Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Part II: The Donk in Me (and Jerry Yang)... WSOP 2010 Event #3 - Level 1

Level 1 Blinds 25-25

At early levels I model my play after Phil Gordon. My plan was to use this level to profile my opponents while playing a squeaky tight game. There are a lot of newer books out there such as "Kill Everyone" that advocate a much more aggressive start. I thought about this concept much but have not yet become a subscriber to this philosophy. Unfortunately the reckless aggression preached in "Kill Everyone" was like a dormant fungus in my brain that sprouted at the end of this level.

Jerry Yang was garbed up, head to toe in black Full Tilt gear. He zipped up his sleek black jacket, topped a hat, pulled his hood over and mounted a pair of dark shades on his face. Although he did a good job at looking like a menacing poker ninja, I'm not much a fan of putting a bunch of obstacles between myself and the table. I feel the more I isolate myself the less able I am to read my opponents and the more likely I am to misread the board, a mistake I do not plan on making this tourney.

After 3 or 4 rounds here is what I observed:

Seat #1 - Internet Kid - loose aggressive - with Absolute Shirt. Involved in 30-40% of hands per rotation, often aggressive, built himself a nice chip stack.

Seat #2 - David Sklanksy - Also Squeaky Tight - barely played 5% of his hands

Seat #3 - Calling Station Boy - very loose passive; calling/limping into 30-40% of pots; calling to turn and river giving chips away

Seat #4 - Someone who as I look back must have made no impression on me

Seat #5 - Another Internet Looking Kid - But seem to play about 10% of hands; marked him as tight aggressive

Seat #6 - Young loose aggressive player; probably in 30% of pots

Seat #7 - Jerry Yang - Also loose aggressive in 20-30% of pots

Seat #8 - Me

Seat #9 - Older Man; playing Tight Aggressive; but turned into an calling station post flop

Most of the action was going on between seat #1, Seat #6 and Jerry Yang.

They did a lot of playing each other back and forth; Yang seemed to get the better of these kids early on until Seat 1 hit a set in position and slow played them in a multi-way pot. When Seat #1 came to life at the turn, Yang did not believe his bets and ultimately called away 75% of what he had, leaving him crippled. After this, Yang became much more volatile going all in on several occasions with hands as crappy as 7/8 off . He seemed to lose respect quickly and was ultimately knocked out during level 1 after going all in with a baby pocket pair against a bigger baby pair.

I'm not really the type of guy who asks celebrity's to take a picture, but after Jerry Yang busted out I was rude enough to ask him for a snap shot, and he was quite a gentleman, albeit a short one.

Although I raised with decent cards in late position once or twice at this point, all I did was pick up a few lousy blinds.

Notable Hand #1

The First Big Pot I Played - about 45 minutes into level 1

**Warning: This is Likely the dumbest play I made the whole series**

Had seat 5 and 6 limp in front of me when I had AKs - on the button. I raised the pot 200, blinds fold, and both limpers call me.
Flop: J48 rainbow. Both 5 and 6 check to me and I make a continuation bet of 300 into a 500 pot. Seat 5 folds. Seat 6 check-raises to 600.

*Sigh* - I hate young loose aggressive players. I hate loose aggressive play. I should have thought of the qoute "When fighting monsters one must make sure he himself does not become a monster." Here is how I saw the hand holdings he might have had:

1. He might have limped in with a powerhouse like Aces or Kings, puts me on a second best hand 2. I have seen him raise with both garbage and small pocket pairs, but I guess there is a possibility he limped with these and hit two pair or a set. If he was that strong though I would imagine he would call me down to get more value before scaring me away from the pot.

3. He has a Jack or a weak pair and puts me on two high cards with a continuation bet.

4. He has completely missed the flop, put me on two high cards with a continuation bet.

In retrospect I over analyzed this hand, and should have followed Occam's razor, a principle we use in medicine that suggests the simplest diagnosis is generally the correct one. A check raise from a loose aggressive player who limped and called a pre-flop raise out of position is generally going to be on a very strong hand.

Ordinarily I would fold 95% of the time in this situation. But since I had such little respect for Seat 6 I put him on a weak hand/bluff and re-raised to $1000 hoping he would give up his charade and fold to my Aces or Kings. This was the dumbest thing I did all day. I had a tight image and easily could have been thought to represent a strong pocket pair with my post-flop bet. I am sure he considered this before his check-raise.

He put me all in after my raise. Of course I folded; disgusted with myself, commenting to him that he must have made his set or two pair, my attempt to keep him concerned in the future that I had a stronger pre-flop hand. Later in the day I saw him make a similar move several times; showing down Aces and Kings in the hole when he got his caller.

I was down half my stack in the first level. I was discouraged and thought I would be following Jerry Yang shortly. I collected myself, and reminded myself that I was entering level 2 with more than 30 big blinds and began listening to my tilt play list.

Stay tuned to see how I stop Donking my chips off in Level 2!!!

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