Discover more from Swimming with Sharks
319 of us are back for Day 3 of the One Drop. I sit with 16 big blinds, ready to practice patience, ready to repeat my run up from a short stack yesterday.
A few orbits in, I check my option from the big blind in a four-way limped pot. I flop top pair, weak kicker on a nine-three-two board, with two diamonds. The small blind leads out with a 1/3 pot bet. I call, and the other two players get out of our way.
The turn is the eight of diamonds and the small blind makes a half pot bet. I think about jamming but elect to call. The river is a three, pairing the board, and now the small blind moves me all in.
I tank, unsure about the spot. I picked up that she thought a tick longer than usual pre-flop — she could have a strong hand like middle pocket pair, thinking about a raise. Or she could have garbage and decided to bluff three streets, putting pressure on my short stack.
After a few minutes, I decide to fold. I don’t think I have the right hand to bluff catch, and there’s not much of her value I can beat. I’m down to just eight big blinds.
The next orbit, as I’m in the big blind I joke with the table, “if you all want to give me a walk, that’s fine.” Bracelet winner Blair Hinkle is to my left and laughs, “does that ever work?” as he throws out a min bet from under the gun. He gets two callers and I call in turn with jack-ten offsuit.
The flop comes nine-seven-five with two diamonds. We all check to see the jack of clubs on the turn. The small blind leads out with a 60k bet into the 180k pot and I put my remaining 100k chips in the middle. Blair folds and a player in middle position re-raises. The small blind gets out of the way and the cards are turned up.
My jack-ten is way behind ace-jack but an eight hits the river to give me a straight. “That’s way better than a walk!” I exclaim, having tripled up from that hand.
That gives me enough life to hang around, but I go card dead for the next hour. I only play a single hand that level — I call an open from the big blind with king-four of diamonds, then fold to a continuation bet when I whiff the flop.
In the next level, I battle with Blair, me in the big blind with ace-ten suited. I get it all in on the river — my kicker is better than his ace-five, but he flopped two pair, good enough to knock me out.
I collect my payout card — 162nd place out of 5,702 entries, for a $4,341 prize.
I head over to Paris, where the $2.5k event is already a couple levels underway. I register, and a few hands in get into a big pot where I bluff off 25% of my stack. Oops.
I’m a little more patient over the next few hours but don’t pick up a lot of hands. I find myself with pocket fours in position on a tricky board, and my opponent has put me all-in. There are a lot of draws that have missed, and I smell weakness so I make a hero call. But he turns over pocket jacks, made trips on the turn, and I’m out.
I use my one re-entry and make my way to my new table, where I see David Peters, currently 5th on the all-time money list, seated directly to my right.
In the first level, I get 3-bet jammed by a small stack and call his pocket sixes with my pocket jacks. There’s a six on the flop, and no further help for me. I'm down to around half a starting stack, 25 big blinds.
I climb back up over the next few hours, then find myself again with pocket jacks in the cutoff. I open, and a short stack in the same seat 3-bet jams on me. This time, it's a different player — a French vlogger, and a cameraman zooms in on my face as I make the call. He has ace-ten, and this time my jacks hold up.
I'm moved to a new table, and smirk to see that Martin Kabrhel is two to my left. He's the top Czech Republic player on the money list, and is sometimes described as "the most hated man in poker" for his speech play and antics at the table.
It doesn't take long for us to get into a hand — he opens from early position and I defend my big blind with queen-ten of diamonds. "Let's see a flop Indiana!"
We do, and it's queen-high with two diamonds. I check to him, and he makes a quick 1/3 pot bet. I think about raising, but end up making a call.
The turn is the ace of spades. "That's a good card for me!" he says as I check to him. He makes a large bet, and I move the rest of my stack to the middle. He quickly mucks, and I rake in the pot.
I'm moved to yet another table, this time with some giant stacks. I double up on one of them when I move all-in on the river, my pocket fours having turned a set. A few hands later we get into another big pot. I have ace-nine of hearts on the button and call his continuation bet on a three-three-two board with two hearts. I call his big bet again on the turn when the ace of clubs hit. He puts me all-in on the river when the nine of diamonds comes. I flick in a chip to call and he's visibly sick as he turns over his ace-queen.
That puts me well over 100 big blinds, and I cruise for the next few hours until the end of the night. It feels good to bag a big stack coming into Day 2.