ATLARGE 2003 Trip Report
Arrived safely mid-afternoon, took a power nap, wandered around
acclimating myself to the Taj, and registered in the Hospitality
Suite. Decided not to try the cheap evening Trop tourney, so I
play two hours of 1-5 Stud and lost $45 when none of my flushes
or straights came through.
Quick breakfast and off to the H.O.E. Tourney. Did better than
expected, considering Omaha isn't my top game (if indeed I have
a top game). Almost made it to the final table, but busted out
at #13 while in an Omaha round (natch). Was down on chips and
went all-in with A346, but lost when the board failed to deliver
a low. All in all, I was happy with my overall play during the
entire H.O.E. tourney, but plan on brushing up on both my Omaha
and Eight-or-Better Stud games in preparation for next year.
Grabbed some chow, took another power nap, and then proceeded
to lose $94 in 1-5 Stud when I didn't take a single pot in over
two hours. Next year, I will switch to Hold'Em.
Big breakfast, since I planned to make it to the final table
again in the NLHE tourney, and needed my energy :) I placed
third last year, and had high hopes. I was fortunate enough
to be placed at the same table as Dave Fruchter, who had the
$100 bounty on his head for being the best all-around player
in ATLARGE 2002. I wanted that bounty! We were all amused
by the fact that five out of the first six players to get
knocked out were all at the table behind us. We dubbed it
the "Table of Doom". Somebody over there (I think it was Sable)
had a boatload of chips from winning all those all-in pots.
I held my own, but never got a chance at the bounty, because
Terrance Chan got to him first. Bummer. At the first break,
I had T1325; but a LONG dry spell followed, and by the second
break I was down to T1075. Finally, I leapt to T2950 when a
player went all-in with pocket Eights, and I called with
pocket Jacks. The board went (x x J 8 x). A table change
plopped me near Raydon, so we chatted about my LASIK surgery
as my chip stack dwindled. I limped with Ad7d, and the
only the blinds stayed. The flop showed (3c 2d 3d), and
I decided to go all-in with my Ace and nut-Flush draw.
Unfortunately, Raydon's blind hand was J3o, so he quickly
called, and I desperately needed a Diamond to stay alive.
Well, a diamond did come, but so did a Jack, giving Raydon
the boat and knocking me out of the tourney at #40. Sadness.
I took a walk outside to enjoy the wonderful weather and
watch some surfers. After some boardwalk fries, it was back
to see how the rest of the 8-2 Club was faring. They were
down to twenty players, and four of our boys were still
alive and kicking. Odds were very good that one (if not more)
would make it to the final table. The first casualty was
8-2 Mike, knocked out at #15. They paid the top nine, so when
we got to ten players, it was hand-to-hand with five players
at each table. It would have been very cool to have three
8-2 Club players in the money at the final table, but it was
not to be. 8-2 Cowboy (Graham) went all-in and lost, busting
out on the bubble at #10.
At the final table, 8-2 Greg needed some chips to stay alive,
and got them with a miracle hand. He goes all-in with AcJs,
only to see his opponent turn over AsKd. However, the board
coughs up four clubs, giving him the nut-Flush and a huge
chunk of chips. Later on, he grabs even more chips by playing
pocket Aces brilliantly. He makes a smooth call when the board
shows (A K x), and bets only T800 on a brick turn. When the
river reveals another King, his opponent goes all-in with KJ,
and Greg quickly calls with his full boat of Aces. 8-2 Dave
also knocks out some players, and manages to keep his chip
count high as well.
The other players don't last long, and it is soon down to
three players: Terrence Chan, 8-2 Greg and 8-2 Dave. Terrence
has the chip lead by a small margin. I'm worried that Dave
and Greg will wind up playing a hand against each other. The
only good point in such a battle is that if one of them loses,
at least they will be giving their chips to another 8-2 Club
player and not to Terrence. Well, it turns out that Greg and
Dave do get involved in a hand, with Greg all-in holding A4s.
Dave calls with KJo, and the flop is three bricks. The turn
shows a Four giving Greg a pair, but the evil river shows a
King, giving Dave all of Greg's chips and a third place finish
for Greg. With a commanding chip lead, Dave wastes no time
calling Terrence's all-in bet on the next deal. Terrence shows
QJ, and Dave shows KJ. Nobody hits the board, so Dave's King
holds up and gives him a first place victory! Much rejoicing
ensues! Dave treats all the 8-2 Club members to a free dinner
on the town as we celebrate the best finish our club has ever
had at ATLARGE.
It will hard to beat Saturday's accomplishment, but we all
give it a try. Except me. I don't know where my head was,
but it wasn't on the game. On the second deal, I bet all the
way to seventh street with only one caller. I turn over my
cards and proudly announce "I have a low". Nobody at the
table seems to care. I start to wonder why the dealer isn't
splitting the chips. Why is he pushing them all to the other
player? Then I glance down at the tourney sheet and see the
words "Seven Card Stud". Not "Seven Card Stud High/Low". Oh
the pain. Chagrined, I'm glad this gaffe occured early on.
Well, I switch gears to play high only, and manage to hold on
for a while. Finally, I get dealt (3c 4c) Ac. I give the
obligatory "I have an Ace" raise when it comes to me, and only
get one caller. I then get a 5h, followed by a 6c. I now
am drooling for a final club. Sixth street gives me another
Ace, and now two things happen. First, my opponent (Mordecai) gets
agitated at my pair of Aces. Second, my brain completely locks
up and I think I have a Straight. I boldly bet my Straight,
angry that the second Ace will probably spook my opponent into
folding. He calls, and I bet without looking at my final down
card. Why should I? I have a Straight!! My opponent thinks.
And thinks. And thinks some more. I'm not worried, though.
I have a Straight!! Okay, he finally calls. I boldly turn over
my cards announcing my Straight. There is silence and puzzled
glances. Mordecai has Queens Up. Where is my Straight, they
ask? I look down at my cards. I see no Deuce. Where is my
Deuce?? There was a Deuce here a minute ago, I swear!! Now
I start looking for another pair to go with my Aces. None are
to be found. I have a pair of Aces. I have a losing hand. I
have mud on my face. I have T30 in chips left. I am a royal
goober. I have just thrown away my chance in this tourney.
I survive three all-in's, but eventually the blinds kill me off
and I'm knocked out at #35.
Oh well, I stick around to cheer on the remaining 8-2 Club
members. One by one they fall, until only 8-2 Mike and 8-2 Chris
remain; and they both make to the final table as well! I don't
remember any of the hands, but Chris takes an 8th Place finish,
and Mike barely misses making it into the top three. He busts
out at a very respectable #4, and we pack it up for some chow
and the drive back to Maryland.
All in all, an excellent ATLARGE experience!
- GoldieFish, for organizing such an outstanding ATLARGE
- The Taj, for hosting their first ATLARGE event most excellently
- PokerStars.com, for the freebies and bonus money
- Poker room tourney manager/directors
- The gorgeous blonde in black at the poker room front desk
- Patrick's super-cool tourney software
- 8-2 Dave, for his First Place NLHE win
- 8-2 Greg, for his Third Place NLHE win
- 8-2 Mike, for his Fourth Place Stud win
- 8-2 Chris, for his Eighth Place Stud win
- 8-2 Cowboy, for his Tenth Place "almost made it" NLHE placing
- not being able to hear ANYTHING in the poker room
- not being able to buy chips from the dealer when you
first sit down to play
- the vast majority of dealers not knowing how to properly
handle side pots
- the Seven-Card Stud trophy, which read "Seven Car Stud"
- the extremely firm room mattresses and pillows
- the room showers, which changed from scoldingly hot to
freezing cold within seconds, and visa versa
- my Seven-Card Stud play. oh, the horror.
- the war, for keeping 8-2 Dennis from attending this year