dimanche 8 février 2009

Motherfucking deuces

Well I'm fucking done with this tournament. Back in my hotel room. Things are looking grim here, to be honest. I'm steaming like a motherfucker. If it wasn't for the total lack of rope in the room, I'm pretty sure I would have already hung myself to the bath curtain holder. Mad, Lina and many others are on a board, giving some support on MSN. Anyway, here's my recap. Tons of shit happened. It's gonna be a long read. Cliff Notes for the lazy ones : I'm fucking done.

I had a rough start on Day 2, terribly misplaying a hand during the first hour, then showing tons of patience till I finally got a hand to double up. Then I played some good poker and my chips went up steadily. Then I busted out against some fucking asstwat. Read it all below.

Blinds : 600/1,200, ante 100. My stack : 78,900

We start the day with 97 players remaining out of 154. The average stack is 79,381, and that's pretty much what I got into my possession. At my starting table, last year's winner, you remember him from yesterday, some french, some random people, and one great player : british Paul Jackson, who got famous by trying to bluff Phil Ivey with 5 high, only to get bluffed back with Q high, that was four years ago at the Monte Carlo millions but it remains one of the most discussed hands of televised tournament poker (for cash-games, the crown goes to Gus making quads against Negreanu during HSP)

Anyways, I was pretty nervous going into Day 2, I felt like I didn't have enough chips and wanted action. Yesterday I was not worried at all when the tournament started, but today I'm not feeling that good. And it gets worse when I look at the hands I'm getting dealt : nothing remotely playable for 45 minutes. I might be playing too tight : at some point I fail to call a small raise in position with 89 of diamonds, against Paul Jackson. I guess I was afraid to play against him. Ah well.

So, first level of the day isn't over yet and I'm already frustrated at how things are going. It shows a lack of patience on my part, I guess. This must explains what happened next. Disclaimer : if your allergic to donkey smell, skip directly to the next paragraph, cause it's not pretty. The cutoff, a nice, middle-aged guy who made numerous attempts at speaking french, raises to 3,200. I'm on the button with A3 of clubs. I call, and both blinds join the party. Flop is Q76 with two clubs. I have the nut flush draw. The blinds check and action goes back to the original raiser. There's like 13,500 in the pot, but he elects to overbet by shipping his entire stack in the middle for 28,000. If you read the disclaimer above, you already figured out what I did : I pushed my stack over the top for 68,000 total. I guess you can call that a brain fart. I had no business putting my money here with what looked to be nine outs. Unless my Ace was live, I was not in good shape. But I remain a gambler at heart, and couldn't resist to play a big pot with a flush draw – an habit that cost me tons of money in the past. Both blinds folded and nice old dude showed two-pair with 76 of spades. Great, I only had 8 outs. Turn is a 7 and I'm drawing dead, the old fart has made a full house. Fuck this motherfucking shit.

I'm fucking gutted. I feel like I've just thrown my tournament out the fucking window.

Blinds : 800/1,600, ante 200. My stack : a disastrous 37,400

I put my saddest and/or angriest face ever, and kept on playing despite wanting to be everywhere but sitting down at a poker table. At least I wasn't tilting. I was pissed, but no the extent of going out on a bold, silly move.

I didn't know it at the time, but over the next hour I wouldn't be playing a single hand. At all. I got dealt Q6 and T2 something like twenty times in a row, and kept folding as a result. It would have took a Phil Ivey to do something with my cards. Phil Ivey I'm not, and I duly folded all of my junk hands. Twice I got dealt AJ off, and twice I had to make an obvious fold after UTG had raised – I couldnt afford to call a raise with so few chips, and I couldn't go all in : I would have looked silly upon being snap-called by Ace-Queen, or Jacks.

Blinds : 1,000/2,000, ante 1,000. My stack : 28,000

I spent the break alone, as far away from the tournament room as I can. I didn't want to talk to anyone. In my mind I would come back in the room in a few minutes, bust out and go back to my room to break a chair, or the TV. My Ipod was playing angry, frustrated songs about sex by Weezer. I was angry and frustrated, not about sex but about poker, which is a welcomed change but I was still pretty pissed off.

I have 14 big blinds in front of me when the game resumes, and it's as desperate as you can get in a deep stack tournament. First hand, I'm on the big blind with AQ off. Someone raises in middle position, and I obviously push all my chips in the middle, still looking pissed. I'm good at this. The guy actually thinks about it for a while, before calling, showing AQ. Well, at least it's gonna take some fucking bad luck to bust out here. Nope, we split the pot as expected. Next hand I fold QJ off from the SB after a raise from Paul Jackson. Again there's nothing I can do with QJ here.

Then, finally, after two hours, I get dealt my first pocket pair of the day. It was about fucking time, and it's fucking Aces. Sweet. UTG raises to 6,000. I'm next to act and again, it's a no brainer, I ship my 29,800 stack in. Slowplaying would be really bad as any remotely good player would smell a rat and fold hands that they would be calling with. My neighboor – another French guy – tanks for a while and makes the call. Action is back to original raiser who folds AT. His hand is great news to me as Frenchie flips over TT – he has one out. The board plays safe and I double up to 63,900. Huge, grateful, immense sigh of relief.

Immediately after, I get moved to a new table. I don't recognize anyone. There are three french there, though, and they are loudly conversing in their native language, blatantly ignoring the tournament rules. The dealer doesnt seem to mind. I quickly play a hand – 85 of diamonds, for free in the big blind. Flop is Q84 offsuit, and I donk-bet 3,000. There's one caller. We both check the turn and river – 7 and J – and my pair is good. What the fuck was he calling me with ? Is it gonna be a good table ? Hope so.

Then I decide to have some fun with my new found chips. I raise T7 off on the button. French guy puts on a totally unnecessary silly act, taking one minute to put on hideous lighting sunglasses, before going all-in. I insta fold and ask him if he thinks this is funny. He was a nice guy and a reader of my blog, so I'm gonna try not to be too harsh with him.

Blinds : 1,200/2,400, ante 300. My stack : 60,300

Now, sit back while the game turns into a David Lynch movie. A few minutes earlier, I was wondering if my new table would be a good one. It turns out pretty quick that the answer to this question is a huge, resounding YES. Oh my god, the plays I've witnessed during my time there. We're playing a deep-stacked tournament with a €1,500 buy-in, yet everyone at my table except for ONE guy was making plays that they would get berated for during a $10 online SNG. I swear to God. Here's the highlights of the horror I had to sit in front of :

- A guy calls a 5K raise out of position leaving himself with 12,000. He gives up on the flop !

- Same guy has 10,000 left. He limps on the button for 2,000. He gives up on the flop ! I double up this guy moments after with KJ suited against his AJ that he confidenlty pushed with zero fold equity. Luckily for him, he had the only hand I would raise with that he could easily beat.

- Another french guy makes a funky 32,000 min-raise on a drawy flop, something like 467 with two hearts. Original bettor goes all-in. The min-raiser folds leaving himself with 40,000 after having invested half his stack ! And the best is, take a deep breath : he claims – and I have no reason to think he's lying – that he had a straight and a flush draw ! At that point I'm shaking my head in disbelief, and pray to get a hand soon so I can put one of those guys out of their misery.

- Same guy has now 35,000 left, which amounts to fifteen big blinds. Someone goes all-in early position for 17,000. The guy calls without hesitation and flips over KT of diamonds ! He's up against Tens of obviously spikes his three-outer on the turn. After-hand chat : « You were not in good shape here. » Reply : « Well, I had the kings and the diamond draw. » France is the only country in the world where we play our flush draws BEFORE the flop.

- A micro stack limps with Kings (!!!) after one guy had already limped. He doesnt bet on a KJ2 flop with 2 clubs (!!!), then min-raises on the 3 turn (!!!). He gets called in two places and checks (!!!) when the 7 of clubs is turned over on the river. One guy still have the balls to pull a bluff with AQ. The micro stacks announces « Well, I'm beat but now it's too late ! », he calls and he's truly amazed that he won the hand – and tripled up - with his set. I am, too, since played his hand in the worst possible fashion on every fucking street. A hard feat to accomplish if you ask me. After-hand analysis between donks : « Yeah, you optmized you hand pretty good, here. Well played. » I'm almost peeing in my pants.

- A guy bets with KQ off on a 789 flop with two hearts. He gets raised, but calls anyway (!), even though his opponent doesnt have much chips left. The rest of the money goes on the Q turn, and guy with KQ thinks he has the absolute nuts. Poor fool, he's drawing dead against T6 for a straight.

- Another french opens preflop for 15,000 (remember, the blinds are 1,200/2,400) After the hand I ask him « Was that a missclick ? » Reply : « Yeah, I wanted to raise 12,000 ! » I try my best not to burst out laughing, but eventually fail.

Meanwhile, I play only a few hands, which, as you now understand, is a shame, since I'm ought to make a lot of money if I can flop something good. I still manage to call a raise with 99 from the small blind. My opponent (guy who called me previously when I had 85 of diamonds) and me both check the QT-rag flop. I donk-bet 4,000 on the Q turn, he calls quickly. I spike a 9 on the river to give me a nice full-house, but I'm 100% certain I didnt need it. I bet 10,000, he snap-calls faster that lightning, and mucks, obviously. Next hand same guy goes all-in for 45,000, and I duly fold my AJ suited.

Then one tricky hand where I thought I might bust out right here, right now. The french fish who likes to opens for 7BB preflop calls from the small blind. I'm on the BB, and discover a nice, bad-ass looking pair of Kings. I put 6,000 extra. He snap-calls, obviously, since lack of position and lack of a good hand never stopped him to put chips in the pot before.

The flop is K84, ALL diamonds. I have a set. He checks, I bet 7,000. He checks his cards, which is a sure sign he's a fish in my book. He snap-calls after looking. Most of the time (I'll say 90%) he has only one diamond here. So I give him 10% for a flopped flush, he could have checked his cards to verify he indeed had the flush. But I'm doubtful. So I know I'm gonna put more money on any non-diamond turn.

Turn is a 6 of hearts. He checks, I bet 15,000, and he starts making a motion to snap-call, then stops and start thinking about it. Now, unless he's Marlon Brando in Streetcar, he has zero chance of having a flush already. That idiot is drawing and wondering if it's worth it to peel one last card for an expensive price. He ultimately decides it's not, and folds.

VERY next hand, a very nitty lady opens UTG. I think it's the first time she raises since I arrived at this table. It folds to me on the SB, I have AK offsuit. For fuck's sake, against any other one it was a clear reraise, but against her, I dunno, she has Tens or better, I'm not even sure she would raise UTG with AQ here ! Still, my hand is too good to play it passively. I ask her how much she got left (50K is the answer), and reraise to 16,000. She tanks before going all-in. I snap-call as I didn't raise my monster to fold to a shove, and nitty lady shows Jacks. It's a fucking race ! Flop is Q52 and I shake my head. Turn is an Ace and my heart starts pumping. No disaster on the river, and I bust out my second player of the tournament. I feel fucking great.

Immediately after this somewhat lucky hand, our table breaks and I'm moved to a new table with a 150,000 stack. The dream is over as I say goodbye to my former fishy table, and I'm welcomed at the new one by a sea of sharks. The casting : my friend Stuart Rutter (a good, tricky british player), John (the bastard who busted me last year with set over set – kidding, he's cool and also a good player), one old solid Irish (or British dude), one guy with pretty wide ranges, and the french guy who tried to make a move on me yesterday during level 1. Pretty much all of those guys have tons of chips. I know the game is now gonna be very tough, and on top of this, I proceed to install a great table image (sic) by losing the first three hands I play :

- I call a raise with TT, three players in the hand, I fold on a drawy Jack-high flop. Frenchie shows a Jack, OK.

- I raise with AJ, get called in position in two places, and check/Fold the 9 high flop. Opponent shows me TT.

- Then a bigger one. I limp early with Nines. Stuart Rutter limps in position, and tricky frenchie raises from the button. I'm not folding. Neither is Stu. Flop is 862 offsuit. Everyone checks. Turn is a 7, I have an open-ended straight draw and, given the flop action, I feel I have the best hand. I bet 12,000. Stuart raises to 30K. Frenchie snap folds. I have absolutely no idea what my british friend has, and the safest option is simply to fold. If he's bluffing, well played. But if I call here, I'm prolly gonna have to face a big bet on the river, and unless I hit, I won't be able to call. Better to stop the bleeding here and folds. Stu shows a 6 while raking the nice pot. I had dinner with Stu afterwards and he said he had a set of sixes. I believe him.

Finally, I win a pot during the last hand of this incredibly filled-with-action level. John raises UTG and I call with KQ of clubs. Flop is Q high. I check call a bet. Turn is a blank, we check. River is another blank. Now it's pretty obvious that I have John beat, but there's not point in betting. If I bet here, John is gonna fold most of the time. My profit = zero. If I check, he also gonna check most of the time (for the same profit), but he will sometimes try to bluff (heres goes your profit) Anyway, John dwells, contemplates a bet, then says « I give up ». He shows 66, I show my pair and rake the pot. It's time for dinner-break. Man, so much happened during that hour !

Blinds 1,500/3,000, ante 300. My stack : 139,000

Back from the excellent buffet (despite contrary opinions from several players I spoke with, I enjoyed the meat & potatoes food), I get off to a bad post-dinner start by defending my BB with A7dd before weakly check/folding a missed flop. Then I call with 24 of hearts from the small blind, and John raises. I have to give up.

I don't get much playable hands. After a while, I raise with the good old 75dd, since I have been sleeping for two orbits. I take down the blinds and antes. Then I raise to 8,000 with AK off from the hijack. Loose/passive player calls from the big blind. He check folds on the TT4 offsuit flop after my 10,500 continuation bet. I won't say my tight image is working – I'd rather say he had a shitty hand and therefore no reason to call me.

Then I make one of my rare three-bet when a tight, bit short-stacked Winamax qualifier raises to 8,500 from the button. I pop it to 22,000 from the SB with AQ of clubs. He tanks and I start wondering : what will I do if he shoves ? He has about 100,000. I think for a few minutes while my opponent is doing some thinking of his own, and when I finally conclude I won't call a shove since he's so tight, his cards hit the muck and I take down the pot.

Then I get somewhat lucky. I raise with AQ off in early position. A big-stacked newcomer calls from the BB. Flop is 992 with two diamonds. This time I don't c-bet. He checks, and so do I. Turn is a five of diamonds. I have the Queen of diamonds and he checks again, so I don't see any reason not to bet. I put 5,000 accross the line. He calls. River is the sweetest Ace of spades ever. It's always the fucking Aces of spades ! He checks one last time, and I make a nice 17,000 value bet. My opponent doesnt wait long before calling, and cannot beat my rivered pair. A nice pot to end the level ! Important thing to note : at this table I really felt that I needed hands to win chips. I had tough opposition on my left and not much blind stealing opportunities. Actually, during my time at the table I didn't raised Stu and John's blinds from the button, not a single time.

Blinds : 2,000/4,000, ante 500. My stack ; 178,500

I feel confident and call again from the SB, to John's BB. This time he checks, and I bet 4,000 on the J77 flop with my T6 suited. He mucks. Yay ! Then I raise with 88 and take down the blinds and antes.

The guy that I beat with AQ before limps, and I follow in with KQ off on the cutoff. Four players total see the flop QJJ (with two spades, I have none). It's checked around. First limper bets 6,000 on the 8 turn, I call and we're heads up. River is a beautiful Queen, not that I think I needed it. Limper bets 10,000. I raise to 30,000 and he folds after Hollywooding for a few seconds. Next hand, I limp again with QJ, but fold to a Rutter raise.

Then I raise with 97 of diamonds, a hand that did me lot of good yesterday, and the guy that I now beat twice at this table calls from the BB. Flop is AT9 with two spades – I don't feel good about this hand. Guy checks and I also check, before folding to a bed on the Jack turn. He shows me an Ace – I lost the minimum.

Then I'm moved to a new table, the one that they will use to play the final – so I'm almost assured I won't have to move for the rest of Day 2. At this new table : two short-stacks, one of the fishes from my dream table (who's gonna lose chips making another silly plays), Michael Greco (brit actor turned poker player but still an actor, final tabled the WSOP event that Winamax's Davidi Kitai won, nice guy it seems) and Jean-Philippe, another Winamax qualifier, with a healthy stack.

A short-stack raises, I fold KJ suited in the cutoff seat, and the level is over.

Blinds : 3,000/6,000, ante 500. My stack : 168,000

42 players are left, seated around five tables. The money spots still seem pretty far away, as only 15 players will receive monetary compensation for their efforts. The average stack is 183,000. I have less than 30 big blinds, something I'm not happy with. And it's getting worse when I raise to 15K with 88, from the hijack position. The big blind (the guy who bluffed me late into Day 1 yesterday) shoves for an extra 46K. Well, I'm not sure about the pot odds, I called rather quickly after asking for the count. I'm up against AK and lose the coin-flip (coin-flip record in that tourney : two wins, one loss, not bad)

I'm down to 100K when the weirdest hand of the entire tournament happens. I raise to 16K UTG with 99. Jean-Philippe is on the button and hasn't noticed I raise. He puts 15,000 for what was prolly a steal-attempt on the button, but maybe not. There's a fuss and the dealer rules he has to make a min-raise – 26,000 total. I don't know what to do. In retrospect I think I misplayed the rest of the hand. Instead of 4-betting all-in, I just call, putting myself in the position to see an ugly flop. At the moment I was thinking « I don't wanna go all-in and get snap called by Queens or Kings. » But given the way I played on the flop, I might as well have shoved. Anyway, the flop is T65 with two spades. I check with the intention of going all-in. I cannot really explain the thinking process behind the decision. I guess I felt that I found the flop that I wanted – ie no A, K, Q or J. Jean-Philippe bets 15,000 again. I ship my 85K. He tanks for so long that I'm convinced I have the best hand. Therefore I look confident, and he finally folds. For no reason, I show my Nines. Later, I'll talk with JP about the hand. He'll reveal he had a Ten ! I'm truly and utterly amazed. How could he fold there ? It was obvious I didn't have an overpair. He said that he « would have called against anyone but you ». Dunno what to make of that statement – the guy folded because he didn't wanted me go out ! Or so I understood... I cannot believe the lucky escape I just got.

Then I get a walk with 63 off, and still the blinds with AJ off and QJ suited. I fold KQ off after a limp and a raise. Michael Greco goes out with KK vs 99. Level is over, and it was a tough one. I'm not excited about the blinds going up.

Blinds : 4,000/8,000, ante 500. My stack : 151,500

I notice it's been a while since we saw a flop. Play has become much more pre-flop oriented now that the stacks aren't so deep anymore. 35 players are left – 20 to go till the money. The average stack is 30 big blinds. I'm still waiting for a real, solid hand that plays easily. I know, I'm asking a lot, but I need to catch a break soon with less than 20BB.

And... The following happened, just a few minutes into the level. A guy who doubled just after arriving at the table makes a big raise to 32,000 from the cut-off. I'm in the SB and I look down at two beautiful Kings. To call or not to call ? I decide to raise right here. I make it 90,000 total. BB fold and the raiser INSTANTLY goes all-in (I insist, instantly) for 130K total – only 40K more than my own reraise (meaning : NO fold equity)

He pushed so fast I figured I was in for a good old KK vs AA confrontation. But of course, I still called, and I jumped out of my chair when I saw his hand. Pocket Deuces !! wtf zomg !!!1 I'm in great shape on the flop, then turn, until the river comes : a deuce. A motherfucking deuce. To add insult to the injury, I tapped the table saying « good game » to the guy, thinking I had made a flush on the turn and had the guy drawing dead. But no, I lost that 275,000 pot. I remain calm but I have to ask the guy how come he could play his hand so badly. The bastard is shrugging his shoulders, saying : « Could I play my hand any other way ? » was his answer. What a fucking tool. Now I'm on tilt, for real, but it's not gonna last long, as I have only two Big Blinds left. I duly ship it the next hand, folded to me on the button. My king high loses against the small blind's higher king high, and I'm fucking out of that fucking tournament in 34th position.

That's it, folks. I'm satisfied with my overall performance, except for a few blunders there and there – including a major one that I hope I will never make again. Any feedback will be gladly welcomed. That two-part recap went on longer than necessary, but I felt that this fantastic tournament deserved such a report. I don't think I would have that much to write about any EPT, where the structures aren't that good. Here I played tons of hands during 18 hours, went trough tons of fun situations, went up, and down, and up, and down, in short, I played poker. Hats off to Mike Lacey and his staff for putting up this great tournament. This was my only tournament of the year. Needless to say, I'll be there for the 2010 edition.

This is me dressed as a poker player. I had just won my first big hands of the day (hence the smile), but I had just been moved to a very tough table and was quite nervous (hence the not-so-wide smile)

12 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Never trust in Kings in Dublin...

Gab Santoro a dit…

Ah sucks! Sorry Benjo........!!

Anonyme a dit…

Sorry Benjo...

Anonyme a dit…

sorry for you, but why not reraise all in rather than 90000. he seemed like a donk so don't give him the opportunity to act like one.

chokapik a dit…

Dommage benjo, beau parcours malgré tout ;)

Saloperie de 2 !!

Anonyme a dit…


Benjo a dit…

>flashwade : well I don't mind him going all-in rather than folding. It's a great result as I'm a huge favorite. I'm just unhappy with the eventual outcome :-)

Xerxes a dit…

J'aurais juste callé son raise et j'aurais shippé le flop s'il n'y avait pas de 2.

Mais je suis un nit !

Benjo a dit…

Très beau level Xerxes

Anonyme a dit…

Dur dur la sortie ... Bravo pour ton tournoi quand même, et pour tes goûts musicaux ;)(l'album pinkerton i guess)

Anonyme a dit…

Hey Benjo,

wonderful report (part 1 and 2), I so much enjoyed reading it, the typical mix of poker related and non poker related flow of words.

We never speak seriously about poker that much, except when I join you to comment the EPT live, but I have to say that I was impressed by the level of thinking of your general report, and you already know it, I m a big fan of your work, and am very happy to have you with us on the "W" clan.

'nugh said lol

GG and congrats to Yu btw


Pauly a dit…

You should write more in English (much to the chagrin to your French fans).