There have been a lot of live tournaments on the East Coast lately, but unfortunately I haven't gotten to play in many. Since Event 1 of the Borgata Spring Open work was too crazy to play anything else, although I did drive down last Wednesday to rail Matt Matros as he made it to the final three tables of the Main Event.
He had the eventual winner drawing to 3 outs when the dude shoved A3o from utg+1 and Matt woke up w/ JJ in the bb. Obv an A hit, and the guy then made Matt's life fairly miserable, three betting a ton and playing really tough on his left. Matt four bet the guy all in after he three bet for about the fifth time (Matt's button v. him in the sb) and the kid took forever and finally called w/ AJss. Matt had KQ and couldn't suck out.
That left Matt short and although he made the final table he eventually busted 9th. I had a good time railing him and Matt Glantz (who I played with last summer in the WSOP Horse and a WSOP Circuit event in the fall, and I think is one of the coolest poker guys I've ever met). The kid who won, a guy named Russell Crane, I've seen around at a decent amount of Borgata tourneys, and he does seem like a nice guy. I also met MrPerfekt, who was this super sweet kid who finished fifth. At one point when I was on the rail I overheard him telling his friends how his mom was dissing him and at Tropicana but told him she was gonna go him rather than rail him. Eventually she showed up and I joked w/ him about it, making a new poker buddy in the process.
If you didn't catch Matt on CNN, you can watch the clip here. Don't miss the cameo appearance by the CR table mod. I thought it would look super cheesy for Matt to be wearing a CR patch, so I suggested he have CR wallpaper on his computer, or make sure they showed a CR video since they told him ahead of time they wanted to film him at his computer. Great success!
Watching Matt had me jonesing for more live tourneys, so this weekend Kev and I headed to beautiful Chester, PA to play in one of the first WSOP-C events there. We were already in Philly for the Phillies/Mets game Friday night (LOL Mets) and stayed with friends. We woke up to discover a flat tire on Saturday morning, but that did not deter us!
The turnout was fairly pathetic, I think the noon tourney (ring event) got about 180, and they were clearly planning for more. I chipped up on two hands, one where I hit 2p w/ JTcc and a guy paid me on three streets, and another where I flopped tp with AK and a lady called me down with AQ. We had three women at my starting table, which is rare, even moreso b/c there were probably only 7 women in the whole tournament.
My table was really chatty, and the highlight was when the guy to my left (Jason) and a guy across the table (Ryan) tried to make a bet on whether a bb could take his cards back after he mucked out of turn, and then whether, if they called the floor over, the floor would have to call someone else over. The floor woman who was closest to our table seemed lovely, but had been called over already about four times, and each time she had to go check with someone else for a final ruling. They finally seemed to agree to a bet, but when Ryan called the floor over, he yelled for a guy named Jimmy really loudly, which caused Jason (and the table consensus) to call him an angleshooter and cancel the bet.
It caused loud arguing and lots of stares from the other table, but eventually it blew over and we got back to business. Then I raised AQo on the button, Jason rred about half his stack from the sb and I put him in. He had KJo and hit a J on the flop, which quieted me down a little and left me with 30 bbs. About ten minutes later there was a min raise from ep, a call and then a guy who just sat down raised on the button to 3k. I looked down at AKcc and shipped it in. Sadly he had AA and that was the end of the tournament.
Kev was still in and I was torn on what to do. There was a 4pm second chance (I busted around 4:15) but I was starving, so I hit the noodle bar, grabbed some spring rolls, and Kev persuaded me via text to play the second chance. I wasn't in a great mood, but still felt like I had more poker in me. I registered with about 5 min left till reg closed, and arrived to receive a 40 bb stack. The next level came 5 min later and all of a sudden I had 22 bbs 10 minutes into the tournament. I raised AQ but c/folded a 775 flop. One of the callers nicely showed 99. Then I moved tables, raised QQ and got shoved by AQss and won that hand, pushing me up to almost 30 bbs. Until the final two tables, I never got close to this stack size again, and even then I think I barely got over 30 bbs the entire tournament.
I raised AQo and this older woman running like a god insta shipped all in. I wouldn't normally raise fold AQo with that stack, but just didn't see any way I wasn't completely dominated. She nicely showed KK after I folded. I grinded for the next few hours and don't think I was involved in many (any?) showdowns. It was mostly raising pf and taking down the blinds, or shoving all in over limps or raises. The play was...interesting. A guy raised 4x on the button w/ 11 bbs and folded to my sb shove. Wat? That actually happened a few times.
I got shoved on holding 88 in the bb when we were down to final two tables, and was up against 77. Another guy said he folded a 7, but didn't matter, 7 binked on river for me to get back to under 10 bbs. I shoved AJo and when the guy w/ lots of chips behind me went all in behind I figured I was toast. He had AK, but board straighted for me and I was still alive. Then this old guy limped utg and I shoved 15bbs w/ TT. He decided he just had to call w/ his KQo and hit a K (boo), but the flop had two diamonds and the turn and river both came diamonds and I was turning away from the table when someone yelled out flush. I was happy. :)
I went to the final table with a decent stack, and we had one guy who refused to pay the bubble boy and one guy who refused to chop (the dude who lost AK to my AJ). I didn't mind, as I"m not a big fan of paying bubble boy and at the time I was very happy to continue playing. I actually think playing 10-20 bb stacks is a weakness in my live tournament game b/c I can get impatient, so I was happy to have the practice, and really happy overall with how I played the tournament.
I think we were down to 8 players (ITM, woo hoo) when this guy who was limping a lot limped once again from the hijack. I had raised him once earlier w/ AJdd and he folded, but when I saw KJo in the sb I decided to call. Blinds were 1500/3k/500.The bb checked and the flop came QT9. BOOYAH! Both blinds checked and the guy bet out 15k, leaving himself less behind. I put him all in and won a nice pot v. his Q9o.
I lost a pot when a guy w/ 12 bbs min rred my open at 2k/4k/500 and I shoved him w/ ATo. He'd been playing pretty snug and in hindsight I think I should have folded based on reads, but that hand v. his AA put me down to about 16 bbs, and took away some of my abiliy to raise/fold. By that time we were down to 6 players, and some guys who had been pushing for a chop starting pushing for it again. There was one guy on the shorter side, but most of us had between 15 and 20 bbs and I agreed to do a six way chop for slightly less than 2nd place money. It seemed like a huge crapshoot and even though I thought I had an edge over most if not all of the remaining players I was hungry and tired, and woulda been annoyed to bust 6th for $700. I took my $2049 fairly happily, and headed home in a good mood until we hit ridiculous traffic on the turnpike.
I wish I lived a little closer to live poker so I could play tournaments more frequently, and also that UIGEA had never been passed so I could still play online. SIGH!
This is getting long, but quick recap from when I went to a town hall that my local Congressman held last week. I showed up a little late and there were about 20 members of the public there to ask questions and interact. I let a few people go ahead of me, and then when the more active members of the audience chilled out I asked him about his stance on playing online poker and making it a priority to pass legislation regulating it, and told him a little about my experience as an online poker player. He said he supported peoples' rights to personal freedom and had supported a bill in the past but that for anything to get passed it has to get past Spencer Bachus and he doesn't see that happening. I consider the trip a success because at least he now knows that the online poker legislation impacts at least one person in his district, and the next time it comes up he will remember the discussion we had. I also like to think I educated some members of the audience on a new revenue source, one that most of them hadn't thought of, so there's that. It feels like we are so far removed from the political process and have so little impact on the priorities our legislators set, that it gave me a small glimmer of hope that I could have a teeny tiny bit of influence.