Friday, January 12, 2007

PCA Trip Report: Part 1

I've tried to make this post more readable for non-poker players. There's a few terms explained at the bottom with a * next to them. Super poker-nerd content is separated by ***. The 2nd part will come shortly, I do a lot more fun non-poker stuff in that part.

Day 1

My flight in is uneventful, though I met a couple other poker players. I meet timex (Mike) and PacMann (Aaron) at the airport and cab it back to the hotel, those 2 guys are crashing in my room. In one of the e-mails from Stars they say a cab to Atlantis from the airport should cost around $25. But they don't have meters or anything in the cabs so it's basically negotiable. Being intelligent, we talk in the back about the usual high roller poker stuff the whole way. "That's $40 mon." Let the overpaying for everything begin. We get checked in and the room is fairly nice, basically exactly what I expected and very comparable to the room I had in Vegas. We check on 2+2* to find people and go downstairs and meet up with Junglen, exitonly, Jurollo, coxquinn, etc... to go grab food and drinks before the cocktail party. We check out the bar and grill in the casino. I try the local beer Kalik but it kinda sucks. For the bill we play credit card roulette (or in this case room card roulette since PokerStars credited $1150 to our room cards as part of the package), a pretty standard tradition when people who like to gamble too much grab a meal together. The game is very simple and avoids the hassle of splitting up the bill. It's best when everyone's meals are reasonably close in price so no one has a big edge. Everyone puts their roomcard in the middle, the cards are shuffled together, and you get the waitress to pick one card at random. The card picked pays for the entire meal. aaronbeen loses and I improve to 2-0 lifetime, with Aaron losing both those games (what a fish*).

Stars cocktail party is pretty awesome. I meet up with all the same 2+2ers and a ton more (way too many to try to name like I was going to). The bartender is mixing me 80:20 rum and cokes... Hang out with Steve and his family/gf for a bit with the rest of the Waterloo guys. Some people actually recognize Steve here. lol. (this is the tournament he won last year)
More 80:20 rum and cokes but they stop serving at 9 so I go find people to continue partying with (other day 1B guys). Meet up with aaronbeen, ActionJeff, and the rest of the GIFAFI guys. They've managed to score a ton of booze from one of the bartenders so we drink that. Once we finish that up we head back to the hotel bar and continue the partying.... Suffice it to say I don't remember the night that well and didn't feel great in the morning.

Day 2

The plan for today was to rest up and recover from the previous night's events, so I'd be ready to play Day 1B the next day. I just went out and laid in the sun all afternoon and drank some fruity energy drinks, then came in and played the supersatellite* to the main event to try to win $8000 (people who already had a seat in the tournament got $8000 instead of the seat) and get used to live play again. It was a $200 rebuy tournament so I ended up in for $600. I can't remember any specific hands, but it was fairly uneventful and I never got a hold of many chips and busted fairly early. I met up Jurollo and some othere 2+2ers after they finished their day and went to the Bar & Grill again for a late dinner. Credit card roulette is hilarious when Jurollo states from the very beginning of the meal that he'll almost certainly lose. We're all cheering for his card to be picked and sure enough, the waitress says "Justin!" and there's high fives all around. 3-0 lifetime I'm so good at this game. I ducked out after the meal when they went partying to get some sleep. Steve had an excellent first day in the main event finishing with around 75K, and another friend, Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke, finished with 122K, among the chipleaders.

Day 3

I got up and went to the MarketPlace buffet with Aaron for breakfast before heading down to the poker room. I hadn't slept particularly well the night before but I was excited enough to get playing that it didn't really matter. I posted a report of Day 1 earlier so I won't rehash it here. In summary, I won a big pot early to get to 30K (we started with 20K chips) and then got whittled down to 16K by the end of the day. I went back to the room and grabbed some room service, then crashed for Day 2 of the tournament. Aaron went out fairly early today and him and Mike woke me up at 4am when they came back from the poker room. I hate them.

Day 4

Once again I woke up early and met Steve and his family (it's easier to just write this even though Natalie isn't family... yet) at MarketPlace for the buffet. I got down to the poker room early to find out where I was sitting. My table draw looked a lot better today, there were no names I recognized and no one had too many chips. There were a few guys who may have been big name online players but I didn't know their real names. My plan coming into the day was to move all-in over a middle position or late position raise the first chance I got regardless of my hole cards since my stack size was perfect so that I wasn't risking too much, but big enough that it would be really difficult for them to call me without a big hand.
Hand 1: 500/1000 a100. I'm on the button and it's folded to the guy on my right (I think he plays as CrazyMarco online) who makes it 3500. I decide this is a suspiciously large raise and I don't have enough fold equity to move in without a hand. However I find KK and move in, but he quickly folds.
Hand 2: Same level, I now have 20K. A guy raises in middle position to 3K. It's the first hand he's raised but he could easily have been card dead for the first couple orbits. I move in with AQ and he folds.
Hands 3/4: I get dealy KK and QQ and open raise but get no action :-(.
Hand 5: I get dealt 55 2 before the button and raise to 3K. Obviously I get a caller this time on the button. The flop comes K87 with 2 clubs and I contintuation bet 5K. He moves in and I fold. Sigh, back down to 17K where I started.
Hands >5: I move all-in a few times with not much to steal the blinds once an orbit until I do it with A6o and get called by AA. GG.
At some point in here the eventual winner, Ryan Daut, was moved to my table (I'm pretty sure it was him anyways). I saw him talking to some people I knew on break and introduced myself.
Being a poker addict I obviously go to grab my laptop but it's no longer in the room. I go find Mike and Aaron in the lobby already playing the big Sunday tournaments online, and of course Mike has mine. Despite being richer than all of us he still hasn't gotten around to buying a laptop that turns on in <5 minutes and has a working wireless card. The Coral Tower rooms most people were staying in don't have wireless internet, just one ethernet cable, though if you're smart you might bring a wireless router to hook that into. For this reason the lobby is generally crowded full of poker nerds on their laptops playing all sorts of games. I'm sitting at a table with Serge (adanthar), Aaron and Mike. It was cool to talk poker with adanthar for a bit because I really like his posts on 2+2 and I think we play a very similar style (though he probably plays it better). He was playing a $4K buy-in tournament on Cake Poker (I had never heard of it either), where there were only 11 players and first paid $22K and 1% of Cake Poker! The other 10 players all got in through promotions on the site and Serge was the only person to buy-in directly. So of course the other players were terrible and he absolutely destroyed the table (it was actually not that hard since 3 places got paid and the money obviously meant a lot to his opponents, so they played very weakly near the end to try to guarantee themselves some money and Serge just raised almost every hand and ran them over). So he now owns 1% of a poker site. Pretty cool stuff. As for my tournaments, I went really deep in the UB 200K but ran into overpairs a few too many times at the end and finished 21st for only $1100. At the end of the day Steve and Gobbo are still owning the main event. Steve is 2nd in chips with 400K, behind only ZeeJustin, and gobbo has a very healthy stack as well with ~290K I think.


supersatellite: A multi-table poker tournament where instead of the normal payout structure the prizes are seats in a bigger tournaments. In this case for $8000 in the prize pool one seat to the main event was awarded. So the top 14 players got seats and the tournament ends when only 14 players are left. This changes correct strategy drastically, especially near the end of the tournament.

2+2: The biggest/best poker book publishing company. They have an online poker strategy forum (linked on the right) where I post a fair bit. When I say 2+2er/2p2er I mean someone that posts on those forums, and I use screennames from there instead of real names a lot.

fish/donkey: A weak player. Donkey or "donk" can also be used as a verb or adjective to describe a poor play.

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