Sunday, July 24, 2011

Foxwoods Trip Report

The rest of the family was out of town this weekend, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to make the journey down to Foxwoods for the 1st time for some poker. If you're planning on going, I highly recommend reading the FAQ's on the 2+2 thread.

I saw they had a nightly deepstack tourney at 6:00 PM, so I wanted to make sure I got down there in plenty of time to register for that. Door to door it's 250 miles, so I left a little before noon. The drive down was relatively uneventful, as I listened to some podcasts on my iphone to get me fired up from Tao of Pokerati and ESPN: The Poker Edge. I did miss one exit in Hartford, and got to see more of downtown than I was planning on. You also go thru the middle of Norwich, which could be a little tricky without a GPS.

I arrived ~ 3:30 PM and parked in the Rainmaker garage on the 3rd level, as they did have a nice lighted system telling me the 1st 2 levels were full. It was a short walk into the casino & I took the escalator down to the poker room. The WPT Poker Room is the largest on the East Coast, and it does have a lot of tables with 104 (I'd say they were 80% in use), but it doesn't have a huge feel to the room as the ceiling is lower in most places, and it's more L or T shaped, and closed in, as opposed to one big open room.

I got my WPT Dream Card. Pro Tip: Get your dream card in the poker room if you want the nice WPT logo. There is a desk just to the left of the cashiers cage. This is now my second favorite casino players card, behind the WSOP Total Rewards Card.

I put my name on the list for 1-2 PLO8 and 1-2 NL, which got called 1st. Sat down in the 10 seat, banging my knee on the toke box, and bought in for $100. Lost a couple pots w/99 & suited connectors when they called me for the 1-2 PLO8 game. Went ahead & registered for the 6 PM tourney early during a dealer/till change. Didn't really get much going in the PLO8 game & headed back up upstairs @ 6:00PM for the NL "DeepStack" tourney.

I was glad I registered early for the tourney, as the line was 50+ deep when we got started ~ 6:05 PM. We ended up w/336 runners for the $120 buy-in. We started w/15,000 chips, and blinds 25-50, but the levels were only 20 minutes. My 1st table was definitely a mix of players. Had one tough laydown w/TPTK when a guy check raised me on the flop & made a big bet on the turn for most of my chips. He had shown he was capable of having less than me, but I decided to wait for a better spot. Hovered right around starting stack for 1st 8 levels until our table broke.

By the time I got to my second table it was generally much better, but had become more of a push fest. 35 were getting paid & when we got down to ~ 60 I was short stacked & got the 1st of my 1st 2 double ups. The second was close to a triple up, when I got it AIPF with AdTd vs 2 others and hit my flush on the river putting me up towards 100k in chips.

We were down under 40 players & nearing the bubble when I got KK in the small blind. Blinds were 8000/16000 with 1000 ante. UTG limped. It got folded around to me where I went all in for ~ 50k. BB folded & UTG called me w/AdJd. flop was safe, but turn was A, and no K on river was the end for me on the bubble with a nasty beat. C'est la vie. Obviously I was playing to win & not just folding to the money. 35th would have paid $230 & 1st was over $7,000. Even though the 20 min blind levels don't make it a true deep stack tourney, I was still happy I entered & feel like I got my $ worth for 6 hours of play. Saw AA get cracked at least twice all in pre-flop by AK (4flush) and QT (boat).

Wasn't ready to leave yet, so I got my name on the 1-2 PLO list, and 1-2 PLO8 interest list. Walked to the Dunkin Donuts just a few steps from the casino in the complex & got a flatbread ham, cheese, & bacon sandwich. My dream card earnings from just playing that day paid for all but $0.90 worth. Scarfed it down while waiting for my initials to be called (they do initials at Foxwoods, not names).

Got called to the 1-2 PLO game & decided to do the short stack approach & try to run it up. Bought in for $60 & lost that when my KQQJ got rivered. Rebought for $100 & hit a big 3-way all in on the flop when my open ended straight draw hit on the turn & then my backdoor flush hit on the river. Won a few other decent pots & was able to run it up close to $600. Ended up cashing out $516. So after 12+ hours of fun poker at Foxwoods I ended up $235.
Made the drive home OK this morning as the sun came up, with one stop for gas, diet Mt. Dew, and food.

Overall I enjoyed my trip to Foxwoods and would definitely go back. I wish the deep stack tourney had longer levels, but I did like that the 1-2 PLO games were really 1-2, as opposed to the $5 bring in at the Rio during the WSOP.


Monday, July 04, 2011

Vegas Trip Report - Showdown Controversy

Let's just say I got my Vegas poker fix for the year. 1 min cash in a Golden Nugget Grand event, and 1 winning cash session does not make for a winning week. I felt much more comfortable in my 2nd WSOP event this year, than I did in my 1st event last year. And, if not for a brutal river beat I would have had a decent shot at getting to day 2 with some chips.

During my Binions PLO8 event, at our starting table I sat to the left of Alex Rousso. He was a nice enough fellow, and wrote much better about the Binions event than I could ever think of doing. We got embroiled in a bit of a controversy, which Alex also wrote about, in one of the 1st few hands. Alex was in seat 1, and I was in seat 2. Seat 4 and Seat 5 were involved in a hand that went to the river. Seat 4, a nice guy with a Red Sox card protector, bet the river. Seat 5 called, and seat 4 insta-mucked his hand, which was a bit suprising, especially in a hi-lo game.

Now is where the controversy starts. Seat 5 did not turn his cards over & pushed them towards the muck, as the dealer began to push the pot his way. Alex asked to see the cards, and where I come from you are required to show your cards, and the winning hand at showdown in order to win a pot on the river, so I supported Alex's request. The dealer said the player in seat 5 was not required to show his cards to win the pot. Then things turned a bit ugly between the player in Seat 5 and Alex, as Seat 5 asked why he wanted to see the cards. Alex honestly said for information, as that is a big part of the game, especially early in a tourney like this. Seat 5 said, "well that's a shitty thing to do". They went back and forth a bit, and I asked the dealer to call the floor over so we could get clarification on this.

The table wanted to keep playing, so I said fine, and ended up getting embroiled in a huge pot with the jackhole in Seat 5 where I called his pre-flop raise and ended up turning a boat for a scoop. My blood was pumping faster that hand than it has in a long time at the poker table as I explained the situation to the floor while I was trying to extract massive chips from the jackhole.

The floor ended up basically siding with the dealer, but he did add the caveat that if I thought that there was collusion involved then I had the right to stop the hand, call the floor over, and they would then show the table his hand. Well, now I could see where that could be considered "Shitty". So, basically the jackhole knew the local rule better than a few of the rest of us did, but I don't like that ruling & prefer the "Show me a winner" rule when it comes to a showdown on the river. What do you think?