Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday night, another live tournament

I played in the Friday night tournament at Harrah's Casino.

This shot from a distance gives you some idea about how big this place is.

I couldn't resist taking this photo.

The casino is on the Mississippi River side of the levee that protects nearby land from flooding. From this perspective, it may be hard to tell how high it is, but I guess it's around 30 feet.

I'm getting up early Saturday morning and am going out of town for the next three days, so this will be a short recap. Unlikely to be back in time for the Tuckfard Open Tournament for bloggers on Monday -- how can they ever get by without me? times are hard.

Twenty-eight players signed up for the $100 buyin tournament. This is much fewer than in the past and everybody is talking about the economy and how people are cutting back on spending money on things they don't have to. We started with 10,000 in chips and had 20-minute levels beginning at 25/50.

I won a few small pots, early to tread water. When the blinds were 400/800/50, I had 9,100 in chips aand picked up 9 9 in the cutoff position and raised to 2,400. The small blind who hadn't played a hand in at least an hour went all in. The big blind was a very short stack, so he called and I folded. The raiser turned over A A. This just reinforces the points that (1) it pays to keep track of how people are playing and (2) it's certainly no sin to fold a hand.

My stack dribbled down to 3,000 when I finally started getting some good hands. I built back up to 15,000 when the blinds were 500/1000/100. An early position player raised to 3,000 and a small stack called all-in (he had around 2,500). I peeked at my cards and saw K K. I reraised to 11,000 (which should be suspicious as I only had around 4,000 behind). The early raised moved all in (he had a stack similar to mine), and, of course, I called. He turned over 10 10 and my hand held to move me to more than 33,000 in chips, YES!

Because of the small crowd, they were only playing five places. When we got down to six-handed, three players had around 22,000, another player and I had just over 40,000 and there was a big stack with around 120,000 (just less than half the chips in play. Someone suggested a chop and big stack didn't want to, naturally. We did agree to give whoever busted out 6th $100. They often do this as kind as a goodwill gesture. Nobody wants to make the final six and walk away with nothing.

Guess what? Who do you think was the next player to bust? Yes, it was Mr. Big Stack who didn't want to chop. He played every pot and raised every pot. When someone moved all in, he was pot committed. One hand he had pocket 10s against AK, but the rest were a joke. One he had 8 7, for example.

Anyway, the blinds finally were 4000/8000/1000 and I had around 36,000 in chips. If a player made a standard raise, he would be pot committed, so there was lots of shoving going on. I picked up K Q and moved all in. The new big stack called with A J making him around a 55% favorite to my 45%. The board came with two more aces (which didn't matter, I didn't improve so his Ace high hand would have beat me), and I was finished in 5th place.

EDIT: I cited the percentages above from memory, and, guess what? Um, right. Anyway, I used the poker calculator for Card Player's web site and these are the correct percentages: The AJ was 59.87% and I was 39.67%. They don't add up to 100% because there could be ties.

After tipping the dealers, my profit on the evening was $65, but that's how tournament poker goes. It's largely hit or miss, and even if you hit, the big money is at the top.

Here are two photos of Harrah's Casino at night that I took as I left:

Have a good weekend everyone.


  1. Assuming that you've left already, hope you had a great weekend Memphis!
    Nice run Friday night. Nothing wrong with the word profit! No matter how big or how small.

  2. Not to worry, I missed the TF Open as well this week.

    Nice work on making the money. Hope you had a great weekend.

  3. Missed you at TF, but sounds like you had a good time. Internet is fun, but there is nothing like live poker. And, nice finish.