|Scene at event 7 when Lucki Duck cashed!|
Shortly after being seated I noticed Chris Moneymaker seated at a table across the aisle. Pitching cards with well known players is part of the fun on playing these events. However, no one of note sat down at table 16 during my 14 hours there. That's right, 14 hours without a seat change.
I achieved my first goal of winning a hand on only the second hand of the tourney. I was the BB in an unraised pot and peeked down at Doyle (10-2 off). A deuce on the flop paired me, but all three of us checked it as well as the turn. The river was a 10 and I got a call on my $150 value bet. Nice.
My second goal was to make it to the first break, and I almost didn't make it. I open raised from middle position with T-T and received two calls, both from the blinds. I bet a little over half the pot on a J high flop and got one call putting us heads up. I put my opponent on one of three hands; middle pair, top pair with a bad kicker, or a straight draw. The turn was a harmless low card, so after he checked, I bet 3/4 pot to put some pressure on him. I just didn't think he was very strong, but he did call. The river was an ace and I shipped the remainder of my stack after he checked again. It took a long time, but he finally folded what I'm pretty sure was the best hand and I was still alive and thriving with 4300 chips at the break.
As I was stacking chips and checking my underwear to be sure I hadn't peed myself, Rob from Rob's Vegas and Poker blog tapped me on the shoulder to say hi. We had a brief conversation and then he was off doing his reporting gig for Ante Up magazine. We're hoping to get together for a longer visit before I head back to Texas.
Level 4 included my biggest hand of the tournament. It was the final hand before our second break, and most of the players had already left the table after a raise came from UTG. It was folded around to me in late position, but it was as though I was on the button, because both players acting behind me had already left. I took a peek at my hole cards and found Q-Q. Nice!
I had the raiser covered, with only the BB to act behind me. I decided to isolate and shoved my stack in and was very unhappy to receive calls from both opponents. I figured one of them had me crushed. The BB tabled A-K, but the UTG player had the dreaded pocket rockets.
You can't imagine how pretty the queen on the flop looked! My set held, knocking both players out and leaving me with 12,400 chips.
The next two levels were uneventful, with no cards coming my way. I was involved in two pots, losing both, and left for the dinner break with 9,600 chips. The original 1,837 players had been whittled down to 550, with 198 cashing.
As the blinds increased over the next four levels, the play got very aggressive, but a streak of poor starting hands left me unable to defend my blinds. I was able to steal a few myself, but as the blinds increased, my stack dwindled, and by the last level of the night (level 11), I was down to 12BB including the antes.
Hello push/fold territory.
The room started buzzing as the field reached 199 and the tournament was dealt hand for hand. It didn't last but one hand before someone busted and we all cheered when the tournament director announced, "Congratulation players, you are all in the money!"
After 14 hours of poker, the tournament director announced that there would only be four more hands and play would end for the day. I was sitting on 13,000 chips and felt confident I would reach my next goal of making it to day 2 of the event.
On of the tournament leaders with around 80,000 was to my right and was attacking the blinds relentlessly. When he did it again to my BB, I looked down at A-K. Yea!... and damn.
Of course I pushed and he had no choice but to call with Q-T.
My busto hand the first and only other time I played in the WSOP a few years ago was Q-T. I was short stacked and open pushed from late position, only to be called by the BB, who was holding A-5. Neither of us improved and I was out of the tournament. Because of that I had promised myself that I would not bust with Q-T again! So when I saw my opponent had that exact hand, I almost knew I was dead.
As the dealer turned over the flop cards, guess what was in the window? Uh-huh, a queen. The good news is that there was also a king!
The turn was a blank.
The river? Queen.
And that was the dagger that killed me.
TJ Cloutier calls A-K the "walking back to Houston" hand, because you so often go broke with it. For me though, it will be forever known as the "flying back to Waco" hand.
So, falling two hands short of my goal of making the second day, I at least had the satisfaction of knowing I had gotten my chips in with the best hand.
The final result was a 154th place finish, with a payout of $2,033.
Although I would have liked to have won the flip at the end and continued on, I would be less than honest if I told you I wasn't pretty stoked to have cashed in a WSOP event. If nothing else, it proved that I could leave the comfort of my Small Potatoes Poker world and play with the big boys.
Heading out to meet lightning for lunch and then drive down to Laughlin. Dealer Larry (from our poker league) is visiting there, so Ms. Duck and I are headed down to let him show us around.
Till next time, win the flips.