Saturday, June 30, 2012

WSOP Warm-up Continues:  T-9

PITTSBURGH -- Last night, Larry played in a tournament of 53 people that started at 7:15 p.m. By 1 a.m., there were 7. The tournament was a satellite, meaning that a certain number of people (5 for that particular tournament) would win entry into today's $550 buy-in deep stack. It was suggested that the remaining 7 pool the winnings and chop the pot -- it was enough that each of the 7 would win at least $550, and it was late enough that folks were ready to go home. But one person wanted to keep playing, so play continued.

And then there were 6. Someone suggested collecting $110 from each of the 6 remaining players for "the bubble" person. That 6th place finisher would then also get enough for the $550 buy-in. Play continued.

Larry ended up being that 6th place guy, but it turned out that two of the players didn't have the $110 cash on them. Could the game be held up for a few minutes so they could run to the ATM? No.

And then the person who originally wanted to keep playing when everybody else wanted to chop was the first to act on a hand. That person said I'm going to take a really long time to figure out whether I'm going to fold this hand or not. And he took just enough time "thinking about it" that the other two people ran to the ATM and came back so Larry and I could go home.


In today's tournament:

Larry was “on the button." Seven people had limped in before him for a 100 big blind. He had pocket jacks and raised to 1000 to get the random hands to fold. Three people called. The flop came Jack, 6, 5, all different suits. The three others checked around to Larry, and he bet 1000 with the best hand possible at that point. The first player re-raised him to 3000, the next guy folded, and the third guy called the 3000. He was pretty sure that the other two players had smaller sets or were on a draw for a straight. So Larry raised all-in for 22,000. Player 1 called and eventually player 2 called. Player 1 had a set of 6’s and was just about dead to find the fourth 6 in the deck. Player 2 showed 8, 7 and was on a straight draw for about a 28% chance to win the hand (we checked the percentage) – a crazy call for his tournament life.

But crazy sometimes works, and a 4 hit on the next card to give him a straight. He had to dodge the last card to not pair the board and give Larry a full house to take down a pot of over 70,000.

We’ve heard that the pros sometimes fold hands when they are dominating (even pocket aces pre-flop) just so that they don’t give some schmuck a 20% chance of knocking them out of the tournament. That's why they call it gambling.