Safdar Poker Tournament Boot Camp, Day Two

Today was also a lot of fun though less lucrative.

9am: Rio $35+rebuys tournament, came in 2nd out of 10 for prize of $304
After an attempt to hit the 8am Stratosphere tournament, we discovered it didn’t exist and went to Rio for the 9am $35 NL.  After I buy rebuys and addons repeatedly, I was into it for $120.  I thought the dealing was poor, and once I caught a guy losing a pot to me and try to take 2,400 in chips back instead of giving me my pot.  I started picking up chips and when it was down to three something cool happened.

One of my opponents tried to get us to agree to recut the prize money for first and second to create a third place prize.  I refused, and I heard him ask for a place in the cash game at the next table.  I knew his heart wasn’t in it, and I figured I had a good chance at outplaying him.  We started in at the next level and I realized that I was at a table with two weak players, so i started raising every hand.  I won pot after pot, and finally the dealmaker was put out by my opponent.  He was weak, so I raised every hand heads up and only folded when he pushed all in.  Finally he minimum raised, I called, and my J6 hit on a JT3 flop.  I pushed and he showed KQ.  The river brought an Ace and I took second.

Noon: Rio $105 NL Hold’em Freezeout, came in 5th out of 30 for no prize.
This was a great tournament, and took about 4 hours to finish.  I created a sizable stack and never looked back.  Once we hit the final table I had a big problem in that the big stack was on my left and wouldn’t let me get away with anything.  When we were in the bathroom during the break he asked Tim and I to chop.  I refused and we started up the game with the last five of us. 

I had been waiting for a hand where I could induce an all-in from Big Stack while I held a better hand, and I found my opportunity.  I had JJ and made a raise that looked like a steal.  Big stack obliged me by re-raising me all in and I pushed my stack.  He showed 99 and I figured I had executed by strategy perfectly.  Imagine my surprise when the board came Ten-Seven-Six-Seven-Eight and his straight put me out in fifth place.  Doh.  I was in with the best of it and clearly manipulating the situation, so I couldn’t complain too much.  Tim was put out two hands later with an also unlikely board.  He and I got up and the remaining three players immediately made a deal and ended the tournament.

Side trip: We took a side trip to the Wynn to play $4/$8 limit hold’em and I dropped $105 while I practiced extreme aggression.  I won a lot of hands, but I also got taken to the cleaners on a couple.

7:30pm: Paris $65 NL Hold’em Freezeout, came in 7th out of 30 for no prize
This was a hard tournament.  I was dealt QQ early in the first hour and made a sizable raise.  I got a caller and we saw a flop of AK9.  My opponent checked and so I sent out a bet for half my remaining chips and he raised me all in.  I folded my queens face up and lamented my crippled stack of 700 chips when the blinds were 75-150.  Over the next hour I rebuilt my stack and made the final table but couldn’t find any way to double up and got put out 7th.

10pm: Treasure Island $65 NL Hold’em with rebuys, came in 16th out of 45 for no prize
This is a crazy tournament with a lot of talent.   You can re-enter for the first hour as much as you want, and they’ll actually open new tables if enough latecomers show up.  I also had a big stack on my left but never found a hand to execute a strategy against him with.   He put himself out and when were got combined down to the final two tables I got four hands in a row after no playing anything for two levels.

After a long dry spell I saw a flop with A2s on the big blind with three others and it came 347 (two hearts).  Though I didn’t have hearts, I thought I might be able to steal it.  Unfortunately my opponent with 56 felt like the straight he flopped was good and I got put out. 

This failed steal attempt is everything that’s both right and wrong with my tournament game.  My aggression needs some help with timing, but I’m not playing passive like many of the people I see get blinded out of tournaments when they don’t catch cards.

That’s it for the day.  I’m doing some work tomorrow, and probably won’t get much poker in.

Finally I had him figured out and I found my oppo