Saturday, December 15, 2007

WPBT (Final trip report)

I will probably post about some hands at a different time. However, I wanted to at least bring my trip report to a closure so here's my recap of the brief time I spent in the bloggers' tournament on Saturday at the Venetian. First of all, Falstaff did a great job organizing this whole thing so thanks again for that. To be able to secure the whole back section of the Venetian poker room had to be a result of a lot of hard work and it was great. Thanks to Venetian also for housing 110+ degenerates to play in the tournament. It was a blast to say the least.

I'm sure a lot of you have read the numerous trip reports that are now out there so if you have, you know that this started off with a cool twist. While we were signing up for the tournament, InstantTragedy brought the guitar that was going to be sent to Dr Chaco who is currently serving in Iraq. If you've never seen his blog (and up until recently, I never had), he's got some very cool pictures from Iraq. Well, Sean (IT) told me about this several weeks ago and when he told me, I begged him to let me help in any way I can. In the end, the only thing I could do was send Sean some money for the purchase of the guitar - which as we all know led to my good karma Mookie win. Well, it was very cool to actually see the guitar in person. Sean's idea was that we were going to have all the bloggers sign the guitar to wish Dr Chaco well. I've had some random nonbloggers come up and ask us what we were doing... so I said "well, bunch of us are friends and we have a buddy over in Iraq so we're all signing this guitar and sending it to him." A lot of people thought that was awesome. I agreed.

Once everyone signed the guitar, we presented the guitar to "The Wife" of Dr Chaco who also showed us the U.S. flag that was to be presented to the winner along with the certificate that read "You're the great American I fight for." Now I'm no American but that was touching. Also, this prize was being announced through the mic by Sean... which could be heard through the entire poker room. When he was done, everyone, including nonbloggers were applauding. What a nice start to the tournament. "The Wife" topped it off with the "Shuffle up and deal!" and we were on our way.

Here's a pic of Tragedy and "The Wife" with the signed guitar. Crap, I signed it upside down!

The structure of this tournament was surprisingly good so I decided to play fairly tight early. But admittedly, the greatest part about this whole tournament is that I got to sit next to Pauly. As most of you who met him know, he's such a down to earth guy. I love reading his posts and it's a rare occasion for me to talk to a guy who does poker reports for a living. It's interesting to read the "behind the scenes" stories that he has in poker tournaments and I can also sympathize with how much of a grind it can be to cover poker tournaments, even if at first it seems like such a cool gig. Well, I was playing fairly well and I chipped up to about 5k in chips (I think we started with 2,500 or 3k) when an interesting hand happened.

What was funny about this hand is that right before this hand occurred, Weakplayer came over to the table and decided to share with us a bad beat story about how his big pair got cracked by some rag hand like 4-7 or something like that. Well, I look down and what do I see? A beautiful sooooted 6-3. With a few limpers already in the hand, I choose to limp also (there was an UTG limper and those are always tricky so I decided to see a flop here). Little did I know that this would be the hand that would basically determine my fate in the tournament. Flop comes out 4-5-6, giving me top pair and an open ended straight draw. It's checked around to Pauly who bets out 700 (blinds were 75-150 so I think that was like 80% of the pot size. I thought about my options here. I could raise and try to take the pot away. Or I could call and wait for another card on the turn. I didn't want to get into a raising war with a mere top pair and 3 kicker plus I wanted to give the impression that I hit this board hard. So, I chose to call. I think the question I asked myself was "what would I do if I held 7-8 here?" Turn comes a 9d, now putting two diamonds on the board. Pauly bets out approximately T$1,000. I try to agonize over the bet here because weak = strong, right (though in this case, weak = weak)? I then raised a suspicious T$2,000 more, leaving me a little more than T$2,000 behind. I thought this looked like a monster hand. I mean if not, why wouldn't I shove? Right? Well, Pauly calls which at this point makes me very suspicious. The river is another 4 and Pauly puts me all in. I agonize for a while and then eventually fold. It was clear that this was a rag vs rag hand and it was a lot of fun trying to put Pauly on a hand and him outplaying me. The problem was, as I thought more and more about the hand, it was very poorly played by me. Fuel put it best when he said why did you play such a big pot, only to fold on the river? If you're gonna build a pot like that, you have to be willing to go to the felt with that. Very true. Also, the other thought was, why would Pauly put me all in if he had a monster hand. I think I made it obvious that I liked my hand (even though I didn't) so all indications were that if he checks, I would shove the river (I wouldn't have but he doesn't know that). So, if he had a hand, he would be stringing me along instead of trying to push me off the pot. Well, thinking that 24 hrs later didn't help in the tournament and I lose a big pot and I'm down to approx T$2k in chips.

Next time, I was in the SB, everyone folded to me so I jam with 3-4. Tragedy, who was in the BB ponders a call but eventually folds (thank god). Few hands later, I find KQ. I raise it up to 3x BB, Tragedy calls and we see a flop of 8-9-10. I jam with two overs and a gut shot straight draw, Tragedy thinks for a while and eventually calls T$1,600 more with pocket sixes. (Sick call, Sean!) To his defense, he put me on two high cards and thought I was trying to buy the pot (I was). The turn came a 7, giving him a straight but adding 9 more outs for me to a flush. No jack, no club and I was out of the tournament. I only made it to the second hour but I have to admit, the tournament was a blast. Live tournaments are certainly a lot more fun than online tourneys.

After that, we went back to playing more poker, had dinner at the Mirage, played some craps later (where I earned the reputation of Iceman cuz I cooled down the table in a hurry) and just had some fun.

This whole trip was a blast but by Monday, I was ready to leave. The sleep deprivation finally caught up with me and I was all kinds of messed up. However, I can honestly say that I can't wait for the next bloggers gathering. This trip ranks very high up amongst all the Vegas trips I've made. Like everyone else had said on their blogs, there are so many of us and some of us are very different from one another. And even within this group, there are plenty of drama, disputes, and maybe even some hatred. But most of the time, people are very open, very welcoming, and most importantly, we all have at least one thing in common. We love playing poker and after all, what more do you need if you're in Vegas?


Instant Tragedy: Just Add Water said...

It was a very sick call...

But you left out that even if I was wrong I had plenty of chips 10K + to play with.

Play the man, not the cards

But , it was sick!

Hope you are doing well...

Shrike said...

Great report. Thanks for doing such a thorough job complete with some pics!

The Poker Grind said...

i want to invite you to my blogger tourney tonight ( sunday night ) at 10pm EST ,( starts 30 min after miami don big game ) on full tilt
its a bounty knockout tourney ,
buy in - $20+2
password - thepokergrind , im hoping you can make it

Dr. Pauly said...

One of the highlights of the tourney for me was sitting next to you.