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And into the Black (AC Trip Report Pt. 2)

When last we left me, I was eating a burger and enjoying the cool Atlantic City breeze. On my way back to the cardroom in preparation for the $60+15 tournament, I received a call from good buddy Danny Platinum. I was excited to tell of my good fortunes, "Hey bud, I'm in AC and I've locked in a $200 profit already." "Really?" pause "it's my birthday."

SHIT! I knew it was DP's birthday, but I had told him I'd be in Foxwoods with Woffles. Now, I wasn't even at Foxwoods. His birthday had just slipped my mind. "Ah, shit man. I'm sorry." "Ah, its no big deal." "I'll take you out to lunch tomorrow." "Yeah, I might have plans. We'll see."

I finished up the walk and decided to put Dan out of my mind. I had to focus on this tournament.

I've already voiced some of my problems with the Hilton, and they just continued through the tournament process. We did not get started on time, mostly because they have a backwards system. Instead of giving out seats during registration, each player had to pull a tile. Once I was seated, I noticed that the line was still growing. At the very least, there were 7 tables going, which was a good thing. The big Italian-looking, loose, wannabe pro guy from my earlier table (I'll have to give him a name, like Moose, just cause) told me that they usually had trouble getting 2 full tables on a Saturday. What a tool.

My table seemed nice enough. To my immediate right was a white haired, balding guy with glasses, who was very friendly. To his left sat...Moose. The rest of the table were young-looking kids, for the most part. I liked my table. Early on, it became clear that a few of the kids were going to play weak tight, since presumably they were either newbie fish or really cared about the $75 entry fee. Moose was his usual loose self, limping in a lot. He won the first hand with JT when a scruffy kid (definitely scruffier than the rest, and not coincidentally, he played a 'scruffier' game) slowplayed his flopped two pair allowing Moose to river him. I played a hand against the old guy on my left, and when I bet the river, he minimum raised me. I don't remember my hand, but I believe it was an overpair to the highly coordinated board. He showed down a complete bluff, and I was surprised to take it down. Ironically, he told me a hand or two later that he misread his cards. He thought he made the straight, and I believe him. He was the type of player who sincerely apologized after he won your chips. And he won a lot, too. He played the min-raise trick against me again later when I was stone-cold bluffing. He showed my pocket 10s for a flopped set, so I was glad to fold to his river bet. I don't recall other major hands, but I fluctuated because of my loose style. Eventually, the old guy busted Moose, and Moose stormed off. I didn't expect that from such a seasoned player.

When our table was split up, I was moved to the same table as the old guy. I had a little but more than our starting stack of 5k. There was also a good player who reminded me of Van Alstyn (am I spelling that right?). He was brought to my last table and when our table was split, he, oldie and I ended up in the same place. I don't remember this table too much, aside from a dorky looking guy in a NJ Devil's jersey. A cute girl on my left, who was apparently friends with Van Alstyn (they were chatting), mentioned that he was raising a lot. "Has he showed down any hands yet?" "No." "Well he will be soon." I waited to get into a confrontation with him, but it did not happen. Soon, our table was breaking and I was moved to my third table. One seat to my left was a friendly Maryland guy. We chatted for a bit about the game in general before I started asking him about players. I find that if you can find a friendly neighbor at a new table, you can get all sorts of useful information. The guy to his left was part of a biker "gang." It was his first time playing Hold'em (he had some other poker experience), but he had a huge stack. Apparently, he was a calling station who kept on hitting.

I waited for a chance to play Chuck the Biker, but when I did, he bet out on the flop. For a calling station, that's a scary thing. I folded. I played fairly well, as the blinds escalated. I had gotten up to over 15k from the last table (although I don't remember particular hands). I noticed everyone tightening as we got down to 2-tables so I began to loosen up. The entire game I was changing gears, and it was really working to my advantage. I raised in the CO from 1000 to 3500, hoping to get the BB only to call. He was short with 3200 at most, and I had Q3o. I was willing to get it all in on a coin toss, and even better, he was folding with a tiny M, so I could possibly pick up the blinds and antes. To my surprise, the SB pushed and the BB folded, so I made the call for 1500 more. He had 77 and I lost a pot. I tightened up, trying to find a time to double up. I finally made my move with AQ and found myself up against TT from NJ Devils and 66 from the weak player who was the BB in that last hand. The flop had an Ace and I was ecstatic. The turn was a 6, and the small stack hit his set. The river was a blank. "If one of them was going to beat me, I'm glad it was him." He took his pittance and I had a few chips more than before the hand. I continued to tighten up near the bubble, mostly because of stack size. When the final table bubble burst, we were moved.

As the players picked their new seats, Van Alstyn asked if everyone would chip in $10 for 10th place. Only 9 spots paid. I looked at the board and saw that 9th place made $109, for a $34 profit. -$10 and you are at $24 profit. At the time, I had 30k or so in chips, but there were players with less than 10k. I saw the possibility of placing 9th, and rejected the deal. A few of the players were shocked, and when the tournament director asked about the deal, Van Alstyn pointed to me and said, "He already said no." I stuck by my guns, but joked, "We can discuss it later when I'm shortstacked." At least they laughed.

Surprisingly, the old man with the big stack from my first table had busted already, as did Chuck the Biker (he was moved from our table, protesting the entire time). However, NJ Devil was still in, as was Van Alstyn and a shaved-headed kid who buddied up with me from the last table. He was a friendly guy and seemed to have fun yucking it up. I especially liked how he told me he was just trying to make the money. I exploited that whenever I could. There was also a middle aged guy who was friendly, as well as a guy who looked like a heavy metal band frontman.

Within 5 hands, I was dealt AA. MegaDeath pushed all-in from early position (I should note he was wearing a Full Tilt shirt). I pushed all-in after him, as one of the big stacks. Everyone got out of the way and we flipped the cards up. He had 55. The flop had a 5 and he doubled through me. I didn't let it bother me.

We continued to play and I knocked out 10th place (although I don't remember what I had). 9th place was the sole female at the table. She had barely any chips on her. I was getting shortstacked from the obscene blinds, and began to push with position. 8th place busted somewhere in there. I finally had a decent hand and pushed from MP with AJs. I looked to be in good shape until the action got to the skinheaded kid. He started counting his chips in front of hihs cards. I watched it, expecting that he was calling, but then I saw him starting to pull the chips back, as though he were still deciding. The dealer looked over and said it was a call. On showdown, he flipped 9To. I showed my AJs, and we saw a 9 on the flop....and again on the river. He had me outchipped and I was tossed from the tournament in 7th place. He came over to shake his hand and I said, "No way. Fuck you, calling with 9To!" I was joking, and cracked a smile after I saw the look of shock on his face. "Hey man, it wasn't my fault, the dealer made me call." I turned to the dealer, "Then fuck you too!" I shook his hand and we laughed it off.

I went to cash out, and Devils was right behind me, out in 6th. I won $99 profit for my trouble. As I went to cash out, I joked how it was not high enough of a place for me. "At least you made the money. The person in 10th place didn't get anything. They didn't even make a deal, and that's just common courtesy." What a fucking moron. I wanted to say, "Look at the payouts you daft fool, but I just took my money and walked.

After 3 hours and 41 minutes, I busted out in 7th place out of 58 players. I won $99 profit for my trouble. At the final table, I had AA v. 55 and lost to a suckout. I had AJs, and lost on a technicality. But I moneyed, and I didn't get all-in once until we were at the final two tables. I played an alternatively aggressive and patient game and had control of my emotions the entire time. I made friends at the table, which to me is key to success. It helped me get reads at new tables, and, I think, probably earned me some respect in certain situations.

As I went to see Marc, he was still slugging it away at the same 1/2 NL table. He congratulated me on my finish. It was about 6pm, and I felt satiated. "I can play some more, but if you want to go, I'm ready." He felt the same way, but wanted to play for another 1/2 hour. I found the Pai Gow tables and sat with $400. When Marc got me nearly an hour later, I was down $105. So be it.

I won $265 on the trip, and $370 if you don't count table games (Pai Gow). Coming up soon, I'll be playing the WSOP Circuit event at Harrahs on Saturday, December 9th for $300+40. The blind levels are 45 minutes long, more than twice the Hilton tournament's levels. I feel confident in my live game moreso than online. I was able to turn a profit in the cash game and the tournament. I love this fucking game.

If I need to work on anything, it's tells. According to Marc, I have two in particular. I lean back at times in the middle of a hand, and I'll scan the table with my eyes. The eyes thing is easily fixable with my sunglasses (I usually start without them). The lean back thing may be more tricky. I don't even know what they tell, and neither does Marc, so part of me thinks I should just not worry about them. In my head, they probably mean the same thing: I'm playing a hand and I'm trying to figure out the optimal play. That, in and of itself, means nothing. But for a good player, maybe they can pin it down more concretely. In the end, I'm less worried about leaning back and more worried about making sure that when I do lean back, it means nothing. In other words, if Player A always touches his nose when he bluffs, you know what that tell means. If Player B touches his nose and also talks and moves around and scratches his head all seemingly at random, touching his nose is not really an issue. I want to be Player B. I am not made to be a robot at the table.

Thanks for reading. Now, until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:40 PM,


At 2:27 PM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Heey there fancy pants! A seventh place finish in that thing is great! beats my 17th. *pout* hopefully we can actually play together next time we're in AC at the same time.
Till then, here's our trip report:


At 3:52 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I would have loved to have seen the "fuck you's" going on when you got knocked out. I'm sure it was a riot. HaHa, you fucker.

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent cash Jordan!

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, man. Making deals is for chumps.


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