Nobody to Blame But Myself

PacWest Poker Classic Event #1 $40K NLHE Day 2

My table draw was more or less ideal for a short stack, with six players in essentially the same shove or fold situation I was, a couple of the bigger stacks in the room, and one guy in the middle.

We’d finished Day 1A with about six minutes to go in Level 12, with a scheduled break and race-off of the 100 chips before starting Level 13 at 2K/4K with 500 antes. The button started in seat 8, and I was in seat 3, so I was grateful that the first four hands zipped through before the end of the level, because I was able to get through the blinds before they increased. I shoved my SB against seat 4, who had barely more than I did, so I was actually up a few chips by the color-up. Since we’d just started, we moved into the next level after the chips were raced off.

Dan, a regular at Encore, chunked out a bunch of chips from seat 8, and I performed the coup-de-grâce about halfway through the first full level, to take out the first person from our table. Meanwhile, other short stacks in the room had been falling, and we’d lost enough to break a table, so we were within 12 places of the money. Our table was filled by Harshit, another Encore reg.

Seat 7 had chipped up a bit, but aside from him, most of the other players were going all in with less than 10BB, prompting some complaints from the big stack in seat 5, who was dwindling rapidly. With each orbit costing 10.5K, even 182K can go fast if you’re making raises you lay down to a shove.

I shoved a number of hands, including AxAx uncontested, but the crucial double-up came with KxKx against Harshit. I shoved about 50K, he called with JxJx, I caught a king on the flop, but a turned jack gave me a sweat until the river blanked out. That put me up over 100K for a bit. Not long after that, I took out seat 4, who had blinded down to just 5K behind his BB. I raised from SB with KQ, he had AxJx and the board gave him two pair and a ten so I knocked him out with Broadway.

The big stack in seat 2 was moved for table balance, and on a subsequent hand, Trish in seat 1 shoved an unopened pot from SB. I had her covered, looked down at 8x8x, and figured I was ahead. I was, but she had a decent hand with AK. A king hit the flop, along with two diamonds. I got an eight on the river, but it was 8 and I was cut down to 24K. On the next hand, I shoved A9 from SB into seat 5’s BB and he had AxKx this time but the board ran out a king with two nines and I doubled back up.

This was the mis-step. I’d moved back into decent territory, over 100K. Blinds were 4K/8K with 1K ante. I was on the button. SB was David in seat 5, with a stack roughly equal to mine after coming to the table as the biggest stack. James in seat 6 had been a short stack all day, and was still short. My cards were A6. My inclination here was to shove. With an orbit costing ~20K (tables weren’t full) I had an M-ratio of around 5, and a shove (or fold) was the proper move. Instead, I raised to 17K, just over a min-raise, figuring I didn’t need to shove any more as I was no longer one of the shortest stacks at the table. SB folded immediately. James called. The flop was ace-high with two hearts. I shoved. James dithered for a couple of minutes, then called with Q2. If I’d made the proper move, he never would have called an all-in with that, I don’t think. And another heart comes on the river so I lose half my stack.

We redraw at that point to go to three tables. 27 players, three spots from the money. I’m in seat 4, button’s in seat 8. Action folds to me, I shove ~6BB with A9 and Dan, who’s now in seat 6 goes over the top with AQ and takes the last of my chips. Disappointing to make the drive back down to play the short stack and manage to get it so far without any payoff because I screwed up.

Two-and-a-half hours later, the players at the final table made a deal to chop up the remaining $40K. Congrats to everyone involved.

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Eleven hours (Day 1A: nine hours, Day 2: two hours). 27th of 199 entries.