Sunday, February 08, 2009

Poison meets the "Chipburner"

In my quest to play in one of the NL events in the LAPC at the Commerce Casino, I decided to join one of the single table satelites with 10 players for an $80 buy-in. The prize was $600 tournament chips and $120 cash, plus a LAPC cap.

At my table I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of fellows promoting the
"Dream Team" event at Ceasars that I've posted about previously. One of them being the Chipburner and the other a young 22 year old (I forgot the name). Little did I know that I was playing with one of the top NL players as stated by Dan Harrington no less.

"He is mentioned in Dan Harrington's NLH Book as one of the top three No Limit Hold'Em players in the world."

Early in the game, I chipped up in a hand versus "Chipburner" when I hooked up a hand of AK and a board of AKx (all clubs though). This chip up helped me to patiently wait for playable hands and ultimately win the Sit-n-Go. Unforturnately, I did not score the $720 payout. When the table was down to 4 people we struck a deal to pay the 2-4th players $80, so that everyone was guaranteed to win at least the amount of their buy-in.

I had to repeatedly reject offers to chop when it was down to 4 people, 3 people, and even at HU. One player in peticular was anxious to leave when there was 4 left. He kept hoping that I would bust so that there would be chop. Instead, his impatience cost him and he busted 4th. There was less than an hour to the start of the NL Tournament. But I stood my ground because I was either going to win and play in the Tournament or take my $80.

Immediately after collecting my payout, at about 20 minutes to 1 p.m., I registered for LAPC Event #15, NL Holdem $545. Starting at table 24 (the day of my birthday). There were a few interesting people at the table including a Semi-Pro who was sponsered by Poker Stars by the name of Bob.

I didn't have too many exciting hands. My first big dent took place when I had JJ. The player on my left joined the table about 30 minutes into the tournament. Shortly after he arrived. I had JJ utg. I limped in for 50 and he raised to 300. It was folded around and I raised another 900. He called. The flop came with and Axx all diamond. I checked and then called his bet for 500. I was hoping that he would suspect a trap and let me see another 2 cards. The plan worked, but I didn't hit my 2 outter when we checked the turn and river. He had KK and won the pot.

In reflection, sure I could have started the betting with more and maybe folded preflop. Or saved $500 on the flop. But really I don't think how I played this one hand made a big difference.

The next hand that cost me was QQ. This time I bet for $300 in EP. There was a re-raise pre-flop, as was pretty common on this table, to which I called. The flop had an Ace. I lead the betting. Got called. Not sure how it went from there, but in the showdown I lost to AT. Drats! No respect!

Finally, when I was down to about 2k in chips with blinds at 100/200 and antes of $25. I chose to make a move with A9 suited in mid-position. My image was pretty good and it was folded around to the button where one of the short-stacked aggro players shoved for $400 less than my total chips. Previously he had shown down a few all-in hands with Ace rag or less. I called. This time he had the goods, AK. I was down to 400 chips. I doubled up a few hands later, but quickly blinded/anted down to $400 before switching tables. First hand on that table was QJ of spades utg. I moved all in and lost to KK. Ironically, I hit the flush on the turn but was countered when the Ace of spades came on the river. And I finished at about 245 in a pool of just over 400.

Despite the loss, it was a good experience. One day, I will be sharing a story of a victory instead of an experience. In the meantime, at least I got a free cap!

Laters all....