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Our trip to Tunica is in the rear view, so it’s time to get back on the blogging grind. After focusing on the casino in the last blog, this report will turn its attention to the poker side of things. While it wasn’t raining rings for our friends like it did at the last stop, there was still some interesting happenings on the felt this time around.

Our results

With a freeroll seat locked up I scaled back my tournament schedule for the Tunica event skipping to play PLO. I love being able to sleep in and play sessions of whatever length I desire, this is the freedom that makes poker such a great job. It felt good to get back on the old degen schedule, if only for a few days.

Even with the reduced mtt schedule I did manage to make a run at a ring this trip, finishing 4th in one of the 345s. I felt I played well on the way to the final table, but a sick run of flips and gifts definitely padded my stack. I lost maybe one of ten or eleven flips on the way to the final table, and it was against a shorty.

Unfortunately all good heaters must come to an end and mine stopped just short of a ring. Five handed I lost KK v 66 aipf to the eventual winner when he binked the 6s on the river of a dry board. I still had plenty of chips after the pot, but I lost my mental edge. My confidence in reads deteriorated somewhat and I missed a couple important bets in significant pots.

I had an hour long dinner break right after the KK hand to recover, so I don’t feel tilt was a factor. I think the hand was more of a psychological boost to my opponents, who had been unwilling to enter a pot with me prior to the hand. Probably most importantly it allowed the eventual winner, on my immediate left, to enter almost every pot I played after the break and make my life much more difficult. I wasn’t connecting and my frustration eventually got the best of me and I made a poorly timed shove to end my day. It was a mental lapse at a key moment and something for me to work on moving forward.

As is our custom, after I make a deep run La usually makes a deeper run. She was on course to continue the trend making day two of a following 345, but with 11 left she miscalculated her opponent’s stack bvb and made a shove against what she thought was a much shorter stack. The mistake crippled her and she wasn’t able to recover, finishing just shy of the final table. These are mistakes we all make and I’m sure she will be back at the final table in no time.

LaLa grinding (@lasengphet)

Picture from Pokernews Tunica main event coverage

Players to watch

With so many rings to write about at the last stop I didn’t have much time to acknowledge some of the other players on the circuit that have been doing work. These are a couple guys that are turning into familiar faces at WSOPC final tables:

AP Phahurat (@legitap47)

Picture from Facebook, source unknown

AP has been mashing the re-entry events, making deep runs in the enormous opening event fields. He has had 6 cashes at the last two circuits including a 5th in the Tunica re-entry and a 4th in the HU event. Huy and AP offered us some team props on the Choctaw series, we politely declined.

Michael “Great Mj” Cooper

Picture from Pokernews Tunica main event coverage

MJ has also been making waves on the circuit. He cashed 5 times in the last two stops with 2 4ths at Choctaw and a 7th place finish in the Tunica main. One thing is for sure, he has his buddy Larry in a bad spot on their WSOPC props.

Angle shooter empties the clip

My PLO sessions yielded one of the most pathetic angle shoots I have seen since my underground poker days. I was playing a long PLO session and a tatted up, blinged out thug had been gambling with us for three or four hours. He seemed cool enough, joking around and having a good time with the table. He did complain about how much he was stuck, but it wasn’t a surprise as he was a hyper aggressive player.

He got felted and left the table for an hour or two, then returned for another go. He and I ended up getting in a pot where we got all the money in pre. He had AKQ7 and I had AA92, we decided to run two full boards. The first board ran out 448xx and he didn’t connect at all, which he was well aware of. The second board ran out 9T2J… We started laughing after he made the straight on the turn and pulled back the stacks in front of us. I didn’t even notice the river 2 roll off. My buddy Huy sitting next to me did though, and he told me I had a full house on the bottom.

I did a double take and saw the full house on bottom, the dealer saw it too and mucked my opponent’s hand. Then shit started to get messy. First he objected to someone else reading my hand, I explained to him that a tabled hand speaks. Then he tried to claim the dealer had told us to take the money back, which she hadn’t. He offered to give me the middle pot and let him keep the side, I declined. Next he claimed he couldn’t remember his hand and was not going to give up the chips he had pulled back.

The floor was called and the whole table agreed he had lost both pots, but he still refused to give up his remaining chips. He wasn’t angry or upset, but he would not give up. The floor said he would have to call security and have them roll back the tape. I calmly asked him to be reasonable, but he declined. Clearly he was hoping security couldn’t make out the cards and he would get to keep his chips. It was a pathetic attempt to keep a few hundred dollars, but he had made up his mind and he was going to ride it out.

I turned back to my right to see what Huy thought about all this, but he and his chips had quietly disappeared. I don’t blame him, this guy wasn’t the sort of person you would want to meet in the dark part of a parking lot. As it became clear that this was going to take awhile a couple other players racked up and left. Around ten minutes later the floor came back and told the guy he had confirmed his hand with security. The guy then calmly passed me the chips and walked off.

As much of a pain in the ass as the whole situation was, I should actually be thanking the guy. I did eventually get the money and two of the more aggressive players at the table racked up and left. This made the game short handed with a reduced time charge. Short handed PLO is my favorite game and the table stayed that way for the rest of the night. I was able to dig my way out of the trap and had some cheese at the end of my 12 hour session.

DQ’d in the main

Picture from Pokernews.com

Most of you are probably already familiar with the story of Tunica ring winner Drew Mcilvain getting DQ’d from the main event for collusion. If you aren’t, Scott Clark published an excellent summary of the various coverage on his blog:


I was playing PLO when all this went down, so I have no first hand knowledge of the actual event. I never played with the kid to my knowledge, and if I did he didn’t leave an impression on me one way or the other. I have a lot of friends on the circuit though, and the word I got is that this kid was abusive to players and staff on multiple occasions. Just reading his unedited comments about the situation at the end of Scott’s blog leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It seems like a harsh punishment to get a lifetime ban from Harrahs for this situation, but I trust the staff to make professional decisions based on the rules. I can see how abusing the staff over the course of the week would hurt his credibility in this spot though. Why would people you have been treating poorly give you the benefit of the doubt? It sounds like his abusive behavior brought more attention on him than the average player, from the staff and other players, and when he found himself in a tough spot he reaped the consequences of his previous actions.

The lesson to take out of this whole situation is a simple one, if you treat people well, they will do the same for you. If you treat people poorly, when you find yourself in a tough spot you should expect no sympathy. These are the people that run the events we make our livelihood from, I’m not saying they are infallible and past reproach, but I think a little common courtesy could have saved this young man a lot of heartache.