Caribbean Poker Classic 2008; First day of poker tournaments

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Mark | Caribbean Poker Classic 2008

This article is a part of the Caribbean Poker Classic 2008 series. Follow the link to read more about how I got to go on the trip in the first place.

Bet you’re dying to know how I did in my first poker tournament on the cruise. Well I’ll keep you in suspense for a couple of paragraphs. Our first encounter with the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship deserves some words along the way.
My story actually starts with our cab driver Muhammed who drove us to ship. In general cab drivers are really friendly in the US and my friend Artur has developed a great tactic on how to get them started talking. He does “snus”, which is small packets of tobacco that you place under your upper lip, and the first thing he does when meeting a new taxi driver is to ask whether they want a shot. It works like a charm and every time opens an avalanche of conversational topics.
Muhammed got started when Artur sighed loudly in the cab. “Are you an old man or what?” Muhammed asked. Artur replied that we had been out drinking yesterday and that it was hot outside, hence the sigh. The comment about drinking really got Muhammed fired up and he began to give my friend a long moral lesson on why drinking and smoking and not doing any exercise would reduce his performance with women. To my great amusement the entire 20 minute cab ride was centred on my friend and how he should do better in life. After criticising my friend’s pictures of the scenery we passed along the way Muhammed went into overdrive when we told him we were going to play poker on the boat. Stories of people loosing their homes and crying in his cab came flying out and the verbal abuse of my friend first stopped when a X-mas song started playing on the radio. This seemed to distract Muhammed who started to complain about the song instead: “La la la la la la la la la…what the fuck is this la la la la”. We left our best taxi driver yet with a good tip and then proceeded to checking in on the ship.
I will upload pictures of the ship later, but it is safe to say that we have never seen anything like it ever before. It’s 100% luxury through and through.

Moving on to the actual tournament I entered into a 250$ +20$ super satellite for the 2500$ + 200$ main event. 97 players were registered and the top 16 won a seat to the main event.
The first player I met on my table was a drunk and unpleasant to say the least English guy called Jason. He said to me: “If you raise my blinds, I reraise you yeah”, and then proceeded to show me a huge wad of money with the words: “I can afford to rebuy”. At this point I realized that the super satellite I had signed up for was in fact a rebuy tournament, which changed a lot since people tend to be looser during the rebuy period. It turned out that the 100$ rebuys were unlimited the first 1,5 hours and afterwards there was the possibility 100$ 3000 chip add on. 

    

Ready for action

I decided to play tight and conserve my chips up to the 1,5 hour mark, if necessary make a single rebuy, and finally purchase the 100$ add on.

Me taking notes at the table

My first table had 2 super aggressive players, namely Jason and a high stakes Sun Poker player from Romania. The rest of players did not play many hands so I had them pegged as conservative. Here’s a list of the hands I played during the rebuy period:

 
• QJ suited, called in position, folded to one of the many raises by Jason
• AJ suited, called in position, folded to one of the many raises by Jason
• 10 10, reraised Jason all in and he called with 8 2 off suited. I won the hand
 

After the rebuy period was over, out table was split up, and we were moved to another table. Jason was placed at the same table as me, but this time I had position on him.
I was dealt great hands on the second table, but did not get any action on them, mostly because Jason got busted out after 10 hands or so with A10 against QQ. After the tournament I contemplated whether I should have attempted to trap with my big hands against the overall conservative players at the second table. Here are the hands I played:

 
• Reraised Jason all in from the big blind with A2, he called with J7, and I won with high card.
• AA, raised to 800 (app 3x BB), everyone folded.
• QQ, raised to 800 (app 3x BB), everyone folded.
• AK, raised to 900 (app 3x BB), everyone folded.
• Reraised a preflop raise all in with QQ and got called by AJ. Winning this hand would give me a very healthy stack of 10000+. Unfortunately my opponent caught an Ace on the flop, and I was down to around 2500 chips with large blinds (my M was around 4)
• I pushed all in with A3 and was called by A6, which ended my tournament as number 70 out of 97 after playing 4 hours.
 

Taken as a whole I was satisfied with my game in the satellite. I was the favourite in all the key hands I played; unfortunately in poker that’s not always enough.

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