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Massey: Updates from the Tournament Circuit

What's up World,

I have been slacking on the blog I know.  My POS computer died in Miami and I have been lazy I guess.  Anyways, I'm sitting at the restaurant bar in the lobby of Harrah's St. Louis at the moment.  I'm watching the Bulls vs Heat on 1 screen and Hawks vs Coyotes (Game 4) on the other.  I came down to eat and write this blog.  Theres 2 other chicago area poker players I know, Manny and Dylan, sitting at the bar watching the game too so I joined them.  Its been quite a nice ride the last few months.  After winning the PLO tourney in Chicago for over $40,000 and a seat to the Main Event, I played the Main there and busted on day 2.  We went out for Lawton's birthday that night in Chicago but stayed home no longer, as i left for Atlantic City to pick up some WSOPC Points that I needed.  I only played 3 tourneys there, and had no cashes.  i did go out a lot however, partying with Kurt and Jacob Bazeley.  We had a really good time away from the felt.  After AC I flew down to Miami to play the tournament series at the Isle in Pompano Beach.  I stayed with my good friend Steve Karp.  He has a nice house on North Miami beach w a pool and an extra bedroom.  He also had an extra car for me to use…. Thanks Steve.

The first tournament was the day after I flew in. the $570 $75k guarantee.  The field was made up of 20% great players and 80% bad players, and this was a 1 day event.  To make a long story very short I won the tournament in 14hrs for $22,000.  This was the 2nd time in 2 weeks that I flew into a city and won the first tournament I played.  With my newly found fortunes I felt it was ok to skip the rest of the small tournaments at the Isle and basically just play the Main Event.  (another Chicago grinder, Zal, had showed up at the bar to watch the games and joins me on my right.  I've always liked Zal) My brother and Kurt came down for 2 weeks and stayed with Steve as well.  We went out and did a lot of stuff.  We went down to South Beach and partied, went to Space one night until 6am, went to 2 Heat games and was court side, did the beach a bunch of times and some dining,and shopping, etc, etc.. (wow, Hawks just tied it up 2-2 w 2 goals in last few mins!!! 1:26 left in the 3rd) I played the $3500 Main Event and busted.  I spent the next 2 weeks playing cash games.  i decided to skip going to Council Bluffs for the circuit and just stay in Miami and grind.

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Rising Star Shines Brightest at Home

Aaron MasseyHello Everyone,

The last time you heard from me I was in the midst of the 2nd worst downswing of my career.  I had just busted the Borgota $3500 Main Event Flight 1A and was contemplating whether or not to play flight 1B the next day.  I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and I had to consider the bankroll management aspect of being in a single tourney for $7000.  I changed my mind at the last minute and got out of bed 2 hrs late to play flight 1B.  On my 3rd hand I got sucked out for 85% of my stack.  This was demoralizing with all things considered but I didn’t give up.  I played perfect and almost made it to day 3 of the tournament.  I didn’t cash… BUT I DIDN’T QUIT.  I fought so hard against the odds, did the best I could, and put myself in a position to go deep.  I had lost a lot of money but I didn’t care.  I was so proud of the way I composed myself, acting and feeling like a true professional.  I was down on my luck but still moving forward with a supreme confidence.  I had tunnel vision and I was still so hungry for glory.  So off to Tunica I went.

Kurt JewellI met up w one of my best friends, the great Kurt Jewell, when I got down to Tunica.  Kurt won the Hammond Main Event in 2010 for $242k (my home stage—foreshadowing), won another ring in St. Louis in an Omaha8 tourney, the first time he had ever played an Omaha8 tourney (foreshadowing again), then made the Main Event final table here in Tunica last year.  He didn’t win this one though, he held the chip lead w over half the chips in play 8 handed and got 8th.  He blew a big opportunity here, but would soon get a shot at redemption. 

I played very well this trip with 3 cashes; a 23rd place finish in the $355 where I overplayed AK and punted my stack off to some idiot late in the tourney, a 12th place finish in the $565, and an all important cash in the Main Event.  In the Main Event I got off to a horrendous start.  I got sucked out over and over again and was so miserable.  I made my friend Cory Gunz rail me the whole first day so I didn’t just give up and punt my stack away.   He encouraged me and I hung in there.   I showed a lot of heart and I put myself in a spot to go deep, but I fell just short after losing a big coin flip AK to QQ late to eliminate me.  But it wasn’t my tourney to win.  Remember that Kurt Jewell guy I mentioned?  The guy who gave away the Main Event in Tunica last year?  Yeah that’s him….   We stayed and rooted him on.  To make a long story short, I spent the next 2 days watching Kurt play the most unbelievable game of poker he had ever put together on his way to winning his 2nd WSOPC Main Event Championship.  What is even sicker is the REDEMPTION he achieved; a story that gives other poker players hope and inspiration.  There are a lot of other reasons that made this achievement so outstanding but I will not get into them bc this is MY BLOG and should be about ME, not Kurt… 

Just Kidding.  Riding high from his victory he led us down to West Palm Beach for more WSOPC tourneys.

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Should You Slow Play the Flop in PLO?

Jay HoustonRe-published courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

When is it correct to slow play on the flop in pot-limit Omaha by checking behind in position? The answer is rarely. For the most part it’s correct to never get tricky in PLO because you need to balance your ranges so often that betting tends to be the most optimal play in the long run.

Imagine you’re heads-up, in position and looking at a flop of 10-9-4 with two hearts and you hold 10-10-x-x. You should never really check behind in this situation for a few reasons: If your opponent has a set then you’re missing a golden opportunity of getting it in as a huge favorite.

If your opponent has a draw, you’re making him pay for that draw if he calls. If he check-raises with his draw we can get it in as a favorite most of the time.

Balancing your range: So when SHOULD we check behind? Most people would argue the exception comes when there’s a locked board (e.g. a flop of A-4-4 when we have A-A-x-x.

The logic in checking behind is: Your opponent usually doesn’t have much and you can possibly get him to bet into you on the turn with nothing.

Most people are hoping for that incredibly slim chance that the turn is something like a king and your opponent has K-K-x-x, but relying on coolers like that is not the way of the optimal ninja, now is it?

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WSOP 2012 Schedule Now Out

The World Series of Poker staff has release the 2012 Schedule for your viewing pleasure.

This year's series spans May 27 through July 16, with the now standard three month break for the final 9 players of the WSOP Main Event.   This year's November 9 will be the October 9, played in two installments, on October 28 and October 30.  The planning committee wanted have the Main Event conclusion prior to the U.S. General Election, which is the first Tuesday in November.

There are 61 bracelet events this year, up from 58 in last year's series. There are also a few new interesting events, namely:

  • $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha (Event #3, Tuesday, May 29 )
  • $5,000 Mix-Max No-Limit Hold’em (Event #6, Thursday, May 31) - 9-handed Day 1, 6-Handed Day 2, and Heads Up when the field reduces to 32 players
  • $2,500 Four-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Event #28, Thursday, June 14)
  • $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em (Event #49, Wednesday, June 27)
  • $1,000,000 buy-in, Big One For ONE DROP (Event #55, Sunday, July 1, ESPN)

There will also be some WSOP Exhibition Events (non-bracelet) which you can read all about in the WSOP release.

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Upcoming Events