Thursday, November 09, 2006

Heartland Poker Tour Part 2

Sorry for the delay with the results from my Heartland Poker Tour experience. I have been embarrassed, as I didn’t see Donkey Puncher’s comment on how I should dress at the final table until after it was already filmed. DP isn’t going to be happy with my attire.

I wish. Not even close. Here’s how it went down. I was feeling good that Saturday morning. Grabbed a Gatorade from the deli and sat down with a guy I had played with at the qualifier. He had been moved to my table near the bubble and had a stack slightly bigger than mine. We mostly stayed out of each other’s way. We chatted about the play in the qualifier and how we both thought it wasn’t as tough as we expected it to be in order to get the seat. Then again he mentioned that other guys from his regular game had said they were coming up to play a qualifier as well and he didn’t see any of them there so maybe we had an easier qualifier than some other ones. Either way it didn’t matter to me as I was in and ready to play. He called over a guy he knew who had bought directly into the main event. The three of us talked until it was time to go take our seats.

When I got to my seat I recognized one guy from my qualifier. He had been moved to my table about halfway through and was on my immediate left. I had doubled through him during the qualifier once and noticed he raised the pot a lot in late position when folded to him. Then the new guy who I had been chatting with sat down at my table as well. Interesting how I talked with 3 guys prior to the event and the new guy I had just met was seated at the same table as me. Well, maybe it’s only interesting to me.

I was in seat 10 and there were 183 players to start the event in the biggest main event in the Heartland Poker Tour’s history. What this number meant was that we had to use some of the lower numbered tables to get started. Those of you that have been to Majestic Star 2 know that these lower numbered tables don’t have automatic shufflers. This meant that ALL tables had to hand shuffle until those tables were broken down. I thought that sucked but what could you do at that point.

I also thought it sucked that the blinds started at 100/200 instead of 100/100 like the qualifier. Sure we got 15K in chips instead of 10K but I thought it would have been nicer to keep the EXACT blind structure of the qualifiers AND get the 5K extra in chips for the main event. Anyway, the first two hands of the tournament the same guy raised to T600 and it folded all the way around. On the third hand I was the big blind and the same guy raised to T600 again from UTG +2. It folded to me and I looked down to find Kd 10d. I called the raise and looked to flop two pair or better.

Being the third hand of the tournament it was hard to put him on a hand but I figured the range was fairly large due to the fact that he raised three hands in a row. I put him on a possible range that included AA, QQ, JJ down through 77 (and maybe any pocket pair), along with AK, AQ, and potentially any two paint cards.

Here’s how the action went from there:

The flop came K 8 10 rainbow with the 8 being a diamond.

(This was a GREAT flop for me. Top two with a backdoor flush draw.)

I checked with the intention of check-raising him.

The pot had T1300.

He bet T1500.

(I thought this was a very curious bet. He obviously wanted to win the pot right here with a slightly larger than pot size bet. I immediately threw out 88 as a possible holding as he would want to extract the most chips from me if I had a king and would want me to catch something if I called with an Ace. I didn’t put him on KK or TT initially as I had one of each and those were even less likely now that there were also one of each on the board and then with his flop bet it made them even more unlikely. I figured him for QQ, AA, JJ, or AK at this point. QJ also was possible with his flop bet as it would give him an open ended straight draw which I could see taking a shot at taking the pot down right there.

At this point I changed my strategy and simply called. I know this gets me absolutely no information but I was fairly certain I was way ahead here and wanted to let him have the lead.

The turn was the 6d (might have been the 4d).

(This gave me the second nut flush draw to go along with top two pair.)

I checked.

(I could have led out here as I don’t want to give a free card to QJ but I thought that was not a likely holding and wanted to give him a chance to bet again as that turn probably didn’t help me.)

The pot had T4300.

He bet T4000.

(Again a pot sized bet. Now I’m putting him squarely on AA or AK. I had seen A LOT of players willing to put a lot of chips in the pot with as little as top pair. Something about the way he bet bothered me. I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know if he was acting weak or what but I sensed strength like he thought his hand was good. Whether it was good or not I wasn’t sure anymore but I still put him on AK or AA as his most likely holdings.)

Again I just called. I know, I know. I played this VERY, VERY passive. At this point I was either WAY ahead or WAY behind and I wanted to see what the river brought. Not like I usually play hands at all. I would usually check raise that flop and/or lead out and/or check-raise that turn when I picked up my flush draw. This time I didn’t. I simply called.

The pot now had T12300.

The river brought the 9c. I didn’t get my flush and the straight got there. I didn’t think QJ was a possible holding anymore.

I checked like a passive girl.

He bet T3000.

I called leaving T5900 behind.

What have you put him on? Did I lose the least I could have or win the less than I could have won?

I will post the ending of the hand soon.

Comments are appreciated and welcome.

Baz Out