Since the Palms has started these new tourneys, I have played in six of them. Out of those six, I have cashed and/or won five of them. Yes, I know I’m running well. No one is that GOOD, but almost everyone gets that LUCKY once in a while :)
Here are my results:
Sat: Omaha 8, WIN
Sun: NLHE, 17th (but won a $100 bonus bounty for July 4th holiday, so still a win)
Tues: Stud 8 Double Qualifier, 2nd
Wed: NLHE, 7th
Thurs: LHE with Stud river card, chopped first
Tues: Stud 8 Double Qualifer, chopped first
Last night was Tuesday. It was a special tourney for me because a lot of the members of the Wednesday Poker Discussion Group (WPDG-a live meeting Dr. Al Schoonmaker started in Atlantic City) came down to the Palms to check it out.
I wrote about the Palms after finding out that they had a new manager and that he was trying to really rev up the poker room. It had been dead in the water for a long time, just waiting to be closed.
Anyway, I wrote to the WPDG and Steve Evans immediately decided to organize a group to come down and visit. At the end of my post I wrote: “If you’ve never played in Laughlin, there is no better time to come down. It’s easy money!”
Steve took that challenge personally and got a whole group together to come down to Laughlin. It was Steve’s doing. I presented the new room, and Steve got the people together. He was the catalyst behind the field trip.
Although they showed up early, Glenn and I didn’t even get on the road until 2:00pm. We had just made the four hour round-trip to Vegas the day before, and we’d played all day, so I wanted to sleep in and take it easy before heading out to Laughlin.
When we walked in, I was amazed at the number of people who showed up. I had expected maybe five, like before, but Steve managed to pull out a ton of people! There must have been like fifteen visitors from Vegas! Bonus! Way to go, Steve!
Glenn played cash games all day. Glenn is the ideal poker player, from management’s point of view. He never complains, he’ll play any game, he’ll play shorthanded, he doesn’t mind being moved, he doesn’t mind his games being broken. He wouldn’t know a pot was overraked if a gun was pointed at his head.
Glenn is the nicest guy in the world, but, truly, nothing fazes him. He just doesn’t care. Sometimes I wish I were that way.
So anyway, the group came down. We played, we talked, we had dinner. All of the normal social, nicey things. Not my scene, but no one was putting me into a leadership role, so I just went with it.
We got 14 participants for the Stud 8 tourney. Awesome! A good half of them were from Vegas. I was at the quiet, serious table. The other table was laughing it up like a bunch of hyenas. I had to go over personally and tell them to be quiet once, that they were having too much fun and that all of us serious players resented their good time. Naturally they laughed at me. I thought about mooning them, but with a concave butt, that is pretty hard to pull off.
Seriously, though, they were having a good time, but so were we, just in a different way. Steve and I were at the same table, the only two experienced Stud 8 players, and maybe we just kind of set the serious tone at the table. I tried to lighten it up a little by joking around with the fishies, but most of the time, we were much more quiet than the other table.
I had tried to warn Steve that the locals in this tourney simply didn’t know how to play. They would call on the river with no possible way to win (no two pair for high, no eight or better for low). They literally would call a bet, not bet as a bluff, not check-raise, not raise, but CALL. I’m not sure that he believed me until he saw it for himself.
Up until this moment, I was absolutely baffled by this play. Why would anyone call a bet with no way to win the hand? Now I just thought of a reason. You know how in HE there might be a straight or flush on the board, and someone goes all-in representing a higher straight or flush card? Sometimes they are just trying to steal the pot, and usually others know this, due to the way the hand was played up to this point. So anyway, maybe these river “callers” who have no way to win, are hoping to split the pot (the pot is split among the remaining players if no one qualifies either way). Crazy, I know, but maybe that is what they are thinking. Usually they are NOT splitting the pot.
Anyway, getting back to the tourney, I was lucky that I never had to make a rebuy. Naturally I took the add-on. At $20 for 2000 in chips, this is a good value, and I would think it would be nearly impossible to win the tourney if not taken.
It took us a long time to get to the final table, much longer than I would have expected, given the structure. I lost a big pot right before the final when I started with A23 hearts and never improved. On sixth I had no draw for low, and another player had my board beat with three eights showing.
Fortunately, the final table play went fast. The limits were prohibitive, and the players were a little more reckless than our original table. The payout was like a SNG, 50%-30%-20%. The fourth place bubble prize was a free entry into any nightly tourney.
Not surprisingly, Steve Evans, his wife Susan and I were the final three. Susan came to the table with quite a few chips, just a tad less than the chip lead (a local) in seat one. The local busted out quickly, and Susan had a gigantic lead on the rest of us. But like any tourney with huge limits versus the total amount of chips on the table, things change quickly. After busting out a couple of players back-to-back, both Steve and I survived all-in’s against Susan.
Steve was the big winner, as he didn’t even have to split pots with her, but scooped both times. Suddenly he’d gone from massive chip dog, to massive chip lead.
Susan was a little worried that I might feel squeezed in between the two, them being husband and wife. I told her she had nothing to worry about, that Glenn and I had been in the same position many times before, with locals just sure we were softplaying each other (this despite the fact that Glenn knocked me out of three tourneys over at the Belle). She was obviously playing to win, and so was Steve. They played against each other the same way they played against me. What a refreshing change from some of the softplaying couples and friends I’ve run up against before.
Once Steve took the chip lead away from Susan, she asked him if we could chop evenly. Suddenly she was a big chip dog, I had about three times the chips she had, and Steve had both of us clearly dominated. Steve wanted to play it out. I don’t think this had anything to do with me or his wife, I think he just wanted to play! I can’t blame him. I mean, how often is Stud 8 with a double qualifier spread tourney style in the world these days???
We battled it out for a little longer, with none of us changing ground. I think Steve stole a few pots so might have gained a bit, but that is to be expected. He was the only one who could even get through one hand, with the 4000/8000 structure, lol.
Finally Steve said that he was willing to chop evenly. We immediately agreed, knowing that I’d probably get 2nd place if we played it out, and chopping would give me around that amount anyway. Unless I got very lucky, I’d have almost no chance to get first.
After we all agreed to the chop, Susan said something to the effect that Steve should get more money than we did, being that he was a massive chip lead. I knew this to be true, but Steve had already proposed the chop and it had been accepted by both other parties. Susan is relatively new to the tourney scene, so I’m not sure that she knew that this was a bit of a tournament faux pas. I hate looking like the bad guy, but I stood my ground and was not offended in the least, knowing that things like this are bound to happen all of the time.
We did agree, wholeheartedly, that Steve should get all of the remaining bounties. This increased his prize $15, plus he got some odd chips that couldn’t be split (the Palms pays out in chips, not cash).
I had a great time playing this tourney, and getting to know Steve and Susan. Steve is a hugger who gave me a big hug as we were leaving. Thanks, Steve!
I wholeheartedly thanked Steve for organizing the whole trip. It is unfortunate that no one gave Steve credit, nor recognition for putting together the field trip from Vegas. But I knew who the catalyst was. I never forget kindnesses shown to me, unexpectedly, even when others bask in the bright light of stars who did not make contributions. Steve was the real star of the event, and I appreciate the effort and enthusiasm which he put into this outing.
Although I’m glad I mentioned the new tourneys and management of the Palms to various poker groups around the web, sometimes I think I should just keep my big mouth shut and play while the playing is good. I hate getting burned, and seeing others get burned, more than I hate the thought of unique tourneys dying out.
I’m running well. I know that. It’s my turn to get lucky in these tournaments for a week or so (dare I hope for a month or more?). Lucky in cards, unlucky in my choice of poker confidants.
And so goes the burn and turn…