Everyone who reads this blog (both of you) knows that I’m a fan of the Ignition Casino Thousandaire Maker tournaments. I had the opportunity the other day to play most of my time in the tournament along with poker celebrity and renowned nit Carlos Welch. Despite the anonymous play on the tables at Ignition, Carlos posted the screen shot above so I knew his player number in the game (which is assigned in the order of sign-up). I only lasted 81 hands total, but because I was at the same table as Carlos and Ignition’s hand histories (released 24 hours after the tournament ends) include folded hands, you can get a small peek at the mind of the master at work.
I started the tournament as Player 9, and we were six-handed for the first eight hands of the tournament as other players joined up. By the time Carlos joined our table on hand 13 (as the result of table balancing when a third table was created), we’d been up to nine players, but were back down to six. Carlos (Player 13) came in with almost a full starting stack of 2,500; I’d already been up to 2,800, then lost 900 on a draw to Broadway and the second nut flush (neither of which came in) in the previous hand.
Carlos folded 3♠2♦ to a raise, on the button his first hand at the table. On his small blind, we were eight-handed and UTG (full stack and on his third hand) raised with 5♣7♣. The button called with 5♦A♦, Carlos folded K♠9♦ and the board ran out with UTG betting every street and shoving on the river with three cards to a flush and Broadway on the board. The button called and they chopped 60 chips.
Four hands later, Carlos was HJ with J♥Q♣ and a stack of 2,400. There were seven players and UTG1 raised 8♥7♠, with Carlos colding and SB calling with K♦T♦. The flop was Q♦7♦K♣, about as good as SB could ask for. He check-called an 8bb c-bet. The 7♣ on the turn flipped the script, but SB check-called a 12bb bet, leaving him about 40bb. The river 8♣ completed UTG1’s full house but SB couldn’t get away from the top pair and called off another 24bb.
At this point, Carlos’s fortunes and mine hadn’t changed much. He had 60bb (2,400) and I was down to a little under 45bb.
Another three hands and I have 2♣2♥ in CO. Carlos is BB with K♣Q♥. UTG1 raised A♦K♦ to 140, I set-mined, and both blinds came along (K♠3♥ for SB). The flop was J♥2♠9♥ and with position I bet 250 after three checks. The 420 chips I won made a nice boost.
The next hand, Carlos had 5♦5♥ in SB. UTG opened to 140, getting a call from 7♣4♣ (Player 17 on the button, with almost 72bb at the new 30/60 level). Carlos folded his pair. The flop came 8♥2♠4♠ and UTG bet 210 on the overpair, getting a call. UTG (Player 14) continued for another 410 on the 6♦ turn, then check-snap-called all in on the T♥ river. The two players essentially swapped chip counts.
Carlos had been at the table for about 25 minutes and we were in essentially in the same boat when he had his first big break. Blinds were 40/80, I had 1,930 and Carlos was down to 2,140. There were a couple stacks at the table in the 5K range, but everyone else was between 1,700 and 2,500. Carlos min-raised with K♣K♦ UTG and got called by BB with T♦9♥. BB donk-bet 360 on the 4♥J♥9♠ flop. Carlos just called. The turn was 7♥ and BB lead all-in for a bit more than Carlos’s stack. Carlos snapped and the river A♣ changed nothing, doubling up Carlos.
Forty minutes in, action folded to SB. He limped in with 8♠9♣ and Carlos raised to 5x with Q♠K♦. SB folded. The next hand, I raised Q♦Q♠ 3x and Carlos folded 9♠2♠ from SB. BB folded 2♠K♦.
A couple hands later at 50/100, UTG1 raised to more than 11bb (more than half his stack) with A♥K♠. Carlos had 6♦6♠ and was next to act. He folded. Nitty. My 7♥3♥ didn’t look so good; I folded.
Carlos had the Mutant Jack (suited ace-jack: A♠J♠) and raised to 300 to take the hand. On the 60th hand I was at the table, he folded 8♥A♦ preflop—actually the best hand of the seven players at the table. I lost my BB to a SB raise with 5♥K♦ (I had 2♦5♦ and only 18bb).
On the next hand (with seven players at the table), Carlos opened to 300 from UTG with A♣T♣. BB called with K♣9♣. BB bet 430 on the 2♣4♥9♥ flop and Carlos folded. (I had Q♠5♠ on the button, thanks for asking.) Carlos was still just over the 4,000 mark; I was down to 1,635.
I raised A♥Q♥ from UTG1 a few hands later, nobody called the 300, including Carlos on the button with the only other ace: 6♠A♦. UTG1 raised to 250 on the next hand with A♠T♥ and Carlos gave up his 2♥2♠ in CO.
Carlos raised T♥J♣ UTG a few hands later, getting past K♠7♠, A♣3♣, and K♥7♥ in SB.
A limp from a middle position player with 9♦T♣ and SB with 6♠T♠ led to a small pot with Carlos involved from BB holding 8♥K♣. The flop of 6♣6♦Q♣ elicited a pot-sized bet from SB, with Carlos and the original raiser folding. Carlos folded his 9♠K♥ in the SB on the next hand, facing a raise from a short stack with Q♣K♣. Next to act after the raise, I folded 3♣A♠.
Carlos took a bit of a hit on the button the next hand with J♣9♥. HJ raised with J♠Q♣ and Carlos called 230; it was heads up to the flop of K♣3♠T♥. The raiser check-raised Carlos, who put in 300 on his gut shot, but he folded to the all in bet for more than half his stack.
He wasn’t deterred, however, raising 2♦4♦ from CO on the next hand. Was it a spite raise? I don’t know, but it did work.
I jammed Q♥8♥ all in from BB against a call from the shorter stack in SB (he had Q♠3♦ and folded). On hand 80, HJ raised 9♦9♣. Carlos folded the Portland Nuts (Q♠T♣). On the button!
My time with Carlos ended on the next hand, after a couple of hours of playing with him. I shoved 11bb with Q♥K♠ UTG1 and SB had Q♣A♦. Carlos folded 3♦5♣ in CO, which would have made two pair on the flop: T♦3♠5♦7♠J♥. But he made the $1K payout anyway. Me? I had to wait for another day.