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Aruba - Day 2

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  • Aruba - Day 2

    9-25-04 I get up at about 0700 and head for the poker room. My wife and daughter are still asleep. I arrive to find there is a $5x$10 NLHE game still going from last night. I love being fresh and alert when facing several drunk tired people on a good no limit game. I buy in for $400. No much really exciting happens. The flow of the table seems to be, drunk #1 when UTG always makes it a live straddle for $40, drunk #2 calls if he has any two cards over 10 or any two suiteds, then the action is to me. If I have a good starting hand "for this table" (say A-10o or better, or any pair) I either call or raise, knowing that I am going to catch at least one caller.

    On one particular hand I hold AKo on the button. I re-raise the straddle making it $90 to go. Drunk #1 of course calls (defending his and Drunk #2 decides maybe this is the time to finally lay down a hand pre-flop. The flop comes down A9K rainbow. Drunk #1 checks and I bet out $100. He says, " want me to belive you have an Ace, I raise". He then makes it $250. I re-raise my remaining $40 or $50 and he quickly calls and shows 93 offsuit! The turn brings a K and he is drawing dead. Ironically, this hand only gets me up to $35 ahead total becuase of the numerous hands I have had to lay down pre-flop and 2 HUMONGOUS suck outs that cost me about $350 total.

    Another player leaves and we are down to 4 handed, this puts me in the SB. I post the $5 and by the tiem the action gets back to me it is $150 to go. I look down and find the "best" hand in hold 'em...........72 offsuit! LOL. I muck. The player next to me folds and the action is now back to drunk #1. He makes it $300 to go, and drunk #2 calls. The flop comes down JKJ. Drunk #1 apparenly has a moment of clarity and checks. Drunk #2 bets out $400. Now Drunk #1 raises to $1000. Drunk #2 looks confused and after like 5 minutes, calls. The turn brings a K. Drunk #1 checks again, and drunk #2 checks behind him. I am completly confused at this point becuase there is over $2500 in the pot and nobody bet. The river brings what looks like a harmless 7c. Drunk #1 checks again, and drunk #2 immediatly declares, ALL IN. He has about $550. Drunk #1 goes in to the tank (no pun intended). At this point I am figuring #1 for a jack with an Ace or Queen, and #2 for K-who knows what. After about 10 minutes....drunk #1 says, I call..and #2 turns over AK! This guy actually woke up with a hand! Inside I am laughing my butt off. #1 shows AJ and mucks. #1 is now broke, #2 has a TON of chips, and the other player has about $250. I figure my best move here is to take my small win and head to the poker seminar.

    At 1100 UB has a poker pro's seminar. I find a seat in the front row center. In comes (in order they walked in): David "Devilfish" Ulliot, Paul Williams, Antonio Estafraini?, Annie Duke, Ben Affleck (what is this guy doing with the pro's?), Scott Fischman (WSOP Multi-Bracelet winner and member of "the crew"), James "Krazy Kanuck" Worth, and Phil Hellmuth. James Vorhouse is the moderator. All people introduce themselves and then they put out a microphone for anyone to ask panel memebers questions. The limitation is, of course, to poker. A couple people ask questions about the future of poker, internet gaming security, etc. I am sitting here wondering....why in the world are these people asking pros' these type of questions.

    I get my turn at the mic and I ask..."You are in the first day of the tournyement, all players have about $12,000 and the blinds are 200-400. You are in middle position. The under the gun player raises 4x BB and the next player flat calls, you are in middle position and all fold to you....what types of hands are you going to play here?"

    Antonio says, I might play a suited connector, but I STRONGLY caution you when doing this. If your post flop play is not superior (ie professional level) you are probably going to get in to trouble, so stick to premium hands in this situation, fold all others including AQ.

    Annie Duke, Fold all but premium hands. There will be better opportunities to commit 15% of your stack pre-flop. You are probably better off waiting.

    Phil Hellmuth, I will play all pairs here. Annie Duke mocks him and when you called me with your set of 2's and I had a set of Aces and busted you? Everyone laughs. Phil continues.....for 15% of my stack, I can take a flop and if I hit a set I will probably get at least 1 of the remaining players entire stack. Antonio interjects, but you dont know if anyone is going to re-raise behind you, so you have position problems and if they re-raise can you still call with weak pairs? Phil says if he gets re-raised he will have to lay down the hand. Annie says, You are only a 8 to 1 shot to flop a set and you are commiting 15% of your stack, I dont like this play on the first day of a tourneyment. (This is EXACTLY the type of exchange I am looking for...different opinions from several top tourney pro's.) Phil then continues on about why the small pairs are good, then (as Phil usually does) goes of about how great he is saying, You know, I was my own teacher, I didn't have a group of mentors and I have developed my own style that no one has used before me. Devilfish says something mocking which I cant fully understand due to his HEAVY accent. The pro's laugh and John Vorhouse calls for the next question.

    A lady from California asks, How do you play it when you flop the nutz, like 4 of a kind. Antonio and Annie say, Check! Phil says, I bet because people are not going to expect me to bet quads. If they call great, and if no-one does then maybe it was a mistake to bet it this early.

    A few other people ask questions, but nothing like myself or the lady who followed me which were directly related to playing the game. The final statement by many of the pro's was this. With regard to the tourneyment, the action you see on TV is the culmination of several days play. The type of play that got us to the final NOT what you see AT the final table. Styles change dramatically once it is down to 6 and the TV takes away a SIGNIFICANT amount of information once edited. They are showing only the "most interesting" hands which are not necessarily representative of how a player actually plays.

    The seminar concludes and I head back to the poker room. There is a $2-$5 Pot Limit game starting. I sit down at the table (which has not actually started playing yet) and ask......why don't we play NO limit and save the headache of figuring how much the "pot" is. All 9 other players agree, and we also agree on a $200 minimum buy-in or re-buy. We start the game 10 handed, I buy $300 in chips. I know I am at the right game because in the first two hands, one player moves all in on the turn with NOTHING! He apparently figured he just needed to make a donation. LOL. He re-buys again, and is now in the game $900 in less than 3 hands.

    After about 15 minutes I play the following hand. The banzaii player makes it $45 to go from MP. A solid player to my right calls. I look down and find pocket 3's. I flat call. This is marginal I know, but this hand fits the 15% rule and there will certainly be at least one more caller. I am right, there is not one more caller....but 3! We take the flop 6 handed and it comes down 32J rainbow. BINGO! flopped the set. An early position bettor leads out for $50, all fold to the banzaii player who makes it $100, the person to my right calls. I think for a minute on the best way to play the hand. I decide ending it here is the best option if I can. I move all in for $150 more. EP folds, the banzaii player calls, and all others fold. The player to my right says, to banzaii player, you had better be able to beat a set. Banzaii responds, "I have aces, I have the best hand" and turns over his aces. The turn is another Jack which leaves banzaii drawing very short. The river is no help and I drag a $1000+ pot. I play for another hour with nothing notable occuring. Banzaii keeps moving in with crappy hands and donating to the table. He actually starts complaining at one point that we are a bunch of poor players because we wont lay down a hand. Then this hand comes up. Banzaii is now in the game about $2500 or $3000 (I kinda lost track). He raises from MP and makes it $20. With the flow of this game $20 is a "standard" pre-flop raise and had very little to do with power of cards. 4 others call and in the BB I call with J-10o (again not a great move, but the action here warrants it). Flop comes Q59 with Q and 5 being spades. I lead out for $50 and all immediately fold to banzaii who says, "all-in". He had only about $118 in front of him, so it is about $63 more for me to call. I count the pot ($275). I know I am a 4 to 1 underdog on a str8 draw with 2 cards to come, if all my outs are live. It is $63 to call ($63x4=$249). I am getting the right price. I start looking at banzaii. His response is to turn over his cards! He flopped 2 pr (Q5c) and no spades. I have the J of spades with gives me a backdoor flush draw. I call and show him the J-10. The turn brings the K and the river the 9. I drag another nice pot from banzaii. I stack up the chips and look at my watch. It is 2:00 PM and it is satelitte time. I cash out.

    On the way to the satelitte area I take a count of my bankroll. With the two days play, minus some vacation expenses ($200 worth) I am $1250 ahead for 2 sessions. Not a bad start.

    I know this has gotten a bit long, so I will continue with day 2 and the first day of the main event in the next post!

    See you all in Tunica!

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