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Legends of Poker
I signed up for the Legends WPT event on Friday night before the Saturday first day and was disappointed I was assigned to play on day
two, Sunday. I had my heart set on playing the first day because I thought a day of rest in between would be good for me. Since I had
Saturday off, I decided to go to a family gathering that I had originally declined going to. The affair ended up being exactly what I
needed. We spent the day lounging around the pool and relaxing.
When I woke up on Sunday, I was ready to play. I decided to approach this tournament a little different than I normally do. I usually
play a fast aggressive game, but that style hasn't worked in the big
tournaments. I realized that I can't win the tournament in the first day, so I was going to take the slow and steady road.
We started out with $10,000 in chips and played hour and a half rounds. After each round, we took a break and every time we did so, I
had more chips than the prior one. On the first break, I had $13,000. On the second, I had $15,000 and the by the end of the day I had
$24,225. I have played longer sessions of poker, but I was more exhausted than ever after this day.
I arrived on day two about fifteen minutes before tournament time. I checked the list for my seating assignment and I was happy with
the table I drew. Andy Bloch was sitting at my table, but
other than that I wasn't familiar with most of the players. Barry Greenstein came over to talk to me while I was looking at the list
and I asked him to look at the names too. He told me he wasn't familiar with any of the players either, so I was in good shape.
My table started out playing fast, but the first two times I raised the blinds all of the players folded. I still had $24,000 in chips
when I got dealt pocket aces. Tony Grand, an older gentleman who I have played with locally, raised the $400 blind to $2,500. For some
strange reason, I saw the raise as $1,500. I thought about my move for about 30 seconds and during that time, I still saw it at
$1,500. I didn't want to double his raise because I thought that it would look fishy. I decided $4,000 was the perfect size bet. I
threw my chips in front of me and one of the players said that it wasn't enough to constitute a raise. The floorperson was called over
and he said I needed to take the money back because I never said "raise". None of the other players called (maybe because they
knew my intention of reraising) and the two of us took the pot. The flop was JT6. Tony bet $3,000 and I decided to
move in because he only had $5,000 left behind him.
He showed me AK and then folded his hand. I think I might have been able to get all of his chips in preflop is I hadn't made the mistake
of misreading his raise.
On the next hand, I got pocket queens and raised. All of the players folded to the big blind and he showed me 62. I decided to show my
queens because I would use my tight image later on. Three hands later, the player in the
cutoff raised to $1,200 and I reraised to
$4,000 from the small blind with AT. I didn't want to play the hand and thought that the player would lay down his hand because I have
only played great hands. He called without much thought. The flop was JT2. I led out with a $7,000 bet and he instantly called. I hated
my hand and decided to give up on it unless I hit two pair or trips. We checked the turn and the river and he showed me KJ. I couldn't
believe he called my raise with that hand. I think he might have laid the hand down if I reraised to $5,000 or $6,000. The second to the
last hand of the round, I raised from the cutoff with KT of spades and the big blind called. The flop was Q high with two spades. The big
blind checked and I had the impression that he wanted to check raise me. I decided to take the free card and I checked. The turn was a
jack of clubs. This card gave me a straight draw with my
flush draw, but it also put the second club on
board. When he bet $1,500 into me I made an easy call.
The turn was the ace of clubs. I had the straight, but there was a possible flush on board. He bet $2,000 into me and I thought he had the flush. I
flat called and he showed Q9 of clubs. I picked up my hand to
muck and the player to my right saw my cards. He said, "Wow, I would have lost a lot more chips than that." I was a little frustrated that
things weren't going my way, but I was happy with the way that I played that hand. I made a great read when I put him on top pair and I played it to
hit my hand. If I managed to hit it, I would have got a lot of his chips especially if I hit the nine (which would give him two pair).
We took our break and I had $16,000 in chips. I didn't start the tournament out the way I wanted, but I still had hope. After the
break, I tried to steal the blinds. Previously, when all the other players folded to me on the button I folded too. I knew that Andy
had probably noticed that I wasn't stealing his blinds, so I figured he would fold when I finally decided to raise on the button. He
didn't go for it and reraised me another $5,000 and after some thought, I folded. I was eliminated on the next hand when all of my
chips went into the pot on a board of QT9 (I had AQ of hearts). I correctly read my opponents hand as pair with a straight draw because
of his weak bet on the flop. I didn't think he would call my reraise of $10,000, but he did and he showed QJ. The turn was deuce of hearts
giving me the flush draw. He could catch a king or an eight that wasn't a heart to give him the pot and the river was a black king. I was crushed.
I played my best on both days, but the pocket aces hand really bothered me. If I hadn't screwed up the raise, would my whole tournament be different?
The cards would have been different if we saw five cards instead of just the flop. I could torture myself for days on end thinking about the
"what if's". I just need to remember that I am still learning the game.