Thursday, August 04, 2005

Chicago Trip Report Part 1

I just got back from Chicago about an hour ago. While there I played 2 (short) sessions of 5-10 limit, 1 short session of 20-40 limit, 3 $65 single table satellites, and 1 $500 buy in multi table tourney. These tournaments are part of the Chicago Poker Championship that culminates in a two day, $2700 event this Aug. 13-14. The CPC is being held at the luxurious "Resorts East Chicago" hotel and casino situated in the beautiful city of East Chicago (think Gary, Indiana!) and nestled between a filthy marina, a heavy industrial zone, one of The Donald's less prestigous casino boats, and a couple of trashy strip joints. In all fariness Resorts is a good hotel, excellent rooms, good food, and nice amenities (except there is no high speed internet, for love or money, no business center either), just don't open the window the air quality outside isn't that great.

We, my friend Greg and I, arrived Tuesday morning around 5:30 am but couldn't check into our room untill about 10:45 (more about this later) so to kill time I checked out the poker room which runs 24/7. They spread 5-10 limit, 10-20 limit, 20-40 limit with a 1/2 kill, 5-10 NL, and 1-5 stud, however the only games available at that time were 5-10 limit and 20-40 limit. I decided to take the easy 5-10 game and bought in for $200. The game was fairly typical and straight forward poker was the way to beat these guys. One player to my right was way to agressive and I looked forward to checkraising him, but the opportunity never presented itself. Another player was dozing off between hands and he proved to be a good target. After quickly losing $60 I waited patiently for my spots and left about an hour later up $93. Enough to pay for my first satellite!

It was about 8am now and I really wanted to get some sleep and be refreshed for the noon satellite. After checking with the front desk which informed me I wouldn't be able to check in untill 2pm, I sought out a casiono host, she said she could get me in by noon, then it was back to the front desk to speak to a front desk manager, and explain I had been driving all night and needed to be ready to go for the poker tourney. She was really understanding, and w/ one call on her radio had it all set up.

Ring, ring, ring, wake up call time. I shower and head back to the poker room. The first satellite didn't go very well, in fact I was the donkey! I wasn't really in the groove and after losing some key hands early on found myself short stacked. I usually pride myself in my shortstack play but for some dumbass reason I decided to push my last chips in w/ 97 suited from late position. I did think the big blind would fold but it was still a stupid play, I could have waited for a better spot. This time I was the donkey but I vowed to not be a donkey again.

The next satellite was at 4pm so I cought a couple more hours of sleep, had my ritual 1 shot of tequilla (chilled patron, the best!) and was ready. I played really, really well. My reads were excellent and there was no doubt that I was in charge of the table. The satellite structure was as follows: T1000 to start, rounds 15 mins long, starting w/ 25/50. In round 2 I got American Airlines, raised it up from middle position, got 2 callers. Flop A,T, rag. Early guy bets out, I call, late position folds. Turn rag, early guy bets out, I know he's weak, Hope he has an A, I decide to push all in and then manipulate him into calling. So I hollywood for a bit, and then quickly shove all my chips in . . ., he thinks, and thinks and the whole time I'm thinking, call me, call me, I'm really on a flush draw, I swallow hard, stop breathing and he Calls!, with only an A! He's drawing dead and I'm sitting pretty :) We get down to 3 handed and I'm a slight chip leader when this awful hand happens.

I'm in the BB with AQs, button folds, SB calls I make a standard raise, SB calls. Flop A,4,4. SB bets I put her all in and she calls showing 33. Turn 4, river 4. Split pot, we both have quad 4's with an A kicker (the board)! Oh well thats poker. Shortly after that I find AKo in the SB. Button calls (the lucky girl), I make a standard raise, BB puts me all in, button folds, and I quickly call. I didn't want to play a huge pot here, but 3 handed you just can't lay down AKo, especially when I didn't read him for having a premium hand. He shows KQo, and when he sees my hand he said, "I thought you were bluffing", well all is good untill he catches a K high str8 on the river, now I'm out in third. I still love poker! Stay tuned, gonna take a break and update the rest later, and it gets better!


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