Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Maybe I'm not so good at poker

So the big tournament was last night, and it turns out, maybe I'm not as good of a poker player as I thought. On Friday we were told that there were 19 confirmed players, with possibly as many as 26. The most we got for any of the games was 16, but that's not too bad. I've learned there is never as many people as there is supposed to be. I ended up playing in four games, and it wasn't pretty.

Game 1. 15 Person Two Table Tournament

Things were going ok in this one. I everyone was staying pretty much even. I know I was hovering around the starting chip count for a while. We reached the third level of blinds and I get a pair of threes in the big blind. I check and three or four people see the flop. The flop comes [J Q J] I don't recall the suits. I check, a couple others check, and the dealer bets. I call. I figure only a pocket pair, or Jack or Queen beats me now, and since bettor didn't bet that high, I don't think he has it. I think he was bluffing since everyone else showed weakness. The turn is another Jack, leaving [J Q J J] on the board. So now I have a full house. I'm feeling pretty good, and bet 3x the big blind. Everyone folds except the dealer, who thinks about it for a while, then calls. The river is Queen. So now we have [J Q J J Q] on the board. My full house just got wiped out in favor of the cards on the board. Now the only thing that beats me is a pocket Jack or Queen, or wired Kings or Aces. I'm pretty sure he has none of those, based on how he was betting so I go all in. My thought was, worst case he calls and we split the pot, best case he folds and I get it flat out. Well he thought for a long time, then called. He was afraid I had the last Jack, because he had an extra queen to give him Queens over Jacks. So I'm the first one out and have a few hours to wait for the next game to start. Yay.

Game 2. 6 Person Single Table Tournament - Losers Game

Once they consolidated down to one table, a few of us that had been eliminated started up a side game at the other table. We started with half the chips because we wanted it to go quickly and end at about the same time as the main tournament. Again, I was hovering around the starting chip count, when tragedy struck. I was the dealer, and dealt myself a pair of Jacks. I made a big pre-flop raise. I'm not quite comfortable playing Jacks. It seems like an Ace, King or Queen always comes up on the flop and scares me away. I bet big to narrow down the field, and it worked. I only had one caller. The flop was [A 10 A] and he goes all in. I don't know what I was thinking here, because I called. I was perfectly reasonable to think that he had any of the following hands that would have beaten me: a pair of Kings, or Queens, any Ace, or a pair of Tens. I guess I was hoping that he just had two high cards, or a low pair, or a single Ten, and was bluffing at the pot. Turns out he did have a lower pocket pair than I did. Unfortunately, it was a pair of Tens, which gave him the boat. So far I've come in last, and second to last. At this rate, only about 10 more games before I'm in the money.

Game 3. 16 Person Two Table Tournament

Things went a little better in this one. Five or Six people went out before me. Again though, I couldn't win that big pot that would allow me to start playing more aggressively. I was getting horrible cards, and when I got decent cards, I would miss the flop completely, and not have the balls to try to bluff at it. I'm in the big blind for $100. Position one calls, and position two goes all in for $70 more. I've got about $250 left, and [A 7] in my hand. For $70 more, I think its worth a shot, but, I don't want to go up against the guy in the first position, so I go all in over the top, hoping he'll fold. He doesn't. Player one has [K J], player two has [A J], and I'm not looking so good with [A 7] . On the plus side, if an Ace hits, I probably end up about even, since I lose some to the small stack, but win the side pot. I pair my Seven on the flop, but player one, pairs his King, and the turn and river bring no help, so player one knocks us both out. I'm not too upset with my play there. I think I made the right play, it just didn't work out so well.

Game 4. 9 Person Single Table Tournament

Its only a quarter after eleven when the third game ends, so I decide to play another game. There's only 9 of us left so we play at one big table. Its looking like more of the same in this one. I can't hit a flop to save my life, and my chip count is dwindling. Just when I think all is lost, I look down at my hand, and see a pair of Aces looking back. I'm not quite sure how to play this. People have been calling some big preflop raises, but usually people always seem to fold when I raise. I bet $75 on a 15/30 blind, and get three callers, which concerns me. The flop is [Q 10 7] two suited, and the player in first position bets $100. Second player calls, third folds. At this point I'm convinced that one of them made a set because that's how my day has been going. I go all in over the top, and they both call. The turn brings a Two, and so does the river, and they check it down. Now I figure with my luck one of them had a Two, and picked up a set on the river. Fortunately, my aces stood up, and I more than triple up. Woo hoo. About time.

Things are going pretty well and we are down to four people. Top three get paid. Chip counts keep fluctuating as people keep going all in, and either not getting called, or the shorter stack wins the faceoff. I try to stay out of it as much as possible, hoping one of them will just finally lose. As a side note, at this point one of the guys that was eliminated, decides to order some porn from the host's cable company which really pisses off the host and puts him on tilt. He was the chip leader, but shortly becomes short stacked, as he stops concentrating to yell at his friend. It was quite comical. My final hand of the night comes when I get [A Q] suited. I go all in. I get one caller, and he turns over [A 2]. He says he figured I had an Ace, but the wheel had been good to him so he had to call. Plus he was in the big blind. He hits a two on the flop, and none of the other queens come out to play, so I manage to finish just out of the money.

Stupid poker. Why do I play this game again? The worst part is that I'm pretty sure I know the biggest flaw in my game, I just can't seem to do anything about it when the chips are on the table. Whenever I get a good but not great hand, and someone goes over the top of me, I think they are bluffing, and can't possibly have a better hand than me. I really need to learn that often they have me beat and if I fold, I can live to play another hand. That mistake cost me those first two games. I'd say lesson learned, but I'll have to wait until next game to see if I really learned it.


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