Unlike the previous two days day 3 was the first day that the field was combined. Chips were going to fly today and tons of people were going to bust out. My starting table was:
1 Joe Patrick (72900) 316 / 2 Patrick Grace (83900) 316 / 3 Daniel Horan (38400) 316 / 4 Vince Burgio (61300) 316 / 5 Vasili Firsau (130200) 316 / 6 Blake Stepp (39000) 316 / 7 Richard Taylor (81300) 316 / 8 Adam Levy (130600) 316 / 9 Jonathan Tamayo (110500) 316
The only person I recognized at my table was Jonathan Tamayo (driverseati online) and he had a real deep run last year in the Main Event. By the way, I’ve started capitalizing “Main Event” because it’s unto itself. It’s just this badass 7000 man tournament that pays three times more than the 2nd biggest tourney of the year. Thus, it deserves some capital letters. Anyways, him being on my left could get annoying. It depends on how he plays because I know he can play maniacal or play like a tight old nit. Blake Steppe was apparently a former Gonzaga basketball player turned poker pro now. Vince Burgio had an array of different cashes spanning twenty some odd years for about $1.5million. I wasn’t sure whether to be afraid or happy knowing he was older. Vasili Firsau had the 2nd most chips and had a few hundred thousand in tournament winnings so I assumed he might’ve known what he was doing. Everyone else had no cashes and I was looking forward to playing with them all.
I was on time getting to the Amazon Room but apparently our table was moved to a different table at the last second. I ask the floor person where Orange 316 is and he tells me it’s in the Pavillion Room. So I dart over there and only to find out this particular floor person was wrong. The table was in fact two to the right of the original Orange 316. So I book it back to the Amazon Room and find that I had now missed the first two hands of the day thanks to a clueless floorperson. Thanks guy! But now that I was situated it was time for some poker.
Right off the bat at 500/1000 100 Jonathan Tamayo was trying to do what I failed at doing earlier in the tournament on day 1, beast the table. Only, he succeeded. Within the first two orbits he had 3bet, 4bet, 4bet folded, and played about 8 of the first 18 pots. He had quickly doubled his stack up to over 200k. This caused me to change my approach to the table and nit it up for a bit while he ran it over. I was okay with that. Sometimes you have to swallow your ego. I was palying tight and waiting for good spots. Early on it was tough to find any traction. The other big stack three to my right, Vasili Firsau, was raising a ton and Tamayo was 3betting a fair amount so it was tough for me to flat in position. I thought about 3betting him a little bit but with the other side of the table playing weak/tight I figured I would wait it out. After Vasili and Tamayo had gone to war a bit, Tamayo coolered Vasili in a 3bet pot for nearly all of his chips. After that, Vasili busted shortly thereafter and Tamayo slowed down a bit after amassing nearly 300k in chips.
I really had not done much and I lost about 10k after the first level. Luckily, early on at 600/1200 200 Tamayo lost a lot of his momentum after Vince Burgio shipped 50 bigs to his open with AK. Tamayo quickly called with KK and Burgio binked the Ace on the flop. After that, I knew I could probably get away with a little more. That’s when I started opening more and Tamayo and I played no more than 5 pots together the rest of the day. Even though that was good, it was irrelevant because I was running bad. There weren’t really any notable pots except for a bunch of failed continuation bets and a laydown or two. All of a sudden I was at 70k at 800/1600. It’s pretty funny when you freak out about having that small of a stack in any tournament. Heck, in any given online tournament having 45 big blinds at that level would be considered a decent stack. But in the Main Event, it feels short. A few hands in, Daniel Horan who had initially been tight had starting shoving his 20 big blind stack a bit so when I picked up AQo and he shoved his stack in, I wasn’t super happy about it, but I wasn’t folding either. I called and he flipped over 44. In that spot, I’d rather see a legit hand like 99, not some measly pair like 44 that’s still got me beat. But whatever, because I scooped the pot with a Queen on the flop. Back to starting stack woohoo!
Midway through the level, I witnessed an awesome hand go down. Vince Burgio now had 160k at 800/1600 200 and was under the gun. He thought for a few seconds and shoved the full amount in for 160k. Sayyyyy whaaaaaat?!?!?! It folded to Tamayo who thought for a little bit and I was thinking that’d be so sick if he had KK but he folded too. After the hand, we were all astounded by Burgio’s move and he wasted no time by showing us pocket aces. I bet you never thought this hand would only involve a single person.
When it rolled around to 1k/2k 300 I started putting together a string of wins and was up to 180k. At the beginning of the day, it seemed like this table was going to be tough, it turned into the softest table of the tournament even with Tamayo on my left. I think he realized the same thing and we stayed out of each other’s way. With an hour left at 1200/2400 300, a guy wearing a UB patch got moved into my table with about 250k in chips and as did his buddies on the rail. And, while I am sponsored by UB, the UB qualifiers are notoriously worse than Poker Stars or Full Tilt so I had to whet my lips a little bit when I saw he got moved to the table with heaps. The first pot, I pick up Kings, raise to 6250 from utg, and he flats me from the button. The flop comes A102ss. I opt to check-call any bet by him. He bets 10k and I call. Turn is a 6 and I check again. He bets 20k and I reluctantly decided to call again. As soon as I made the call, I hated myself. I just felt like it was an impulsive call on my part and when he bet 40k on the river I quickly folded. But it can be tough to gauge new players at the table especially when they have a huge stack and are a satellite winner.
With 30 minutes left in the day, the spot I had been waiting for all day finally happened. The UB satellite winner raised it up to 6500 from utg+2 and I flatted the sb with 109hh. The flop came 1096 2 spades 1 club. BINGO!!! He bet 9000 and I check-raised to 28500. He shoved within 10 seconds and I snap-called. The second before the cards were turned over I fully expected to see a huge flush draw or an overpair but flipped over the J10cc. What a massive shove for a 200 big blind pot but whatevaaaa. I was a little tense though because remarkably this was only the 2nd time in 3 days I had been all in for my tournament life and it was the worst I had gotten it in somehow. Regardless, I was still a huge favorite but there are so many bad cards in the deck on the turn. The turn rolled off and it was the Ace of spades. Not a great card but I actually was happy to see it only added 3 outs to the deck, not 9. The river came an 8 and while I was pretty sure I had won, all his friends on the rail started cheering for him so I had to double check the board. Yep, I still win. I overheard his friends being like “6,8,9,10,J…Oh, that’s not a straight. Darn!” I couldn’t exactly start laughing out loud at the table but inside I thought it was hilarious.
After that hand, I didn’t play many more pots and finished the day at a pretty hefty 323,700. 175th out of the some odd 1200 players left Definitely a great position to be in going into to day 4, when we hit the money. I should finish writing day 4 on my flight to Borgata on Saturday. Should be up Sunday or Monday.