Friday, June 10, 2005

Tournament Monday- the morning session at Mandalay Bay

I will be gone for the weekend. I did get part of Monday done to quench any thirst out there. More to come on Sunday or Monday.

I woke up Monday with a sense of purpose. I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish today. I wanted to play tournaments. I had a good idea of which I would hit but wasn’t quite sure whether I would get to all of them. On the way out of the Imperial Palace I stopped up to confirm they did have a Monday afternoon game. Sure enough, they did. Now it was off to the Mandalay Bay for the 10 am game. As I grabbed my cash and card capper, I looked at the bounty chips I had collected off of Easycure at the blogger tournament. Something told me to take the M on with me. So I did.

I walked down the strip, feeling the warm breeze around me. Having left the IP at 9, I knew I would have enough time to get down there. There was a slight chance it would be sold out but I didn’t care that much. As it would turn out, there would be 5 spots available when I got there around 9:40. To kill some time I would bum around the nickel slots to amuse me and get the silliness out of my mind. Turned a whole $5 profit killing time so maybe that was an omen.

I took the 3 seat at the Hearts table. To my right was an amiable old guy who apparently is a regular. Tighter than a snare drum in his play but amiable. To my left was a chubby East Coast guy. Same to his left. A quiet black capped bearded guy was in the 6 seat. Another EC in the 7 seat. An old crusty old guy in the 8 seat. The chip flinging, disco looking guy in the 9 seat and a dude who looked like he was going to crap his pants on any tough hand in seat 10.

The game started off on tense note when the dealer told the crusty old guy to turn off the cell phone. He angrily snapped back he would but continued to talk. The poker room at the Mandalay Bay is part of the sports book so it is illegal to have the phone on. The dealer was just doing his job. When the dealer (Elmer had to be pushing 70 minimum) told him a second time, he snapped the phone shut and crabbed about it for the next 2 minutes, well after Elmer told him. This guy was going to be a joy to play with.

I started using my heavy coin capper but felt the need to make a switch early in the game. I pulled out Easycure chip and began to use that instead. Anything to bring some luck my way. Hopefully it would work.

The game was set for limit the first hour, with blinds going up every 15 minutes, then no limit the second hour. I have read about the structure online so I knew the basic strategy was to survive the first hour, only playing top hands and then get bold in the no limit portion. I did just that. I raised it up with K K a couple hands in but got only the blinds. I noticed this was the trend. Very tight to any raises but some loose play going on by the raisers. I looked to take advantage of that. For instance, I noticed 3 guys who raised with any two face cards or any A x suited. Interesting to say the least. I took down some small pots until the Hiltons showed up. With J high on the board, I kept betting out and was called down by two. Guy showed his A J proudly but kinda whimpered when he saw my two chicks. Disco guy was pretty aggressive, stacking up nicely. The old guy to my right played only the blinds until he was blinded out at the end of the first hour. He would comment on how he folded a lot of small pairs along the way. Didn’t even try to limp along on them. I was happy when the old crusty guy busted out. He was nothing more than a cranky calling station anyway.

Basically, there really was no skill at this table beside myself (gotta feed my own ego) Disco Stu at the other end. Black cap and the Crapper looked more scared than anything. The East Coast looking guys thought they were tough by raising with A rag and would get knocked out with the better kicker each time. Right around the hour mark, we lost a number of players from our table. Most busted out while Disco Stu was moved.

Over from the clubs table came 3 guys, none with a big stack. They could barely post the big blind. The one clown who had some chips cracked about how he has never played tournament poker before he played the other night. Funny how he then mentioned he played the Mirage and another place. Actually with the way he played, it showed. He thought he was big stuff for betting out the K high flop and then showed his 6 9 off for the bluff. Little did he know he was setting himself up by showing he was pretty stupid about how he played. Especially when he had a chance to knock a player out. In the last hand of limit, he posted the small blind and had just a couple of chips left. Stupid guy raised from the big blind and the small blind just called, even though it only left him just a single 25 chip behind. Flop came A high. The small blind tossed in his last chip. Stupid guy proceeded to fold. I looked at him dumbfounded. How could he not call? He was getting like 12 to 1 on the call. Even worse, he showed A Q. When the small blind showed A K, he then crows about what a great play he had made. At this point, I couldn’t contain myself. I started laughing at him, telling him he just made one of the worst plays ever. Even though he was behind- and didn’t know it- getting those kind of pot odds is a dream and you could never fold it. Hell, Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton would have heart attacks at that fold. Every single pro player alive- and dead- would howl at such a bad play. Even Norman Chad would be right to criticize that move. But he was clueless. He would also be out on the next hand.

Once the small guys were done, we got moved to the final table. Started with only 9 here as the other table saw two guys knocked out. I was in the middle here. Disco Stu had a big stack as did one other guy on the far end. I was in the 7 seat next to a cute Asian girl. I had enough to post some blinds and to steal some back but was more interested in talking her up. That is until I noticed her boyfriend watching from the side. The cutie on my left was pretty tight too. She folded a number of hands that had her agonized. Some of which would have taken down a nice pot for her. I was hoping to take advantage of the tightness. The guys on the other end were the opposite- very loose. My strategy was to get to the final 5 and get paid. Shouldn’t be too hard I figure. I folded a number of hands and then tried to make a move with A 6. It had folded to me in the small blind. I pushed hoping to take it down there. The Asian cutie thought and then called. She showed 9 9 which would hold up. I was now down to 300 and on the brink. Thankfully, some players got knocked out. The bosomy lady in the 10 seat had a stack as big as her breasts shrink up on her. She would be gone on the bubble.

I took my final 300 and caught A A in the big blind. I was able to triple up against the two callers. I then stole some blinds to get myself into a spot to make a move. Then the ladies came to visit again. Loose guy in early position pushed all in. I knew he had nothing. My plan though was to try to keep Disco Stu, the big stack, in the game. I raised it up just a bit more. Asian girl folded but Disco Stu pushed. Now, he had made many moves with A J earlier and it was working for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was doing it again. The other small stack folded and I quickly called. The Hiltons would be up against the loose guy’s J 10 and Disco Stu’s A K. Sadly, the ladies went shopping on me. The K on the flop was enough to put me out in 4th place. I got $70 for my efforts. Not shabby. The other small stack went out on the very next hand leaving Disco Stu heads up with the Asian cutie. He tried to cut a deal with her, which was quite good, but she wanted to play. I didn’t care anymore and left to get some food. I also wanted to get back up the strip for the Imperial Palace tourney.


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