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The Memphis Blues - a WPT tale

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  • The Memphis Blues - a WPT tale

    Now I know why they call Memphis the home of the blues.

    By posting this trip report early, I am hoping the trip will finally end. Aaron and I have been stuck in Memphis since Friday. Friday we took a shuttle to the airport with Mark (owner of pokerschool) and Daniel Negreanu. That was definitely the highlight of the trip. Since then each flight has been cancelled and I played the women’s event from the Memphis airport. Our flight has been delayed again and we will now miss our connection to Minnesota.

    I have never slept in an airport before, but I feel it has a certain Hollywood mystic about it. How glamorous. (Now, being a private pilot and a once upon a time flight attendant, the mile high club has always been a goal. However, the airport club will not suffice.) Tomorrow will be flight day four of the trip that never ends.

    I was excited to see the pros that I have come to recognize from TV and the magazines. However, I was not very excited to see four of them sit down at my table. I actually started pretty well. Three of the four were late and I felt I had a good handle on the table. Soon Van Nguyen, Chau Giang, Josh Arieh and Gus Hansen filed onto my table. Ouch. Suddenly the whole luck vs. skill debate was flying through my head. To heck with card luck, who the heck sat all these guys at my table? Surprisingly, I felt Van was playing the best out of the four, and he soon had a chip stack between 40-50k, amazing since no one had busted yet. He did not give me much of a hard time. Oh no, it was Chau.

    Chau had me and the two guys to my left in shackles. Now usually I can play against a bully. It is not that hard, but it in this case it required a hand. These guys would put their entire stack at risk every hand. For example, I called a raise with 88 hoping to flop a set. Reraising was not really an option due to the number of people in the pot and my middle position. Besides, it does no good at that table. I folded on the flop because of the lovely overcards. QJT. Four people started crazy betting, including Mr. X on my left, Chau, Gus, and Josh. Josh folded on the turn, and Chau folded on the river. He turned over QQ because Mr. X went all in. Wow. Mr. X turns over AK, the straight. And Gus turns over 37diamonds, the flush. The diamond came on the river. Good bye Mr. X. Thank you for letting me know where I stand. Crap.

    So I folded for a real long time. Very card dead, no stealing here. Finally I got AJ. I raised and Van and Gus called. Flop came Q high, I had none of it. Usually these guys check raise if they do not bet right away. Both check, and I continuation bet. I just read Caro’s book on tells, and as Gus stared me down, I forced myself to turn my head and look away. They both folded. Good book.

    I was very card dead. I got 88 again, it was limp, raise, reraise before it got to me, so I think I folded wisely. Anytime any of the people on my end raise, Chau would reraise us to be all in. One of the guys made the dealer go get two new decks of cards because our end was so dead.

    I was short, but considering the friendly rounds I was ok. I called Mr. New deck’s AK all in for 3k with TT and won the coin flip. I had him covered and was happy to ensure myself a few more rounds. Mr. New Deck did teach me one thing. I did not know that if a player calls a bet on the river and mucks, and a player requests to see the cards, the dealer will show. Josh A was very displeased.

    I learned that even the pros suck out. Gus and Josh had a big betting showdown. Gus flopped top 2 pair. Turned out Josh only had pocket 4s. Bummer about the 4 on the river. Gus fumed for about an hour and whined about the hand when Josh went on a break. Ha ha. Not that I have anything against any of these people, I am just happy that it happens to them all.

    Getting short, I finally got a decent hand. Ak. I raised standard. Gus called, guy in between gus and Josh reraised, and I moved in. All folded. Hmmm. Is that the ticket? Very next hand I have JJ. Standard raise. (600) Gus reraises 3000. Well heck, I am tired of being pushed around. All in. He looked so shocked. He had to call with pot odds, and hey, with AK ya gotta. No help for Gus. I double up and cripple him. As he is now under 6k. Chau actually smiled and laughed. I still wonder about that. Aaron said that it was because he was excited that it was more chips for him to bully away. Grrrr.

    Soon after I moved tables. Oh my! It was like the gods smiled down on me. I raised, and instead of it being reraised 2 or 3 times, people folded. WHAT?! Only 3 pros, Chip Jett, Kathy Liebert, and Alan Goehring. The table was… nice. Soft like a pillow comparatively. People limped. I actually laughed when I raised and no one called. Ok, bad, but I was so surprised. I started to build my stack. No great hands, but enough to make a go of it.

    I finally got my favorite hand, KK. The guy in the neck brace reraised my standard by about 5k, a move I had just seen him pull two hands prior on someone else. I Pushed all in. What do you know, he actually had a hand, AA. Sigh. I just read the day before that when you have KK, the odds of someone else having AA is only 1 in 24. I was not worried until he turned it over. No help. He had me just barely covered.

    I did not think I would win, but the way things were going at the new table, I started to gain hope. Busting really sucked. Out of 512 I busted just before the last round of day 1, finishing about 200th. I lasted longer than Phil Helmuth, Gus, Juanda, Eskimo, and other pros. I guess not bad for someone who learned that a flush beats a straight in September.

    Immediately after I busted a woman we met in the Limo introduced me to Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. She had told him about my green status and he took the trouble to get a hat for me from his room. Nice guy.

    I got sick again the next day, and Chau, the man that gave me much grief at the first table, came in second. It was a good event. But can I please go home now?

  • #2
    Great read, thanks for the update.


    • #3
      Excellent post, Jordan. The more I learn about you, the more I like you. Sounds like you played those pros just right...we are all very proud of you.

      Sometime or other, you need to tell me what on earth kept your planes in Memphis for an entire weekend. Tell me it isn't Northwest.

      Again, great job.


      • #4
        You played fantastic Jordan - just unlucky that the one time you get KK, someone has AA. It sucks to go out that way, but you should have no shame in how you performed against some of the very best in the world.

        Memphis sucks, I never want to see that town again. For that matter so does AirTran - may I say to all of you, NEVER use that airline.


        • #5
          Jordan, Congratulations. You played in a field of the toughest players in the world, in an event many of us will only dream about playing in. And you've managed to go from 0 to the top in 4 months. That accomplishment alone is more than I have been able to do, and I dare say most poker players will be able to do in their lifetime.

          I salute your accomplishment, you should be proud, I know I am just to know you. And yes, the Memphis airport #$%**@!!))$% <-voluntary censorship). I'm glad Aaron and you made it home safe and sound, time for a hot bubble bath and decompress. You did great.


          • #6
            Well Done!!

            Well Done and great trip report! My first big tourney I only had to face one 'name' player (Bob Ciaffone) and that had me in knots...I can't imagine trying to survive on that table you had! I must have felt great to put a beat on Hansen. :lol:

            If you have any advice on adjusting to a high buy in tournament, I'd love to hear it. Did you prepare any differently than for a low buy-in tourney? Did you adjust your strategy at all?

            During the women's tourney yesterday I was bummed when I landed two seats to your left -- my blinds had not been in jeopardy all tournament until then! You did really well, especially considering you were playing from the airport (I had no idea at the time - you appeared to be playing a very solid game).


            • #7
              Jordan, great trip report. You played great and have a fine future in poker. Sorry to hear about the horrible travel situation.

              congratulations again for a fine performance.



              remember the alamo


              • #8
                Great trip report Jordan!!!

                You did great and made the PSO'ers proud!

                LOL I dream about laying the smack down on Gus!

                Can't wait till I get a chance to get up and play with the Minneapolis crew!



                • #9
                  Well done Jordan! We are all proud of you!

                  You Rock! 8)



                  • #10
                    Hey Jordon

                    You all shoulda called me..i Live ten miles from the memphis airport. I at least could have brought down some cards and poker chips to play wihile you guys waited... :lol:

                    excellent post..



                    • #11
                      Wow Jordan. You did awesome!!! So sorry it had to end with KK vs AA after you worked so hard and played so well :-(. Can't imagine what it must have felt like to sit with all the "big boys"... Surreal!!! Keep up your chin, this is just the beginning! Bummer about your travel problems, I had no idea. Glad you two finally made it home safe and sound. Welcome back home!


                      • #12
                        Jordan, keep your head up. You've done very well, and what're you gonna do? I know you'll think the hand over for a while, but it's just bad luck.

                        All together now...

                        That's Poker.



                        • #13
                          Wow! Great story Jordan. Sounds like no regrets, you played some good poker. I look forward to the next time we all get together to hear some more details.



                          • #14
                            Thank you everyone for the kind words.

                            kaelaine: I prepared by reading caro's book of tells, skalansky, and pieces of Harrington. My main prep was lots of experimental PSO play with Aaron analyzing every move. He is a heck of a teacher.

                            What I would like to have done is played many more live events. The more live tournaments the better.

                            I do not know much about you other than what I saw at the Women's event. You seem very solid and I just had to keep watching my blinds move to your stack. If you can play like that live, good. It was more difficult for me to play those moves live, so just make sure you are comfortable.

                            One big difference between normal events and this big buy in event is the psychology. Players will go out of their way to put you on tilt if they can. For example, I had one hand where I had to make the decision to put my entire stack at risk on a gut shot straight draw. Chip Jett had raised UTG so i gave him credit for his big flop bet. I folded, and Chip Jett turned over 63o, absolutly nothing, my ace high would have won. I know I made a mistake not reraising preflop, but I had just done that the previous hand with Aces, so did not want to risk being reraised all in. Point is, he showed because he knew I folded the best hand and hoped I would go on tilt. Yes, I was upset. But, I am pretty good at getting over it. They will all try pushing you around and you just have to pop them back. As long as you are prepared for them, no problem.

                            I would also watch as much poker tv as possible and take notes on tells. Sure they do not have many because they are pros, but as I sat watching Chau spinning chips wildly with both hands instead of just one, I wondered which tell it was, bluff or big hand? Some people have big egos, and I was surprised how bored they acted in the first hour. When I was not in a hand, it was easier to feel what their hands were. THey turned from bored to interested depending on the hand. Just knowing what some players are like before the game is a big advantage. What cards do they play and how? Hopefully you will be there long and run into many people you have studied! Best of luck!


                            • #15
                              What a great experience. You have done in a few months what many of us may never do- play in a big money tourney with the big boys and holding your own.

                              It was a pleasure meeting you in Tunica. Hope to see you again. In the meantime, just know that every time I reraise you I have the nuts. I never play 63o :lol: (Well, almost never) 8)




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