Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Saturday Tournament Summary

It pretty much snowed all night Friday and all day Saturday. I don't know exactly how much we got, but I think the word that most accurately describes it is crapload. That or shitpile. Either way, we had a lot of snow. We were afraid that people wouldn't want to venture out in that weather for a poker game, and even if they did, we were afraid they wouldn't be able to find parking anywhere.

I don't know if you are familiar with the parking situation in Chicago, or if it works like this in other cities, but its usually pretty hard to find parking anywhere, especially in the more trendy neighborhoods. When it snows, you might as well forget about it. People have to dig their way into or out of their parking spots. Once they've done that, they feel that they shouldn't have to give it up. It makes sense. Why should someone else get to park in the spot that they spent a half hour clearing out? So people leave chairs, or boxes or tables, or any random crap to mark their spot. You can't move their stuff and park there, because there is a good chance that your car might end up missing a headlight or two, or it might acquire a nice key sized scratch all the way down one side. This saving of spots lasts until the snow eventually melts in a month and completely throws off the parking dynamic for the city because you've got hundreds of open parking spots that have been claimed, and cannot be actually parked in. Maybe people have stopped doing that in the past two years, after I moved out to the suburbs, because somehow, we were able to find a spot relatively easily. Or maybe no one had actually bothered to leave their apartment yet to claim their spots.

Enough about the weather and parking situation, on to the poker. We had 15 people for the first game. Not quite the 30 we were hoping for, but all thinks considered, a decent amount. We upped our buy in to $30, from our usual $20, and changed the blind schedule a bit, trying to make the increases more gradual. The first game didn't go so well for me. I misplayed big slick relatively early on, and all but sealed my fate. The blinds were 10/20 and I was dealt AKo under the gun, and raised to 40. I had a few callers. Flop was rags, 9 high. I bet 50, and had one caller. Turn was queen, and again I bet 50. She stared me down, studied the board, and eventually called. The river was another queen. I thought she probably had me beat, but I thought if I bet enough I could scare her away. I bet 100, and after much deliberation, she called. She had a pair of eights. That hand cost me about half my stack, and I didn't get anything going after that. I ended up going out in ninth place.

While the main game was finishing up, we got enough people together for a side game. We had nine people, seven of whom had busted out of the first game, and two stragglers who hadn't made it in time. Those two objected to calling it the losers table, since technically they hadn't lost yet, although I fixed that relatively quickly. It was easy to see why this was the losers table. Maybe I was just playing better because I didn't care as much about the outcome, but I was able to get the table to do what I wanted on just about every hand I played. If I was bluffing they would fold. When I had the best hand, they'd call. I don't think I had to showdown many hands, but of the ones I did I won the vast majority. The only real hand of note was when I had wired nines in the big blind. Incidentally, twice tonight wired nines turned into quads. In my case, I flopped a set, and that was good enough as I took down a huge pot, and never looked back. We only started with about 200 in chips, and were raising the blinds aggressively to finish at about the same time as the main game. When we got down to three players, I was the chip leader, and went all-in on probably ¾ of the hands. Most of the time the other two folded. A couple of times they doubled up, but it wasn't enough to mount any sort of comeback. So, I won $30 which put me at about even for the night.

For the second big game, we had 16 people. The starting tables ended up almost the same as the previous game. I was doing OK, winning a few pots here and there, and gradually increasing my stack. I then made, possibly the dumbest play I have ever made. I was dealt A♠ 5♠ and limped in hoping for flush. I think five of us saw the flop. The flop was J&diams 2&hearts 3&diams, and it checked around. I thought about bluffing at it, but there were too many people in for that not to have hit anyone, and playing online so much as made me less inclined to bluff because some always calls when they shouldn't and beats you. Anyway, the turn was the 4&hearts, and it checks around again. I would have bluffed at it this time, but now I'm afraid someone just made their heart flush. The flop is Q&hearts. I look at the board and figure that there is no way I can bet now since some has to have a heart for the flush, and even if I represent a flush, I think they'll call. I then realize that I'm a moron and hit my wheel straight on the turn. Now I'm pissed because this should have been my pot, and I let someone draw to a flush with four hearts on the board. It checks around to the button, and he bets 1xBB. I think about it but then fold because I am convinced that someone has a flush. When three people turn over a pair of queens and nothing better I comment that I can't believe no one had the flush, and that I folded my straight. My friend then points out that there were only three hearts on the board as J&diams doesn't count. Its not the end of the world because I don't think I would have won a lot of chips there, but it was just stupid.

The game continues, and I'm still doing OK. I haven't made any huge jumps in chips, I've just been grinding away winning a few random pots. When we condense down to one table of eight, there are three real short stacks, three real big stacks, and myself and another guy with medium sized stacks. The short stacks don't last long, and soon we are down to 5. Top four pays. The blinds are starting to hurt, and I'm struggling to stay alive long enough for the other short stack to go out. He then goes all in a few times and doubles up in both. I go all in a few times, and steal some blinds, which is almost, but not quite as good as doubling up. Meanwhile two of the three other players have given most of their chips to the now decisive chip leader. I've got 740 in chips and the blinds are 150/300 and I'm dealt ATo. I decide I'm going all in with them no matter what. I can't survive more than one more orbit so its now or never. Before I get a chance to act, the guy in front of me goes all in. He had only 710, and so I have him covered. I have to decide if I want to fold, and hope he gets knocked out, or go all in myself, like I planned on, and hope that either I win, or some else beats us both, so I finish in 4th and get my money back. I decide to call. Big stack also calls. The guy to my right turns over AQo and the big stack has 9To. The only important card on the board was queen, and I'm down to 60. I then get wired 4s and make my final stand. The small blind folds, which is funny because he contributed almost three times as much to the pot as I did, and the big blind obviously calls. He has 2&diams,3&diams. One of my fours is a diamond. It's looking good for a minute. Then two diamonds fall on the flop, and a third on the river to knock me out on the bubble. I felt bad for the two guys I had driven in with because they had been knocked out well over an hour ago, and had to wait around for me to not win any money. Oh well they finished in first and third in the first game. Jerks.

Final result of the evening is that I'm down $35. Could have been worse. If you factor in a $10 SNG on PokerRoom earlier in the day then I'm up $4 overall on the day. Speaking of PokerRoom, they droped the price for their $5 SNGs from $1 to $0.50 and they are also offering five player $10+$1s with a payout for the top two at $35/$15.



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