Friday, January 22, 2010

On The Poker Circuit

I haven't posted anything for a couple of days because I'm in Tunica, Mississippi, playing in a poker tournament at a WSOP Circuit Event.

We started yesterday with 293 entrants, and after 14 hours, we're down to 23 and I'm still alive and in the money. With my finish in a similar event in Biloxi a couple of weeks ago, that means I've cashed in the only two tournaments I've played in 2010. Not a bad way to start the year.

I came down with three other guys from St. Louis, and have run into more than a dozen others -- including two who were at my tournament table yesterday, thanks to the luck of the draw. The action in the live games in Harrah's poker room hasn't been great, but I expect it to pick up considerably today and through the weekend.

On the last hand yesterday, with blinds at 2500/5000 and a 1000 ante, I raised in middle position to 12,500 with the king and queen of clubs. I had 163,000 chips, well above average. A player in late position with a short stack (40,000) moved all-in. I looked him over, decided it was a desperation attempt to pick up some dead money, and I called. He turned over the king and ten of diamonds, so I had him dominated.

The flop brought the queen of hearts, the seven of diamonds, and the five of clubs -- giving me one pair. The turn card was the jack of diamonds, which was not good for me at it gave my opponent a straight draw (he needed any nine or ace) and a flush draw (he needed any diamond). The river was both -- the ace of diamonds, giving him a back-door flush. If that card had been a blank, I would have been among the chip leaders, with over 210,000. Instead, I'm down to 123,000, but that's right around the average, so it's not a total disaster.

Obviously, to get this far, I had plenty of hands that weren't bad beats, including a couple of very interesting decisions that I'll discuss with Dennis Phillips and Joe McGowan on our Final Table radio show this Tuesday.

Play resumes in my event at 1pm CT today. I've been tweeting from the table, so if you want to follow me, click here.