Please check out the excellent story on this event by Jesse May.
Barry Greenstein got moved to our table and had a medium stack. He tried to be the most aggressive player there, and was having good success until he ran up against me.
He was the bring-in. One thing I noticed about most of the players, even the more experienced, is that they never checked their hole cards when they were the bring-in. They just chucked the lowest amount into the pot. Barry was no exception.
I had jacks in the hole with a low doorcard. I completed the bet. Barry decided to check his hole cards when the action got back to him, and found kings in the hole. Not that I knew this at the time, but there ya go. He raised me.
Barry is the type who would raise about 50% of the people who completed when he was the bring-in. So I reraised and he instantly capped. Now my radar went up, because I didn’t think Barry would cap it without the goods.
If I folded, it would have left me crippled, so I figured that even if I was beat, I had to take a chance to draw out on him. I wasn’t going to just get anted out of the tourney.
I caught a third jack immediately on fourth, and bet until I was all-in. Barry didn’t improve. This left him a bit short, and he never won a hand again. He was out in about 45 minutes.
I have spoken to some WCP since this tournament, and tried to find out the reasoning behind NOT checking hole cards first when one is the bring-in. The general consensus seemed to be that WCP feel that they can outplay everyone else, so there is no real reason to check the hole cards first.
Now maybe this is true in a tourney with lots of chips and an excellent structure, but in a tournament when the structure and starting chips indicate that at least 66% of the players can’t get through more than a hand or two with raises, in the mid to late section of the tourney, I cannot accept this reasoning. Had Barry come in raising, he would never have been crippled in the first place. Instead, he gave me more than half of his chips.
And yes, Ted usually checked his hole cards first.
By the time we broke for dinner, I was back up to about 3800.
Like I said earlier, Ted and I built a bit of a rapport during the tournament, as more and more of our original table was eliminated. He held on with a medium stack for hours, until one key hand, which either would have crippled him, or given him a lead over our table. He won it, and never looked back. He changed his play after that to include many more steals and play a few speculative hands.
In the meantime, we went from 258 to 150 in short order. Lots of the WCP were complaining that the structure had been sped up. They didn’t like the new structure. Since I had no experience with the old one, I wasn’t sure just how much worse it was. It did seem to add a bit of a crapshoot element into the tourney, as most of the participants could only lose one very big hand in order to be short.
Not long after we came back from dinner, the field went from 73 to about 50 in record time. Even the medium stacks didn’t have more than one or two hands that could be played (with raises) all the way through. Only the largest stacks were relatively safe. I had 3800, Ted had about 10k. They filled our table with more WCP and Men Nguyen.
The antes were up to 50, and I got nothing for about an hour. Every pot was completed and raised before it even got to me. Play had become very aggressive, players taking chances with three high cards, three suited, three straights, any pair. Most of them were only one or two hands from elimination, so they took shots and were either eliminated, or more than doubled through. I was caught in the middle of all of this, and just folded for almost an hour. I couldn’t steal a pot with a gun, lol.
I kept looking at the clock, and knew I was going to have to go with a hand soon. My kings finally came and I completed with K3/K. Ted was behind me, and raised with an ace. Ted didn’t need a pair of aces to make it three, but was a pretty tight player, overall, and knew how tight I was, so we had mainly stayed out of each other’s way. I knew he probably had me, but figured I was in deep enough to call one more bet, then if I absolutely blanked out, I could either fold on fourth, or commit myself with the hand if I felt I was too short to survive much longer. It was very close, either way.
I caught a trey on fourth, giving me king’s up immediately. Ted blanked. I bet the whole way. Ted caught a second pair on sixth, and I knew I was dead, but I was in by that time, with no escape. He had exactly what I thought he had, aces to start.
I got up to leave, and Ted told me, “You are a tough player! You played great!” I thanked him and told him it was great playing against him.
They hadn’t updated the clock in about 45 minutes, so I just stood and counted the remaining players. I was out at 49th.
After we got home, I noticed Ted’s lead kept growing and when they broke at 2am he was 2nd chip lead of the tourney. They played the final table on Sunday at 2pm. Ted was outchipped almost 2:1 when they got head’s up, but still overcame his opponent in a four hour match to take the title. Go Ted!!!
Hope you enjoyed the story!