Monday 18th June
Tournaments played: $2.5k NLH Freezout, Bellagio Cup III
I wasn't awake for most of Day Four, I was catching up on sleep! I woke up early today and had a morning around the pool. I decided to try my luck in what I thought was the $1.5k tournament at Bellagio at 1pm, which turned out to be the $2.5k tournament at 2pm. I was unsure whether I wanted to pay this buy-in, so I went to the cash tables for an hour to dwell on it. I played some $30/60 limit and was about $1k up after an hour, so seeing as that made up the difference of what I was expecting to pay, I went to buy in to the tourney.
This didn't appear to be quite as soft as the nightly tournament, as on my table was a guy wearing a WSOP 2006 bracelet, David Williams and Mike "the Grinder" Mizrachi! Needless to say I played pretty tight to begin with. I watched Mizrachi go out on a cold deck, holding AJ on a J75A board, against a guy holding pocket fives. Not long after Williams made a raise to 300 in the 2nd level, the small blind called and I called in the big blind with JhQh. The flop game down Js Qs 7d. SB checks, I check, Williams bets out. The SB then raises to 1500. I contemplate raising but want to see if I can get Williams involved so flat call. Williams moves all-in for 5200, the BB moves all-in for 6000, and I call (I have about 5400). Williams flips AQ, the SB flips Ks 9s. I'm happy to be ahead but not thrilled at the number of cards that kill me, but somehow my JQ holds up and I treble up.
I pick up another nice hand on this table, flopping a flush with Jd Td in the big blind, managing to get pocket tens to push in on a 9-high board when the turn came the 9c. Not much excitement for the next 2 levels, but i wasn't complaining as I had such a large stack at this point. I picked off a bluff with JJ on a full board which included a K and Q. Around this time I noticed that players were dropping like flies. By level 5, approximately 2/3 of the 80 strong field had been knocked out. I still had a larger than average stack, but not as large as I would have anticipated for the hands I had picked up. I was moved tables again and dipped a bit over 3 or 4 hands where I missed, but made it all back and a little more in a limped pot holding 77 when the flop came down an ideal QQ7. I get it all in against JQ on the flop and hold up.
I now have 28k when the average is 16k. However, having had 3 beautiful flops, it's my time to have a bad run. I pick up several semi-premium hands in short sucession, raise them up, but miss every flop. Not one of my continuation bets got by and I was trying not to get frustrated. I picked up a couple more hands along the lines of Ad Jd, calling raises, but letting them go when I missed flops. I'm down to 17k now, just slightly below average, and vow to not let any more pots get away as I should have re-raising folding equity as I have let several hands go. I decide to use this when I see the established donkey of the table lose a large pot with A7 against AK on an AAxxx board. He used two different raises, a 1.5k raise and a 2.5k raise at 300/600 pre-flop. The A7 was a 2.5k raise, which told me these were his weaker hands. I knew he was steaming and would raise a lot of hands from the cutoff the next round. Indeed he raised, to 2.5k. I am now intending to shove any two cards here, but I take the obligatory look at my cards and find JT off. I dwell for a few seconds and announce I'm all-in. He INSTA-calls for all his chips, and flips over KJ offsuit!! I'm kinda angry with myself as I figure I've made a good play against the wrong kind of player. I don't draw out and get up to leave the table but it turns out I had him covered in chips and have 3k back.
I shove the SB, the button, the hi-jack and the SB when it comes back round. I now have about 6k and some reasonable folding equity. I pick up A6 1+UTG, and shove again. The KJ donkey flat calls on the button without moving his chips, and the way he called I'm actually feeling pretty good about my hand. He's made a fairly dubious call with pocket 33s so it's a coin-flip to be back in the tournament. However the flop holds a trey, so I indeed crash out.
The nightly tournament is about to start at this point, but having held so many chips in the $2.5k I didn't think my mind-set would be right to play a whole tournament, so I head back to the $30/60 limit game where I have done well so far. On the seat to my left is a guy who is absolutely TRASHED. Not only that; he had about $3k infront of him, all scattered haphazardly, and he's drinking alcohol-filled Mojitos. I eyed his chips greedily! Within a couple of rounds I've established he's playing 9/10 hands, often raising and 3-betting without even looking at his cards. I'm not thrilled about my position, but it's a great chance to make some cash. However I make a fatal flaw on this table, I play way too many hands. I don't pick up anything premium, or even-semi premium, and I'm playing some much too marginal hands, which of course are getting 3-bet all over the place. I hit very few flops. But this guy is so drunk (he even spills a whole Majito all over the table) I figure business will pick up if I tighten up. I fail to hit cards and it comes to the point where I'm $2.5k down after about 3-4 hours, rather a lot for 30/60.
Eventually a spot opens up two to drunk-guys left, and I snap it up. I do much better in this seat, and am back to $1.5k down when the drunk-guy has lost all his chips (having spilt a second majito all over the table in the mean-time!) and found his wallet to be all but empty. I actually do much better when he's gone, and over the next 60-90 minutes I get to break even point and leave the table.
I've never been in a cash-game with someone so pissed, but it has taught me a lesson to play suitably-tight in this situation, and not get too greedy in my pursuit of their chips!
I have a couple of drinks with Rob Sherwood, (who came 13th in the $2.5k tourney I was playing, unfortunately busting on a coinflip), and his mate Dubai; then head back to my hotel in the early hours, ready to play the WSOP Heads-Up tourney tomorrow.
Monday 18th June