Saturday, December 18, 2010


One of Las Vegas' many lures (for me anyway) was the abundance of tournament play available.  Tournament play is my strength and I knew if I played in a few (or more) I'd cash.  This did turn out to be true, but at the end of my stay in Vegas I was down.  That was not part of the plan!

Here is a quick recap of my tournament play.

#1 $80 Tourney at Harrahs.  Approx 40 peeps, played for almost 4 hrs, and was THE BUBBLE. I wasn't shortstacked but only 5 players, the blinds and antes were huge and I wanted them.  I jammed all in with A-J sooted and got called by K-9 and lost on the river.

#2 $60 Tourney at Harrahs.  12 peeps, came in 2nd.  Big come back from $1,000 to chip leader.  When heads up, I had 90% of the chips and suffered 3 horrible bad beats in a row, witnessed by Lightning.

#3 WPBT Tourney.  $120 entry, 97 peeps, + $10 luckbox last longer challenge.   I started out with Otis, Poker Grump, Lightning and Brian Danilo (full tilt guy, most famous for being Al Can't Hang's bitch).  Brian was to my right and played at least 80% of the pots.  He was extremely aggressive, which is how I normally play, so it was hard for me to do my thing.  Plus I got very few premium hands in the 2 1/2 hrs I played.  The other "negative" was having Lightning at my table.  He was part of Team Waffles and I certainly didn't want to knock a teammate out and ruin my chances for extra cash.  It was no longer an issue when Waffles donked out so early solved that little problem.

I was very excited and apprehensive to play with Poker Grump at my table.  I watched his every move looking for a tell or two.  When he checked he did so with a dove-like touch that barely grazed the table.  That was usually followed by a fold.  Hmmm... Then he'd glance at his opponents chips, and check raise.  It was after the first break that he and I were in a hand together, however it was very short lived because SOMEONE is a meanie.

I hadn't played a hand in forever and my stack was dwindling.  I was 2nd off the button, had A-10 and came in raising....I believe to 3x the big blind.  2 people folded and then Grump thought for a moment or 2 and raised me.  Big raise considering my stack size, and I wasn't going to call.  I was either going to re-raise or  fold.  I did like my hand, but felt I could very easily be behind.  Could Grump really re-raise with less than A-10?  He'd been playing maybe 35% of his hands up till now. 

I folded.

Then he gives me a little grin and turns over.........................

Wait for it......................................................

That fucker...................................................

I owe him for this one....................................

He turned over 10-7 off suit.

Lucky for him he wasn't in my backhanding range.  I owe you Grumpy.....or more to the point, you owe me.  I am Sicilian and will never forget that until I exact my revenge.  :)  A grand gesture on your part is recommended.

This was before he raised me with crapola.
Read what The Wife wrote about this outfit! (and my cheeks)

After that I just didn't get a hand, except for AA and I got no action with it, only the blinds.  Finally I had about 4 big blinds left and looked down at A-Q crubs.  I jammed all in, in first position and got called by the SB who had AA. (what a donk, huh?)

I was down to a 25 chip!  At this point I wanted the misery to end, but you can't always get what you want.  I won a few hands in a row, but soon enough I lost to Brian Danilo who got a Very Josie t-shirt and a Jonathan Papelbon bobblehead, among other things.  :)

I was out 71st. Blah.  Earlier in the day, when we were having breakfast Miami Don predicted I'd be out in the 70's.  The bastard!!!! :) 

#4 Finally I played a highly anticipated tournament at The Venetian Saturday night.  $120 buy in, 90something peeps and 9 itm.  I played my heart out.  I played smart and got in good and built up my chip stack.  Then I had a couple of bad beats.  I find I go in tilt after the bad beat and play in more hands than I should.  I noticed this pattern in games 1, 2 & 4.  So anyway, I played for about 5 hours, 9 itm and I was out 11th when I jammed all in to pick up the blinds with q-9.  A-4 called me and I didn't improve my hand.  Such a donky move on my part after hours of solid playing.  I wasn't THAT shortstacked.  I should've waited till I was itm to make a move.  Very aggravating.

To recap, 1 bubble, 2 from the bubble, wpbt not even close and a 2nd place win.  It doesn't look too bad in recap form, but in 3 of 4 games I was far closer to winning than my places illustrate.

I feel traumatized that I didn't do better and am questioning whether I should even be playing this game.  I won the last 2 tournaments I played in before the Vegas trip (2 for 2) and am disappointed in myself.  I am  oscillating between that and wanting to get back on the horse, knowing I could do better if given the chance.

I dunno.  It sure was a sobering experience, and I never thought I'd write that in my Vegas post.

Play smart.



Rakewell said...

You didn't have K-Q in that hand. You had better. You had A-10. Which was why 10-7 was even more fun to show, becuase I didn't even have two live cards.

I'm glad you're a safe 3000 miles away again....

Josie said...

Damn, you're right. I am updating the post, and am even MORE pissed off. No more respect for you!

The Neophyte said...

Questioning your decision to play tourneys after 2 bubbles, a second place, and a bleh showing in 4 tourneys? I believe you are over thinking this Josie. Yes, bubbling off SUCKS, especially after putting in 4 or 5 hours. Been there, done that. Lets recap. You lose with the best hand when some clown calls with a K9. There are always clowns who call with shitty hands like that and of course win. If you played poorly prior to that, then you can question it but losing that way is not a bad result, it's poker. You already said you were aware you played more hands when you take a bad beat or 2 and maybe the Venetian loss is a result of that but you can't let a bad beat change your style. You made a decision, you could easily have held A9 and had that guy completely dominated as the Q9 you did hold. And really Q9 against A4 is almost 50/50. Depending on your position then, it may have been a good move on your part with a bad result.

I think what is making you question this more is when you laid down A10 in the blogger tourney. You made a read and stuck with it. You were wrong but that doesn't make you wrong for it. Unless your reads were constantly wrong, I think that's just a good bluff against you. Tip your hat and move on. Remember it was your first time in Vegas playing like that and it may have affected your play a little as well. If you had 1 bubble, 3 bad showings and no cashes you might have a good reason to question playing holdem tourneys. What your results show more is a bit of bad luck and a couple of bad decisions after a bunch of good ones. So BUCK UP BUTTERCUP and get back on the horse.

Josie said...

LOL Thanks Neo Baby. Trust that I will be re-reading your comment a few more times.

BWoP said...

1. I've heard (but have never confirmed statistically) that top tournament players are ITM in the range of 15-18%. Your Vegas sample size is too small to draw any conclusions.

2. Some Vegas tournament structures (probably the 2 at Harrahs) become incredibly turbo-y very quickly, which increases the element of luck and decreases the element of skill. Although the Aria / Venetian tournament structures are better overall, those blinds / antes start climbing pretty quickly.

Follow your motto. Play smart :-) The rest is just short-term variance.

Josie said...

CK, very insightful. Thank you. Alot to think about, but what keeps creeping into my head is "15%-18%. I cash much more often than that. Like I said, 2 for 2 in the last 2 tourneys prior to vegas. Those were in the 50-60 peep range....somewhere between harrahs and venetian.

Thanks again.

Bayne_S said...

Interesting that it was team Killer B's up to the start of tournament, and it is team Waffles after team finished not quite as well as Miami Don predicted.

Doesn't naming a team Waffles doom it from beginning?

lightning36 said...

The team was only named Team Waffles in Waffles' mind. However, the performance at the tournament seemed to indicate that it was indeed Team Waffles ...

Josie said...

Yeah, what Lightning said. BTW I *knew* Waffles would be out first for our team. Blah

BWoP said...

I got the 15-18% number from a friend who is a staked online tournament pro. I was doing some spreadsheet stuff a while back and consulted with some people about my assumptions for the math stuffs.

I would say that your 2 for 2 (again) is short-term variance (on the good side of it).

Generally, tournaments pay out around the top 10%. Based on that assumption, the top guys are cashing 50% to 80% more often than average. That's a pretty big number.

SirFWALGMan said...

Yeah I donk folded AT to Poker Grump. I suck. LOL.

I agree I sucked getting nailed by set over set. Boo me. I am the only person that really believes I should have folded there though which is how it should be.

I agree with other tourney comments. You really can not expect to cash all the time in tourneys. It takes a lot of volume to see the big score.

Josie said...

Nah, you didn't suck going out on trips, except the timing of it. Very early in the tourney to be all in with less than the nuts....later on though, I'd happily shove with it.

sevencard2003 said...

ill be damned, uve been in vegas before