WSOP trip report – Part 2.
Note – the beginning and end chip counts are accurate. The rest are probably close, but also probably not exact.
Levels 3 and 4 (100/200 blinds and 100/200 blinds with 25 antes). I start these levels with 3375. Average is probably about 4300.
My M=11 when I start in level 3. This stack size has some features: 1) it isn’t a great size to splash around with, as a reraise means you lose 20% of your stack, and 2) it is a decent stack size for reraise pushes if you find a good spot, since you could pick up the 300 in blinds and the initial PF raiser (often 600) to add 30% or so to your stack.
To start these levels, I am playing patient, and looking for a spot to reraise push, even with a marginal hand. I will play good hands, of course, but I can’t count on them coming for me. I play about an orbit or so – losing the blinds twice, and getting one steal, before picking up the first meaningful hand – KQs in the big blind. A guy in MP raised to 600 and I have about 2900 in my stack. At this point, I think I could have pushed, but I decided instead to call the extra 400. I don’t like having to call off 15% of my stack on a call, but any flush draw, straight draw, or top pair hand and I will be getting all my chips in the middle. I have 2300 in my stack after the call. The flop is a very pretty KK2. I check, and he bets 1300. With only 1000 left, I don’t mess around and just push all in, since there is a flush draw on board. Looking back, this is probably a mistake, although I might be saying that since he folded after I ch-raised pushed. That being said, I don’t know that ch-calling there looks any less like a monster. Either way, a good result, as I added 1900 from villains stack and the 100 small blind to chip up to about 4900.
About 4 hands later, I get 55 (either in CO or hijack) and raise to 550 (bb is 200). The big blind calls. He is an aggressive guy who I think might be a live pro (or at least thinks he is capable of being a live pro). The reason I think this is his fundaments seem a bit shaky, but he is very aggro and seems very, very comfortable. The flop comes T72 with two spades. He checks, and I make a CB of about 625. He calls, I am not happy, and a 4 comes on the turn. He checks again, and I check behind. There is a flush draw on board, along with many straight draws, so I could be ahead, but I can’t play a big pot with 55 here. The river pairs the 2 – which is a good card for me. It is very doubtful he has a two, so if he was winning, he is still winning, and he was on a draw, he didn’t hit. I am mentally thinking about what to do if he bets, but I don’t have to worry – he checks. I check behind, and he shows T3 of spades for a busted flush draw. I add another 1250 to my stack – which is now around 6000.
The blinds go through me, and then I pick up 66 in 3rd position. I get called by the button (who was same player as 55 hand) and the small blind (who was villain in the AT suited hand in level 1. The flop comes 852 with 3 spades (I have no spades). Given I had been very active and the board isn’t too pretty for me, I decide not to CB this flop when the small blind checks to me. The button also checks, and we see an offsuit ace hit the turn. When the small blind checks to me, this seems like the perfect card to make a bet with. I can very easily represent an AK, AQ, AJ, etc. with this bet after raising PF and checking the turn, and so I fire about 900 chips or so into the pot, and both players fold. This gets my stack to just over 7,000 chips.
This is about where level 3 ended and level 4 began. Level 4, like level 3, was 100/200 blinds. However, level 4 also had a 25 chip ante – making the pots much more worth stealing! In the first orbit of the new level, I stole two times. Once was sb vs. bb, once in MP. Both I must have had something, but I didn’t write down the hands (probably suited connectors or broadway cards). One thing I notice now is a guy comes to our table, and I swear he is Mike Matasow, just 20 years younger. It is just uncanny how similar he looks to him. He does seem like a much nicer guy than Matasow, however, and much quieter.
I took an orbit off due to lack of cards/opportunities. When the blinds hit me again, I fold the bb, but limp A8o first in from the small blind. The flop comes A82. Hmm … how to play this monster. The opponent was an older guy who was very nice, but, bless him, was horrible. He was way, way, way too tight. He wouldn’t bet for me, so I made a small bet hoping he had something and would call. He folded, and I pick up the equivalent of a steal. This guy was great, and I will call him Old Fish from now on. I abused Old Fish throughout the tourney, but he saw enough good hands from me to always think I had it. Plus, once of twice when he contemplated and I got called elsewhere, he saw the goods from me. Old Fish would say things like: that guy pushes light – I was ready to call him with AK, maybe even AQ.
I fold for an orbit, and find AKs utg. This is now near the end of level 4, where we are about to go on a break. I raise utg to 625. The button, who is our 20-year younger version of Mike Matasow, reraises to about 1900. He only has 2000 behind. I have about 7300 or so, and figure that there is too much in the pot, and there are too many hands he would play here that makes me think I have good equity vs. his range. He was moderately aggro at times, and I had been aggro, so perhaps he was reraising me light. Although, maybe subconsciously I am just thinking this since he looks like Matasow. So, it gets back to me. I ask how much he has left to confirm he only has about 2K or so. I then put in enough chips to push him all in. When our Matsow-look-alike goes into the tank, I am happy. He obviously does not have aces or kings. I figure he will certainly call with either AQ or a lower pair, since he wouldn’t fold for half his chips, but I am not in too bad of a spot here.
After a few minutes, he starts asking me questions. I don’t really say much, figuring my utg raise and push look strong enough without me talking. Plus, I am not a good enough live player to make sure I don’t give away information. After about 5 minutes he folds! I was stunned, but happy. At the end of the next break, he was commenting on how dumb he was to reraise there with QJ. He asked what I had and I told him I would tell him after one of us busted. (Which wasn’t much longer for him.) I folded my blinds, then a few more hands before the 2nd break. At the 2nd break, I had 9,775. I was very happy with being able to chip up to 9775. Plus, I in levels 3 and 4 I increased my stack without ever seeing a showdown, which is certainly a much lower-variance way to increase a chip-stack.
To be continued …