Sunday, August 20, 2006
Adventures in Des Moines, my first big cash...
Now that we've moved to city that has a casino, I decided to check out the poker room there. It opened up earlier this year, and has about 15-20 tables I think.
I've only played in B&M once before (see earlier posts for details). I now play low to mid stakes online. Lately I've been feasting on SnG's and Heads Up play. I fare well, and am slowly building a decent sized bankroll. When time allows, I take stabs at MTT's. Usually with buyins between $5 and $20. I've cashed in a few of these MTT tourney's, but no final tables or anything like that.
The local casino offers the usual selection of cash games, and the play seems pretty standard for a casino in the middle of nowhere (Des Moines, Iowa). A few people who seem to know their stuff, a few who think they know it all, and make it a point to let everyone know. And a few who are completely out of their league.
The casino offers three MTT tourneys a week, ranging from $25 to $100 buyins. I played in Sunday's $50 +10.
There were 111 entrants for a prize pool of $5550. Payouts as follows:
I made the final table 2nd in chips with 81,000 (chip leader had about 88,000), and after about 8-10 hands, we were down to 6, at this point I was in 3rd, with somewhere around 70-75,000. Somebody suggested that we chop the remaining prize money 6 ways. Everyone agreed, and we each walked away with $832.50, which is equivalent to 3rd place money. So I guess I was compensated properly for my stack. The blinds had just increased to 5,000-10,000, so it probably would have been a shovefest from that point on. Nobody had a commanding chip lead. The couple of shortstacks (relatively speaking that is, even in third place, my M was only 5 or so) were more than happy with the chop. Personally, I would have liked to see a couple of the short stacks eliminated before we chopped, but I wasn't going to be the lone holdout.
This is easily the most I have won at one time playing poker (I think maybe $40 was my previous best).
I really didn't have too many notable hands. Here's what I recall.
When we were down to 18 people or so, I was dealt KK back to back. First time I doubled up off the chip leader, the next time I doubled up a very short stack when his A-3 offsuit rivered a flush to crack my Kings.
The very next hand I was dealt 10-10, and scooped a decent pot.
A couple of hands later I folded 8-8 UTG (I had my reasons), and accidentally exposed my cards while mucking. An accidental move that would pay off big time. The table was amazed that I folded and really stayed away from me the rest of the tourney whenever I was in a pot, assuming I had a monster every time I guess. I took advantage of this, and did quite a bit of chipping up.
Early on, I limped with 4-4, and flopped a set on a rainbow, unconnected board. Scooped a decent sized pot if I remember correctly.
At some point, my A-A flopped a set after my 4xBB preflop raise drew 4 callers, and I eliminated 2 players. Can't remember what they had though.
I played ABC poker for the most part, and didn't make too many moves. I think I attempted blind steals maybe 7-10 times, and was successful every time but one.
The blinds increased very rapidly in this tourney, every 20 minutes. That really kept the action lively. I prefer longer levels, but I can't complain about the results this time.
All in all, I must say that B&M play is so much more fun than online play. Probably 70% of the players I played with just simply telegraphed their hands with the tells they give off. I'm just amazed at the number of people that pretty much tell you they're folding by being poised to toss the cards at the muck long before it's their turn to act. This made it quite easy to isolate players who I felt were weak.
I kept all of my pre-flop raises to 3-4xBB, and I think I did a pretty good job of disguising big hands. The people who I went to showdown with were usually quite surprised with what they were up against. I think I bluffed at 2 pots in all, taking down 1 of them. With blind levels increasing so rapidly, bluffing really wasn't a good idea, and the players who tried to set up their elaborate bluffs were usually unsuccessful.