1 PM Feb 24 2012, Aria Casino, 7th (102 entries)
Finally made it back into the money after three long weeks. Maybe it was my lucky Pink Floyd t-shirt
that made the difference. It was given to me by a friend as a token
of his appreciation for a hand-me-down Macbook Pro laptop I gave him about six months ago.
The shirt is a collectible one printed to celebrate a special set of CD recordings Pink Floyd released
last year. Last night I washed it carefully in cold water, hung it in the closet to dry, then put it on for
the first time ever before heading over to the Aria to play in their daily 1 PM tournament today.
After the first two (half-hour) levels of play, I had nearly tripled my chip stack from its initial
10K to about 28K. There was one particular breakout hand where I doubled up early, that sort of set
the tone for the rest of the tournament.
With the blinds still at 50-100, I raised 3.5x to 350 under the gun holding
A young, loose-aggressive player in late position called, and everyone else folded.
The flop came
Not too bad of a flop for a pair of nines, I thought, so I bet 600, slightly more than 2/3 of the pot.
The young and aggressive player then raised to 1675. I deliberated for quite awhile, trying to decide
whether to call or not. I wasn't going to raise, but I didn't want to fold either. After about 30
seconds, I called. The turn came
I checked. The raiser put out a sizable bet, something like 4000 chips. With my remaining stack
at somewhere around 9000, it occurred to me that if the raiser had pocket queens (which seemed
very plausible, given his preflop call of my raise and subsequent play), then he couldn't have any
clubs in his hand because the queen of clubs was already on the board. This would mean that my nine of
clubs provided at least eight outs on the river (the nine remaining clubs, minus the six of clubs
which would give my opponent a full house), and possibly ten outs if a set of nines would also win.
I definitely felt behind in the hand though, so if it went to showdown, that was all I could
But there was also some "fold equity". By representing a made flush, maybe I could get the
other player to fold his hand.
All these thoughts entered my mind fairly quickly. Before spending any more time to think about it,
I grabbed the rest of my chips and put them in the middle.
The other player was extremely disappointed to see this. He easily had me covered, so he figured I must
have something like the AK of clubs and had just hit my flush, or I wouldn't have put my chips in like that.
After thinking about it for a real long time, he
finally made a very reluctant call, and turned over
To my utter delight, the river came
and I doubled up.
The other player then became really upset. He might be a good player, but
he's evidently not very good at taking a beat like that.
There are certain players out there who, when
another player lucks out against them, will start telling the lucky player how "stupid" their play was,
that they didn't deserve to win the pot, etc. Not only is this extremely bad form to begin with, it
tends to only make things worse for the player who lets himself get caught up in this nonsense.
I have to give the Aria's poker room credit, because they put a great emphasis on providing the
players with a pleasant poker-playing environment.
Apparently on complete tilt, the other player must have started calling me names.
I wasn't paying any attention to him, so I didn't hear any of it - he was way across the table from me
in seat 8, and I was in seat 3.
At one point, disgusted with his cards, instead of folding them normally he
suddenly threw them across the table in my direction. The dealer seemed to think he was aiming them at me,
but I don't think he was - I think he just disgustedly threw his cards towards the middle,
at no one in particular. Regardless of his intent, it was at this point that
the dealer called the floor manager over to reprimand the rude player. The dealer told the manager,
"The player in seat 8 has been badgering the player in seat 3 for several hands, calling him names three times,
and he just threw his
cards at him." The floor manager forcefully told the player that he had to stop this behavior immediately.
After being disciplined, the player did finally get control of himself, but he
got knocked out of the tournament only a few hands later when the player to my left flopped a set
of jacks against him heads up.
That was definitely some of the worst behavior I've ever seen at the tables. Maybe the player
was mostly used to playing online, where you can yell and scream at the other players without getting
into any trouble.
There were lots of other big hands that occurred during the 7 1/2 total hours of play that occurred
before the final seven of us agreed to chop up the prize pool seven ways, but none quite as dramatic as that
one above, where I hit the flush on the river facing another early exit if the wrong card fell.
My chip stack peaked at around 102K late in the tournament. I finished with by far the shortest stack
among the last seven players when we decided to chop. My stack was only at 32K with the next closest
being above 100K. The chip leader had 226K. We divvied up the prize pool using an
established method (ICM, which stands for "Independent Chip Model")
for determining who should get what, based on how big their final chip stack is.
This method actually seems to favor the small stack, as my payout was about $200 more than what
it would have been if I had been knocked out in 7th place.
I think I may wear that Pink Floyd t-shirt more often at the tables!