VentureAce - Professional Poker Player

LA Poker Classic 2006

Los Angeles, California, my first poker adventure to the United States of America.

Poker is BIG in LA. Advertising signs every 100 metres, “Texas Hold’em Tournaments” or “Party Poker” plastered on boards everywhere. The colossal Commerce Casino, set stage for the LA Poker Classic. An ocean of tables, with a few sharks, some fish, and many gold diggers.

My first tournament was a $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event. No superstars at my first table, Jean Robert-Bellande, Josh Arieh and Lee Watkinson came and went. As did my chips. First, they came via the middle aged calling station on my left. I had him pinned as a bad calling station after about 2 hands. So, when I raised on the button with Queen Ten of hearts and hit the nut straight on the turn, after being open ended and betting the flop. I potted the turn and over bet the river. It was hilarious, this guy knew he shouldn’t call, I could physically see him trying to restrain from putting his chips in the middle. After 30 seconds, he relieved his anguish and ejaculated his chips in to the middle.

I was playing rock solid poker, my image was great. But… my concentration was bad. A new player moved to the table. I recognized this Asian man, but couldn’t put a name to the face. He obviously didn’t know I was playing tighter than Jerry Buss on High Stakes Poker. Naturally, I decide to bluff off half my chips, by betting on all streets on a Jack high board. He called a big bet on the river with Queen Jack. It wasn’t all down to betting pattern recognition, he probably made a tell as I didn’t feel comfortable.

Things went from bad to worse. I was dealt pocket Jacks in the big blind after UTG+1, the button and the small blind limped. As I went to raise, the dealer burns a card and has the flop ready to turn face ups. I chucked my I-pod headphones out and wailed that I hadn’t acted. She said, “But, you tapped your little finger.” Whaaaaaaaaat? Then the prick in the small blind with a 10th of his stack invested chimes in. “Yeah, he went like this.” Showing as if I was clicking a mouse with my pinky finger. The tournament director was called for and he ruled that the dealers decision is final. I was steaming inside, the whole table knew I had a monster hand and now I couldn’t protect it in a 4-way pot.

The flop produced 679 rainbow, I bet, UTG+1 raises, I get even more angry and push all-in. He had 8T of diamonds and I’m KO’d. I flippantly left the table and I could see the dealer was sorry but at the time I was infuriated. She made a bad mistake, but so did I, on 2 counts. Firstly, I gave way to much information to my opponents and secondly I should have been more gentlemanly afterwards.

Next tournament: LA Poker Classic $500 Shoot-Out

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