We parked in the garage and made the long trek through the casino, down the hallway, and finally into the Brasillia Room. I found my seat at table 65 and quicker than a cat can lick its butt, the cards were in the air.
|Waiting to start.
I won the first hand in which I was involved, raising from middle position with pocket nines. The BB called and made a continuation bet on the K high flop. We both checked the turn, and I bet the river and was called by the villains pair of fives.
I also took down a pot when I c-bet a K-Q-4 flop after raising preflop with A-T. After taking down another pot when I raised with A-J and flopped TPTK, we got our first break after two hours of play. I had grown my $3000 stack to $3400.
I didn't get many playable hands at this very aggressive table over the next two hours, but managed to steal a few blinds and finished with $2900 chips at our second break.
One very interesting hand occurred between three players at my table. The UTG player raised with pocket fives and was called by someone in middle position with K-J. The BB 3-bet and was called by both his opponents. The BB had been aggressive from the git-go, so I think the other two viewed his raise as a squeeze play. As it turned out, he actually had Rob's favorite hand, pocket kings.
The flop was K-J-5, hitting all three players between the eyes. The BB (K-K) checked and the UTG (5-5) bet around 1/3 pot. The K-J called, then the BB pushed all-in.
Pocket fives thought for a couple minutes and called with the rest of his stack and K-J did likewise. Just a huge pot to be so early in the tournament. Pocket fives started cussing a blue streak when he saw he was beaten by set over set, but his attitude improved immensely when he tuned the case 5 for quads.
Another interesting sidebar was having Eric Baldwin playing at my table. He was very personable and seemed to enjoy visiting with everyone. Oh yeah, he's a pretty good poker player too!
I walked across the hall during the break to drain my radiator and found myself with Greg Raymer to my left and Steve Dannemann to my right. Where else but Vegas would that happen?
I passed on shaking hands :)
As we began the next level ($100-200 blinds), I knew it was time to start shoving and try to double up. I remained card dead, receiving 5-3 offsuit three consecutive hands at one point, and twice in a row later at this level.
I was UTG +1 when the UTG played open raised. I peeked down at pocket tens and shoved for 12BB. I was called by a very tight player who had me covered and I was afraid it was the end for me. The original raiser folded (what he claimed to be A-K). My opponent flipped over A-J and I was relieved to be in a race.
The race was over quickly when the flop showed 10-10-5. Quads!
I lost a couple hands after that and by the dinner break I was down to $2500.
When we returned from the dinner break, Phil Ivey had been moved to my table and was seated two to my left. So now I'm short-stacked, with one of the top players in the world to my left. Let's just say it wasn't looking good for your hero.
"I'm shoving my first hand blind," said the short-stacked Ivey. "I'm in another tourney and if I don't get some chips quick, I don't have a chance."
And so he shoved. Blind. The player next to him woke up with pocket jacks and called. Ivey paired his deuce on the flop, but couldn't improve his 9-2 monster. And just that quick he was gone.
So, I got to play against Phil Ivey. For one hand.
I've heard that the best strategy for playing against players you consider better than yourself, is to force the superior player to play for big pots, thus reducing his or her advantage. I think this is what Ivey was really thinking when he saw me at his table.
"I've got no chance against the Duckster'" he was thinking. The "other tourney" statement was just a cover.
Yeah, that's the ticket! :)
A couple hands later it was my turn to shove (although not blind). My K-9 ran into K-J and I wasn't able to hit my three outer.
They were having major issues with the tournament clock, but finally got it running again. They were not able to show how many of the 1,600+ players were left, but the number had been frozen at 530 for over an hour. My best guess is that I finished somewhere around 400th, but it just a guess.
|The "Red" section at the start of Event 33.
This was my earliest exit of the three WSOP events in which I've played, but I just didn't receive enough hands to stay afloat and you can only steal so many blinds.
Besides the players I've already mentioned, I also noticed Tony Dunst playing. I don't know if I lasted longer than he or Dannemann, but I do know I finished ahead of Ivey and Raymer. I guess that counts for something, no?
I headed back down the hallway towards the casino and was met by Ms. Duck, who joined me for my "walk of shame."
We stopped and played video poker for a little while, consuming a couple adult beverages before driving to the Vdara.
During my 10 hours at the poker table, Ms. Duck had already checked in, unpacked, and gone to the store for supplies. Since it was nearing midnight in Vegas (2am our time), it was nice to have that done and be able to just go to bed.
It had been a long and exciting day and we still had four full days in Vegas ahead of us!
Till next time, win the flips.
*Click on the pictures to enlarge*