++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ To: Junelli From: Parker Binion Date: 4/18/05 Subject: Trip Report - Southern Poker Classic
Hey gang. Hope all is well. Rather lengthy poker trip report follows, if you have any interest.
Drove down to Mississippi last Sunday for a series of small to medium no limit hold'em tournaments, called the "Southern Poker Classic." The events were held at the Grand properties in Biloxi and Gulfport, about 13 miles apart.
The "Southern Poker Classic" schedule was as follows:
Basically, the $200 events were for the people who busted out on Day 1 of the $500 events. Because of the way the tournaments were staggered, the maximum number of tournaments you could cash was three.
On Monday, I decided to play in a couple of satellites and the Gulfport Grand's weekly $20 rebuy tournament (not part of the "Southern Poker Classic"). There were 100 players in the field, and after all the rebuys and add ons, there was $7300 in the pool. Made the final table, and finished 2nd, winning $1168.
Then I played a satellite for the $500 event. Cost $65 to enter, plus another $5 as a dealer toke for which you got T500 more chips. 10 players to a table, and all the winner got was a seat worth $540. So $700 to win $540 is not much of a deal. I busted 4th when my QQ lost to KK in the big blind.
I decided I would play one more satellite, this time for the $1000 event. Cost $125 + $5 for dealer toke, so $1300 from 10 players to win $1060. Again, that's too much vig, but I was fortunate enough to win the seat into the main event.
Monday was a good day.
Tuesday, I paid my way into the $500 Event 1. There were 233 entrants. Everyone got T5000 in chips, and bought T500 more for a $5 dealer toke. Levels lasted 45 minutes, and started at 25-50 blinds. Level 4 was 100-200, and level 5 was 100-200 with a 25 ante. So there was plenty of time to work your chips.
I started at Biloxi with half the field, and the other half started at Gulfport. I built my chips up to 12000 by the 4th level, but then lost most of them in the small blind to the big blind when I had K6, he had K7 and the flop comes K76. Down to 1800 chips UTG with 100-200 blinds, I go all in with 99 and get called and beat by TT. A promising start de-railed.
Wednesday, I paid to play in the $200 event at Gulfport. This event is limited to 200 players, and there was a waiting list. 27 alternates got in as people busted out in the first hour. Blinds went up much quicker in this event, and levels only lasted 30 minutes. I was card dead all day, but played until level 5 before busting out. Only 2 pocket pairs in 2.5 hours (99 and 33), and the biggest Ace I saw was A9 offsuit. Never had a chance.
Thursday, I paid to play in the $500 Event 3. Back to 45 minute levels. 222 entrants, and again, half the field started at each property. I started at Biloxi. In the first level, I get AA and raise in early position. 5 players see the flop - 555. I decide to trap someone who flopped a boat with a smaller pocket pair. Sure enough, a guy in late position takes the lead. I call him on the flop, turn and river. He had JJ, but spiked a J on the river to beat my 555AA with JJJ55. Had I gone all in, I am sure he would have called, and I would have been out. I am down to 2000 chips (started with 5500).
>From that point on, I could do little wrong. Finished Day 1 with T111,600, and was chip leader going into Day 2, with 40 players left, and 20 spots paid. Unfortunately, I don't win any pot on Day 2 that I have to show down. I lose races as a small favorite, a small dog, and I certainly didn't suck out on anyone. Pretty card dead day, but I nurse it to the final table. UTG at the final table with blinds 5-10K but about to go up, antes 1K, and a stack of 50K, I pick up KJ suited and go all in. Get called by AJ in the BB, and bust 10th winning $2220.
On to Saturday's $1000 main event. 232 entrants, 45 minute levels, and T7000 + T500 dealer toke in starting chips. I get assigned to Gulfport with half the field. At my first table, I draw Dick Sturman, who finished 5th in Event 1, Tim O'Connor, who finished 4th in Event 3, and Jeff Hecht, who finished 9th in Event 1. Tough table, but I flopped a set of Kings on the second hand, and never looked back, building my stack to T50,000 by the 5th level. In level 10, after losing a race with AK to QQ, I trippled up in the big blind when the button limped with KJ, the SB called with diamonds, and I had K4. Flop comes KK4 2 diamonds. I finish Day 1 with T110,100 in 2nd place, with 40 players left and 20 spots paid.
Day 2 is fun and nerve-racking. We get to the bubble, and I have several interesting hands. I raise UTG with JJ, and get called by the button. Flop comes Ten high. I check, button goes all in with AT, and I call and double up. A few hands later, a tight player named Alan Hunter with half my stack goes all in UTG. I have 99. I feel like I would be in a race, and I did not want to race for half my stack on the bubble (I would be very short if I lost, and the blinds were coming). I fold and the chip leader calls him with A9. Sure enough, UTG had AQ and won the hand when no A, Q or 9 hit. My read was right, but I would have won the race.
A few hands later, another player UTG named Rufus Yates goes all in for about half my stack. I am UTG+1, and pick up TT. This time, I get the feeling I am ahead, so I raise all in to get heads up. Sure enough, he turns over A7. Another correct read, but of course, and Ace flops and I lose.
I steal a few blinds, and we finally make the money. From there, I take out a couple of short stacks, and we whittle down. When we make the final table, I am about 5th.
I pick up KK in early position when Mark Wild has the big blind. Wild has been very agressive. I decide to limp, hoping someone raises me. Everyone folds, and Wild checks. I flop a set of Kings, and Wild bets out. I smooth call. Unfortunately, the turn is another King, and that freezes him, and I can't get any more chips out of him. I turn over the quads, and get applause from the railbirds.
We get down to 6 players when Rufus Yates makes 2 consecutive errors that wind up costing me several thousand dollars. Terry Moore is short stacked UTG and goes all in not even having enough for the small blind. Yates raises UTG+1 with 99!!! The correct play is to call, get several callers, check it down, and make the short stack beat everyone. Yates' raise drives everyone out. Yates flops a set of 9s, but the board comes runner runner, and there is a 9 high straight on the board. The chip leader had a T, and would have called and checked it down and knocked Moore out.
Next hand, Moore is all in in the BB. Yates is UTG and raises again!! Yates has AJ, and drives everyone out. Moore has Q2, and flops a 2 and wins. Once again, chip leader would have called, checked it down, and would have knocked Moore out.
A round later, I have AQ suited in mid position, and go all in. Moore is in the SB and calls with K9. I have him covered by T25K (10-20 blinds), flop and turn help no one, but Moore spikes a K on the river to cripple me. Moore should have been out, and now he rivers me. Thanks for nothing, Rufus.
I get AQ again the next hand, and go all in UTG+1. Chip leader has AA, and I go out in 6th place, winning $13,920.
Oh by the way, Alan Hunter won the main event. Remember him? He's the short stack that went all in UTG on the bubble with AQ that my 99 would have beaten if I called. C'est la vie.
As it turns out, I was one of 7 players to cash in 2 events in the Southern Poker Classic, and the only player to make 2 final tables. Throw in the 2nd place finish in the $20 rebuy and the satellite win, and it was a helluva fun week.