Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Other Perils of Winning at Poker

Another peril of winning at poker is that you let people talk you into a game where the stakes are a little higher than you prefer, and you end up playing like crap an losing a lot of money.

So the $50 game that I mentioned yesterday that was supposed to have 12 to 20 people, ended up having only 10. Three of the other guys were from my office game, and a few others I had played with before. My plan was to play tight until I could get some chips, and then loosen up, but I could never get going. The only hand I won in the first tourny was when I was dealt pocket queens in the big blind. Blinds were $50/$100 at that point (We started with about $2500), and there were three limpers. I raised $200 and everyone folded. Maybe I was too aggressive, but from what I had seen so far that night, I thought I would have been called. I ended up going out on a bluff inside straight draw when the other guy had pocket kings. The only good thing about the game was that the guys from the office took first and third. Even though I really didn't do well, I didn't mind so much because I don't think I made any huge mistakes. I was probably a little tighter than I should have been so I learned a lesson there.

The second game is the one that really frustrated me. I stuck around for it because I knew I could beat these guys. I just had to play a little looser. This game only had eight players. A few guys left, and we picked up one more. This game was a little crazier than the last. Some people had been drinking and were letting it affect their play, which led to some big pots early. For example, the first hand, this guy who has been half sleeping in a drunken stupor raises an obscene amount pre-flop. He gets raised by the guy hosting the tournament for almost all his chips. I've played with the host before, and he tends bet like this at times. I've seen him go out on the first hand before so it doesn't really surprise me. So the flop came, and the drunk guy goes all in, and gets called. He had big slick, and the host had wired nines. An ace comes on the turn, and drunk guy doubles up. I don't mind that because in the previous game, he played similarly and built up a large stack early only to be knocked out first due to his over aggressive play. I figure if I can get it down to us two, I can win easy.

Shortly there after, one of my friends from work, who won the first tournament, goes all in against the drunk guy. They both had two pairs on the turn. My friend had Aces and Threes. Drunk guy had fours and fives. The river brought another four giving drunk guy a full boat and we're down to six players.

I finally start getting some cards, and I soon realize that the new guy is possibly the worst poker player I have ever played with. He calls just about any bet for just about any amount. I won three or four of the next six or seven hands, and took him out when I had Ace Nine and paired my Ace on the flop and Nine on the turn. He checked on both the flop and turn, and I bet a couple hundred which he of course called. On the river he be $500, and I reraised him all in. He called and showed that the river had paired his Jack. So now I'm feeling good. I start bluffing at flops that I missed and getting people to fold, and I am pretty much in the driver's seat, since the drunk guy, looks like he's taking a nap with his enormous chip lead.

Blinds are $25/$50, and I'm dealt Big Slick in the big blind. I raise to $200, and get three callers out of the other four remaining players, drunk guy included. Flop is rags, but with two spades. I bet $200, and two guys fold, and drunk guy calls. Turn is another spade. My king is a spade, so I have a possible flush draw, and I have no idea what drunk guy has. He has more chips than the rest of the table combined, and I can't tell if he knows what he is doing or just playing like a maniac because he has so many chips that nothing we can be will make a dent in his lead. He checks, and I bet $200 again, hoping he'll just fold, but he raises to $400. I thought about pushing all in, but I probably should have folded there. I ended up just calling. The river is an Ace, and he checks. I put him on maybe a pair so I bet $200 and he goes all in. I didn't think he had the flush, but I knew I should fold. This had bad news written all over it. The thought of doubling up and being able to steamroll the rest of the table was just sitting in the back o my mind. Of course I called and of course he had the flush, and of course I'm still pissed off about it.

The toughest thing about no-limit tournaments is that one bad mistake can end your tournament, and despite the fact that I thought I was playing great, I made one stupid mistake against the one guy who could knock me out, and as a result, I went home with empty pockets.

There's a game in Chicago next weekend. Maybe my luck down there will continue. I just have to keep from making that one stupid mistake.


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