The valets at the Plaza were beginning to recognize my gray Caddy and with quick service and precision timing I got to the tournament area just in time for the start of today’s event. We got a nice crowd of 139 players to pony up $1060 each for today’s event. I drew table 10, seat one, and recognized only Mike Borovetz in seat nine. Right away I limp-called a raise by seat four with Eight-Six of Diamonds. The flop came Nine-Seven-Trey with one Diamond, giving me a Straight draw and I check-called. The Turn was the beautiful Ten of Diamonds, making my straight and giving me a Straight Flush draw to boot. We got it all in and he showed pocket Kings, giving him no outs. I busted him and doubled up to 5900. David “Harpo” Levi took seat four.
Then I raised in middle position with pocket Tens and got called by the big blind. The flop came Queen-Queen-Ten, giving me a Full House. He check-called a half-pot bet from me but he Hollywooded so badly I was certain he had a Queen. The Turn was a King and he made a small check-raise, which I called. Now I was afraid I was actually behind so I just called a small bet on the river. Sure enough he turned over Queen-Ten. I had flopped a Full House and was drawing dead! I patted myself on the back for not doubling him up but I was down to 3900. For the cold-decking I gave a playful scowl to my favorite Plaza dealer, Anna, a nice Jewish girl who used to run a kosher deli with her husband Marty across the street from Yeshiva University in Manhattan until they both moved to Las Vegas to play and deal poker.
Harpo and I always seemed to get it all in against each other pretty quick and this was no exception. On a multiway flop of Ten-Nine-Six we got it in with my Ten-Seven of Hearts a favorite over his Queen-Eight. A Seven came on the Turn, giving him a Straight, but I filled up when a Ten came on the river and he was done for the day, bringing me up to 5025. Dave Daseke took Harpo’s spot in the Seat of Death. I had 5875 at the break.
They moved me to table 14, seat one, for balance and “Syracuse” Chris Tsiprailidis was the only name player, in seat eight. I found pocket Nines in late position in a pot raised by a very tight player who had previously folded Jacks to a reraise. Well, if he was going to fold Jacks I was raising and sure enough he folded. Maybe he had Queens. I was up to 7400 but the blinds and antes were escalating fast. With the limits at 200/400 with a 50 ante, I found King-Queen in a pot with an early-position raiser and the tight guy calling. I decided to run the squeeze play and moved in. The first player folded but the tight guy called with Ace-King, a bad matchup for me. I didn’t hit and I was out 56th.
Dinner was at Little Buddha at the Palms with Avi “Two Cokes” Freedman and brother Noam. The Palms was a very nice place to stay for playing in a tournament downtown, with convenient freeway access and great rooms and restaurants. Avi had two Diet Cokes and Noam and I enjoyed the Harushika cold sake.
Tomorrow: $1570 at La Última!