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Tahoe: Nov 6th-8th, 2009

More World Series Of Poker cashing?  We had an amazing time on our Lake Tahoe poker weekend.  Mace Volzing (ID: QTWins4Me...winner of our poker promotion #5) and some friends (Jon - Jon95014, Trevor - newnumber2, Lori - lushbaby1, Bob - maverycks, and Jill - shutterbug), along with Tim & Donna Gomes (ID: gomester & smallbucket) were there.  There were several other people that came as well to join in the fun (JP, Huggy, Erin, Chris, LilyAnn, Erik, and a few others).  Several played in some of the World Series of Poker circuit events together.  Below are the results.

Friday Tahoe WSOP Circuit Event #2: 

Several of us played in this event...Mace, Donna, Jon, Trevor, Lori, Bob, JP, and Chris.  There were 348 participants overall and it paid the top 36 finishers.  Most of us were knocked out somewhere between 150-200, except for JP and Mace.  I didn't get a chance to see much of JP, but he put out a great effort and ended up getting knocked out at #44...very close to the money.  We were able to watch Mace make a run at the $$$.  Around the 7th level his stack had been dwindling.  We started with $6k in chips and he was down to ~$3k.  Wasn't looking great.  But things started to turn in his favor.  He doubled up with JJ against a KQs.  That gave him some breathing room but he was still well below average (there were about 180 players left at this point).  Over the next ~15 minutes he managed to double up twice more (got it all-in on a coin flip and won the race each time).  This put him at a healthy ~$20k.  Over the next couple of hours his stack peaked at about $30k.  He was playing a very smart/conservative game and it was working.  Things got really tense/tight as we got down to about 50 players left.  You could tell that everyone left was keeping a close eye on how far away from the money they were.  Mace's stack was getting a little on the smallish size and it was going to be tough for him to make it.  He was determined to cash was his mission for the weekend.  He played very few hands but did manage to steal the blinds every orbit or two...enough to keep himself alive.  We were all hoping he wouldn't be the bubble-boy!  When the tourney got down to 37 players they went "hand-for-hand" at the 5 tables.  Whenever someone was all-in at one of the tables, the other players quickly gathered around to see the outcome.  This happened 4-5 times without someone was very exciting.  Then, the unthinkable happened.....Mace went all-in!  Would he become the bubble-boy??  Wasn't a bad move (it folded to him in the small blind...he was holding AJ...and the big blind ended up folding)...but we worried for a minute.  That gave Mace enough chips to cruise for another orbit or two if need be.  Well, a few hands later someone at another table went all-in and was eliminated...Mace made it to the $$$ on his first shot in a World Series of Poker event!!!  He played for another ~1.5 hours before being eliminated in 27th place (out of 348).  Very nice performance!   Congrats Mace!!!


In this event, I made it about 5hrs in.  I was never able to build any chips and for the last 2 hours I patiently waited.  Finally, it looked like I might catch my needed break.  I was down to about $3k in chips.  Blinds were $200/$400 with a $50 ante.  A smaller stack with about $2k under the gun goes all-in.  It folds to me in middle position and I look down and see AK suited so I go all-in.  I get head's up with the other player who turns over KJ offsuit.  Perfect opportunity for me to double up...unfortunately he hit a Jack on the river to cripple me with only $1k left.  I did manage to build it up to $2k before looking down at 10,10.  I pushed all-in and ran into KK.  Out at ~170 remaining.


Saturday Tahoe WSOP Circuit Event #4:

There were ~254 participants in this event.  Playing with us in this event were Mace, Tim, Jon, Trevor, JP, LilyAnn, and Chris.  By the end of Level 3 (first break) JP and Jon were eliminated.  (I forgot to tell Jon ahead of time that you cannot win in the WSOP with QQ and he ran into AA!)  At the first break Mace, Tim, and Trevor each had ~$8k in chips (which is what we started with).  LilyAnn and myself were down to ~$3-3.5k (she got crippled when her flopped full house lost to a runner-runner bigger full house!).  In the fourth round I was getting down even further and decided to push with 8,8.  I ran into QQ (my nemesis!)  I guess those queens found a new way to knock me out (fourth time it's happened to me in a WSOP event...).  LilyAnn busted sometime before the 2nd break.  Trevor was out somewhere around the 2nd break too (~130th or so...can't remember exactly).  


All our hopes were now riding on Tim and Mace.  They both were determined to go deep.  At level 11 ($600/$1200 blinds with a $100 ante) the average stack was $36k.  Mace had ~$25k and Tim had an impressive $79k.  95 players left and this tournament paid the top 27 finishers.  Mace couldn't seem to build a bigger stack but held on as long as he could.  He made it all the way to an impressive 40th...very close to cashing in his 2nd consecutive WSOP event.  Nice job Mace!  Tim was playing very well, reading his table perfectly.  He managed to continue building his stack.  At 2am they paused the tourney and it would restart on Sunday at 2pm.  Only 22 players remained...Tim had once again made it to the money!  This is Tim's 3rd World Series event and his 3rd time in the money...WOW!   On Sunday they resumed play.  A couple hours into it Tim was starting to get short.  He decided to push all-in with AJ and he ran into pocket 9s.  Unfortunately Tim lost the race and was eliminated in 16th place...Well done!


Sunday Tahoe WSOP Circuit Event #6:

After playing for almost 14hrs on back to back days, Mace decided to take the day off.  Tim was still in the Saturday event, so he couldn't play in this event either.  So it was just me and 191 other participants.  (Erik H. also played in this event with me but I never saw how he did.)  Would it be my turn to cash this weekend?  All weekend long I felt I was playing okay, but just not getting any flops and winning a miserably low percentage of my races.  In the previous 2 events, there was only ONE time that I ended a hand with more than a pair! (and the one time I had 3 of a kind I ran into 3 of a kind with a bigger kicker!).  I hadn't seen a single set, flush or straight in two days...I was hopeful that today's event would be different.  I finally got involved in a hand where I had a small pocket pair and flopped a set.  Two others still in helped build a nice size pot and I gave a healthy raise on the river and got called by AA (I won).  Was my luck finally turning around?  I kept a healthy stack size for several hours.  I lost a big hand when my AK suited vs QQ got involved in a preflop all-in where I again lost the coin flip (I raised, a guy pushed all-in and I was getting 2:1 on my money, so I was forced to make the call...).  I couldn't gain any traction from that point on and slowly started to dwindle.  I made it down to 55th place when I was short stacked and moved all-in after it folded around to me in the small blind.  I pushed all-in with K,10 (needing to pickup the blinds and antes) and got called by A,J...once again my hand didn't improve and I was out.  I'm already counting the days until Vegas in June....   :-)

It was a great weekend where we all had a lot of fun.  I was happy that we got a couple people to finish in the money.  If you know Mace or Tim be sure to congratulate them!

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