Daniel - Poker Journal
EPT San Remo03 Apr 2008
Felt ready to play, and I was. Started off pretty smoothly getting my chips up from 10,000 to 30,000 without much trouble. Then a few players went broke and the seats were filled with some locals. I don't know if this was random or not, but my goodness, these Italians played slow! Every hand was a life or death decision, they would stare at you, make a face or two, then finally decide to look at their cards. At one point I counted the amount of time it took to play three hands: 15 minutes! When you only play 60 minute rounds, that is just killer.
Against one guy during about a 20 minute period I was dealt A-Q three times against him and his short stack. Each time he had a pair, flopped a full house, trips, and the other time he just won. We played one other all in pot and he beat me with A-6 vs K-Q for a nice 4-0 run.
Another Italian dude bluffed me, like, three times. He was an odd players to say the least. At one point he folded 8c 9c on the button to no raise. We saw it because his cards were exposed. Then later, with A-Q again, I raise, get called, and that Italian guy re-raises me. I fold the A-Q... he shows 7-8 off suit! LOL, go figure.
I made one "super advanced" play out of the big blind. The small blind, a solid young European player raised from the small blind and I defended with 6-9. The flop was 6d-7c-8c. He bet I called. The turn was an 8d and it went check-check. The river, a 10d and he checked. I was confident I had the best hand, but if I bet he wouldn't call me. I was very confident of that, so I decided to check because I wanted to see what hand he made a continuation bet on the flop with. He showed A-6 and I got a little bit of info. Super advanced, huh? lol.
Late in the day I raised to 2000 with As 10s and a guy behind me shoved for 7000 more. He'd done that like five times, not to me but to other players, so calling 7000 more to win 13,000 seemed like a no-brainer. He had aces, lol.
I fought hard all day and rather than "give up" late on day one I decided to play my A game and ended the day dead even, with 10,000 in chips.
Day 2: Only about 200 of the 700 starters remained and I drew lucky with the button being placed in the 9 seat while I was in the 8 seat. With blinds at 500-1000, that seemed like a good break.
I folded around to my big blind when the small blind made it 2600 to go. He was an aggressive player with a big stack who'd already raised three pots that round. I picked up As 3s and the only decision I had was whether to push, or wait until the flop to push. I didn't think there was any fold equity, but didn't see much point in waiting, so I shoved and he called... with AA, lol. Flop: 7-7-4....5....6! I made a straight and was off to the races.
I very quickly got my chips up over 40,000 winning a coin flip with A-J versus 10-10. I got up to 50,000 right before the following back to back hands:
From the small blind, with everyone folding I made it 2500 to go from the SB with AA. The big blind called (he had a big stack). The flop came 5-6-7, a terrible flop for AA in a situation like this, so I decided to check-call a bet of 3600. The turn was a 3 and it went check-check. The river came a 10 so I decided to make a value/defensive bet of 4200. The big blind made it 10,000.
I had the following thoughts going through my mind:
-if he had a pair and thought I was bluffing would he raise me or call me?
-if he had a hand like J-8 would he check the turn?
-was he capable of bluff raising the river?
It was a tough decision because I felt like he would just call the river if he had a pair, would have bet the turn with a random 8, but also felt like he was capable of a bluff raise on the river. I folded.
The very next hand I was dealt AK on the button. A player from early position raised, a late position player called 2500, and I called from the button. The small blind, the same guy who just beat me on the last pot, raised it to 12,500. It felt like a squeeze play to me based on his hesitation pre-flop and I felt like he had a weaker ace than mine. If one of the other players pushed, I was planning on folding as it would be a bad spot to play AK, but they both folded.
If I make the call I'd be left with close to 26,000. Since my opponent had a ton of chips I didn't see any fold equity since it would "look" like I had a pair of 88 or something like that anyway. If I call, though, I'm committed to going with the hand no matter what hits the board. I decided to make the call instead of going all in because I felt like I may be able to get him to fold on the flop, thus protecting myself from him seeing all five cards. Also, if he had a small pair and the flop came, like, Q-10-9, I could probably bluff him off of the best hand with an all in bet on the flop.
I called the raise and now was playing for a monster pot despite having only 10,000 to start the day! The flop came Q-7h-4h and he shoved. I looked at the dealer and said, "That's a very, very, very, very, bad flop." I didn't like seeing the Queen on the flop, but I did have the Kh for a miracle runner-runner draw in case I was crushed. I know he is going to push with any hand he raised with on a flop like that, so AK could be the best hand. I had 26,000 left and there was 32,000 already in the pot. 26,000 to win 58,000 in a spot where I felt my opponent's range was pretty wide made it a pretty easy call. I called, and he showed A-Q. Yuk. If I pushed pre-flop he was DEFINITELY calling so I like my play, including the 26,000 flop call. The turn was a heart, giving me a bit of hope, but the river blanked and that was that. I went from 10k to 50k in a heart beat, and then didn't even make it through the first hour!
Oh well. I really tried my best and felt like it was a good effort. I got bluffed a few times by some bizarre, random plays, but that's ok. If you never get bluffed then that means you just aren't trying all that hard.
It was a tough way to go out. I almost wish that I would have went out with the As 3s rather than get some hope and then go broke the way I did.
I'm feeling good about my game right now and am going to try to get a bet down that I final table either Monte Carlo or Bellagio. Huge fields so I'd obviously need some good odds, but I'm feeling really confident now about the way I'm playing. Doing commentary for almost two weeks straight most definitely helped.
The plan now is to spend a few days here in San Remo. My aunt lives here so we are going to probably visit her tomorrow or the day after. Other than that, not really sure what to do around here, but we'll think of something.