Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Sunday, February 19, 2006

February Tournament Summary

We had our monthly poker game for the second month in a row tonight.  At this rate we’ll end up playing, well, twelve of them.  I’d guess seven or eight is more likely, but we’ll see.  The list of invitees has grown considerably, to the point where we no longer need almost everyone on the list to show in order to have a big enough game.  Despite all that, turnout was surprisingly low.  We only had twelve people show, including two newbies, which is especially disappointing after our record 25 player turnout last month. Onto the games.

Game 1.  12 players.  

We started with six at each table, and planned to condense down to a final table with eight remaining.   My table was as follows.

  • Seat 1.  Me.  Your hero, and the obvious favorite for this tournament.

  • Seat 2.  Liz(zy).  One of the previously mentioned newbies.  She’s dating one of the new guys at work.  They have a regular weekly game that I may have to get in on at some point.  From what I can tell she was a pretty decent player.  Better than a good number of the regulars.  You know who you are Aaron.

  • Seat 3.  Jim.  He’s played a few times with us, although I don’t think he’s been at my table often.  I don’t have much of a read on him.

  • Seat 4.  Greg, our host has gone from some of the deadest money in our games to a pretty good player.  

  • Seat 5.  Paul.  I don’t know Paul well, but he’s solid.  He actually makes a lot of bets based on multiples of the blinds/pot.  You know, like someone who knows what he is doing.  This tends to make the pots at his tables larger than usual since most people in our group are a little more passive.  I’m probably least confident in going against him than any one else at the table.

  • Seat 6.  Smack.  He’s been at every single game we’ve ever had and very likely is the all time money winner.  Maybe not though.

My first key hand comes a few levels in.  I have KQo in the BB and Lizzy raises.  Since this is the first time I’ve played with her I don’t really know what her range of raising hands is, but she’s seemed pretty solid so far.  I call.  The flop is Queen high and I bet 2/3 of the pot, expecting to take it right there.  She calls. Uh Oh. That does not make me happy as visions of AQ, or QQ or something else that would giver her a set start running through me head.  The flop is a four, and I check like a pansy.  She bets about what I did last round.  Anything higher and I probably lay my hand down there, but instead I call.   The flop is another rag and again I check.  She makes a large bet this time, a good percentage of my remaining chips.  I call, fully expecting her to have two pair, or a set, or at the very least a better kicker, but she turns over big slick, and I take down a huge pot.  

Shortly thereafter I get wired nines in the big blind.  This time it’s Paul who raises it up.  I call.  I almost couldn’t ask for a better flop  X 9 J.  I lead out for the min bet, trying to show weakness to induce a raise, and it works perfectly.  He triples my bet.  I push all-in and he calls with a jack knocking himself out and giving me an enormous chip lead.    

I don’t play too many hands for a while, until I’m dealt pocket cowboys.  The blinds are starting to get up there, and I just make a min raise because I don’t want to scare everyone away.  Greg calls.  The flop is all hearts and Greg goes all in.  I have the king of hearts.  I figure maybe he’s bluffing, and even if he’s not, he probably doesn’t have the ace, so I have some outs.  Besides, what kind of an asshole cracks my kings by flopping a flush?  I call, he shows me two hearts and suddenly my stack isn’t quite so large.

At eight we re-seed.  I think this is how the table ended up.  Actually I’m pretty sure this is wrong, but its close enough.

  • Seat 1.  Me.

  • Seat 2.  Smack

  • Seat 3.  Lizzy  

  • Seat 4.  Gregg

  • Seat 5.  Archie.  Lizzy’s boyfriend and a coworker of mine.  The other new player to the group.

  • Seat 6.  Andy.  A regular.  He’s a tight player who always seems to be on the super short stack as the bubble approaches.

  • Seat 7.  Aaron.  The event organizer and a co-worker of mine.  Once upon a time he was a good player, but he’s fallen into the trap of playing battlefield II rather than online poker, and his skills have deteriorated.

  • Seat 8.  Noah.  Another regular.  A coworker of mine, and my arch nemesis at the poker table.

I’m rather short stacked here.  I’m at the point where I’m pretty much pot committed for any hand I play, so its push or nothing.  The good thing is I went on a huge rush.  I had an ace in the first eight hands I was dealt after the merge.  The first three were ATs, AK, AKs.  I went all in on those three and got actions on both big slicks, knocking out Andy in the process.   I took out Archie shortly after with another AKs vs his ATs.  

Possibly my favorite hand of the night came shortly after that.  I was in the small blind and I get AJo.  It folds to Noah on the button and he calls me an asshole under his breath with a more than a hint of frustration.  Then he raises.  This is his way of pretending that he doesn’t have a good hand as he tries to sucker you into calling.  I instantly reraise all-in anyway.  I’m kind of worried that he has me dominated.  AK or AQ are definite possibilities, but it’s also possible for him to lay them down here rather than risking all his chips.  He goes way in the tank.  The longer he thinks about it, the more I like my hand.  Eventually he calls and turns over 77.  Way better than I expected, after how much he had to think about it, but no where near as bad as it could have been.  I pair my ace, and Noah gets knocked out.

When we get down to three players, it’s me, Smack and Greg and I’m the chip leader by far.  I then proceeded to play some God awful poker.  I kept getting horrible hands, that I just couldn’t bring myself to play because I’d never be able to do throw any more chips in if I met resistance.   Greg and Smack kept raising, and while I knew they couldn’t have good hands every time, I was afraid I’d pick the wrong time to defend myself.  So I waited as they chipped away at me.  I figured eventually I would have a big hand and I could punish them, but it never came.  Before I knew it they had caught up to me.  My final hand had me all in with A9s vs Smacks KJ.  He picked up another jack on the flop and I was out.  

Greg and Smack went back and forth for quite a while.  They had many all-ins, but the small stack always won.  One hand of note had them both all-in preflop.  Smack gleefully turns over wired tens, then cried as Greg flips over rockets.  The flop was KQJ and Smack starts calling for the nine.  The turn is a seven, but the river, the dirty stinky river, brings Smack his 9 for the most painful suck out of the night.  Smack eventually goes on to win.  

Game 2.  10 players.  One table.

I’m not going list the seating because it really doesn’t matter.  I will point out that Paul was seated to my right, and I completely got in his head.  I think I’ve busted him in just about every tournament where we’ve been at the same table.  There were many times when he looked like he wanted to call/raise pre-flop, but then looked at me and folded, not wanting to risk playing a hand that I might get into.  Certainly an ego boost, but I think he gave me a little more credit than I deserve.  

I don’t play many hands.  My cards aren’t great and I was content to wait for a big hand or until the blinds started getting high.  Eventually I’m in the BB, with JQ, and Aaron min raises to 60 from middle position.  There are two other callers, and I also join in.  The flop is X Q J.  I bet 100, hoping for some action.  Aaron gives it to me raising all-in.  From his actions I put him on aces or kings.  He had the look like I just fell into his trap  and he’s really clever.  I couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when I showed him that his rockets were no good.  Busting Noah and Aaron in one night would make for a great next month of rubbing it at work.  I mean, that’s just fun for everyone.  Turns out I over estimated his hand as he only had AQ for top pair, but he’s still pretty stunned to see how far behind he is.   He’s down to three outs and the bastard hits one of them on the turn.  What a jackass.  The only good thing about that is that I got all my chips in with the best hand so he can’t claim to have outplayed me.  I should have gone home then but wanted to stick around to see Aaron bust out.  

I think he only played one more hand the entire night, when his pocket cowboys took out Greg, basically doubling him up again.  After that he folded for an hour and half and managed to come in third place, which wasn’t as fun for me.  I’m putting a bounty on him next time.

Some other fun hands that I got to witness.  Noah flops a set of sevens on an all diamond board.  He bets and Greg puts him all in.  Noah folds.  Greg shows the flush.   Noah then asks to rabbit hunt.  The turn and river? Running twos which would have given him the full house.   I don’t think that’s what he wanted to see.  He seemed a little angry.

A few levels later Noah flops trip queens with two diamonds on the board.  He makes a medium/small bet and Smack calls.  The turn is another diamond and Smack check-raises him all-in.  Noah cries like a little girl and angrily calls.  I can’t say I’ve never done it, but you gotta love the crying-call-out-of spite.  Good times.

As I said, Aaron folded his way to third place, I think mostly just to piss me off.  Smack ended up in second, making him the big money winner for the night and Paul ended up winning.  

We’re expecting more players for next month but there’s a good chance I’m going to miss it since I’m going to be in Hawaii for two of the weekends in March.  Plus there’s that whole basketball tournament thing going on.  Maybe you’ve heard about it.  I guess it’s a big deal or something.  

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