Rami, who had gotten REAL short after losing a big pot set over set moved all-in for his last 1200 chips from UTG +1.
I made it 4400 from the cutoff with 9d9s6d5s and Nikolay Evdakov (an older russian guy that I had already played with deep in 3 events), who had just been moved to the table, made call from the big blind.
So there was 3600 in the side pot and about 6k in the main pot. The flop came 8-T-5 rainbow and Nikolay bet pot into me. I called in hopes of either hitting some outs or turning a scare card.
The turn was a Js which was a perfect card for me to represent since I had two 9s which were blockers for the straights. I also had the turned the flush draw which gave me more outs to hit my hand on the river.
He checked and I bet 15k and he calls with about 26k behind. This was a really interesting spot, especially since someone was already all-in. He knows that I'm going to have to show the hand regardless and that makes me look a lot stronger.
I was sure he had two pair or a set and I could get him off any non-pairing card on the river. The river came a red king which wasn't the best card for me since it was harder to represent the nuts, but nevertheless, I'm still value betting Q9 in that spot so I guess it was irrelevant.
Obviously having the Q and him checking again on the river also gave me more reason to believe he didn't have a strong enough hand to call. This is where it becomes very interesting. Right after the river card fell, Rami got out of his seat and left the table before Nikolay had made a decision.
I was thinking to myself, wow, if I succeed with this bluff which I think I will, it would be easy for Rami to have the best hand and triple up! (all he had to beat was 99).
A good 10 minutes went by and Nicolay was still tanking. I don't think he had a very difficult decision. I put him on TT which is a very easy fold in this spot.
I'm all for giving people ample time to make decisions in big pots and have actually only called the clock on one person in my entire poker career prior to yesterday. Enough was enough since no one called the clock on him I did it myself.
In all three tournaments I've ever played with this guy this year the clock has been called on him in every single one. He takes the longest time to make the easiest decisions.
I remember deep in the 1k rebuy the button raised, he was on the BB and he sat there for 5-6 minutes thinking about his options until someone finally called the clock on him.
Someone else who played with him also told me that someone had to call the clock on him after it was folded to him in middle position and he took five minutes to make a decision preflop. This will all become relevant later.
After 10 minutes the clock had been called and one minute was counted down and just like I've seen him do every time he's had the clock called on him, he waited until the VERY last second to muck his hand.
I quickly turned over my hand and after seeing Rami's hand told a few people to go find Rami as he was still in the tournament and would be forced to automuck his hand in the BB in two more hands.
After flipping over Rami's hand and seeing that he had the best hand there were a few people arguing that his hand should be dead since he left the table.
I was happy he won the sidepot and the floor correctly ruled in his favor saying that if a player is all-in his hand has to be turned up, so the 3600 was rewarded to him. So the very next hand I'm stalling in hopes that Rami will come back quick before he's in the BB with a dead hand.
Half the table is confused as to why I'm stalling before the flop and the other half of the table knows that I'm trying to stall so that Rami has time to return and play his BB. At this point in the tournament (800/1600) the BB would have eaten up half his stack.
I would do this for anyone, not just someone I know from online. I get away with it for about two minutes and finally one of the confused guys calls the clock on me.
I wait until the last second to fold and as if this were a movie Rami returns to play his BB within five seconds of him being dealt on the BB. The next hand there was some early position action pre-flop and Rami had moved the rest of his chips in.
He ended up hitting a straight on the river and tripling up to 9500 =) What a sick story this will make if he ends up winning the thing!
Stalling and the Clock
The guy that called the clock on me when I was stalling for Rami literally started stalling for one or two minutes every single hand.
I'm not sure if he was stalling out of spite since I did it in one hand or because we were on the money bubble, but it was very annoying, especially for a player like me who is looking to play very aggressive on the bubble and get in as many hands as possible.
Everyone at the table was looking around at each other hoping that the next guy would be the one to call the clock. Finally, after he had done it 4-5 times I had enough and started calling the clock on him after 10 seconds.
The floor came over and said that if the clock was called again, it would be reduced from one minute to 30 seconds, even though at this point there was only one person stalling and abusing the rules.
I wasn't too concerned though as there was only about 10 minutes left on the clock. The guy continued to stall every single hand and I continued to call the clock on him. I told the floor that he was intentionally stalling and asked if there was any sort of rule against this.
They ignored me and continued to give him 30 seconds to act after I called the clock on him. I was extremely upset that they were not punishing the intentional staller specifically. They were punishing the entire table by imposing a 30 second clock on anyone who was clocked at our table.
I had raised from early position, it was folded around to the staller once again and once again he acted like he had a big decision. Again I called the clock on him and this time I suggested to the floor that they look at his cards and see if he had a legitimate decision because the entire table knew he was stalling and agreed that he should be penalized.
The floor did nothing to penalize the stalling and continued to clock him for 30 seconds and then leave the table only to be called right back. This happened several times and then the following situation occurred.
The chip leader Daniel Makowsky limped UTG for 1600 and then short stack Nikolay Evdakov sat there looking at his cards for two minutes. Again, I had history with this player and anyone who's ever played with him will likely agree that he's a habitual staller.
At this point there were only two minutes left in the day and if the current pot saw a flop it would likely be the last hand of the day. After two minutes I called the clock on him thinking that he was stalling to avoid the BB.
Again, I want to reinforce the fact that I have called the clock on one person prior to this tournament and in this tournament I had to call the clock about six times on two different players within 20 minutes.
The clock ran down to about 10 seconds and Nikolay raised pot. I immediately apologized to Nikolay telling him that I thought he was intentionally stalling. I didn't need to apologize either. It was kind of like the story of the boy who cried wolf.
Every once in a while there will be a wolf attacking the boy and every once in a while one of these stallers will actually have a legitimate decision to make. Even if he did have a legitimate decision to make, it shouldn't take anyone more than two minutes to decide what they're going to do in that spot.
Nevertheless, I still respect the fact that some people are slower than others and never would have called the clock on him if I thought he had a hand. It was folded around and I decided to call on the BB with JJQc8c, knowing that Nikolay had aces and that I could push him off a lot of well textured flops.
The chip leader thought about it for a while and ended up calling as well. The flop came JQ9 with two spades and I lead out for the pot. The chip leader instantly moved all-in and Nikolay folded and instantly called the clock on me.
I wanted to throw up. Since I don't have much experience playing Omaha this was genuinely a tough decision for me. The floor came over and gave me 30 seconds to act on my hand.
I argued to the floor that I had a real decision to make while the other players had just been stalling and Hazards, Barny Boatman and even the chip leader who was involved in the hand argued against the clock being called on me.
After 20 seconds of arguing with the floor, the floor person simply said "It doesn't matter, the clock is running" and I panicked and ended up making the call.
Without being results oriented, I honestly think that if the clock wasn't called on me and I had sufficient time to think, I would have laid down the hand. I still had 80k left in chips if I folded and I was sure the chip leader had the nuts.
It was just a matter of figuring out if I had the correct odds to call and I didn't even have nearly enough time to figure that out. I'm quite disgusted by the floor's decision to impose a 30-second clock on me as soon as it was my decision to act.
The entire table tried desperately to explain the situation and plead to the floor staff but everyone was ignored. I had 30 seconds to make a decision for my tournament life and thousands of dollars in equity and made the wrong one as a result of a bad ruling that after going to my room and searching the rules online was directly against the WSOP tournament rules....
Rule 48. Calling-for-clock procedures: Once a reasonable amount of time, which is no less than three minutes, has passed and a clock is called, a player will be given one (1) minute to act. If action has not been taken by the time the minute has expired, there will be a ten (10) second countdown.
If a player has not acted on his hand by the time the countdown is over, the hand will be dead. Any player intentionally stalling the progress of the game will incur a penalty in accordance with Rule No. 51.
Rule 51. In its sole and absolute discretion, Harrah's may impose penalties that include verbal warnings and missed-hand penalties. A missed-hand penalty will be assessed as follows: The offender will miss one hand for each player at the table, including the offender, when the penalty is given, multiplied by the number of rounds specified in the penalty.
Tournament staff can assess one-, two-, three- or four-round penalties or disqualification. Players who receive a missed-hand penalty must remain outside the designated tournament areas for the length of their penalty.
The player must notify the tournament staff prior to returning to their seat. Repeat infractions are subject to escalating penalties up to disqualification.
So not only did I not get my three minutes to act on the hand before the clock was called on me, but the two players who had been intentionally stalling went unpunished despite my earlier complaints and the testimonials of everyone else at the table.
The nut straight held. I shook my opponent's hand, shook Barny Boatman's hand and verbalized to Nikolay a non-abbreviated "You can GFY" and walked off in disgust.
At such a high level of play you would think that the floor people would know the rules and be consistent in enforcing them. I feel like the Rio owes me a formal apology and some sort of financial compensation.
I'm still hopeful that my bad string of luck will turn around as there are several events coming up that I am confident in dominating. For now, I am going to regather my thoughts, and go chill at the Rio pool with the non-existent topless models.
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