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Foxwoods NLHE Tourney Report

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  • Foxwoods NLHE Tourney Report

    Let me start off by admitting guilt in only wanting to post a winning trip report (in this case, my first money finish in a live tourney ). I spent 10 days in Vegas last month, during which I was stuck $1200 right off the bat playing in some 8/16 games (some Omaha w/kill) at the Mirage and Bellagio (but slowly clawed my way back to even for the trip playing 4/8 holdem at the Bellagio the rest of the way (including a +$550 session playing against the biggest fish Ive ever encountered from 3-7 am one morning (he would raise, reraise and cap to river with any face want to sit on this guys left and reraise to isolate him every hand he plays)), finished at about the 50th percentile in 3 NLHE tournaments (my first 3 live tourneys, -$250). That was a trip worthy of a trip report (and maybe Ill have to write one), but I had mixed feelings about my play (mostly poor game selection skills) and nothing much to brag about, so Im writing this trip report first instead. :wink:

    I decide to play hooky from work and head to Foxwoods (7:00 p.m. NLHE tourneys on Tuesdays) and the Mohegan (never made it there) from New York on Tuesday (my first trip to either casino for poker). Leaving at 2pm, I hit only light traffic. A sign in Groton, CT or thereabouts for the USS Chowder Pot II restaurant catches my eye and pulls me off the road at about 3:45. Perhaps anticipating my winning play to come, I down a 2lb lobster for lunch and dinner ($22, awesome) and Im back on the road at 4:45. After some detours searching for a Staples to send a UPS package, I arrive at the Foxwoods parking lot at 6:25. After a 10 minute wait for the shuttle bus, and a 10 minute ride to the casino, I find the poker room at about 6:50. There is a window titled Tournament Registration and a line of 25 people. I assume, correctly, that I should line up here. Five minutes later, Im at the front of the line and Im asked for my Wampum Card. I reply that I dont have one and dont care about points and just want to play the tourney. Im told I cant play the tourney without a Wampum Card, but should still be able to get the card (at desk 30 feet away) and play the tourney. So at 7:00 pm Im back in line, now 15 long, and at about 7:05 Im seated in the tourney, which has already begun (apparently the tourney begins at 7:00 with seats to be filled in as additional players are registered).

    The tourney structure is NLHE, $35 buy-in ($10 or $15 of which goes towards fees) for T200 in chips, with unlimited rebuys of T200 for $20 during first three levels and add-on of T400 for $40 at end of 3 levels. Each level lasts one half hour. 107 players are in for the tournament, and the cash prizes total around $9000 with rebuys.

    Im AMAZED at the play I see upon sitting down. Of the first 20 hands, not a single unraised pot pre-flop, with someone all-in pre-flop approximately ¼ of the time. Rebuys left and right. I do not play a hand for a while and rebuy to around T385 after the blinds pass me.

    First significant hand, I have T360 or so and JJ. I just call from early position and a late position player raises T50, about 5 callers and I just call. Flop comes J 6 3 offsuit. I check and the pre-flop raiser bets T100, I just call along with 3 others. Turn is 10 or something, I go all-in with my remaining T200 and there are two callers. River pairs the 6, giving me no worries at all and I take down a T1300 pot.

    I do not play another significant hand during the rebuy period, but witness some amazing play. One player is steaming (and cursing) and goes all-in preflop on about 6 or 7 hands out of 10, winning one or two pots, but rebuying at least 4 or 5 times. He finally runs out of money or gets his wits about him and leaves the table after a bust-out. Another player (Mr. Poor Hand Selection) I notice going all-in pre-flop several times with Ax and calling raises pre-flop with junk like 96o. He seems to play well postflop though and gets lucky and builds about T700 in chips. I then witness the following hand. One or two callers and Mr. Poor Hand Selection raises T100 from the Big Blind, one caller folds and another solid player goes all-in with about T500. Mr. Poor Hand Selection calls and turns over Q7o. The solid player then turns over 25s. The solid player ends up winning with a pair of 2s. He explains for the benefit of the table that he had observed Mr. Poor Hand Selection raising from the blinds every time and thus reraised all-in with 25s???? Maybe he thought he could bluff out Mr. Poor Hand Selection and was lying to us, but this was some seriously messed up logic if true. Knowing that someone raises with 96s etc. is no reason to go all in preflop with 25s. Terrible play if he was not BSing.

    Im down to about T1000 when the rebuy period ends and add-on T400 for $40.

    I do not remember any specific hands for the next 11/2 hours, but my stack increases to about T3500. I play very few hands as I continue to be amazed at the pre-flop raising even after the rebuy period. Drawing hands are almost unplayable. I call a number of times with KQs, etc. only to fold when another player goes all-in pre-flop. I believe I doubled up once with KK going all-in preflop against AQ.

    After the break, the blinds are at about $100-$200 and we are down to four tables (2 tables paid money). I review the stacks at the other tables and note that my T3500 is about average, about 10 players have T1500 or less, 20 players have around 3000, 5 players have about T7000 and 2 players have about T13000. I decide to play very conservatively, hoping to make the money. Seemingly every pot is raised or all-ind pre-flop as before. Very quickly we are down to 24 players and everyone seems to tighten up. Fifteen minutes later I am in the money, not having played a lot of hands. I have about T3000. I play quite a few hands at the next level, having one of the shorter stacks and figuring I need to make a move to make the final table (where the money increases). The pre-flop raising and all-ins are now tactically correct in my estimation because the blinds have become relatively large. I steal a few blinds moving all-in with hands like Ax or KJ. We are down to about 7 players at each of two tables. Im then dealt AK utg. I raise to T500, and a large stack reraises me to T1000, I reraise all-in and the large stack calls. The large stack has AQ and nothing flops for either of us so I manage to double up to around T8000. Im now in good shape for the final table and again play conservatively.

    Before I know it Ive made the final table, Im one of several players at around T6000 to T8,000, 2 large stacks of around T20,000 (one of whom finished about 7th and the other who finished in the top 3) and two small stacks of T1500 (she played very well to finish 6th) and T3000 (she played extremely well to finish in the top 3). Blinds started at around T300-T600.

    My first significant hand came with the blinds at about T500-T1000. A player down to about T1500 goes all in, but I do not notice the next player going all in for T7000, I look at my QTs and say call and throw in T1500. I realize what Ive done and realize that Ive called the T7000 bet (leaving me with T1000), but try to act nonchalant. I mention my mistake to the friendly player to my right (who finished in the final 3). Anyways, my QT beats both Ax and K9 when a 10 flops and Im rescued. Im now one of the larger stacks with T16000.

    I cruise along as players are eliminated. Twice I raise to $3000 with AJs or KQs and Im reraised all in by the remaining large stack T25000 player (Do I have a tell?). I consider calling but fold both times. At some point I double up my remaining T10000 to about T20000. The blinds are now T1500-3000 and there are four players left. The money goes $700, $900, $1800, $3200. I look at the payouts and my goal becomes second place. I notice that a crowd of about 20 people has gathered around the table to watch. At one point, we are all approximately even at about T20000 (Should I have mentioned a deal?). My stack dwindles to about T17000 for my final hand of the night. I raise to T6000 UTG with AK (hoping to be reraised), the small blind calls and then the big blind (friendly player to my right) reraises all-in (he has me covered). Im extremely please, my only hope now is that the third player will also call. I spend a minute thinking over my call (for effect) and counting the other stacks. I call all-in of course, but unfortunately the third player does not call as I had hoped. Friendly player turns over KQo to my AKo. The odds are with me, but unfortunately luck is not as a queen comes on the river and I bust out. I shake hands with friendly player and Glenn (room manager?) takes me to the cage and gets me paid. Should I have tipped the dealers finishing in 4th place? (The thought did not occur to me until the drive home). I keep replaying the final hand in my head, dreaming about the bigger payday I could have had if the cards had come my way, but I think I played it almost perfectly in getting all-in with the better hand. Any comments?

    Its 1:30 in the morning and I decide to check out the ring games, sitting down at the 2/4. A spectator from the tourney quickly sits down and explains that shortly after I left a deal was made by the remaining 3 players to split the money equally (though friendly person had about a T5000 chip lead at that point) at about $2000 apiece. I ask who mentioned the idea of deal and how it was arrived at but dont get any specifics (anyone know how this would typically work?). With the help of some good cards (and 3 or 4 extremely poor players) I win $55 at the 2/4 and quit after 45 minutes. For the night Im +$650.

    I begin the 2:30 drive back, with the added excitement of hitting the arriving Northeaster in the NY area at about 4:30 in the morning. Just what you want to drive through when youre dog tired!! All in all, a great day and tourney at Foxwoods which has given me delusions of poker stardom I definitely plan on returning to Foxwoods for this tourney given the large amounts of dead money going in from terrible players during the rebuy period. Seeing how aggressively the hands are played throughout the night, I will definitely change my strategy slightly to play even fewer drawing hands before the flop.

  • #2


    Great report, good play, also.

    Question on deals: usually anyone of the last 3 or four players can bring up the deal suggestion. If you are one of the leaders (chip count and have been playing as good as you were, the other players would have been gald to chop $6600 four ways(1650 @). Only have difficulty if a player has massive chip lead and one player is almost busted the players may try to play short stack out before a deal. Since you were playing strong I think you would have a big influence on any deal. Some players will not deal if they notice a very weak player in the mix (they figure weakness will break him).

    Some players will not deal until the last 3 places. It never hurts to ask since the money swing is so broad in these situations. Most times no one wants to go out fourth for the 700.00 prize. When you get to 4 players and split everyone get close to 2nd place money and the only way to get more is to win the tourny (this is a good point to make if you are negotiating for a deal). This would have assured every one off getting 1000 more than 4th place.


    • #3
      Goot job !! Congrats!
      Only one a dealer, anytime you finish in the money, you should try to tip the dealers. A lot of tournaments hold out a % off the top, which you didn't mention, but even at that, it's nice to add a bit extra. Dealers make very little money dealing tournaments and most are not happy about being out of the live game line up to do so, therefore anything extra you do for them is greatly appreciated.

      On an interesting, unrelatated side note about tipping dealers. At one of our local casinos a huge badbeat JP was hit. Total around 140K, the big winner. a touist, got just over 50K. He tipped nothing, but told the dealer he had to "get with his accountant and would mail his tip". Of course we all laughed and felt sorry for the dealer who we were sure had been "stiffed". Much to our surprise and delight, several weeks later a check, for $1500, with a nice note arrived. Kind of restores your faith in a mans word!!




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