OK, Well that Sucked!

I woke up early planning on making it down there well ahead of time just in case there was traffic. I arrived at 11:40am when I noticed that everyone had already been playing! I had absolutely no idea that they changed the start time to 11:00am. Oh well, that’s not the end of the world. Early on I played the following key hand: an unknown player limped UTG as did Sammy Farha for 50. With KK I decided to make it 250 in position. The small blind called the raise as did the two limpers. The flop came Qd Jc 8d. Not the best flop in the world by any means, but I wasn’t about to go broke in this spot no matter what came. They all checked to me and I fired out 700. Only the small blind called and we took the turn heads up. A total blank, the 4s. The SB checked and I made another big bet of 1800. My opponent didn’t even hesitate and quickly called. Based on his reaction I immediately put him on just a pair of Queens. In my head I’m thinking, “No Queen!” Of course, the river was precisely a Queen and my opponent checked again. Since I still had my opponent on a Queen I checked behind him. He turned over Q-10 off suit. I’m not going to bother to discuss how silly a call that was before the flop with a Q-10 out of position, because plays like this are commonplace in the main event and didn’t surprise me in the least. A few hands later I called a raise on the button in a multi-way pot with Ad-9d on the button. The flop came Kd-10d-9s and the initial raiser bet out. “Be careful my friend, that A-K of yours might be in big trouble. You could go broke here,” I told him. The turn missed me, but I think my little speech got me a free card since my opponent checked the turn. I checked behind him, but missed on the river. He turned over the A-K. My next key pot came when I raised it to 150 from first position with 8h 9h. A player on my immediate left re-raised to 400 and Sammy Farha called on the button. Since it was a small re-raise I called hoping to catch a nice flop. The flop was perfect: 5d-6s-7s giving me the mortal nuts! I checked hoping that the novice player would bet his over pair, but he checked also. Sammy decided to bet 1000 which brought about my first dilemma. I could raise it right here and hope to get it all in on the flop against Sammy, or I can just call hoping that the novice player might take one off with A-K, or maybe even check-raise all in with an over pair allowing me to trap both the novice AND Sammy. I called as did the novice. The turn was the King of hearts. At that point I had about 5700 left. If the novice had AK then I’d double through him right here. Since Sammy could have a flush draw I thought it would be safer to bet out on the turn and protect my hand just in case the novice didn’t bet for some reason. I bet 2000 into a 4275 pot laying a flush draw approximately 3.2 to 1 odds. Sure I could have just moved all in, but I wanted some action against an opponent who might take a bad price. I was a little disappointed to see the novice fold, but was very uncomfortable with the fact that Sammy called since I could now safely assume he was drawing live to a flush or a full house. “No spade. Don’t pair the board,” I thought to myself. So what did the river card come? How about the all purpose card: the 5 of spades filling both the flush AND the full house. I checked and Sammy moved me all in for all of my remaining chips. I gave it lots of consideration, but finally ruled that Sammy just had to have it in this spot. He wasn’t going to value bet a weakish hand that might win in a showdown, and he couldn’t have called the turn without a drawing hand. The only hand I could beat was a “naked 8,” but again I didn’t think Sammy would call my bet with just the straight draw. I folded, and Sammy later told me that he had the 9-2 of spades. Nice. I struggled to scrounge my way back to 10,000, but wasn’t hitting. Finally with less than 1000 left my 3-3 turned a full house and I was back in action (kind of.) Then with about 2400 in chips a player UTG limps as does Sammy for 100. With A-Q of hearts I decided to make it 400 to go. When it got back to the limper he went all in for 2350! “Oh no, that sucks,” I thought. I didn’t want to make the call, but before I threw it away I wanted to hear the youngster speak. I asked him, “Noooo, why did you have to do that buddy? Do you have like, a really good hand or something? Or are you just kinda fed up and ready to go home?” He finally said, “This is the World Series of Poker.” His comment made little sense which often means that a player might be bluffing. I asked him again, “What in the world does that mean?” He simply shrugged his shoulders this time, but didn’t look like a man with a premium hand. I finally called hoping to race against a hand like 7-7 or even better a hand like A-Q. He turned over the Q-J of clubs and I jumped up and did a mini fist pump. I won that pot and was back up to 5000. A couple more missed draws, though, and I was right back on the felt. Both hands came against Sammy Farha. The first hand I made it 250 with the K-J of diamonds and got one caller as well as Sammy from the SB. The flop came 8-9-10 with one diamond. It got checked around on the flop and the turn came the 8d. Sammy bet out, and with a draw to a Q, 7, diamond and possibly a K, or a J, I decided to call. The river came another 8 and Sammy took the pot down with the 6-7 off suit. My final run in with Sammy came when he raised from late position and the button called. I looked down at A-3 of spades in the big blind and called the small raise. The flop came J-7-3 with one spade. Again, it got checked around on the flop. The turn card came the Queen of spades and I checked again fearing the button’s hand or possibly even Sammy’s! This time Sammy bet out and the button folded. I called trying to hit my draw (A, 3, or a spade this time), but the river was another blank. I checked on over to Sammy and he bet all of my chips which wasn’t very much. I seriously considered calling, but there was a clue in the hand that I couldn’t ignore. There were several clues that lead me to believe Sammy wasn’t bluffing, but his turn bet in particular had me sold. The button player was rather conservative and for him to check that flop it INCREASED the likelihood that the Queen hit him with A-Q, K-Q, or Q-10 suited. Sammy knows that. For Sammy to bet that card I felt like he was HOPING to get action from a Queen. His check on the flop was also suspect, but that’s another story. Again, the only real hand I could beat here was something like a 9-10 for a busted straight draw. I finally folded and Sammy told me that he had AA. Sure, he could be lying and I won’t know for sure till the show airs, but I believe him. So that was pretty much it for me. I threw my last 500 into the pot and ran into aces full. See ya! *************************************************************** Very disappointing. The WSOP main event is probably the only event in the world where I’d prefer going out on the bubble rather than getting knocked out early. It’s so much fun and I didn’t want to leave. I went straight home and vegged on the couch for a while. Later in the evening E-DOG called and invited me over to dinner at Circo, an Italian restaurant at Bellagio. It was E-DOG, Josh and his wife Angela, Jenn and Marco, Brad, Ryan, and myself for dinner. What could have been a very depressing meal turned out to be rather enjoyable. Everybody was bummed to be out obviously, but we all tried to move on. After dinner we headed back to the Rio to attend a party being thrown by Doyle’s Room. Several of the top players were there as well as a host of celebrities including the Hilton sisters. So we all schmoozed for a while and then headed back over to Light. I boogied down for a little while, but then decided to call it an early night since I had a few appointments today. At 1:45pm I was back at the Rio to do a live interview for the Players Network with Larry Grossman. Larry and I have great chemistry and the interview went well for the most part. There was one problem. About two minutes into the interview a card is flashed at me to take my hat off. This was a live show remember and I was like, what??? My hair is a complete mess! I’m not taking my hat off. A couple minutes later they came back with another cue card that read, “Take your hat off. We can’t see your face.” Are you kidding me? Man, I still had bed head! I tried to improvise and make the best of the situation by lifting the hat high on my head and allowing more light to get on my face. It seemed to work ok and the interview was a solid one I think. So what next? A couple more quick interviews followed by several hundred picture and autograph requests at the trade show. Hey, I didn’t mind at all… work was over. I’d planned on continuing my match with Barry, but he was already playing and was stuck so we decided to postpone the match until tomorrow night. For those curious this is how I stand in all of my challenge matches so far: Limit Hold’em vs. David Oppenhiem L $200,000 (5 hours)
Limit Hold’em vs. Mimi Tran W $500,000 (10.5)
Limit Hold’em vs. Joe Cassidy L $200,000 (7.5)
7 Card Stud vs. Barry Greenstein L $500,000 (13.5)
7 Card Stud vs. Barry Greenstein L $500,000 (18.5)
Pot Limit Omaha vs. Barry Greenstein W $500,000 (3.5)
7 Card Stud H/L vs. Barry Greenstein up $293,000 (after 13) (you can find all of this information in the Daniel in 2005 section of the forum at www.fullcontactpoker.com) Overall I’m down $107,000 after playing 71.5 hours of play. My plan for this week is to play Barry every night this week if possible. After that I have challenges waiting from Ted Forrest in Stud H/L, Tony Bloom in PLO, and several other challenges from people you’ve never heard of before in no limit hold’em. Not to mention, live from the Wynn on July 13th I