Draw a Blank: UPC II $2000 No-Limit Hold 'Em
The fields were getting more intimate as the buy-ins went up at the Plaza. Today's event was $2000+$80 and only 31 people signed up. I drew table 14, seat eight, and we started four-handed! Right away I got pocket Jacks on the big blind and reraised the button. He put in the third raise and I called. The flop came Ten high and I decided to check-raise him. He bet 1400. I made it 3500 and he moved all in for 1975 more. I looked into his soul and decided the four-to-one I was getting wasn't good enough and mucked. He showed a King. I was down to 2075.
Then fellow Full Tilter Clonie Gowen moved into seat one and Dusty Dirksen took seat two. I had 2375 when the table broke. Now I was at table 12, seat seven. Karina Jett had seat nine and Vellaisamy "S.K." V. Senthilkumar had seat one. I won a coinflip on the blinds and doubled up to 4250. Then I called a bluff on the blinds against the same guy and was back up to my starting stack of 6000. I busted seat five, taking me up to 8000, when we redrew at 18 players left.
I got table 16, seat four, and Hoyt "All in" Corkins was two to my right in seat two. S.K. was between us in seat three. I raised in middle position with King-Ten of Hearts and the pony-tailed Edward Moncada made a small reraise in the small blind. This small-reraise-out-of-position tactic was in the superaggressive player's bag of tricks and it was tough to know what to make of it: it could mean a marginal hand or a monster. I called and the flop came Queen-Jack-Trey with two Clubs, giving me a Straight draw and an overcard. Eduardo checked to me and I didn't see much choice but to push all in here although with his big stack I thought he might even call with Ace-King. He thought for some time before calling with Ace-Jack, making me a two-to-one dog. I didn't hit and was out of the contest in 17th place.
Dinner was at the excellent but virtually unknown Isis restaurant at the Luxor with Avi "Two Cokes" Freedman. I always got the wonderful Beef Wellington. Avi had two Diet Cokes while I started a bottle of 2001 Stag's Leap Artemis Cabernet.