Ducks and Cowboys
My next event was another $1500 No-Limit Hold 'Em tournament, this one drawing a stunning 2013 entrants. I got table 57, seat three. Seat five was Joe Awada, the casino-game designer who shined in last year's WSOP; seat seven, the boisterous Tony G.; and seat nine was Paul "X-22" Magriel. Tony and seat one busted right away and were replaced by top pro Surindar Sunar in seat seven and Matt Matros's friend Chris Fargis in seat one. Chris didn't last long as he made a loose call of a preflop re-reraise all in from X-22 with Ace-Queen. Paul showed pocket Queens and Chris didn't improve. I won several small pots and was up to 2150 at the break. Then with 50/100 blinds seat eight open-limped from middle position and the small blind completed. I found King-Queen offsuit on the big blind and made it 300 more. Seat eight called and the small blind folded. The flop came Ace-Eight-Five. I bet 500 and he moved all in for only 300 more. I had got myself into a pickle and decided to call, getting better than six-to-one but realizing I was probably dead to runner-runner. He turned over Presto for the set of Fives and I didn't hit my Straight so I was down to 1300.
Then X-22 and Joe Awada got into a pot together with Paul raising to "quack quack" – 2200 – as was his custom. I mentioned that if he busted Joe it would be a "duck-out-Awada." I got one or two groans. Then with the blinds 100/200 I found pocket Sevens in the small blind and moved in. Joe called with Jack-Ten suited and I doubled up to 2500. Chris Bjorn moved into seat seven when Surindar took a bad beat. Then I raised with pocket Kings in the cutoff and got called by seat six in the big blind. The flop came Ace high and we both checked. The turn was low and he bet 600, about half his chips. I decided to raise all in and he called with Ace-Deuce, bringing me down to 50. Then I put my last chips in with King-Queen of Clubs in a four-way pot and ended up cracking the Aces of the same guy in seat six. That brought me up to 200, which I put in with Ace-Jack of Diamonds under the gun. It folded all the way to the small blind, who kindly completed the bet to either bust me or give me extra chips. He had Eight-Four of Hearts and ended up making a Flush to send me out of the contest. There were still 1390 players left.
Dinner was at Terrazza at Caesars Palace with Aaron "Tec" Bartley, Rick Wampler, and Rob "VeeRob" Perelman. They were serving the Nero's menu in addition to their normal one while Nero's was under renovation so we had a nice mixed Italian/steak meal washed down by a bottle of Tinto Pesquera..