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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy "Chipsteela" Menard - Going Deep Again at the WSOP

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So, last time you guys got to hear all about my frustration as I made an attempt at actually having a decent live score in the $1k WSOP event. Well even though I was bummed that this tournament didn't pan out like I hoped, I was still excited that because I busted I got to play the 3k triple chance tournament that started the next day. It's called the triple chance tournament because players are allowed to choose to either get all their 9k chips at once, or take them 3k at a time and gamble a bit more since they could get their other chips whenever they wanted. Usually in a tournament like this I take all the chips I can get at once because then if I get myself in a good spot to double against someone who also bought the maximum in chips, then I will end up with way more chips. Makes sense?

Well I arrived a little late to start the day and was surprised to see several well known live players who had opted to buy in for the minimum, including PokerStars pro Vanessa Rousso and Full Tilt pro Mandy Baker. There were also a few online regulars that I recognized, but as a whole, I wasn't too worried about my table draw. Unfortunately due to the fact that our table was positioned directly under a massive air vent, our whole table was moved to the cash game area over fear that the cards might blow around, and then broken about 4 hands after we moved. This whole process seemed ass backwards, but it’s the WSOP so I wasn't too surprised.

At my new table sat everyone’s 2nd favorite Canadian poker player Gavin Smith, and UB Poker pro Matt Graham among others. It wasn't long before I got into a massive confrontation with Gavin when I picked up A-A and 3-bet against his open raise, knowing good and well that he is incapable of folding to one reraise preflop. As expected he came along for the ride, and we saw a {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} board. Needless to say this flop wasn't the greatest for my hand, but against Gavin I still couldn't really imagine folding with all the flush draw type hands he’s capable of having, as well as overpairs I'm sure he would get it in with as well. I wasn't too happy when he check-shoved all in on me, but I stuck with the plan and called to find that I was ahead but he was very live with the {4-Clubs}{7-Clubs} for a straight and flush draw. Miraculously I was able to fade his abundance of outs, and double up while sending him to the rail at the same time.

After that hand I pretty much went into god-mode, winning the majority of the pots I played including a big hand where I flopped trips and rivered a boat to bust Matt Graham. I was feeling good and stacking em to the top, as I basically took over as the table captain for the next few hours. I even remember a Middle Eastern man calling me a shark in his broken English every time I opened a pot. That was a little awkward. I really started to pick up the aggression toward the end of the night as I knew many players were going to tighten up so they could safely make it to day 2, and there was one player at the table who I could tell was getting tired of it and I had a feeling that a big pot was bound to occur sooner or later between us.

It turned out that my instincts were dead on as he opened a pot from mid position and I looked down at J-J. Against this player I really had no problem with getting this hand in preflop knowing that he was getting tired of being pushed around and was bound to play back at me. I was in the cutoff and decided to put in a small reraise that could easily look like I was just trying to steal another pot from him, sure enough he put the rest of his 40bb stack in preflop and I snapped him off. I was indeed way ahead as he had snowmen, 8-8, but that didn't last long as an 8 materialized on the flop and I had to sit and watch in disgust as the biggest pot I had played that day was shipped away from me. Winning this hand would have put me in the top 5 in chips to end the day, but sadly it wasn't meant to be. Still, I didn't let it get to me and I finished the day strong, bagging up around 55k at 400-800 blinds.  

The next day I got up a little early (anytime before 12 is early to me), and decided to hit the gym to get the blood flowing for the day. I honestly have to say it is completely absurd that you have to pay $20 to use a poor excuse for a gym for one day when you are staying at most hotels in Vegas. I suppose most poker players don't go to the gym though, so you wouldn't understand. Regardless after the workout session I was ready to go to war, as I sat down at my table to see tons of familiar faces of people I play with all the time online. That’s not usually a good sign, but I got the day started well after rivering a boat with T-T in a pretty weird pot against K-K and getting paid off, and then winning a pretty big race with 9-9 against A-K. It seemed like everything was in place for me to make a deep run with how well I felt I was playing on top of how good I was running.

Then the madman Tommy Vedes, who recently won a WPT this year, sat down was a chip stack that was so immense it nearly collapsed the table. I wasn't really looking to play a big pot with the man, but these things just happen. I picked up K-K in early position and made a standard open and wasn't the least bit surprised when he put his big stack to work and decided to 3- bet me. Now I could obviously flat here and trap, but I'm not really looking to play this pot with a positional disadvantage against a very good, albeit slightly crazy post-flop player. I decided to put in a small 4-bet to try to induce a shove, but instead he decided to just flat. Weird. The flop was Q high and I was pretty much ready to get it in so I made another small bet in an attempt to induce a raise, but instead he mulled it over for nearly 5 minutes and then folded. I'm nearly certain he was hollywooding, Vedes likes to take as much time as possible to make every decision from what I saw. He actually almost busted his massive stack right before the money, but instead, in true Vedes fashion, binked a 2 outer to stay alive.

Soon after that hand we were in the money, and somehow I was still in good shape to actually have a worthwhile live performance. I wasn't too bummed when I was moved to another table of mostly all online guys including John "Sketchy1" Eaton and Bradley "Fatsofat6969" Craig. I decided that at this table I could use my tight online image to do some work, and I was able to chip up a good amount by making a couple moves here and there. Sadly all good things come to an end, and this one came to a quick one as I was uprooted from this table and moved to the table of doom after only a few orbits. I knew that it was the table of doom because Jared "thewacokidd" Hamby let me know immediately as I sat down. This table was full of very aggressive players including PokerStars pro Florian Langmann, Full Tilt pros Adam Junglen and David Singer and online pro Ryan Welch who actually  went on to take this event down.

The action was fast and furious, and it didn't help that I was as card dead as possible. I did try to raise a few marginal hands but was quickly met with resistance. Finally I picked up a real hand in A-Ks with 140k at 4k-8k blinds. A player in middle position opened and I knew I had to go with this hand so I announced I was all -n. It wasn't a good sign when it didn't take long for thewacokidd to announce he was also all-in over the top of my shove. I was hoping for the best as I asked if we had the same hand, to which he responded "Probably not" as he flipped over his A-A. Talk about your coolers. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any help from the board and I was out in 42nd.

Although it came to such a bitter end, I really enjoyed playing in this event and I felt much more comfortable in the live environment this time around. I also thought it was pretty awesome that I went from two lifetime cashes in live events to two cashes in two tournaments in a row. Now I feel like it is only a matter of time before a breakout live score. I have to say congratulations to Ryan Welch for winning his first bracelet in this event, and also congrats to Jon "Sketchy1" Eaton who took 2nd for a nice payday as well.

Study poker with Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard at

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