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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Trying to get lucky in Vegas

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Well it’s been almost 3 weeks since I got to Vegas and miraculously I don’t want to blow my brains out yet. If you have been reading my past pieces you’d know that for some reason Vegas has been like a black hole of frustration for me these past few years, but this year I was determined to make it a better experience. From the beginning of the trip I knew this year was going to be different, as I managed to win my first 3 credit card roulettes against my roommates, proving to be a good omen of things to come.

The next day I woke up just in time for the $1500 WSOP event, but that didn’t last long. I got a pretty easy table draw and was able to win a majority of the pots I played in the early levels; however they were all small pots and didn’t really add up to much since they never got further then the flop. I couldn’t get much going after the first break, and since the structure was so terrible you basically have to double up in the first few levels to have any shot, I was out the door in no time when I shoved the short stack with the K-Q and got called by the J-J. Somehow the online nuts didn’t come through for me, and it was on to the next one.     

I decided to play the 1k event the next day since its known for drawing weaker fields, and also for some reason has a better structure then the $1,500 though you start off with less chips. I’m really not sure what these people are thinking when they design the structure for a lot of these lower buy-in tourneys at the WSOP. Anyways, I missed a few flops early but then was able to double up with the 5-7o when I flopped two pair and check- raised the flop against an older guy who seemed pretty fishy. The board ran out pretty unfavorably for me putting a 4 card straight on the turn, but when he checked back the turn and a K hit the river I decided that he probably didn’t have the straight and decided to go for max value and shoved in my stack for around a pot sized bet. The man couldn’t call fast enough with his rivered top pair, as he had the K-Q. I can’t make up these hand histories, the players are really that bad out here. I turned up the aggression the rest of the day, and was able to build a pretty decent sized stack. It also didn’t hurt that I picked up A-A in a very opportune spot where a short stack shoved and a deep stacked player shoved over the top to isolate the short stack. I was able to hold and finally make a day 2 appearance with a stack where I had a legitimate shot at going deep.

Day 2 of the 1k started well, as I drew a super weak table, and had no problem chipping up. That was until I decided to make a play on a tighter player right around the money bubble. I 3-bet his open on the button with the 5-7o, and got myself into a pretty bad spot on a Q-5-Q-6-5 board when I rivered a boat against his bigger boat. That was a minor set-back, but I didn’t let it get to me. I had no problem finishing in the money, and was able to double up with A-T against an aggressive online player’s A-6. Since my stack was made up of only black chips at this point I jokingly asked the player to pay me in all blacks and he did just that. My stack was now looking monstrous, unfortunately black chips are only worth 100 so it wasn’t worth anywhere near what it appeared to be. But hey, it’s all about appearance anyways, right?  

A few hands later I was moved to another table with heads up specialist Oliver “Livb112” Bousquet on my direct left. Him having heaps of chips and position on me is the stuff nightmares are made of, as he 3-bet my raises every opportunity that arose. Though I’m nearly certain I didn’t win a single pot against Livb, I did take advantage of one spot where I opened UTG with A-8s , and since the player in the small blind wasn’t paying attention he tried to open for a raise thinking I had already folded. He was forced to put in a minimum raise folding out the player in the big blind, but since I was nearly certain not only that his raise was completely an accident but also that he could have such a wide range since he thought he was only raising blind vs. blind I decided it was a great spot to make a move. Once the action got back to me I thought for a few seconds and then announced that I was all-in, some may call this an angle shoot but I think that if the player isn’t paying attention than its fair game to capitalize on his mistake. It would have been hilarious if he had a monster here, but I think he’s nearly always folding in this spot.

After that hand I couldn’t get much going once we returned from the dinner break of Day 2, and soon found myself hovering around 20bbs at a pretty tough table full of internet wiz kids. I picked up A-Qo in the hijack and decided I was probably going to have to go with this hand after I opened for a raise. I got flatted by the button, and then an aggressive internet player in the big blind announced he was all-in pretty quickly in a spot that really seemed like it could be a squeeze play. Online I wouldn’t give much thought about getting it in with this hand in a spot like this, but because I had already committed 2 days of my life to this tournament and wasn’t really trying to bust making a bad call when I feel like I had a legitimate shot of going deep for a nice score, I had to actually consider my options. I came to the conclusion that from what I’d seen so far this player was definitely capable of making a play in this spot, and if I was wrong the 3k event was tomorrow and I wasn’t just trying to coast into day 3 of this 1k event with 20bbs anyways. After some deliberation I called, and was shown the bad news when the player revealed his A-K. I got no help from the deck and busted in 109th.

I have to tell you that getting paid 3k for playing nearly 2 days of poker is just about like kissing your sister and I’m not from West Virginia, but luckily I had the Vegas nightlife to soften the blow. Still, I was happy to have finally broke my Vegas curse and actually cash in a tournament. This score brought some confidence and I had a few more events on my schedule, including the 3k triple chance which remarkably had a decent structure so I was looking forward to it. I felt a deep run coming in my blood, but you guys will have to check back next time to see if I actually pulled through.

Study poker with Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard at

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