Around 2:45 Friday morning, the Good Doctor Mondo kissed me on the forehead and split to Memphis for a couple of days, for one of her professional field's two big conferences. (Oddly enough, the other is next weekend -- weird scheduling.)
So I get to work as per normal, and find I've got pretty much absolutely nothing on my plate. Reminded that a lot of my vacation hours won't necessarily roll over, I say fuck it, let's go to Blackhawk! Okay, what I actually did first was log on and check the day's tournament schedule first, but I digress.
If you know me, you know I love deeeeeep stack poker. Well, the noon tourney at the Golden Gates looked promising. An $80 buyin plus $80 rebuy up front nets you 40,000 in chips. Woo! But don't get excited, it's really not deep stack, because not only do blinds start at 100/100 (followed by 100/200, and 100/200/25), the levels are only 20 minutes. So truly, it's not deep, but for Blackhawk, it actually pretty much is.
I get the clearance of my bosses, and roll out right at 10:50. Fortunately, traffic was very light, and I managed to make it up the hill in enough time to register. There were only 40 players, so only four spots would pay. P'shaw, I hate that one pay spot per table, but whatev. I understand you can't pay the whole final table when there's only 4 tables. Still, I'd like to see 5-6 spots pay but again, I digress.
The first hour was pretty routine, lots of folding, a bit of stealing. Unfortunately for me, my image was tight enough that when I did get cards, I couldn't get action. For instance, at 100/100, I call an UTG raise to from mid-position with 99, and eventually, 5 players see the beautiful flop of K9x and two hearts (Pot is 1750.) First three players check. Real men bet sets, and besides, I didn't want anyone to get their heart flush for free, so I bet out. But I want action, so I only bet 350, around 20% of the pot. And everyone folds. A pot's a pot, but I would like to have been paid off. Still, I end the first hour around 47k in chips. Considering at least 1/4 of the field didn't take rebuys up front, I was actually probably above average chips, but hardly dominant.
The only notable aspect of the first hour was the old man whose play and table demeanor I can only describe as Alzheimer's-affected. He claimed to be colorblind, but wanted a cheat sheet for denominations. He played out of turn so often that he suffered a nine-hand trip to the penalty box, and *still* collected at least one more warning button by the 2nd hour. He'd throw one chip out for his ante every time, and it would be the wrong color. He'd try to call all bets with one chip. At first, I thought he was an angle-shooter, but his actual play was so atrocious, I couldn't give him that much credit. In one hand, at 100/200, he called an UTG raise to 1000 from the BB. Flop comes 2xx, and he calls a 2000 chip bet. Turn comes 2, and he throws a 5k chip out there. Okay. UTG shoves, and he calls. He had Q2 for the turned trips (UTG had QQ, and rebought after that hand.) So he calls 5x the BB out of position with Q2 off, and then calls a basically pot size bet with bottom pair. There are other examples, but suffice it to say, the table was convinced he was just that bad a player, and not a schemer.
Anyway, the guy he busted took his rebuy, and a little while later, he raised UTG to 2000, when blinds are at 200/400/50. After a call in MP, I wake up to find AA. SCOREBOARD! Hmm. There's about 4800 in the pot, I've got about 48k, and while taking the pot down here would be okay, I really need to try to chip up here. So I kick it up to 7,000 to go, and UTG flat calls (MP folded). UTG seems like a solid player, but I'm thinking AK is his likeliest holding, because he's aggressive enough to have 4-bet a smaller pair. On a KJ9 flop, he bets out 5,000 into the roughly 17,000 pot. Is his fishing for info? Is he trying to take it down now? Was my read correct? If I can get him to commit way behind, I'll be in the top 2-3 in chips, and primed to make a deep run. Let's find out..........SHOVE. Well, the read was bad, he had JJ for the flopped set, and I'm down to about 6,000 in chips with an effective M of about 4, at most, given the blind structure.
Well, I manage to ride the microstack for about an hour, open shoving in various late positions, doubling up and then folding a few, and just staying alive. Sadly, I missed a chance for a near triple, when I got to see a free flop from the BB that gave me top pair and OESD, and my flop shove was called by bottom pair, OESD, and the straight hit the river. I'd have been thrilled for my pair to hold against his pair (same villian from the AA v JJ hand). But eventually, it crashed down. I picked up AQs UTG, with an M of about 2, and shoved. The same old man who'd now collected four warnings and a penalty, and who hadn't shown down a decent preflop hand all day, winning with garbage, actually woke up with a hand. QQ, to be exact. Ugh, there go my outs, and there go my chips...and out before the third break.
Given the timing, I stuck around for one more tourney, a $50 buyin with 20 minute levels, 8,000 chips, and starting at 25/50. This tourney turned out better, but with the Golden Gates only paying out three spots (30 entrants), my fourth place bubble finish was only good for an agreed-upon save of $20 from each of the remaining three players. When we got to 4-handed, there was one dominant stack, and three shorties, of which I was one. We were pretty much equal, and all amenable to the save. All three were decent players, and the final table with them was enjoyable.
I don't truly mind going out fourth, but 3rd would have given me a profit for the day. And my exit was on back to back hands of irony. In the first, my A7 could not hold up against villian's K9, and on the very next hand, my K9 couldn't catch up to the same villian's A7.
Still, before that sequence was a pretty hilarious hand where I was on the big blind and committed to call with something like 53 sooted. Well, the raiser had Ax, and the flop came AA9, so I'm putting my hoodie on to leave, when the turn and river come deuce four, for the miracle runner runner straight to beat flopped trips. So every hand after that was gravy.
Wow, long post. Lost money on the trip, but felt I played well, and really, just had a good time. I ran into Jamal Saqwiddeh (sp?), and finally got to congratulate him for his deep run in the WSOP Main Event. What an easy going dude.
Anyway, have a great week at the tables.