Chip and a chair

Reports & Blogs by MichMadDog Posted

Flew out Saturday for the WSOP seniors. I had been struggling in cash games, but doing well in tournaments. Frequent flier miles for the flight and great rates at the Rio ($135 total for 4 nights) made this a wonderful start start. I had great success at Harrah's cash game, so I went there Saturday and broke even. Nothing particularly memorable. Otherwise I took it easy.

Sunday I decided to try Planet Hollywood in the a.m., dropping $250. Again nothing memorable, though I recall thinking I played badly. By this time I decided to warm up woith some tournament action, but didn't want to commit to the time of one of the Caesar's, Wynn or Venetian deepstack events, so I signed up for the Harrah's 60-40 event. This event features a $10 bounty, optional $40 add-on and the typical quick blind structure with 70 players and about 20 alternates. Anyhow, in the 11:00 a.m. tourney I busted out about half way through.

I returned for the 3:30 event, coming in 6th to make $350. I was playing better, just in time for the start of the WSOP Seniors the follwing day.

Quick strategy question: for this event, the $60 gets 2,000 min chips with 20 minute blinds. The add-on for $40 gets 2,500 more. One school of thought says get the add-on immediately--it's better value than the original buy-in and gives you the leverager of extra chips immediately. I took the wait-and-see approach, using the add-on pooibility as new life in case of an early bad beat or lost race, and reserving the option of not buying on if I've worked my stack up to a good size by the end of the rebuy period so that the extra chips don't add much incremental value.As it turns out, I didn't have to add-on in this event or the one afterward.

On to the Seniors. Early on Mon. I registered and got back to the room only to discover that I was listed in my wife's name. Turns out that when I left Michigan I grabbed her Total rewards card rather than mine. So, I returned, they voided that entry out and I reregistered under my own name. Inauspicious start.

It turns out that I was at an interesting table. I was in seat 8 and two to my left was a guy from Texas. We recalled playing against each other late in the same event two years ago when we both went pretty deep (I was 52nd). Two to my right was a quiet woman from England. On the other side of the table were three folks I would describe as macho (big, tough looking guy who was seen to raise aggressively with marginal hands), donk (just played badly) and New England (very good palyer from the New England area). During the first level I got J-J twice (getting callers with a pre-flop raise and taking down the pot later), A-A (taking down $50 in blinds with a pre-flop raise) and A-A again. This time donk. having pissed away his chips from 3,000 to 1,000 or so, went all-in with 3-3 and, when I called, flopped a set. AARRRGGGHH. About that time the English lady raised on the button, the BB smooth-called and I folded my BB. The flop was 10-10-7. Thereafter ensued three rounds of vigorous betting, with two blanks on the turn and river. The SB turned over A-A for his smooth call while the English lady showed 10-7 for her button raise. I later learned that she had won the WSOP ladie's event previously. Tex won a big hand with As-2s against 8-8 when the flop included three unrelated cards, two of them spades, then the 8s on the turn and a blank on the river. When a blank hit the river, 8-8 made a big bet. Tex hemmed and hawed for a while before announcing, "I've got a big hand I just can't lay down" then went all-in with the nuts catching a call. Afterward, he told me about a hand he played with Amarillo Slim in this event in an earlier year. As the evening dragged on UTG made a good sized raise. Slim thought a bit in later position and said, "Well boys, it's getting late, and I've got a date..I'm all in" The raiser said, "I'll play with you Slim" and called. Slim showed A-A, won the pot and drawled, "'Course my date isn't until next Saturday". Anyhow, Tex, the English lady and I seemed to respect each other;s play and pretty much stay out of each other's way with marginal hands while ,mixing it up with the oither side of the table.

Before too long, donk had pissed way the chips he had won from me with his 3-3 and my stack was down to 1,500 of a starting 3,000. I limped in UTG with 10d-9d for $100, donk was all-in for his last $475 and the BB called, so I called as well (I know, I'm not proud of it). The flop was 9-7-2 and I shoved, getting called by the BB, who showed 8-8 while donk showed Q-10. I was ahead, but not for long when an 8 hit the turn. Then, a J on the river gave me a straight to win the side pot, but gave donk a higher straight for the main pot. Still, I had improved with that gem.

My chips were about 2,500 when I was dealt A-Q on the button. Macho open raised for $275 in early position and was called by New England and the English lady. I had shown premium cards when I played (except the 10-9 hand), so IU shoved, hoping to take down the pot then, but macho called and New England tanked for three minutes before folding J-J. Macho showed a-K (oops). The flop was K-J-blank, but I caught the mitralce 10 on the turn, then, to spite both macho and New England, a K on the river.

By the dinner break (6th level) I had worked my stack up to 15,000, in good position with about 800 of the 2,700 entrants remaining, and 270 getting paid. Unbfortunately, I was card dead from that point on and when I did try to play a hand strongly I ran in to strong resistance and had to give it up. Eventually I sputtered at the end of the 8th level.

The next day I decided to decompress then play the Harrah's tourney again (once more no add-on)I got off to a good start, aided by a hand when I limped with 5d-3d in late position then called (with 2 others) a modest raise for the BB. On a flop of 8d-4c-2d, there was a healthy bet in front of me, which I raised on my huge draw. The turn was Ad, and the flop bettor went all-in with his A-8. Not good enought, bub. By the break (three levels) I had 15,000 in chips and was in good shape. Then, a hand with 5,000 in chips was all-in with A-K against my Q-Q. The flop was J-10-blank, the turn a blank, and the river a Q, giving me a set and him a straight. AARRRGGGHHH.

I built the stack up to almost 30,000 with 12 or 13 folks left on two tables, with 10 places getting paid. The blinds were 2,000-4,000, so oit was basically fold or shove time. UTG I shoved with A_Ks and was called by a stack of about the same size with J-J. Fortunately I flopped an A. Unfortunately, he hit his two-outer on the river. AAARRRGGGHHH. A detailed chip count revealed that I had one measly 1,000 chip more than him. Now things got real interesting.

The next hand I was the BB with Q-4os and two callers besides the SB. The flop was 8c-4s-2c, Two guys got all-in for the dry side pot and I knew I was fried. They showed 9-2 and Ac-10c. I was ahead! I managed to dodge an A,10,9,2 or club on the turn and river, quadrupling up to 4,000 of the outstanding 400,000 in chips, but I'm the small blind now.
Fortunately, the BB had only 3,500 left and no one called, so I fired 1,500 of my 2,000 remaining chips in and won, increasing to 7,500.

At about this time the break was called and we see that there are eleven of us left. One guy at the other table (which has 6 people) only has 1,000, while the guy to my left has about the same as me. Ordinarily the "bubble" wouldn't be an issue, but with such short stacks, the $120 for 10th place seems like the only realistic goal. As I consider the situation of the guy at the other table, it occurs that with him folding, I'll be blinded out at 6,000-3,000 before he has to play, so I'll have to win a hand to stay alive. Before long I'm the BB with 10-6 with the SB calling. With a flop of 7-5-4, the BB shoves and I decide to take my chances on hitting this hand rather than waiting for next. She shows a 7, but I river a 10 to win again!!! Now I'm the small blind and the guy at the other table still doesn't have to play. I'm dealt K-5, the button calls and I call. The flop is K-Q-6 and I have to decide whether to take it easy and outlast the guy at the other table or shove. i choose the latter route, get called by the BB (who is down to about 3,000) who has bottom pair. and my K holds up, eliminating the eleventh player. From that point on I continued to get lucky, once doubling up with A-rag when I hit the rag against a bigger ace. Before too long I have 80,000 in chips and we're 4 handed. we decide to chop it up. Net profit $950. Not bad for being down to one $1,000 chip with a $4,000 BB

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  1. MichMadDog,

    I was dealing in that tourney and know all about the hand that left you with 1 chip.. I have since told a bunch of people in our tourneys the story of how you took that one chip all the way to a 4 way chop! It gives people with short stacks hope! Great trip report and congrats on the wins sir!