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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

WSOP Circuit $300+40 NLHE – Not The Best Start

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I got into Tunica last night and checked into my hotel. I made the short drive over to Harrah's to register for the $300+40 NLHE event, the first event on the two plus weeks of poker here. I had a rough night of sleep, as is usually the case for me the first night I am away from home, but it's nothing I haven't ever dealt with before. I was looking forward to playing some live poker for the first time in three months.

They kicked off the event by playing a WSOP promo video with sound loud enough to knock the clothing off of any one standing near the speakers. Not a pretty picture I tell you, especially if I'm one of those standing near the speakers. We started with 10,000 in chips, the blinds at 25/50, and 40 minute levels. A great early structure, but in looking at the structure sheet it was obvious that it moved much faster at the later stages.

As play started, I did as I normally do the first orbit, sitting back and evaluating the other eight to nine players at my table. There were a couple of solid, tight aggressive players, a crazy maniacal Asian lady who was getting ran over by the deck, and an old lady and gentleman seated right next to one another who were very weak tight. How weak tight? The woman limped in after a button limp from the small blind with pocket jacks and proceeded to check call bets on the eight high flop, still eight high turn, and still eight high board. Her opponent just laughed as he turned over his 10-8 suited and she showed her jacks. Needless to say anytime she led out, I paid very careful attention to that.

My tournament got off to a rocky start
; I tried to play a lot of pots as is my custom in the early portions of a deep stack tournament. I won a few small pots but lost more than I won and found myself with 9,000 in chips at the end of the first level. Then the proverbial wheels fell off.

The start of my demise
came when I limped in from the cutoff with A-9 suited after two players had limped in. Five of us saw the A-3-3 flop. Not a flop I was necessarily excited about but when it was checked to me, I took a stab at the pot with a 300 bet into the 600 pot. The big blind quickly called – he was one of the solid players that I had mentioned previously and I was immediately concerned by that call. The tight, old woman also called. As far as I was concerned, I was done with the hand now. The turn was a jack and both players checked to me. I followed suit and checked as well. The river was a terrible card for me as it was a 9, giving me Aces and Nines. If my opponents had a hand like A-K or A-Q I was not ahead of them. The big blind led out for 1,000 into the 1,500 pot.

The old woman folded.

I KNEW the big blind had a three... just knew it. Yet for some inexplicable reason, I grab a 1,000 chip and toss it into the middle while saying “show me the 3.” Be careful what you wish for – he showed me a three. Definitely a “rusty” call as that's usually a hand I can get away from pretty easily. Oh well, shake it off and move on. I still had 7,000 in chips and with the blinds at 50/100, there was still plenty of opportunity to make it up.

The next hand I played cut my stack in half
as I raised with A-J from the button to 600 with the blinds at 100/200 and the big blind flat called me. The flop came J-4-4 and I bet when it was checked to me. My opponent, who had just moved to the table, check raised my 600 bet to 2,500. That seemed a little weird to me – like he was check raising just to try and take the pot away from me. I wanted to call and see what he did on the turn and maybe spike an ace or a jack. The turn was a queen. He eyed my stack, which was at around 4,000 now and counted out 5,000 in chips and threw them in the middle. I wasn't sure I really believed him but I decided I didn't know enough about him at this stage and knew I could recover. Yet another weak, bad play from me that was the epitome of my day. Still, I had 20 big blinds and knew I could bounce back. I'd done it before, no reason I couldn't shake it off and do it here.

Yea right, who was I kidding. With the blinds still at 100/200, I open under the gun to 600 with pocket 8's. I get two callers and then the tight old guy who was in the big blind, moved all in for an additional 1,250. I hate it but I'm getting over 4:1 on my money. I make the call. Every one folds. He has queens. I don't suck out and am now down to 2,500 in chips.

It is only a few moments later before I hit the rail
. Three players limp in and I complete from the small blind with 7-6 of diamonds. The flop comes 8-7-4 with two diamonds. Doesn't get much better than that for my hand. I lead out for 500 into the 1,000 pot. It is folded to the button, the same old guy who had the queens in the previous hand. “I raise,” he says, putting out 1,500 in chips. Crap. I again know I'm in trouble but there's no way with my stack size and my hand that I'm folding here. I put the last of my chips in. He turns over pocket 4's and I miss my kajillion outs and am done right before the first break.
It was definitely not the start I was looking for. I am not pleased at all with how I played, but the great thing about tournament poker is that there is always another day. I'll learn from my mistakes from today and move on.

Tomorrow is a Pot Limit Omaha 8 event (which I am playing in lieu of the $200 NLHE tournament) – I've never played a PLO8 event live before so I'm looking forward to this.

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