On a lark, I saw the $650 Round 2 satellite for the US Poker Championships which take place at the Taj in Atlantic City Oct 3rd - Oct 7th. I have always enjoyed watching them, and I had been successful is a few WCOOP satellites, so I had some W$ lying around. I decided to take a shot at it.
On the 3rd hand of the tourney (Blinds 10/20, 2500 starting chips, 30 minute levels), I am dealt KK on the button. UTG and an MP player limp, and I raise to 120 (6x the BB). The blinds fold and the UTG player limp re-raises 300 more to 420. Uh oh. Am I going to go out with KK vs AA on the 3rd hand??
I deliberate and make the call, deciding to play after the flop.
The flop comes down Q72 rainbow. UTG checks. Odd. I check behind, not wanting to have to make a big decision if I get checkraised.
The turn is a 5, making a rainbow on board. UTG bets 320. I call 320.
The river is a 2. UTG checks. Now I no longer put him on AA. I think he has either QQ (for the nut boat), or AK/JJ. I decide to value bet 560, fully intending to fold if he moves in. He calls, I show KK and check the Hand History to find out that he mucked JJ. I am up to 3820 in chips.
10/20: I get 87o in the SB. There are 4 limpers to me and I complete. The BB checks and we are off to the flop of T64 rainbow, giving me a double gutshot draw.
I check, not wanting to try to bluff 5 opponents. The BB bet 100, and was called in 3 places. I was more than getting the odds to call, so I called.
The turn was a Jack, completing the rainbow again (which is obviously good, because I cannot lose to a flush). I check, the BB bets 260 into the 620 pot. There is one caller, the pot is now ~1200, and I call, still getting odds.
The river is a 9. I lead out for 600. The BB calls, the other guy folds, and I win with my straight (he had JT for top two pair).
I now have 5000 chips.
Around hand 26, one guy who is "short" with only 1200 in chips, goes on tilt and starts moving in preflop. He does this 3 hands in a row.
15/30: I pick up AsAd on the button. The tilter moves in again, and I move in over the top. The blinds fold, and he shows 9c9h
The flop comes Ks Qc Jc. The turn is the Kc. The river is the 8c. ARG!
Down to 3300 in chips.
I made one gutsy and quite probably donkish play that worked out for me:
15/30: I am in the cutoff with 8h6h. MP raises 3x to 90, CO-1 calls, and I call. The button raises 210 more to 300 total. All fold to me. Now, I am a big dog to everything but AK here, but I elect to call, getting abvout 2.5:1. The flop comes J75 with one heart, and I check. The button bets 420, and I raise him all-in for 1200 more. He thinks and folds, and I am back over 4000.
25/50: I am in the BB with 55. There are 2 limpers to the SB who completes. I check.
The flop comes down 985 with two clubs. The SB leads out for the pot of 200. I make it 600. The limpers fold and the SB moves in. I instacall him and he shows Kc2c. The turn is the 7d and the river is the Tc. Dammit!!!!
Down to under 2000 in chips.
I win a couple of pots with continuation bets, and chip up without seeing a showdown to 2800 chips.
I really don't see a hand for a long time, and I blind down to 2100 again.
50/100: I have KcJc in MP. I open for 300. The button and SB call, the BB folds. The flop comes Tc 7h 6d. The SB checks, I check, and the button bets 500. The SB calls, and I make a loose call, hoping to hit a scare card on the turn. The turn is a beautiful Ac. The SB checks, and I move my 1315 into the 2500 pot. Both fold, and I am back over 3800.
50/100: I am in the SB with As4s. There is an EP limper and an MP raiser to 300 total. I call 250, the BB calls, and the limper folds (getting 5:1?)
The flop is a beautiful 844. I lead for 400, and both, unfortunately, fold. Up to 5000.
50/100: I reraise a looser opener and a caller with AQ and take it down preflop. Up to 5600.
75/150: UTG min-raises to 300. I call in MP with AcQc. The button makes it 900 total, and the BB moves in. UM, I THINK AQ NO GOOD. UTG folds, I fold, and they show JJ (BB) vs AK (button) JJ wins.
100/200: I get TT in EP. I make it 600 to go. The button reraises to 2200, and the BB moves in for 6500 total. I instafold, and the button thinks a long time and folds. Down to 4000.
100/200: I have A8 on the button. UTG limps is a loose player and limps, I raise to 800. Blinds fold, he calls. Flop J82 rainbow, he leads for 1200 (which screams bluff to me), I move in, and he mucks quickly. Up to 6000.
Hand # 195 (lot of play in this thing):
100/200: I get AhAd on the button. MP raises to 600 with 5000 behind. I elect to play it slow, knowing that I risk getting my aces cracked. Flop comes K83 and he checks. That's odd. I check behind. Turn 3. He checks again! Now I am a little worries that he flopped a set of 8s, because he should not be so passive. I check behind. River is another King. He checks again! Now, despite my better judgement, I make a value bet of 800, thinking he will have to call with a dry ace (I cannot put him on any hand any more. He check-raises to 3000, and I foolishly pay him off. He shows KJ. Down to 2000. I deserved that for playing the hand so poorly.
Next hand, same guy raises to 600. I jam with presto, he calls with AdTd and we are off to the races! Flop J43, turn 2, river 3, and I double up to 4580.
100/200, I get AT in MP, and make it 600 to go. I am called by the cutoff and the BB. Flop A95. BB checks, I bet 1200, and both fold. Up to 6000.
100/200: I get TT and make it 600 from MP. The button (same guy from the last two hands) makes it 2222 total. Looking back now, I hope that wasn't a Tell saying that he had pocket 22, lol. I called 1622 more. Flop KJ5 with 2 diamonds. I check, he bets 1800, and I elect to fold. Down to 4200.
100/200: I have QTo on the button. The cutoff limps, I limp, the SB completes, and the BB checks. Flop KQ4. The blidns check, the cutoff bets 600, I call with position. The blinds fold. Turn is a 2. The cutofdf checks, and I move in for 3000 (pot size 2000). He thinks for a bit and folds. Up to 5000.
100/200 a25: I chop a pot all-in preflop with AKs vs AKs.
100/200 a25: We are 6 handed, nearing the final table (3 spots win the seat, and 4th and 5th get their money back). I am dealt 33 on the button. The cutoff raises to 600, and I jam for 4400 total. The blinds fold and he calls with AdQd. Race it up!
Flop comes down T82 with 2 clubs. Turn 4c which takes away 2 outs for him. River Kh and I double up to 9300.
100/200 a25: I raise on the button with AhTh. The BB calls me. The flop is QT4 with two hearts. He checks, I bet 800, he checkraises to 2400, and I move in for 6700 more. He mucks quickly. Up to 13000.
But I donk it right back off again.
100/200 a25: I raise on the button with 8d7d. The BB reraises to 1800. I call. The flop comes AK3 with one diamond. He checks. Now, in my experience, a reraiser often has a pocket pair. This is a very bad flop for a hand like 99 or TT. I bet 4000, putting him all-in. He instacalls. Shit. He shows A9o. I miss my runner runner draw and am down to 6700.
100/200 a25: I am in the BB with Q6o. It is folded to the SB who makes it 600 to go. I call. Flop comes A62 with 2 spades. He bets 1000, and I raise the minimum to 2000. He calls. Turn is the 5d putting 2 flush draws on board. He checks, and I check behind. River is the Qh. He checks, and I move in, hoping that it will look like a busted flush draw, but he folds. Up to 8000.
100/200 a25: We are playing 5 handed now, on the Final table bubble. UTG min-raises to 400, and I make it 1200 to go on the button with A8o. The blinds fold and UTG calls. Flop 842. He checks, I bet 1500, and he folds. Up to 9000.
The bubble bursts when 33 moves in against AK. Flop 422. Turn J. River K. Final table of 9.
Our first confrontation happens when MP opens with a minimum raise. The SB reraises to 1600, and the BB moves in. MP folds, and the SB deliberates a long time before calling with AJo. The BB shows 88. The flop comes A94, the turn J, and the river Q, and we are down to 8.
The next comes when the blinds have doubled to 200/400 a25. MP raises to 1200, and the SB calls. The flop comes 5h3h2h. The SB checks, and MP moves in. The SB calls with 6h6d. MP shows AhTs. Race it up! Turn turn is the Kd and the river is the Qs. 66 wins the pot and eliminates his opponent. We are down to 7. Here are the stacks:
Seat 1: Octavian_C (31215 in chips)
Seat 3: FellKnight (8067 in chips)
Seat 5: AAAplease (11629 in chips)
Seat 6: pooli (33150 in chips)
Seat 7: ixorv (24868 in chips)
Seat 8: EthericWiki (7354 in chips)
Seat 9: MazeOrBowie (11217 in chips)
Maze doubles up on ixorv 2 hands later when his 88 flops a set against AK (all-in preflop).
I get my first taste of action at 200/400 a25 when I move in for 6500 with AJ against an MP raise to 1200. He foldsm and I am up to 8500, but still a short stack.
Ixorv raises on the button to 1200, and the shortstack, EthericWiki moves in for 4200 more. Ixorv deliberates for a long time and calls with J8o, getting 2:1 pot odds. EthericWiki shows pocket deuces.
The flop comes KQJ, turn 9, river 7, and we are down to 6, and on the first bubble.
The very next hand, I am in the BB with 86o. It is folded to the big stack in the SB who moves in. Aha, so that's the game is it? I fold, but please keep doing that. There are still tons of chips and play left (even though I am the shortest stack, I still have 20xBB).
200/400 a25: I raise UTG to 1200 with AcJc. UTG+1 moves in for 12000. The bigstack then moves in for 26000. Yeah, I fold. The big stack shows AKo, and the shorty shows pocket TT. The flop comes 742 with 2 clubs. The turn is the Kd, and the river is a 5. We are down to 5, and "in the money".
Seat 1: Octavian_C (39319 in chips)
Seat 3: FellKnight (7267 in chips)
Seat 6: pooli (36350 in chips)
Seat 7: ixorv (14430 in chips)
Seat 9: MazeOrBowie (30134 in chips)
Obviously, I am feeling in trouble, and know that I will need to win a couple of hands.
My tournament life is probably saved when I fold A8o UTG. I would have been against AK on the A high flop.
200/400 a25: I make a couple of steals to keep my stack around 7500. Octavian raises to 1600 on his button. I jam from the SB with AK. The BB folds and he thinks a long time before calling me with Qd7d. Flop is a gorgeous AT9, and the turn 3 has him drawing dead. I have doubled to 15600.
200/400 a25: Octavian raises from the cutoff, and I call on the button with ATo. The flop comes Q85 rainbow, he bets 2400, and I fold.
200/400 a25: I raise to 1200 UTG with AQo.the button reraises me to 3600 total. I move all-in for 12000 more (not wanting to play a pot out of position with AQo). He calls. He shows Ac Kh. I have the Ad Qs. Damn. Flop is an ugly 5h 4h 3h. I would be ecstatic with an offsuit deuce right now. The turn is the Tc. The river is the most beautiful Qc I have ever seen, and I double up to 31000.
Somewhere, a dog is kicked.
200/400 a25: I raise UTG to 1200 with As 4s (opening up now that I have a stack, and am playing more aggressively to force folds). Ixorv calls on the button. The flop is A92 rainbow. I hesitate and bet 1200. He raises me to 3600. I reraise to 6400 (fully intending to lay down to a jam), and he folds. I am now the chipleader with 36500.
200/400 a25: I donate some chips back to ixorv when I raise in the cutoff with the Jc Tc. Ixorv calls from the SB, and we see a flop of Q85 rainbow. He checks, and I bet 1600. He calls. The turn is a 7. He checks, and I shut down. I take the free card, hoping for the 9. The river comes a Ten. He bets 6000 into me, and I think for a while, and elect to call. The bet smelled a little too big to be a value bet, so I thought I might be picking off a bluff. Unfortunately, I was shown QJ.
300/600 a50: Huge hands, and terribly played. Folded to Ixorv on the button who raises to 1800. Octavian, the big stack, reraises from the BB to 6000, and Ixorv flat calls with AKo. Terrible play. His move was all-in. The flop comes 8d7d6d. Octavian moves in for 25k. Ixorv calls (with the Ad). Octavian shows 9c5c for the flopped straight. Turn Tc River Jc, and Ixorv is out in 5th.
Seat 1: Octavian_C (55506 in chips)
Seat 3: FellKnight (26168 in chips)
Seat 6: pooli (23591 in chips)
Seat 9: MazeOrBowie (22235 in chips)
Just 2 hands later, I raise from the SB with Ah 5h. pooli, who has been itching to get back at me after that AQ vs AK hand, reraises to 5400. I elect to call and see a flop. Pushing was an option too. The flop comes down Jd 8s 5s. I check, and pooli moves all-in for 18000. I go into the tank. I really feel that my hand is best right now.
The options, as I see them, are that he has missed the flop with a hand like KQ/AQ/AK/AT/A9, that he is bluffing with the best hand with a hand like A8 or 77 or 66, or that he actually has the JAck and my read is way off. I muster up my courage and go with my read that I have the best hand.
He shows Kc Qd.
Turn is the 9h. He needs a King, Queen, or Ten to double up and cripple me, basically winning a $10,000 seat. I need any other card. River. 2.
I erupt in joy, and the people who have been railbirding me cannot believe I made that call.
Somewhere, the name of FellKnight is cursed repeatedly.
Oct 3 - Oct 7, I'll be in Atlantic City, playing in the USPC.