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My Return

February 6, 2009

“I’ve got outs.”

Those may be the three last words you ever want to hear at a poker table. And, in my case, they were. How sure was I of the prophecy? Sure enough that I started cutting chips out of my stack even before the river card hit the table.

I hate those three words.

So, yeah, I haven’t posted in awhile. There’s no real reason why, other than the fact that I haven’t. But, I figured my return to deep-stack poker play yesterday was worthy of a post today.

For those of you not in Las Vegas, there are two different deep stack (10,000+ starting chips, 45 to 60 minute levels) tournament series running right now. One is at the Venetian and the other is a new upstart series across the street at Caesar’s. Having played a few of the Venetian events during the last series, I thought I’d try Caesar’s.

With a buy in of $235, the event only attracted 99 players and generated a first-place prize worth a little more than $6,000. Certainly worth playing for, but nothing like the numbers at the Venetian where they regularly see 300 or more players and first-place prizes of $20K or more.

My starting table was pretty tight, with no overly aggressive players and a couple of really bad ones, including one guy in the 5 seat who constantly lost track of the action, overbet pots, and generally donked around. How he survived, I don’t know. I finished the first two levels with my starting stack of 12,500 intact. No progress one way or another.

Levels 3 and 4 were equally uneventful, and when we went on break for the second time, I was sitting on about 18K in chips with blinds moving up to 300-600. I wasn’t desperate, but I certainly wasn’t very comfortable either. Upon our return, I managed to chip up to about 24K before our table broke and my luck turned.

After having been basically card dead for four levels, I started finding hands. Within 30 minutes, I had build my stack up to over 60K, and by the time my second table broke, I had busted three players and accumlated more than 90K, putting me up with the chip leaders. I could have had more chips if I had decided to gamble against the hyper-aggressive asian kid who was raising every pot pre-flop, but I didn’t really think 7-9 off-suit was worth 3,600 chips, even from the button. Of course, I would have flopped the nut straight and busted two more players. Oh well.

Moving to my third table of the night, I sat tight and watched the action for an orbit or so, playing nothing but my blinds. Finally, I decided to play a pot, with blinds of 600-1,200, I raised to 4,200 with King-9 of hearts from the cutoff. I really wasn’t looking to do anything more than steal the blinds, but when I got called from big blind, I didn’t mind, especially when the flop came Ah-Qh-6c. I couldn’t have asked for much better.

The big blind checked and I quickly bet out 7,500. When the big blind check-raised me to 17,000, I decided to make the call figuring that I could get away from the hand if I missed my draw, and felt him if I hit the nuts. I was half right.

The turn was beautiful – the 7 of hearts and, when the big blind shoved, I insta-called revealing my Ace-high flush. And then, those fateful words. “I’ve got outs.” He did, in fact. Four, to be exact, as he turned over Ace-Queen for top two pair and what I knew would be the winning hand. When the Ace of clubs hit the river, I could do nothing more than pass over my chips and lick my wounds. Ouch.

I’d like to think I didn’t really tilt after that, but after losing a couple of more small pots, I was quickly short-stacked and donked my way out of the tournament after I shoved with Ace-10 in the big blind, only to run into the small blinds Ace-Ace. Put a fork in me, I was done.

Still, I think I played pretty well and continued my string of deep runs in deep stack events. Now if I can just cash in a couple of events when I return to the Venetian.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marc permalink
    February 7, 2009 7:02 pm

    Ouch is right. I love your description of cutting chips even before the river hit.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m living vicariously through you as I play online for tiny stakes.

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