No Bracelet For You!

43rd World Series of Poker Event #44 (T3,000)

I picked up my ticket for Event #44 the night before the three-day game, getting assigned to seat 9 on table 56, in the Brasilia Room. Here’s my starting table, according to

John Falon – Lone Tree, CO, US – 56 / 1
Michael Lehner – ITHACA, MI, US – 56 / 2
Andrew Klivan – NEW YORK, NY, US – 56 / 3
Adam Geyer – AUSTIN, TX, US – 56 / 4
Corina Lupascu – BUCHAREST, , RO – 56 / 5
Ivan Demidov – MOSCOW, RU – 56 / 6
James Purdom – Horn Lake, MS, US – 56 / 7
Keven Stammen – CELINA, OH, US – 56 / 8
Poker Mutant – Portland, OR, US – 56 / 9
Cory Parent – RICHMOND, BC, CA – 56 / 10

Not everyone was there at the start of action. If I remember correctly, both seats on each side of me were open to begin with, while the far end of the table was more or less full. Notice any names that stand out? Let me just point out seat 6, the runner-up in the 2008 WSOP Main Event (to Peter Eastgate) with nearly seven million dollars in lifetime tournament earnings. Seat 4 was no slouch, himself, with more than $1.5 million and at least four WSOP final tables. The guy who’d sit down late on my right had a bracelet. So, some good company to begin with.

I began the match in my usual manner, losing ground with Ax7x and AxQx in the first ten minutes. Even T250 lost makes a difference with stacks of T3,000, but the blinds were only 25/25 in the first hour, so still 110 big blinds! Those 11am free rolls with T4,000 and the same blinds to start at Portland Players Club teach you something.

I won my first small pot with AxJx after hitting the top pair on the flop from UTG1, then as BB with 67 I folded a gutshot. On SB with Kx7x and middle pair on the flop, folded to a bet after Ax on the turn. Twenty minutes in, on BTN and T2,575. Wheee!

My UTG  just before the half-hour was a crucial hand. AxAx and I min-raised to 50. Lupascu re-raised me to 150. I three-bet to 450 and she four-bet to 900. I shoved, she flipped KxKx and my aces held. She actually had fewer chips than I did, and I performed the first knockout from the table. Easy to win with aces.

On BTN six minutes later with KJ and there were four to the flop after a raise to 50. I made top two, bet 125, and won.

UTG on the next round with JJx, I raised to 75. BB called. The flop was queen-high with two hearts. Another heart on the turn. I called a bet of 250 on the river and beat ace high. 45 minutes in to the tournament and I had T5,625, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s closing in on twice starting stack.

SB 67 and I called 75 in a three-way hand. The flop had two spades, I bet 150 and took it down. T5,775 on CO.

Lost my first showdown with K2 as CO. I flopped straight and flush draws and raised to 175, then called 350. The turn was a blank and Tx on the river made a full house for JxTx. I ended the first hour as HJ with T5,375.

UTG2 and AxJx. Blinds were 25/50. I raised to 125, BB re-raised to 400. short-stacked UTG called, I called, and the flop was Q88x. UTG bet 700 and BB and I folded.

UTG and I was down to T4650. Picking up 72 wasn’t going to do me any good.

AT in CO and I called a raise to 100 in a 5-way hand. The flop was T96. I bet 300, BB raised to 700. UTG went all-in and I folded. KxTx won with top pair v 89. I was free-falling and hit HJ with T4,075.

Just before the end of the second hour, I screwed up playing 3x4x and dropped to T3,600. Then, just before the break on BTN, I called a SB raise to 425 with AxJx and whiffed the fold, leaving me with just T3,125.

Coming back, with TxTx in HJ, I called 450, then folded on a king-high flop and all-in.

Called 100 with KxTx to see the flop with two other players and bet 235 on a AxTx5x flop. We both checked the Qx turn. The river was 2x, BB bet 400 and I called; he had me beat from the get-go with Ax2x.

Down to T1,925 UTG after two and three-quarters hours.

Put my last small-denomination chips into the pot as BTN playing Q5 hoping to catch something, but was down to T1,500 as CO.

I shoved over a raise of 260 with KxJx from HJ and took a pot, finally, getting to T1,900 UTG4, but it was only a few minutes into the third hour when I got involved in a  3-way shovefest with 2x2x against 7x7x and AxAx and was knocked out.