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WPT Championship, Day 2

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  • WPT Championship, Day 2

    Wednesday, April 20

    Despite my best efforts (and sleeping pills) I only got about
    4 hours sleep, so I was up early and fired up the laptop to
    check out my seat draw for the day:

    Tom McEvoy 60,200 54 1
    Mark Boudewijn 56,600 54 2
    Kaelaine Minton 41,900 54 3
    Peter Moore 22,050 54 4
    Sam Murphy 33,700 54 5
    Stephen Murphy 39,000 54 6
    Tam Nguyen 126,800 54 7
    Daniel Negreanu 71,500 54 8
    Fred Hwang 45,975 54 9
    Paul Darden 20,600 54 10

    This is really good new/bad news. I'm about middle of the
    pack stack-size-wise, but there's a big stack in seat 7. I've
    got to face Daniel Negreanu across the table again, but I'm
    comfortable with his play now. Also, Peter Moore is the
    player that was moved into the 8 seat the day before, so I had
    some experience with his play. Tom McEvoy is in the 1 seat,
    so his button to my big blind...I don't know how agressive he
    will be. Paul Darden in the 10 seat is the only other one I
    recognize from TV, but he was the short stack at the table.

    Once I settled into my seat, I was not anywhere near as
    nervous as I was the day before. I have spent 7.5 hours at a
    table with the Player of the Year and not burst into flames.
    :P I am living my dream of playing poker with world class players
    and not embarassing myself!!

    Before play starts today, we color up the 25 chips and race off the odd ones, so we were a little late getting started. I flash on Jim McManus playing in the World Series of Poker Championship with photos of his kids on the I pull the photos of my "kids" (2 Jack Russell Terriers) out of my wallet and put them on the table, leaning against the rail (you can see them in the picture of me stacking chips).

    I've got to build my stack. Round 6 blinds are 400/800 with 100 ante, so each round costs 2200.

    My first Big Blind, a short stack in early position raises to 1600 -- the 1x raise seems weak to me. Daniel and the small blind call. I look down to see a pair of tens...6600 in the pot already...I say "I'm all-in". Everyone folds and I scoop my first pot of the day...the first of many.

    At the end of round 6, I've more than doubled up to 107,700. And I don't have notes on any other hands and don't remember any. Paul Darden busted out and was replaced in the 10 seat by Jim Bechtel, a WSOP winner.

    Round 7, blinds are 500/1000, ante still 100. Early in this round Tom McEvoy gives Mike Paulle his infamous quote: "She's been slapping us around all day. Especially Daniel".

    At the end of round 7 I'm up to 144,000...I'm told the average is around 90K.

    Round 8, blinds 600/1200 with 200 ante. Each round costs 3800.

    I have always respected and admired Daniel for his accomplishments. He is unquestionably one of the greatest NLHE
    tournament players in the world. However, it seems to me that
    his method is easily countered. If he is FTA, his standard
    raise is to 2.5x the BB. Once I built up my stack, I figured I
    can put in an additional 1.5x the BB to see a flop with almost
    any 2...I know he likes to play the suited connectors...I get
    to act first after the flop, so if the flop comes with big
    cards and is not coordinated, I bet out...if he missed, he has
    to fold. If he has hit his hand, he will play and I'm done. So
    I did this once with 96 offsuit...the flop was AQ3, so I bet it and he folded.

    Any time he raised my blinds, I did sometimes I
    actually had cards (A-rag, 2 faces, etc.) and hit the flop and
    sometimes I didn't, but if I felt the flop missed him, I would
    bet out...and he almost always folded. After showing down a
    couple of winning hands, no one wanted to challenge me.

    I showed some hands when I would make an FTA raise and
    everyone would fold (77, 88, AQs) but I wasn't getting any
    monster hands.

    It was in this round that Daniel made his departure. His
    memory of the event is a bit flawed, however. In his blog, he
    says: "My final hand went like this: with blinds at 600-1200
    with a 200 ante Tam Nguyen limped in under the gun. I followed
    suit with the 4-5 of diamonds. The three seat also called, and
    then former WSOP champion Jim Bechtel raised it 7000 more to
    8200." I'm the 3 seat he refers to but Jim Bechtel is in the
    10 seat. Tam limped, Daniel limped, then Jim raised. I had
    Ace-rag suited and decided to call the raise. Daniel was
    getting short, I was on a rush, and I really wanted to be the
    one to bust him. 8) If Jim had not raised, I probably would have
    (punish the limpers) because I had position on all of them.

    Tam & Daniel both called and we took the flop 4-way: 9-3-2
    rainbow. Again, Daniel's memory is flawed. Quote from his blog: "Tam checked to me. At this point I had 35,000 in chips with my open ended straight draw. I genuinely felt like Bechtel was
    just messing around, so unless he hit the nine on the flop
    there was a good chance that I could pick up this pot. I moved
    all in." In reality, he did NOT move all in. He bet about
    half his remaining stack. Jim thought about it, then HE moved
    in. I folded (I had missed completely) as did Tam. Daniel
    called the rest of his chips. I remember this clearly because
    as soon as he made the bet, I commented to the player on my
    right that Daniel was pot-committing himself with that bet, so
    he should have moved all-in first to maximize his fold equity.
    (Card Player got it right in their reporting of the event.)

    I couldn't believe that the 2004 Player of the Year had put
    his tournament life at risk with nothing but an open-ended
    straight draw (8 outs) and 5 high. He did not hit his straight
    and although his 5 paired on the river, it was not enough and
    he was out. He could have check-folded on the flop and still
    had 35,000 in chips (almost 30x the big blind) to work with to
    find a better spot. It seems that he got impatient...maybe
    because of getting slapped around?? :lol:

    Daniel's strategy was clearly not working, so why didn't he
    shift gears? Tighten up, wait for premium hands in position,
    do SOMETHING differently?? He calls me 'The easily
    exploitable yet "lucky" player', so why didn't he exploit?? :?:

    I ended round 8 with 135,200.

    After Daniel's exit, a new player was moved into his seat. This guy arrived and started un-racking his chips and was told to put the high-value chips in front where they can be seen. He said "I've got about 240" (thousand) and was the chip leader at the table upon his arrival. A few minutes later he ordered a gin & tonic...and I knew his chips would be mine. :lol:

    Round 9, blinds 800/1600, 200 ante.

    The only hand I remember from this round came fairly early.
    Fred Hwang raised UTG and I looked down to find pocket Jacks.
    I checked him out and he looked nervous to me..he was getting
    short stacked, so if he could beat my Jacks he coudn't bust
    me, so I re-raised him. Everyone else folded and he called my
    raise. I was pretty sure he would have re-raised (or moved
    all-in) with AA, KK, or QQ, so I felt my Jacks were good
    before the flop.

    The flop was 8-high and all hearts. I knew I didn't have the Jack of hearts and I watched Fred closely ... he did the "suit check", looking back at his hole cards to check the suits, thought about it, then moved all in. I was confident he did not have a made flush. I figured he either had AK with one heart or had a pair bigger than eights with one heart. (If he had flopped a set or a flush, I don't think there would have been any hesitation.) Either way my hand was good and he was going to have to outdraw me. His stack was short enough that if he did outdraw me, I would still be OK, so I called.

    He turned over a pair of tens with the ten of hearts. The turn & river were both black cards (and not tens) and Fred was out. Turns out Fred was the only player I busted out of the tournament and those Jacks were the biggest pair I would see all day.

    At the end of round 9, I was sitting on 275,100, and many of these chips had come from Mr. Gin & Tonic.

    Round 10, the last round of the day, blinds at 1000/2000, ante 300. Each round costs 6000.

    One interesting thing happened during this round. I was early
    position and had AK clubs - made standard raise to 6000. Player 2 to my left called and we took the flop heads up, which was 678 with two hearts (no clubs). I had 3 chips in my right hand that I had been flipping and after the flop I moved to put those chips down and get some chips to bet. He said I checked...I said I was just setting those chips down and intended to bet. He told the dealer to call the floor. I said, fine, if you interpreted my move as a check, then I
    will check (why not...I didn't have anything and was just going to
    make a continuation bet). He checked behind me and the dealer
    put up the turn card, which was an Ace. 8) I very carefully
    picked up some chips to bet, and he folded. He was definitely
    showing some frustration here.

    At one point during this round I had over 300,000.

    Near the end of round 10, I was getting a little full of myself and made some bad moves. One particular hand, Mark
    Boudewijn, the short stack on my right moved all-in for 11,000
    pre-flop. I looked down at 66. He was getting very short and
    could be making this move with just about anything, so I had
    to call. Mr. Gin & Tonic called and the player on his left also called, so we took the flop 4-way, with one player all in. The flop was T83 rainbow and I said "all-in".

    I thought I might have Mark beat, if he had AK, AQ or two other big
    cards, and wanted to shut the other two out of the pot. I also knew that due to the all-in, everyone was going to get to see my cards without calling, and hoped they would consider that.

    Mr. Gin & Tonic thought about it for a while. He had about 150K at this point and if he called and had me beat, I would be down to about 100K. He folded as did the player on his left, and claimed he had top pair. I'm sure I smirked as I rolled over my pair of sixes. He was pissed and had to get up and leave the room. Unfortunately for me, Mark turned over KK and took the pot, quadrupling up just before the end of the day.

    This was a stupid move, I did it on impulse, and put a lot of chips at risk for nothing. Luckily it didn't cost me anything and I got the side benefit of putting Mr. G&T on tilt.

    Well, I wasn't done yet. I had to give some more back before the end of the day. Jim Bechtel raised from early position and I looked down at AQ spades. I called the raise and the flop was 222. Jim pushed all in, but only had about 37,000 left. It was clear he had a pair and I should have folded, but I thought, in my giddy, exhausted brain, that his pair had to be lower than queens and I could catch an A or Q to beat him...well I called and I didn't, and he doubled up. Bad call on my part...once he bet the flop I should have folded.

    I was watching the clock on the montior tick down to the end
    of the round. I was mentally beat and ready to call it a day.
    We had to count & bag our chips, and I ended up with 233,800,
    not a bad improvement over the 41,900 I started the day with!!

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