I really felt like playing, and quickly found out some people wanted a piece of me, so I put up half and had a couple partners. DONE.
Went back Tuesday night, signed up to play Day 1a, felt good. I showed up two minutes before we were supposed to start playing, and I was the first person at the table. I was followed by Jonathan Little, Allen Bari, stevesbets and Jason Potter.
In a room where I literally don't recognize more than 20 people this is the s**t-show of a draw I get Day 1. I welcome the challenge, and I soon find out there are two other beasts at our table; I just don't catch their names.
I usually like to ease my way into things and I really do like the small-ball approach in nicely structured tournaments. After nothing but laughter from everyone that walks by our table, the cards are in the air.
Everyone comes out swinging - there aren't going to be any small pots played at this table. I lose $10k of my $30k stack about 15 minutes in when I raise with QQ and stevesbets calls behind. He is one of the most aggressive players I've seen yet, so his range is wide open on this hand.
Flop 9-4-3 rainbow ... I lead for $700; he raises to $1,900; I call. Turn 7. I check; he bets $2,500; I call, and the river pairs the three.
I check; he fires $6k. I snap-call and he rolls over 9-9. F*CK me!
About nine hands later Allen Bari opens for $350, JL calls and I have AA on the button, where I make it $1,450 to go. They both call. I put Allen on a big hand that he's trying to trap with because I think for a second he thought about repopping.
Flop J-5-6 rainbow; both players check to me. I fire $2,450, Allen raises to $6,450 and I insta-ship, putting him on QQ or even KK. I'm dead wrong: he calls and turns over 5♣ 6♣.
All of a sudden I'm all-in and way behind in the first half hour of the tournament - WTF? Help comes quick as a jack falls on the turn and I suck out to save my ass! I actually end the first level with $46k and am thrilled to be out to an early lead on the table.
My phone is going crazy with texts telling me to slow down, as all of my buddies at work need to get a full-day sweat in with the live updates online.
I try to put the brakes on, but soon find myself in another sticky situation which leads to some interesting debate among many at the table after the hand. JP raises early position; I have A♦ K♥ on the cut-off and I reraise to $1,350. The BB flat-calls and JP calls as well.
Flop K♦ 3♦ 7♦ ... it checks around to me. I bet $1,800. I'm surprised when the BB calls and almost stunned when JP pops it to $5,800. I had about $46k when the hand started and he had $38k.
I take a moment to think about how I want to play this and I clearly have three options. I'm never folding this hand right here, so I quickly eliminate that. I'm uncomfortable reraising at this point, so I flat the $4k raise to see what develops on the turn.
4♣ is a pretty big brick, so I'm curious where he'll go from here, and I'm pretty sure I've already made up my mind what I'm going to do.
JP bets out $7,500 and before he releases his last chip I'm already all-in. He literally tanks for somewhere between 6-8 minutes.
I make this play here for three reasons: 1) There's actually a chance I have the best hand right here with the nut redraw if he calls and I don't have the best hand. 2) I think it's almost impossible for him to call with any of the hands that beat me here. I don't think he can call with a small set or a baby flush with almost $22k behind. 3) I like to show people that I'm not afraid to put all of the chips in the middle if I think I have the best of it, and see them squirm in their chairs.
He calls with 6♦ 9♦ and the K♣ on the river is no help to my hand; I'm crippled. I end Level 2 with $1,700 chips, and begin to say my goodbyes.
Long story short, I turn $1,700 into $27,000 over the next two levels, and when I'm moved to a table with David Pham and Vinny Pahuja for the last level of the day, I'm poised to get back into contention for Day 2. Nothing happens the last level, and I end the day with $18k.
Day 2 is short, and that's a shame because I would have enjoyed playing with a couple friends of mine, Al and Will. Plus it's my first time sitting with Daniel Negreanu, and I'm looking forward to playing with one of the best in the game.
One of the Day 1b chip leaders who took a beating at the end of the day is sitting to my right, and he's looking to get his chips in pretty quick. I chip up a bit to like $21k right away and that's when my man to the right moves in for $18k and I move in right behind with 9-9.
He turns over A-Q and all of a sudden I'm in a flip to get over $40k and have a little room to maneuver. It isn't meant to be, as a queen comes right in the door.
Oddly enough, I have like $1,100 chips left and manage to double a couple times again, but it comes to an end with my A-T vs. A-J, and that's that.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I know a lot of people complain about Foxwoods, but seriously I will never go back there. The people that run the hotel have no idea what they are doing: I had to change rooms three times while I was there because my room rate would jump from $160 to $480 if I stayed in the tower I was in.
Meanwhile the hotel was probably at half capacity and it just doesn't make any sense to have you move to a different tower. Whatever. I just didn't really like anything about being up there compared to AC or Vegas, except for Al Dente, which was a pretty good restaurant.
Things have not been running great for the last couple months and I've been a bit down as of late, but I'm able to quickly bring myself back to the reality of what my life has become, and rebound that way.
I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing right now, and my worst day of playing poker is better than my best day of being stuck in an office all day. I'm living a dream right now, and I am so happy that I have been given the opportunity to experience all I have, and all that lies ahead ...
Thank you to everyone that comes up and says what up when they see me; it's a feeling that I do not know if I'll ever get used to. Sitting at a table and having someone come up and say congratulations or that they read my blog really is great, and I welcome it.
Feel free to send any questions or comments to JYoungPoker@hotmail.com and hopefully I'll have some good results to report back soon!
-- Jason Young
Editor's Note: Jason Young came out of nowhere to win a bracelet at the 2008 World Series of Poker and has taken his newfound bankroll and hit the pro circuit in hopes of building poker into a full-time career.
He'll be posting on his progress in an exclusive series of blogs for PokerListings.com over the next few months.
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