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Full trip Report HPT 2-22-09

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  • Full trip Report HPT 2-22-09

    The trip north to the Grand Casino Mille Lacs on February 19th was a familiar one, as I’ve made the trip about four times or more. I missed the bad weather by going up on Thursday two days after the storm and a day before the big one on Friday. 

    I always say I’m not going to play after a seven hour drive but I always do. I signed up for the 7 P.M. Qualifier as they call them, but it’s nothing more than a super satellite. It was a $340 buy-in with 78 players where the top 20% gets an entry into the Main Event. I finished 25th when my J-J ran into Q-Q with a flop of J-T-Q…..not a good start. Guess it’s time to call it a night.

    Friday February 20th I get up all refreshed and ready to play. I’ve never had to play more than two Qualifiers to get into the Main Event so today should be my day. That way I get a day of rest before the Main Event on Sunday. Early breakfast and a good cup of coffee should get me off to a great start.

    I decided to play a single table satellite for $115 where 3 players get entry into the $340 Qualifier.
    I finished top 3 so this day is looking up as it’s always nice to get into an event cheap.  I decided to play another $115 satellite as I can sell it for $300 easily and be free rolling, with some profit into the Qualifier but I bust 4th and there goes my big plans.

    The Qualifier was going well until this hand. I had K-T in big blind when player on button rises. I call and see the flop of K-T-Q rainbow. Good flop for me with a straight possible on board. I over bet the pot, “about 1/3 of my stack” and the player goes all-in. After thinking about it and how the player was playing, I’m sure he doesn’t have the straight so I call. He shows me QQ for a set, and the turn or river doesn’t help me & I’m history. 

    There goes my record of always making it into the Main Event with two Qualifiers or less.  It’s time to get something to eat and make some notes on my play, than off to play another $115 single table satellite.

    I sign up and site down and see everyone talking about fishing and playing different tournaments in the area. Looks like everyone knows every one else, this is just great! Everyone knows how each other plays and I’m one of the fish they are looking to take chips from. I bust 6th and decided to play another one because if I win it’s still cheaper than buying into the $340 direct. I finished in top 3 so get my entry into the qualifier so maybe things are looking up. 
    I go back to room and go over my notes to get ready for tomorrow. It looks like I need to re raise a little more instead of just calling a raise if I have position or if I believe other player may fold to the re raise. Depending on stack size, my read on player, and my stack size among other things. I decided to be a little more aggressive on my bets and raises after the antes kick in and play a little tighter before.

    Saturday, February 21st I have a good feeling. I’m in the $340 qualifier on the cheap side and this is the biggest number who has signed up with 128 players.
    I like the bigger number, as I feel there is just so many, “lets say 40” good players there and everyone else is below avg. If that is true your odds go up with the bigger number as there are many more below avg. players you can get chips from instead of going against the better players.

    My notes are paying off and I feel I’m playing a great game. All is going well even though I’m just avg. stack most of the tournament. As we get down about 35 to 40 players my cards go dead. I have a big stack on my left where I can’t make many moves and he is playing the game well. Pushing the middle stacks, which I’m one as they have the most to loose and keeping the pressure on. 26 players get entry into the Main Event with 28 players left when this hand came up. I’m first to act and now getting short and see I have A-K. Hand looks good to me, so I push and get called by A-A. I bust out two from the entry. That took about 6 hours of playing, but I have time to sign up for the last one which starts within the hour. I sign up and go get something to eat.

    Upon my return I see 175 players have signed up for the qualifier which sounds great to me with 35 players getting the entry. 

    This tournament, I can’t get anything started as I never get above avg. the whole tournament. I finally bust out about 54th on a bad play.

    I’ve now played 3 days with nothing to show for it with the last day being about 11 hours of play. I go back to room and go over my notes. I had several good players at my table, above avg. for sure. After thinking about it, most of the night as I couldn’t sleep I think I was playing their game instead of mine.

    What to do now? I didn’t bring enough money with me to buy in now as I was too confident that I would win my entry easily. After talking to the wife I decided to stay and play the Main Event by buying in and charging it to my credit card. Pat tells me, you went to play the Main Event so play it if you want….you have money. 

    The Main Event starts with 15,000 in chips and I decided to play tight until the antes kicked in like I did before. I played very few hands and tried to be aggressive with my bets, but ended up loosing almost every hand I played. I’m down to about 6,000 and the antes haven’t even kicked it yet. Ok have nothing to loose, looks like this was a bad idea. I’m going to raise or re raise about any hand I play and play it big. I get lucky and get K-K with A-K on board and push and get called with A-Q. That was almost a double up with the blinds and the one player who folded to the raise.

    At first break 1 ½ hours I was back to my 15k and by 2nd break I was avg. and never fell below that by being aggressive, playing the players, and their stacks along with the tells you pick up by playing with them after a while.

    Several good players in the top 30 finishes as you would expect. At least 10 had made the final table before with a few winners, like Mary Jo who is the Player of the Year for HPT that finished 15th, Scott Eckert who finished 10th who won an HPT Event, plus many more.
    Most of the players were trying to stay out of my way, as I was one of the bigger stacks at the table. When we got down close to the final six for the TV show another big stack decided to take me on. I called his raised with 5-5 and all small cards came on flop. He pushed and I called putting him on paint. He show A-J and doesn’t improve and goes out the next hand. I bust the 7th player when my 10-10 holds up to his 8-8 and we are on TV again.

    It is now after 7 P.M. and told to fill out forms and show back up for interview in 1 hour. I haven’t eaten all day; I’m tired and can’t concentrate, and can’t even think of what to say on the interview. To tell the truth, I’m not what sure what I said.

    When the game started again, I was lost. I now understand why everyone says no one over 30 will ever win the WSOP Main Event. I played bad, made the wrong bets, and looked like a beginner for sure.

    This happened in Tunica in the Main Event earlier this year. I am beginning to understand I don’t need to play so many days in a row with the long hours and especially with not eating. I guess you may win at poker but you, “can’t beat Father Time”.
    2 Time Bracelet Winner

  • #2
    Great trip report.


    • #3
      Hey, Leon

      Congratulations! Three Heartland Poker Tour TV Final Tables! Awesome!
      Wish I could have been there to cheer you on.
      I'm sure that playing the HPT Main Event has to be exhausting (14 - 16 hours all in one day). However, playing the qualifiers is part of the fun and excitement of playing the HPT (maybe skip the satellites).
      Anyway, hoorah for you! Maybe I'll get to see you at Meskawki.



      • #4
        HPT REPORT

        congrats once again Leon nice report !!


        • #5
          Great report

          Great report leon. I always take some power bars with me for the long haul so hunger isnt an issue. Also remember you play better and last longer when you just take the edge off hunger.



          • #6
            Thanks for the report Leon, learned some nice things about your report. I'm taking my notepad along on the next live tournament.



            • #7
              Hey Leon!
              You know I'm a big fan of you and someone to look up to :lol:
              If i've ever come to 1 Tv show i think i will pee my jeans :evil:
              Think you did a very good job and a great report.
              Still miss you at the tables thou :





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