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Scotty Clark Poker

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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.

Massey - Variance and Run Bad - 30 Days in the Hole

Aaron Massey1st blog of the new year…. Unfortunately I have nothing good to report. I wrapped up 2011 with a blog that featured my highlights from the year and my passion for the game. I talked about the things I wanted to accomplish this year, listed specific goals, and even made promises to work hard and win. Fueled with optimism, I was eager to get back to the table and start the year right. I was ready to play a tourney everyday and crush it just like I did in 2011. I knew I was gonna get off to a fast start.

(Clears Throat)

Not so much. I went to LA and played the WSOPC at the Bike. I think I played 11 events; I came within 10 places of the money 6 of those times and did not cash once. I got 20th place in the $1080 event that paid 18, after losing AK to A8 on what was basically the stone bubble, and having the guy fist pump in my face after binking a lucky 8. I also bricked the Main Event twice. It was really hard to deal with bc I knew I was playing well and doing everything in my power (which isn’t much in poker in the short term) to win. I put myself in a position to go deep several times but the deck never cooperated with me. It was arguably the worst I have ever run in a 2 week span. Me and my friend Eli rented a car (Mustang convertible- Omar if you are reading this…) and stayed at White Brian’s condo in Venice Beach for a few days. Then we flew to Atlantic City for the Borgota Winter Open, so I could get back to winning. I knew my days of running bad were over.

Not so much. Another 11 tournaments, another 5 finishes within 10 places of the money, which included a stone bubble in the $1090 event (sound familiar?). I went out in 28th place when my KK lost to AA on the bubble while play was hand for hand, in a hand that took 7 minutes bc the third guy in the hand eventually folded QQ, with the entire tournament surrounding our table to see if they will make the money or not, add another 30-40 spectators and the fact we all had stacks, it equals one of the most tilting bustouts I have ever gone thru. I shook his hand and said good game then walked away to let the other 27 players enjoy their money in peace. The one positive thing was that none of the players celebrated when I busted and none of the spectators on the rail made any noise either, out of respect for me as a player. Usually all these mops cheer, hoot and holler when the money bubble bursts. Not this time though, so I appreciated that, but it still really stung. I kept fighting and playing well the subsequent days but was rudely met by a couple of 3 outers, a rivered straight, and half a dozen lost coin flips in a row. Oh wait, I did miss a nut flush draw in the 2k bounty tourney so that one is on me. I played day 1A of the Main Event today. A $3500 which is over 4x my average buyin, I really needed to do well…but, I got it in KK vs AA, 15 minutes into the tournament to bust. I have been beating myself up all day bc I know I should have folded. I am really hard on myself though, it is kings to aces after all so whatever. Still, it’s just demoralizing.

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