Shirley Rosario
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Ladies No Limit - Jennifer Tilly

by Shirley Rosario

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Shirley Rosario Cyndy VioletteLas Vegas is starting to be my home away from home. On my most recent trip to the World Series of Poker, I played in the $2,500 No Limit Holdem event and the Ladies tournament (won by actress Jennifer Tilly).

I arrived in Vegas the day before the $2,500 event. I decided to go to the Rio and play a few satellites, but I didn't do well in them. I had a hard time flopping a pair and my preflop raises meant nothing to my opponents. On one satellite, I sat there for two rounds without playing a hand. I finally decided to raise with A9. I know it is not much of a hand, but when you are totally card dead, it looks like a monster. To my surprise, two players called me. The flop was 7 high and one of the players moved all-in. The next player called him and I threw my hand away. One player turned up A8 and the other turned up A7. When the pot was awarded to the player with the pair of sevens, the other player said, "I can't believe you called with that hand." I told him, "Actually, I can't believe either of you called my raise considering I haven't played a hand in two rounds." I know I shouldn't have said anything, but I was frustrated. I was eliminated shortly after.

The next day, I went to the tournament ready to play. I wasn't going to let the previous day's satellite losses get me down. When I sat down at my table, I was pleased to see that I didn't know any of my opponents. There were two empty seats and they were soon filled by Lee Watkinson and John Juanda. It seems like that always happens. Big name players fill the empty seats of a table I am playing at. I won the first three pots I played and I thought things were going to go well for me in the tournament. On the first hand, I called one opponent down with AK high and won the pot. On the second hand, I held pocket Kings and won a nice size pot. The third hand was the most profitable of all of them. I raised to $75 with 87 of spades. The player to my left reraised to $200, one of the blinds called and I called. The flop was 952 with one spade. The big blind checked and I checked behind him. I was prepared to call a small bet because I figured my opponent would never know what hit him if I caught the six or backed into a flush. The player in position bet $225 and I called. The turn was a six giving me the straight. I checked, my opponent bet $1,100 and I moved all-in. He called in an instant and showed me his set of nines. He was not pleased to see my straight. The board didn't pair and he left complaining about "another bad beat".

I made a big mistake on a hand that followed. Lee raised in early position and I called with 87 of spades again. The flop was 873 all clubs. Lee bet, I raised, and he reraised. I thought he had the dry ace. The turn brought no club, so I called Lee's all-in bet. He showed the 54 of clubs. I wasn't expecting that hand at all. I was mad that I gave so many of my chips away. I was even madder that I gave them to one of the most talented players at our table. About a half hour later, Cyndy Violette joined our table. This was not exactly the table I wanted, but I wasn't going to let them get the best of me. I vowed to play the best game I could.

John Juanda built his stack up nicely. He played conservatively in the beginning and made some great calls. With his experience and his stack, he started to dominate the table. Whenever it was my big blind, he was in the cutoff seat and he always raised if the players folded to him. On one of the hands, I decided to take a stand and call his raise with T9 of clubs. The flop was KTx. I checked, he bet, and I folded. I actually considered moving in on him in this spot, but decided against it. During the dinner break, I told myself to take a stand against him the next time around. The first hand after the break, I was in the blind and John didn't fail me. He raised and I moved in with A4. He called my raise with J8. My hand held up and I doubled up. After seeing his hand, I wish I would have moved all-in with my pair of tens earlier. At least I know what to expect the next time he is sitting at my table.

I got moved to another table and John moved with me. I was still pretty short on chips and I needed to double up again. I lost most of my chips when I called a guy's raise with A3. He was short stacked and on the button, so I thought I had the best hand. He showed AK and took almost all of my chips. I posted the small blind and called when 3 other players limped into the pot. I was definitely getting the right price for my call and if I managed to flop a pair, I might have been able to triple up. I didn't flop a pair and ended up folding the hand. After that hand, I knew I had to play a hand within the round. My plan was to slide under the protection of any raise (any standard raise would have been larger than my chip stack). Finally, one player raised and I called without looking at my cards. My best shot was to be heads up with a player holding two live cards. To my disgust, one other player called. The first player turned up JT, the other player turned up A2 and I said, "I haven't looked at my cards yet." I turned them up and revealed pocket nines. I escaped the over cards and won a small pot. The next hand was my big blind and I posted the $600. I had $800 left and I knew I had to play the hand. All the players folded to the small blind and he moved in. I called and turned up 97 and he showed JT. The flop was T8x giving me the open end straight draw, but I didn't get there. I finished the tournament in approximately 150th place (they paid 100).

Mark Seif Shirley RosarioI went over to the final table of the $1,500 No Limit event to watch Mark Seif play. I had a strong feeling that he was going to win his second bracelet. One thing I know about Mark is that when he thinks he is going to win, he usually does. He approached me earlier in the day and said, "Can you say back to back?", so I knew he was feeling good. Mark ended up getting heads up with Minh Nguyen and beat him. The final hand was exciting. Mark raised to $100,000 (his standard raise), Minh reraised to $600,000, Mark moved in and Minh called. The flop brought a king and I knew the only way Minh could win was if he hit runner runner QJ. The turn was a nine and it was all over. Officially, this was not a back to back win, but it was for Mark. He left for Florida the day after his last win and stayed a few days. He came back to Vegas and won the next event. By 2:00am, I was exhausted and headed back to my hotel.

The next day, I relaxed. I woke up late and spent the afternoon at the pool. I have spent so much time in hotel rooms; I wanted to hang out in the sun. During the evening, I had a nice dinner and then played some poker. I was staying at the Luxor and they had a poker room there. I asked what kind of games they had and they told me they had a $2-4 Limit game. I asked if they had something bigger and they told me they had $4-8. I asked them if they had something bigger than that and they told me they had No Limit. I told the guy I would take the No Limit and he told me it was a $50 buy-in game. I kind of laughed and told him I would play. I spent about an hour and a half in the game and then headed off to my room for some sleep.

The Ladies event started at 11:00am and I made it there with only a few minutes to spare. I started dominating from the moment I sat down. I raised with any two cards if I was in position and I took down a lot of uncontested pots. Finally, I had to show one of my hands and I couldn't have been happier about the situation. I raised in position with 64 of diamonds and I got called by the lady in the small blind (she was short stacked). The flop brought two diamonds and after she checked, I bet $250 into the pot. She had less than that and she called with second pair. I had to turn my hand face up and everybody at my table got to see one of my garbage hands. I made the flush on the turn and eliminated the first player from my table. A short time later, I knocked out two more opponents when I raised with pocket kings and got called in two spots. The flop was queen high. I bet $300, the second player raised to $600, the next player moved all-in for $500, I moved all-in behind her and was called. One player had QJ and the other had QK. I am positive that showing the 64 helped me win as many chips as I did on that hand.

At the first break, I had $6,000 in chips (we started with $1,000). I was probably the chip leader in the whole tournament, but it didn't last very long. The first hand back, the player under the gun raised the $100 big blind to $250 and I reraised to $800 with pocket eights. My reraise was enough to put her all-in if she called. All of the players folded to her and she called. She flipped up pocket Aces and I lost. A couple hands later, I raised in position with pocket fours and the woman in the big blind moved all-in for an additional $150. I called her and she showed A3. She flopped a three and rivered a three. It didn't stop there and I found myself short stacked. Our table broke up right after I took the blinds and I got moved into the big blind at my next table. I took my blinds at that table and I got moved again. I got moved into the blinds again. I was totally irritated. I had to build my chips up and I wasn't going to be able to do it that way. I played about a round and a half and got moved again. I just knew I was going to get moved into the big blind again. To my surprise, I was in between the blinds so I got to come in after the button on that table. I figured I might have a chance to get something going again.

I doubled up when I took AK against one opponent's AT. There were about 150 players left from the 601 we started with. I ended up getting knocked out a short time later when I raised with pocket tens and was called by one player. The flop was eight high. I thought about what I was going to do. If I bet the pot, I was going to be pot committed, so I thought it would be best if I just moved my chips in. She called in an instant. I said, "If you called that quickly, you must have Aces." She flipped up pocket eights for a set. I turned a flush draw, but neither the heart nor ten got there on the river. I finished in about 135th place.

I went over to the reporter's table and told Pauly from Tao of Poker that I had just been eliminated. He asked if I would mind doing an exit interview and I told him that it would be no problem. We talked for awhile and then I went to play a satellite. I got down to five players, but was eliminated with pocket tens again.

I went to check out the Ladies Event again. One of my friends was still in it and she had some chips. I also noticed that Jennifer Tilly was still there too. Earlier in my trip, I talked with Phil Laak about a variety of things. One thing he mentioned was that he got the better end of the deal regarding his relationship with Jennifer. When I walked out, I noticed that Phil was at the final table of the Pot Limit Holdem event. I thought it would make a great story if both of them finished in the money on the same day.

I went back to my hotel room and packed up my stuff. I was ready to go home, but I wanted to take a nap before droving home. My nap ended up being nine hours. Sometimes poker is so exhausting. When I got home, I looked up the results and found out Jennifer won the Ladies Event, my friend Theresa finished sixth, Phil Laak finished in second in the Pot Limit Holdem event and Johnny Chan won his record tenth bracelet. It has been an exciting series. The only thing that will make it better for me is if I come home with a victory. My next shot at it is at the $5,000 Omaha Hi Low event.

2005 WSOP reports: $10,000 No Limit Championship
$1000 Ladies World Championship and $2500 No Limit Holdem
$5000 Omaha High Low, $2500 Omaha High Low, $1500 Omaha HiLo Split
$5000 No Limit Hold'em and $1500 No Limit Shootout, WSOP 2005 Parties