I was at the 2005 WSOP with the tribe and we were farming sit and goes, these are one table, winner take all mini tournaments that allow players to get into larger events for less than the full buy in.
It works like this; let’s say that there is a $5000.00 event tomorrow, they will run a single table for $525.00 and Harrah’s keeps a cut for running it and the winner gets 5125.00 the bulk of this being paid in the form of $500.00 tournament buy in chips which can be exchanged for a seat in the next day’s event or any event that year.
The truth is that these chips are used as currency and are regularly bought and sold at the series. There are players that play these sit and goes all month and never enter one of the larger events, it is pretty juicy. The other cool thing about these events is that you can play a smaller version of the larger event at a nice price and the truth is that if you can’t beat the sit and go you might not be ready for the larger event. It is also a great place to try a game that you are new or less skilled at and that is the meat of this little poker story.
John Galt and I were in the lineup for the sit and goes and when they say sit and go they mean it, when ten players are ready they fire up a table. We were waiting for a hold’em game when the brush called out, “We are seating a $175.00 single table STUD sit and go.” I looked at Jason and was like you want to? He is a very good stud player. I know about as much about playing stud as George Bush does about basic economics. In other words I don’t have a clue except that it is poker.
We are walking over to the table where they are going to have it and I say “Ok Jason tell me how to play this while we are walking over there.” He says “Just play good hole cards and watch what the other players have.” Ok then, I guess am ready! We are sitting down I see Karina Jett in the #2 seat and I have to say that she has always been very nice to me and is truly a class act. Her husband Chip is the same way true professionals both of them. Karina can also play, well.
We play for an hour and a half and get down to five of us and the antes are getting up there. I am at the point where I need to make a move, my door card is a 2 of hearts and I have a 3 and a 4 in the hole. This may be it, I bring it in and it is folded around to Karina who is showing a Queen, everyone else folds. The next card I get is a 5 and now I am open ended, Karina draws a 7 and bets, I raise and she looks at me with the (Do you have a set already) kind of look and calls. Fifth street gives me a 10 and her a 4, she checks I bet, she calls. Sixth Street is the same I am just betting hoping she will give up and lay down something like queens believing the set story. I am trying to sell and she keeps calling.
We get our last card down and I am too far along to quit so I bet dark and she calls with her last chips, she is all in. I am sure I am beat and actually say “Good call, I was on a straight draw.” She flips over two pair Queens and tens and I flip over my down cards and to my amazement I caught on the river! The ace of spades! I had the wheel! I said “I am so sorry Karina, I bet dark and didn’t look, and I made the wheel.” The dealer is pushing me this giant pot and Karina is just sitting there shocked. Then I look at Jason and he says “Real professional Boss!”
I have to admit I was screwing around and in the end I really did feel like a doofus, but now I have a bunch of chips so, let’s do this. We go for another half an hour and Jason has to get it in the best he can and gets knocked out. Then there were three. I offer to give him stud lessons later as he is leaving and he questions whether my mother was married to my father.
Two hands later I look down and see rolled up Aces, Sweet! Long story short I get it all in and the other big stack at the table makes a straight on the river. Poetic Justice. I had a chance to win that thing too.
I guess the point to this whole story is you don’t need to be the best or really any good at all to have fun playing poker at the world series, so get out there and do it. Life is too short to sit on the sidelines thinking you are not good enough.
Every time I see Karina on T.V. now I am just a little embarrassed, but I still say it, “Hey I played with her before!” I am sure when sees me on T.V. she will turn to Chip and say “Hey, That’s The Guy!”
Don’t get too serious, it’s just a poker game after all.