Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Odds and ends
The three days of the Seniors Event are becoming a blur and I wanted to blog about some of it, before I forget.
There were 4425 players who entered ranging from bracelet winners to rank beginners. The oldest was a 93-year-old guy. He lasted five hours. I'm doing this from texts and tweets, so should be accurate. At the end of the day, there were 490 runners left with 468 to be paid. I was around 225th with 22,000 chippies (we started with 3000).
The second day ended with 32 of us left. My stack was about 220,000. I was 25th. Notice, I haven't had a big stack the whole tournament, but rather just hanging around. Survive and advance, I called one of my blog posts.
My next tweet was after two hours play on Sunday and says I suddenly have 665.000 chips. Oddly, I don't remember how I got them. I remember players were busting out with hands I wouldn't have played. I'm not sure if aggression is the natural style of some of these people, or if they were nervous and playing fast and loose.
The same thing happened at the final table. Player on my right raised, and I three-bet him with ♣A ♣K. The villain went all in, I made the call and he turned over ♥A ♥6! You have to be kidding me?? He bricked and my stack received a nice boost as he was eliminated, and I moved up the pay ladder. Moving up was not my goal, that was something that just happened.
Another guy had 19 big blinds and moved all in from under the gun. Another player called and it was on me on the button where I had 8-8. The commentators were slightly surprised I folded, but that was the easiest fold I've ever made. What can I beat? According to the odds calculator, With the actual hands, I would have been the favorite, but still only 43% to win the hand. If either of them had a pair, it rated to be above mine and I would have been crushed. I trust my play enough to wait for a better spot.
The original shover had K-Q. To shove with that with 19 bigs is not recommended. Just make a normal raise, and if you get three-bet, you can get away from it and still have 16.5 big blinds. He made a questionable play and was punished. Now the next guy had A-K. Do you flat call with that and let somebody else (like me with a pair) come along? No, you shove to isolate. Another questionable play, imo, but he won a big pot so what can I say?
Another guy busted out with A-9 (might have been suited, hearts). He raised, was three-bet, and went all in. Really? All in with A-9 when you've been raised? (Unless you are short stacked.) The other player had 10-10 and his pair held to eliminate the A-9.
I just sat there and smiled. If players want to eliminate themselves (and move me up the pay scale), that works for me.
When we were three-handed, I opened up my game. I moved up to about 4 million winning hands with 2-4 (twice), 10-x and ♣9 ♣6. Then I went card dead. I watched a replay and I had a steady diet of 5-3 off-suit, 10-2 off, and so forth. It was brutal to sit there and fold hand after hand, but I did. The commentators noticed and commented, but (as my friend Kate says) they didn't look at the data. Was I folding playable hands, no just staying out of trouble.
My stack drifted down to 2.6 million when busto came. Maas limped, Hiemiller called from the small blind. I looked down to see A-10 off and shoved, expecting to win the pot right there. Instead, Hiemiller called after a long thought and turned over pocket 4s. The odds calculator says he is actually a 52.75% favorite to my 46.78% with a .46% chance of a tie. If only an ace or 10 had come, I would have been back in the ballgame and going for big things. If only two pair had come on the board counterfeiting him. I wasn't unhappy when he called, actually.
What was it like at the final table? No drinks or cell phones on the table. If you wanted to text, you were supposed to go to the rail. My phone was charging, so I didn't text at all.
The cards were thicker than normal and felt funny to touch. The reason is there was a microchip inside. When we got our cards, we had to move them to two marks on the table. Underneath, there was an RFD reader that read the cards and transmitted them to the production booth. The dealer had an earpiece, and when one of us forgot to place the cards there, the booth would ask her to relay to us to put their cards in the proper location. The cards also had large suit symbols and rank symbols. I assume that was so they would be easier to see on television (actually live streaming) and for the spectators to see when relayed to a TV monitor.
Was I nervous? Surprisingly, no I felt calm. When I watched it on the archive of the live stream, it confirmed my feeling. Why relaxed? I was playing with house money, no reason to be nervous. At least, that was my thought at the time. I've been exposed to pressure time and again in my bridge career, so that probably helped.
Did I have a posse or fans railing me? No, only the guy I came out here with, Sim. The online rail, however, was awesome. Players were texting me, tweeting me, retweeting my tweets, and leaving comments on my blog. I could feel the support. I honestly believe it helped me play better. Everybody likes to think people are rooting for them, and I thank each of you. My friend Kate texted me that I played with class. Not sure what she meant exactly, but I take it as a high compliment.
What's next? I've been asked am I playing in the Main Event. Before coming out, I had won about four grand in recent tournaments. I decided that if I won another $6000 or close to it, I would play the Main. Well, I surpassed that obviously and playing the Main Event can be crossed off my bucket list. I'm coming out for the Hollywood Poker Open late this month and will stick around for the Main. My starting day is Saturday, July 5.
You can see all the results here.
If you have any questions, fire away and I'll try and answer them.
Images taken with my point-and-shoot.