A note from the editor.
Allen Katherman is a guest writer to mantanium.com this summer. He is a Poker personality, fashion enthusiast, nuclear engineer and a great friend. Be sure to follow him on instagram and check back for more.
My Big Splash in The Little Drop.
By Allen Katherman
The tournament started in 5 hours and there wasn’t a sober cell in my body! Little did I know that I was only resting up for what was going to end up as one the craziest poker runs in my entire life…..
I woke up the next day to the sun pouring into the room. To be honest I felt so much like crap that I would’ve welcomed being melted by the sun so that I didn’t have to suffer through the hangover that was about to ensue. Wondering how I even landed in my buddy’s room, I began searching the room for the basic post drunk night essentials; my wallet, keys and my phone. Like every millennial, I immediately looked through my phone to see if I got any new DM’s and text messages and also made sure I didn’t drunk dial or text an ex. During my cellular conquest of thirst activities, I realized that it was 3pm…HOLY SHIT, ITS 3 FUCKING PM!!!!!!! The last starting day of the last tournament of the summer, the Little One for One Drop, was beginning and I was late for the start! I immediately rushed out of the room and made my way down to valet for my car. If you have ever valeted at Caesars, you would know that waiting for your car is the worst slow roll ever. While I waited for my car, my body finally began to slow down as it was the first time in 20 minutes that I wasn’t rushing at 150 mph. My face began feeling flush and the scars on my arm were bright red, I know this feeling all too well, I was still drunk as ever! By the time I got my car, I blasted the AC and chugged whatever remaining energy drinks I had left in my car. Thank God the Rio was right around the corner because there was no way that Vegas would’ve been safe with drunk Asian Allen driving through to make a tournament (BTW, I DO NOT condone drinking and driving, as this is just a recollection of one really really dumb decision from which I have definitely learned).
Redbull in hand, I rushed into the Amazon room and looked for my seat. I looked at my starting stack and although I had been blinded out for an hour, I still had a significant stack to work with. It didn’t take long for me to get in the groove of playing as I took down a couple of pots but unlike the previous tournaments, this became a regular occurrence. I kept flopping monster hands and turning the nuts, (best possible hand given starting hand and board), it wasn’t long until I ran up my starting 10k stack into over 100k! I easily had the most chips in the entire room and this momentum and “run good” sobered me up pretty quickly. I was making the right bluffs, picking up solid hands, and playing some of the best poker of my entire life. All this excitement had me more focused than ever as I actually put down my phone so that I can focus. The good play and run good lasted until I hit variance aka a poker player’s WORST nightmare.
Like anything that involves odds and percentages, there comes a time when even as the “favorite” you still lose. You can be 70% likely to win a given outcome but there is still that 30% chance you’ll lose. What originally started as me playing the best poker of my life quickly became one of the biggest single day downswings I’ve ever experienced. I would find myself as giant favorites against such smaller stacks and what once saw me taking those pots down with ease, resulted in continuously being one and two outted. My once massive chip lead began dwindling and it wasn’t long until the last level of the day saw me at just above 26k in chips. As I got moved to the last table of the day saw the likes of JC Tran, Joseph Cheong and a few other recognizable pros. If there was ever a reason to play even more snug and tight it was now. It was amazing to be at the same table as those that I constantly saw make final tables on TV and because of this, I was slightly intimidated. As soon as the aura of being start struck simmered down I began playing as I knew I had to accumulate some more chips if I even wanted a remote chance at making a run the next day. It wasn’t long until I found a “spot” that helped me bag for Day 2. JC Tran is known to be an aggressive player and there was nothing short of him living up to his reputation. He would open “lite” and put massive pressure on other players post flop. To be honest, it was amazing to watch as the man had the biggest heart I had ever seen on a poker table. I had around 15 BBs left when he opened in late position but I read his body language as really nonchalant, a couple players called in between as I looked down at KcJh. Given my image, the dead money in the pot and my blockers to premium hands, I said the famous words to put my tournament life at risk. I looked at the dealer and said “All in”. JC looked at his hand, looked at me and paused. What was maybe 10 seconds felt like 10 years as he eventually folded his hand. The other players also folded as I let out a sigh of relief and scooped the pot. As I was stacking my chips, all I could think about was how I just light 3 bet jammed JC Tran. If any of you have seen Rounders there was a scene in which Matt Damon bluffed Johnny Fucking Chan and that’s how he, Matt Damon, knew he could play at that elite level. This was MY Johnny Fucking Chan moment as I got JC Fucking Tran to fold. The level soon came to an end as well as Day 1. I bagged for the first time in my life and I was elated to even have gotten to this point. It was slightly disappointing considering where my stack once was but that didn’t matter to me at that point. I was on to Day 2 with the first bag of my career and was all but determined to make a serious run. I had a below average stack going into Day 2 and was just happy to make it that far. Little did I know, this small amount of momentum was going to lead me into a heater and an eventual top 10 stack late into Day 2…