Saturday, June 25, 2005

Live Tourney for a WSOP Main Event Seat.....

I played in a live tournament Friday night with first place paying a seat to the Main Event plus $1,000 spending money. They paid top 20 and there were 500 players split into two sessions of 250 players each with the top 10 from each session playing to sort out the money spots. I played in the 7pm session along with my Dad and brother. The buy-in was $60 and everyone had a $30 re-buy or add-on. You could take the re-buy if you dropped below T500 or could get an add-on at the end of the first hour if you didn't use it.

We started with T1500 and the re-buy/add-on got you another T1500. The levels were 15 minutes long and the blinds started at 25/50. My strategy was to be aggressive early and either accumulate chips or lose my first T1000 and re-buy in the first level or two. The structure was pretty much a turbo and you had to get chips one way or the other to survive the ever increasing blind levels. Oh yeah....the tables were 12 handed.

I started out well and had accumulated T4800 by the end of the third level without ever showing down a hand (except the pocket Kings I raised 3X the BB and it folded around to me so I only picked up the blinds). I should have stayed aggressive in that last 15 minute session leading up to the break and the re-buy but didn't....mistake #1. I added on at the break and had around T6500 with the blinds going to be 300/600 when we got back from break.

My table had been broken just before break which I wasn't happy about as I had gotten a pretty good read on the players at my table.....who was a solid player....who would call with any Ace or any paint.....who would lay down their draw to the big bet and who wouldn't. Ah well....time to start fresh. I felt like I was working hard for my chips and yet the blinds kept pace with me keeping me at around 10X the big blind. The key was having a dealer that was good and quick........and players at your table that didn't think they were all ready in the main event. My first table was great.....the second....not so much. The dealer was fine.....but there was one guy at this table that took forever with every decision. It was crazy and our table grinded to a halt. We didn't even make one full orbit at 300/600 when we had been getting in 1 1/2 - 2. It was horrible.

Long story short......I kept just ahead of the blinds for awhile.......then the blinds caught up with me. It was just before they were going to go up to 2000/4000. I was down to T6200 and in the big blind for T2000 with A 10 offsuit. The guy UTG was short (about the same as me) and pushes. Two callers in LP and the small blind pushes over the top. I know that my A 10 is not good currently and suspect several of my Aces are dead even if my 10 kicker would be good. With the blinds getting ready to go up the next hand and I'd be the small blind I decide I have to take my chances here to quadruple up rather than get a random hand the next time. I call as do both players in LP. We flip them and I see an A 6, A 9, and JJ none suited. My first thought was my 10 would be good if I could see the case Ace until I hear a guy in MP state he folded A 3. I then hope for A LOT of diamonds (since I had the Ace of diamonds) or several 10's which never came and I went out around 72nd of the 250 in the session. The jacks held up. My brother had gone out 10-15 minutes prior and my Dad went out 15 minutes or so later around 60th so we had a decent but no cigar showing. If anyone thinks I shouldn't have made that call please leave me a comment and a reasoning why......every little bit helps.

We then played a $40 sit and go and I went out rather quickly.....can't even remember the hand. I think I was the 4th or 5th to go out. The other room had cash games.....1/2....2/4.....3/6.....and 5/10 so I headed there for some 5/10 action hoping to make back what I had put in so far. After 2 1/2 hours I cashed out exactly $5 less than what I bought in for....uneventful. I did hit my first ever live game 4 of a kind which was nice even though the pot was a small one. It was a very tight game and I might have been better off playing at a smaller limit that was a looser game.....maybe next time. The 5/10 game I was in was the only one left running as the other table broke shortly after I sat down.

All in all it was a great time and I'd definitely do it again even given the structure. I'd probably even take a few more chances early than I did this last time. I even took the wife and kids with me for two nights at a nice hotel with a kids waterpark and we all had a blast on the mini-vacation that included a night of step.....getting the wife to agree to a poker cruise.

Hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe 4th.

Baz Out.