These daily tournaments (2pm, 6pm, and 10pm) have really come into their own this year, particularly the 2pm, which has begun to draw fields of nearly 1,500 entrants, driving first prize to $50,000. Not a bad return for fourteen or fifteen hours of play, if you can make it.
Rio Pavilioon Room at 7:45am.
I didn’t, at least in my first venture since getting to Las Vegas Wednesday night. MH, my host for the first week of my stay in Vegas did make it to the cash, however, while my Doubles partner for next weekend made it farther than myself but just short of a payout.
I started off in BB and got right into the action with Kx5x, making top pair on the flop but losing to a turned two pair from UTG who’d limped with 6x7x.
We only had three players seated at the table, so play moved pretty fast at first. Ten minutes in and I was UTG, limping in with 7x7x. Another 7x hit the turn, but by the river anyone with a six had a seven-high straight, but I called a bet from an aggressive player in the nine-seat and won my first pot. I was down, though, and after paying my blinds on that round I counted T14625.
I opened with a bet of 150 from CO holding A♠2♠ and BB called. There was an ace on the flop and a deuce on the river. I bet 250 on the flop, checked the turn, and 300 on the river, and won the pot, which put me back above starting stack.
UTG1 holding 9x9x, I opened 125 and both blinds called. The flop was 9♣7♣5♣ and I obviously didn’t have a club myself, but I bet 300 to take it down.
On my BB with Kx3x there were three limps to a KxKx5x flop. UTG opened with 275 and got a call from SB. I raised to 750 and they both folded.
This time, after the blinds, I was up to T16,025.
In UTG2 with 3x3x, I opened with 225, getting calls from CO and SB. The flop is [1x]4xTx, and I continued with 400. CO calls, but SB raises and I fold. At showdown, CO loses a bunch of chips to 4x4x. I drop back down to T15,400.
A couple of hands later, I have the 4x4x and limp. A couple others come along but someone decides to raise to 525 and two of us come along to a flop of AxTxQx. I fold to a bet of 600. Now I’m back under starting stack, at T14675.
J♠T♠ on CO and I call UTG2 (the aggro player in seat 9) raise to get to the AxQx8x flop. I call his bet and my Kx shows on the turn. I bet 700 and get a call. There’s nothing scary on the river, I bet again, and he calls again. He’d just been beat by Broadway by an older (I mean, older than me by quite a bit) gentleman on my immediate right, and he looked pretty unhappy to have missed this (or thought I was just bluffing). Back up over T16,000.
UTG2 with 5♦8♦ and I raised 225; BTN raised 1,025 and I quickly folded. I ended the first hour of play with T15,850. Blinds were 100/200, and the last of the players for our table showed up, so we were finally truly ten-handed.
I limped from UTG3 with A♦7♦ into a 4-way pot, then BB raised to 1,300. I called and we sat A♠5♠T♥ heads-up. He bet 1,050 and I thought for a while, didn’t feel good about the seven or the lack of diamonds on the board, and tossed my hand.
The next hand, I had “the best drawing hand in poker”: QxTx. I called a raise to 425 and there were four players to the AxKxTx flop. Seat 9 went all-in for his last 3,150 chips, having been beat by two Broadway straights already. I called, and a third Broadway knocked him out.
UTG, eighty minutes in, and I had T19,275. About ten minutes later, blinds went up to 150/300/25 for the last round before break.
Playing my “Jordan” strategy, I raised to 625 UTG with 2♥3♥. BB called. The flop was 7xQ♦7♦. I bet 750 on the 3♦ turn and got called again. An see on the river put me off the hand and BB flipped over AxKx. Guess I wasn’t aggressive enough on the turn. Maybe he wouldn’t have believed me anyway.
UTG with KxQx, raised to 700 and made top pair on the flop but folded on the turn with a flush draw on the board.
More king action with K♦T♦ on BB. The flop was a decent KxQ♣T♣, and was checked heads-up. 7♣ on the turn and UTG1 went all-in for a small stack; I called and he had Qx7x for a lesser two pair. Neither of us had clubs. My hand held and I knocked out another player.
3♦6♦ on BTN, I needed a four for a straight on the flop; called 900 to see a flush draw roll out and a T♠ on the river and folded my nothing to a bet (or “Tibet”, as my iPhone corrected my typing).
Still, as we neared the end of the second hour and the first break, I was up to T25,050. Our table broke, and I started the next session across the room.
UTG3 and I played the KxTx that had been my last big win for 1,100 in a 3-way pot. Everyone checked to the river, and an ace-high won.
Bet 900 with K♥4♥ and won a pot uncontested from UTG2, then limped from UTG1 with K♠7♠ for 400 and folded to an all-in from SB. By the time I was on BTN, I had T23,550; there were two big stacks of 40,000 or so on my right, blinds were going up to 300/600/75 and I wasn’t getting much in the way of playable cards in the last half of the third hour.
From HJ, I opened to 1,200 with 6x9x. The flop was Kx3x5x and was checked around. A 4x on the turn gave me the open-ended straight draw. I bet 1,500 and called a 3,500 re-raise. I folded to a bet on the Jx river.
Down to T17125 by the time I was UTG3. I picked up AxKx The flop was all low clubs and we checked it. K♣ on the turn. I bet and got a call and somehow won the hand.
T22,525 on BB. And another table move.
Halfway through the fourth hour, I called a raise from BB with Q♥7♥. The flop had a king and a queen and I raised a bet to take the pot.
Won the next hand with A♠T♠ and a re-raise, then I was moved to another table again.
In CO, with blinds at 400/800/100, I had T26,550. There were about 950 players left.
UTG4 with K♦9♦, I opened to 2,200. CO called, the flop was 7♣8♣5x. I bet 2,400, CO went all-in and I folded.
UTG with 4x4x, I raised to 2,400. UTG2 called. BTN shoved his stack of 3,700 in and BB called. UTG2 came along. The flop was 2x2x5x. BB bet 8,500. I raised all-in, UTG2 folded, and BB called with AxKx. BTN was holding Ax7x. I have a straight by the river and take the whole pot.
We were four hours in, I had T42,200, blinds were 600/1,200/200. I was above average, but my M was only 11!
Last hand before the second break, I was UTG with 7x7x. I hit a set on the flop, there was a straight draw on the turn, and the case seven on the river made a flush possible but I wasn’t too worried about it. I did my best “nervous amateur” act after putting out 17,000 in chips on the river, hoping the last guy in the hand would shove, but he just called. He said he saw my pulse pounding, and I suppose it was, but I felt pretty calm with quads. I went into the break with T87,200.
In HJ four hands after break and I get A♣A♦. As the dealer’s picking up discards from the end of the table, I get a flash of a red ace and because I’m a scrupulously honest person, I call it out, assuming that someone else might have spotted it, too. I thought it was the diamond because I hadn’t memorized my suits after a brief look at them, and I didn’t want to look back at my cards then say, “Oh, no, it was the heart.” A player in middle position raised to 4,200 and I re-raised to 12,500. He folded and I showed the aces, saying I really hadn’t wanted an ace to flash.
Picked up Q♥J♥ right after that and called 4,400 but folded to a bet with 9♠9x7♠ on the flop. By the time I was UTG2 again, I had T86,400, the biggest stack on the table. That wasn’t to last.
I called a 3-way pot from BB with J♥4♥ for 3,400 and folded on a clubby flop with nothing. Raised 4,500 with KxTx and SB made two pair with 6x7x. Missed entirely with a call of 4,500 and 6♦9♦. Lost another 6,000 calling AxKx with JxTx. In twenty minutes, I blew more than 20,000 chips.
Called a CO all-in for 9,000 from BB with 9♣2♣ (blinds were 1,000/2,000/300). and won. Then I lost a big chunk with AxQx raising 5,000 and looking at a JxTx8x. I called 8,000 more but while I made my straight by the river with a nine, a jack on the turn and a flush possibility gave me pause and I had to fold. Maybe the smartest move I’d made all tournament, but costly.
UTG2 with 6x6x and I called a 6,000 raise in a 3-way flop to see 3♥3♦7♦. UTG checked and I bet 12,000. UTG3 (the afore-mentioned problematic player) went all-in for almost my entire stack. I didn’t have a diamond. I folded. I was holding T48,000 for my BB.
Played K♦2♦ and lost another 6,200. With T34,800, I was on the verge of calling with KxJx against two all-ins ahead of me. A catch would mean more than a triple-up. But I played it safe and folded against QxQx and TxTx. Naturally, a king came on the flop and would have taken the pot.
UTG with Q♦9♦ and I raised to 7,000, getting two calls and a flop of 4x5x5x. I bet 7,000 and was called. I checked the king on the turn and BB bet 20,000. I folded. I had T19,100 left for my BB. And 7x2x.
With just T12,600 on BTN and blinds at 2,000/4,000/500, I was looking for any hand that had a maximum number of callers in the hopes that I could manage to take down a pot with multiples of my stack. Any two cards would do. With three all-ins ahead of me, all with more than my stack, I pushed my chips in with 3♥5♣. There was a player with 8♠8♦, an A♦K♦, and an AxT♠. The flop gave me some hope, with 7♥6♠J♦. All, I needed was a four to quint-up (what with all the antes). But another seven came on the turn; a queen on the river, and the eights took the whole thing. Out a couple hours before the cash started kicking in.
Eight hours and twenty minutes. Around 300th of 1,435 entries.