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World Poker Tour - Mirage May 23, by Peter Costa

World Poker Tour - Mirage May 23 Having lost 108 players in the first round - we started the day with 344 players. I was not in good shape with 25,700. In fact, things got worse as I dwindled down to just one 10,000 chip.

You would think that K-K would be a good way to increase the stack. However, having been dealt the hand twice - twice I had to muck in when an Ace hit the board. I finally got a break when along with three others, I called a 2,500 raise from the big blind (BB) with Kd-Jd. When the flop came over Js-7d-2d - I pushed all-in without getting called.

With over 20,000 - I decided to play aggressive with my Ah-Qh on the BB. In a four-way action pot - I decided that I had to get brave and push all-in. Luck at last! I ran into Aces but hit a royal flush draw on the flop. The flush hit the turn and I was now at 48,000.

When we started the day - seat two on our table began with around 150,000. He suddenly went on tilt after losing a couple of hands. The chip leader (around 300K at this time) in seat nine, limps for 1,000 - as does seat two. Holding A-Q, I raise to 6,000. Seat nine calls and seat two pushes all-in for a further 36,000. This was it! I called and seat nine mucks. Q-T for Mr Tilt. A ten a on the flop and it looks like this was not going to be my day. I don’t believe it! An ace hit’s the turn and I am suddenly at 100,000. A few minutes later the table breaks - but not until I take another 40,000 from the chip leader with K-K v A-K.

Amongst others, my new table consisted of Ted Forrest, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, David Grey, Allen Kessler Maureen Feduniak. The chip count seemed pretty much even when I first joined them. Also, Antonio (who loves to make constant small raises) was in perfect spot to my immediate right. I knew this would be a lively table.

Having moved up to almost 170,000 - a very crucial hand was about to unfold. With blinds at 600-1200 and 300 ante Antonio, raises from UTG to 3800. My call entices a further three callers. Holding Q-Q, I like the flop of 7-8-2. But along with Antonio - I check the flop. The player to my right, Allen Kessler, bets 10,000. I like my hand even more as everyone else folds. Allen was holding a further 58,000. I announces all-in and Allen beats me into the pot. He turns over T-T. This was it! If I win this hand, I will be at over 250,000 and in a position to play back at Antonio etc.. etc..

Those of you who have been reading my articles - will have taken note of the many times that I have slow played Q-Q in previous events. It was always in the hope of finding myself in this exact spot. This would mean more to me then just a big chip lead on the table - this would allow me to start playing “funny” poker. But before I could even start to think about the possibilities, the dealer turns over another Ten on the turn. Some of the beats over the last month have proven very costly - but when you leave your opponent with just a two-outer after the flop…

As I said, being denied the opportunity to really mix it up - was the painful part here. With just under 100,000 now, I had to go into my shell and play the waiting game. Antonio (who is a great friend of mine) later took most of those chips from Allen and proceeded to dominate the table. After making his fourth raise in succession - I jokingly said to Antonio that he was lucky to be getting such good hands. Antonio turned to me and said that his biggest break was when that Ten hit for Allen. Wonder what he meant by that?

Anyhow, the day came to a close and I start again with 117,000 (just below average). It obviously could have been much better. But then again…

Until next time - play well, get lucky and stop getting two-outered!

Peter “The Poet” Costa



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