$300 NL Muckleshoot Poker Tournament

September 9, 2011

Okay, so I’m pretty embarrassed right now. It’s 11:45 A.M. and I’m sitting on my computer typing up this trip report for a deep stack poker tournament with 30 minute levels and starting stack sizes of 200 big blinds that started at 10:00 A.M. in a casino that is at least an hour’s drive away! Do the math there and you can see that I busted out of a tournament with an amazing structure within the first 20 minutes… something I thought was virtually impossible for a player of my caliber. I’d have to run AA into KK preflop and lose to a set, right? Apparently not… and here’s my story:

So the tournament starts with 3 players at my table missing and the cut off raising to 125 with blinds at 25-50. Before I can even look at my cards, the big blind–with the small blind and me still to act before him–has tossed out a call already. I look down at AcTc and 3-bet to 375. Seat 6 in the big blind instantly calls, not even considering for a second what it means that I saw him call out of turn and still decided to re-raise. The opener from the cut off folds pretty quickly and I take the pot down with a continuation bet after a pretty dry flop. Seat 6 already seems like a fishy noob to me.

I open to 150 from the hi-jack folded to me with ATo and the cut off and button (seat 6) both call. Not a great result… but a K72 board is about as dry as it gets, so I C-bet 375 and the lady in seat 5 raises to 1050 and seat 6 reraises to 2200. LOL. I fold and seat 5 folds KTo face up. Wow. Now I’m thinking both seat 5 and 6 are retards. A few hands later they get involved in another pot where seat 5 calls pretty substantial bets from seat 6 and folds to his all-in on the river.

Another hand occurs that I can’t remember exact details of, but I flopped a gut shot in position in a raised pot and declined the option of stealing on the flop when it checked to me. A little discouraged and gun shy from the previous couples hand, I limp in with KQo UTG+1 and get two limpers behind me and one of the blinds. Flop comes T42, two clubs. I check and it checks to black dude in Seat 7… He bets 150 into a 250 pot. He doesn’t seem like a tough player to me, and I have two overs and the Qc, so I decide to float him out of position and re-evaluate all my options on the turn regardless of what card falls. I spike the Ks and decide to let the donkey keep pushing, figuring I’m way ahead of him the vast majority of the time. He bets 400 and I merely call. The Ac spikes the river… Since the way I’ve played my hand actually looks like a mediocre club draw, I’m worried he’s checking behind on that river most of the time and I want to get a little more value out of my hand, so I decide to lead right into him for 600. He calls pretty quickly and shows me Ad5h. Groan.

UTG raises to 125 and one person calls in front of me. I have the button and 7h4h and can’t resist making the call in position on both players. The blinds both call, and we go 5 ways to a Q53, two club flop. It checks around to me… Even though betting here seems reasonable, I feel like 3 of my 4 opponents are loose and one of them is willing to get all his chips in, so I try to turn the nuts for free. The turn is Ts and it checks to me again. Now I can’t resist trying to take the pot down with so much weakness in front of me. I make a 60% pot-sized bet and black guy calls me. River is the 9s, which brings in a running spade draw, KJ, and some random 9x straight draws I think he might still pay off with… so I decide to check behind and he shows 9c7c, a hand I think he calls any reasonable bet with.


So I’m sitting on around 8K and realizing that I’ve managed to lose 20% of my stack during the first level of the tournament. I’m a little perturbed by this result, but not wanting to switch gears too much just yet, I open to 150 with the 8h7h. Only seat 6 calls me in position. He’s the table chip leader and has seemed to me to be the most reckless player at the table. I’m eager to find a good spot with him. The board comes down QhTs5h. Since my image has been pretty bad so far, with some failed c-bets and semi-bluffs in my recent history and facing an opponent that I’ve seen willing to put a lot of chips in the middle, I decide to play my flush draw cautiously and check it to him… not wanting to get blown off my good draw by betting into him and allowing him to make some absurd raise. He checks behind me. 6h on the turn. Gin! I decide to lead out for 325 which I don’t think seems like a very strong bet after checking the flop, but with only 375 in the pot, that’s actually a pretty solid bet in retrospect. My opponent calls. The river is the Jd. I decide on a pot-sized bet of 1025. With a couple failed bluffs in my recent past and what I think has been a relatively weak line from me so far in this hand, I feel like this bet should reek like a bluff on my part. My opponent doesn’t take too long to announce he’s all-in. My first reaction is glee; he’s fallen for my trap! But then I realize I’m about to be all-in with an 8 high flush in the first level of a deep stack tournament. Not exactly ideal. Is it possible I’m beat here?? I take about a minute thinking it over and my answer is there’s no way in hell this opponent has me beat in this spot. If he had a big flush draw, why would he check behind on the flop when I gave him a chance to take it down by showing weakness in front of him. Then, he merely smooth calls me on the turn with a flush? I’m not buying it. Finally, aside from my river bet, I feel like I’ve played the hand rather meekly and that my river bet looks like a bluff. If he had a big flush, does he really think I’m paying off in this spot for my entire stack? Hardly! Plus, this is the third time in 20 minutes this same player has basically put his tournament life at risk. Even though I think an 8 high flush is pretty weak to be stacking off with at this stage of the tournament and I can fold and still have 130 big blinds, when I add up all the pieces of the puzzle (my bad image so far, his spewy image, my line this hand, his line this hand, etc.), folding in this spot seems ludicrous when it appears as though I’m increasing my stack drastically the vast majority of the time. To me, it really looks like he either rivered a straight or somehow thinks two pair is good. I make the call and he shows me Ah3h for the nut flush.

I’ve been trying to come up with ways I don’t get stacked in that spot with that action against that player and I just can’t come up with anything good. I was already a little frustrated with my play/luck so far and I can’t imagine how much more tilted I would be if I decided to fold my flush there and he doesn’t show me his hand. I’d have a hard time moving past it, thinking that I missed an obvious opportunity to double up. I wish I would have made the Hellmuthian lay down and could have managed to collect myself afterwards, but considering how he played the hand, I just don’t see any other option.

One comment

  1. Sounds like you got setup and stacked!

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