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Event 22 at Caesars Palace - Part II

July 27, 2008

Tags: Mega Stack Series, Michael Guzzardi.

Coming back at 2pm for the final table we were met with a huge problem as Caesars hadn't taken into consideration the mass 700+ field for the following mega stack event. After the idea of an 11 handed final table being thrown into the garbage we finally got things going at around 3pm.

With the payouts being very top heavy, everyone was aiming high:
1st - $22,129
2nd - $11,423
3rd - $5,711
4th - $4,997
5th - $4,284
6th - $3,570
7th - $2,856
8th - $2,142
9th - $1,428
10-12th - $857
13-15th - $714
16-18th - $571
19-27th - $428
28-36th - $286

After losing the 11th player we were down to the final table and I re-drew for seat 1 having 120,00 in chips, meaning I was in the small blind for the first hand. With blinds at 5k-10k a middle position player made it 40k to go and was faced with a re-raise all-in for around 200k. Peeling my cards in the small I sweated {A-Clubs}{A-Spades} in the small blind and went POW and shoved my stack in there. With the middle postion player calling and tabling {Q-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} and the re-raiser tabling {J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} I did the old 'one time' chant as the the dealer was ready to spread the board. When the board ran out {K-Spades}{9-Spades}{8-Spades} {5-Spades} {6-Hearts} I tripled up to 396,000 and was back in the game.

Play slowed for a while before I knocked out 9th and 8th when I called there all-ins with {3-Clubs}{3-Spades} vs {A-Spades}{9-Diamonds} and the board ran out {4-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} {J-Clubs} {J-Spades}, and {9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} vs {A-Clubs}{2-Clubs} on a {10-Clubs}{J-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} {3-Hearts} {6-Clubs} board and was up to 680,000 as play reached seven-handed.

I then eliminated 7th as well when I called his all-in from the small blind with {A-Hearts}{7-Clubs} and flopped a 7 against his {K-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and was now on 742,000 as we were down to players. With a break on the horizon one of the players (who held the queens earlier on) came over and chatted to me, "look, you and me are going to go heads up, lets just get these guys out of the way and go from there", agreeing with his view we headed to break with chip stacks at:
1: Me - 870,000
2: Semi-donkey - 380,00
4: Fish - 165,000
6: Good player - 560,000
7: Unsure - 159,000
8: Good player - 530,000

As we moved to 5 players I had a stack of 801,000 with blinds at 20k-40k with a 5k ante, and when we reached three-handed play I was short on around 430,000. However I managed to double against the good player (lets call him James) who I was going to chop with.

At a high point I moved up to around 1,131,000 in chips and had around half of the chips in play at one point, however it wouldn't last as I went on to do blow up like an Andy Block (WSOP Main Event 2005) or an Issac Haxton (2007 Pokerstars' Caribbean Poker Adventure). I called a 100k raise from the big blind with {K-Clubs}{6-Clubs} from 'James' who was in the small blind, and when the action was checked to me on the flop of {9-Spades}{5-Clubs}{6-Hearts} I led for 200,000. Now the reason I led for so much was because during most of the final table play whenever I led for full pot I would always show down a really strong hand, however when I would bet around 2/3 pot I was normally semi-bluffing/c-betting. However he proceeded to move all-in for an additional 250,000, and with the amount in the pot I was forced to call and was up against {J-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}, with a great sweat of the {7-Clubs} on the turn, the river failed to deliver as it dropped the {9-Spades}.

The next hand I was left with around 460,000 in change and James raised the button to 100k. As I looked down at {Q-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} I knew I was way ahead of his range from the button and 3-bet all-in for my whole stack. However when the big blind woke up with {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts} and proceeded to move in over the top I knew I was in trouble, and with James folding {10-Spades}{3-Diamonds} I was happy with my decision but not my fate as I couldn't out run the tight player in the 4-seat as the board ran out 6-high and I was eliminated in 3rd place out of 368 runners.

3rd place netted me $5,711 for my $235 buy-in, but after being taxed for $1,640 (which is claimable once back home) and shipping 10% to Dane I will have netted around $3,400 in profit.

Looking back at the tourney I was extremely please on how I played as I wasn't blessed with cards as I only saw Aces once, Kings twice, AK twice and my next best hands being 9's and 7's. My only mistake was with the {K-Clubs}{6-Clubs} as I should have checked back on the flop or 3-bet pre. However with 1 final table under my belt for a 6k collect, and our fellow housemate Michael Guzzardi shipping 90k for a 7th place finish in Event 34 - PLO with rebuys, us Aussie boys are ready to really hit the felt of Vegas.

Deuce to Seven and the Tank

July 27, 2008

Tags: Donald Peters, Tom Kinsman, Anthony Molinaro, Dane Jensen, Michael Guzzardi, Christian Vaughn, Golden Nugget, The Tank.

So over the last 2 days I have been covering Event 18 - $5,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw with Rebuys. With the strongest field ever assembled (in my view) and a starting stack of 10,000 with blinds starting at 100-200 with a 50 ante we thought the game would be very slow for most of the day.

However when Phil Ivey had already dumped close to $100,000 by the end of the rebuy period, we had second thoughts on how the remaining day of play would end up. With Mike Matusow and Tom 'Durrr' Dwan in the lead for the start of day 2, everyone was pulling for Tony G as a potential PokerNews bonus could be on the cards if he ship shipped the 500k first prize.

As the close of play came to end, Erik Lindgren crippled chip leader Durrr down to a big blind when he stood pat with a perfect 10 against Durrr's pat 10-7. With a final table made up of Mike Matusow, Barry Greenstein, Jeff Lisandro, Tony G, Tom Schneider, David Benyamine and Erik Lindgren; it was anyone's bracelet.

With the day over and my first day off tomorrow, it was still going to be all hands on deck as we had to move from the Excalibur to the Golden Nugget for a few days before finally moving in to our house. Once me and Dane arrived back at the hotel, we headed straight to the felt. Dane finished stuck a buy-in but I cashed out up $400 in an hour or so of play. Feeling good, but still wanting to gamble, I first headed to 4-card poker where I lost $100 - allright still up a $100, not that bad. Then I went to roulette where I lost another $100 - allright I'm even, not that great. THEN I went spastic; I ended up losing another $400 on 4-card poker. First I was betting small amounts like $5-10 on each box ($20-40 a hand) then I just let loose and plonked down $100 a hand until I went broke. Feeling like the biggest degen in the world both me and Dane headed upstairs to get some shut-eye before our early 11am start the next day.

With the night before's antics behind me we headed out to the airport to pick up the car Christian wanted to rent for a few days. Waiting for him to fill in the doco's we realised that we had free wireless. BANG!! Just like that our computers were out and me and slippers were playing heads up against each other. I lost to Slippers 2-1 but beat Dane 2-0, not a bad result while we waited, and then we got another surprise.

Playing heads up at the car rental office
Playing heads up at the car rental office

Waiting so long for the car to come down, they decided to upgrade us and put us in a Dodge Ram; probably the biggest god-damn pick-up truck I've ever seen. After climbing into the truck we were on our way to check in to the Golden Nugget and jump in the Tank for a swim.

For people that don't know, the Tank is the newly refurbished pool at the Golden Nugget equipped with a shark tank, a 3-level water slide and blackjack by the pool. As we swam, jacuzzied up, and slid down the 30-feet high waterslide for most of the arvo while necking back Corona's in a can, it all finally came to an end around 8pm when we decided that it was time to head out to enjoy Downtown and have some dinner.

The Tank
The Tank

With Guzzardi still in the $5,000 NLH event, it was just the usual suspects plus Tom 'the camera guy' and another blogger Don. After chowing down some dinner at Binions we were on to the table games. Everyone hanged round the craps tables while I headed to roulette. I ship shipped $125 at the Golden Gate playing $1 roulette and then another $50 at Binions - it was somewhat satisfying after my donk off from the other night at the Excalibur. With Guzzardi out of the 5k with 6mins on the clock remaining and Matusow shipping the 2-7, it capped off a good few days.

2 Days In and Haven't Stopped Yet!!!

July 26, 2008

Tags: Poker Road, Eric Ramsey, Tony Marquis, Anthony Molinaro, Planet Hollywood, Michael Guzzardi, James Burgoine.

So its been 2 busy days so far of non-stop action for me (as well as the other Aussies here). It all started on Thursday when I awoke around 6am. Not being able to sleep I lied on the floor listening to Poker Road on my iPod. Half way through one of their shows it came to my attention that they broadcast live from the Rio at 11am.

So there I am walking the 3km's from the hotel to the free shuttle service (yep I won't even pay 8 bucks for a cab, but will walk in the hot Nevada desert for half an hour to catch a free bus!!) to get to the Rio before their show begins. Once there I load up my laptop, chat to some mates, reply to emails, jump on PokerNetwork, while all the time listening to Gavin Smith, Joe Sebok and Ali Nejad chatting away for an hour or so.

With no more Poker Road to listen to I head inside and find a spare bloggers table to continue on my laptop. As the clock ticks close to 2pm, Garry decides to put me to work early and help out with the $2,000 NLHE day 2 event. I meet two pretty cool blokes in Eric Ramsey and Tony Marquis. We all get along like a house on fire and finish the event late into the night. With the clock about to hit 2am, me, Slippers and Dane head to play the 2am Planet Hollywood tourney. However being an alternate I decide to play $1-2 instead.

7 hands. Yep, thats how long I last. I make a play on the turn with {A-Spades}{J-Hearts} and fold to a river bet on hand 1. Take a nice pot down with {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts} on hand 3, and on hand 7 I get stacked. Ok, so I make it $10 with {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds} and get called by a player in mp and from the bb. The flop comes down {K-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{3-Spades} and I lead for $30, fold, raise all-in. I'm like whatever I only have $90 left, lets do it and chuck my remaining chips in. The bb roles {3-Clubs}{3-Hearts} for a set and I'm drawing dead on the turn.

Wow, so I last 7 hands and am already down $150 - and to rub it in Slippers finished up $250, Christian up $200 and Dane up $360 odd. As we finish with some Pai Gow we all eventually make it back to the Excalibur by 7am with Dane starting in 5 hours and me starting in around 9 hours.

As I awake for work, I'm running a little late, so instead of being the tight ass I am I decide to catch a cab to the Rio to cover the $1,500 Limit Holdem event. Working with Garry for the first time, I really want to work not only well, but hard and efficiently. With the event running pretty smoothly and finishing late I head to the MGM to see the boys for a while. I enjoy a Starbucks (first time since leaving Las Vegas last year) while listening to their bad beats and then eventually head home for an early 4am bed time.

Today I also caught up with Michael Guzzardi, Jimmy Burgoine and Celina who arrived from Melbourne; who are trying hard to get their money from the T6 promotions they won. Also bumped into Kirk Morrison; we got to catch up, chat about how things have been since we last were in contact and organised to met up once his WSOP campaign got running.