Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Project Phaser: Phase 3.2 (Bay 101 $400) Don't Call It a Comeback

We started with 25K chips and 227 players putting up the $400 buy in today at Bay 101. 27 spots were in the money with 27th paying $720, 9th paying $1,430 with steady pay jump all the way up to $22,220 for 1st.

I ordered breakfast as soon as I got there during the early levels and it was goooooooooood!

And here is what it looks like in there. This is a terrible picture and I will try to do better next time.

I got into my first big hand of the day 2 hours in with blinds of 300/600 with a 600 big blind ante. The cutoff raised to 1,500 and I made a speculative call in the big blind with 65 of spades. The flop came down K 3 2 with two clubs, I checked and my opponent bet 2,200 and I made a loose call. My plan here was to either A) hit a 4 B) have him check back the turn and then fire the river no matter what C) bluff any club on the turn D) hit a 5 or a 6 and somehow make it to showdown and win against a hand like AJ.

The turn was a great card for plan C, the 3 of clubs. I bet out 4,500 and after thinking for a bit he called. I was considering if I should bet again when plan A came into play - I hit a red 4 making me a straight! I bet 7,500 and my opponent quickly folded. This put me up to 37K chips.

A little later with blinds of 600/1200 there was a raise to 2,600 and a call. I looked down at pocket aces! Oh baby! I made it 8,500 hoping that someone would think I was squeezing and come back at me. The raiser called, the other guy folded and the flop came down Q 5 3 with two clubs. After some hesitation the villain shoved for about 15K and I snap called him. He turned over 99, the board bricked out and I was up to 60K.

At the 1000/1500 blinds level I made a pretty ballsy play. I was in the small blind and just called with K5 off. I'd had 4 hands where everyone had folded to me in the small blind and I'd raised the big blind every time. Once he'd called, twice he'd folded and once he three bet shoved on me. I figured for 500 with 4,000 already in the pot it was worth it to go for a limp. He checked his option and the flop came down A T 3 rainbow.

This is a spot where neither of us should have an ace and there are no draws so I fired out 3,500 thinking it would probably get through. Even if this looks suspicion most players don't have the stones to make a move. To my surprise my opponent made it 8,000 to go. I had absolutely nothing, but I took a closer look at the board and thought about what he could have. Setting aside preflop considerations there is no way he'd flop a set here and then raise me when on the flop so I threw out AA, TT and 33. If I really can rule out him having an A, then I'm left with T3 as the only hand I really have to worry about. No other hands can stand a raise and there is a ton of other shit he could have. So I jacked it up to 25K to go and he quickly folded. You think you playing with kids man?! Get that shit outta here!

That one put me up to 90K but I quickly blew off 2/3 of my stack. I lost 13K when I raised to 4K with A3 suited on the button and called the big blinds all in. He had K6 and hit a K. Next, I raised 44 to 5,500, got called, fired 9K at the flop and my opponent shoved on me. Finally, I just called with AJ out of the big blind, called the flop on a Q T 5 board, bluffed at the turn when a T came, gave up on the river and lost to QJ.

I lost a little more to blinds and antes and was down to 33K. Yuck!

Then I had a total reverse. With blinds of 1K/2K (don't forget the 2K ante) two players just called the 2K and I ripped it with 77! Rip! The first caller immediately called off his 25K stack and I thought I'd been duped by someone limping in with AA. To my amazement he had 55 and my hand held. Two hands later I raised AQ to 6K and the small blind shoved for 50K! This would normally be a tight spot, but this guy was a super aggro young guy who was blasting all in with random shit on a regular basis so I did not hesitate in calling. He had J8 of diamonds and the board ran out garbage. Get THAT shit out of here too!

All of a sudden I was up to 110K with 81 players left when the average stack was 70K. I got accolades from my table mates on my turnaround. Speaking of my table mates, they were a Bay 101 murderers row with 4 guys who I suspect are pros.

A little later it was down the toilet again. I called a 22K all in with AK and lost to AJ when the board ran out QT829. Then I made a highly questionable play. The button raised to 6,500 at the 1500/2500 blind level and I made it 20,000 to go with Q7 off from the small blind. I thought he was a little deeper but after he called me I saw he only had about 15K left. The flop came down 985 which game me a gut shot and one over and not sure what to do I just put him all in. He quickly called me with QT (queen ten! Ugh!) and his queen high held up. Both of these hands were against the same opponent and he was not quiet about winning these pots.

I was down to 60K at the 2K/4K level in the big blind when 3 people just called. The first guy who called was regularly raising on the larger side when he entered the pot and did not seem at all the type to limp with a big hand. The other guys were in no way just calling 4K with a big hand. So with 18K sitting out there I shoved for another 56K with Q2 off suit. The first guy hemmed and hawed but they all folded.

There is a big difference between these two hands despite the fact that I'm getting aggressive with shitty off suit queens. In the second hand I had a very strong indication that no one could call an all in. In the first one I was kind of hoping he wouldn't call. It was too aggressive. If I'm being honest I was still feeling a little emotion about losing the AK vs AJ hand and did something I wouldn't normally do. In the Q2 hand I wish I'd trust myself more often in spots like this and go for it.

On the very next hand after the Q2 hand I was in the small blind. The big blind had about 45K and since I had him covered I wanted to put the pressure on him. I looked down at my first card and it was an ace. The was enough so I just shipped it without looking at the other one. He instantly called me and I thought "Oh shit!" but then he rolled over A4! And I had AJ! And I flopped a J! Huzzah!

No I had 125K, we were down to 45 players with 27 spots paying and it was 3:45 or 6 hours and 15 minutes since hand #1.

When we got down to 40 I had 110K chips and got moved to a new table. I looked at the table and it was all chumps! I mean there were a couple of unknowns, but it took me 7 seconds to see that half the table looked like deer in the headlights and there were certainly no pros in the bunch.

A few minutes passed and then I got involved in a big hand in a questionable spot. With blinds of 2500/5000 a guy in middle position opened to 11,000. This is a really small raise and while this is kind of standard in bigger tournaments, the standard in this one seemed to be 2.5X-3X the big blind. Anyway, the small blind called and I made a speculative call with Q9 with the Q of clubs. The flop came down A96 all clubs giving me middle pair and the 2nd nut flush draw. I checked it over to the raiser who bet out 30K with about 60K behind. The small blind folded and I decided to go for it. If he had something like AK or AJ I'd be about 50/50, I'd be about a 2 to 1 underdog against a set or a 2 to 1 favorite against Kx with the K of clubs and everything else would just be folding. It's that last part that makes moving in in spots like this often times the right move. Plan A is to have him fold and pick up 68K chips, and plan B is to have a fighting chance if he calls. 68k chips is worth more than $1,000 in equity!

But there were 2 problems - 1) 30K is a big bet and I should have looked at that as strong hand that was looking to protect against a flush draw, but not likely to fold and 2) my opponent had A9. Shit! The turn was an ace and just to rub it in the river was the J of clubs making my flush, but not enough to beat my opponent full house.

Luckily I had him covered...by 4,000. On the next hand I had 2,500 of my 4K stack in the pot in the form of the small blind and after someone raised to 15K I called without looking. Amazingly I had A2, beat QJ and was up to 17K. A couple of hands later I picked up 76 suited, shipped it and everyone folded. Now I had 27K and was starting to dream. Not really, but I did have 27K. On the next hand I got A6 and let it fly once more, but this time I got called by 99 and didn't get any help.

I finished in 34th place after 7 hours of play and then drove home 90 minutes in the peak of rush hour traffic. This sucked.

With that said, I felt fine by the time I got home. I had a nice dinner with my family and watched some basketball and I am drinking a solid bottle of Chianti. I also used this as an opportunity to have a conversation with my kids about losing with grace which is something they need to work on.

But seriously, fuck that guy who had the AJ and the QT. :)

I'm back at it tomorrow with another $350 No Limit Hold'em. My $10,000 bankroll for the project is now at $10,880.

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