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LAPC Day 3: $350 Triple Stud @ Commerce

January 17, 2018

So I ended up showing up for this tournament about five minutes late. I was about to hop on I-5 and my blood sugar was showing a reading of 50 and going down so I decided to pull over and drink Gatorade (which I always travel with now) until I was back over 100. So I registered late and my table only had two players sitting at it and we had to wait for a fourth before they would start dealing to us and I wound up missing half of the first round.

For those that don’t know, Triple Stud is 7-Card Stud, Stud 8 or Better, and Razz – rotating games every eight hands. I realize some of my readers might not know the rules or objects of these games, but I assume most people that read my poker posts probably have a general idea how these games are played. I’m laying in bed typing on an iPad so I really don’t feel like typing out explanations on game variations.

My starting table was not great. I had two WSOP bracelet winners sitting with me: “Miami” John Cernuto (3 bracelets, $5.7 million in cashes) and Ron Ware (1 bracelet, $625,000 in cashes). One of my opponents was at my O8 table yesterday. He played pretty aggressive and had an arrogant and cocky vibe about him, but I saw his name on his receipt and he has less than $7000 in lifetime cashes, so I can only assume he’s not very good. The rest of my table was unknown to me but nobody seemed clueless like the O8 players I started with yesterday.

Also, I’ve never really taken notes on hands for any Stud-type games so this could be somewhat challenging. It’s hard enough writing down what I had, let alone what my opponents’ boards were and what cards were dead – all factors in my decision-making. But I’m going to try my best.

Notable Hands Levels 1-3

150/300 limit, Stud Hi: Ron Ware brings it in with the 2c, four players limp in front of me, and I have AT-T. There is a king up, but I imagine that player would raise a KKx hand and all my tens and aces are live, so I complete to 150 and Ron plus all four limpers call. I bet again on 4th street and and it checks around on 5th street when I still have five opponents and my board hasn’t improved and some of my outs are dead now, but on 6th street I have AT-T8JJ and after thinking about it for a while I decide to bet even though two of my opponents look like they could have flushes on 6th. Everybody calls again. I brick on 7th and check, Ron checks, and one of the possible flushes bets into three remaining opponents against an obvious two pair (my hand), the next player snap calls and I fold when it comes back to me and that player wins with a flush he made on 6th (he has six spades in his hand but only three visible).

That was the only significant hand I played in the first 90 minutes and I had 9675 from a 10k starting stack on the first break.

Notable Hands Levels 4-6

300/600 limit, Stud 8: I complete with Q9-Q with only Ron and the bring in left. Ron calls with the 5d. On 4th I catch an 8 and he catches high, so I bet. On 5th I get a ten and he catches low, but I still bet. I make two pair on 6th, but he catches low again, so I check and he checks back. I brick on 7th and check-call and get scooped after he rivers three fours.

500/1000 limit, Stud Hi: Miami John completes with a ten up, I call with J9-T, and Ron Ware calls from the bring in. I catch a beautiful queen on 4th, giving me an open-ended straight draw, but I do have one king and one eight dead. Miami John bets and myself and two others are still in. I catch an ace on 5th and this time it checks around. I pick up a jack on 6th so now my board looks like this: xx-TQAJ and I feel I have a mandatory bet with only one king accounted for, even though all I have is a pair of jacks. Only Miami John calls and he says something about “I hope you only have two pair.” I make aces up on 7th and that’s a two pair I think is good, so I value bet it, he calls, and I scoop a good pot.

500/1000 limit, Stud Hi: a jack up raises and I call with AA-6 (I should have raised – especially with an ace and six dead) and the bring in defends. I wind up getting heads up on 5th street against an all in. My hand is unimproved and he already has KQJT9 and I’m basically dead.

500/1000 limit, Stud 8: I scoop a big 3-way pot with 54-2A7T-3 when I got some unwarranted action. An ace completed on 3rd and lead out on 4th with xx-AJ when I had 54-2A and the middle player was obviously going high. So I got a double bet in from both of them on 4th. I led on 5th, but on 6th he bet out again with xx-AJ76 when I had 54-A27T and I got two bets from both of them again since I had the best possible low and some scoop potential. The wheel on 7th was pretty amazing, but unfortunately this would be my peak of the tournament.

I headed to the second break with 18.6k.

Notable Hands Levels 7-9

600/1200 limit, Razz: I didn’t play this hand but I found it amusing. Someone completes and a player with either a jack up or a nine up (I can’t remember which one came first) calls (with a pretty short stack) and Miami John 3-bets with an ace up. On 4th, John catches a 5, the opener catches bad and folds and the short stack has xx-9J and is looking at xx-A5 and starts to tank. Miami John says, you know this is Razz, right?” So the other player does the only sensible thing and calls with roughly half of his remaining stack. John pairs his ace on 5th and the short stack calls it off with xx-J98 and Miami John reveals a 53-A5A that bricks out and the short stack doubles up with a J98 low. Beautiful.

Miami John is cussing and staring at the dealer. On a scale of gentleman to asshole, John doesn’t seem like a bad dude, but it’s pretty strange watching such an accomplished veteran with almost $6 million in lifetime cashes get even remotely butthurt about variance in a $350 tournament.

600/1200 limit, Razz: we are seven levels into this tournament and I’m playing my first Razz pot. I complete with 72-6 and find myself in the unenviable position of check-folding on 5th against a board of xx-5TK because I have 72-6KJ.

600/1200 limit, Razz: rematch! The player that doubled through John opens with an 8 up, Miami John calls with a 2 and snap pairs it on 4th when his opponent catches a Q. I can’t remember how all the action went but at showdown Miami John has 73-228K-3 and gets scooped by a T98 low! And between the nasty run outs, same player dynamic, and Miami John’s reaction to it all, I’m sitting in my seat trying my hardest (and failing) to stifle a giggle fit.

There’s been a lady sitting on my right that has been nudging her cards a few inches forward when folding so that the dealers have to somewhat stand out of their seats to grab her cards and I’ve probably mucked her up cards more than she has. This has been her MO since hand #1 and we are over four hours deep into this thing before a dealer finally gives her the FUCK YOU look. I have to say… the dealers at Commerce have some incredibly thick skin.

800/1600, Stud Hi: I find myself in the dream scenario of seeing an ace up complete, a queen go into the muck, a king up call, another king go into the muck before I have to act on my hand: QQ-Q. We are rolled up, folks! This is kind of a weird spot actually. Do you know how strong it looks to raise a queen against an ace and a king? I figure the dead queen is providing me ample cover though so I go ahead and try to get extra bets in now. The ace calls, but the king folds. I brick out all the way and he check-calls every street with xx-A757-x. I probably would have won more by simply calling on 3rd street, but who knows. I was pretty happy with this pot. And I lied before, I was peaking after this hand with like 25k.

800/1600 limit, Stud 8: I complete with 52-A and bet through 6th street with 52-A9A6 against xx-7Q35, before check-calling the river when I miss a low and make trip aces. She shows me a straight and scoops me. Ugh.

That hand brought me all the way down to 11.4k.

Blinds 1000/2000, Stud 8: this was an insane hand. By the time third street action was over I had 3800 in with 7d5-3d with all sixes, fours, and diamonds live. Three of us put in 3800 and a fourth player was all in. I ended up having to call bets on every street as my board developed like this: 7d5s-3d-6d-6h-9d. Both live opponents had a pair on board by 6th and the all in had xx-K888 showing. I had to call 2000 of 4200 remaining to see 7th and I bet when I got the Kd. That was good for the high half of the side pot. Miami John made a low and the all in had 8s full for the main. When it was all said and done I had about as many chips as I started with.

On the third break I have 15.5k. There were 117 entrants for the tournament, 61 remain, and my stack is just below the 18.2k average. 15 players make the money and first place is over $9000.

My table finally broke and I am now playing with Shirley Rosario – once known as “The Poker Babe” – and her $475,000 in lifetime cashes.

Notable Hands Levels 10-12

1500/3000 limits, Stud Hi: I don’t know. Maybe this hand is a blunder. Maybe it’s a catastrophe. Maybe it’s just unlucky. I’m not a stud expert. A queen limps, another queen raises, I have AT-T and my cards are all live. I decide to 3-bet. A player with the 7c calls behind me, and both queens call. I made it 3000 and one player is all in for 2400. I barrel AT-TQK8 when my two live opponents brick out. I lose the player with the 7, but the second queen isn’t going anywhere. Notice I caught a queen on my board. I catch a 9 on 7th and decide to save the bet and that player did in fact start with xQ-Q. He wins the side pot, but loses the main pot to the all in who caught all the live aces I needed. I’m not sure I played this hand well. Maybe I could save bets somewhere, especially since my opponent was checking out of turn every street.

Anyways, after that debacle I’m crippled and down to 4k.

I get all in for 3200 in Stud 8 with As3s-6s, but wind up just making a low for half.

I get all in for 3200 in Stud 8 and scoop when my 74-5 develops into a full house instead.

I’m up to 9500 after that and then comes the torture. I get nothing even remotely playable and have to bring it in five times. I consider punting a couple times just to try and get it in, but I just have zero playable hands. It would feel like I’m giving up and it’s not like I have more fold equity with 6.5k than I would with 2.5k. Well, not much anyway.

So, I disgustingly dwindle all the way down to 1800 before I get it in with T7-A in Stud Hi. I get isolated by K4-7 for some reason and he immediately pairs his 7 on 4th and I catch bricks through 6th, but somehow catch a pair of 8s on 7th and it’s good for a double.

Finally I get it all in with 4K-4 in Stud Hi and never improve against 89-8, busting in roughly 38th place.

I considered playing some lower stakes cash, but it was already 8 PM and I’d been staying at my cousin’s house for 48 hours now and I hadn’t even seen her once yet, so I decided to pass on a short session and call it a day.

My plan is to play the $350 Stud 8 or Better tournament today and play a long session of $20/$40 LHE if I don’t make a super deep run. I fly out of LAX at 8 AM Friday so I’m skipping the Thursday tournament. I’m going to play cash deep into the night Wednesday, sleep in Thursday, hang out with my cousin and her husband Thursday evening and then head back to Hollywood Park Casino for an all night cash game session so I can play poker next to the airport and not have to wake up super early and fight through rush hour traffic to catch my flight.

Update: Miami John survived those comical Razz run outs and went on to chop this tournament heads up.

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