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WSOP 2011 Report 3

by Tony Dunst |  Published: Jun 21, '11


Wednesday morning brought the $2,500 WSOP 6-max event at the Rio. Even though I don't believe I've ever made the dinner break in it, it's one of the events I look forward to the most because it's moderately deep stacked 6-max poker with a nice blend of professionals that you get to battle in deep level poker, and total donks not entirely priced out by the $2,500 entry.

The early portion of the tournament was rather uneventful. I didn't connect in many hands and never found many bluffing situations I thought were actual opportunities. It was still such a fun tournament to play though, and I was pretty engaged in watching the poker between hands, especially after having had a day to rest. Although over the last 12-18 months of my career I've put a much larger emphasis on watching the action between hands, I'll confess that when I'm playing all day six or seven days a week I'm often fairly checked out for the first few hours of the lower buy in stuff. Any time there's a larger buy in or more interesting structure I become more intrigued, but for the first four hours of any given WSOP $1,000 I'm half paying attention and half adrift in my own private world of Ipod headphones, day-dreaming, and flirtatious texting. I'm sorry for the equity it costs us Mad Dog, but there's something about watching 10 handed 25-25 poker day after day that just makes me want to claw my eyes out. Though it could make me very difficult to pick tells up from if I couldn't see my own cards…

Fortunately the $2,500 6-max is no such bore, but my time in it was short lived. At my second table we were playing 100-200 when it folded to Australian legend and long time friend Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade. Jay was sitting with about 12,000 on the cut-off and made it 450 to go. The button folded and with around 6,000 I called with AJo in the small blind. The big blind called and we saw a flop of A24 with two clubs. We both checked to Jay, who fired out 625. I was in the fortunate position of having near the top of my value range in a spot where both Jay and I are aware that he's continuation betting very wide and I should in theory have a narrow range of strong hands because both Jay and I know I'm likely 3-bet or folding 44/22 and generally 3-betting AQ and AK to get it in, leaving the few mid aces I would likely flat in that position as my potential value check-raise range. The rest would be comprised of draws plus the occasional air taking a stab since I know Jay is both opening and following through so wide on this texture, and the BB is likely to have about anything for 250 more 3-handed.

I raised Jay's bet of 625 to 1525, and after the BB folded Jay calmly slid his stack into the middle. I dropped the rest of mine in, and Jay tabled QTcc. The turn brought a low club and I was dead and walking out the door. On the plus side, I saw the early exit as an opportunity to spend a great deal of time in the gym that evening. While I was sequestered under a bench, Truck Dan was going to work. That evening he made his first WSOP final table in the $5,000 shoot-out event along with our friends Adam "Ajunglen" Junglen, Todd Fucking Terry, and Tom "Dr. Cheese" Marchese. We were anticipating a highly rambunctious drunken rail which Truck declared would likely break the world record for most nubs thrown in a single day. I was to play the $1,500 NLH event the next day, but promised that I'd stop by at each break to have a beer in the audience.

The following afternoon I made my way down towards the Amazon room at the second break of my $1,500. Nothing relevant had yet to happen to me, and I was hanging on a stack of about 5,000. As I reached the end of the hall I found a group of our mutual friends milling around with disappointed looks on their faces.

"What just happened?" I inquired.

"He busted."


"Yea, got queens in vs ace-king for a little under starting stacks."

"God damn it! I didn't even get to have one beer break!"

For the second time this series, I just can't remember how I busted the donkament. I know it was a little before the dinner break, and that I immediately went home to exercise then started hanging with the boys as a pre-game to the drinking they were sure to be after that night. Truck was on the trajectory to get absolutely bombed. Everyone seemed keen on a classic Thursday night at Stoney's type evening, and so we put the word out to a number of other poker players we knew about the plans. I was of course slowly sipping my beer and volunteered to drive as I usually do these days. I was intending to play the Venetian $2,100 the following morning, so as always I took it very easy on the alcohol and called it at a rather reasonable hour. I seem to be very over going out for the moment, though it still happens on occasion for social obligation's sake. For some reason I had enormous trouble sleeping that night, and let myself crash in a while the next morning so I could play well rested.

I arrived at the Venetian the following afternoon and was seated about one hour late into play. We began with 20,000 in chips so it was definitely the right tournament to skip an hour in. I sat down at 75-150 and looked around at a fairly young but unfamiliar table to me. We were eight handed, and I found enough hands early that I played a few small pots, which I mostly lost. I played a hand against an aggressive young player on my right where I 3-bet KJo out of the SB against his CO raise, which I'm not thrilled about out of position because it's not the kind of hand that can be too easily dominated and doesn't flop draws that provide barreling potential with our deep stacks. I remember thinking "Meh fuck it, If I get caught this once it doesn't matter because I'm in an especially nity mood today and it will help the image going forward" but that's still not very good logic to do something kind of spewy. All the same, the CO called and I bet on an A23ss flop. He called and I barreled again on the brick turn, then gave up on a Qs river. The river went check-check and he tabled KQcc for a double float that had rivered a pair.

Perhaps an orbit and a half later I found myself involved against the same player. I'd played a couple hands since the last one, neither of which were relevant but I had a fairly active image. The young player on my right limped UTG with about 25,000, and with 15,000 in my stack I made it 550 in mid position with AQhh. It folded back to UTG and he quickly called. It was his first limp up to that point, but given we'd only been playing about 40 minutes I wasn't sure what to make of it. The flop came AKQ with two spades (unfortunately I'm not certain which were the spades and which were the club, which is rather relevant to the strategy of the hand, but I'm pretty confident it was AsKsQc) and my opponent donked out for a bet of 150. You see people doing these type of things for all sorts of reason, and I basically just treat them the same as if my opponent had checked. I raised to an even 1,000 and my opponent thought for a while before making it 4,150.  I was not very pleased with the situation at all. After 40 minutes with the guy I had no idea how aggressively he'd play a big draw in this spot, and how likely he was to loosen the way he plays a hand as a response to only seeing me play for that long. I stuck it in on him, but felt rather queasy about it and still am unsure about how that fares against my other options. He shrugged then called with AKo, one of the hands I was most definitely not concerned about. I think the better play may be call flop and call the likely shove on safe turn cards, but I haven't asked around that much on this one yet. All the same, I was out of the tournament with a Friday available to me on the strip so I stepped upstairs to the Venetian shops to see if any of the attractive young women perusing it cared to spend their afternoon with a polite young man who suddenly found his available.

Saturday brought the last tournament I would have to play for a few days. I have to do WPT work at the office on Wednesday and so I took off leading up to it to prevent a conflict. Despite again having major difficulty sleeping I still ripped myself awake enough early enough to almost get there on time. I found myself at a mostly unfamiliar table except for Chino Rheem a few seats on my right. There was a mix of young and old players around, but nobody that really stuck out. I was feeling exhausted and half awake, so I jammed two large coffees down my throat and spent the first couple levels zoned out between my Ipod headphones. I won a steady stream of small pots and watched as Chino underwent a number of swings by playing quite a loose-aggressive style, especially in regards to open raising pre. At 50-100 we played our first large pot together when I opened QQ in MP to 250 with about 5,200 in my stack. It folded to the button who called, and in the BB Chino made it 1250. I thought for a little while then slid all my chips in the middle, prompting the button to fold. Chino tanked for a very long time, then attempted talking to me which naturally produced no result. After mulling it over for a long time, Chino folded then asked "Can I get a show?"

"Sure, you've hooked me up before" I replied then tabled my hand, not because he'd ever shown me a hand before, but in reference to an evening in Macau where I burst into his hotel room quite intoxicated at 3am. Whether he recalled what the hell I was talking about or not I'll likely never know.

The very next hand Chino 3-bet AJs out of the SB and got it in against what I think was the button raiser who had QQ. He rivered the ace and doubled up, causing him to increase the level of his aggression around the table. We played a hand where he raised, I 3-bet him, and he jammed but we both had AKo and chopped. I played another hand where I 3-bet a late position opener then barreled the flop and got a fold. I'd been moderately active leading up to the large hand I played with Chino, which occurred at 100-200. He had been raising something like 35% of hands, and for the most part people weren't fucking with him about it:

My stack: ~12,000

Chino Rheem: ~15,000

Blinds 100-200.

I held Jh7h on the button.

Preflop: It folded around to Chino in MP2, Chino raised to 500, it folded to me on the button, I raised to 1,300, it folded back to Chino who asked about the depth of my stack, then elected to call.

Leading up to the hand Chino had played a few other hands where he'd been 3-bet. I knew he was aware enough of his image to think I could be messing with him, and thought it was quite likely he was peeling the 3-bet fairly wide. That's not necessarily so bad though, because plenty of boards will be awkward for him and he'll have to check fold fairly often, while others will allow for pot control scenarios with moderate showdown value plus some opportunities to fire multiple barrels with draws.

Flop: Qc Jc 6d (Pot 2900)

Chino checked, I checked.

Turn: Jd (Pot 2900)

Chino bet 1,500. I had a decision to make; I could either raise and refuse to fold to anything Chino shot back at me, or I could call and evaluate what I want to do on the river based on run-out. I went with a raise, mostly because with so many draws out I could see a looser guy like Chino refusing to fold a decent chunk of his range that has showdown value with the intention to evaluate on the river. There's also a number of draws he could have himself, and whether he decides to jam them on me or call the raise and decide dependent on the river it's better than letting him see the last card for just 1,500. Additionally, it's pretty hard for him to have a better hand with only one jack left out and QQ/66 as the only other better hands possible. I made it 3,800, and Chino thought for a little while then raised me back 3,500 more. I put the rest in and Chino instantly called with queens full of jacks. I failed to hit my one outer, wished him luck, and left.

I spent Sunday doing most of the necessary writing for my upcoming Raw Deal segments. It's nice to know i'll have a few days off then can approach the last leg of the series well rested. At this point, I'm zero for something in the mid teens, which I'll add up right after I finish this blog entry. I've certainly made some mistakes, but I don't feel like I'm in there doing really stupid shit all day, so thus far I'm pretty ok with things and just hoping that variance swings back in my favor at some point. Tons of my friends are still cashless, and I think Truck might still be the only other one in the house to get one. Not surprisingly, most people's plan of "get all the money at this year's WSOP and evaluate" has yet to pan out.

Read Tony "Bond18" Dunst's full archive of blog entries here.

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Tony "Bond18" Dunst is a well-known online Multi-table tournament (MTT) pro. At age 20 he won a package on Party Poker for the Aussie Millions, and nearly final tabled his first live event. In 2006, he made a run in the WSOP main event, finishing 198th. He switched to online MTTs and found 2+2, where he began to learn what he was doing wrong and fixing his game. Tony plays 8 hours of online poker every day and moderates the MTT forums on 2+2. Click here to check out some free training videos from Tony and other pros on Card Player Pro or to start your free seven-day trial.

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