May 2, 2004

They call me frisky: WSOP $1500 No-Limit Hold 'Em

Who was boss

Today was another $1500 buy-in No-Limit Hold 'Em tournament, the kind you saw on TV, and it was no surprise that once again more than 800 people entered and gladly paid the Horseshoe's 8% juice to play. I timed my arrival at the Horseshoe to get there just as the tournament was starting but Erik "Rounders" Seidel had the valet parking guys greased and they took his car first so I was off by a couple seconds. Erik saw what he had done and was kind enough to wait for me so we both arrived fashionably late. For the first time I was downstairs, assigned to table 41, seat two. There were no famous names at the table although I had played with Mike "Strip Club" Husa, on my left, before on the PartyPoker cruise. The empty seat at position nine, though, turned into Barry Greenstein, one of the toughest and winningest players in the game.


Having position on Barry I played as frisky as I ever have and quickly accumulated a nice stack of more than double my starting 1500. I won a couple nice pots against Strip Club and was over 5000 when Joe in seat five defended his blind against one of my frequent raises. This time, though, I had Ace-Jack and the flop came Ace high, two Clubs. Joe checked and I bet about half the pot. He called. The Jack of Clubs came and Joe bet his last 1200 against my top Two Pair. There were quite a few hands he could have other than a made Flush so I called but he turned over the Six-Deuce of Clubs. My four outs didn't come and I was down under 4000 but I got to needle him about playing Six-Deuce for the rest of the day. Then Barry reraised my Ace-Queen opener all in. I called just to show him who was boss and he turned over pocket Tens. They held up and I was down to 2500. I lost a couple small pots and I was down to 2000 at the break. He who lived by the frisk died by the frisk.


I continued a slow drain and was down almost to my starting point when Barry opened under the gun, something he did quite a bit, and I reraised him all in with Ace-Queen. He called with King-Queen, didn't get a miracle, and I doubled up on him to 3350. Then seat seven limped, something he had done before with small Aces, so I raised on the Button with Ace-Nine when it got to me. He called and the Flop came Ace-King-Deuce. He checked. I put him all in, hoping he would call with a worse Ace. He did indeed have an Ace with a worse kicker but unfortunately it was a Deuce and he called with Two Pair. I had a lot of outs to win or tie the hand, being less than a three-to-one dog, but they didn't come and I seesawed back down to under 1500. With the blinds 100-200 and a 25 ante about all I could do now was push all in. After a bit of this Joe in seat five, with whom I had been sparring all day, called with King-Jack suited. My Ace high held up and I doubled up once again. I had 2400 at the next break.


The blinds doubled to 200-400 so once again my options were limited. They moved our table en bloc upstairs to the main tournament area and I very quickly saw pocket Jacks in the cutoff and pushed all in. It was 25 to one against one of the remaining three players having a higher pocket Pair but Mike "Strip Club" Husa, still glued to my left hip, was boss with Aces and I was out of the contest, finishing 225th of 831.


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