Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WPT Championship - Day 1

Well, I am lucky I can title this blog "Day 1", which at least suggests there might be a Day 2 to blog about. To be frank I played so badly in the first 3 levels I pretty much deserved to be out. If it was a 10,000 chip event I would certainly have hit the rail sometime inthe first two hours..

Anyway, here is a brief synopsis of intresting stuff which happened (comments on any of the hands are welcome):

Took my seat in the regular cardroom, rather than the Fontana Lounge where most of the tournament action takes place. Only two players I recognise are Mark Seif (two to my right) and David Chui (on my immediate left).

I soon find out the geeky looking guy in seat 2 invented the game "Grand Theft Auto" and was worth a zillion quid or something. He moved allin twice when the following hand came up after about 30 minutes. Blinds are 50-100 GTA (as I will call him) raised to 400. Seif reraised to 2000 and GTA called. Flop came 89J with two spades. GTA checked and Seif bet 5k. GTA immediately moved allin for 48k. Seif made a ballsy call with two red kings. GTA had KT spades and was clear favourite to win the pot. But he missed his draws and Seif doubled up.

Soon after I raised to 300 with AK. Chui reraised to 800. I called. Flop KJ2 rainbow. I check called 1000. Turn a 7. Now I check called 2500. River another 7. I check called 6000 to be shown a house of jacks. Horrible play by me. I should have check raised on the flop and when Chui either called or rereraised had nothing more to do with the hand. Wasted well over 6k in this spot.

Early on during the next level (100-200) I limped with Jc8c. A very tight and seemingly inexperienced player now raised to 800. I called. Flop came Qc8s3c. I check called 1200. The turn was a juicy 6c. Now I check called 5k. My read was he had KK or AA with the appropriate club. I was planning to bet the river quite heavily if no club arrived. But just before the dealer showed the last card the guy grabbed a whole bunch of chips and looked manacingly at me, trying to intimidate me into checking. 99% of the the time this action means the guy is HOPING you will check and will meekly check behind you. Therefore you should bet any even haf decnt holdings, let alone the third nuts. But, before I had even given myself 3 seconds to think things through I had checked and he, sure enough checked behind me. He showed KK and I won the pot. Urgh.

I lost an yucky pot during the next level when I raised with AK and saw a flop of AKT. I bet quite heavily but was disappointed to see that the one caller was rewarded with a jack on the turn and led out with a huge bet and flashed me AQ when I passed.

Overall I played weak, timid poker throughout the first 3 levels, I was really nervous, which I haven't been at a poker oturnament since my first couple of attempts at the WSOP. I didn't think clearly and acted too quickly.

During the early stages of level 4 I moved to the Fonatan lounge and was greeted by a table featuring Brian Wilson, TJ Cloutier, Mike Gracz and Joe Sebok. They were all safely to my right however. I arrived with about 35k in chips and a resolve to play more positively and aggressively.

Let me describe a beautifully played hand that I wasn't involved in. I have no idea of the context, because it was within the first 15 minutes of my arrival.

200-400 blinds. TJ raised on the button to 1500. Sebok now reaised to 5k (leaving himself 24k). TJ called. Flop was 732 rainbow. Sebok bet 10k. TJ pushed allin. Sebok passed to be shown AT by TJ.. Sebok starts shaking! A great read by Cloutier...

Here's an interesting situation: With the blinds still at 200-400 someone opens for 1800. He gets 4 callers... and I squeeze AA out in the BB. I have 32k and all the players have me comftably covered. What should I do?

Now onto the last level of the day... two final key hands. Now we are playing 300-600 and I have 40k. Gracz opens in late position for 1800. I call on the button with 44. The flop comes 752 with two diamonds. He checks and I fire out an exploratory 3k. He calls. I am pretty sure he just has overcards, possibly with the flush draw. The turn is another 7. He checks and I bet 7k. He agonises and calls. When the river comes 6d he bets 9k. Hmmmm. Would he have called so much on a flush draw? Although I think it was a bad call by him, I decided he did. And he flashed me the AKd.

Then with 5 minutes remaining and 19k in chips TJ opened for 1800 on my sb. I called with AT. The flop was AK7 rainbow. I checked and so did he. With a pretty ten (which made 2 clubs on board) on the turn I bet 3k to be greeted by the question "How many chips do you have left?". When he called I was almost certain he had a draw of some kind... Probably a flush draw. The river was another ten. Now, the only way I could see getting paid here was to check and hope TJ bluffed at me, which he did by moving in and I beat him into the pot and doubled up.

Tomorrow is another day. I have 37k in chips which is plenty to work with as the blinds are just 400-800. I really played horribly for the most part but was pleased with the final two hands. Game plan for tomorrow is as always dependant on the table draw, but my focus will be on aggression..


Blogger SimonG. said...

Here's an interesting situation: With the blinds still at 200-400 someone opens for 1800. He gets 4 callers... and I squeeze AA out in the BB. I have 32k and all the players have me comftably covered. What should I do?

Whilst I think too many players overbet aces and cost themeselves action, the big blind is as good a position to do so if you are going to do it. Not only does it look suspicious, but I imagine you are less likely to be believed than the norm too.

So I guess I am thinking pop it to about 17k and shovel the rest in on the flop if there is one?

I imagine you tried to be more cute than this though.....?

P.S. How much of yourself did you end up playing for? Just curious to see how buoyant the "premium" market is right now. Whilst I certainly don't blame you for asking for a premium, I think the premium probably scotches all possible value for potential punters. Whilst out there anyway, your marginal expenses of playing this event are tiny - same size bill waiting for you when you get home whether you chose to play or not. Getting about a $600 contribution off each backer seems excessive, but if you keep getting it, keep charging it!

GL for the remainder.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Sciolist said...

I'd probably be thinking I'd make it 7x the initial raise (3x the raise plus whatever people've called so far), so it'd be 12600 raise.

I could see this being an allin if I've been caught bluffing/shown a bluff on the table though, but it's quite hard for someone to call 80bb with 3 players left to act, even if they figure they're all relatively weak.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Steve Leighton said...

Good luck with day 2 Keith,
I go along with Simon on this one, obviously you don't want too many callers in the hand so a raise of around half your stack seems about right. As already stated this could be quite easily seen as the big blind making a move so there is a fair chance of getting a caller. Then shove the rest in on the flop feigning a desperation bluff.
Thats what I would have done in the Fray Bentos Tournament anyway!
Bets of luck,

8:52 AM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Good stuff Keith, looking forward to a few more days of the same !

I think the most interesting hand is the Mark Seif hand. I reckon if you flop a set or even two pair on a connected board like that you can push in against a thinking player because he, like Seif, can put you on a big draw.

With your AA I would also move in. Represent some kind of giant squeeze play and send out vibes of "I know you're all going to fold". Putting half of it in is less likely to get called IMO. You're not playing against muppets.

Do you think TJ showing the bluff to Sebok helped you to check on the last hand ? It can't have hurt.

gl today.


9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would spend lots of time looking at my opponents as if measuring up my chances of getting away with a move, then count the pot, then move all in.

Good luck Camel


10:29 AM  
Blogger The Camel said...


I sold exactly what I was looking to sell. 45% for $15k. I've swapped off another 5% so I'm playing for 50% which is pefect.

As for the AA I raised 14k. If I was shorter stacked I would have gone for 7 or 8 and looked for action, but as it was I was happy to take the 10k in there already and try and look like it was a squeeze play. Andy's play of moving in was probably better. The initial raiser thought for an eternity before passing, the rest passed rapidly.


TJ's ealier bluff was certainly factor, but him asking me how many chips I had left convinced me he was drawing, so it was either the weak lead or the check when the ten hit.

Love your idea about the overraise on a coordinated board. Will write more about how tactics should change in this event compared to more normal events when I get home.

With Negreanu two to my left today, I have a feeling it will either be a very short day or a very long one!

Thanks for the good wishes!

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beaten by Dave Welch, at least you have your "expense" money to spunk away on da bones.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading these latest blogs Mr.Camel, pleased to see that you've recovered from the writer's cramp.
I liked the allin move with AA personally.

All the best,


4:14 AM  
Blogger Jersey Joe said...

jfbzhvEver wonder what happened to self proclaimed Pro Poker player Mike "MC Poker" Cunningham ?

Find out by going to:

Jersey Joe

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


will day 2 ever be published???

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget all this navel gazing bollocks.
Lets have your opinions on the machinations at the recent Gutshot festival.

'shot2the gut'

6:18 PM  
Blogger Alex Martin said...

Are you still alive?

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The camel no longer ruminates....
The poker bastard likewise.

9:52 AM  

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