Two Non-Event Events

Poker legend Johnny ChanI played yesterday’s 6-handed No Limit Holdem and today’s No Limit Holdem events, and both were pretty much non- events for me ~ despite reasonable starts, I only managed to make it for 5 hours or so in each tournament before being knocked out. I again got to play with some great players though (it really is a start-studded lineup here) which made the experience pretty interesting and more enjoyable than it otherwise would’ve been. In fact I somehow ended up with Johnny Chan’s phone number after chatting to him about playing poker in Australia, so it wasn’t a complete write-off 🙂

The 6-handed event was a day of bad beats, with just about every hand I saw shown down during the tournament ending up with the best hand being outdrawn. It began with Willie Tann, who started the day seated to my left. Willie was up a few hundred from the 2,500 starting stack quite quickly after kicking off his tournament with his usual aggressive game, but then had a clash with WSOP bracelet winner Meng La that saw him eliminated. Meng raised from the button, Willie re-raised from the big blind, and Meng called to see a flop of A-9-5. All the money went in and both players showed top pair, but Willie’s queen kicker dominated Meng’s ten….until a ten hit the turn, and Willie was out.

The player who replaced Willie was the next to get lucky, cracking pocket kings with his pocket queens when he hit a queen on the river. In poker’s version of karma, though, the two players’ fortunes were reversed not long afterwards when Mr Lucky’s top pair was cracked by the other guy’s runner-runner straight ~ and he was out. Meng had his own misfortunes, first when his flopped set lost to A-Q. He had bet his hand all the way to the river and was called by a player with only two overcards to the board ~ until he made a gutshot straight on
the final card. Then Meng limped with aces and fell victim to my 5-3 of clubs when I flopped a flush and the fourth club he needed to make a bigger flush didn’t come.

I then moved to a new table where 2006 WPT Championship runner-up David Matthew was next to inflict a bad beat, check-raising a player all in with only an underpair ~ but again running cards would give him a straight and the winning hand. It is indeed a cruel game.

And finally, I had my own bad beat (yes, you just knew it was coming): after raising with A-K and flopping top pair, I was check-raised all in by a player with only a straight draw ~ and this on a board with two diamonds! I think he’d decided my less-than-all-in bet looked weak (it was that kind of a table) and thought he could get me to lay down the hand. He was wrong, but of course he hit the straight and I was out. Ironically I’d had my best start to date in this tournament, tripling up in the first couple of levels ~ including taking a good number of

both Meng La and Johnny Chan’s chips. So despite getting nowhere in the tournament, at least I managed to beat a couple of poker greats out of a few pots…

Today’s tournament was basically more of the same, although this time I got very lucky before I got unlucky. I was all in a couple of hours into the tournament with pocket tens against both pocket aces and pocket jacks, and managed to hit a ten on the flop to triple up. But then I lost a race with pocket jacks against A-Q for another early exit. That’s how it goes.

Tomorrow I’ll play my first limit holdem event of the WSOP, which will be a change of pace after the wild action of no limit. It’s been quite a while since I played limit, so I might head down to the poker room to practice a little tonight, and see how Joe Hachem is going in making the 6-handed final table ~ down to just 9 players now so it will be close!