Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Tournament Summary

We had a change in venue for our March Tournament. Our usual host was busy this week, and not wanting to slip into the mode where we wait four months for our next game, we rescheduled elsewhere. We also had to settle for the Easter weekend which cut down on the turnout.

Still, we had 13 and 11 players for our two games, which isn't horrible. I'm a little late with the write up so it may or may not be completely accurate. Its close enough though.

I have a new arch nemesis. My friend Jason, used to be an average player. What he lacked in skill he made up for in trash talking. He wasn't a horrible player but he lacked the patience and discipline to make it in a two to three hour tournament.

I'm starting to think that was an all an act to setup a loose image that he can capitalize on later. At some point last year he just turned a switch and all of the sudden he is winning, not just cashing, at least one tournament per night in our group. He managed to win our point total bragging rights competition last year despite the fact that we scheduled a number of events on days when he was out of town for business.

Going into the night I was leading the points total with two second place finishes, just barely ahead of Jason with his one win. He missed the first game last month because his plane didn't get in on time. So I have to finish ahead of him to maintain my lead.

Things don't start out well. The first hand of the game, I'm in the big blind with 42o, and he's in the small blind. It folds to him and he makes the stander 3xBB raise. First hand of the game, blinds are low, I'm not letting him establish control, so I call and flop two pair. He bets and then calls my raise. The turn is a jack which pairs the board and makes potentially counterfeits my hand. Check-check and the river brings a queen. He bets, and I make the call knowing I'm likely beat. Turns out I probably should have bet the turn because he didn't have a hand until the river and I probably could have taken the pot then. So we're one hand into the game and already he's up and I'm down. Great.

Things turned around shortly after that however. I had pocket kings and my raises and bets kept getting called by the new guy. I haven't played with him before so I didn't know what to expect, but I was certainly nervous when he kept calling. I ultimately went all-in and he called turning of an unimproved big-slick. That hand doubled me up and put me in pretty good shape overall. AK looks pretty and all, but when you are raised pre-flop, and you don't improve by the turn, maybe its time to fold. That mistake allowed the new guy to watch a few more hours of the NCAA tournament than those of us who had to concentrate on cards.

I'm not sure what happened after that. We were playing short handed so the blinds came around often, and I just wasn't hitting flops. Before I knew it I was the short stack and shortly after that busted out in 6th or 7th place out of 13. Very disappointing.

Oh and Jason went on to win.

Game two didn't start out much better. We only had 11 which meant two short tables, and my table was more aggressive than I would have liked considering I wasn't getting cards. I was all set to call it an early night, pushing all in with wired eights oni a king high board, but was generously called by a medium ace that never improved.

Those chips gave me enough to survive to the table combine and then some.

In order to reclaim my first place leaderboard position I had to win and Jason couldn't money, so I had two goals at this point. Jason was crippled on a KK vs QQ hand against his girlfriend, but was taking the chip-and-a-chair mentality and doing well with it. He went all-in on three or four consecutive hands and either doubled up or stole the blinds to the point where he almost had enough chips to start rally playing again.

Then he tried the all-in trick one more time, only this time I had a pair of eights in the hole, and called him. He had two face cards and the board danced all around them, but he didn't improve and he he was out. Phase one complete, now I just had to win.

I managed to cash, but by the time we were heads up I was tired, and willing to gamble a little too much. I pushed with any somewhat reasonable hand and got called by a better one for yet another second place finish.

So on the plus side, I've finished in 2nd 3/4 times this year. On the negative side, my heads up game, which I used to think was pretty good in live poker, has not been performing very well. Maybe its a lack of practice and a sign that I need to start playing online again.

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