Another Shot at Venetian

I sleep seven hours straight through the night — I can’t remember the last time that happened. I don’t need to be anywhere at a set time today, the rare privilege I take advantage of. I meditate. I go for my first run in over a week. I hate it during, but love it after.

I head to The Modern Vegan, get the chicken and waffles on a bed of mashed potatoes. I eat almost all of it.

I'm feeling full of energy when I step back into the Venetian poker room. I'm ready to fire another bullet in the second flight of the Mini DeepStack Championship.

Again, I attack the table with a loose, aggressive style. I want opponents to know I'm dangerous to play against. My stack doesn't budge much though — I'm still around a few levels in.

And then I'm cut in half shortly before our second break of the day. I first lose a big chunk when I'm too sticky blind versus blind with my pair of sixes. I have to fold to a big river bet when an ace hits. Then I lose an even bigger chunk when I bluff a river with QJ of clubs and my missed flush draw. My opponent wins with pocket fours, a crying call on a T7693 board.

Midway through the next level I defend my big blind with T4 of hearts. I'm pushed all-in on the turn when I've made two pair, up against KT spades with a flush draw. The river is a blank, and I double back up near a starting stack.

I'm whittled down over the next couple hours, but find another big spot when I open with pocket jacks under the gun. Three other players flat call, and a short stack in the small blind moves all-in. I re-jam, forcing the other players to fold. My opponent has A7 of clubs and I hold, back up above a starting stack.

A few hands later I call an opponent pre-flop with J9 of hearts. He continues on the AhKhJc board — I have bottom pair and a flush draw so it's an easy call. The 9 of clubs comes on the turn, giving me two pair, and my opponent moves all-in. I groan as I make the call. I'm behind, as expected, to his AKo. I have a lot of outs, but the river is a blank and I'm down to 12 big blinds.

I find a good spot to double up during the next level when I have pocket fives in the big blind. There are two other opponents in the pot — one folds, and the remaining one calls me with A9. An ace comes on the flop, however, and I wish everyone good luck.

It's only 7pm, and I'm still feeling alert, focused, full of energy. There's another level left of late registration, so I decide to fire another bullet.

The poker room is packed with alternates — players who've busted other tournaments at Rio, Wynn, or elsewhere — trying the Venetian for one more chance to salvage the day. I wait for half an hour to get my seat at a table.

I'm in the big blind on my second hand. It folds to a big stack in the small blind, who limps. I look at KQ of spades and raise my option. The small blind pushes me all-in and I make the easy call. He turns over ATo, a slight favorite. Another ace hits the flop, no spades to make him sweat. I'm drawing dead on the turn.

I have a few minutes left of late registration, but decide it's not worth the wait. I'm still full of energy, but decide to take advantage of the relatively early evening. I'll rest up, ready for a big day tomorrow.


Buy-Ins: $41,400 (35)
Cashes: $16,644 (8)
Times another alternate asked me what number they just called: 7