Saturday, June 09, 2007

WSOP: Building a stack and dropping like flies

This is a good beat story:

I raised with KJs from middle position, and only the big blind called. The flop came J88. The big blind checked, and I saw no reason to think he had an eight or a higher J, so I fired a continuation bet. The big blind called.

The turn brought a King, giving me top two pair. The big blind checked again, and I didn't think he would have played trip eights like that. Many players would, but my read on the blind was that he didn't have an eight.

So I bet.

Of course, this is when the big blind check-raised me all in for a couple of thousand more chips. I had him covered and would be down to about 2,000 chips if I called and lost. Even though it seemed obvious he had the eight, I didn't believe it. I called.

He turned over JJ, for a flopped full house!

A quick King on the river made me a better full house to bust him, and my stack soared to 18,000 chips!

I had accomplished my initial goal -- I had six times my original 3,000 chip buy-in, and I was now in a position to use my big stack to make some real progress. I could play poker, rather than wait for the blinds to force me into push-or-fold situations.

Before that big hand, I had built up to about 10,000 chips through several hands. My AA held up against QJ that flopped an open-ended straight draw and missed on the turn and river after we got it in on a KTx flop. I also won a smaller pot by busting a short stack with TT that made a set vs. AK.

At some point, my stack had dwindled to around 2,500 chips when I called a limper from the small blind with T7o. The flop came 98x, and it got checked around. The turn brought a 6 to complete my straight. I checked it to the first player, who bet. The button raised, and I re-raised all in with the nuts. They both called. The both showed two pair that got there on the turn -- one with 86, and another with 6x (I don't remember what the other card was). That was nice.

The starting field of around 1,450 players dropped off very quickly. By the 150/300/25 level, there were fewer than 400 players left. The top 126 paid.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get much going. I got a short stack all in three times, and he won each of those hands. In the final one, I had a set of 8s against his rivered straight. I still had about 11,000 chips left though.

I wasn't getting any cards at all, and I went into steal mode. I knew my stack wouldn't stay at a reasonable level by just folding around until I was back in short-stacked territory. I don't think the general idea of stealing a lot was bad, but perhaps I grew a bit impatient.

Any time I raised, the big-stacked blinds would call. The flop always missed me horribly, usually with crappy coordinated low cards that I felt I would have a hard time bluffing, since the blinds had demonstrated a willingness to call a flop bet and try to steal on the turn. That would have been OK if I ever made at least a pair. Instead, I found myself repeatedly check-folding.

Eventually, I was the short stack at the table and had to push. My first push with something like K8s got everyone to fold. But it didn't take long for me to get desperate again. I open raised all-in with A5o from the cutoff, and one of the blinds had QQ. That was the end of my WSOP, somewhere between 300th and 400th place.

I played well early, but I think I tried to make too many moves in the mid-game with no cards to back them up. I'm left with the feeling that I spewed away my stack, although the alternative was to have it blinded away. Congrats to hoyazo for his cash and 107th place finish!

I had a fun time in my first WSOP. Now I'm going back to my comfort zone at the cash tables. They look very profitable.

2 comments:

Rav said...

Gl out there...

meanhappyguy said...

Was great to meet you this weekend. Had a blast prop-betting with you on Friday night at the MGM--hopefully next time we'll have a few more gamblers at the table!

Congrats on getting past the first 1k in the WSOP event.

Until next time!