Monday, January 09, 2006


Tunica Media Event

Kaelaine Mintin wrote:

Three of us PokerSchoolers participated in the Goldstrike's Media freeroll event yesterday. It was to kick off the WPO and as we were here representing, we were invited to play. There were 28 players including us and we all made the final table. Here are the official results:

Frank (ChessSafari) Niro: 7th place, $75
Amy (OilDoe) Calistri: 4th place, $175
Kaelaine: 2nd place: $500

All the final table players received a WPT/Goldstrike jacket, too! If you want more details, check out my blog on


ChessSafari responded:

Amy (oil doe) Calistri was gracious enough to register me into the media NLHE event at the World Poker Open currently being held at the GoldStrike in Tunica. I was actually a late substitute for Tim (zeroth) Lavalli who was covering the WSOP Circuit event across town for Tim said he would "prefer a real poker player to take his seat" but wished me luck nonetheless.

The media event was a freeroll and, of course, didn't have much in the way of cash prizes. But it sure had all of the other pomp and cameras filming the event, World Poker Tour jackets for the final table finishers, and the same $4,000+ gold and diamond Bracelet for the winner.

"Kaelaine" Minton, fresh off her PSO Live Tour win ($705 cash prize, $250 PSO Sponsorship Points & and a seat at the 2007 PSO Convention Final), had her eye on the bracelet from the moment the first card went in the air. She played solid poker, despite a paucity of good starting hands, and came one place short of the victory. Go to her blog on to read more.

I caught a flop of A77 early to marry my pocket sevens and was fortunate to get plenty of action on the hand. I nursed my stack well enough to get the final table in third chip position (Kaelaine was second). Amy also made the final table giving all 3 pokerschoolers a final table finish and one of those coveted World Poker Tour jackets.

I leaked the majority of my chips in a key hand where I foolishly chased a draw with an overcard in vain against the eventual winner. Right after the hand, I imagined Aaron (thehazyone), Stacey (RIEVRHATER2) and Paulina (leilelucas) standing behind watching, all taking turns slapping me accross the back of my head. It was painful enough to look across the table at Amy slowly shaking her head back and forth. I went out in 7th place. Amy was very impressive, as always, finishing 4th.

It was a privilege as well as great experience to play at the same live final table with oil doe and kaelaine. I will always cherish the memory.

I lost a lot of sleep after this hand, and I’m still not sure what might have been the best way to play it...

Level 9
Blinds 800/1,600 antes 200
9 players remaining
Cash prizes and jackets to the final table finishes; Gold and Diamond WPT Bracelet worth $4,000+ for the winner.
Average stack size = 12,400
My stack = 15,700

I was dealt As 3s
Amy folded under the gun
Kaelaine, third to act, folded
Everyone else folded to me in the small blind

I tossed another 800 into the 4,200 pot to complete the bet.
Big Blind (big stack who eventually won the tournament) raised 2,000. I called. 9,000 chips in the pot. My remaining stack: 14,100.

I thought about raising from the small blind. Certainly if I had something like TT I would've made a big raise. The problem was, as usual, table dynamics. The big blind had more chips than anyone at the table (about 30,000 to Kaelaine's 29,000....out of 112,000 in play). My instinct was to try to cut into his stack.

His pattern had been to call any raise and play his hand all the way to the river. With 800 to call into a pot of 4,200, folding A-rag was out of the question. I felt he would call my raise anyway so my strategy was to limp and get away cheaply after the flop if it missed me.

Flop was Kh 5s 4c

I made a continuation bet of 4,500. He called. 18,000 in the pot. Remaining stack: 9,600.
The continuation bet was probably a mistake because I got no information. He could have called it with any piece of the flop or an ace with a bigger kicker. I was out of position. I knew he was a calling station. In retrospect I believe I should have checked & folded. Check-raise was plausible but only if I was willing to call a reraise all-in. I wasn't.

But I was seduced by the draw. I counted seven outs and convinced myself that the pot was already worth chasing.

Turn brought Js

I checked. He bet 2,000. I called. 22,000 in the pot. Remaining stack: 7,600.
The second spade on the turn brought eight more outs. There's a good chance if an ace hit on the river I would have been outkicked. Therefore, I probably had 11 hard outs (maybe less if he was holding two pair).

So the 2,000 call into a pot of 20,000 was a no-brainer. I wasn't excited about it, but I had the proper odds. Absent an ace, deuce or spade on the river, I was done.

River was 7d

I checked. He bet 4,000. I folded.
I didn't find out what he had. I almost called so that Kaelaine and Amy could see his hand and benefit from the information but I didn't want to add any more chips to his big stack and his bet was more than half my remaining stack. There was a chance he was betting with no hand, but I didn't have the courage to find out.

A few hands later I went allin with a pocket pair. Big stack called me with two overcards and I busted out in 7th place.

Thanks for your help and your support.


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