Professional Poker Player, Kenna James, Reports From Inside the Ropes....
Saturday, 15th of September 2007 10:03 PM
BORGATA 5,000 NO LIMIT - FIELD: 284 - FINISH: 57 - CASH: 0
I hurt in the pit of my stomach as I exit the tournament room tonight. My eye line is the floor before I take the focus off my self pity and realize that I should turn around and see what the status of the tournament is so that I can give y'all an update.
There are 6 tables left with a few open spots so I estimate that I finished 57th today. It was a tough tournament for me, as we started with 15,000 in chips and I never had more then 22,000 after playing over 9 levels. The last level for me was 1,000-2,000 with a 300 ante and I had 18,000 going into my last hand. After grinding for the first five hours I was on a short stack all day. The way the chips were flying I thought if I could just hang in there long enough that I could pick up a few key hands to launch me back into contention. They would never come. I chose not to step out in risky situations today because people were calling off 20k and more with hands like Q-J! So I felt that the best strategy was to sit and wait for a premium hand. But by the time we were half way through the 1k-2k level and with everyone around me sitting on stacks of 50k and more I had to find a hand to make a stand with soon. I picked up K-Q in the Cut Off with no action in front of me and made it 11,000 to go. The big blind came over the top of me and with 7k left, I made the call. My opponent had A-K and it was an uneventful ending to a slow and grinding day.
Nam Le and Joe Cassidy came to my table short-stacked and exited just before me. When I went back it looked to me like the chip leader was Men the Master with over 250k in chips. Just to his right sat David Pham with about 125k. Also on that same table was Barry Greenstein with about 70k and the short stack of John Pham with 25k. Chad Brown was short but still in. Mike Carson had over 100k as did many other players as the field was narrowing quickly at this level.
I did walk outside for a breath of fresh air tonight to regain my composure after going out, but even the door gave resistance from the force of strong winds. Once outside a drizzling rain hit me in the face as I gazed up into the dark night. It can be a lonely feeling out on the road at times like this when you're so far away from home and all you have to go back to is an empty hotel room. Not looking for any sympathy here, just wanted to give a proper perspective as it's not always television cameras and raining cash. It will be next week, however, as the WPT main event starts here Sunday. I hope to be right in the middle of it and then I'll give you the perspective from the other side.
Friday, 14th of September 2007 07:27 PM
DINNER BREAK 20,000
Just had the buffet, a quick trip up to the room and wash up before heading down for what I hope to be a long night. I also ran into Bryan Devonshire just before the kickoff but have not seen him since. Barry Greenstein took a huge hit to his monster stack when he raised to 3,000 (3x blind) and a guy moved in on him for twenty DIMES or so and he called with Kings. He lost to A-10! Still has about 20k or so is what I heard.
I doubled up the second hand back from the last break when I picked up queens and got called by pocket tens. I then spent most of the next 2 hours watching some really loose play and hoping I could pick up another hand, but ended up whittling back down to around 10k when I made a great play to stay alive.
The cutoff, who had about 30k in chips, raised to 1800. I re-raised from the small blind, making it 7300 to go. He thinks for a minute and calls. The flop fell K/Q/9 and I moved all-in for the 1800 I had saved behind. My opponent screams at the dealer saying that he thought I was all-in and I calmly reminded him that my chips were in full view. He angrily mucks pocket 33's face up and I'm relieved to take down almost a 20k pot, as I only had AJ - NO PAIR!
The lesson here is always keep some bullets in your gun if you can help it. Sometimes it's the little details that make the difference. If it had come blank-blank I would be out but instead I'm heading back down with 20k and still alive to play for over 400,000!
Friday, 14th of September 2007 03:30 PM
SECOND BREAK 8,500
A few disastrous 3rd and 4th rounds for me, and they didn’t need to be as I paid off a hand and made what I thought was a good bluff on another on a four card straight board, only to be called by the idiot end of the straight. Not much time this break, so it’s back to the felt. Gavin Smith and Barry Greenstein just walked by and said "hi." Kathy Liebert is also down to about 8,000.
Just over 280 players, with over 400,000 going to first. I’ll give a lengthy update from here on the dinner break.
Friday, 14th of September 2007 01:05 AM
STARTING STACK 15,000 BLINDS 25-50 ROUNDS 1 HOUR
FIRST BREAK 19,000
I'm on table 14 with no other known pros at my table. The table behind me features David "The Dragon" Pham, Jonathan Little and Steve Dannenmann. It's a strong field so I'm lucky to have a fairly easy table with the loose players to my right and tight players to my left. The guy directly on my left is probably playing in his first major event. I could tell he was very nervous before the first card hit the felt as his pent up emotions were making him breath heavy, foot tapping, etc. He played so tight that he didn't play a hand for the first hour and twenty minutes. He ended up losing the first hand he played and when he came in for a raise for his second hand a half hour later and got three callers he made a great comment, and I quote:
"I'm like Rodney Dangerfield over here..."
Kathy Liebert just stopped by to tell me she picked up pocket Kings twice in the first couple of rounds and is off to a good start. That's it for now as I gotta run to the bathroom and get back to the tables. Check in next break in a couple of hours.
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