Glenn and I went to Vegas on Wednesday evening. I wanted to play in a Stud satellite at the Four Queens when I was fresh, instead of attempting one right off the bat, early Thursday morning.
It took forever to get one going. I thought it was never going to happen, but eventually it did. At least it was a complete freeroll, since I used a lammer that Glenn won earlier in the week.
I was in the three seat. A woman directly to my left turned out to be the most tilted, steaming, mad woman I’ve ever seen. Southern California maybe? Wow, was she angry. Naturally she was the first out.
As par, I didn’t do much early but sit and wait. And wait…and wait. Going into the head’s up battle, I was about a 10:1 chip dog. My opponent was extremely loose and weak. It took quite a bit to get him to fold a hand, until he was positive that all hope was lost. Due to his style of play, I managed to double through, then double through again, then steal enough to get back into the race. He hated the pressure that I put on him, so when he had me out chipped only about 2.5:1, he offered me an even chop. Since the structure had gotten so high, I took it and pocketed my $250.
He said he was so impressed with my play, that he wanted to buy a piece of me in the next day’s tournament. I declined politely, telling him I was too darned greedy to sell pieces of myself.
The next morning, we arrived at the Four Queens at about 10:30. They were just about to start another Stud sat. Only one seat left. I hadn’t planned on playing, and there really wasn’t time to finish it before the tournament started, but I knew quite a few of the players, and some of them were rammer/jammers who probably would turn out to be dead money and bust out fast, or get the chip lead, then I could get head’s up with them. I decided to use another lammer and bought in to the $500 Stud 8 event.
We were down to three when the noon tournament was about to start. Although I was out chipped and had virtually nothing, the two other players offered me a $100 deal. I took it, bought in, and headed to my tourney table.
I was kind of surprised to see Simon Trumper in the three seat. I know that the Brits aren’t huge fans of Stud, and I’d never seen Simon playing in a Stud event. I asked him if Steve had talked to him about the Stud tournament. It was obvious from the look on his face, he had no idea what I was talking about. Well, you probably don’t either, so I’ll explain.
On Wednesday night, I’d met Joe and Flip from LasVegasVegas. They were taking pics and talking to people. At one point, I guess they sat down next to a British photographer and struck up a conversation. They told him about me, and he took a pic of me for the Hendon Mob.
Anyway, later that night, I went over and sat at their table. It was sort of the journalist table. Steve told me he’d taken my pic, and told me that he takes pics for the Hendon Mob. I asked him why they weren’t playing the Four Queens. He said they would be coming. I said something about the Stud tournaments getting such a low turnout. He said he’d noticed that. I told him that the field was very soft, and that the Hendon Mob would clean up on these events. He said he was going to tell them that, and urge them to enter the Stud events.
So going back to Thursday and Simon Trumper…I know Simon is not a member of the Mob, but that he is friendly with them. So I figured maybe Steve told him about what I’d said about the Stud events. Then I noticed that Barny Boatman, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswani were also playing. I was so smug with myself, thinking that Steve had told them what I’d said, and that they all came and played. Little did I know, they had planned to play in all of the noon events once they arrived in town!
Simon didn’t know what I was talking about, but it did open the door for a nice conversation. At first he claimed he’d never played Stud before, but then I noticed that there was no way that could be true, based on his play. I called him on it, and he admitted that he’d played “a few times.” Men!
Simon seemed a lot calmer than his appearances on LNP. He was playing well and was very polite.
I managed to rope him into one big hand after about an hour, when I’d figured out his play. I was rolled up with deuces and was the bring-in. I decided to just limp in, disguise my hand, and hope he would pop me. He did. As I was deciding how to make the best of this hand, a very loose player called in between us. She was the girl with the poker bracelet from my Stud 8 tournament. The bubble girl. I had decided that she was way too loose and had no hand reading ability. She was a Hold’em player.
Anyway, I decided to keep it slow ’til fifth, when I could pop him, and catch her in between for a double bet. I didn’t want to put up his guard, because I knew he was a very observant player (unlike her), and I wanted him to think he had the best hand. I’d get the double bet, jam her in between, and hope that he thought I had two smaller pair. He knew how tight I was, but I was praying that he would fall for my kindergarten antics.
Just as I was ready to pop, he paired his doorcard, lol. Snookered again! Although it is less dangerous with someone like Simon pairing his doorcard, than someone like me, I still wasn’t comfortable with jamming. At least the girl was in between, and I was always getting her bets. I knew she had nothing, because she was very aggressive, yet kept just calling passively.
Simon showed down two pair on the river. The girl mucked on sixth, and I won with my deuces. I don’t think Simon knows that I was rolled up. I doubt he would ever have played it that way, and sure, I didn’t get the most value out of it, but in a tournament, when I could be busted in one hand, I tend to slow down if someone pairs his doorcard.
Our table broke up not long afterwards, when two players were busted in one hand. I got assigned the seat that Joe Beevers had just vacated, having gone broke early in the tourney. Simon moved with me. Not long afterwards, both Barny and Ram got assigned to our table. Brits galore!
These guys are good players. I’m sure they outplayed me on a few hands (most of the time, that consisted of: I brought it in, one of them completed, I folded. Hehe).
One time I was lucky enough to be able to outplay Ram. He has a rep for super aggressive play, and I knew this. I was just waiting to exploit him, when I got the chance. I was the bring-in with a deuce. He completed, as I’d expected. Another player came along for the ride, so I was unable to limp reraise. Now, I only had a pair of deuces, but I had an ace kicker, no other aces were out, and I was against a player who didn’t even need an ace to raise, much less a pair.
I defended, acting slowly, as if it was causing me great pain and agony not to fold my bring-in, as I had done so many times before. I kicked it up a notch when I caught a second pair. Ram didn’t want to keep calling me, but he was simply unable to lay it down. I’d caught him in the exact snare I’d hoped for. I filled up on the river, but that didn’t alter my play at all, I would have played it the same way even if I had nothing except the open pair. I got most of his chips on that hand, and he was short. I figured he would go out not long afterwards, but he is a good player, plus our table broke and he got moved to a table where the pickins’ were a little better.
Barny and Simon were long gone, but Ram was still in, as were about 32 players of the original 71.
I was moved again after only a few hands. There was a funny story about where I was moved. I was moved into an empty eight seat. The seat had just been vacated by Terry, the same Terry who played almost every hand and won the Stud 8 tourney. Even more amusing was that Glenn (who took fourth) was in the seven seat. The exact two places we’d sat at the final table on Monday. To make this an even bigger coincidence, Wayne (who took second) was in the six seat, the SAME seat as Monday. I immediately said, “Old home week,” and both of them looked around, then looked at me and each other, and burst out laughing, simply amazed that it was the same line-up as Monday. What a string of odd coincidences.
I got nothing going on at that table, and was moved back to my previous table, in the SAME spot again! This time Ram was sitting almost directly across from me, and had made a huge comeback, getting the chance to play at such an “action” table.
We were down to about 17 players when my luck ran out. I was so short stacked. I just couldn’t do much. I’d previously been up to about 4000 in chips, but the antes and bring-ins ground me down, as well as one losing hand, which I could have been busted on, but was able to get away from.
Anyway, I started with 35/A of spades. There were no spades out. There were no treys or fives out. I didn’t have enough to get through this hand, so I paused long enough to decide what I wanted to do.
I figured that if I completed, many good things could happen. I could steal the antes and the bring-in, right there, which was enough to increase my stack by about 50%, since I was so low. I could get heads up with the player directly to my left, who had an ace showing, the only other ace on board, by making others call 2 bets cold, if he reraised. My hand wasn’t too much of a dog in a multi-way pot, just in case I got involved in that type of hand. I decided to complete. The ace immediately raised. Another player came along for the ride. A calling station who saw no reason not to call two, three, four bets cold with any hand. Poker Analyzer shows our 3-way hand with the following win percentages: guy with aces, 39.4%; me, 32.2%; calling station, 28.4%. Had I gotten the hand head’s up, and the guy actually did have aces, the percentages were: 63.6% vs. 36.4% with a little variance depending on his kicker.
I caught a pair of fives on fourth. The high ace bet, the calling station came along, and so did I.
I caught another spade on fifth. The ace bet, CS called, I raised all-in.
I caught a second pair on sixth, fives and treys.
I caught a second jack on the river, no spade.
I thought my hand might be good, because the ace said he never improved, and showed two aces. The CS called two pair, but then said he misread his hand, not able to find anything other than the queens he started with. Then both he and the dealer started separating his cards. He said two of his cards were stuck together. He managed to find another ten under one of his cards, so his queens up beat my jacks up.
I was very happy with my play, and have never felt better about my Stud game. I was also very impressed with the Hendon Mob, and most British players, in general. American players need to take a good, hard look at themselves and the way they behave in poker tournaments.
I have never seen a Brit throw cards, curse at other players or the dealer, scream loudly when they outdraw someone, criticize other players play or behave with anything less than good etiquette at the table. This should be the standard of tournament play, not the exception.
I was tempted to force them to let me join them on tour (aren’t we Americans lovely, threatening to “force” someone into letting us do something? LOL). Then I thought better of it. After all, I’d have to play lots of Hold’em tournaments!
Look for Part II coming soon!