Tough Table


In the past I’ve played with some of the best players in the world, and a few times in high buy-in events I’ve been at tables where every player was world class, but my table yesterday during the high roller event at the Midwest Poker Classic might have been the toughest yet. Playing short handed with these guys was no fun at all, and hopefully they didn’t like playing with me either.

Seat 1 – Todd @sharkslayerr Breyfogle 

Everybody in the Minnesota poker world knows Todd. He is sometimes a controversial figure, but there is no doubt that the guy can play. Todd has a frustrating combination of being fairly tight but not playing scared. Most players who are tight preflop are easy to push around or steal from, but Todd is not, and it makes it tough to get chips from him. 

Seat 2 – Ryan Gunderson

You may not know Ryan, but he is an online assassin who has just started playing live tournaments and is already showing strong results. Like many online players, he is very aggressive, tough to bluff, and he manages the pot size and stack sizes very well. Ryan played great and ran great, making it a tough day for everyone. 

Seat 4 – Matt Alexander

Matt has made more money playing poker tournaments in the state of Minnesota than anyone, and he is used to high stakes games so the $2,500 buy-in didn’t bother him at all. A fantastic player, and very comfortable playing short handed, I was just lucky that Matt was on my right.

Seat 6 – Me

I play ok. 

Seat 7 – Robby Wazwaz

Having Robby on my left is no fun. While I enjoy talking to him, he is very aggressive, willing to three-bet, comfortable playing short handed, and frequently underestimated as a tournament player. The problem is that I had to have someone on my left, and none of these players would be a good choice for that spot. 

We also had a strong cash game player, whose name I don’t know, come to the table and go broke after a few hours.

While I wasn’t intimidated, I’m well past that in my poker career, I was definitely annoyed. I probably shouldn’t have played the event, because there weren’t enough soft spots to make it profitable when anyone who cashes is going to have to pay taxes, making the effective rake something like 35%. The best player in the world is not going to make a profit in that field paying that much rake.

The event was fun and challenging, and Aces did a great job running it, but it was a really tough day of poker and I went broke on the last hand of the day, handing my chips over to Robby when he turned a flush in a blind vs blind hand where I made two pair. I probably should have folded, but I shouldn’t have been in the tournament anyway, there were great cash games running and I should have been playing them instead.

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  1. #1 by robowolfman on September 14, 2013 - 8:36 am

    Wow. What a brutal table. Guess that goes to show how important table selection is or the luck of the draw is in the beginning of a tournament with table draw.

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