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Orleans Open Trip (long)

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  • Orleans Open Trip (long)

    At the request of NewJane, I'm posting here a slightly modified version of the report I posted on United Poker Forum (I highly recommend this forum to PSO folks who haven't discovered it yet).

    __________________________________________________ ______
    It was one year ago that I played my first tourney, the $100 limit holdem event at the Orleans Open, when I (nearly by accident) won a satellite. Finished about 250th out of 1136, which I thought was pretty good considering at that time I had about 5 sessions of casino holdem under my belt (having been a lifelong 7 card stud player before that). The tourney bug was even more firmly caught a week later, when I finished in the money my first time ever playing No-limit.

    So I had tentatively scheduled a quick trip to Vegas to commemorate this anniversary, and play the PSO live tour event. Problem was, work has been trying to kill me lately, I've been working rediculously long hours and for a while I thought I wasn't going to be able to make it. But the test I was working towards was postponed 'til Thursday (this was late Monday afternoon) so I hopped in the rental car for a 3-hour drive to Vegas. I almost talked myself into skipping it, and using the day off to spend time with my family, who I hadn't seen since July 4. But the poker jones got the better of me and off I went.

    I wasn't in the best poker shape, since I'd been on weird schedules and short sleep for two weeks. I checked into my room at Harrah's on the strip around 6. I slept about two hours and headed to Orleans to try a satellite or two and sign up for the tourney the next day. When I got there, I found out the tourney was more expensive than I thought. I had gotten an early schedule for the Orleans Open listing it as a $120 + one rebuy event, not a 230 + 1 rebuy event. This was a little steep for my bankroll (I was thinking I was better off playing four $90 tourneys at home in Los Angeles in terms of chances to win). I tried four satellites over that night and the next morning, and limped back to my hotel having given up on playing the tourney. I did stop by before I left and shake hands with the PSO contingent and get a hat, though.

    I was thinking I'd do a low buyin tourney at Mirage I'd done well in before, but they've up-ed the ante on that to $100 w/unlimited rebuys. Thought briefly about the second chance event at Orleans (a 7pm start at 120 + 1 rebuy) but was feeling pretty stung from all the satellites, where I'd been slapped around pretty good.

    But I took a nap, ate lunch at a video poker machine and made $100, which I took to the brand new poker room at Harrah's and parlayed it into $300 playing 4-8 holdem. (one funny note: at the 2-4 table, waiting for a 4-8 seat, a guy said "poker school, huh? You a teacher or a student?" I laughted and said "Well, this is a 2-4 game." Anyway, after accumulating 300 in the 4-8 game, I looked at my watch, and it was 6:40. I felt a sudden compulsion to cash out and hurry to Orleans for the second chance tourney.

    I got there a couple minutes late, paid, and went to my seat. I found cards and the small blind in front of my stack. I looked down at pocket 3's. There were a couple limpers to the button, who made it 60 to go (the blinds were 10-15 with starting stacks of 500). I was about to fold my 3's, when the dealer said "no-it's limit, you can only make it 30". I'm pretty sure this was a surprise to about half the people at the table. One thing about the second chance tourneys is that about all they tell you is that they exist. They don't tell you what game, there's no structure sheets anywhere (several times during the night I thought they were making up the levels as they went along), or anything, and we all thought that since the main event that day was NL, the 2nd chance would be, too. Whatever, I called, flopped a set, and was off to a good start.

    Good thing too, since this was the only pot I won for about 1.5 hours. Not long after the break, I was critically short stacked. I'd just gone through the blinds, and with the blinds at 50-100 I had 200 left. I was praying for a hand to raise the blinds with, but never got one, so I decided that I would raise with any two cards as long as there was one limper in (giving me some value on my money). The situation came with me UTG+1. UTG limped and I raised. The cards happened to be J-5 of hearts. I got one more caller behind me, and the flop came down 5-5-x. Unfortunately, the late position caller (by far the best player at the table) had a 5, so we had to split the pot. My 200 turned into 800, with the other guy (who had limped with 5-6) grumbling about his bad beat.

    Went through the blinds, and looked down a couple hands later at 7-8 offsuit. I had just gone through all those hands of nothing, needing to get my chips in there, and didn't want to have to get my money in with J-5 again, so I decided to take a shot at getting some chips in with this hand. I raised (first one in). The button and both blinds called. Flop was 8-6-2 rainbow. The big blind bet. I picked up my chips to raise with top pair, but decided to just call. In my mind this was a very close decision, as I wanted as much money as possible in there if I did win, but my chances of my weak top pair holding up were better if I got the trailers out. In the end my thinking was I needed all the chips in the pot I could get in this situation, so I just called. The button, a very talkative guy from Louisiana, folded and announced to the table that he'd seen my hands shake and knew I had a monster. (Side note: this is not the first time people have told me about this "tell". Actually, I've had shaky hands my whole life, and stress or caffiene, both integral parts of poker, aggravates it. I'm just as likely to shake when I'm bluffing as when I'm calling a menial bet or have a monster hand) Anyway, I caught another 8 and took down a nice pot. When I showed down the 8-7, mister Baton Rouge (who'd tagged me as a conservative player) was p.o.'d, and didn't stop telling me about how stupid I was all night.

    Anyway, from then on, I was able to maintain my stack by being very agressive when I could control the action, and avoiding trouble when someone else was doing the betting. In this way, I survived with a medium stack until we were near the bubble. I think there were 24 players in when I made the one mistake that should have cost me the money. We were playing 8 handed, and I was in middle-late position with A-J. A solid player in fairly early position raised. I sensed strength, and almost folded (as I said, I'd made it this far by avoiding confrontations) but I saw he had few chips left. This meant his raise could have meant desperation, and it also meant he couldn't hurt me. I called to see a flop. Unfortunately, when the big blind (with a stack comparable to mine) also called, I knew I had screwed up. I should have reraised him off his blind. Sure enough, I flopped a Jack, and ended up losing almost all my chips to the big blind when he made a straight on the river.

    Following that hand, I had 1700, with blinds at 400/800, playing 8-16. I was convinced that I had just blown any chance to make it into the money. I think I took my next stab two hands later with K-10 offsuit, raising from early position, leaving me with one chip. I was stunned when everyone folded. On the next big blind, I got all my chips in again with pocket A's. They held up and suddenly I was comfortably in the hunt for the money again. (Side note: The dealer at this time dealt pocket rockets to 6 different players in her twenty minute shift. Mine were her last hand, and 5 of the 6 won).

    I continued to be agressive with any two big cards, raising if I could be first one in, and giving people credit if they raised me. My raises were getting extreme respect, and I picked up blind after blind. Soon we were in the money. I took out a really nice lady on the bubble who'd been hanging on by the skin of her teeth for about three orbits, going all in on her blind and winning at least twice. When we consolidated to the two paying tables, we saw that two players (one at each table) had about 2/3 of the chips in play, and everybody else had about the same size stacks.

    When we got to the money, immediate talk began of deals. At first I thought they were joking, since I'd never heard of deals involving 18 people. But since all the players were about the same except the two, they offered to split the first and second place money and let everyone else split the rest equally (about 1400 apiece, I think). One guy at my table (an LA player I've played with often) vetoed the deal and we played on. This familiar LA player (a flambouyant hispanic guy I remembered being very agressive) was sitting at the far end of the table from me before we got to the money, and several times he raised in front of me. I knew he was stealing, and several times I really wanted to re-raise him, but the time wasn't right until we were all in the money. The first time he raised me after we were in the money, I popped him right back. He called and checked the flop to me. I bet, he folded, and I took down a nice pot with nothing! That really felt good.

    By the time we were down to one table, my agressive play had put me in a solid third place. The 10th and 9th players busted out on one hand, and we went to the final table 8 handed. For the third time, there was talk of a deal (the first deal had resurfaced when my hispanic buddy busted out, but was again vetoed). This time they offered me ~2k, everybody else about 1400, and the two big stacks would split the rest. Again, I'd have taken the deal ($2000 is real money to my bankroll, and who knows what might happen), but again it was vetoed. I didn't like my position at the final table, sandwiched between the two giant stacks, but I continued to be agressive. By the time we got down to 3 handed, I was in a solid second place! Again the deals surfaced, this time vetoed by the 3rd place guy. I'm pretty sure he thought he could outplay me.

    There were some interesting dynamics in the three handed play. At one point during the negotiations for possible deals, the 3rd place guy (a young guy who said he played professionally) said something to the effect that I looked like I'd never won this type of money before (the posted pays were 12,240 for 1st, 6350 for second, and 3475 for 3rd). I responded "well, I've had some decent pays, but nothing this high" (in fact this was destined to be my first 4-figure payout). I think that info was what caused the kid to veto the deal, thinking he could outplay me. The other guy, the big chip leader, was a loud, boisterous pro who knew all the dealers, floorman, etc., and played like a maniac preflop but wasn't afraid to get off a hand post flop if you showed strength. I saw some sophisticated moves from him, and had the feeling he was purposely putting me in the middle, allowing me to accumulate some of his chips so that we could take out the young guy. I may be wrong, but it sure seemed like the guy played a lot more weakly against me than he had against anyone else.

    At some point during 3-handed play they brought out the trophy. It was a small crystal thing we took to calling the "glass *****" since that's what it looked like.

    Finally, I crippled the young guy, and the other guy took him out, and we were heads up. We immediately cut a deal, with me getting 8090, and him getting 10,500 and the crystal *****. I would really have liked to have played it out, but I was getting an $1800 premium on second place, and couldn't refuse locking that up. I was pretty sure I could have beaten him (the momentum was all in my favor, and the chip count was roughly 110,000 to 140,000, but the blinds were so high it's always a crapshoot. Anyway, an 8090 payout was far more than I could have wished for when I was putting my last chips in with J-5!

    With the exception of the one hand I talked about before, I think I played nearly flawless poker. I've never been so tired in my life (as I said, I didn't come into it in good shape). By the end, the dealer was counting out my raises for me because I (who do math for a living) couldn't figure out how many 500 chips make 10000.

    Sorry this is so long. If there's one thing PSO has helped me do, it's develop an agression I never had before, which was key to this big payout. Coupled with the outstanding performance by PSO'ers in the main event, there's reason for others to fear those caps at a table.

  • #2
    Congrats Rocket!!!!!

    Never apologize for the length (or lack thereof) of trip reports, they are just required to be what they are. :lol:

    I am thinking that an 8K payoff would pay for your trip to Tunica next week......

    Keep the reports coming..



    • #3

      No, but it will probably pay me into the Legends PSO live tourney here in LA. Tunica's out of the question since we've got a family reunion in Charleston that week.


      • #4
        Good job! and Congratulations! Enjoy this moment, and may it be the first of many.

        I still clearly remember my first 4 figure win and my first 5 figure win...and I shake at the thought of my first 6 figure payday!

        Maybe it will be me and you at the final table of the WSOP in 2005?

        Good luck and I hope to meet you someday.



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