Things are off to a pretty good start in Vegas.  I started the trip off by playing a little paigow poker.  After hitting an early variance run, came back to make a nice profit.


The day before the WSOP Monster Stack (I drew Pavilion Room table 96 seat 8 for flight one), I decided to jump in the small morning bounty tournament at Monte Carlo.  This is a tourney that I’ve had a good bit of success in, in the past, so even though it’s small, it’s one I’ll play at least once whenever I’m in Vegas. 

I start out in seat 2 and I see that other than seat 8, my entire table is very passive.  Seat 8 seems to be the second best at the table, but he does play passive postflop (raises pre), so I’m hoping that will work to my advantage.

The first 20 min level, I’m just sitting back, getting trash for cards and observing the opps, picking up on their play style and planning how to exploit them when I get an opportunity.

My first shot comes in a pot with seat 3.  At 50/100 he opens to 300 and I look down at AQs.  This opp has been very loose passive and has leaked off over half his stack already.  He decides to 3-bet shove on me for 1150 and against someone playing about 60% of hands, I’m not about to lay down AQs, so I call.  The opp turns over KJo and is in deep trouble when I see an ace in the window!  My hand holds and I’ve got my first bounty and have gained a number of chips.

My next attack is three hands later when I look down at AKo and open to 300 and get called by seat 5.  I flop an ace and make a 575 chip value bet.  The opp calls, which makes no sense on a rainbow board with no draws.  The turn is a 9, so there is a straight draw available.  I fire out 900 and the opp tanks and mucks. 

When it gets to my button, I decide to see what I can get away with when it folds to me.  I have only played two hands, so should be able to get away with a very light steal.  I raise to 300 with my 27o!  Both opps muck and I also muck as I’m scooping in my chips.

I get a second shot at a bounty on the next level.  I look down at 27o again in the cutoff and decide to make my standard open to 500 (third time I have opened at this level, the others being a steak with K5o and a value bet with 88.  This time seat 6 calls me.  This opp is very tight passive, so if the board comes out low, I’m absolutely c-betting… but no need for a bluff when the flop is A 2 7.  I lead out for 600 and the opp shoves!  Needless to say, with two pair, I’m snap-calling and collect my second bounty.

I then keep running over the table.  They want to play passive preflop, minus seat 8, and if they want to be that way, I’m just going to keep raising and raising and applying pressure.  I build my stack up to about 1/3 of the chips in play, then I hit two disaster hands.  Both of them were going for bounties too. 

The first one was a short stack shove, where I didn’t even have to call 2BB, so I’m playing any two cards.  I flip over A5s and the opp turns over QJ.  I hit my ace, but they hit both of their cards to double.  Then seat 4 doubles thru me as we get it in on the turn.  I have a made straight and the opp has a flush draw… and hits it on the river. 

These beats knock me down to only about 10% of the chips in play, which is not good when we’re 4-handed.  Well, I got my first stack by playing aggressively and stealing and I’m not changing my thought process.  Soon enough, with a few well timed bets and raises, I’m now up to half of the chips in play.  I don’t get any extra bounties, as seat 8 knocks both players out, but I’m gaining chips. 

It’s now down to me and seat 8, a player that I later found out made day 2 of the $1k WSOP event last weekend.  He’s not a bad player, but too passive, which gives me a skill edge.  Since the chips are basically even, we do decide to make a small deal that seat 8 brings up, that now guarantees second place double their buy-in after you add in that player’s bounties, as we both have two bounties (winner gets $154 plus their bounties).  With the chips basically being even and the blinds now getting out of control, giving up $16 out of the win pool to guarantee doubling my money if I get coolered isn’t bad.

A couple well timed preflop raises and a c-bet later and I’ve got a huge chip lead.  The final hand is a standard play by both of us.  The opp ships it in with KT and I look down at A9s and call.  The board runs out blanks and after leaving a $10 tip for the dealers, I walk out with a win and $184.