Monday, July 7, 2008

Running so bad it hurts

OK, main event Day 1 minireport first.

The good: I played extremely well and survived.

The bad: I'm short with less than half my starting stack.

The ugly: Suckout after suckout after suckout. The reason I think it might be the best day's poker I ever played is my big hands kept getting cracked, and I kept realising just in time so that I didn't put a single chip into a pot when I was no longer favourite.

Early on my kings were cracked by Ace rag, Jacks by 107o (and I managed to get away on a 10 high board) etc. etc.

But my absolute favourite suckout of all time went thusly.

Bad LAG raised from the CO, 1K, just over 3 big blinds.

I make it 3K on the button with AK.

Doddery old fool who has been sucking out to keep saving himself flatcalls in the SB, as does the original raiser.

Flop AJ10 rainbow. OK, top pair, top kicker, but there are lots of hands these clowns could be playing that are beating me (and I don't just mean the obvious pairs: AJ, A10, J10 and KQ absolutely can't be ruled out on the basis of what has already transpired), so when it's checked around I bet 6K to see who is interested. The original raiser folds but the SB flatcalls, the alarm bells go off and I decide that checking the hand down would be a good result from here and not another chip goes into this pot if I can help it. Turn's an innocuous looking 7, and it goes check check. River's a harmless looking 2 and it's checked down. As I suspect, I'm beaten, but not by one of the hands I think: he has pocket 7's! How he called that flop bet would be beyond me if it were not for the fact that I'd seen him call everything down so long as he had a pair, any pair. So basically I'm about a 93% favourite when the last chip goes into the pot, which pretty much sums up the day.

I started the day by just drifting back faced by suckout after suckout. I was down to about 7.5K when I picked up pocket 8's late and 3 bet (600). The button raised big, 3200, pretty much announcing he didn't want a call. I'd seen him do that before with overrated low pairs (a common problem over here) so I thought there was a very strong possibility he had an underpair, so I pushed. I was obviously disappointed when he turned over AQ and we were racing, but the 8's held.

I'd worked up to 25K when the 7's suckout above happened. If I'd won that pot, I'd have had about 40K and really been in good shape.

Quickly afterwards, I picked up Ace King in the big blind. A guy who had been playing very tight but had just taken a bad beat to be short raised to 1.2K from early. He seemed to be tilting a little so I strongly suspected he'd called light with a weaker ace if I shoved, which is exactly what happen. But for I think the 7th time in succession, I just couldn't win an aipf with AK v. AQ. This time AQ found a new way to dog me with the queen ever showing her face: flop was a harmless looking 9 high one, but a jack on the turn and a 10 on the river filled a straight to the queen.

With about 20 minutes left on day one I was down to 3K, but a late triple up gave me some hope at least for day 2. I'll start with just under 19 big blinds so I'm not officially desperate yet, and I've had a few days to think about the best way to play a stack of 15-20 BBs.

Played a couple of small tournaments today, one in the hotel where I bubbled (running Kings from the button into aces in the SB), and the nightly $340 game in the Rio where I, yup, bubbled yet again, involved in a three way all in with ace queen suited in the big blind versus ace nine off in the small blind (who I covered) and 108 in the cutoff from the table bully. A 10 on the flop scooped the pot for the table bully. Shame, because if I won that pot I'd have been the big stack. The brother's still in though, which is some consolation (he also cashed in the hotel tournament this afternoon).

Been making some money playing cash in the hotel too, not enough really to make a serious dent in the amount I'm down in tournament buyins, but still better than nothing. If I just played cash all day in the hotel I'd probably be better off financially, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Great to see Gary Clarke and Donal Norton flying high at this stage in the ME. Gutted to see Rob Taylor exit in typically horrible fashion (his top set got sucked out on). Rob's one of the players on the Irish scene I admire the most and he's also a really nice and interesting guy but he's had the most appalling luck this year in Vegas.

Also spoke to John O'Shea who was going and playing great early on but unfortunately didn't survive the day. Great WSOP for him though with his final table.

I'm planning to take it easy tomorrow so as to be fresh for Tuesday's Day 2 where I'll be hoping for something similar to what happened to Gary late on Day 1 when he managed to jump from 15K to 80K in about 20 minutes. If it happens it happens but at the very least I'll be hoping to die well.

I somehow picked up a cold so my recent runs have been a bit curtailed but I might try something a bit longer tomorrow.



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