Friday, July 29, 2011

My Main Event - Day Three

Badih Bounahra, who would go on to the final table, was seated on my direct left for the duration of the day. You couldn’t ask for better. Bounahra played very few hands and, from what I could tell, never made any moves. He was a stone cold rock. Of all the players I played with during this tournament, there were at least thirty I would have deemed more likely to reach the final table. I kept reading about his double-ups on pokernews, which typically came about with players misjusdging his range and going with hands they should against random pros on the internet. If the guy folds three straight buttons, he’s probably not raising garbage on the fourth. Give him credit and fold your king-nine offsuit. I was absolutely stunned by the call which essentially set the final table, with shortish stack John Hewitt raising early and then calling Bounahra’s sizable reship with KQo. After playing a day with Bounahra, I can tell you the calling range in this scenario was pocket queens, kings, and aces. Ace-queen suited was an easy fold, with ace-king and pocket jacks right on the fence. It just goes to show you that talented players inevitably crack up during the course of the two-week journey that is the Main Event. Simply keeping your head on straight provides a substantial advantage.

I was nervous going into day three. It was the first time I’d made the third day of the Main. My table draw didn’t appear particularly favorable, with several solid but non-famous pros seated there – the type of table I have been known to underestimate in the past. And if I busted day three, I was to catch a flight the next day to Seattle to climb Mount Rainier, with serious doubts about whether I was physically, mentally, or emotionally prepared to do so.

I just wasn’t catching many playable cards the third day, just as I hadn’t throughout the first two. This kept my nose clean, gave me a lot of respect when I did enter a pot, and kept the variance low. In the first level, I busted a short stack calling his shove with pocket kings and holding against fours. That was the only hand of significance I played the first five and a half hours of the day.

The most interesting thing that was going on during the afternoon session was Andrew Rosskamm throwing out prop bets. He created a couple lines, saying he’d take either side of the action for up to $1,000. The first was the number of players left at the end of the day, and he set a line so judicious no one at the table wanted a piece. But his second line was outrageous, setting the over/under for the largest end-of-day stack at 2.7 million. I had discussed this figure previously with some friends, and we had it around 1.4 million. Bounahra beat me into the pot and I quickly followed suit for $500 apiece.

I bled down to near 100k but was able to pick off another short stack with QQ against his ATs. Not too long after that a young guy who had been moved to my right raised from the cutoff and I called with QJo on the button. It turned out this was Luke “bdbeatslayer” Vrabel. He c-bet a KTx flop, which I called. The turn paired the king and he slowly check-folded to my bet.

Not too much later I found my favorite hand, KTs, and raised from middle position. Rosskamm called from the big blind. He checked the Q75 flop so fast I felt like he hit it, and I resigned myself to a thousandth straight missed flop and small pot lost. The turn came a 9 giving me a gutty to the nutty and he fired out a medium-sized bet. I now decided he would bet any hand here and wasn’t ready to give up the pot that easily, so I called. The river was an 8. Rosskamm, who normally acted very quickly, hesitated a beat upon the river card before throwing out a bet of slightly less than half the pot. I paused just a moment confirming I could represent a six, then made a 3x raise. Rosskamm disgustedly folded a queen face up, so I showed my hand too.

Shortly after Rosskamm went ahead and paid Bounahra and I the $500, which was a classy move with half an hour left in the day. The chipleader would finish around 1.2m.

After that bluff and a successful three-bet of Vrabel I was up to 200k and felt like I had finally taken control of the table. Unfortunately after that I lost a slew of pots including

  • Getting squeezed out of a hand preflop by Bounahra
  • Twice getting three-bet by players I deduced were unlikely to be making moves
  • Raising QTs and failing with a c-bet on a 975 flop
  • Flatting Vrabel’s EP raise with AK and folding on a J87ish flop
  • Doubling up a short stack with eights against nines the final hand of the night

I finished with 142k, happy with my effort but unhappy to have less chips than I began the day with.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

these main event posts are awesome!

1:50 PM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Forgot to write this hand:

Bounahra opens for 10k UTG at 1500-3000, I call in BB with 99. Flop Axx, check-check. Turn J, I check-fold to a bet of 15k, he shows TT.

Felt this was one of the worst hands I played in the Main, pretty sure I take it with a bet, a bet-bet, or a turn checkraise.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Desirae said...

Day 2? And it's never too late to come to Seattle!

10:44 PM  

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