Monday, March 6, 2017

Chinese whispers, duck feathers, awkward hugs

The morning after

The morning after the ambassador's SNG I got out of bed and promptly fell over. All the more alarming because all I'd had the night before to drink was a couple of beers and a shot of tequila. I'm well below average for an Irishman at drinking, but even I should be able to handle that. After crawling back into bed struggling to breath, I decided the best course of action was to catch an Uber to the nearest Accident and Emergency. But I ended up aborting that mission once I started to feel better and realised the long wait in A&E would present a bigger threat to my health, and in any case I was feeling better and breathing more freely. When Mrs Doke arrived the following Monday she quickly identified the cause: the duck feathers in the duvet I was sleeping under had triggered my asthma which I rarely get these days. Despite being incredibly allergic to these, I somehow hadn't noticed them, even after several sleepless nights coughing and wheezing.

Having decided to abort the hospital visit, I sent Marc Convey a message hoping to wind him up, saying his peer pressuring me into drinking tequila the previous night had led to my hospitalisation. I then headed off to meet my friend Sameer for brunch.

2 fellow ambassadors express alarm

A few hours later I can back to the world of wifi and a barrage of "Are you still alive?" messages. It seems my attempt to wind up Marc led to greatly exaggerated accounts of my "health scare". Lappin was so relieved when he saw me back at the hotel he felt compelled to hug me, something he does as rarely as Ian Simpson folds to threebets. While still very much alive and kicking, I was still feeling poorly so I had to skip the Welcome party in favour of an early night.

Obviously the early night didn't help a great deal as it was also a largely sleepless night wheezing under duck feathers, but I'm not one to make excuses and in any case I don't think it adversely affected my play in the main event the following day.

The main event

I found myself at the same table again as Ian Simpson  (the only player I recognised). After a couple of up and down early levels we got moved to the feature table. The hands that caused the most discussion afterwards:
(1) my decision to threebet 53s from the big blind over a button raise. Normally I'd just fold this hand as it feels a little too weak to defend. But this specific opponent seemed to be opening far too many hands and not defending or four betting often enough against light three bets. I had a very tight image because of my age and the fact that I'd been card dead up to this point. A hand that feels slightly too weak to call is always a decent candidate to turn into a light raise, so this seemed like a pretty good spot to go for a light threebet. This hand in particular has a lot of merit: it can flop a very well disguised monster on low boards (and I can represent high boards). He tank folded (k9 I later learned)
You can watch that hand and see my "5 high like a boss" face at around the two hour 27 minute mark:

(2) the same opponent raised under the gun and I again found myself with a hand not quite strong enough to flat (ace ten). For exactly the same reasons, I decided to threebet light again. This hand doesn't flop quite as well as 53s, but does benefit from having a blocker. The fact that I'm holding an ace makes it less likely either the opener or someone behind has a very strong hand. This is more important in this case where there are seven players yet to act (all of whom could potentially have a strong hand) after I raise rather than just one in the previous hand. Once again it worked.

Apart from that I was pretty card dead on the feature table and hovered around starting stack. After the dinner break, we were moved off the feature table. Unfortunately I lost half my stack first hand back. I opened a9s to 2400 at bb1200 in the cutoff. An inexperienced player on the button flicked in a 5k chip without saying anything, then after the blinds had folded said "Raise". Obviously this didn't count as a raise, but suddenly we are in one of those weird spots where it's unclear who the preflop aggressor is, as my opponent clearly intended to raise. Despite this, I decided to cbet the 985 flop, he threw in a 5k chip saying Raise this time, and I called his min raise getting getting five to one. The turn came a 6 and I can probably check fold to a normal sized bet now, but he again threw in just one 5k chip. Getting 4 to 1 on the call again, I still didn't think I could fold, so I didn't.

The river was a 7, so now I'm playing the five card straight on the board and can fold if he bets big. But he again threw in one 5k chip. Getting 5 to 1 on the call and losing only to a ten, I again called. As played I felt the only hand with a ten he could have was pocket tens. Unfortunately this is exactly what he had.

That left me with about twelve big blinds looking for a good spot to get them in. When a player opening too many hands opened early and was called just behind, sixes on the button seemed like a decent if not fist pump shove spot. Unfortunately the caller snapped with eights after the opener had folded, and promptly flopped a set to end my involvement in the main event.

I was sorry not to go further as it genuinely was a very fun live event, but as a consolation I was freed up to play side events, go to an epic Players Party, and do some livestream commentary.

In the next part of this trip report, I'll talk about the other event I played (the 300 buyin Deepstack), and how it led to me wondering to find a new study partner :)



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