and told Tim I had A-K. He said he had A-8 so it wouldn't have mattered if I had told him the truth. Now you know Tim. It was a pleasure, Sir.

The next hand I played was a tough decision for me. It's one of those ones when I look back at it after it's over and say “that was stupid” but at the time it made sense. I open for 550 with pocket 4's and a short stack moves all in for 1,675 more. There is 3,325 in the pot and it's 1,675 for me to call so the part that made sense at the time was that I was getting 2:1 on my money and he could have a hand like A-K or A-Q. The part of me that looks back and says “that was stupid” though is the realization that there are a number of hands in his range that have me crushed there and it's for too big a chunk of my stack (20%) for me to call. As you've probably guessed, I called and was dominated by his pocket jacks.

The next hand that I lost, many people would probably look at and say “that was stupid” but I'm actually fine with the way the hand went down. There were 3 limpers and I limped as well on the button with K-10 suited. The big blind moved all in for 2,500 more (blinds were still 100/200). Everyone folds back to me. I look at the big blind.

He's wearing a Full Tilt Series of Poker jacket which tells me he's proficient at playing Internet poker. One thing I know from playing on the Internet so much is that if a player with a shortish to medium stack sees an opportunity to pick up 1,500 in dead money without having to show his cards, he's capable of moving in with any two cards. Something about his demeanor told me this was a move and I figured at worst it was a race. I made the call. He stood up and I knew my read was right. He was, however, ahead with his A-4 off suit. The board came with a 10 but it also came with two fours and he doubled up. In a matter of minutes, I had gone from the penthouse to the outhouse. Such is the nature of these $1,500 tournaments.

I'm down to 1,700 in chips right before the 2nd break and I get aces on the button. The big blind is the guy I had doubled up on the prior hand. I thought about making a raise to 550, but figure that if either of the two players left to act are willing to call 550, they'll call the 1,700. I push. The small blind folds and the big blind quickly calls and proudly turns over 9's. He's disappointed when he sees my hand and I double up to 3,700.

One of the luck parts of poker has nothing to do with your hands holding up. It's getting people to fold when you have nothing, and getting them to call when you have something. In this way, I had a very unlucky tournament as over the next orbit I get queens and kings, make an opening raise and everyone folds. Of course, Joe Pelton gets action on his big pair and wins a monster pot. Bastard.

I win a decent sized pot in a small blind versus big blind confrontation when the flop comes 10-7-4 with two clubs. I have the Q-5 of clubs in the big blind. The small blind checks and I bet 600. He calls. The turn is a 2. He checks and I make another bet, this time 1,200. We're both about the same stack size so I'm hoping this bet will show him that I won't fold and that he's going to be risking his entire stack. He folds and I'm back above the 6K mark now.

I raise first to act from the button with A-10 suited on the Full Tilt Series of Poker guy's big blind. He looks at his cards and hesitates for a few seconds before putting the rest of his stack in. I have him covered again and make the call. He has pocket 2's and the 2's hold. I have no luck against this guy. Once again I am crippled.

I move all in two hands later with K-10 and am called by the big blind who has me covered by 550 in chips. He has A-6 but I hit a ten to survive. I then pick up a few more chips when I limp in a multi-way pot with K-Q on the button and five of us see the flop. The board comes 10-9-6-2-A and it is checked on the flop, turn, and river. On the river, I take a stab at it... a risky proposition considering how short I am. I bet 900 and everyone folds.

I fold A-Q to a raise and all in re-raise even though I only have 3K or so. It wasn't really the spot where I wanted to commit all my chips. The table busts and I move under the gun, a semi bad beat since I had just gone through the blinds at my other table. I look down at K-Q and push my remaining 2,700 in. It is folded to David Tran who is in the big blind. He doesn't seem like he wants to call but quietly says, “Ok, I call.”

He has pocket 7's and we're off to the races. I hit a king on the turn and it looks like I am going to double up and have nearly 7K in chips right before the dinner break. The river is a cruel 7 though and I smile, pat David on the back, and take the not so long walk back to press row having outlasted 2,000 people as there are 708 players remaining out of the 2,740 that started. Close...but close in this game means nothing.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed