This is now getting tough. The late nights are coming thick and fast. With just one early exit so far - I’m playing a lot of tournament poker. More of the same expected today from the $2,500 Limit. With around 380 (less than expected) - another long slog was anticipated…
It was a very uneventful day for me. With very few playable hands, I found it difficult to accumulate chips. In fact, just before the dinner break. With limits of 300-600, and just three hands before the blinds came to me - I had 600 remaining. I then got dealt A-A for the first time in the day. They actually won in a three-way pot. I was soon up to 6,000 and with a real chance. Final hand before the break and I get dealt A-A again. The big blind calls the extra bet with Td-4d. I flop an Ace and get checked-raised on a Ad-6d-34. He must have known that the flush would come. Just hope we wasn’t too disappointed in missing the turn! First hand after the break and I look for a quick double up with K-K. This time, I river another K that gives the A-J a straight. The $5,000 NL awaits…
With 239 starters - the “dead” money was nowhere to be seen. The spectators began to hover around table 10, my table. And no wonder, we have - John “we meet again” Juanda, Ram Vaswani, Devilfish, Annie Duke. Dan Heimiller is last to join and immediately asks if we are the first table to break?. Juanda informs him that we are second to break, and to play tight until then. Dan later joked that, if they took a picture of this table - he would be the only one with a painful look on his face. Now T.J Cloutier comes over and remarks that table 10, is the first table at the WSOP in which he knew all 10 players.
I called my wife to inform her of the line-up. As I reeled off the names, my wife’s worries for the day began to disappear. With her usual pre-tournament wish being “Have fun” - she knew I would be!
First hand - raise, action, bet on flop, take it down. Hehe - didn’t take long. Limp no look, bet minimum no look. Action, look, muck. Limp no look, bet flop no look, Action!, Look, muck. Limp no look, bet flop no look. Action! Look, raise, nuts on flop. Fun!
First big pot. Annie raises on the BB after several limpers. John, Ram and Devil, call. Flop J-4-3 two spades, all check. Turn 2h. Annie checks, John bets 500, Ram and Devil, call. River 5d - no flush but an obvious straight. John bets 2000 (40% of the starting stack) and both muck. John shows a nine high bluff.
Dan Heimiller, is not taking John’s advice. He is playing fast and loose! Stop trying to bluff Dan!
John raises, I call, as do 4 others. Oh oh. Slow playing K-K here - too many callers. No flop K - no play! Ah…K-8-5. Nice…..Dan bet 500 (thank you Dan). Ohhhh….muck, muck, muck, muck. Turn is a blank Ten. I check. Dan, itching to bet. River Ten brings a big bet from me. Dan mucks and I show the boat. Dan smiles and applauds himself for overcoming the itch to bet the turn. Dan’s fun to play with.
Bang! Big hand here. John bust two including Ram. Action on flop - three players in. Ram all-in on the turn. Raiser calls all in. 1,500 to John. Pot size of around 11K? With 15 outs - (flush draw and double gut-shot), it’s a no-brainer call for John. The straight hits and the first two victims depart.
The banter increases - it‘s fun here.
Dan has had enough! He knows that his A-J is no good on the flop. Even with an Ace on board - the raise from his opponent is a major tell that one pair is behind. To rub it in - the two pairs make a boat on the river. Dan departs with the full knowledge, that he would only meet this table again in his nightmares.
Ouch! I hate making the nuts on the turn. Six limpers and a flop of A-T-8, two diamonds. Action on flop. Turn is a 7. Make nuts with J-9. Action. River, Ace. Action, two pair make boat on the river. Bye all - it’s been fun!
As you can tell from the length of this article - I had a little time to spare for a change.
Until next time - play well, get lucky and have fun!
Peter “The Poet” Costa