Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Brush With Poker Celebrity

So the highlight of the pokercation (aside from playing a lot of small buy in tournaments) was playing in the Suzie & Howard Lederer charity tournament at the Golden Nugget last Wednesday. It was an interesting experience as I had both Annie Duke and 2007 Main Event winner Jerry Yang at my table along with a couple of other people who were obviously experienced and skilled tournament players. I was pretty close to being in the situation of not being able to spot the sucker at the table (which means you are the sucker), but I think there may have been one other person who edged me out.

It was a situation where the only way I was going to go far was if I ran unbelievably well, and unfortunately I did anything but. I did make it through the first hour and the rebuy period which was a bit of an accomplishment, but I simply couldn't catch any kinds of cards. I had one pocket pair - 5s which ended up being my bustout hand, and I only recall one ace - we'll get to that in the minute. It was fun playing next to Annie (I was on her immediate left) - I got into a couple of hands with her and ended up with absolutely no idea where I was. I had asked her right before the break if she would mind taking a picture with my wife who is a fan and she said sure, but then hustled off on the break talking to some other folks. Once I busted out though, she brought up getting a picture and took a couple of moments to pose with my wife which was nice. She even graciously commented to my wife that I just couldn't get any cards which was true. I tried to make a couple of position plays, but the two guys on my left were tough and were willing to call me down pretty light. I don't know if I'm that easy to read or if they just had me figured for a newbie that was likely to be making a move.

So the highlight of the event was definitely the pot I took off of Jerry Yang. I limped in early position with the A9 of diamonds (I had pretty much adjusted my preflop strategy to limping and seeing whether I could hit the board). A couple others limped as did Mr. Yang from the cutoff. The flop was K high with two diamonds, so I decided to check and raise any bet all in (no one was terribly deep). The bet came from Jerry Yang and I followed through with my strategy. He tanked for a while and then finally made the call saying it was a donation. I said I was probably the one donating and flipped over my hand expecting to need an A or a diamond to win. I was surprised when he turned over Q6 of diamonds for a lower flush draw. The turn brought the A of hearts and I had the 2007 Main Event Winner drawing dead. The guy on my left - who was a very tough player from Ireland looked at me and said, "so I see you have a bit of tricky in you as well" (we had been talking earlier about how you had to be tricky in order to win) and that was definitely a good feeling. I feel like I outplayed the guy because there was just no way he figured me for being able to do that with a flush draw.

The rest of the pokercation was good. I learned some lessons (i.e. I completely butchered some things and realize now how bad I screwed up) and netted one outright tournament win. Details to come on some of the lessons in the future.

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