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Day 1 is in the books and I feel good

06 Jan 2007

I worked out my legs the day before the tournament and followed that up with a late night massage. I took in four episodes of 24, season 4, before bed and got to sleep at about 2:40am. President Logan drives me crazy! I was seriously mad at him, lol. (24 joke, if you donít watch the show you wonít get it.)

I woke up at 9:45am. Actually, housekeeping woke me up at about 9:15am. They were cleaning the room next door with the door open and yelling at the top of their lungs. I went to the door wearing nothing more than boxers and a bald head and just gave them a look, like, ďAre you for real?Ē They apologized and closed the door.

I logged on briefly and posted a quick note in the forum, letting people know that Iíd have 57,000 to end day one. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail from Lee Strobel, author of the book that helped change my life for the better. Apparently people had told him that I was a fan of the book.

At 10:00am I did my stretching in the room, and by 10:30am I was at the gym to work out my arms. I showered at the gym and made it to the tournament just in time. Here were the key hands that helped me get to 76,600... Oh wait, one more thing: on a break I went to buy a small thing of almonds and expected to pay a big price since we are dealing with the most overpriced resort Iíve ever seen. I figured theyíd probably charge me like $5... Try $7! No kidding, $7 forÖ ALMONDS???

Anyway, here are the hands:

Level 1: Player under the gun raises to 300 and I am in the big blind with 33. I re-raise him another 2000 and he calls. The flop comes K-J-9 and I bet 3500- he calls. The turn was a 3, and know I bet 10,000, my opponent went all in, and I called. He had AA.

Level 2: I raise under the gun to 1000 with 4h 5h. The player on the button made it 5500 and I called. The flop was Ah 9s 7h. I checked, my opponent bet out 7000 and I went all in. He called me with AK, and I spiked a heart on the turn!

Level 4: I raise to 2400 with JJ from under the gun and all folded to the big blind who re-raised me to 9000. He had about 30,000 left and I had 55,000 so I went all in. He called and beat me with AA.

For this particular tournament I decided to play a little bit differently trying to adjust to the online players. I decided to get it all in before the flop when I could to throw a curve ball.

Ok, now if you believed even one word of any of that you have no idea how I play! You wonít catch me making any one of these plays in a tournament.. Like, ever. Here are the REAL key hands that helped me get to 76,600:

Player limps from middle, next player makes it 450 and I call with 44. All fold to SB who raises 1500 more. Others fold, and I call with position. This was an 18 year old kid and I was pretty confident that he had AA or KK. It looked like a good opportunity to either hit a home run or outplay him if the board comes right. The flop was 7-8-9 rainbow.

He made a very weak bet of 1000 and I still felt like he had AA or KK, but also factored in the possibility that it was AK. The board was perfect for my hand. I was hoping for a 10, J, 6, or a 5 on the turn and I figured Iíd be able to take this pot away by following through with two bets. Or, I could always hit a 4!

The turn was actually a 5 and my opponent checked. I bet 2500, HOPING he would call. I know, I know, that seems ridiculous but itís true. He wasnít calling a big bet on the river, so calling the turn would be like a donation- he called. The river was a 9, he checked and I fired 10,000 at it. He thought about it for a second, so I decided to help him throw it away by saying, ďWas it AA or KK? I was pretty sure it was one of those two?Ē As soon as I said that he mucked his AA.

I was actually at 40,000 by the end of level one after also winning the following hand: I made it 250 with Ad 5d, the button called as did the SB. The flop came 3d 4d 5c. Thatís a pretty big flop for my hand. I bet out 400 and the button made it 1100. I figured him for a hand like 88 or 99 and decided that Iíd get him to lay it down on the flop, so I raised 2000 more. He thought for a long time and called.

The turn was a 5. Pretty good card I thought, unless he had 33 or 44. I bet 3600 and he made it 10,000, leaving himself with just 6850. I just didnít see how I was supposed to get away from this one, so I put him all in. He thought forever, and folded. Nice.

I was up to 67,000 and then went into a downward spiral down to about 30,000. Then the last key hand of the night for me: 400-800 blinds 100 ante. I make it 2000 to go with 7h 8h, the player on my left calls, and a very wild player raises to 8000 from late position. He was a big time pre-flop raiser dude. The dude on my right, wow, he was Mr. Nuisance raise, re-raising the minimum, betting the minimum He tried to play a bizarre form of small ball, but also threw in some very bizarre re-raises pre-flop.

Anyway, I had to call 6000 more to win 14,000 and I felt like my opponent was pushing with an unpaired hand like AQ or AK. I called, and the other player folded. The flop was 8s 9s 3h. I checked, and IMMEDIATELY he goes all in. I didnít believe him, so I started talking, ďWell, I just feel like Iím going to get there. HmmmÖ he might just have like Ace high or something?Ē To which he replied, ďI might, I could have anything.Ē

He was scared. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses that covered his whole face, but I could still see that he was scared. Besides, I was getting a very good price and even if I was beat I still had a 3 straight, 3 flush, and a pair. I called for my tournament life and he turned overÖ Kc Qc! I won that pot and was back in action.

The plan for tomorrow is to try and get to about 250,000. Normally Iíd say something like 200,000, but the blinds move quicker here than they do in the Bellagio events. In fairness, the buy in is $8000 so 75 minute levels arenít too bad, although itís important to understand that 75 minute and 90 minute levels are significantly different. Itís ďonlyĒ 15 minutes, but when you think about it, every four levels there is a full hour of play missing. After 6 levels, you are playing one level ahead of what you would be at Bellagio. After 12 levels, thatís two full levels of difference. So for example, if level 12 is 1500-3000 with a 400 ante, at Bellagio it would be 1000-2000 with a 300 ante. By level 18, the jump is even bigger as youíd be playing TWICE as high, 8000-16,000 instead of 4000-8000.

Important to note, Iím NOT complaining. As I said, itís an $8000 buy in with a gazillion players. Had it been a $10,000 buy in, I feel strongly that ALL WPT events should mandate 90 minute levels.

The plan for tonight is similar to last night, although with CBC being available in Bahamas I get to watch Hockey Night in Canada. Gotta love Don Cherry, eh? After that, Iíll watch the last disk of 24, and then tomorrow morning Iíll be up early to go to the gym. If I can get into physical shape it will allow me to play poker like Iíve never played before. I really want to stick to it so that by WSOP time Iím in the best shape of my life Good night all.


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