Dragon Lady & The Snowman
Having to choose between playing the Million Dollar Heater events in Biloxi in January and WSOPC Tunica was difficult, but spending the first week of the Heater in bed sick took care of that quick enough and it was on to the next one.
How do people decide which events to play when they go to these things? For me, the structure sheets are helpful. The amount of starting chips, blind structure, length of tournament, prospective field and prize pool all influence which tourney I choose no matter when or where. Then of course there has to be consideration given to what part of my game I'm trying to strengthen or improve at this point in time as well. So for this trip, all things considered, the winners were the Ladies Only event and the 6-Handed Ring Event 6. Reasoning for choosing the women's event: Last year one of my Vegas trips was during WSOP and I played in a small tournament which had more women players than I'd had the opportunity to experience in the past. Two or three of these ladies were aggressive players and came out hammer down and never quit. Scared the living daylights out of me in fact. And left such an impression that every time I've sat down with a female player across the table from me since this incident, my play has been affected immensely by that one night. Knowing the only way to move past this and GetOverIt was to tackle it head first and jump into the Ladies Only event at WSOPC. Reasoning for choosing the 6-Max: Ummm... because it was on the schedule for Tuesday and the Turbo was a couple days later? I had really hoped to play in the Turbo, but uh, well, Tuesday would be my birthday and the structure was okay and hmm.... ok. The 6 Handed event it was. (Had I known how valuable of an experience it would actually be to play this event, my level of excitement might have been a little bit more;)
Because the Ladies Only event started at 5pm (Superbowl Sunday of all days, bah!), I had to break my first rule of tournaments, not making a 4 hour drive and playing the same day. Tires me out. it also let me stay up until midnight the night before shooting jagerbombs with a few friends. I got up Superbowl Sunday and made the 4 hour drive to go play in the tournament. Registration was easy. They took care of both events at the same time. Hotel registration also quick and easy. The staff was nice. Dragging my stuff into the elevator I had my hands full and didn't see the sign stating that you had to stick your card into the slot INSIDE the elvator before you could push the button for your floor. Big guy in Bose headphones, xxxl WSOP white hoodie, shorts and flip flops just stood there looking at me. Didn't mention, hey, bimbo, you have to put the card in the slot to make the button work. Just remained on planet x as I got out of the elevator tried to juggle my junk and grab my room key out of my purse. On the next elevator I saw the sign with instructions on how to work the silly thing and actually managed to get up to the room, unpack some stuff, shower and grab something to eat before heading back to the tournament area to meet #crickets. (#crickets is an old stud player from back in the day before I was born who plays some pretty decent poker. He wasn't playing this trip, and had instead come to be my "bioche" and rail) Wait, let's back up just a second. Outside of the tournament area was a sandwich shop and Fuddruckers hamburger shop. When I was waiting in line to order some nasty carbs, Big guy in Bose headphones, xxxl WSOP white hoodie, shorts and flip flops still aloft on planet x gets in line behind me. #Crickets would later honor him with the nickname Snowman because no matter where we were if we looked up he was hovering somewhere nearby.
Ladies Only Event. I believe there were 136 registered. I walked into this game uneasy, believing it was going to be an experience resembling 8th grade gym class or something of the sort. Boy oh boy was I off target! What a friendly table draw and a good choice to skip the SuperBowl (my team wasn't in) and play poker. Most of the time we were 8 or 9 handed. Casey Jones over in seat 2 was the first one I bumped off but she had a bag full of lollipops and was sweet as can be. It was FUN but serious poker. Instead of the usual hour and a half it takes me to settle in, it was pretty quick to relax and start playing the hands I chose to play. The Ante started 90 minutes in and blinds were doubling every 30 minutes, not quite the turbo structure I enjoy but the table was pleasant enough it really wasn't anything at all like I expected. At the first break after 2 hours of play, (while running for the bathroom of course!) #crickets mentioned a couple of tells on me that he had observed from the rail. Well hell, ok, let's fix this. By the next break 2 hours later those were under control and moved on to Dragon Lady. About 3 1/2 hours into the tourney as they were splitting tables up, (we had players moving in as other players busted out) they brought us the Dragon Lady. This chick sits down with a stack of chips the size of the Matterhorn at Disneyland with a little dragon figurine on top of them, plunks down her iPad, phone, and a ton of other crap which ends up in my space and everywhere else on this side of the table. Time flew real quick to the second break with Dragon Lady scooping up every chip on the table. Up to this point, all of the hands that were shown were um... like reading a poker textbook on the proper poker hands to play and were bet accordingly. No bullying no great showdowns no major doubling up... like a dainty little girls tea party and poker game. They split our table up and things got a little tougher. Starting into Level 9 there were 45 players left. By 9:47 p.m. there were 28 players left and I was down to 14bb. Totally card dead. It just didnt' come back around. Busted out at 10:42 in 19th with my KQc vs 55. I walked out feeling good not only having accomplished my mission of getting over my terror of female poker players, but knowing there was not one hand the whole day I would have played any different at that point in time. It was the best I could do with what I had to work with. Maybe someday after learning more I will see other opportunities to play different, but right that minute, it was as good as a cash for me. I'm sorry I don't have any monster hands to tell you about, there weren't any, really. This was a personal mission working on becoming a better tournament player. Mission accomplished. Yes, finished 19th. They paid 1-15. On to the next one. Oh, did I mention that when they busted tables and moved us a 3rd time, I ended up back with Dragon Lady, who was short stacked and tiltsville? Dragon Lady finished 2oth. Talk about a moment that was good for a gal's ego ;)
#Crickets mentioned twice to me that Dragon Lady didn't have any tells. She did the same thing the same way every single hand. Sitting next to her, I never did get a read on her other than being able to tell if she was going to play in the hand or not.
Tuesday was my birthday and the $345.00 6-Handed Ring Event. There were 344 players and the prize pool totaled $98,754. I drew a really good table. We never broke and I had the same seat for over 9 hours. It was sweet. I had done a little brief reading on playing a 6max and knew that there would be little or no chance to limp. This was my opportunity to get away from a 10-handed table and work on being more aggressive, and adding more hammer and shove. So I sat down having no clue what was ahead of me. The guys on the table were nice. Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and me. Seat 6 was a late registration and nobody stayed there for very long all day. The seat was way beyond cursed. Boys moved in with chips, we took them and they went home. Arkansas in Seat 4 was a sweet kid who lives not too far from my son. Seat 1 was having a birthday the day after mine. He had just arrived, registered and got to the hotel to discover his shaving kit and $1,200.00 was missing out of his truck. Man talk about having a bad day. It turned out sometime just before the dinner break, his bag had been returned by someone on the hotel staff, they tracked him down, he verified the contents with security AND the lucky devil got all of his money back along with it. It's nice to know there ARE some good people left in this world. Cards were in the air at noon and blinds were 25 and 25. The structure of this one was better for me than the Ladies event. About an hour and 15 minutes into the game I had a major oh shit moment. The guys at my table were crazy. What in the world was I doing there? How on earth can I compete with this? They all did this shove bluff hammer bluff depending on position and it SKEERED me... My thoughts were, "Well, looks like this was a major mistake I'm not ready to play at this level yet and if I only got to play for 2 hours on my $345 well maybe I won't be back for another one"... I was down to 7,000 from a starting 10,000 then had a little talk with myself. No. I came to play poker. I've been down way less than this and finished second. Damn it let's play poker. And guess what? It was time to settle down and take another look. And baby, it turns out, maybe I knew just a little bit about what I was doing after all. (Honestly, I think it had a good bit to do with the awesome Twitter rail I had going on at the time. Energy channeled in one direction and all of that? Couldn't have stayed and played without it...) I shoved and bluffed and came over the top and folded when it was right to fold and bit and kicked and scratched and yes, even tried a flirty smile once... and doubled up and then it was up and down up and down up and down for HOURS. I never did get much above average but I hung in there. I never did run good, but I played well enough to stick around long enough to be proud of. This tournament paid 1-36. They updated the board to 54 about 20 minutes before I busted out, so finished better than 54 in my second ring event. I learned some stuff. I learned a lot of stuff. Even though there wasn't a cash it was totally worth the trip and the investment will definitely pay off in future tourneys. And now, lots of reading to continue the forward movement and on to the next one ;)