(photo of Layne Flack)
This is part 3 in reviewing the Reno Hilton $1,000 event. Part 1 and 2 are the prior posts.
It is down to 6 tables...
Image by larrykang via Flickr
We are down to 6 tables and TJ Cloutier sits down at my table. TJ is a pro and an incredibly nice guy. He teaches the game of poker and he wrote what many people considered, at the time, the bible for No Limit Tournaments.
There is another pro at the table and I focus on him by using my tight image and his aggressive image into my play/decisions. I beat him over and over when he tries to steal my big blinds by moving all-in or re-raising him back. I don't do it every time or it looks suspicious.
I get dealt A-Q suited under the gun and raise 3x's the big blind. TJ re-raises me 3x's my bet. It's folded back to me. I think to myself that I have to fold since TJ's book is about playing real tight pre-flop. I say to TJ, "I read this poker book that says in this situation I have to fold." He smiles. I fold. He asks me, "What do you think of that book?" I reply to TJ, "It's great but it has your picture all throughout the book."
And then TJ says something that surprises me. He says, "I haven't played against you for a long time."
Wow! The only other time we played against each other was in a WSOP event almost two years ago! Does he really recall playing against me?
It is down to 5 tables
We are now down to 5 tables and I get moved to a new table with the pro, Layne Flack. At the time, Layne was considered one of the top 10 no limit players as he recently won back-to-back bracelets in the WSOP. That became his nickname for a while, "back-to-back" Flack.
I watch Layne play and he is the most aggressive player I've ever seen. He is super aggressive and bets and bets and bets. He keeps coming at you. As interesting as Layne is to watch playing poker, it is even more interesting to see how the other players are so intimidated by him. I am, too.
I play against Layne three times at that table and it is very challenging. The first time I check the flop, he bets and I fold. The next time I bet into him on the flop and he folds. Frankly, I was still intimidated by his game. Because the third time when I missed the flop, he bet and yeah, I just mucked. No way I wanted to get trapped by him by doing something stupid.
I decide to focus my play against the weaker players. I'll let Layne's aggressive come into play later on, if needed, and trap him! Ha! That thought did indeed come into play later--but not quite in the way I expected.
Key hand...I raise with A-K and get called by the guy to my left. This player thinks he is as good as Layne Flack by being real aggressive. But he's not close. He will be easy to trap with the right flop. The flop comes A high and I figure he will bet whether he did or did not have an Ace--to be like Layne.
He bets and I raise. He re-raises me all-in. Easy call for me. He shows A-10 and loses. How did he get this far in the event playing this way?
Fortunately, I get moved away from Layne's table so I can play against other weaker opponents. I am able to make a few moves, but overall I am now card dead. At these times, though, I decide to attack the blinds of the players who never defend their big blind. It works almost every time..often enough, to keep me in good chip shape.
It is now down to 3 tables and I get moved. I end up at a new table sitting to the left of Layne Flack. Frankly, I'm not happy about this at all. Layne is a better player than me and is going to bullying me.
To be continued...