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WSOP $565 No Limit Hold’em COLOSSUS & Kate Hoang Heads Up For A Bracelet

June 4, 2018

So after busting the Aria O8 event on Saturday, I went to the Rio to quasi-sweat Kate Hoang’s deep run in the $1500 WSOP Omaha 8 tournament and play some $20/$40 O8 cash myself.

My O8 game was actually very good but there was no love for me and I ended up finishing -$643 over about four hours and multiple extensive breaks away from the table watching Kate’s final table.

I ended up cashing out around 2 AM and the WSOP staff called it a night around the same time and added a fourth day to Kate’s event and she was due back at 2 PM Sunday with four players, left sitting second in chips.

I am very much rooting for Kate – and anyone from the Pacific Northwest really – so Tormund and I got to the Rio a little after 2 PM hoping to see her close out a win before our HORSE tournament started at Venetian at 4 PM. There was early good news as we passed one of the remaining players at the entrance indicating that they were now down to three players.

The short stack was pesky and hung around for a while, but they eventually eliminated him and Kate was heads up for a bracelet for the second time in three years. In fact, she took an insanely brutal beat against Josh Arieh at the $10k PLO8 final table last year that cost her a huge chip lead and eventually the tournament. So three straight years with a final table and at least two second place finishes locked up. Needless to say, Kate is on everyone’s radar now.

Tormund and I hung around to watch this heads up battle until about 4:15 and it looked like Kate might close it out before we left, but the other guy fought back and eventually took a commanding lead. The players went on break and that was our cue to try to go make our own money and root her on from afar.

They ended up battling heads up for nearly four hours, constantly changing chip leads and forcing the staff to add at least three levels of play that previously did not exist. Alas, Kate ended up finishing in second place for a hefty cash of $148,150. Amazing.

And yet I really feel her pain. Kate has been nothing but humble when I’ve heard people talk about her success but I know she had to really, really, REALLY want that bracelet. Hell, I would.

Still, it was another amazing performance from one of our area’s top players and I’m personally quite confident that Kate has bracelets in her future.

In other local player news, The Sandman is making waves in the $2500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball tournament. He bagged a top two stack after Day 1 and was still alive with 12 players left after Day 2. I slept in super late today and wanted to catch up on some things otherwise I would have shown up to the Rio early today to sweat his sick run. I’ve been keeping an eye on it via PokerNews and he currently sits 7th in chips with ten players left and a guaranteed payout of nearly $12k.

Yesterday I played the $600 HORSE tourney at Venetian and while I did manage to accumulate some chips for the first time this trip, it was another incredibly disappointing finish. I made it to dinner break with about 30k, which was well above average, but came back from break and immediately lost three pots in a row and was back to nearly starting stack.

Some brutal run outs in the stud variants crippled me. First I had four to an ace high flush and a gut shot in a three way pot in stud high only to finish with an ace high hand. Then in Stud 8 I was facing an opponent clearly trying to punt by betting an obvious pair of 2s with no low draw and I had four to a low working plus all my cards as likely winners if they pair. I missed my low and made a pair of kings on 7th, but he rivered fours and deuces to scoop me. Why not raise my hand at some point, you say? Because punters don’t fold. This guy was going to 7th street no matter what our boards looked like or what I did.

I was down to 6000 in chips with blinds at 1000-1500 when we arrived at limit hold’em and I had 1500 in the big blind holding AJ. Matt Grapenthien, a notable mixed games player, opened in early position, the button called, and I 3-bet to get my stack in. They both called and I bet my last 1500 in the dark before the dealer brought the flop. It was a pretty favorable AT3 rainbow board and I was quite happy to see Grapes make it 3000 to go. The button tanked for quite some time and called two bets cold. The turn paired the ten and Matt bet again. I don’t love that card because tens are definitely hands Matt would raise on the flop to try to isolate with a player all in, but I still thought I had very good winning chances. The button called again. The river was a 5, Grapes bet, and the button called. Grapes rolled over A6 and I was pretty happy to see that I had tripled up.

And then the button rolled his hand. Why is he rolling his hand? How can he ever have the best hand here? Maybe he has an ace with a slightly better kicker? Surely, he would call the flop much faster if he had AK or AQ. Nope. He doesn’t have either of those hands. He doesn’t have an ace at all actually. Nor does he have trip tens.

He has pocket fives. A rivered full house. A hand that 98% of poker players would snap fold on the flop for two bets cold without giving it a second thought.

This is one of those poker stories that sound almost too unbelievable to be true. I mean I don’t really believe it and it happened to me. I think I actually sat in my seat for a full two minutes after I busted out in disbelief. It was such a sick parlay for it to happen. In a no limit tournament, my four big blinds would never get a fold from 55, but in a limit event, with a third player in the pot, THAT RAISED THE FLOP TO ISOLATE, there is no way I should have ever lost here. I had Grapes drawing dead to a chop on the turn and he gave me another chance at protection by betting his A6 again.

Ugh. I wouldn’t have had a great stack after that, but it would have been a full triple up and would have given me some hope of getting back into the fight. Alas, it was my fourth consecutive bust out in Vegas so far to go along with two small losses in cash games. It has not been a good first week.

I’m about to hop in the shower and head to the Rio to play the 5 PM (and last) flight of the Colossus. The structure in this event is one of the worst at the WSOP and no limit tournaments are not my preference, but I have cashed the Colossus in back-to-back years. Hopefully I can run deep again and maybe make my first Day 2 of the trip? That would be pretty cool.

I will post updates here – and keep an eye on what Sandman has going on – but probably won’t get too in depth with it as I’m playing.

5:10 PM: Great planning on my part. I’m currently four rows deep in line to register the Colossus. The Atom was walking out of registration as I walked up and said it took him a solid 30 minutes to get through.

Sandman update: 5th of 8 left. I’ll see if I can snipe a pic on my way to my seat.

One more interesting piece of info: Phil Ivey played the Colossus yesterday. Let that sink in.

He’s baaaaaaaaack.

5:31 PM: And I’m in. Starting with 5k and blinds at 25/50. I recognize zero players at my table, but superficial judgement is it looks promising.

5:35 PM: Just lost half my stack on the third hand.

Not really. Blinds are 50/100 now.

5:58 PM: Sandman is at the Triple Draw Mix final table, sitting 5th of 6 left, and guaranteed at least $22.3k.

I’m down to 3375 already after whiffing a 3-bet pot with KJdd and giving up with 77 in a raised pot on Q43A.

6:29 PM: I stole the blinds.

And this is officially the coolest thing to happen to me so far this trip:

6:36 PM: Tormund finally making his way through the Colossus registration line.

Stole the blinds again… with KK.

Tormund just walked by my table, looked at my stack, and shook his head.

7:06 PM: I made it to the break. I have 2200 coming back to 100/200/25. That’s 11 bigs. Wonderful.

Sandman down to final five. He looks like the short stack. Scott Seiver and Chris “DeathDonkey” Vitch are still in there. $31.8k guaranteed.

Just watched Sandman double.

8:12 PM: Got a 3-bet jam through with AQ but dwindled back down to 10.5 bigs and got it in at 100/200/50 with AJ vs 55 and 99 and found no help.

Standing in line to re-enter and sit down with 25 bigs.

🏉🏃🏻‍♂️

8:25 PM: First hand at my new table finds five players all in: A5ss vs JJ vs QQ vs AQ vs JJ.

Flop: Q22.

GG, fellas.

8:28 PM: This may have been my worst use of $565 ever. I’m basically sitting down with 12 big blinds: 4850 @ 200/400/50 now.

8:43 PM: Jammed 3600 with 55 right into KK.

GG.

Having a great time so far.

9:11 PM: The Atom and Tormund are still in the Colossus. Just got texts from Tormund saying he busted JC Tran and crippled Ishmael Bojang. He must have a decent stack going and just dispatched his toughest opponents.

11:00 PM: Sandman busts the $2500 Triple Draw Mixed Lowball event in 3rd place for almost $72k. Another sick run from a PNW player. Congrats man!

11:10 PM: Tormund and The Atom are both still in the Colossus. Tormund has 67k and The Atom is sitting on 18k @ 500-1000 blinds. They have three hours of play left tonight and I’m debating whether I want to play cash until Tormund is done or go to sleep at a decent time. I’m tentatively planning to play the Triple Draw Mix tourney at Binions at 11 AM tomorrow.

11:33 PM: Tormund just lost most of his stack so I’m gonna sit down in 20/40 O8 and hope something good happens in the time I’m here.

3:35 AM: I guess I should post a wrap up of sorts. The Atom min-cashed the Colossus and Tormund is actually putting something together and is currently 15 minutes away from bagging.

I’m actually having a good o8 session. I am up well over $1k and leaving soon.

Yet another local is doing big things. I’ve been crossing paths with Adam Coats for years now and he’s no stranger to deep WSOP runs, having finished 131st in the Main Event in 2014 and 8th in the $1500 O8 the same year. Well, Adam is at it again, bagging up the second best stack after Day 2 in the $10k O8. There’s $418k up top in this one and of course I’ll be keeping an eye on that and rooting Adam on.

Tormund just bagged up 116k and is headed to Day 2 of the Colossus and I cashed out a +$1440 winner while I was waiting for him. A nice change of pace for our household.

I will be taking it easy tomorrow, catching a movie with The Atom and playing O8 cash at The Orleans so I’m fresh and rested for the $1500 HORSE on Wednesday.

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