Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Sunday, June 11, 2006

June Tournament Summary

June Tournament Summary. – The Schmoo claims Victory.

We had our fourth monthly tournament in six months last nights.  We’re right on pace to get seven for the year.  Turnout was horrible.  We were expecting between 16 and 20, maybe even more.  We got 13.  You people are lame.  You had plenty of advanced warning for this one, and still choose not to attend.  You choose poorly.  

Before I go into the details, I’d like to thank the nice folks at and their affiliated sites for providing us with a bunch of prizes for this month’s tournament.  If anyone wants to try them out, bonus code POKERWORDS will get you the following bonuses.

And if anyone else wants to donate prizes, I’d be more than happy to give you a mention on this here blog.  In case I haven’t mentioned it recently I’m a big fan of free stuff.   It doesn’t even have to be about poker.   I also enjoy music, DVDs, home electronics, walks on the beach, new cars, vacation packages, you name it.  

[ / commercial ]

Ok.  Onto the poker.   Since we only have 13 players, we started with two tables of seven and six.   As can be expected play moves pretty quick.  I think we lost two players on the first blind level.  Paul was the first out, when his pocket kings got cracked by A6 when the other guy hit a third six on the turn.  Tough beat.  A few hands later Aaron and Greg got into a huge showdown.  The turn had brought Greg a baby flush and Aaron two pair.  The river gave Aaron the full house, and what was left of Greg’s chips.  

I seem to have more or less the same results in every first game we play during our monthly tournaments.  I see one or two flops every other orbit and either win a few small pots or nothing at all, and then midway through find myself in all-in or fold mode.  Usually I have enough chips where my all-ins will force people to fold, yet not so much that winning the blinds doesn’t significantly increase my stack size.  Last night was no different.  With five or six left I was all-in or nothing.  

Aaron was to my left and usually in one of the blinds when I would move in.  He would usually think about it for a while, with a pained look on his face before folding.  You could tell he wanted to knock me so badly, but was too scared to double me up.  I usually had decent cards when I did this, but nothing that I wanted anyone to get called.  I think I showed some mediocre cards a few times after everyone folded.  The fourth or fifth time this happened I had aces, and I was sure that this time Aaron would be fed up with my bullying and try to make put a stop to it.  After an extremely long internal debate he folds.  Smack comes to my rescue though, calling with a pair of hooks.  Aaron folded his AQ.  I don’t know how he did that given the fact that I was pushing with almost anything and there was a pretty good chance that I was bluffing.  Maybe calling his manhood into question wasn’t the best plan but I think I had done that every other time I went all-in and he couldn’t decide what to do.

That hand doubled me up and allowed me to actually start playing some poker.  A few orbits later it was folded to me on the small blind with KJs and I raised 4xBB. This time Aaron called.   Uh-Oh.  The flop hit all around me.  QT8.  I bet about half the pot, and half my remaining stack and Aaron pushed all-in.  I was hoping he was trying to catch me in a bluff, and that the continuation bet would convince him I was serious and win the pot for me.  No such luck.  If we weren’t on the bubble, I probably would have made the call and hoped to suck out on him since I can’t imagine I was ahead at the time, but I had to lay it down in hopes of staying alive long enough to win some cash.

Back to all-in or fold mode.

I made it to the money along with Aaron and Smack.  This is Aaron’s first cash in quite a while, and Smack is currently ahead on our leaderboard.  I thought I had enough chips to play around for a while, but apparently I was wrong.  After folding 53o for about the fourth time in my BB I found myself down to 2.5 BB’s remaining.  I guess I hadn’t won as many blinds as I thought.  An all in with 95 gets called by Aaron and his T6 and I’m done.

Hand of the night comes heads up between Aaron and Smack. Aaron min raises preflop with ATo.  Smack calls.  The flop is garbage.  Something like 689.  Aaron bets and Smack pushes all-in.  Aaron whines like a little girl complains about how Smack always plays garbage hands and he could have anything and how Aaron can’t imagine that he is ahead.  After much debate, Aaron folds and Smack turns over J3o.  To say that tilted Aaron may be a bit of an understatement.  He’s probably still bitching about it now.  I stopped paying much attention after that, but Smack went on to win.

Game two only had 10 players.  Seriously.  WTF?  We have well over 50 people on our email list that have attended in the past.  People need to get their priorities straight.

It seems that I usually play a lot looser in the second game and last night was no exception.  I limped into a lot more pots hoping to catch a monster unfortunately never really hit anything.  

If you’ve read any of my previous monthly tournament summaries you’ve likely read about the Schmoo.   It is impossible to put the Schmoo on any sort of hand.  He’ll check call the nuts all the way through the river, but do the same with absolute garbage.  There is seemingly no logic behind his betting patters.  

Or is there?

Hmmm. No, on second thought I was right.  No secret method to his madness.  Just madness.  He’s a fun guy to have at your table, but going up against him can be somewhat nerve-racking because you can never be real sure where you stand in the hand.

At some point in the night Smack berated him for check call with big slick after flopping an ace.  He did that all the way to the river giving his opponent plenty of chances to pick improve his hand.  Schmoo claimed he didn’t want to bet because he might scare them away, and someone pointed out that if he bet a little people would be likely to call and he could build up his pot size, and maybe it isn’t always a good idea to give your opponent free cards.  Something  someone said must have clicked, because for the remainder of the night Schmoo played somewhat reasonable poker.  He was still a little on the passive side, but he did start betting in position, and putting pressure on smaller stacks.  Before we knew it, he had the chip lead and was playing what could only be described as big stack poker.  

When we were down to four, it was me, Schmoo, Greg and John.  We were all relatively evenly stacked, and none of the other three made it this far with any sort of regularity, so I liked my chances.  There weren’t a lot of confrontations.   For the most part a preflop raise or bet on the flop would win the pot.  Unfortunately for me, that wasn’t always the case.  After losing a pot I tried stealing the blinds with K3, raising about half my stack, and Greg called out of the big blind.  The flop was ragged, J84 or something.  I pushed all in hoping it missed him and that he would lay it down.  He had A8, and made the call.  I failed to improve and went out on the bubble in fourth place.

John was knocked out soon after, leaving Greg and Schmoo to battle heads up.  The heads up battle lasted all of one hand.  They got all their chips in preflop, Greg with Ax and Schmoo with Qx.  Schmoo paired his queen and the unimaginable had happened.  The Schmoo emerged victorious.   I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I never thought I’d see the day.  

I would have liked to do better, but I guess I can’t complain too much about a third and fourth place finish.  A tournament in July isn’t looking too likely, but maybe we might be able to get one scheduled for August.  And who knows.  Maybe people will even show up.  Wouldn’t that be exciting?  

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