April 28, 2004

Two early outs: WSOP O8 and PLHE $1500 events

Caught up

I entered the $1500 buy-in Limit Omaha Eight or Better tournament because I felt like I knew enough about the game to have half a chance and because I got caught up in the whole bracelet fever. I got Ace-Deuce-Trey three times and Ace-Deuce-Four twice, winning a total of half a pot out of all five premium starting hands. Soon I was down to one chip and threw it in with Nine-Jack-Jack-Queen, more than quadrupling up when three Eights hit the board and I made Eights Full of Jacks. I played as tight as I could and then got a free Flop with Queen-Eight-Five-Trey. I flopped trip Queens and made a boat when an Eight hit the Turn but lost to a bigger boat when an Ace hit the River and I was out of the contest, the fifth one out.

Nguyen again

Next day was the $1500 Pot-Limit Hold 'Em tourney, somewhat of a crapshoot because we started with only 1500 in chips and so a starting stack was only 10 times the Big Blind by the fourth level. My table-draw luck ran out and although I got lucky table 77, seat seven, there were three world champions at my table: Scotty Nguyen in seat one, Huck Seed in seat three, and Johnny Chan to my right in seat six. Johnny arrived late and while his stack was being blinded off I raised in the cutoff with Ace-Deuce of Hearts. The Button on my left called, as did Scotty Nguyen in the Big Blind. The flop was all Hearts and we checked it around. The Turn was an Ace. Scotty checked and I flipped a 100 chip out. The Button folded but Scotty made a sucker reraise or 200. I knew he either had a smaller Flush or was testing me with nothing. If it was the latter, I could call and hope he bluffed again on the River but if it was the former he'd have to call. I thought for a while and then reraised the pot, which put him all in. He called but he wasn't happy about it and when I turned over the nuts I had knocked out the world champ for the second time. Johnny Chan arrived soon thereafter and immediately got a 45-minute massage, cut short by being knocked out 32 minutes into it. I got to the first break with 2225.


They broke the table and moved me to Layne Flack's table for about five hands, then broke that table too. My new table had my Reno nemesis Tony Bloom on my left. There was a lot of action at this table and I wasn't getting many cards. I got Ace-Queen suited, my best hand of the day, on the Small Blind but mucked it in the face of an early-position raise from a tight player. Finally, with the Blinds 50-100, I got Ace-Jack on the cutoff and made it 300. Tony Bloom reraised me another 500. I don't like Ace-Jack but with 1250 in the pot already I called the sucker raise, probably a mistake. The Flop came Ten high, I checked, he bet, I mucked. Now I was down to 1300. The blinds went up to 75-150 and all of a sudden I was short stack. The player to my right limped under the gun and I limped behind with Nine-Eight of Diamonds, hoping to catch a Flop. But Tony raised, Seat Nine reraised, and the original limper re-reraised. I mucked, as did Tony, whispering to me, "He's got a hand." Seat nine was pot-committed and got knocked out when his pocket Nines lost to Aces. My Nine-Eight would have won the pot, making a Straight, but unfortunately I didn't know that in advance. Finally, when a loose player two to my right opened on my Small Blind, I reraised all in with Ace-Ten. But I couldn't get past Tony, who called with Ace-Queen and put me out of the contest.


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