Pot shot: 2005 Event #3, $1500 Pot-Limit Hold 'Em
With the exception of the bathrooms, things seemed to be much more under control at the Rio for the second event in to 2005 World Series. Pot-Limit Hold 'Em was a game that some said required more skill than no-limit but to me the main difference was that antes were never used at any time during the tournament. In No-Limit tournaments they added antes after a few levels, making more dead money in each pot and therefore increasing action.
"Only" 1071 players entered this event, not quite as glamorous as the TV game No-Limit Hold 'Em (presumably because you couldn't yell "All in!" as much). I drew table 114, seat one, and verified that we weren't all in alphabetical order today. My buddy from Harrah's Rincon, Al Adler, was at seat eight and told me he had taken my advice to quit smoking and was down to only a few cigarettes a day with a target of zero. Al was studying my game and kept giving me knowing smiles every time I took down a pot, which I did quite a bit since the only "name" player at the table was Max Stern in seat nine. I won many small pots and chipped up to 4050 from my starting 1500 at the first break.
Then Kevin "Bleu" Peterson, a Full Tilt regular, came in at seat six. I was up to around 5000 chips when with the blinds 75/150 a new player with a big stack made it 325 from early position in seat 10 on my right. He actually tried to make it 425 but made a string raise, which I pointed out to the dealer and made him take back. Then I looked my cards and mentally kicked myself: pocket Aces! I raised the size of the pot, another 875. It folded to him and he called. The flop came King-Seven-Five. He checked and I bet a third of my chips. It was all going in if he had AK or if he had me beat and I wanted him to have room to bluff as well. He did check-raise me all in and I expected him to turn over KK like JC Tran did at Bellagio but instead he turned over Presto, pocket Fives for the set. I didn't hit my two-outer and I was out of the contest early. It was so early they hadn't even put up the number of remaining players.
Dinner was at Mistral with Avi "Two Cokes" Freedman, his wife Gail, and his brother Noam. Avi had two Diet Cokes and the rest of us had the 1970 B.V. Georges La Tour Cabernet, slightly more acidy than the bottle we had had before but still sublime and a bargain at just over $200 on their excellent wine list.
Next up: $1500 Limit Hold 'Em.