Tahoe: November 2012

The snowy hills were a beautiful backdrop for our Lake Tahoe poker weekend.  This was the 11th time we’ve brought winners from our free Simone Team poker promotion to play in World Series of Poker events.  The winners of Promo#11 were Michael Hodgson (ID: iaCollector) and Fred Norton (ID: 1FatPig).  They would be playing in a $365 World Series event (and they both received $250 to help cover their expenses).  Also in Tahoe was Liezl Libiran-Oliva (ID: JUL20061).

We all had a great time taking our shots at World Series greatness!  Liezl had a deep run in one of the $365 tourneys and was close to the money but just couldn’t hang on.  Fred and Michael couldn’t get much traction but managed to hang on for several hours before getting knocked out.  Good efforts by all.

I had 2 decent runs.  The Saturday $365 event that we all played in was the largest tourney they have had in the history of Tahoe WSOP events.  There were 651 players starting with $10,000 in chips!  The schedule was to play for 16 levels in Day 1 (close to 9hrs of poker) and play to a winner on Day 2.  My brother Andy joined us in Tahoe and decided he would jump into this tourney as well.  When the seats were drawn Andy and I found that we were seated at the same table!  It was a lot of fun playing across from him for so long….neither of us were ever moved from the table and the table never broke.  After 7.5 hours in Level 15, we were the only two original players still at our table!  I felt that I played very well in this tourney.  I was determined to make it to Day 2.  Half way through Level 15 I played the following hand…  The blinds were $800/$1600 with a $200 ante.  I was 2 from the button and looked down to see pocket sixes.  Under-the-gun to my right was the chip leader at the table.  I started the hand with $30,000 in chips.  He probably had $150,000.  He made a min-raise to $3200.  He was making a lot of min raises playing his big stack.  I decided to play with him and I called the $3200.  It folded around the table and we got to see the flop.  The flop came 346 rainbow.  A perfect flop for me and the first set I hit all weekend!  This was the break I needed.  He bet $4000.  I think for a minute about how best to play the hand (….and Hollywood a little :-)  and I decide to push all-in.  My raise amounted to about $23,000.  I was really hoping he had an overpair so that he’d make the call and I’d be a huge favorite to win the hand.  He thinks….and thinks….and thinks a little more.  He finally makes the call and turns over Jack Five offsuit!  He’s on an open-ended draw.  8 outs…makes me about a 68% favorite to double up.  Unfortunately, a deuce came on the turn giving him his straight!  Ugh.  I still had 11 outs to win (for a full-house or 4 of a kind) and 3 outs to chop (three 5s).  Regrettably, the river gave me no help and I was eliminated from the tourney.  It was a hard one to lose right there, but that’s poker!  I played in a $140 tournament later the next night.  There were 90 players and it paid the top 9 spots.  I was eliminated in 15th place by a drunk guy that could hardly see his cards (I was all-in against him on a huge hand after I flopped bottom set…he called me with a middle pair and hit his 2-outer on the river…OUCH!).

Here is Andy’s report from the event that we played in together:  (he cashed!)

Main event $365 Saturday tournament with 651 players.  I was between $11k and $6k in chips for the first 7 hours.  I had about 10 low pocket pairs that never connected on the flop.  I stole some pots, laid down other good hands and never got in trouble.  I was patient, patient, patient and more patient until finally I had to act.  I shoved allin 6 times in the 8th hour and 4 times took the antes & blinds.  The other 2 times I took about $2,500 extra off another player.  I worked my way up to $15k in the 8th hour and finally got KK.  I raised 3x preflop in early position only to have the big stack behind me raise to about $8k.  I thought for appearances and then pushed all-in, only to be instantly called.  The big stack turned over AA with authority and I was in BIG trouble.  The 1st card in the window was a King and I doubled up to $30k.  I stole some pots and won a nice hand with AJ suited to end the 9 hour day 1 at $66k in chips (37th out of 107 remaining).  I was active to start day 2 and was down to $45k at one point, but worked my way back and eliminated a short stack when he pushed with Q8 suited and I called with AQ suited.  That put me up at about $80k.  My table wasn't too heavy on chips, but it was broken up and I was moved to a table with many huge stacks.  I was down to about $60k and it was $10k to see a flop.  I got AK offsuit and raised to $10k in early position.  A huge stack called and another large stack made it $27k behind her.  I thought and then put all my chips in after the $50k pot.  It was about a $130k pot and the reraiser called with JJ.  It was my 1st coin flip for my life of the whole tournament.  The board was all blank and I was out in 56th place, winning $596 for my first WSOP cash!

Congrats to Andy for keeping our Tahoe cash streak alive at 5 years!