When I started writing the “Quest for the Seat” blog series, I was really hoping to not hit the double digit number of posts. It’s not looking good!
I went to Vegas to play in the WSOP ME satellite on May 30th and June 5th. Neither went as I had hoped.
The May 30th satellite wasn’t too bad. There were 52 entries and I got my share of cards. I didn’t have to play too creatively to win enough pots to get me deep into the tournament to be a seat contender. Unfortunately, as the field narrowed, the hands I kept getting weren’t what I needed to win. I made a few mistakes of trying to steal blinds from early & middle positions with suited connectors, and to make things worse, I kept flopping huge draws that never panned out. By the time we were down to 11, 2 were getting a seat plus almost $8k to the 3rd, I was the short stack at a pretty aggressive table. I picked up a few small pots here there. The final hand wasn’t much to write about. The table bully made his standard raise from middle position. I defended my big blind w/ Ad9d. The flop came 9h7d2d, and being the short stack that I was, I shipped it. For the first time, the table bully had a hand QdQh. I never improved and was out. Looking back at the tournament, the things I would change, were those suited connectors out of position, simply need to “quit them”.
The June 5th tournament was a completely different story. 71 people showed up to the event, allowing Rio to give away 3 seats plus cash to the 4th. I started the day with 2 goals: make it past my prior finish, and leave with the seat. Needless to say, I didn’t achieve goal 2. Goal 1, is questionable.
I was pretty much card dead the entire day, which probably kept me out of trouble. About half way through the tournament I picked up my first pocket pair: mighty 44. I limped with it in the early position (got a little excited) and was raised by a player in late position. I made the call and we were off to see the flop. Flop came Qx5x3 and we both checked. The turn brought a 2x and I fired a bet, which was reluctantly called, at this point I put my opponent on 2 big cards w/o a Q. Pretty sure he had AxKx or AxJx. The river brought another Q. This was actually a good card for me, if I my read was right. I fired a 1/3 of the pot bet, and after some deliberation, he folded. This was my first meaningful pot of the day. I was up to just below the chip average.
A few orbits later, a "regular" raiser made his standard raise under the gun. I made the call w/ QxJx on the button and the small blind joined the fun. The flop came Jx4h7h. SB checked, original raiser made a 2/3 pot c-bet and I called. Unfortunately, the player in the SB shipped his stack into the middle. The UTG player instantly came over the top for all of his chips. My stack was somewhere in between the two. I made what was the obvious decision and folded. SB turned over 44 for a flopped set and UTG rolled over KK. Of course, the board ran out QxJx!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy w/ my play. Just once in a while I’d like to make a donkey call and get this lucky! Make one DUMB play and I’m the instant chip leader w/ 35 people left.
I saw no real hands pretty much for the remainder of the tournament. Picked up AK & AQ back to back while pretty short stack and managed to double up against a shorter stack that held KQ.
As we played down to 2 tables, roughly 16 players, the only stack shorter than my shoved his remaining 9BB under the gun. When the action folded to me in the BB, I looked at KK and insta-called with my 13BB stack. The original raiser rolled over Ks4s and was devastated to see my beautiful hand. The flop brought not help with 7s2h3d. The turn was definitely a sweat, bringing a 6s. Of course the river was Js. Sending the pot over the all-mighty Ks4s! I was down to 4 BB, and folded my SB. On the button I picked up KdQd and called a MP raiser, who held 99. The flop came 9hThJd, giving him a set and me a nut straight. He never improved and I doubled up. I folded for one more orbit and had my BB raised by Mr. K4. I made the call w/ 8d6d intending to ship any non-face card flop. The flop came Ac8xTc rainbow and I shoved. He called, showing KcJs. The turn was a Qc, leaving me drawing dead. To make things worse, the river was a Jc, giving Mr. K4 a royal flush. Really??? Do I really need him rubbing it in?
I finished 13th and went to sleep.