Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WSOP Circuit at Caesar's Palace, $5000+150 NLHE Main Event

MY end of day one, and controversy from the mansion.
I saw more hands in four 75 minute levels today than I did in 14 90 minute levels at the Bellagio last week - not only pre-flop, but post flop too.

Again, that's the good news. The bad news is that most of them got shoved right up my ass.

First hand I played: I flat called a raise to 250 in the first level, blinds 25-50, with A K on the button, opponent unknown, he's already been very active. Heads up flop: A Q 5 . He checks, I bet 350 (575 in pot), he raises to 1k, I call. Turn x , he checks, I decide to check behind. River a blank, he checks again, I decide to go to value town and bet 1k, he calls and shows 55. Werid. Oh well - thanks for charging the minimum.

Then I saw a flop with 77 that came 743 two diamonds, bet big, got called by Hollywood Dave. He said, "If I call, do you promise to bet more on the turn?" I said, "Sure!"

Before we saw the turn card heads up I bet 2k dark. I was trying to goad him into playing back at me with what I sense to be a really big hand. He just called - it was a T turn. River came 9, I bet 2500, and he folded A K face up. Oooh... that could have been a bad dark shot, but I'm pretty sure I'm firing that turn regardless of the card. I read him for a big hand, and was right - he flopped huge - I just thought his hand contained a pair of ones or thirteens or something like that.

Then, I played another semi-large pot against Dave with KK and took it down on the flop.

Then, I opened with aces (I do get those!) and got action from both blinds. This was in level one still. I had opened to 200. Flop A J 7 . Check, check, I bet 375, and get called in both spots (sweet!). Turn looked sweet: J . Check, check, and I decided to check behind as there was a good chance of busting somebody if they hit one of the million draws out there, and if somebody had a J I would be able to get much more chips than if I kept banging... just my opinion. River came a blank, SB checked, BB bet 1500, I made it 4500 and he insta-called, flashing a jack. Thoughts?

Then, I re-raised the set of fives guy on the button to 1k pre-flop with QQ and got called. Flop ATx, he fired 2k and I mucked.

First break.

Are you freakin kidding me? What a roller coaster! I was up to 15k from my 10k starting stack, but I really felt like I should have had 90k (all the chips that started on my table). OK... so 25k is a more realistic number.

Level two: five minutes in a tight old guy who tends to over-play his top pair/over-pair hands opens to 400, blinds 50-100. I see aces in position and decide to just flat call. He's the other one that's gotten a decent amount of chips and I want them all. Idea is for him to flop a pair or an overpair, bang away way too hard, and give me a bunch of chips. Both blinds call (oops), and we see the flop (t1600) four ways of Q95 rainbow. Looks pretty alright. Check, check, he bets 1300, and I decide that it's best to just call again for the above stated reasons, and plus if he happened to flop a set of queens or nines I will lose the minimum and still win the maximum. He was good enough to get away from those one pair hands when played back at. Turn came 6 completing the rainbow. Heads up he bet 2500, and once again I decided to flat call. River T, he checked.

Ah ha! Got him! He has precicely AQ, KK, maybe KQ, or some goofy bluff hand. Time to go to value town... he has about 6k left, not enough to be committed, so I bet 2500.

He called instantly. OK, still no problem. Then I saw his hand. Pocket queens.

POCKET QUEENS?!?!? For the love of all panty-waist poker players in paradise, he had a set?!?

Once again, I was pretty thrilled to lose the minimum. That hand knocked me down to 8300. I went into the second break with 9300.

Level three, 100-200, was a roller coaster with no particularly interesting hands. I dropped to 8k, doubled up with 66 on a 457 flop that I shoved, got called by QQ, and hit one of my ten outs on the turn with the 8. Dropped to 13, back to 16, down to 10, and went on break with 12250.

Level four. Steve Dannenman replaced one of our bustouts, and the cosmic tumblers would fall into place to teleport my chips in front of him.

I limp with 9 T UTG, blinds 100-200/25. Steve raised to 700 middle position, and we see a flop heads up. 1925 in the pot. It came Q7 6 . I check, he checked. Turn, J . I check (thought about betting, but wanted to play the hand carefully and not get priced out of my draw). Steve bets 700 and I quickly call. The river comes beautifully, K . I lead for 2k just in-case Steve has some AK/KT type hand or maybe a weak 2 pair. He raises to 5k. Sweet! He was screwing around with a set! I move all-in for about 11k total, and he instantly calls. I'm still thrilled as I table my second nut straight, and then say, "Wow. That's sick. What a cooler!" when I see Steve's A T . Left with 950 I bust two hands later when I shoved with 55 and lost to T 6 on a 346, T, 8 board.

Oh well...

In other news there has been some controversy brewing over the end of the poker tournament at the Playboy mansion. I had left shortly before this, but I saw all the set-up. We had to be off the mansion grounds by a set time, and to accomodate this the tournament directors were forced to end the tournament by chip count rather than playing it out. I heard that they did not get a lot of time, but again do not know the details for sure. The player who took third basically could not win by picking up the blinds and antes, so Steve and Shannon simply folded their hands to lock up first and second.

He's not happy about this at all, and is taking aim at everything, including the charity, not just the parties involved - the two other players and the tournament directors. I am not sure when they went to number of hands, but the player who took third is livid. First point: no reason for him to have conflict with anybody other than who was responsible for that final table period.

But wait, here's some more gasoline on the fire! Steve was drunk as a skunk (as were 99% of the people in attendance... but that's besides the point). Annie Duke was sweating him in at the end. I have a great picture of them both in my previous blog, and that is basically what it looked like. Two drunken idiots having a great time while this drunken idiot laughed along and took pictures. The bad news is that Annie was telling Steve that he really should not be playing a hand While drunk Steve protested and said he wanted to at least look at his cards, and she said no way. This is a pretty blatant violation of the "one player to a hand rule".

Maybe Steve was serious about looking at his cards, maybe he was joking because it would sound funny, or maybe he was just there having a great time at the playboy mansion. I still think that it would have been pretty impossible for it to slip beyond his conscious realization that if he folded every hand he would lock up a seat in the main event. The place was a zoo - just look at the pictures! There were at least 50 people within five feet of the felt on that final table. Further, if the guy had a problem with Annie sweating Steve, or suspected foul play, why didn't he say anything Saturday night?!? This just came up recently.

Nothing obviously can be done now as the event has concluded, but lots of damage to many reputations of individuals and orginazations can be done if this is made public without all the facts and circumstances out there.

Just my two cents.


Shortly after writing this, I received this e-mail and thought I should pass it along.

"We are obviously so sorry that Terrence feels he was slighted in any way. I obviously would have prefered that everyone was happy, as we raised even more money this year than last, which was our goal. The kids in inner cities that benefit from this program and the hundreds of lives being saved in Africa as a direct result of people donating and attending this event I'm sure are more than thankful for everyone's support. I am more than happy to refund Terrence's monies that he paid to attend the event if he feel he was wronged in any way by winning a $15,000 prize. I cannot in good conscience split up a prize after the event when Steve and Shannon won, and I believe one of them is going to re-donate the prize back in order to benefit the Urban Health Institute." - Joy Miller, Urban Health Institute Tournament Consultant

Any questions, concerns, or interest in where the monies raised for the 501C3 non-profit organization go can be directed to Joy Miller at joyjoy712003@yahoo.com

Peace and good luck,


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