Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vegas Trip Report - Day Two - Tournament

Woke up around 8 a.m. The wife wanted to make sure she got a chair by the pool and I wanted to have plenty of time to sign up for the morning tournament. Went downstairs to grab some grub and hang with the wife by the pool (the shade for me) for a while. Turns out the pool doesn’t open until 9 a.m.

Sign up for the tournament. Table 2. Seat 1. I hate seat 1. Sitting right next to the dealer and can’t see the people in seats 8 or 9. I had to dispel these thoughts before they clouded any judgments I would make in the tournament. Starts at 10 a.m. so plenty of time to clear the head.

Go back outside and lay by the pool. Read a little bit of my favorite poker book, Championship No-Limit by T.J. Cloutier. I don’t know why I just said who it was written by … the three people reading this know that already. I’m sure I looked like a dweeb out there reading “the gambling” books. To those people who think that way … eff off!

About ten minutes before the tournament was to begin, I get up and head inside. Take my seat and see that about 24 people had signed up. Not too bad, but I wanted the full 30 players.

Info on the tournament. Buy-in = $50+5. $48 went to the pool. $2 went to the dealers. Players begin with $1,000 in chips. Blinds begin at $25/$50 and double every 20 minutes.
Payouts: 1st – 70%, 2nd – 20%, 3rd – 10%

Based on the payout structure, I felt it was appropriate to read T.J. Top three is where the money is—so focus on finishing there. I was gunning for first nonetheless.

Before the tournament kicks off, I had to listen to this woman who wouldn’t shut the fuck up at the $2/4 table. I could tell she was from Boston from her accent. She was inquisitive to what was beginning. I explained it was the daily tournament and it was capped at 30 players.

The following conversation only lasted approximately two minutes.

“Well, you don’t have a full table,” she says.

“It’s still a few minutes before it is to begin and people are still coming,” I say back politely.

“But your table isn’t full.” I try to ignore her. “How many players?”


“You only have five at your table.”

“Right, that is what the other tables are for.”

“But, you only have five at your table.”

Another player sat down at that moment.

“Know we have six. Make you any happier?” I say.

“How much does it pay?”

“Not sure. Depends on the number of players.”

“You only have six at your table.”

“Do you not see the other people sitting and standing around the other two tables?”

“They’re playing in it too?”

“Yes, that is what makes this a 30-person tournament.”

The other players at the table could tell I was getting pissed and they began to try their best too. If the poker room would have allowed headphones, I would have reached into my pocket to pull out mine.

“Should I play?”

“No. Sign-ups are over,” another player says.

“Guess I’ll stay here. I won $500 for hitting the royal flush.”

“How much you have in front of you now?” he said.


“How much you start with?”


“How long you been playing?”

“About six hours.”

“So, you’re only up $20 bucks after six hours?”

“No, I’m up $500 or more.”

“No, you didn’t beat anyone for that money. The casino gave that to you for high hand of the day.”


“Yeah … maybe you should try another game,” said the player to my left.

And with that, she got pissed and left. Longest. Two. Minutes. Ever.

After some table rearranging, the tournament kicks off with eight players to a table. I still had shitty seat one! I began to survey my table. Several people wanted to play the part of “badass” with their sunglasses and hats pulled all the way down. I really wanted to ask why, but I didn’t.

Started off pretty tight for the first two orbits. I didn’t see anything worth playing. The other tables were a little crazier. I was going to be too with the blinds doubling every 20 minutes and only starting off with $1K in chips. I think three or four people were eliminated in a few minutes.

Finally in LP, I see 77. Only two limpers ahead of me, so I pop it for a raise of $300. My goal was to take the pot right then and be happy with the $175. Everyone folded so I guess it worked. I didn’t want to get into a footrace with anyone holding overcards.

Not too much was happening. A couple players from each table were eliminated, so they consolidated tables. I was stealing some blinds and protecting mine well mostly. I looked up and saw we were down to 18 players. Well, I've beat six right?

I really wish I would have been taking more copious notes during the tourney to keep track of average chip counts and the pertinent information.

Long story short. I win a couple decent pots and we make it down to a final table of nine. I was roughly 4th or 5th in chips at that table. I decided to play conservative and treat this table just like a Party Poker SNG.

We got down to the final four and I was third in chips. Just waiting for one person to make a mistake. I knew it wasn't going to be me. Ultimately, 2nd chip stack and chip leader got into it. Chip stack two went down and we were in the money. Now I was 2nd in chips. Third place guy was down to the felt two or three times and kept catching a little life. He took a pot off of me and took a pot or two off the chip leader. He was all-in against the chip leader with 83o vs. K7 and spiked a 3 on the river.

"No offense guy, but I just want you to leave," I said. Blinds were somewhat high at this point and my stack was getting low too.

I look down at my hand and see A5o after Guy goes all-in again. I call. He flips up Tc9c. Avoid clubs, but cannot avoid the T on fourth street. Again ... he would not go away.

I'm down to $2,000 in chips with the blinds at $500/$1,000. This is where I was a little on tilt from the previous couple hands from that Guy.

I moved all-in in the dark. Guy of course calls me. The guy in the safari hat stays out of the way. Guy flips up 77. Great. Guess I'll take a look at my hand ... 72o. At least I went out in style.

So I cashed anyways. Apparently those two guys made a deal after a few hands.


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