Saturday, August 6, 2011


My road to chopping the Caesars Mega Stack Event $81, started innocently enough with a last minute decision. My wife was going to play, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend 12 hours playing poker. The event was on a Saturday, I was usually like to chill because it’s a day before I have to go back to work, but my wife was relentless about wanting me to play. Also, I had been reading a couple of new tournament books I purchased in the last two weeks, and I figured I’ll give it a try.

So I get to the Caesars Palace poker room and as usually it’s extremely cold. I’m not a big fan of the room because I feel so isolated. The tournament was five minutes in, so I grabbed my seat and immediately get dealt in…junk hand and toss it into the muck. While I’m getting myself situated, I’m thinking about my game plan. The general feeling about the field is it’s extremely soft. Lots of dead money spewing around. A million thoughts are racing through my head about what I’m going to do…My early tournament strategy was playing a lot of hands, play in position, and be extremely aggressive. As far as what opponents I want to attack. I have a 3 general rules I follow: 1) Play against players who fold their button, 2) Play against players who fold after limping, and 3) Play against players who fold on the flop too much. If you just follow those 3 rules, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition….

We start with 15,000 Chips and right away I put the petal to the metal and raise and bet a ton of hands. Luckily, my table is letting me run them over without much resistance. My the 2nd hour, I’m sitting with 21,000 chips… Then my first important comes up:

IMPORTANT HAND #1 -- “Just Go with the read, dammit. Who cares if you get knocked out??”

The blinds are 100-200...I’m sitting with 21,000K…Player in middle position open-raises for 600 out of a 19,000 stack. Other than myself, this player has been very aggressive preflop, and I wanted a chance to play against him in position to see how he’s react to the 3-bet (Re-raise) I re-raise from the button to 1,600 with KJ offsuit. Everyone folds to the original raiser who calls..
3,500 in the pot and two players. The flops 9 7 2 with two spades…He checks to me. I put him on a range of two big cards and possibly a small pair of 4’s or 5’s. I bet 1,750..he calls. Pot is now 7,000. Turn card brings another 9...Suddenly my opponent bets 1,900. The bet screams flush draw! It’s an informational bet known as a “blocking” bet. Basically, it’s to see where he stands. Also, my guess is he’s putting me on big card as well like AK or AQ, and hoping I didn’t connect with the flop. My options are to fold or raise…My opponent has around 16K, so I decide to go with my read and put him on a flush draw and raise to 5,000K…My opponent instant calls. He called so fast that I’m now 100% sure I was up against a flush draw…The river brings a Jack. Even though I was sure he couldn’t call a substantial bet if the flush didn’t come…the jack put my mind at opponent check. I went all in…he folds…

That hand gave me a ton confidence and would set the stage for the early turning point of the tournament. One, that I believed, made me realize I have a chance for a deep run…..

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