Commerce LAPC 2011

Well, it’s time once again for the LA Poker Classic at Commerce. In case you don’t know what it is, it’s 54 tournaments in 44 days, sort of like a smaller version of the WSOP in Vegas. Most of the tournaments start at 1pm and are 2 day events if you make the final table or play 13 hours. There is a 1 hour dinner break around 7pm or so.

Event #1 is their $1,000,000 guarantee 5 day event with a buy-in for $335. They have 4 day ones, then one day 2. This one brings in the big crazy crowds. Last year, I made the mistake of trying to register on the day of the event and literally had to get a refund because my alternate number was so large, I figured it would take about 3 hours before I would sit down.

This year, I registered a week before the tournament so I wouldn’t have that problem. As I played, I watched the line going so far back, I didn’t even know where it ended.

You start this event with only 5,000 in chips so there are a lot of people doing some crazy all-ins to try to accumulate chips. So if you can get a hand early on, you can collect the chips of these fast players.

On my last hand, I flopped a lower flush against a higher flush and thought I was slow playing, but in reality, I was being trapped. Coincidentally, the person that knocked me out was the person I knocked out last year (in 4th place) with flush over flush. I guess we’re now even.

In another tournament, I made it to day 2 with only about 10 times the big blind, saw an ace on the very first deal, went all-in and got called by pocket Jacks and got knocked out. That was quick. While I was getting paid, the guy told me I had about 5 minutes to get into that days tournament before the break was over. I had taken the day off from work so I figured, why not?

This tournament was also starting with 5,000 in chips and since I came in 2 hours late, some people already had some big stacks. I slowly managed to accumulate some chips and noticed people going all-in when they got down to 2,000 or so. After a while, I managed to get up to almost 30,000. Then on one hand, the chip leader raised, there were 2 callers and I called with pocket 3s.

The flop was Ace, Queen, 3 with 2 spades. I’m hoping the raiser has AK, and sure enough he comes out betting. If he has a big ace, I know he probably won’t be able to get away from the hand so I make a big raise to try to get him all-in on the turn. Instead, he goes into the tank, then goes all-in and I snap call.

He shows King, Jack for a gut-shot with no flush draw. WTF? Wow, Now, I see how he accumulated his chips. Nothing comes and I double up. Now, I have some chips to really play with.

The table breaks and I move to a table where the chip leader is on my left and I basically just wait it out. I managed to get up to about 140,000 during this waiting period.

Next, we move again to what would be the final table if I were to make it that long. At this table, everybody pretty much has the same amount of chips, from about 80k to 160k or so.

Once, when everybody folded to me in the small blind, I looked down and saw 2, 3 off suit and remarked to the big blind that I would give him a walk this time, but that would be the last time that would happen.

I just say these things to mess with people’s heads.

The next time everybody folded to my small blind, I raised and he folded. I tried again after that, and he folded again reluctantly. I could tell that he wasn’t happy about it and might not take it much longer.

About an hour later, everybody folded to my small blind again. But this time, I looked down to see pocket rockets. Nice. The blinds were 2,500 – 5,000 so I raised to 12,500. I had been raising to 13,000 previously, but I didn’t have the correct change so it was a little less, making it look a little weaker, hopefully.

Sure enough, the big blind 3 bets me another 20,500. I pretend to go into the tank for a while, doing my best acting performance, then finally announce all-in, another 60k plus on top, putting him all-in.

Now he goes into the tank. I figured he was just trying to make a move so he would eventually fold after pretending to think so that I would think he had a real hand. However, after some time, he says, “I call.” This surprised me and now I put him on Queens.

I show my aces and he shows pocket 5s. Holy smokes. Pocket 5s!? WTF? He tells me he thought I was making a move with no pair. I guess he wanted to gamble because 5s are at best a coin flip against 2 over cards, which I would have even if I had 2 random cards.

But this was a great situation for me. I’m a 4 to 1 favorite and would almost double up to over 200k, which would put me in a great position to make it to day 2.

All that sounds great. Unfortunately, the window card is a 5 and I get nothing and basically I’m out of the tournament.


Well, that’s poker. That’s what people who got bad beats always say anyway.

I have a few more events that I want to try so maybe you’ll see another post about a bad beat.

About the Author

Regarding my poker background, I’ve been playing since 2003 (yes, the Moneymaker factor), and have won several small tournaments, and have cashed at the main event of the World Series of Poker. I also play cash games at local casinos and sometimes at home games.

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