In retrospect, it was probably the slightly homoerotic come-on that piqued my interest.
"You should come see me," was the call.
I'm not gay and even if I was, the grizzled black man with funny-looking teeth probably wouldn't have stirred my loins. However, as I walked toward the bathroom for the second time, the man said the words quietly.
"You should come see me."
As I drained the by-product of several beers and several more greyhounds, I decided I would indeed stop by to see the old man.More in this Poker Blog! -->
He was a shoeshine man of the first order. He buffed his first shoe on the streets of New Orleans and eventually made his way to Vegas, working the graveyard shift next to the men's room at the Luxor hotel and casino.
"I love this color shoe," he said. "It takes a real good shine."
As I sat and watched him slowly clean my shoes, working carefully on the scuffs, I began to reflect on the last 72 hours.
It began with a mad dash to a poker room. My poker jones had been itching for months. It needed caressing more than my body needed food. My stomach was thankful for the five-dollar hotdog and soda I bought seven hours later with a comp from the poker room manager. After seven hours of play, I was down a dollar, but plus five in comps.
Twenty minutes later I had avoided a much-needed shower in favor of a whore bath (wet hair, brush teeth, re-apply deodorant, splash on some aftershave), and met my friends for an $8 drink at the MGM Grand.
We walked aimlessly for an hour before standing in front of the Bellagio's water show. Sinatra sang "Luck Be A Lady" as water cannons shot white-lit streams a hundred feet in the air. It was then I realized that sleep deprivation can be better than any drug.
We sought out an old haunt, The Barbary Coast, in search of cheap Pai Gow Poker tables. Only finding $10 minimums, I spoke briefly to a pit boss. I'll admit I found myself feeling mildly powerful when the boss told us to sit down and he'd get a $5 game going for us. In the end, it didn't matter. By 2am I was betting $20 a hand. By 5am I had lost $150. The pit boss comped us breakfast. I ended the night down $151, but full of t-bone steak and eggs and up $20 in comps.
The night brought little sleep, but a new day in which I would win $150 playing poker and $10 more in comps. Still down a dollar, and after 13 hours of playing poker, I bought myself a slice of pizza at 2am. Besides three olives at 2pm, I hadn't eaten all day.
The New York New York offered $10 Pai Gow and the best dealers in town. When my terminally drunk buddy, Joey , tried to play a breath mint for the dealer, she barely blinked. When Joey started flirting, she responded with, "What did you slur?"
I lost another fifty bucks, but the dealers made it worth it.
Again, a basically sleepless night leading to another day of poker playing. This day in the poker room was mundane and barely worth mentioning. I spent my previous day's comps on a buffet lunch, then later bought myself a reuben sandwich.
The final night of Pai Gow was actually profitable. I cleared $100 playing at a $5 table.
It was in the middle of that game that I stopped by the shoeshine stand and got a good shine on my shoes.
As I stood up, admiring the new shine, I threw a $10 bill to the guy who had just massaged my leather.
I can't remember if I mentioned to him that I had only paid $30 for the shoes.<-- Hide More
In my very first on-line tournament, I made it to the final table and finished in 7th place. I thought, "Wow, this is easy." I couldn't have been more wrong.
In all of my tournament play since that day, I've gotten as close to the final table as a freshman physics major gets to a soroity girl's dorm room.
On Saturday, I saw Otis sit down at a $10 tourney and decided I'd join him. Maybe we could make it to the final table together. Unfortunately, he didn't see many cards worth playing. Maybe he sent all his poker karma my way...More in this Poker Blog! -->
Break #2. I'm sitting at 9090 chips. We started with 270 players and I'm in 10th out of 39 remaining players.
I'm in middle position and down to 8790 chips. The blinds are 300/600. I look down at A-Q suited.
Two fold in front of me and I raise to 1200. A woman behind me calls. The screen reads MN_Tricky. Shortly before the break she beat me twice taking a few thousand chips.
The flop comes 9-8-A. The 9 and 8 are hearts, just like my cards, and I've got top pair with a great kicker. I can hardly complain about the flop.
That said, I'm not sure why I checked. She bet the minimum 600 and I called. Maybe I was scared of my new nemesis.
The turn brings a K of spades. No help to me, and it doesn't complete and straight. I still like my chances, but I just check.
That's when she goes all-in with her remaining 2445 chips. The pot is up to about 7000.
Maybe my checks made her think I didn't have an Ace. Maybe she has a K and paired it. I might as well call.
I was right, she had a K. Unfortunately, she had two. Now I need an A or a heart, or I'm hurting.
The river brings a Q of diamonds. My two pair lose to her three K's.
Easy read on this hand. I needed to buy her out when the A came on the flop. Why did I let her stick around for the K on the turn?
I'm down to just 4545. That's about a third of my high water mark. Ugh.
It's the very next hand when I look down at a pair of pretty ladies. That helps me forget about the last hand.
Same blinds, and again I raise to 1200. This time, just the big blind calls me. He's known as Dr. Durango.
The flop shows me 2-Q-J rainbow. Could there be a better flop? Sure, I guess two Q's, but I'll take it.
This guy has a bout a 3-to-1 chip lead over me. I need to suck as much out of him as I can get.
He checks and so do I. I'm hoping he pairs an Ace or catches a draw, or at least tries to buy it.
The turn brings a 5, the second club. He checks again and I bet just 600, he calls.
The river brings a 10. Ugh. That's why you don't slop play trip Q's. If he's got A-K or 8-9, I lose to a straight.
He bets 3990, at least representing the straight. I don't have much choice. I'm down to just 1155, so I call.
He shows K-7, and his K-high easily loses to my trip Q's. The slow play works, but it was probably stupid. I'm back up to 9390.
The very next hand brings another pocket pair. This time it's 10's, one of my favorite hands.
I'm UTG and I raise again to 1200. A short stack goes all-in for 2995. He's the got the clever handle "Sofa King Hot." (Let it sink in, you'll get it.)
I'd played with him awhile, and didn't want to see him go, but this is poker. I call.
He shows about what I'd expect, Big Slick. As long as I avoid and Ace or a King, I win.
The flop is 2-8-9 rainbow. The turn is a 5 and the river brings a second 9. It's another 6890 for me and, perhaps, the start of a rush.
Just four hands later, I'm in a late position, next to the button. It's another pocket pair, this time 5's.
Five players fold in front of me, so I raise to 1200. The small blind re-raises to 1800. His less-clever, and more crude handle is Harry Balszak.
His 7300 chips are about 5 thousand fewer than mine, and the 600 doesn't hurt to call, maybe I'll flop a set.
The flop comes J-7-3, two hearts. Well, not the worst flop ever. Maybe he didn't hit. I've got him on a Ace.
He checks, I bet 1000, and he raises to 2000. Trapping? Nah, he would have gone all-in, maybe he thinks I'm buying. I call.
The turn is a 9 of diamonds. It helps with a straight, but he's certainly not on a straigth draw.
He checks, and so do I. The river is a K, the third heart. Is he on a flush draw?
When he checks I decide not to bet, just in case. He shows A-10 off suit, and my pair of fives takes another 8200 chip pot.
Just three hands later, I get A-J off suit. Not bad. The two in front of me fold and I raise to 1200.
My nemesis, MN_Tricky calls, and the rest fold. I've got about a 2-to-1 chip lead over her.
The flop is 5-10-3, all hearts. I hate that flop because neither of my cards are hearts.
I check, she bets 600, I call. The turn is an 8 of spades. I check, she bets 600, I call.
The river brings another 5. I check, she checks. She shows a 10 and her two pair takes the 5700 pot.
Why didn't she bet? Maybe she thought I was slow playing the nuts. Anyway, I'm down to 15285.
I'm about to play my 6th hand out of 12. That's a lot for me. This time it's another pocket pairs, 9's.
I'm UTG when I raise to 1200. Harry Balszak goes all in for 3540. Everyone else folds, and I put him on two overcards, so I call.
He shows A-Q off suit, and he probably rolls his eyes at my 9's.
The flop brings K-6-2 rainbow, a 7 on the turn and a 10 on the river.
The 7980 chip pot takes me to 19125 and 3rd place overall.
A whole five hands go by before I play again. The blinds are up to 400/800. This time is A-8 suited.
I'm in a middle position when three fold in front of me and I raise to 1600. The big blind calls.
He goes by the name highrez, and I've got a 5-to-1 chip lead over him.
The flop is 10-K-10, and it doesn't hit my flush draw.
He checks so I bet 800. I'm not suprised when he goes all-in and I quickly fold. I'm down to 16245.
It's been awhile, and the 600/1200 blinds have me down to 14225. I get A-J off suit. Not bad.
The second bettor goes all-in for 1260 and I decide to call. Another short stack after me calls, then my nemesis raises to 2400.
I call, I figure she's just trying to force the other short stack all-in and it works. He calls, as does a 5th player.
I couldn't believe 5 players were in a pot this late in the game. Here's the list:
MN_Tricky is at seat 0 with 15190.
highrez is at seat 1 with 9865.
Socal is at seat 2 with 1260.
I'm at seat 6 with 14225.
vinny422 is at seat 9 with 2400.
The button is at seat 8.
The pot is already up over 10000.
The flop is 5-3-2, two hearts. My nemesis and highrez check in front of me. So do I. Was I afraid of trap? That was dumb. When you're in late position, use that advantage!
The turn brings a J of clubs. Works for me! Both check in front of me again and I bet 1500. They both call.
The river brings a 4 of diamonds. That means anyone who's playing an Ace has a straight. My nemesis checks, but highrez goes all-in.
I have to call, right? The only card that beats me is a 6, and who's playing a 6? I call, my nemesis folds.
Naturally, highrez flips A-6 suited. My hand beat the other short stacks, but it doesn't matter. My hand was also the winner before the river.
Why didn't I bet more on the turn!?!?!? I clearly had the hand of strength and a good stack. I could have bought the pot right there.
Suddenly, I'm in very bad shape.
Four hands later, I'm in the 1200 big blind with just 4360 chips. The poker gods sent me another pair of lovely ladies.
Unfortunately, the poker gods are joksters because everyone folded in front of me. I won just 600 chips.
Big slick comes my way five hands later. I'm the second bettor and instead of going all-in, I just raise to 2400. Why?
It doesn't matter because everyone folds and I take the 1800 blinds.
I'm in a late position, next to the button when I get a pair of 6's. Pairs have been good to me. I'm dying in the blinds and have to make a move.
A big stack raises to 4200 in front of me. He's clearly saying, "Stay away from me." I wasn't listening because I raise all-in.
He calls, and the showdown is A-Q vs. my 6's. Once again, it's a pair vs. two overcards. This matchup has been very good to me.
The flop is Q-4-K. Ugh. Turn out the lights, the party is over. My luck has run out.
The turn is a 7 and the river is a 6. Well, it was fun. I'm glad I made it... what? What was that card? A 6?!?!?!?
Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dolohov, the guy with A-Q, is not as happy as I. I'm suddenly back up to 10520.
The very next hand, I get A-Q off suit. Not bad. After two folds in front of me, I raise to 2400.
highrez, who's now the biggest stack at the table, calsl me. He was in the big blind, so it doesn't hurt him much.
The flop is 5-4-3, two spades. If he bets, I'm out. Thankfully, he checks, and so do I.
The turn brings a Q. He checks and I bet 1200. He folds. That 5400 chips boost takes me to 15000 and 8th place.
The 800/1600 blinds have knocked me down to 11520 when I get my first cowboys of the tournament.
Everyone folds to me and I raise to 3200. Everyone also folds after me. Damn. A few thousand chips take me to 13920 and 7th place.
I'm in a middle position when I get A-3 suited. Two fold in front of me and I raise to 3200.
Everyone folds and a few thousand chips take me to 16320, still 7th.
It's another A-10 unsuited. I'm UTG and raise to 3200. My nemesis, MN_Tricky, now one of the short stacks, calls me. So does dolohov, the guy I bad-beated earlier, but he's got more chips than I do.
The flop is A-7-3, rainbow. Hmmm. dolohov checks. I go all-in. I had a feeling. Top pair, no flush draw, no straight draw, and a good kicker.
My nemesis calls, but dolohov folds. I like my chances, but she flips the same A-10 I have, both unsuited.
We chop the pot and I'm up to 13920 and 6th place.
Wow, the 1000/2000 blinds have me down to 7920. I'm on the button with A-8 suited.
Everyone folds in front of me so I raise to 4000 and the big blind calls me. "mj23457" has a 6-to-1 chip lead over me.
The flop comes J-J-4, no help for my flush. MJ checks, and I take a chance, going all-in with my remaining 3920 chips.
Thankfully he folds, and I'm up to 12920.
Just two hands later, it's another suited Ace, this time with a 7. I long for my pocket pairs.
Two folds in front of me and I raise to 4000. The smalles stack at the table goes all-in, and highrez also calls me.
The flop is 3-9-A, two spades. That gives me top pair and a flush draw. highrez checks and I go all-in. highrez folds.
That leaves me and the small stack, and all he has is a pair of jacks.
The 7 on the turn and Q on the river are no help to him and I'm back up to 16760 and 7th place.
A few hands later, I 'm down to 12760, but after a knock-out, I make the final table!! In fact, I'm in 7th place!
final table!!!!! 12760, 7th place
Hand #21: Final Table
I have just 8260 chips and I'm in the big blind of 3000. I wish I had played a few hands up to this point, but I've been scared.
Nine players are left, and I look down at my first Ace in a long time. I make the decision to go all-in before anyone else even bets.
I figure the small blind will knock me down to just 3700 chips if I don't play now. That will invite all the big stacks to call me no matter what I have.
Maybe going all-in now, I can steal some blinds and stay alive.
Unfortunately, highrez is on the button and he goes all-in for 15295 in front of me.
The small blind folds and it's decision time. I tell myself he's just trying to buy it, but I don't really believe that. I call anyway.
He flips A-7 unsuited, and I quickly see that only a 5 saves me... or a miracle 2-3-4.
The flop is K-6-J. No help. The turn is a 9. No help. When the 4 comes on the river, I'm through.
It was my first final table in a long, long time, and I think I was intimidated. I should have played some hands I laid down, but hindsight is always 20/20.
I finish in ninth place and win $54.50. I wish I had stuck around for just a little while longer, I could have used the money!
It's impossible to say what time it was. Every hour seemed to morph into the next. I'd been playing for several hours and seen dozens of different players. When the river hit and the two players in the game flipped over their hole cards, the dealer called the player to my right a winner.
As the chips started to make their way across the felt, I saw what would very soon be a problem. The pot should be chopped. As I struggled with whether I should speak up, the British woman across the table made the decision for me. Who would've thought a little woman who looked like Mrs. Doubtfire could've caused such pandamonium.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Doubtfire had just bought into the $2/$4 game for $100. She hadn't played a hand when the dealer mis-called the winner. I, however, had been sitting at the table since 1:30. My mind was working better than my eyes, so once my peepers registered the cards, I was actually playing pretty well. Still, I wasn't sure if I should talk.
Doubtfire started yelling immediately. She wasn't in the game, but she saw injustice for the young asian man.
Her accent was thick as she pointed out the split pot. The dealer agreed. It could've ended there. But Doubtfire wouldn't shut up.
"You need to wake up and smell the coffee!" she yelled, pointing in the direction of the young asian man who was not raking his half of the pot.
"Play your own hand," Nick, now half a pot lighter, muttered through an unfiltered cigarette.
"You're no gentleman!" Doubtfire was on her feet, pointing and poking in Nick's direction. She accused him of trying to steal the whole pot.
Richie the Dealer was getting visibly upset. He should've noticed the chop-chop and now his table was out of control.
Nick was about to get fired up. "I've never run an angle in my whole life, lady."
Doubtfire repeated herself with greater vehemence. "YOU'RE NO GENTLEMAN!"
That's when Nick lost control. In his best--and probably the worst I've ever heard--Irish accent he screamed across my forehead, "Well, why don't you go back to Ireland then?"
Doubtfire stood, grabbed her chips, annd racked them. Each of her next words might as well have had the last letter snipped off. "I'm not from Ireland."
She stood, wheeled around on her therapeutic shoes, and cashed in without ever playing a hand.
Over the course of the last ten hours we've watched his stack grow when the tourists get brushed in by the floorman. Each time the tourists fall for the line, "Come on in, it's just like you've seen on TV?" the young man's stack grows.
But then, each time guys with names like Charlie, Jerry, Bob, and Walt hit the table, this young man slips into painfully conservative play. He waits and waits for the nuts and only finds it once ever hour or so. But he doesn't get up. This kid just sits here and plays and plays and plays.
That kid is Otis and he's about to go on the rush of his young life.
The game had gotten very, very loose. The table consisted of Joey, Nick, Otis, Chris, Cassie, Miss Mary, and a couple of players whose name I don't remember. I had almost made the decision to get up and walk to a Pai Gow table when I peeked at my hole cards. Big Slick (A-K to poker newbies). How nice.
A raise pushed everyone but Cassie out of the pot. She re-raised and I immediately put her on a high pocket pair. It was only two bucks to call (low-limit poker can be sort of silly sometimes), so I made it six and we saw the flop.
The flop showed us a rainbow, two blanks and a queen. I bet, hoping she had jacks and will believe I have queens. Cassie raised. Yep, gotta be pocket queens. I'm screwed, but I called anyway. Cassie wasn't a great player and I was hoping she was running a very good bluff. The turn is another blank. I checked. Cassie bet. I called, pushing good money after bad and vowing to get up after the hand and call it a night with a small win.
The river came with a king. That gave me a pair, ace high. I bet, hoping again that she didn't have pocket queens and I just outdrew her.
I would've just forgotten it, but the pot was big enough to justify another four bucks. Call.
I looked at her and called her hand before she turned it over. "Pocket queens," I said, my face as dejected as it should've been.
"Yep," she said and turned them over.
I was a half-second from mucking my hand when my body rebelled and flipped over my cards.
The table exploded.
I felt the conditioned air whoosh out of the building. Cheers and screams erupted around me. I sat in a vacuum as my vision tunneled to my cards.
Sitting at a strange angle, one on top of the other, sat two kings.
It's been a few days since that happened and I still think I was holding and ace and king instead of the pocket cowboys. Some sort of poker god changed my cards at the last second.
As the table died down, my embarassment picked up. I apologized, threw a couple bucks to the dealer, and returned Cassie's last raise to her. Guilt kills me.
That hand kicked off a fantastic rush that covered all of my other gambling losses for the weekend. I played for another two hours before getting up to find my first meal of the day.
Poker was good to me during Otis' Vegas Adventure. Oddly enough, so was the rest of Vegas.
Coming up...Otis in Vegas Pt. 3...hookers, a shoe shine, and finding good karma in pai gow poker.<-- Hide More
I'm back from a good weekend of poker and nonsense in Las Vegas at the Four Queens Classic.
I got into Vegas late Thursday night and checked into the Four Queens, where we had two pre-comped rooms thanks to a little blackjack bender me and a buddy went on last time we were downtown.
The room itself was pretty poor quality, even a little worse than I expected (and I've stayed in the old Circus Circus rooms). Lots of stains on the carpet, nicks in the wall, poor temperature control.
But just as you only need a chip and a chair to win a tournament, all I really require in a Vegas hotel room is a bed and a shower. At least the room didn't smell.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Thursday night was a typical first night. I met my buddies over at the Bellagio for some hard-hitting table game action and drinking which quickly took its toll on the old bankroll. A fun time was had by all, but we asked ourselves why we weren't playing in the juicy-looking 15-30 game in the poker room. No answer was obtained, either that night or the other occasions we threw our poker winnings and more into that lethal combination of House Edge and Gambler's Ruin.
We got to bed late, but were able to get in a good 6-7 hours of sleep before 11 the next morning for tournament registration. We intended to have breakfast in the Four Queens cafe, which I strongly recommend if you like good greasy bacon and eggs, but the line was too long so we settled for a very non-poker-friendly Burger King breakfast.
The Four Queens does not have a regular, year-round poker room; that fact makes the quality of this tournament and the dealers they got doubly impressive. I found the quality of floor decisions and dealers to be significantly better than what I saw at the Orleans Open this year. The former may just be luck, the latter was certainly due to just hiring better dealers (although many of the dealers there were at the Orleans Open too).
We registered for the tournament, $200 buyin no-limit hold'em with one rebuy. The registration desk had very small, quick-moving lines with friendly, efficient, jovial staff.
I've felt increasingly confident in my no-limit tournament play over the past two years, even though I've yet to make the money in a big tournament. On Friday I was feeling clear-headed and ready to bring my A game. I took my seat and was ready to play. It took me about three rounds before I got comfortable with my opponents and the style the table had. The table was fairly conservative and passive. I began to play more aggressively than I usually do in the early stages of a tournament. Because this was a rebuy tournament I expected others to do the same, but at least at my table what it seemed to cause was more passive play -- more callers pre-flop, more 3- and 4-way pots and a fair amount of checking the flop and turn. Most hands where I came in for a raise, I would either win it pre-flop or with a bet on the flop. I slowly built up my stack until I was about 2 1/2x the buyin.
Right near the end of the rebuy period (I think 2 hours), I got tangled into a pot. There was a big stack who had been seated at my second table who was raising at least 3 times each go round and was winning a lot due to fear of his large stack. In this hand, it was folded to him in middle position, he raised it to about 1/4 of my stack (about 2-3k off a 800 buyin), and it was folded back to me on the button. I look down and saw pocket tens and moved all-in. I was surprised when he quickly called me, and flipped up AQo. I'm a small favorite until an ace hits the turn. "REBUY!"
The next hour I played the same game I was playing, built my stack up a little but was barely keeping up with the increasing blinds. Most of my stack growth came from when I busted two small stacks up in the same round, once with my AK against his AQ and the other time with my JJ vs a very questionable early-position raise with Q3s.
On a new table, there was a middle-large stack who had just gotten seated at my table and was instantly letting his presence be known. He raised his first three hands he sat down with. I've played with the guy before at a few other tournaments; his name is Mohammed something, I think. I once watched him play $100-200 heads up hold'em in the Bellagio. I remember seeing him in Card Player this year too, he won a tournament, I can't remember which. Every other time I've seen him he was wearing a big yellow jacket, but not today. Anyway he was coming out blasting and doing fairly well, he lost a couple to small stacks but was gaining. After he had been there about 30 minutes there was a hand folded to him in middle position, and he came in for a sizeable raise. I have only just under 3k at this point, he has perhaps 11. I'm on the button. It's folded to me and I look down to see QQ. I went all-in, folded to him, and he instantly called. He flipped over 33 and was dismayed to see my QQ. Unfortunately for me, the first card out of the dealer's hand was a 3, giving him a set and I got no assistance. That's what we gamblers call an aiya and a half, but that's NLH for ya.
After that tournament, I was still feeling good about my game, I felt like I played about 80% as well as I could have. Certainly the last hand was a no-brainer but I thought that generally I needed to make my raises a little larger, try for more steals pre-flop and bet flops more aggressively into weakness (which I'm decent at sniffing out).
It was about 4pm by this point, so I bought into a $1-2 NLH side game with $100. I focused on my aggressive play, and it paid off bigtime. The table was fairly weak, and within an hour was seething with the combination of fear and hatred towards me that is pure cash money in a game like that. I was up well over $200 by 6pm. My best hand to get me there was when I played 66 against a guy who had built up a lot more hatred than fear against me. I raised pre-flop, he made a 1x reraise (which I think is never a good raise preflop), I called and the flop came A63 rainbow. He bet the pot, I raised him all-in and he instantly called with A7o. When you've raised almost every flop, you'll eventually get almost unlimited action with your premo hands.
Right before 6 I got into another hand. This was against a guy who looked like Benicio Del Toro but played poker like a drunken Randy Quaid. He was under the gun and called the $2 BB. Folded to me in late position, I made it 8 to go with AQo. Big blind and him both call. Flop comes AJ3 rainbow. I look at the big blind and he checks, telegraphing middle / small cards with no taste of the flop. Benicio bets $25, which he's done in every situation like this. He has about $150 left, I have just under $300. I raise him all in, BB folds, and he looks at me for one minute and calls. He flips up KTo for an inside straight draw and looks at me with a smile on his face. A queen came off on the next card making his broadway. I was contemplating not buying into the evening tournament, this game was so good with him in it especially now that he had doubled up. To my dismay he got up right after that hand and cashed out. Smart guy.
So I left that game $120 up, but it should have been more. We got a bite to eat and I registered for the evening tournament. I was feeling "poker-limber" after my side game workout and ready to bring it. And bring it I did. I won virtually every pot I was in for the first couple of hours, raising like it ain't no thang (and it isn't). By two hours into it, I was the huge chip stack at my table and possibly the tournament, I know I was at least top of the 8 or so tables I could see around me (out of 20 or so).
After the first break, I got pretty cold pretty fast. I lost a big one when I had AK against A-little who made two pair on the turn. My lead dwindled to where I was the 3rd or 4th at my table when this hand came. Big stack is under the gun and raises it up. He's been doing that a lot but every time he's called he has had a decent hand. It's folded to me, once again on the button. I look down to see AA, raise all-in, folded back to him, he calls and flips up QQ. Well, once again the poker deities did not shine on me, and he made his set on the turn while my rockets got no assistance.
So I spent the rest of the night fairly dejected. I was 90% happy with my performance in the second tournament -- I busted out with about 50 left of about 200 -- but to lose the same way in two back-to-back tournaments was a really tough blow.
The rest of the night, we cavorted around the Bellagio. I played some terrible 15-30 and ended up -$600 on the night.
On Saturday, I played in the daytime $200 limit hold'em tournament. I rarely play both a limit and a no-limit event back-to-back because I have to adjust my play so much, and this experience just hit home that I like no-limit tournaments a LOT better. I think there's more latitude and reward for skillful play, and although one bad turn can bust you more often than in limit, getting in with the best of it also pays off bigger. My record in limit tournaments is also much worse than in no-limit tournaments. This one was no exception, I played few hands, lost a few, got blinded down and in the third hour was on my last legs. I decided to make my move with A7 in late position, opened for a raise and the button called and the big blind re-raised. Oops. I only had just over one bet left, so called. On the flop, something like AK5, the button and big blind get it all in, and the button flips over 55 and the big blind flips over AQo. If you're going to bust out, being last the whole way actually makes me feel less robbed :)
I played another short session of $1-2 no-limit after that, and ended up +$40 by the time my buddies came to drag me to the Bellagio. We played $15-30 over there and I had a banner session, ending up +$1100 in about 4 hours of play. My buddy MZ and I seemed to be on a seesaw; the previous day he had won $1400 during my -$600 session, and Saturday he lost a small amount when I had my big win. The evening was topped off by my favorite poker food in the entire world, the Buttermilk Chicken Wrap from the snack shop in the Bellagio.
That's about all the relevant poker stories on the weekend. It was a fun tournament, and I plan to do it again next year although I'll probably stay somewhere else unless they comp the room again.
One last thing -- celebrity sightings. Tom McEvoy was at the tournament, I don't think he played in the events I was in but was promoting his book. Bonnie Damiano, who you probably remember as "that lady in the hat" was the tournament promoter and was there. An Tran was at one of my tables and got busted out unceremoniously. Other than that, there were probably some others there but it was much less star-studded than when I was at the Orleans Open for similar buyin (although many more players) events. Not sure why.<-- Hide More
"You want us to move over?"
The guy must have sensed my impatience. He and his wife's ass were blocking the moving walkway leading into the Excalibur hotel. I needed to get through there and to the Luxor in time to sign up for the noon no-limit tourney.
"No, that's okay," I said as I placed my hands on the rubber handrail and jumped over to stable ground. "This will work better."
As I strode confidently toward my destiny, the guy yelled at my back.
"In a hurry to lose that $300, buddy?"More in this Poker Blog! -->
It was Sunday morning, 11:15am. I'd already been awake for nine hours and my poker jones was about to eat my liver (something I was sure I'd need later on in the day).
By 11:30 I was signed up, sitting in a bar, and drinking a beer to calm my nerves.
It was not money I was concerned about. It was a cheap $25 buy-in with a $3 add-on. Forty players (give or take), limit for an hour, no limit after that. The blinds increased quickly. The whole tourney would take about two hours.
I wish I was as good at remembering every hand I played in the three touraments I signed up for. Unfortunately, I only remember a few.
Very few people sitting at my first table look like they know what they're doing. My lack of live tournament experience was not going to hurt me. As I looked down at my chips, however, I knew that one mistake would spell my end quickly. $250 in chips doesn't last long when blinds start at $10 and $15 and make it to $100 and $200 in the first hour.
I sit and stroke my beer bottle for hand after hand. 8-2 off. 10-7 off. No hands. I limp in (not cheap prospect) on A-10 suited. The flop doesn't help. I'm out. Other limping does no good. I suspect I'll be limping out in 34th place very soon.
I'm down to about $150 on the button when the corners of my two cards reveal two fine letters K and K.
One caller before it gets to me. Raise. Small blind folds. Big blind re-raises.
Aces? I think not.
I try to work up the best, "This is a fine mess I've gotten myself into" face.
He calls. King on the flop gives me a set to win. I still can't remember what he had.
Overcome with confidence, I spend the next 30 minutes depleting my stack. Player after player drops out until I'm one of 15 left. I'm forced all in with A-9 off. It doesn't hold up. Out in 15th with a lesson learned.
My buddy Joe has decided to play this one with me. I expect to do no better than the day before. My only goal is to last longer than him. With only that goal in mind, I play conservatively enough to hear these words:
"Congratualtions, guys. You've made it to the final table."
The floorman reads off the prize money. Top seven pays. I'm one of ten at the table.
Sadly, I'm a member of the short-stack club. After a couple of rounds of really big blinds, I'm forced to go all in with pocket fives. What a time to have a caller with pocket kings, huh? Thank you, Otis. You're the first person to be kicked off the final table.
I think I'm experienced now. I'm not. I made it through the first hour and four short of the final table. All-in with AQ suited finds a caller with pocket eights. Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
You'd think I'd be upset about all of this. However, I'm not. Because the tourney stuff was just for kicks. The actual work of the weekend was to win enough playing ring games to cover late-night drinking Pai Gow losses.
And the ring games, friends....that's where the fun is.
Coming up in Otis in Vegas Pt. 2:
The British Woman and The Chop
Otis Loses His Mind But Wins the Pot<-- Hide More
You know, being a movie star and a television star and a new hot author doesn't necessarily help you at the poker table.
Wil Wheaton found that out. Here's just a taste of his story:
We're on our fourth or fifth hand, playing a no-limit freeze out. I look at my hole cards and find that I've dealt myself the Big Slick: A-K, the second best starting hand in Hold 'Em. Ryan checks, and I decide to limp in, hoping to get some action on this hand.
If that isn't a lead-in to a bad beat story, I don't know what is! Well Wil, you're invited at our table any time!
Wil wants everyone to know that this wasn't supposed to be a story of his poker prowess... but a story about his relationship with his stepson. I think poker is a great way to build a relationship. I can't wait to deal one up with my Dad next time I'm home!!! I expect to take his money. I also remember the night Otis and I sat down at a table with his Dad. It was a lot of fun.
Otis is in Vegas.
He had been in Vegas for less than an hour when he unloaded 25 bucks for a seat in a 35-person tourney.
The first hour was limit, before it moved to no limit. He finished 15th, but out of the money.
He spent the next 7 hours at a limit table, and finished down just a buck. Not bad for the first day. I'm sure he'll return with plenty of stories!
Admittedly, it was late. I was hopped up on too much caffeine. Allergy pills, an infrequent necessity, were playing with my head. My night of on-line poker had been interupted several times by football, women, and food. As I sat down for a midnight tournament, I conceded there could've been worse interuptions.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It was a cheap, satellite rebuy tourney. I had never played a rebuy before. I figured, "Hey, it's cheap. If I don't like it, I might actually get to bed before sunrise."
I should've folded hand #1 the moment it hit my hand. There is little worse than 77 UTG on the first hand. I don't even remember how I played it. I only know that I eventually folded when somebody went all-in. I wrote it off as an overzealous player happy with his pocket jackets.
Then, as the allergy pills began to work on my synapses, the woman named "soccermom2" hit the chatboard.
"How much is a rebuy?" she asked.
She's UTG, I'm in middle position. I'm looking at QJsuited. I figure she's noticed the same pattern as I have. Every hand, anyone with an ace or two face cards is going all in. Sure enough, she's all in.
At the time, I had half a mind to call her. I was already getting frustrated with the mediocrity of the starting hands held by the All-In crew. With the cheap rebuys available, I kept an eye on the running total. In the first 15 minutes, there had been more than 130 rebuys. There had only been 239 entries in the tourney.
I was ready to call it a night, call the soccermom with my remaining 1300 chips, and let her feel good for beating me with A8. Then, two more people went all in before it got to me. I mucked my QJ and watched two more people go all in. Half of the table was all in.
Here's the punchline: I would've won the whole thing with Kings over Jacks and a Q kicker (the next best hand, seriously, was Kings over Jacks with a ten kicker).
Eventually, I busted out (my cowboys trips getting busted by quad sixes). I thought to rebuy but decided it wasn't worth my pocket change.
As I settled back into ring game mode and molested a player as loose as the rebuy tourney players, I decided there must be a poker lesson somewhere in the last wasted hour of my life.
It's one of a few things. I'll let your comments decide which:
*When the buy-in and rebuy prices are cheap, the players will be inexperienced and prone to all-in moves.
*When the buy-in and rebuy prices are cheap, the only way you'll win is to go all-in with marginal hands.
*When playing a rebuy tournament, sit tight and only play ultra premium hands until the rebuy period is over.
*Only play rebuy tournaments with higher priced buy-ins.
*Just don't play rebuy tournaments.
By 2am I was in bed, replaying the night in my head, and daydreaming of a life less ordinary. As I drifted off, I was pushing my chips to the middle of the table, staring at quad Aces.<-- Hide More
The scenario might have come straight from the daydreams of any aspiring author/poker player: writer receives an assignment from Harperâ€™s Magazine to write about female players at the World Series of Poker, uses the advance to win a seat at the Championship Event, then makes the final table for a six-figure payday.
Then, like catching the runner-runner for the nuts, the resulting publicity turns what would have probably been a short article into a featured cover story, which leads to a contract for probably the most high-profile poker book in history. All in all, itâ€™s been a pretty good rush for writer James McManus.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The article, â€œFortuneâ€™s Smile: Betting Big at the World Series of Pokerâ€ (Harperâ€™s December 2000) was a gripping, surprisingly detailed account of McManusâ€™s trip to the final table, one of the finest stories about the game ever written. Unfortunately, in the journey from the article to "Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker," the story loses much of its spark and intensity, and doesnâ€™t match up to the classic books by Anthony Holden and Al Avarez that inspired it.
Part of the problem is that there simply isnâ€™t enough poker in this poker book. McManus wins the first one-table satellite he enters, but the $1015 entry fee and a deal that has him paying the second- and third-place finishers $1700 each almost completely wipes out his $4000 advance and seemingly all of his own money, leaving him counting his pennies for the four days until the Championship. And while his wifeâ€™s anti-gambling stance creates some amusing moments, as a reader I was wishing that McManus were a bachelor who could hit the ATM and get in some ring games.
This cash crunch means that the book contains scarcely more poker than the original article. Filling time and chapters until the Championship are sections on the science and history of the game, great poker books, a trip to a strip club, Benny Binion and the World Series and, running through the book, the tabloid-worthy tale of the murder of Ted Binion. For the most part, the stories are familiar to anyone with a few poker books on the shelf â€” yes, Bennyâ€™s sheriff still loses, Nick the Greek still has that Jack in the hole, and Amarillo Slim only said heâ€™d slit his throat if a certain woman won â€” making these pages seem like little more than occasionally interesting filler.
His reporting on his fellow players often leaves a lot to be desired as well. McManus was on assignment to report on the presence of women at the World Series, and we do get profiles on Annie Duke, Jennifer Harmon, and others. Unfortunately, when it comes to some of the bigger male players, his insight is often limited to those he manages to find himself playing against, or else he quotes passages from some of the better-known poker books. Of course, those readers already familiar with the literature might find this reliance on prior works somewhat disappointing.
Still, the book is probably worth it for its chapters on McManusâ€™s rise through the 2000 Championship, eventually won by Chris Ferguson. Itâ€™s a terrific, fast-paced report on one non-proâ€™s unlikely journey to the final table, written by a journalist trained in writing a good story (Anthony Holden finished far out of the money in his classic â€œBig Dealâ€). He makes some good plays and a few others that make you want to reach into the book and smack him around a bit (I donâ€™t care how many wonderful things happened to McManus in `89 or `98, it ainâ€™t a great idea to call a big raise with 8-9 suited with 46 players left in an event that pays 45).
All in all, â€œPositively Fifth Streetâ€ is probably the ultimate account of an average playerâ€™s hot streak, though with a bit too much generic filler to go along with its excellent first-hand poker content. While the lay reader might enjoy the balanced approach, the poker buff will probably wish that McManus spent a little less time around the courtrooms and strip clubs and a little more at the tables.<-- Hide More
I've added a new site to the "Better Hole Cards." Randy clued me in to Rivered Again. It's a collection of the best of the best (worst of the worst?) bad beats. I'm sure I'll eventually have one or two to add to the list.
One of two Americans at the table had just hit his 15 against the dealer's four. The crazy, half-inebriated Russians at the table eyed him like he was an incapacitated Stalin. The dealer dropped a five giving the stupid American a 20. Stupid American looked happy. Otis, the other American, groaned through a Russian woman's skinny cigarette smoke.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Otis--that's me--hates when ignorant players are rewarded with luck. The Russians felt much the same way when the dealer eventually dealt himself a 19, beating everyone at the table but stupid American.
Dateline--Aruba, The Excelsior Casino.
It was the smallest casino I had ever been in. A few blackjack tables. A three-card poker table. A poker room with limits too high for my bankroll. And a Let It Ride table where every five minutes a man would get up, dance around, and scream something in a foreign language, while pointing toward my blackjack dealer.
I was up about 30 dollars and trying not to think about the dealer reshuffling the five-deck shoe every time 52 cards had been dealt out. The Russian woman two to my right was drinking straight vodka, smoking long, thin cigarettes, and wearing a revealing open-chested shirt. Her double-down luck had been failing her, but the aura off her chest seemed to be helping me.
It was about the time the guy at the Let it Ride table screamed for the fifth time that the dealer began dealing himself three sevens on a fairly regualr basis. I started to lose quickly. It got worse when the Russian woman left. I stood up with my free Balashi beer and wondered where I was.
I had booked the Aruba trip as a vacation with dual purpose. It gave my wife the enjoyment of the beach. It offered me a poker room. Weeks of research offered me conflicting reports. Otis of the Small Bankroll couldn't play poker at anything more than a $5/$10 table. It was an embarassing fact. With a wife, a mortgage, and no Russian woman to buttress my luck, playing the $15/$30 game was beyond my range. I became a sad-faced railbird.
And so Otis' Aruban Adventure became a practice in bankroll maintenance. I knew that in three weeks I'd be sitting in a Vegas poker room with four days to play. I knew that there I could play a game within my limited means.
Over the course of the next three nights, each trip from the beach bar to the indoor restroom would involved a quick walk-through of the casino. I willed myself to not even stop along the poker room rail. But each time I did. I'd watch a few hands, watch the loose players call with nothing, and wish I was sitting there paying for my vacation.
Now I'm in the market for a well-endowed Russian to accompany me to Vegas in two weeks. Please forward all inquiries to the moderator. Better yet, send them by Mt. Willis for an interview.<-- Hide More
I played in a tournament the other day, and was doing pretty well. I've learned, though, that I don't know how to get myself to the next level, often busting out late as the blinds eat away at my stack.
This tournament was a $1 entry fee, with unlimited rebuys during the first hour, and one add-on at the end of that hour. You could only rebuy when your chips were at or below your 1000 chip level. Here's how it went:More in this Poker Blog! -->
I made it through the first hour in pretty good shape. I only rebought once, and took advantage of the add-on putting me at 9200 chips. I was tied for 21st place out of the 271 remaining players. These are the hands in which I saw action, with a limited amount of commentary. I'm cusephenom...
cusephenom: Ah As
Pre-flop: ding folds. fatmans bro folds. mingram folds. CDALY calls. cusephenom raises to 450. turkoman folds. Drinkwater folds. MrPhibb calls. narcotic folds. CDALY calls.
Flop (board: 7c Qh 8s): MrPhibb checks. CDALY bets 100. cusephenom raises to 1750. MrPhibb folds. CDALY folds. cusephenom is returned 1650 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 1650 to go to 10050
cusephenom: Kh Kd
Pre-flop: fatmans bro folds. mingram folds. CDALY folds. cusephenom raises to 350. turkoman calls. Drinkwater folds. MrPhibb folds. narcotic folds. ding folds.
Flop (board: 2c Ad 3h): cusephenom checks. turkoman bets 100. cusephenom calls.
Turn (board: 2c Ad 3h Ah): cusephenom checks. turkoman bets 100. cusephenom calls.
River (board: 2c Ad 3h Ah 5s): cusephenom checks. turkoman bets 1250. cusephenom calls.
turkoman shows Ac 4c.
turkoman has Ac 4c 2c 3h 5s: straight, five high.
cusephenom mucks Kh Kd.
turkoman wins 3750 with straight, five high, taking me down to 8250
Why did I stay in this hand. Why didn't I test him early instead of waiting until the river to lose 1250?
cusephenom: Ad Kc
Pre-flop: fatmans bro folds. mingram folds. cusephenom raises to 400. turkoman calls. Drinkwater folds. MrPhibb calls. narcotic folds. ding folds. JOKER22 goes all-in for 2720. cusephenom calls. turkoman folds. MrPhibb folds.
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows Ad Kc.
JOKER22 shows 5d 5s.
(board: 2c Ks 6d 3c 2s):
cusephenom has Ad Kc 2c Ks 2s: two pair, kings and deuces.
JOKER22 has 5d 5s 2c Ks 2s: two pair, fives and deuces.
cusephenom wins 6315 with two pair, kings and deuces to go to 11495
MOVED TABLES, IN 27TH PLACE WITH 11695
cusephenom: Ah Ad
Pre-flop: quickspark folds. IOutPlayU folds. gawf4fun folds. hsk1972 folds. thegrendel folds. rf5100 folds. cusephenom raises to 700. tattoo294 folds. roberto174 calls.
Flop (board: Jd Th Qs): roberto174 checks. cusephenom bets 1500. roberto174 folds. cusephenom is returned 1500 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 1500 to go to 11395
cusephenom: Qc Kd
Pre-flop: roberto174 folds. quickspark folds. IOutPlayU folds. gawf4fun folds. Tai_pan folds. hsk1972 folds. thegrendel folds. rf5100 calls. cusephenom calls. tattoo294 checks.
Flop (board: Qh 6h Qd): cusephenom checks. tattoo294 checks. rf5100 bets 300. cusephenom raises to 1800. tattoo294 folds. rf5100 folds. cusephenom is returned 1500 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 1500 to go to 11995
cusephenom: Kd Kh
Pre-flop: tattoo294 folds. roberto174 raises to 600. quickspark folds. IOutPlayU folds. gawf4fun re-raises to 900. Tai_pan folds. hsk1972 folds. thegrendel folds. rf5100 folds. cusephenom calls. roberto174 calls.
Flop (board: 8s 6h Ks): cusephenom checks. roberto174 bets 300. gawf4fun raises to 2200. cusephenom goes all-in for 11095. roberto174 folds. gawf4fun calls.
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows Kd Kh.
gawf4fun shows As Ah.
(board: 8s 6h Ks 7c 4c):
cusephenom has Kd Kh 8s Ks 7c: three kings.
gawf4fun has As Ah 8s Ks 7c: a pair of aces.
cusephenom wins 25340 with three kings to go to 25140 and 4th place
cusephenom: Qh Qc
Pre-flop: blazer128 has disconnected, is dropped. IOutPlayU folds. gawf4fun calls. Tai_pan folds. hsk1972 folds. thegrendel folds. rf5100 folds. cusephenom raises to 1800. tattoo294 folds. roberto174 calls. gawf4fun goes all-in for 1285.
Flop (board: 9s 7s 8c): roberto174 checks. cusephenom bets 1000. roberto174 folds. cusephenom is returned 1000 (uncalled).
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows Qh Qc.
gawf4fun shows As Tc.
(board: 9s 7s 8c 3c 5c):
cusephenom has Qh Qc 9s 7s 8c: a pair of queens.
gawf4fun has As Tc 9s 7s 8c: ace high.
cusephenom wins the main pot 4055 with a pair of queens.
cusephenom wins the side pot 1030 with a pair of queens to go to 27025, 4th place
cusephenom: Ad Ac
Pre-flop: cusephenom raises to 1500. tattoo294 folds. roberto174 folds. plt2022 folds. IOutPlayU folds. TJMITE folds. Tai_pan folds. hsk1972 calls. thegrendel folds. rf5100 calls.
Flop (board: 3h 3s Jd): rf5100 bets 4700. cusephenom raises to 9400. hsk1972 folds. rf5100 goes all-in for 4990. cusephenom is returned 4410 (uncalled).
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
rf5100 shows Js Ks.
cusephenom shows Ad Ac.
(board: 3h 3s Jd Th 3d):
rf5100 has Js 3h 3s Jd 3d: full house, threes full of jacks.
cusephenom has Ad Ac 3h 3s 3d: full house, threes full of aces.
cusephenom wins 14680 with full house, threes full of aces to go to 34815, 3rd place
cusephenom: Kc Jd
Pre-flop: plt2022 folds. IOutPlayU folds. TJMITE folds. narcotic calls. jackbnimble calls. thegrendel folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom calls. tattoo294 folds. roberto174 checks.
Flop (board: Tc Kh Qd): roberto174 checks. narcotic checks. jackbnimble checks. cusephenom bets 2700. roberto174 folds. narcotic goes all-in for 2150. jackbnimble folds. cusephenom is returned 550 (uncalled).
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows Kc Jd.
narcotic shows 9h Th.
(board: Tc Kh Qd 9d 8s):
cusephenom has Kc Jd Tc Qd 9d: straight, king high.
narcotic has 9h Th Tc Kh 9d: two pair, tens and nines.
cusephenom wins 7000 with straight, king high to go to 37165, 5th place
cusephenom: 7d 7c
Pre-flop: tattoo294 folds. roberto174 folds. plt2022 folds. IOutPlayU folds. randamonium raises to 2800. nugoed folds. jackbnimble folds. thegrendel calls. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom calls.
Flop (board: 7h 8h 6h): cusephenom checks. randamonium bets 8800. thegrendel folds. cusephenom goes all-in for 32365. randamonium goes all-in for 20545. cusephenom is returned 11820 (uncalled).
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows 7d 7c.
randamonium shows Ts Tc.
(board: 7h 8h 6h 4h 5s):
cusephenom has 7d 8h 6h 4h 5s: straight, eight high.
randamonium has 7h 8h 6h 4h 5s: straight, eight high.
cusephenom wins 24945 of a 49890 pot with straight, eight high.
randamonium wins 24945 of a 49890 pot with straight, eight high.
This hand really, really hurt! A win there puts me at 49890, and in first place overall.
IOutPlayU posts the small blind of 600.
randamonium posts the big blind of 1200.
cusephenom: Qs Jc
Pre-flop: nugoed folds. jackbnimble folds. thegrendel folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom calls. tattoo294 folds. roberto174 folds. plt2022 folds. IOutPlayU folds. randamonium checks.
Flop (board: Tc 7s Td): randamonium checks. cusephenom bets 3000. randamonium folds. cusephenom is returned 3000 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 3000 to go to 38165, 11th place
Oh Fah-Q Then posts the small blind of 600.
cusephenom posts the big blind of 1200.
cusephenom: Ah Jh
Pre-flop: tattoo294 folds. roberto174 folds. plt2022 folds. IOutPlayU folds. randamonium calls. nugoed folds. option686 folds. thegrendel folds. Oh Fah-Q Then calls. cusephenom checks.
Flop (board: Ad 5c 2s): Oh Fah-Q Then checks. cusephenom bets 3600. randamonium folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom is returned 3600 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 3600 to go to 39965, 9th place
Oh Fah-Q Then posts the small blind of 1000.
cusephenom posts the big blind of 2000.
cusephenom: Qh Kd
Pre-flop:jipco folds. PATCHEYE raises to 7000. alligater folds. nugoed folds. option686 folds. dastrdly folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom calls.
Flop (board: 3s 5h Qs): cusephenom checks. PATCHEYE goes all-in for 37105. cusephenom folds. PATCHEYE is returned 37105 (uncalled).
PATCHEYE wins 15000, down to 30165, 14th place out of 32
I really, really wanted to call here, but he raised pre-flop. Maybe he had A-Q, but my post-flop check showed weakness, so maybe he was just exploiting that. ----------------------------------------------------------------
alligater posts the small blind of 2000.
option686 posts the big blind of 4000.
cusephenom: As Ac
Pre-flop: dastrdly folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom raises to 8000. csccav folds. chaco54 folds. PATCHEYE folds. alligater folds. option686 folds. cusephenom is returned 4000 (uncalled).
cusephenom wins 10000.
Just my luck, no one wanted to play. ----------------------------------------------------------------
Oh Fah-Q Then posts the small blind of 2000.
cusephenom posts the big blind of 4000.
cusephenom: As Ah
Pre-flop: csccav raises to 8000. chaco54 folds. PATCHEYE folds. alligater folds. option686 folds. dastrdly folds. Oh Fah-Q Then folds. cusephenom re-raises to 12000. csccav calls.
Flop (board: 7s 8s Th): cusephenom goes all-in for 10665. csccav calls.
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows As Ah.
csccav shows 8h 8d.
(board: 7s 8s Th Jc 9s):
cusephenom has 7s 8s Th Jc 9s: straight, jack high.
csccav has 8h 7s Th Jc 9s: straight, jack high.
cusephenom wins 23665 of a 47330 pot with straight, jack high.
csccav wins 23665 of a 47330 pot with straight, jack high.
Remember hand 178? I guess we'll call it even, I'm still alive. ----------------------------------------------------------------
MOVED TO NEW TABLE
Purple-headed posts the small blind of 3000.
cusephenom posts the big blind of 6000.
cusephenom: Ad 9s
Pre-flop: broker folds. Smokey7 folds. chexx folds. Pete-za-man folds. halioua raises to 17000. Purple-headed folds. cusephenom goes all-in for 15665. halioua is returned 1335 (uncalled).
Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
cusephenom shows Ad 9s.
halioua shows Kc Qd.
(board: 7d 4c 2s Jh Kh):
cusephenom has Ad 9s 7d Jh Kh: ace high.
halioua has Kc Qd 7d Jh Kh: a pair of kings.
Hand #396336-241 Summary:
halioua wins 34330 with a pair of kings.
I finished in 21st place. The goal was top 10 because that would have gained me entry into an end of the month tournament. Maybe a goal of finishing 10th made me less agressive. I don't know. Unfortunately, I don't have a list of all the cards I folded, but I'm sure there are some I should have played.<-- Hide More
Welcome to Up For Poker! Hopefully soon, there will be more contributors than just myself. This will also help my Up For Anything readers avoid a majority of my gambling rambling.
So for my first post, why I didn't enjoy my last on-line tourney.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I was doing pretty well, had moved up from my starting 1,000 chips to more than 1,700. I had A-K suited when an A-8-4 rainbow came on the flop. I bet a solid amount when another guy came over top of me all-in.
During this game, this guy played pretty loose, just throwing chips around. I figured him for an ace, but didn't think he could beat my kicker. I called him, and was right... just A-10. Unfortunately, when the 10 came on the river, I was down to 600 chips.
I worked my way back up when I found myself holding pocket J's. A guy with a shorter stack in front of me went all-in pre-flop, and I called him. He showed A-9 suited. When the cards came 2-3-4-5 on the board, I was down to just a couple hundred chips again.
Now I'm down to next to nothing when I get a pair of 8's. It was now or never and I moved all-in. I got called by a guy who showed A-5 offsuit. Unfortunately, this time the board showed 3-4-6-7, and another damn straight sent me packing. Oh well...<-- Hide More