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Tahoe 2011

Quick Summary:  Our streak of cashes continues (4 years in a row now)!  There was even another final table appearance….you’ll have to read below for details…

Another great poker adventure last weekend in Lake Tahoe for the World Series of Poker. Dusty and Jason were the co-Winners of our Poker Promotion#9 and each got to play in 2 WSOP events and each received some cash for travel expenses.  Francois, Ed, and JP also joined us for the fun.  I have asked each of them to provide a poker trip report so you can see how they did.  Here you go….


From Jason Chan:

I played on the Friday and Saturday $345 tournaments.  Both tournaments went well and I lasted about 8 levels deep in each tournament.


The end of my first tournament went something like this: I was mid-position with a 10k stack (started the tourney with 10k) with blinds at 150/300/25Ante, hands are folded around to me and I look down to see pocket 9s.  I raised to 900-ish, button calls, BB thinks and calls.  Flop comes 10-5-6, 2 hearts.  BB checks, I bet to 2k-ish, button calls again, BB folds.  7(non-heart) comes on the turn, and I shove.  Button calls with AK hearts.  Ace comes on the river and ends my tournament career. :( 


The second tournament ended like this: I had a short stack of about 6-7k 150/300/25ante, everyone folds to the right of dealer, he raises to 600.  Folds to me, I look down to Q8o, and I call the 300 bet.  Flop comes Q-rag-rag rainbow.  I check the flop, and dealer raises 1.5k, I pushed and got an immediate call.  He turned over Aces and my jaw dropped.  My tournament life ended there.  I felt pretty good about my performance as I made it somewhere into the 8th level (4hrs in).

I really enjoyed myself, and would love to go again. 



From Ed Stacy:

One bad hand can wipe out 8 hours of playing well.  After eight hours of being patient and growing my stack slowly, I went into the dinner break with about $25K in chips (started with $10K).  Very rarely did I show down, I played position and pushed when I thought someone was weak and the strategy was working.  Then, a few hands after we got back I limped in from late position on a marginal hand.  Big and small called as well and when I flopped middle pair, figured I would push if big and small bet.  Small bet $2500 into a $4000 pot, big folded and I said those often-too-stupid words...."All In."

"Call"  Ouch.

He was sitting on top two pair.  I ended up hitting my second pair, but my bottom two pair was not enough.  Thank you for coming, out in 83rd!

All-in-all, a great experience and a humbling evening.   
Thanks Chris


From Francois Bertrand:

Tourney 1: End level 1. Down about 1K. Chased a draw from my big blind when I thought I was bullied.  Later, Pocket Ks. Folded to my raise. Made 75 ;)

Lost another 1K on a king high flush vs. quad deuces :O

End of level 2. @9,525. Came back a little.

Got knocked out middle of level 3…here’s how it went down:

I had aces full of ten, beat by aces full of queen, beat by quad 10s!

Had A9s under the gun, called 75, raised to 250 behind me. 4 callers, I called, 6 in the hand. 

Flop came QsTsTc. Check, check, I check, 500, one caller and I called. 

Ad on the turn. I checked, check, check. 

Ah on river. I bet 1,750

Raised to 4,200

Raised all-in

I called, my left beat me in the pot with pocket 10. Other guy had AQ!  I thought that only happened on Fulltilt! Lol…
Second tournament:

One triple up early with AQ

Then card dead until I called an all in preflop with KK. He had me covered and pocket 4s. 

4 on the window...Ugh!
Third tournament:


Lasted until the very end of 8th level

Almost card dead the whole way. Played a little in first 2 levels, and chip stack went back and forth between 8,000 and 15,000 (started at 12,000)

Then for the next 6 levels I got nothing to play. Card dead at its best, with no move opportunities. 

That's 3 hours of frustration. 

A few minutes before the second break, I got my first pocket pair of the tournament (4 hours into it). 2 red 10s. Raised to 650, called twice. Flop came A73 all club. I checked it and its bet behind me and called.  I sent the 10s into the muck and the bettor eventually took it with AK; other guy was drawing to a flush. 

Next hand I am in the big blind, button made it 700 (blinds 100/200) and I went all in with AQoff. He called with pocket 10s, I turned an ace and got back to around 9K+
Next hand I am in small blind, button raised to 1,200 and I re-raised to 4,200 with pocket Js


Big blind re-raised and it's for almost all my chips. I went all-in and he called with pocket Ks. His hand wasn't too surprising, was either aces or kings there. But I already had half of my stack in the pot and if I fold I basically have 10 blinds left. No miracle and I was out. 

Very frustrating to finish like that after 4 hours of patience and a 10 minute rush, but I had a blast and will be coming back next time around!




From JP Libiran

Highlight:  $345 NO LIMIT Event #05 (2-Day Event)

188 Tournament players started with 10K in chips.

I never really got involved with any hands until Level 8 (4 1/2 hours) into the tournament. Winning some pots here and there, by the 9th Round, I had approximately $14,250. Sometime around Level 9 or 10 Chris Simone was sitting right behind me on the adjacent table which was fun!  I looked down at my hand and I stumbled into Pocket 10s. Blinds are approx $200-$400.  I’m sitting on seat #1 and on the Button, seat #7 raised $550.  I flat called his raise, and so did the big blind.  As the flop shows: Jh,2x,7x, I started thinking, was flat calling on the flop a good idea??.  By that time,  seat #7 bet $1100.  With a little over $13,000, I figured I can afford to call one more time.  Big blind folds. The turn is the 10 of hearts.  "I GOT TRIPs!"...... Since I was on the dealer button, seat #7 took a little while, in fact someone called "TIME" on him. He bet $3500........  With possible straight showing: Jh,2x,7x,10h and a flush draw, I again flat called his $3500.  DID I MENTION, seat #7 was the chip leader with over $40,000 in chips!!!  And the river is..................  10 of diamonds!!! yahoooooo......   and the best part..., He goes all in on me!!!   "I CAAAALLLL".... seat #7 had trip "2s".... he lost....

Since that hand, I never looked back.  I got hot for about 45 minutes, and saw my chips grow from $28,000 to about $80,000 in chips by the 12th round..... Chris Simone looked over and said, “JP…I think you the chip leader!!!”

And then, the biggest Hand came...............I was on the Button again sitting on 6 of Hearts / 7 of hearts... Still in seat one, I flat called, there were no raises... Up until it got to the big blind, seat #3 raised $1100. I flat called, we were heads up.  The flop was J of Diamonds / 5 of hearts / 8 of hearts.  Wow!!!  I had a straight flush draw...  Seat #3 came out firing about $4500... Again I flat called... Nothing on the turn, except for the 6 of diamonds... I had a pair of 6s...  seat #3 went out and bet again $4500.  Again I flat called, and then the Unthinkable happened........  4 of Hearts at the river....  Yahooooo straight flush!!! He checked the river with nearly over $20,000 in the pot and looked over at me.  He was sitting with about $25,000 Left, So I figured I would go all in, Hopefully he would be thinking I was bluffing a flush draw all along....  So then he Called...  I show my Straight flush and the guy looks over at me and was pissed off!!! Wow....!

By Round 14, I was sitting with $180,000 in chips when the average chip stack in the tournament was about $56,000.  I had a HUGE chip lead.. This was probably the highlight of my night... with 58 players left, I was sitting nice and pretty... I made it though Day1 after 21 levels of play (12hrs of poker!) and would have to come back the next day for Day2 with just 14 players remaining out of 188!

I ended up placing 12th in the Tournament the next day.  My QQ all-in preflop was called by AK and the other guy hit a king on the turn.  I finished in the money and couldn’t have been happier!  It was an awesome experience.  Actually an AMAZING experience, especially when Chris Simone was right there with me.  Before the tournament started the day prior, Chris and I told each other that this was our last chance to make the money. And since we didn't do so well at the $550 buy in, we were looking for redemption.  And redemption is what WE got.

I would like to Thank Chris Simone for joining me in the Lake Tahoe WSOP...  It was an amazing weekend.  I also would like to thank my friends who supported me while I was in the Tournament.  You guys kept me "focused"...  Thank you: Tim Gomes who provided a Room for me to stay Sunday night.  Thank you to Donna Gomes for giving me a ride back home. And of course, thank you to my wife for supporting and taking care of the kids while I was in the tournament!   


From Chris Simone:

It seemed like it was shaping up to be a long poker weekend….one where it seemed I couldn’t catch a flop to save my life!  I had been taking a lot of lumps in the WSOP tourneys, and wasn’t having much luck in the cash games either.  We had gotten down to our final tournament with JP and I playing in Event#5, a $345 2-Day event.  The pressure was on….one of us needed to cash to keep our Tahoe streak alive!   There were 188 players and it paid 21 places.

From the very start at my first table I could see that my luck was finally starting to turn around.  My pocket aces held up for a nice small pot.  A few hands later I was dealt KQs.  Flop came J,10,6 rainbow.  I bet, there is a small raise…I call.  The turn is an Ace giving me the straight!  I check, other player bets $500, I raise to $1k and he calls.  The river is a 7 (no flush).  I bet $2200 and he just calls.  I win a nice pot and am up to ~$15k in chips.  Still in Level 2, I limp with a JQ.  The flop comes 10,9,2 rainbow.  I am under the gun so I bet and get called by 3 players (excellent…builds the pot).  The turn is a King….another straight!  I don’t think I’ve hit a straight all weekend…I think my luck is turning.  I check.  Other player makes it $1500.  I think about it for a minute (…..Hollywood anyone?) and I push all-in hoping he’ll think my over-bet is a steal attempt.  Well, the other guy had 10,10 in his hand (flopped a set) so he wasn’t going anywhere.  He calls and I knock him out when an 8 comes on the river!  I was then up to $26k and sitting pretty.

In Level 3 (…these are 30 minute rounds), I flopped another open ended straight draw that hit, giving me another straight….improving my stack to about $30k.  I stayed at ~$30k all the way through Level 4.

In Level 5 I look down at pocket 7s.  I raise from middle position to about $500 (blinds were $75-$150).  It folds to the button who shoves all-in for his last $2800.  I thought about it, hoped for a 50/50 race (2 over cards) and I called.  Unfortunately for me, he turned over pocket 8s!  But unfortunately for him, the flop came KK7!  My 7s held up and I knocked out another player!

In Level 6 I called a min-raise with a Q9 suited.  I had built up a big enough stack that I could afford to play around with these hands that I love so much…:-)  There were 5 callers for $350.  The flop comes A99!  I bet $1600 hoping someone has a strong Ace.  One player raises it $2200 more.  I re-raise ~$10k to force him all-in.  He calls me with AK and I knock him out of the tourney!  I’m now up to ~$46k.  

For the next hour or so I took a few hits.  At the end of Level 8 I had ~$31k in chips.  

Stressful hand in Level9: There was a min raise that I called from the button with Q10.  The flop came 6,6,10.  My read was that the guy didn’t have a 6, but I’d seen him play hands like 10,9s, 10,J, etc.  The turn was a 7 and the river a 4.  I ended up winning about $15k on that hand when he turned over 10,J.  Was nervous the entire hand and barely won that one!  At the end of Level 9 I was at ~$48k in chips once again.

Not much action for about an hour.  In Level 11 there were 85 players left out of 188.  Blinds were $300-$600.  I called a raise to ~$4000 preflop with a pair of 7s.  The flop came K64 rainbow (not a bad flop for me necessarily).  I was first to act and decided I was going to steal this pot.  I bet ~$16k thinking that I’m safe as long as the other guy doesn’t have AA or a king.  Well, he did have a king and snap-called me!  Ouch.  Down to ~$25k in chips.  Average chip stack at this time was about $25k, so I was still in decent shape (just not as good as I was).

In Level 12 (6 hours into the event) I was in the small blind.  Blinds were $400-$800.  It folded around to the button who made a 3x raise to $2400.  His bet and mannerisms made me think that he was trying to steal the blinds.  I looked down and saw AJ.  I decided to fire back by pushing all-in.  Much to my surprise (ugh!) the big blind calls!  I wasn’t expecting that to happen.  Well, we turned over our hands and saw that we both had AJ!  Split pot.  I was a little surprised that he called for all his chips after I went in, but as long as I didn’t lose the hand I was okay.  I ended up finishing Level 12 with ~$30k in chips.

Side note: At this time, I was sitting at a table right next to JP and we were only about 4 feet apart.  I could see whenever he made any big moves and he was keeping an eye on me too.  It was a lot of fun!  I looked over at one exciting hand....JP had just pushed all-in for about $40k in chips….and he had 2 callers!  This could be the biggest pot so far in the entire tournament.  JP turns over JJ, one other player turns over Q9s, and the third player turns over AK.  The flop comes QQ5…excitement/cheering/moaning erupts!  The turn is a Jack….the table EXPLODES!  The river is a blank….JP knocks out TWO players and is sitting on a mountain of chips!  He had ~$125k and was easily the chip leader in the tournament.  Amazing!

In Level 13 I look down under the gun with pocket 5s.  Blinds were $500-$1000 at this point.  I make it $4000.  It folds around to a player that pushes all-in for ~$12000.  It folds to me.  I’m getting about 2:1 on my money and throw in $8k more hoping he’s got something like AK, AQ, etc for a coin flip.  He turns over the ladies….pocket Queens.  Usually, it only takes ONE queen to beat me (lol)….he had two and he took down the pot.  Down to about $15k.  The very next hand I look down at AJs.  There was a min-raise in front of me.  I pushed all-in and got called by a guy with pocket 10s.  I hit my Ace and doubled up!  Roller coaster of a round…  I ended Level 13 with about $30k in chips.  There were 44 players remaining…JP and I were still in and needed to make it to 21 for the money.

I got moved to another table in Level 14 and decided to play very tight while I tried to figure out the players.  The blinds were $600-$1200 with a $200 ante.  After 20-30 minutes of not playing a hand I limped with 5,6s UTG (making it look suspicious like I wanted a caller representing a big hand).  I threw out a continuation bet after the flop and stole the pot.  Not much else during this round.  At this point, the rounds last 40 minutes.

Starting Level 15 I was getting a little low.  I had about $21k in chips and the blinds were $700-$1400 with a $200 ante.  I would need to start looking for a good place to double up.  There were 36 players remaining.  JP was sitting on ~$170k in chips!!!  Then I was moved to play at the same table as JP!  I wondered if I was going to be another one of his victims!  JP and I had joked at the beginning of the tourney, saying that if either one of us knocked the other one out that at least our chips would be going to good use… During this level I managed to double up to about $45k.  JP continued building to about $180k…impressive.  His stacks were so tall that I thought they would tip over into the pot accidentally…lol. 

I finished Level 16 with $47k in chips.  JP was at ~$150k.  There were only 27 players remaining….we were almost to the money!  Level 17 was fairly uneventful.  I did manage to build my stack up to about $66k.  We got down to just 24 players.

I was determined to make it to the money.  I had enough chips to wait it out and I didn’t want to risk anything at this point.  I played very tight just waiting.  By the end of Level 18 we were down to 21 players….JP and I had both made it into the money!!  What a thrill it was that we had BOTH made it to the money!  I was sitting on about $60k in chips and JP had ~$150k.  Mission accomplished!  The Tahoe streak continues…  Now it was time to have some fun.

Level 19 (10 hours into the tournament!) had blinds at $1500-$3000 with a $500 ante.  I think I played my best poker from this point on in the tournament.  On one hand I raised to $9k with AQo and someone went all-in.  I would have had to call with all my chips and I didn’t want to gamble so I folded.  Down to $49k.  A few hands later I look down at pocket 10s.  I made it $11000.  Someone pushed all-in.  This particular player could have made that move with a smaller pair, or something like AK, AQ so I decided to call him.  He turned over AK but my 10s held up!  After winning that pot my stack had climbed to ~$120k.  

Level 19 (continued): Anther big hand…Under the gun player limps for $3000.  Next player makes it $10000.  I look down and have JJ and push it up to $30000 hoping to steal a healthy pot right there.  Suddenly, the under the gun limper pushes all-in for $200,000!  It folds to me.  I tank for at least 2-3 minutes.  I’ve watched this guy play quite a bit.  My read was that I should fold.  I followed my gut and folded.  He turned over QQ!  Dodged a bullet there….those ladies are still after me!  I was down to $86k after that…still in decent shape though.

Still in Level 19 I got to implement something to near perfection that I felt really good about.  Several times over the last hour or two I had limped from the button or small blind only to have the player to my left come over the top and steal the pot.  I was setting up a big play.  In Level 19 is when I got my opportunity.  I’m in the small blind and it folds around to me.  I look down at pocket Aces!  I make a 3x raise of $9000 and the big blind calls me.  The flop comes 9,4,4.  I’m first to act so I bet $25k (hoping he’ll just think I’m throwing out a continuation bet).  He immediately shoves all-in for $75k!  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a 4 so I call him.  He turns over 8,9s.  He hit 2 pair on the flop (perfect!), but of course my two pair was bigger!  My aces held up and I knock him out, growing my chip stack to $168,000!

After that hand I got moved to another table (I think we were down to ~18).  Under the gun I look down at AJ of clubs and make it $12k.  A short stack makes a min raise (which was a mistake on their part…they should have shoved) so I call.  At that point, the short stack player only had about $20k remaining.  I was going to be first to act and I decided already before even seeing the flop that I was going to shove all-in no matter what to try to get her to fold if she missed.  The flop came Kc,Qc,7h which isn’t a bad flop for me (royal flush draw).  I shove all-in and she immediately calls me with AK.  I got a club on the turn for my flush and knocked her out!  I was now up to $220k in chips (the average stack at this point was $117k).  I was in good shape.

Level 20 ended with 16 players remaining.  JP and I were still in!  I had $185k in chips.  Now I was focused on getting to Day 2 (another one of my goals).  It was close.  Just needed to get through one more 40 minute level.

Level 21 was pretty uneventful for me.  It ended with just 14 players remaining.  JP and I were still in and made it to Day 2!!  JP had ~$55k in chips and I had $160k.  12hrs of poker is enough for one day….lol!  It was about 2:30am....Bed time….

Day2 Level 22: Blinds are $3000-$6000 with a $1000 ante.  On the VERY FIRST hand I get dealt pocket Kings :-)   I’m in the big blind.  Someone made it $15k before it got to me.  I raised up to $45000 and the other player folded.  Nice way to start the day!  Now sitting at $180k.

On the other table where JP was I see that on the 2nd hand he doubled up to ~$120k.  That got him healthy again.  Nice work JP.  Unfortunately, a while later JP was dealt the final blow….QQ.  He raised, someone else re-raised, he pushed all-in, they called.  The other guy turns over AK and hit his king on the turn.  JP is knocked out in 12th place and scoops a nice payday.  10-15 minutes later someone else got knocked out and we were down to 10 players and merged into the FINAL TABLE!  I had ~$130k in chips.  We were now seated on their ‘main’ table next to some bleachers….we’re in the big leagues!  Some people were there to cheer me on which was really nice.

On the final table someone got knocked out and we were down to 9.  At that point their MC goes on the loud speaker to introduce the “final 9 players”.  It was a lot of fun to get that far.  Back to the poker action….after a little while, a short stack to my right pushes all-in for about $50k.  I know he was getting a little desperate and he could be pushing with a wide range of hands.  I look down at pocket 10s and call him.  He turns over JQ.  My 10s hold up and I knocked out another player and was up to $180k in chips.  I was riding my “pocket 10s” euphoria (I had won several times with them) and was even talking about that fact a few hands later when another semi-short stack pushes all-in preflop.  I look down and see…..pocket 10s again!  Is this an omen?  I decide to call.  The other player turns over pocket Jacks…ouch!  In retrospect, that player was a little tighter of a player and I might have been able to lay down the pocket 10s, but I guess you never know how it’s going to turn out.  I lost that hand and it crippled me to about $65k.

In Level 23 I was trying to be patient and pick a good spot to shove.  Blinds were $4000-$8000 with a $1000 ante.  I had bled down to ~$43k before I even saw a card higher than a 10….K3s.  I shoved and was called by J10.  I won the hand and was back to $95k.  I raise-folded preflop a couple of hands over the next 20 minutes when people kept coming over the top of me.  I bled down to $49k remaining.  Looking for a spot to make a move, I found it with pocket 3s under the gun.  I got two callers.  The flop came 2,4,10.  One of the remaining players bet $100k and the other player folded.  The remaining player turns over……pocket Queens!  My nemesis…!  The turn came a 5 which gave me 8 more outs, but it wasn’t meant to be.  The river was a jack and I was eliminated in 7th place for a $2000 payday.

I had a great time and felt like I played really well in that tourney (and a lot of things went my way too).  Also worth mentioning:  Mark Thompson (MarkT123) finished 19th in event 2 for his first WSOP cash (congrats!).  Tim Gomes and John DeMarinis played in a $70 satellite and both qualified for the Tahoe Main Event ($1500 event)…good luck guys!  I’m already looking forward to Vegas in 2012 for the WSOP.

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