My 2010 Borgata Winter Open Main Event was a disaster. That may sound like a harsh assessment but unfortunately it’s true.
My first misstep was innocent enough. This past Sunday was one of the biggest online tournament days in a long time. Apparently Pokerstars ran a two million dollar guarantee, Ultimate Bet ran the main event of some big series, and all the Full Tilt guarantees were doubled. So when faced with the decision of playing the Borgata Main on Sunday (Day 1a) or Monday (Day 1b), I chose Sunday. I envisioned an army of online pros sequestered in their hotel rooms dumping thousands of dollars in online buy ins and I aimed to avoid them in the real world.
When I took my seat at Table #1 I was in for an unpleasant surprise. There were two excellent high stakes live cash game players there along with a LeggoPoker instructor who crushes online heads up cash games. There were also a few other competent pros in our midst. I was the fourth best player at the table at best. So much for my crafty plan of matching myself up with donkeys. I’m fully capable of holding my own against tough players, but by the middle of level two I had managed to destroy that possibility.
I played a hand atrociously at the 50-100 level. I’m not ready to discuss this hand in detail, but the despicable fact that I lied about my hole cards when recounting this hand to a couple of people tells me all I need to know. The long and short of it is that I made an absolutely hopeless call on the river, giving away three streets of nearly pot-sized bets to a strong player who was obviously value betting every street. A nitty player would have folded the turn, and any sane/observant person would have snap-folded the river (and a true baller would have check-shove bluffed the river). So what did I do? I called him down the whole way. I’m very disappointed with how I handled this hand and it will probably haunt me for awhile. I had not made a blatant, stupid, “WTF was that?” type of mistake in quite a long time. I saved my first one in awhile for the biggest tournament of new year. Oops.
In closing, I’d like to announce that I now have a new leak in my game: I’m a calling station. Making correct hero calls is so goddamned exhilarating that I can no longer restrain myself, even in big spots early in a $3500 Main Event where any moron can see that I’m beat. I just hate folding, and it’s gotten out of hand.
Possessing this particular leak is an amusing development because my progress as a tournament player has closely tracked my de-nittification; my ability to sniff out bluffs and make big calldowns has served me well over the years. I’ve undressed a lot of clowns in my day. But now I’ve gone a bit overboard. I’m a total station! At least I’m capable of diagnosing the disease.
Good luck to my friends who are still alive in the BWO Main Event.
My next live tournament action will be at a dog track in Fort Myers!