Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Navigating The Sahara

Good afternoon everyone.  In the recent poker entries that I have made, I have been getting drummed at the tables.  Here is the post that I promised you where I will actually have some success playing Texas Hold 'Em (get your popcorn)...  :)  Real quick, I once again forget to update my fantasy baseball team's standing on Monday.  I'm still in 9th place in my 10-team league, but I am taking advantage of the system that I HATED during football season.  Our waiver order for free agents each week goes in reverse order of the standings, so I am GUARANTEED to at least get my 2nd choice from each week's free agents, and when the 10th place player doesn't take my favorite or claim any player at all, I get my 1st choice.  A few weeks ago I was 50 points behind the league-leader in batting average, and now I'm 32 points behind him, so I'm gaining...  ;)

Okay, the Sahara Tournament.  Since I returned to Texas in 2007, the Sahara has been closed, but for the 2 years that I lived in Las Vegas, the Sahara had a very popular tournament.  In this post I am going to chronicle my results from two different Sahara tournaments that I played at 11:00 a.m. with my brother.  This is the same brother who brought me into a poker room for the first time and who was already living in Las Vegas when I moved there the first time.  These specific tournaments took place in November of 2005 and June of 2006.  The November tournament had 77 players and the June tournament had 56 players, and each tournament cost me $ 62.00.

Please forgive me if I ever repeat information in this blog.  I have had some of these stories cycling through my brain, and I cannot remember if I have already given you this vital piece of information in a previous post.  After my initial lifetime Texas Hold 'Em outing at the Mirage (losing over $ 300.00 in 6 hours in a 3/6 limit game - FISH!!!), I became a very tight player as I learned the ropes and read my poker books and watched my poker on t.v.  While living in Vegas I nicknamed myself 'Traz' (short for 'Alcatraz', a.k.a., 'The Rock').  This knowledge is key to this story...  :)

The Sahara tournaments had 20-minute levels and gave you a little bit of time to play before they became "shovefests".  In the tournaments that my brother played with me, he always seemed to build up chips, and then get in with a hand like Q Q, only to be rundown by someone who got all their chips in with a hand like A 7...  As for our hero Traz, well..., I played tight as advertised, waiting for premium hands to get in with, limping cheap with good hands when I could.  In the November tournament, I navigated my way to the final table, guarding my meager little "stack" of chips with my life, and when we got down to seven players, someone suggested a chop.  NOT ONLY did we chop, we chopped the money EVENLY, 7 ways, and I received a payout of $ 497.00...  WOO HOO!!!  :)

I think that my brother was sitting around in the cash game making faces as this played-out in the November tourney, but I remember FOR A FACT that he did so in the June tournament.  Playing the same style, I had gotten close to the final table, and surviving some all-ins, I eventually made it to the final table.  Again, having a VERY, VERY MEAGER chip stack this time, we eventually reached the money, which was probably 7 or 8 players getting paid with 56 runners...  Well, a funny thing happened at this point, and I can specifically remember my brother at the nearby cash game talking to the guy on his right, pointing to our final table and laughing as I sat there with barely a couple of chips to my name as my opponents kept getting involved in hands and KNOCKING EACH OTHER OUT.  I was able climb the payout ladder by folding my trash hands, and while running on fumes I was able to finish in 4th place, which garnered me a $ 300.00 payout.  WOO HOO!!!  :)

In the near future I will chronicle my finishes in a couple of other tournaments that I played in, which had my co-workers wondering why I didn't play in MORE tournaments...  (and fewer cash games - ha ha).  Have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday.


  1. Good cashes and I have always heard good thins about the Sahara tourneys.

    From what I understand they moved the tourneys to the Strat, but I haven't paid enough attention to see if they are getting the same turnouts that Sahara had.

    Also, I need to start playing tourney's so that I can try to become better at them. Give myself a shot at a big payday at least.

  2. The Sahara was the first decent sized tournament in which I cashed. Talk about being giddy! Great value in the tournaments, but the poker room and chips were dirty. The free sub sandwiches during the break were great, though.

  3. Nice post and good job making it to 2 final tables. You're able to play a short stack well, which is vital in tournament play.

    More poker stories!

  4. Every Wednesday Josie, Vegas and/or poker stories. I'm sure that after I move back to the desert in August, a lot of Vegas will sneak into my Monday rambles also... ;)