Las Vegas, June 2, 2015
Razz can be the most frustrating poker game of them all. Most players that have played it agree on that. You can have fantastic 3- and 4-card hand for it to go pair up or paint up. If this happens once: Okay. If this happens twice: No so okay. If this happens a lot of times: Please kill me!
I wasn’t sure if I should play this or not. In fact I have never played a razz only tournament live before. But I have of course played the game quite a bit in mixed games and also online. I late registered after 4 levels. In the break after level 4 I met up with a couple of Norwegians playing, my hero Thor Hansen and Mr. Added Value himself, also known as Acid Nilsen. Acid was already on his way to live up to his name having lost most of his 7,500 starting-stack having only 1,200 left. Not so long after the value was added. We will probably see him back at the tables soon to add more value for the rest of us. (I’m sorry, Acid, I couldn’t help myself)
My table looked pretty good. The only well known player to me was David Singer. He never got a momentum going and seemed a bit frustrated.
I started out the worst possible way in typical razz style. First hand I played I started with (A-2) 6. A very good starting hand for sure, especially when nobody has a lower card then 6 showing. A guy holding a 9 called me. On 4th he got a jack and I got a 4. These are two fantastic cards for me. He check-called and you know the rest of the story. 2 streets of pairing my cards and then I got a king on 7th.
A few hands later I started with (2-4) 3, which is a monster starting hand. When I got the 5 on the next street all looked good. But I ended up with 3 pairs and lost another big pot. My 7,500 stack had turned into a below 5,000 stack very quickly. I was almost planning a dinner with Acid at this point.
After this I was able to win a few small pots, and I got a wheel (A to 5) against David Singer. I was mean enough to gloat a bit after and something tells me he didn’t like it too much. Damn, I’m being mean today! David busted not so long after this.
I went to break after level 6 with 8,950 and I was very happy with that. I felt I had pretty good control and that I had a good table.
After the break Matt Waxman took David Singer’s seat. Not necessarily a good change.
Later on Eugene Katchalov and Todd Brunson took the seats of the weakest links. Not necessarily a good change. I would say: quite the opposite.
Matt and Todd started talking about the 25k Fantasy draft where 11 teams has been picked out in a fantasy draft for the WSOP with 8 players on each team. The buy-in for the draft is as the name suggests $ 25k per team. Team Waxman is on top of the list and Team Brunson on the bottom so far. Matt has Eugene in his team, and Matt was wondering about if he was better of knocking Eugene out, so he could play the $ 10k head-up that starts today. That never happened, by the way.
I played a few pots with Todd. He won most of them and he is very solid. I don’t this he does many mistakes in poker in general, and especially not in the stud games. In fact it was his chapter on stud hi/lo in his father’s (Doyle Brunson) book Super System that made me start to play the game. Before that I had only played stud hi. Since then I have pretty much only played stud hi/lo. It’s just a much more fun game. I would not be exaggerating if I said it’s more fun than razz as well.
Eugene also has a way of playing that makes you understand that he knows what he is doing. I didn’t agree with all his plays, since I think he got a bit too sticky in a pot or two, but who am I to judge? I liked the table I was at. No stalling and mostly fast pots is something I like. Too many players these days spent too much time for no reason.
It was no spectacular pots happening on the last two levels. Thor Hansen came to my table when he had busted with 40 minutes left on the clock. Of course he had been running bad in several pots. Todd was lucky enough to get a selfie together with the Norwegian star before Thor said good night.
I ended the day with 20,100. Just about average. I’m happy with that and I’m very much looking forward to we resume play again today at 2 PM local time!