The poker season in definitely in full swing and my rungood summer is still plugging right along, as well.
Since my first World Series of Poker cash in the Casino Employees Event two weeks ago I have been playing significantly more poker. I went fairly deep in Daily Deep Stack at the World Series but didn’t cash the following weekend. That 2PM Daily Deep Stack is getting really big. There were more than 600 players the day I played with $25,000 and some change going to first place.
Saturday I broke through again, as a combination of good fortune and good play help me take down “The Stack” Tourney at The Mirage.
I had the good fortune of my friend and teammate Ben Devlin already playing in the $3-$6 cash game at The Mirage Saturday morning. He absolutely crushes that tourist-filled, river-chasing game on a regular basis. Since I hadn’t really decided where I was going to play yesterday I decided to head to Mirage to say hello to Ben and figure it out from there.
I arrived a The Mirage a little after 11AM. Ben was playing and I was on a waiting list. While I was waiting I found out The Mirage has a tournament called “The Stack.” For $120 ($110 plus a $10 dealer add-on), a player receives 50,000 in tournament chips. The blinds start at 500-500, go to 500-1000 and then 500-1500. The levels are 30 minutes long, and with 100 big blinds to begin it’s a pretty decent structure as far as Strip tournaments go.
Yesterday, The Mirage hosted their biggest “The Stack” Tourney yet. It was 56 players when I signed up. It would eventually climb to 80 by 1PM.
I only played two hands in the first three levels — K-K and A-A, picking up some decent chips both times. By level five I was amongst the chip leaders with 174,000 chips (the average at the time was about 80,000). However, I took a little hit at my new table. Under the gun (UTG) raised all in 47,000. The table chip leader called. I had A-A in the BB and jammed my entire stack in. The table chip leader folded and the all-in tabled J-J. Unfortunately she spiked a jack on the flop and tripled up.
When we got down to 30 players I was in the 10-12 BB area when I put my whole stack at risk with A-Ko. I was called by the table chip leader, who tabled K-Jc. Although he flopped both a flush draw and a gut shot straight draw I faded the outs and doubled up.
From 15 players to 11 players I went on a little run and chipped up to 665K chips. The average stack was 336K. We were all trying to get to the final table, playing 6-handed and 5-handed for more than an hour. Eight places were getting paid.
There I made the call that changed the tournament. UTG went all in — the same woman that cracked my aces with jacks — for 203K. The woman to my left called all-in with a little less. I looked down at 10-10, my favorite hand. I didn’t think I had both players beat but I was sure I had at least one of them beat. It was going to cost me around 30 percent of my stack to call. Even if I lost the hand I would have an above average stack, so I made the call.
Both players tabled A-Ko. They both caught a king in the window one a K-Q-4 flop. The turn card brought and ace to give them each two pair. Luckily for me, a jack spiked on the river (oh, so appropriate!) and my rivered straight took out two players.
We went to the final table with nine players and me leading the pack with 1.1 million chips.
With six players to go the field was trying to negotiate a six-way chop of roughly $1,200. Nervous tourists! I was second in chips to a woman from Switzerland, but not by much. I proposed a chop where her and I each received $1,600, and the rest of the tourists got $1,040 each. It was a no-brainer for them.
The only sour part was typical crappy tourist tippers for the poker dealers. I tossed out my tip first hoping to spur some better tipping. Ugh! The Swiss girl left $10 on her $1,600. One of the other left $5 on his $1,040. The only thing I like about tourists is taking their money!
I was very lucky my buddy Ben was playing at Mirage yesterday as it led to a fine day of poker.
Let that Rungood Summer continue!