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PSO'ers take over North Dakota

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  • PSO'ers take over North Dakota

    A couple of months ago, a PSO member rbman28 told me about a tournament being run in Fargo, North Dakota (the Dakota Poker Tour, which you can check out at dakotapokertour.com) that was a $200 buy-in, 10K in starting chips with a good, slow structure (1 hour rounds, no ridiculous blind increases). Jordan (aka Oceanpup)and I decided to make the trip, meet up with NewJane and rbman and play the tournament. While neither Jordan and I did particularly well in that tournament (she busted pretty early and I finished about 40th of 130) we loved the event. Another event was coming up in about 6 weeks so we told all our Minnesota based poker friends about it and even convinced two poor suckers from out of state to fly in and join us.

    8 PSO'ers made the jaunt to Valley City, North Dakota this past weekend for the Dakota Poker Tour event #4. Pyle flew into Fargo from Denver, Colorado and headed to the hotel where the Minnesota crew would be meeting him later. Kailyn31 figured this event would be a great warm up for his upcoming WSOP and flew in from Pennsylvania to Minneapolis where Rowebote, myself and Oceanpup met him. Idoru99, Bounder and KDogg66 left earlier in a different vehicle. The 4 hour drive to our hotel went pretty quickly as we talked poker and listened to some Frank Caliendo comedy. It was nearly 12:30 in the morning when we got to the hotel and we had to leave the hotel about 10:30, so you would think that we would all just crawl into bed and get a good night's sleep, right? Yea right! Now anyone who's ever played a little home game with Kailyn and I know that we tend to be a bit on the goofy side, so laughs were had by all and in the end as it became apparent it was ridiculously late, Idoru99 and I chopped to split up the meager prize pool.

    The tournament started with 89 people. 10 places getting paid, with first place being about $4400. The 8 of us had all made a 5% swap before the event (remind me to find out who was responsible for this STUPID idea), so with 11% of the field getting paid and us having 9% of the field, we were confident we'd have two or three players making the money. The play at this event is surprisingly good by the way, although there is definitely a mix of maniacs and calling stations, it's much better then your typical live tournament at a casino.

    Day One was a roller coaster ride for me of epic proportions. I had won a few small pots (one when I bluffed Event #2 winner, Justin Sellers (if you were there you had no choice but to know who he was because they announced it only about 50 times) with 8 high and he folded) and built my stack to about 11.5K when I lost a relatively big pot with AQ (which as a number of people know is my LEAST favorite hand in the world). I limped in with it on the button and the flop came QQ8. An older gentleman who had been making huge overbets bet 1000 into the 500 pot. I flat called, looking to trap him. The turn was a ten. The older gentleman checked and I bet 2000 into the 2500 pot. He immediately flat called. That set off warning bells in my head and when he bet out 1000 on the jack river, I mucked my AQ face up. He shook his head and flipped over QT. I made a vow then and there to not play AQ ever again. Yea right, who am I kidding.

    I won a nice size pot with Q9 of diamonds when I called a min. raise with it out of the BB, flopped a flush draw and called a smallish flop bet and turned the flush. A couple of well timed reraises against the infamous Mr. Sellers obvious first to act steal raises and I had managed to get my stack back up to about 11K when the following hand happened. The blinds were 50/100. There were two middle position limpers and a tight, female player made it 600 to go from the button. Mr. Sellers flat called from the SB. I looked at my cards, saw 88, and feeling pretty positive that either the young lady or Mr. Sellers had an overpair, called to see the flop. The two limpers folded. The flop came a beautiful 852 with two diamonds. Sellers bet out 1200. I didn't feel like I had to mess around with this hand against these two players and anyway am a big believer and proponent of never slowplaying flopped sets. I made it 3500 to go (which was nearly half of my remaining stack). The young lady immediately said "I'm all in" and after a bit of contemplation, Sellers folded (he later told me had QQ - so that was a sign to me that he was a good player). I called and she flipped over her AA and when she didn't catch the one remaining ace (one of the limpers said he had an ace), she was done and I was up to 21K.

    I didn't play any big pots for the next 3 hours but managed to slowly but surely build my stack up to 60K. A lot of these pots were won with reraises of Mr. Sellers raises (he had doubled up early with Q3s against an unfortunate chaps KK when he flopped two pair and had increased his stack by applying constant pressure to the rest of the table), who each time I raised muttered "he hasn't played a hand in 20 minutes" and folded. I don't think he'd be happy if he saw some of the hands I was raising with but there was one time he seriously contemplated moving in with AQ and finally mucked it face up, so I showed him the AK I was holding to continue to garner his respect.

    A hand then came up that might have been the biggest hand of the tournament for me. A new player to the table with about 30K to his name had been open raising a lot of pots from any position and did so once again to 2500 with the blinds at 300/600 from UTG+1 when it was my BB. I looked down at A9 of diamonds and decided I'd see a flop with him. The flop came J75 two diamonds. I checked with the intention of check raising him. Much to my surprise, and displeasure, he immediately moved all in. I asked for a count to see how much it was and it ended up being about 26K. Now I went into the tank. Why bet 26K into a 6K pot? I'd only seen one of the hands he had opened with and it had been a small pair but he hadn't gone all in on the flop, but instead had made some small bets that got called and went to a showdown. I counted out the 26K to see how much I would have left if I called and lost. About 30K. I thought back through the betting and tried to remember similar situations I had played like this in the past. Finally, after three minutes of thinking, I grabbed the stack of chips I had set aside and said "I think I have the best hand, I call." The guy shook his head, obviously displeased and turned over T8 of diamonds. The table and the few people watching the hand oohed and aahed and I pumped my fist, happy with my read and the fact that I was about to be the tournament chip leader and could essentially coast into day two. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men... something I should have learned a long time ago in this crazy game of ours... never count your chips before the last card is dealt. The turn was a 6. The river was a 4. I felt like a dagger had just been inserted into my heart. I threw my hat down on the ground and walked off, doing my best not to pull a HellmuthMatusowian temper tantrum. Ok, ok, I
    thought, you're still well above average stack (it was about 15K at this time) and have a good read on your table, regain your composure and regain your chips.

    I got unlucky one other time when I called Bounder's short stack all in with AK and his KT hit a ten, and while I started to bemoan the poker Gods and thinking that I was going to once again be struck down by bad luck, I was happy to see my friend have some chips to play with. I slowly built back up to about 37K when another new player (who had witnessed the A9 hand and AK hand and maybe thought I was steaming) raised UTG to 3000 with the blinds at 400/800. All folded to me in the BB and I looked down to see two aces (the only time I'd get aces the entire tournament). I thought about slowplaying for a moment, but then decided that wasn't the best thing to do, so I made it 10K to go. The guy thought for about 10 seconds and then declared that he was all in. I quickly called and he grimaced as he asked "aces huh?" and turned over KQo. The flop was an ugly QJT but no ace, queen or 9 hit and after all was said and done, I had this player covered by 1K and was up to 75K.

    I tightened up a bit after that, picking up a few pots here and there when I could be first to act and bounced back and forth between 60 and 80K the rest of the day. We played down to the final 14 and I ended the day with 74,500 in chips - good for 4th. Kailyn was still in with about 45K and Oceanpup was in with about 28K after at one time being ahead of me (she got up to 80K) but lost a big pot when Sellers bluffed her off her hand on the river when a third club came. The 8 of us went back to the hotel and played some crazy home games to let off some steam after a long day of intense, grueling poker (we invented a new game, two person hold em, each person gets one card and has to communicate with the other without revealing their actual card what they want to do).

    Day Two didn't start out really well for me, but did for Oceanpup. It's my BB and she smirks at me and raises it to 7000. Sellers, who I've played with the entire time and is 3rd in chips with 85K, flat calls one spot to her left. Silly me decides not to reraise with AK of clubs and just calls. The flop comes J66 with two clubs and Oceanpup again smirks at me and bets out 10K. Sellers raises it to 20K. Stupid dumb ass boyfriend, thinking Sellers is trying to bully his girlfriend makes a chivalrous call hoping to catch the nut flush so he can cripple Sellers. Oceanpup moves in (calling the 10K raise and putting in an additional 800 in chips. Sellers wants to reraise but can't, so he calls, as do I. The turn is a blank and Sellers moves all in and I finally wisen up after losing 1/3 of my stack and fold. Sellers turns over AJo. Oceanpup gleefully turns over her 69o and when the board doesn't bring a jack triples up on the very first hand. The whole room erupts. Hell, I didn't even mind losing to THAT hand.

    I make a couple of steal attempts and get reraised and have to lay down and am suddenly one of the shorter stacks at 25K when I pick up about 10K by moving all in over the top of Ocean's EP 7K raise with 88. She folds, claiming she had AQ and Sellers starts to berate her (and I) saying we were softplaying one another. Jordan later told me that she didn't have AQ but didn't want the table to know that she was raising with a marginal hand. Anyway, Sellers accusations led to Jordan calling my first to act all in with AT (he said "she won't call, it's her boyfriend) when I had AK. Her favorite hand didn't catch and I double up to about 70K. This is one of the reasons I hate playing at the same table as Jordan, but anyone who has ever played with the two of us when we are at the same table would know that while we might know each other very well, the LAST thing we would ever do is softplay one another. In fact, it's usually the extreme opposite. It was unfortunate and pissed both of us off and adversely affected Jordan's stack position, but one of us would eventually get the last laugh against Mr. Sellers. Kailyn busts out 13th and we get down to the final table relatively quickly. We get interviewed by the tournament director so he can make final table introductions (they were filming it for a local television show/future promotions) and when I tell him about PSO and what I do for them, he's fascinated and makes a big deal about it when introducing me. A little embarrassing, but good promotion for PSO and a number of players later ask me about it.

    It takes quite some time before we have the first bust out at the final table and on a break we hear Sellers telling a player who had just trapped him for half his stack (which he had promptly regained with KK) how he was the only player smart enough to trap him (the other player was a very good player - probably the one player I respected the most at the table other then Jordan - I had actually laid down AJ on the hand he trapped Sellers with, he had AA and an ace had flopped so that was a fortuitous fold). Jordan and I kind of laughed about that since she had trapped him earlier with 69o. Guess he forgot about that. Jordan gets cold decked shortly after that when she picks up AK at the same time someone has AA. She finishes 9th, good for $440.

    At the start of the final table there was one player who had over 1/3 of the chips in play with nearly 300K in chips. Fortunately for me, I was one spot to his left. This player LOVED to make huge first to act bets pre-flop (and I can't really blame him given his stack size). I fold KQ three times to his opening raise and each time wonder if I should have risked it but remind myself to be patient. With the blinds at 2000/4000, he makes it 25K to go. I look down at AQ. Oh great, I think... my death hand. I've seen this guy make some terribly loose calls with 52o, Q8, etc; so I'm not sure I have any folding equity here but I'm pretty sure that I have the best hand. I think to myself that if I want to win this tournament, I'm going to have to mix it up with this guy eventually and this is probably a good spot to start. I move all in for an additional 44K. Everyone else folds and he thinks about it for sometime and finally says that he's committed and that he'll donate (I don't necessarily agree with this, he was getting the right price to call here but I think tournament EV wise, you don't want to double up good players) and calls with K3 of spades. My jaw drops when I see his cards and I just hope for once in my life that AQ holds up for me. It does and all of a sudden I'm second in chips with 140K.

    That lasts all of two hands as I promptly proceed to double up Sellers, not once but twice. The first time when he moved all in short stacked for 25K and I called out of the BB with A8 thinking he could be moving in with a wide range of hands. Unfortunately for me he had AK and the best hand held up. The second time was a hand I would use for information later. I opened with 88 and he flat called. The flop came 544 and I bet out 25K (about half the pot) and he moved all in for an additional 12K which I called. He had 99 and it held up. That put me back down to where I started the day... about 70K. I make a big laydown with TT when it is raised to 10K by the #2 stack at the table and a short stack moves all in for 30K. I show the people behind me my cards and even though I did have the best hand preflop (the #2 stack had 88, the short stack AQ) am glad with my fold when two aces flop. I pick up a nice pot when I move all in with AK against an EP raiser and he folds AJ, up to about 110K.

    Then comes confrontation #2 with the big stack. It's folded around to him on the button and he makes a small raise for him... 15K (the BB is short stacked and that would be about 1/2 her stack to call). I flat call from the SB with 99. The BB folds. The flop comes 722, two diamonds. I check, with the intention of moving all in if he bets (I thought for sure he would bet). He thinks for a moment and checks it. The turn is a 3. I bet out 25K and he thinks for a few moments and makes the mistake of muttering "if he caught trip 3's I'm drawing dead" and raises it to 50K. I instantly move all in for an additional 44K. I stare down at the felt - positive I have the best hand but not wanting to give any information away and not really rooting for two overcards or a diamond draw calling me. There is nearly 180K in the pot. He thinks for a long time, finally says "I'll let you have this one" and folds. I later found out he had A4.


    I pick up 55 shortly after that and make it 20K to go. Sellers flat calls me from the cutoff and everyone else folds. I remembered the hand he had flat called me with earlier and told myself if I didn't flop a set I was done with the hand. Lucky me, I do flop a set as the flop comes K75. I bet out 25K and Sellers quickly calls. I'm thinking he has a middle pair or AK so when the turn comes a 6, I check to make it look like I was just trying to buy the pot. He moves his remaining 100K all in and I quickly call. He shakes his head, knowing he is in trouble and turns over 88. Ugh, he still has a lot of outs (any 8, 4 or 9) but thankfully he doesn't hit any of them on the river and is out in 6th place. Because of his earlier comments to Jordan and I and what we had overheard I make a bit of a sarcastic remark to him... "Guess that makes two of us smart enough to trap you." He left quickly before I had the chance to apologize, but when he returned later I did so, explaining that I was just a bit excited.

    Anyway, I'm now the tournament chip leader for the first time, a role I'm quite comfortable with short handed at a final table, so I sat back and picked my spots... raising when I thought I could steal the blinds, avoiding any big confrontations. I pick up a pretty big pot 4 handed when I raise the former big stacks 50K opener (with blinds at 8000/16000) to 150K with JJ and he folds his small pair. I make another tough fold for me when I open for 50K with Q6o out of the SB and the lady who had busted Jordan moves all in for an additional 90K. I'm getting 2:1 on my money, but she's the last person I want to double up as she's very tight, predictable and I feel I can grind her down. She ends up going on an incredible card rush and moves into 2nd place in chips and busts the guy who had trapped Sellers earlier (I was actually somewhat thankful for that as he was a tough player). We play 3 handed for about 30 minutes and little progress is made, it's frequently folded to the BB and most opening raises are given respect. I have about 400K in chips, the others each have about 250K, so I decide to propose a deal where all 3 are guaranteed 2nd place money and the winner gets an additional 1K (or $3800 total). They readily agree to it (I was pretty confident I could win, but due to the luck factor thought it would be a good idea to guarantee an additional $800 at a risk of only losing $600 from first) and the former big stack decides that now that we've made a deal he's just going to move all in every hand. Well that works for about 4 hands - I get A9 on his BB and open for 50K (blinds still 8/16) and he moves all in for an additional 120. I call quickly and he turns over 83o. An 8 flops and I have to laugh. An ace hits the turn though and we're heads up.

    Heads up I make one mistake early but learn quickly from it. I open for 50 with ATs and the girl moves all in for an additional 200K. I call and she turns over AK. The board pairs twice though (on the river no less) and for the first time all tournament I've gotten lucky. This was a huge hand as she would have taken the chip lead had she won it and while I felt I could grind her down, I knew it would take quite some time. I get an incredible string of ace rags, raising with them every time. She folds to nearly all my raises, often folds from the SB too. She tries to trap me once with AA but only gets an additional 20K from me when I flop middle pair with Q9 and then fold to her all in on the turn. I grind her down slowly but surely, folding anytime she raises (which isn't often). In fact on the last hand of the tournament, she says I raise and I start to look at my cards so I can fold and save her the time. AQ again. Well, so much for that idea. I wait for her to count out her raise and then say "I'm all in" - she calls quickly as she only has another 100K left and turns over A9. She flops a gutshot straight draw and picks up an open ender on the turn but doesn't hit and I win!

    While I've had 3 bigger paydays in my poker career, this is my biggest win ever live and I think it was the most satisfying because I was surrounded by a great group of friends and the most beautiful girl in the world! I made a few mistakes, but all in all I thought I played as well as I ever have, using the lessons I teach my students to maximum effect. A couple of interesting points. I never had KK or QQ. I was an underdog pre-flop only twice when all the money went in. I took three pretty bad beats (the A9 vs T8 hand, the AK vs KT hand and another hand where I had KT vs T8). I got lucky exactly once (the AT vs. AK hand). I had exactly two hands where I was all in pre-flop and was called (the AA vs KQ hand and the AQ vs K3s) hand. And the most interesting point of all and probably why I won the tournament - I had NO coin flips. None. Just goes to show that post-flop play IS where it's at.

    Thanks for a great time all those who came, it was great meeting Pyle for the first time ever and as always I had a blast goofing off with Kailyn in the little side games we played. A special thanks to Rowebote for hanging out and giving Kevin, Jordan and I a ride home even though it meant he wasn't going to get home until 3 am when he had to be up nearly 3 hours later.

    I still want to know who the idiot was that proposed the 5% swap though!

  • #2
    That's a good report. You either have a great memory or you employed some one to record your tourny.

    I have a few friends that I swap 5% with and I've paid out hansomly.

    On two occassions I wasn't sure I couldn't hold up my end of the deal so we agreed not to swap.
    One buddy won a WPO $70,000+payout and I congradulated him on the win.
    Another buddy won a GrandAmerica $22,000 pay-out and I congradulated him on the win.

    Be careful to end the swaps to soon to get your payback. You just never know when your lottery ticket comes in.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice report... Job well done!

      Looking foward to seeing you at the Canterbury Fall Classic, if not before.
      2 Time Bracelet Winner

      Comment


      • #4
        Funny story Marion... and it's what inspired THIS dumbass to propose the 5% swap before we even got to North Dakota this time.

        There are 4 or 5 PSO'ers playing a NLHE event at Canterbury and we're all standing around talking and discuss making a 5% swap with everyone and do. Well one of the PSO'ers had been off doing something and when he came back the conversation was on something else and we forgot to ask him if he wanted in.

        This person was SailorMoe and he went on to win first place for over 20K. He said he would have gladly done the swap of course. LOL.

        Yea, lesson learned the hard way. I'm sure none of the other 7 mind that I brought it up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Great report, great local color. I bet PSO sees an uptick in members from North Dakota.

          Comment


          • #6
            Congratulations, Aaron.

            Mad props, and stuff!

            Comment


            • #7
              Nice report Hazy. Congrats on the win. Sure wish I could have made the trip, but we'll hook up again at another event soon! Steve

              Comment


              • #8
                Good on ya Aaron. Nice report too.

                Let us midwesterners know when the next Dakota tourney is, sounds like a good one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I enjoyed every second of reading it. Great job Aaron.

                  Randy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    WTG Aaron! Good find on the cheap 10k chips live tourney. How often do they hold these? I may have to use some of my comp days to try this out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I enjoyed reading every line of this trip report however I would've rather been there with you guys! Great Job everyone, next time the gupster will tag along for the ride.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great stuff, nice win!

                        Dave
                        Head Live Trainer
                        Check out my Videos

                        4 Time Bracelet Winner






                        Online Poker League
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Excellent report!!!

                          You so deserved this win!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, I see it this way. Hadn't I already had plans to be in D.C. with my grandchildren during this tourney weekend, I am sure we would have had 3 PSO'ers at the final table, and hazy would be wailing because of the bad beat I put on him

                            seriously, tho, GREAT JOB!! I am so proud of all of you guys/gals.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great report and a nice win!

                              P.S. ops: regarding the mentor group. I'm going to join up for another in future.

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