Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sam's Town Saturday: Pauly & Flipchip at the Final Table

Flipchip and I played in the Saturday NL tournament at Sam's Town. Guess what? We both made the final table and cashed. I took 3rd place ($600) while Flipchip came in 2nd place ($830). First place paid $1620 and top 5 places paid out. Flipchip even said that we'd both make the final table. Pretty cool, huh? The only other time I played at Sam's Town was for the first ever live WPBT event... the Holiday Classic last December. I made the final table but bubbled out, despite being the chipleader. This time, I made sure that I was going to cash.

48 players, mostly locals, bought in for the 7pm NL event with unlimited $20 rebuys in the first hour. For $48 you start with $2500 in chips. You can do a rebuy right away which I took advantage of. I also purchased the "double add-on" after the end of the rebuy period. In all, I spent $88 on the event and netted a $512 profit. One guy at my table dug into his pockets for almost $200 in rebuys.

7:51pm... Levels were 20 minutes long. Blinds started at $100/$100. I didn't play any hands to start. Near the end of the third level I found AA and raised 4x the BB. I got one caller. I flopped an ace, bet the pot and he came over the top of me all in. I quickly called. He flopped two pair and I had the set of aces. I doubled up. My stack was around $8K.

8:01pm... I found pocket Kings on the cut off and picked up another $1K. By the end of the rebuy period, I had $9K and purchased the $4K double add-on for $20. I then had $13K in chips. Flipchip had about the same.

8:35pm... Once I got back from the break, I won a few pots with AQs, 99, and AK. I flopped a set of nines and that was a big hand for me against the table chip leader. My stack grew to over $24K. All of a sudden, I was the table chip leader.

9:20pm... We colored up the $100 chips and action was consolidated to three tables. The short stack moved all in from UTG. I pushed all in to isolate. A new guy, who was just moved to our table with a bigger stack than mine, quickly called. I knew I was in trouble. I only had Ac-10c. The short stack had K-9 and the new guy flipped over A-K. We both flopped an ace, but I turned a ten to hit my three outer. I knocked out the short stack and doubled up in the process.

9:22pm... On the very next hand, with no one in the pot, I raised in LP with Ah-8h. One of the other short stacks moved all in from the blinds. It was only $400 more for me to call, so I did. He showed A-K. I promptly rivered him when an 8 spiked. Another three outer. It was one of those nights. In fact, I caught consecutive three outers and cracked Big Slick... both times. I moved into the overall chiplead with $60K. In my notes, I scribbled down, "You are a lucky fucker."

9:20pm... With 19 players remaining and two tables left, Flipchip was moved to my table. Once it got down to 6 players at our table (12 overall), I went into hyper-aggressive mode. I pushed around my big stack and bullied everyone. I did my best Stu Ungar impression. If someone raised, I reraised. If someone reraised me, I moved all in. I ran over my table and built up my stack to $95K by the break.

10:10pm... We redrew seat for the final table. I was second in chips. Flipchip was seat to my left in seat 10. The tournament director decided to chop some of the prize money and pay places 6-10 $100 each, instead of paying just the top 5. Most of it came out of the first and second place prize money. Two players went out quickly as I was starting to get blinded off. The blinds were $8K and $16K.

10:20pm... Action was down to 5. Flipchip had more chips than me and I slipped to 4th.

10:30pm... Blinds were $10K/$20K with 4 players remaining. A drunk Canuck in the big blind was being an idiot the entire tournament. He was clapping and cheering loudly every time he won a hand. He got lucky a bunch of times and was too busy self-celebrating to shake the hands of people he badbeated. He's the type of guy who wore sunglasses. In fact, he was the only guy in the field who wore shades. Anyway, a lot of folks who got knocked out wanted me to bust the drunk Canuck. I made a move on him when I moved all in on the button with... the Hammer! He paused in dramatic fashion for nearly four minutes before he mucked. He did the "let me count out my chips a few times" move before he folded. I wanted to show the bluff, but just handed over my cards to the dealer once he pushed me the pot. I whispered to Flip Chip... "I had the Hammer there."

10:40pm... It was three way when a kid knocked out the drunk Canuck. He raised my small blind and I put him on a steal. I moved all in for a re-steal and expected him to fold. I had 7-3o. He eventually called with Jack high and I knew I was done. My hand didn't improve and I took 3rd place. I actually had twice as many chips as Flipchip when I was busted. He was knocked out on the next hand and took second.

To celebrate, we picked up the Poker Prof and headed over to Carnegie Deli at the Mirage for a late night victory meal. Flipchip picked up the tab. I didn't get to see Dick Gatewood, the poker room manager of Sam's Town. He wasn't working. Sadly, his wife is experiencing some health issues so please send them your best wishes and thoughts.

Since Monday, I've been on a roll after a couple of positive sessions at the Bellagio and making the money at Sam's Town. Flipchip reminded me that I made the final table and technically cashed in my last tournament... the WSOP Media/Charity event where I took 6th, cracked Shannon Elizabeth's pocket aces, and won $250 for Charlie Tuttle's foundation. Looks like I'm on a mini-rush. I'm definitely going to play somewhere Sunday faternoon, perhaps the Bellagio or the Mirage.

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You should be reading.... Hdouble's The Cards Speak and Mr. Decker.

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