Well, we had a number of good entries. The decision-making process has been very tough. If I could afford it, I'd make everyone a winner. But since I can't, I've actually decided to pay three places.
Did you make the cut?
Read on.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Third place goes to Iggy. He admitted he really didn't feel like trying to persuade me with a clever e-mail. However, he did make a heartfelt appeal (and I'd sort of been wanting to take a shot at Poker Stars anyway).
Second place goes to Matt, a reader from Texas, who wrote in the subject line of his entry, "You are my bonus bitch." That alone pushed him to the top of the pack for a while. Beyond that, he made a very good argument for playing at the World Poker Exchange. He really thinks I'll like it there and is taking a percentage of my rake as his bonus. And beyond that, he runs a cool company out in Texas that I think would be a fun way to make a living.
But, first place has to go to...JD (I'm not sure if he's a reader or fellow blogger). Regardless, he is the king of bonus whoring haikus. While Absolute Poker's refer-a-friend system is a little cumbersome, I'm granting JD the win for the following entry:
Please try Absolute
Their ring games are very soft
Say JD sent you*
Blogger champ will dominate
Love the sit-n-gos
Bonuses come through snail mail
The next one is my favorite
Me likey bonus
Whoring contest great idea
Congratulations to the winners.
And if I kick this delayed hangover I'm suffering any time soon, I need to write up a report from a homegame I found myelf in on Friday night. Here's a preview:
I didn't peel my cards off the table again, preferring instead to eat her face with my eyes. Her cheeks pulled in as she drew in on the cigar. She pulled her cards off the felt one more time. I couldn't read her as well as I wanted. Her beauty put me on tilt the moment she'd climbed out of the H2-Hummer. When she lit the cigar and bathed the table in a sexual wash of smoke and casual good humor, I decided there was no way I could play the game of poker ever again.
I stared at her, watching her cheeks suck in and blow out. A firefighter sitting across the table said, "The boy could win a staring contest if he wanted, too."
I didn't respond. I just sat there and stared into her face while she looked up at me and said, "All in."<-- Hide More
Living in Lousiana has given me an opportunity to experience the best of poker: real, live poker rooms. Sure, online poker can be fun and profitable, but it can't match the thrill of throwing chips on the felt in a casino.
A few weeks ago, I told you about my trip to the Grand Casino in Coushatta. This time, I'm headed to the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, LA.More in this Poker Blog! -->
And this time, there's a little something extra in it for me. Next Tuesday and Wednesday are "media celebration" days at the casino. That means I'm staying for free, eating for free and drinking for free. From 9am-12pm on Wednesday, there's "free play at Golf-Slot-Table Games." I'm not sure what exactly that means... but it's gotta be good.
The only trade off is a one hour "media conference" on Tuesday afternoon. I think I can handle that. The rest of the time, you'll likely find me in the 11 table poker room. I've spent very little money on anything since I moved here (still no cable or internet at home), so I've got a nifty little bankroll to take with me.
Wish me luck! I'll have a full report when I get back!<-- Hide More
I've pillaged. I've plundered. I've raked the first prize in the last two World Poker Blogger Tourneys (in my defense, I didn't play in the first one).
It's time I gave something back.
Introducing, The Up For Poker Bonus Whore Wars.More in this Poker Blog! -->
This idea actually began with a sympathy offering to fellow poker blogger, Grubby. I felt so bad for him when he busted out on the bubble of a tourney that would have sent him to mothergrubbin' SPAIN. That's a rough place to bubble.
I told him he could pick any poker site where I'm not currently a member and direct me to sign up under his bonus code. Free money!
It's been a few days and he hasn't responded. So, the offer now goes out to all Up For Poker readers.
I have $300 from the last WPBT tourney burning a hole in my Neteller account. The winner of the first Bonus Whore War contest will pick the site where I desposit and, thus, reap the bonus.
1) An entry will consist of a short-short essay (no more than 100 words) on why I should choose you as my Bonus Whore.
2) All entries should be e-mailed to me by Saturday, May 29th at 11:59pm (you can find a e-mail link on my non-poker site Rapid Eye Reality at the bottom of any post. Just click on the words "send me a reality check.")
3) All entries must include your bonus code and the site where you'd like me to deposit.
4) As I am already a member at Ultimate Bet, Empire, Pacific Poker, Planet Poker, and True Poker, those sites will not be accepted as entries. What's more, I'd prefer no Party skins, simply because of the silly bonus code mess that's invovled with having multiple accounts on party skins. So, you say, "that leaves very few sites, Otis." You're right. So, find me a new place to play poker, or find me a way to rake more bonuses from sites where I already play.
5) All entries become property of Up For Poker and stand a good chance of being reprinted in part on Up For Poker at a later date.
Good luck, my little bonus whores. I'll be waiting.<-- Hide More
I can't be there... but other poker bloggers are, and you can't find a better write-up on the WSOP than you'll find at LasVegasVegas.
The pokerprof and his fellow poker "journalists" bring you the story of every event played in the WSOP thus far, and a day-by-day write-up of the big $10,000 NLHE event, complete with chip totals. It's great! Don't miss it!
Editor's note: This is an incomplete post. I was just getting into the meat of it when I decided it was too much of a ripoff of another poker blogger. Nonetheless, since I started this, I'm going to post it. That's the way I feel about blogging. It turns my game and my mind into a fishbowl. Sunshine makes us all better. If you know I was on the way to a blatant rip-off, maybe I won't do it again. --Otis
In the cutoff, I looked down and saw it. Deuce-Deuce. Damned ducks never do anything but quack. If they had a little appeal, like that crazy, wacky Aflack duck, then maybe I'd get excited. Instead, I call, only to be raised by the SB.
I should fold deuces every time. A two-outer with not much of anywhere to go.
But I called. Then, as I was preparing for a quick hour of self-flaggelation (not to mention a little deprecation and loathing), the flop made my set, beating out the SB's bigger pair for a sizeable pot.
In the chatbar I offered, "The double douche. Damned that hurts, don't it?"
The SB didn't respond. I waited for anyone to pick up the reference. No one did. These folks don't know Wade Garrett. And if they don't know Wade Garrett, they likely don't know Dalton.
Before you laugh (alright, as you laugh), you should know, the movie "Road House" serves as a late 80s oracle to the poker playing community.
Please, step inside The Double Deuce.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Before we begin, I should point out this post is a blatant (if not fully intentional) ripoff of a series of posts written by poker blogger, Hdouble over at The Cards Speak. His oracle is The Dude from "The Big Lebowski." Admittedly, The Dude has a lot to offer. Admittedly, "The Big Lebowski" is a better film. But for pure, unintentionally funny dialogue, "Road House" takes the cake. full disclosure>
The film begins as Dalton, uber-Cooler, makes his way into a Kansas City-area juke joint known as the Double Deuce. He's the calm guy with a dark past that can turn a sleazy, violence-ridden den of inequity into a happenin' place. He hates violence, but will use it when necessary. He's into eastern philosophy and lakeside tai chi. Or Chai Tea. Or something.
His transformation of the dive into a happy bar would just add to his resume if it weren't for his falling in love with the town doctor and battling the evil land baron, Brad Wesley.
Complete with bar brawls, sexy sex, and monster trucks, "Road House" has a lot to offer the late 80s movie watcher.
And if not that, at least it's got some great quotes that can be applied to 21st century poker (here's where I really start ripping off HDouble).
As Dalton starts to take over the bar's security staff, he instructs them on how to react to an angry customer.
Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal.
So, you've just laid a massive beat on a player across the table. You're watching the chat bar and there it is. A vitriolic stream of profanity and insults that wouldn't only make a sailor blush, it'd make him abandon ship.
You have a few choices.
*Spew forth in like fashion. Give it right back to him.
*Instruct him on why you played the hand correctly, or how he could've played the hand better.
*Say thank you (aka, be nice).
Spewing forth only take you to the level of the bar brawlers who may get off a good punch or two, but inevitably end up writhing, drunk on the floor. Plus, it takes time away from the next hand. That's where you're focus should be. As you soon as you focus on one player, you start ignoring the other eight. They're the players who will jack you when you're trying to lay a profanity-laden beat down on the guy in the one seat.
Instructing him on how to fight you better is little more than, as others have put it, "tapping on the glass." Don't teach your opponent how to fight. This is my biggest problem. If I'm betting a middle pair and a guy gives me a free card on the turn, allowing me to make my set on the river, I'm prone to say, "if you'd bet the turn, I would've folded." I shouldn't tell him that. Because next time he will and the pot will be his.
Instead, we should just be nice. Say, "Thank you," rake your pot, post your blind and keep playing.
As Dalton's instruction continues, an incredulous employee speaks up.
Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn't personal?
Dalton: No. It's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.
Steve: What if somebody callas my mama a whore?
Dalton: Is she?
So, say you just said, "thank you" to the guy who is still spewing vitriol and he keeps going. Perhaps he says, "I can't believe you f'n called three bets with 77. That's the worst call I've ever seen. You f'n suck."
In short, he just called your mama a whore. You need to ask yourself, "is she?"
You probably shouldn't have called three bets with 77, just like I shouldn't have called a raise from the small blind while I was only holding 22.
Bad calls that result in big wins can hurt our game as much or more than playing good cards and losing. More often than not, I'm not going to make my set with 22. A good player knows that. However, even when a moderately good player rakes a major pot with a moderate hand, he might be more encouraged to play it again next time the same way. In the long run, it's not going to pay off and you'll find yourself thinking, "maybe my mama really is a whore."
Editor's note: Before I decided to prematurely end this piece, I had a few more quotes lined up. I leave them here for you to translate...or better yet, for Hdouble to translate when he gets back from Vegas.
1) Dalton: People who really want to have a good time won't come to a slaughterhouse. And we've got entirely too many troublemakers here. Too many 40-year-old adolescents, felons, power drinkers and trustees of modern chemistry.
2) Dalton: Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he'll drop like a stone.
3) Doc: Do you always carry your medical record around with you?
Dalton: Saves time.
While complete, I can't help but think the tournament write-up I offered last night was a little difficult to read. Perhaps it would be good to look at a few key hands, and a few observations.
Observation #1-- Is it coincidence, fate, or something more supernatural that put Mene Gene and me into heads up play? He won the first WPBT event. I won the second. I hesitate to believe skill could have anything to do with it, but whatta I know?
Obervation #2-- I have accurately been accused of sitting heartily on a horseshoe all night long. There's no doubt that is correct. I got some great cards and hit a few great boards. We'll discuss that more in the Key Hands section. However, I wonder how many tournaments are won when the winner didn't have great cards and hit a few key flops. I'm sure there are some, but I bet the numbers work in favor of the people who keep a collection of horseshoes in their pants. I'd be interested to hear what The Dude would have to say about that.
Observation #3-- Badblood, who served as chip leader for most of the tournament kept making references to the state I call home. Later we discovered that we not only live in the same state, but the same city. We're currently investigating whether we have ever played together before.
Now, the key hands.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I bled off half my chips in the first two levels, weakly betting small and middle pairs. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I was playing too weakly to win. I was trying to figure out how I could muster up the pride to walk away with my head up.
Then I looked down and saw:
Key Hand #1: I had 44 on the button. I'd spent about five minutes trying to figure out the best place to put the pop-up chat bar (one of my least favorite things about Pacific Poker). I thought everyone had folded around to me. I raised, hoping to steal right then, or at least after the flop. Turned out PDooley was hiding under the chat box. That's an interesting strategy. Hide under my chat box. An ace hit on the flop and I got weak in the knees. I checked and hdouble said, "Go get him, Otis." PDooley bet out. I only had one choice. Raise. CJ said, "I've seen that move before." PDooley folded and I'm back in the game.
It got better a few hands later when HotLead called me all the way down to the river. I had top pair with a K kicker. It held up and I started feeling more confident. That is, until I ran into Hdouble.
Key Hands #2 and #3: Hdouble raised, but I had position on him. I re-raised with AK. The flop was Q high and obviously didn't pair anything for me. I can't remember how we bet, but I know Hdouble came over the top of me and typed in "F*** your AK." I congratulated him on a great read, then called him a bully. He claimed AQ. Had it not been for that hand, I think the next hand might not have been as profitable. American Airlines. Hdouble raised with TT and I came back over the top and he eventually doubled me up. In his defense, the flop was only nine-high. he probably thought I was steaming, stealing, or not backing down after folding my big slick in the previous hand. Still, it started me on my run to glory.
Key Hand #4: The details are sketchy, but two players are all-in before it gets to me and my QQ. I called and took all their money.
Key Hand #5: This was terrible luck for Decker. I played A5hearts and the flop came 55A. Poor guy didn't have a chance. His money made me the chip leader.
Key Hand #6: This hand was actually a laydown. I folded 77 when Logan came over the top and went all-in. After some consideration, I laid down my wired pair. He said later that he had TT. I guess that was a decent laydown on my part. In retrospect, it should've been an easier decision than it was.
After calling an all-in bet from boy Genius with wired nines and losing to an ace he paired on the board, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to survive. However, the next hand put me back in the game. This was the horseshoe hand of the evening.
Key Hand#7: I push in pre-flop on a pair of jacks. Genius has an ace which he pairs on the flop, but I made my set on the river. As I typed in my instant tourney report, "Genius is nonplussed." Edit: This was worse for Boy Genius than I thought. No wonder he was mad. This is the way he put it:
A9s from the BB. Otis is first in and raises. Mean Gene and Bad Blood scoot. I push back all-in, hoping for a fold right there.
Otis is holding JJ. I don't know this at the time, and see the board come out beautifully for me:
I see my full house, I'm jumping up and down like Publisher's Clearing House just stopped by, and I see Otis raking the chips. Wha...? Dude had a two-outer at the end, but I must admit that I was definitely behind to begin with. If it wasn't for that flop and turn, I would have nothing to bitch about."
Key Hand #8: Badblood (a hometown hero...go figure) had AQ and ran into my pocket queens. After a helluva tourney, in which he maintained the chip lead for most of the levels, he got bounced on the bubble. Sorry, bud.
Key Hand #9: I'm heads up with Mene Gene and don't like my chances. Though I started with a 3:1 chip lead on him, he's been playing very well shorthanded. We battled back and forth for a while when I held J7 of spades in the big blind. The flop paired my seven and put two spades son the board (7c, Ks, 9s). I had bottom pair and the flush draw. I was hoping he'd fold right there, which he did, but not before a decent stack of chips was out there. Later he would say that's where he should've folded, too. He knew it. Still, the turn was of no help to me it at all. Another nine, a diamond. Still, I bet enough to put Gene all in. if he had a K or a nine, I was going to be hurting. Gene made the laydown and I was able to coast until...
Key Hand#10: Aces. Easy enough.
So, that's that. Hopefully that makes a little more sense than the instant write-up.<-- Hide More
As I am barely awake and know I'll be able to offer no formal and well-written tourney report after the game, we'll write this as we go. That means spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, tense mistakes, and probably a few lies. However, it will reveal nearly every hand I played and the monkey-brain dialogue that happened in my head as I mashed the buttons. Edit: As it turns out, I won the thing, so this goes all the way to the final hand. That's two stops on the tour for me so far. And I ended up heads up against the first champion.
Instant tourney report:
First hand for me: 44 against CJ . Face cards paint the board, including two aces. Ceej starts betting, I start folding. Wish I would remember how to fold before playing...
88 in the small blind. It's raised to me, but not big, so, I call. Nobody is betting the K or blanks on the board. Not even me. Raiser folds after checked to river. Liebot bets and I call $100 bet to see his pocket nines. I already know I'm calling too much and not raising enough. I need therapy.
A few hands later I fold 33 in early position. I don't have the will. Hdouble raises my blind and I fold a little Ace.
I'm already down to $510 chips. How embarassing.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Hdouble just raised my big blind, a middle Ace. Now I know I'm a wuss. Fold.
Uh-oh. her comes 44 on the button. I think I only see the blinds in, so I raise it up. Turns out pdooley is hiding under the chat box. He calls me. An ace hit the board. I checked, just as hdouble offers, "Go get him Otis." Pdooley bets and I do all I can do. Check-raise, baby. The check-raised scared him off. Thank goodness.
Next hand is KK. Medium raise with no callers. Irg.
KQo. I raise it up and get two callers. Hdouble folds after the flop shows a Q. Htlead called me all the way to the river and nearly doubled me up. Thank you!
Next up...big slick. I've got position on Hdouble, but
Uh-oh...AA in the small blind. Medium raise from Hdouble. I've just called him a bully and come back over the top of him. He calls. I'm all-in to him, he shows tens and an expletive or two. It's at this point I try to remember who I bounced with Aces in the last event.
So, now I'm in second place. Apparently bad blood is killing table one. Do I sit back now and wait for a bit or be a bully?
I'm looking at AT in the big blind. I folded to three all-ins. Turns out AT woulda won. On a happy note, Up For Poker founder Ceej just tripled up. Had I called, I woulda been rich, and he woulda been out.
Oh, no. AA Again. Nice sized pot, didn't have to show and no time to write about it, becuase here's...
QQ---call two all in bets...must've had aces or low pairs because my queens held up to shove up to $3200 in chips.
Iggy shows up about the time we get moved and consolidated to two tables. We're down to 16 from 30. I have no confidence I can make this stack last until the money. The payout is really top heavy, only paying three out of 30. I was hoping for a top five payout.
Now the cards are cold. A8 suited, but UTG. Fold it. No need to start wasting chips now. I'm concerning myself too much with figuring out where to put the chat box so it won't obstruct...
Iggy is all in on KT. I call with A7s, he makes trips and offers me a "Better lucky than good." Bah.
But KQs on the next hand from small blind plus a bet on the flop makes boy genius lay down and gives me a $750 pot...
Then the next hand, I put liebot all-in. I have AQ. I don't know what he had, but I made a runner runner straight for the win.
Alright...breath time. I fold JT three times in four hands.
And I'm still on the damned chip leader. Bad blood is killing table one. And, sadly, I note Ceej got bounced in 15th.
I should note while I'm folding that I realize I'm getting really good cards and no small amount of luck.
Alright, enough. Moving on.
I have a weakness. That is, pissing away perfectly good chips when I have a great stack. I'm vowing not to do that this time. Rule #1: Do not double up Iggy again.
Bad move....I'm already starting. I steal rasie from the SB gets a call form BG. My Q7o doesn't pair. I weakly...such a wuss...check. BG bets out and I fold, giving him the table lead.
Oh, this is horrible.
I just flopped a boat with my A5s. Decker's betting, I'm calling. I finally put him all-in. Unless Decker has two Aces...which he doesn't. He's out and I'm the chip leader.
Two hands later, I've got Iggy and Boy Genius folding to my pocket threes. I limped in under the small bind with them. That boat must've scared them.
Okay, break time. And you know what? I have Guinness in the fridge. Normally wouldn't on a Sunday night, but what the hell. In honor of Iggy.
Okay...a few hands and we're at the final table.
Looks like bad blood and boy genius are the two tough guys right now. Let's lay down this middle ace and see how the table shakes out.
Shoot...77 UTG...and I raise. Damn it. Logan is all in. This is what I'm talking about. I can ride this damned stack to the money if I want. Right? Fold. He probably just had overcards, but I'm a wuss. Shoulda called. Woulda been the right move.
Now I'm just playing scared. People are doubling up all around me and I'm not even taking time to sip this Guinness.
AQo...maybe the riase was too big. Nobody wants to play. I guess that's really what I wanted.
ATs in the big blind and no callers. Good, I didn't want to play that hand anyway. Seven players left, top three get paid.
KJs under the gun. I raise the minimum and get no callers.
K5s in the big blind. bad blood makes it $800 more to go and I don't feel like tangling with him. Word on the street is, he's hirsute.
QJo in the small blind with no callers. I raise it up and Iggy damns me. Says I ain't got it. I'll let him decide what I had.
AJo on the button. I raise the minimum. Iggy is all in. I make my Ace on the river. iggy's out.
next hand. 88...I raise the minimum. logan wants to play. Oh, my. That's a set of eights I have now. logan is all in and I am the chip leader again.
I need to breathe. This drinking, poker playing, and blogging at once is something else.
A9 on the button. Raise, no callers.
One more player until we're in the money.
A2o. I folded to the genius's raise.
But I raise mene gene...with A9o. He calls then goes all in on a K high flop. I think he's drawing for the clubs, but now I hate my hand.
Back in the saddle for AT on the next hand. I raise and get no callers.
A7s in the big blind. I fold to Mene Gene's all in raise. I'm not ready yet.
A8s and I limp from small blinud. Gene is all in and claims AK when I fold.
These middle aces are killing me.
Pair of nines in the big blind. I put him on a steal and call his AJo. Boy genius makes his ace. I'm no longer the chip leader.
Whew. I just made a set of jacks on the river on an all-in bet. It was either that or the bubble. Genius is non-plussed. I am the chip leader again.
QQ...this could be dangerous. Nope. We're in the money. Just bounced bad blood.
Pause...no more hands until the final hand for me. I gotta pay attention.
Whew. How about that?
As it turned out, the winner of the WPBT I (Mene Gene) and the winner of the WPBT II (that's me) ended up heads up for the final of WPBT III.
I had Aces on the final hand (for the third time in the tournament). Gene musta had something good. Aces held up for me for the win.
While that hand was an easy way to finish, the key hand (as far as I'm concerned) happened three hands earlier when I held J7 of spades in the big blind. Gene raised, I called. The flop paired my seven and put two spades son the board (7c, Ks, 9s). I check-raised Gene. I had bottom pair and the flush draw. I was hoping he'd fold right there. Later he would say that's where he should've folded, too. He knew it.
Still, the turn was of no help to me it at all. Another nine, a diamond. Still, I bet enough to put Gene all in. if he had a K or a nine, I was going to be hurting. Gene made the laydown and I was able to coast until the Aces.
Alright. Now I'm tired and stink of Guinness.
Congrats to Boy Genius, and Gene for making the money and to Gene for making such a great comback. Genius was right. Gene has a great shorthanded game.
So, when is the next one?<-- Hide More
Maybe I'm just bitter, but I think the Pacific Poker tournament structure is terrible. You only start with 800 chips, and blinds go up really, really fast. Plus, they don't believe in filling tables, so the blinds eat you up even faster.
That said, I didn't get much in the way of good cards either.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I won an early hand against Otis when my Big Slick caught two Aces on the flop and a King on the turn. I couldn't get much out of him, though.
From there, I couldn't catch a thing. I played a few marginal hands and hit no flops. That combined with the blinds ate me up pretty fast.
At one point, I got KQs and raised pre-flop on the button with one call from the BB. The flop brought J-10-x, giving me a straight draw and two overcards, but no flush draw. I bet out and got raised. I should have folded or gone all-in, but I called. The turn brought another blank and I couldn't call another big bet.
That knocked me pretty low with the blinds going higher and higher. I went all-in with A6o and got two callers. Thankfully, Otis folded A-10 from the BB and an Ace on the flop helped me triple up. But I only tripled up to 420T, with 50/100 blinds coming my way.
From there I got moved to another table... and after the blinds knocked me in half, I went all in pre-flop with pocket 9's... and got called by pocket K's. There was no help for me, and I went out 15th out of 30 players.
The only saving grace is that Otis is the chip leader at the break. I'm rooting for him!<-- Hide More
Don't mess with the kid
I'm not sure exactly what it is about a garage. Maybe it's the fact that city folk consider a garage to be a suburban symbol of a mundane, if not plebian life-too-ordinary. Or maybe it's just the fumes of grass clippings and paint thinner getting to my noodle. Regardless, it's the one place at Mt. Willis I can drink, yell and sling chips at my friends at 3am without fear of reprisal.
A month or so ago I instituted the Mt. Otis Garage Poker game as a means to keep up my live play experience while facing certain fatherhood and fewer trips to the desert. The game is really just a continuation of a home game that had been waning in recent months. Regardless, it's a place where the stories shoot like a shook-up beer and Goliath falls to David on a regular basis.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The first event to the night was a $20 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney. Thirteen participants bought in for a $260 prize pool.
Table One's first hand set a tilt tone for the rest of the tournament. Greenwood Phil was under the gun and raised about 3x the BB. G-wood (who I later found out is actually not from Greenwood at all) is a well-respected player who makes a regular trip to Tunica for tournament and ring play. As I figured out the most casual way to fold my small blind, G-wood picked up two callers. I watched his face, but found no reaction.
In a voice that was perhaps a little to loud, I offered, "No respect for Greenwood Phil, eh?"
The flop brought K, x, x. G-wood bet the pot and both callers...called again.
G-wood's mutter was just audible two seats away: "What in the hell...?"
The turn was a jack. G-wood bet the pot again and got two callers. The river escapes me. G-wood turned up big slick, G-Rob folded, and Tracy turned over KJo to rake a pot that almost doubled her up on the first hand. For a total of five minutes she was the toughest bitch in the room.
In the interim, a cheer erupted from Table Two. The cindarella story that began the night of CJ's going away tournment took a turn for the worst when neophyte chip-slinger, Twaller got bounced from the tournament in last place. His disappointment was evident.
About five minutes later, I got 64o unraised in the big blind. I checked. Tough-Ass Tracy was in the hand and bet the flop when it game J-6-x. I'd noticed her over-confidence after taking the huge hand off Greenwood Phil. I check-raised her and she called. I figured her for a jack. The turn was a blank. Check. Check. Thr river brought me a four for my second pair. I checked, she bet big, I raised, she called and her chip stack looked none too pretty. A few hands later, she got bounced.
At that point in the night, a story started to emerge from Table Two. The word on the street was that the son of one of my regulars was cleaning up. Rumor had it, the kid was 15, had been playing for a little over a year, and had an uncanny discipline that most people in the room lacked. I promised to keep an eye on the kid, especially after he--with a smile--tried to claim my beer as his own.
"Kid, illegal garage gambling is about as far as I'm willing to go in contributing to your delinquency," I said, not knowing he would bounce me three hands later, calling my overcards with connectors and catching on the turn.
Later that night, he would go on to take third place in the first event and even better in the second event. (Note: In the picture, he's raking a pot while his uncle tries to open a beef jerky dessicate for consumption purposes).
If I'd had more than a couple hours of sleep, I'd offer a full write up on the event and hands, but frankly, I'm shot and want to catch a nap before the WPBT III tonight. I'll leave you with a couple of highlights.
* Since smoking is relegated to outside the poker room door, the smokers among us get a little tilty, asking when the next break is, etc. After Twaller the Underdog got bounced early, he stod on the rail, dragging hard and taunting a fellow smoker about how good it tasted. Noting the buy-in and Twaller's quick departure, the fellow smoker replied dryly, "Enjoy it. That cigarette just cost you $20."
*The final hand of the first event came down to 33 vs. KK. Team Scott Smith didn't just win the hand. He crushed it, making quad kings on the board for the win.
* After watching his 15 year-old son rake a monster pot, Shep muttered, "The kid can't cut the grass, but he sure can play poker." I like that line. Although I liked it less when The kid and I were heads up in the final event with an even chip count. He proposed a chop and I was getting ready to agree when he dad convinced him to go for the gold. See below for the result.
1) Team Scott Smith--$120
3) The Kid--$50
4) The Prosecutor--$20
1) The Kid (yeah, a 15-year-old beat me down)--$100
Next event: The Bradoween 4 Invitational, June 19th, Mt. Otis<-- Hide More
I know just yesterday I derided my own attempts at Omaha and Stud. Well, today it was Draw Lowball. And here's the message from Planet Poker:
Congratulations UpForPoker on placing 1st in our Draw Lowball tournament on 5/16/2004 4:30:00 PM.
$36.79 have credited to your account.
Thanks for playing at Planet Poker and have a great day!
My meanderings through the worlds of Omaha and Stud (briefly, very briefly) have not helped my poker game. For some reason I've been neglecting my bread and butter: No Limit Texas Hold 'Em.
That's NLHE for the uninitiated (but why would the uninitiated be reading this blog?). NLHE is the
New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies of poker games (in case you're wondering, the Phillies are now the comparative standard for top-of-the-line). It's the game by which all other games are to be measured.
And it's now a lot like my front yard: thick with weeds and in need of some chopping. Reading that back to myself it makes little sense, but I digress. The bottom line is that my game needs sharpening. Sunday is the Iggy Invitational, and my NLHE has to be top notch if I hope to avoid embarrassment.More in this Poker Blog! -->
With that in mind, I jumped on Pacific Poker. I figured I should get used to the interface before the big tourney. It seems easy enough to use. I think blind levels go up too quickly, but that's okay. At least the chat feature is easy to use, so trash talking should be simple.
Before I even dropped a dime on the game, Pacific gave me $10. For doing nothing. I love Pacific Poker, it's the best ever! I also decided to deposit another $50 for which I received a 25% ($13) bonus. Pacific also covered the Neteller deposit fee, so that's another $5.
To recap, I hadn't played a hand yet, but Pacific had given me $28. Maybe they knew I'd be giving it back soon.
You see, staying away from NLHE for a long time can obviously be a bad thing. It's like leaving your pudding out for too long. You won't like the first few bites, but eventually it should taste good again. (Hmmm, reading that back I'm not sure anyone will understand that analogy. You see, pudding can develop a film on top if it's sitting out and... bah... forget it.)
I'm apparently not through the filmy top layer of the pudding yet because I've busted out on the bubble of three consecutive SNG's. I really have no one to blame but myself. Granted, I got rivered two out of those three times, but at that point in the game, I don't think I was making the smart plays.
Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, but people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and there's no use crying over spilled milk. That's what I always say! (No Guinness was consumed during the composition of this post. God, I need a girlfriend...)<-- Hide More
I sat on stage with a group of guinea pigs. The small-stage-college-crowd hypnotist worked us like a pro. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was something supernatural, but I found myself slipping into a state of euphoria that made me want to do whatever the guy said. Act like Batman? I'll act like Batman. Why not?
The crowd ate up the silliness like the peanuts on their bar tables. Their cheers and laughs fed my euphoria. I was 22, having a fine time and willing to play the fool. Hypnotized? I dunno.
Before too long, I found myself ripping off my shirt and dancing to some cheap techno music. The crowd cheered, I danced, and followed the suggestions of the short man with the deep eyes.
The din of the crowd became a roar and I found my hands slipping to my pants, popping the button, unzipping the zipper. The hypnotist had made no such suggestion. It simply seemed like the right thing to do.
As I turned to face the crowd and reveal what I had to offer, I felt a hand on my arm, a grip that was much too tight, fingers sinking into my flesh, and the decidely unsupernatural breath of the hypnotist. His breath was in my ear and the calm, soothing hynotizing voice was gone. I heard pure anger. Each word was articulated, a slap against my swimmy head.
"Keep. Your. Fucking. Pants. On"More in this Poker Blog! -->
My near-nude experience signalled the end of the act. The crowd's applause led me out of the comedy club and into an adjacent dance club where my friends were waiting for me.
My synapses were in the middle of an epic battle. The beer and euphoria were throwing haymakers. The echo of the hypnotist's final words to me were fighting back. Something inside my head was, in a word, off.
I tried to shake the hypnotist's unmistakable anger, the moment of fear he mainlined into my psyche. There was a part of me that knew that if the hypnotist had the chance, he would've sliced my throat and watched me bleed out on the stage.
The club hopped, bumped, yay, grinded in time with pre-produced college dance music. I downed drink after drink, trying to forget the angry eyes and sick breath in my ear. I found myself dancing, hip-to-hip with some girl, side-by-side with my buddy, Joey Two-Hands. I was starting to feel better, starting to feel like the hypnotist wasn't actually waiting for me in the john, a sharp knife in his hands.
Who was this guy? This redneck with no shirt elbowing me in my side, pushing me inch-by-inch away from the girl who had chosen to dance with me? What the fuck is on his mind?
My beer goggles became blinders. I didn't see what was coming. I scooted over, dancing the girl with me, never the one interested in throwing down and getting bloody.
The guy was back, elbowing, pushing.
Was this the hypnotist, somehow immediately reincarnated into a 6'3" redneck with beer-breath and blurry eyes?
I turned away from the girl and my vision tunnelled to the redneck.
I only said, "What?"
He must've learned his lines from his collection of redneck beer-drinking fight videos.
"You want some? Outside?"
I offered, "I'm not going outside."
He smiled and said, "Take one step forward."
And I did.
His first punch hit me square in the mouth. My friends would tell me later they saw my right hand cock back at the same moment the redneck and his two friends jumped on me.
Joey Two-Hands jumped in just as one of the rednecks threw a bar table. It caught Joey right in eye, cutting him open, dropping his blood on the dance floor.
As the bouncers chased the rednecks into the street, my friends pulled me up. My face was starting to swell, but Two-Hands had suffered the worst of it. He needed stitches and an apology. The hospital gave him the former, I offered the latter later that night.
It wasn't until many days later I stopped asking, "What the hell happened?"
Last night, after watching the World Poker Tour's Aruba episode, I decided to play a few rounds. When I got bounced from a $30+$3 NL Sit-N-Go on Empire on the second hand, I should've gone to bed. When I bought back into a second like tourney and got bounced on the first hand, I should've gone to a bar. When I switched sites and went over to True Poker and my trips got beat by a hidden boat, bouncing me in 27th out of 35, I should've decided not to play poker for three days.
But I didn't.
I did exactly what I've always said I had the discipline not to do. I went up in limits. Something in my head was, in a word, off.
I sat at a $5/$10 ring game on True. I noticed that a guy two to my left, vietguy, was playing loose. Beyond loose. He was capping nearly every bet. He played every hand and rarely folded before the flop. I was sure, with the right discipline, I could take his $250 buy-in.
The game moved slowly for half an hour or so. Vietguy's buy-in trickled to nothing and he bought back in, still slinging chips, capping pots. That's when it happened.
My pocket aces got cracked by two running diamonds for a flush. Ten hands later, my pocket aces got cracked by two running hearts. Big Slick held up for a small pot. But then my pocket queens got cracked by vietguy's 6-4. He pulled a six on the turn and a four on the river.
Something in my head said at that moment, "This is not poker. It's slots. You're not playing against vietguy. He's not playing poker. He's throwing chips in, hoping to catch a big pot. This table is a slot machine and you're losing."
I didn't listen to myself.
I started trying to figure out if he was working with somebody at the table, building pots for their hands. I watched and watched but couldn't find the evidence to send to the host.
It was poker slots and I was losing.
I looked at my previously strong bankroll and noticed how bloody it was. He cracked my kings several hands later and I fell apart.
All poker sense I had slipped away. I can't account for about half an hour. All I know is that I had lost half my roll and I couldn't see or breathe anymore.
The last hand of the night for me was pocket jacks. We capped pre-flop. The flop brought me a jack and two rags.
We capped the flop. The turn brought another rag. We capped it, too.
The river came with an ace. We capped it.
Vietguy dragged a $257 pot with a set of aces.
I pushed back from the computer and stared at my bankroll. I said out loud, "What the hell happened?"
This morning, I still don't know for sure. I only know that I should've walked away four hours earlier. I should've quit. I never should've jumped up in limits. And I should've had a better understanding of variance before I tried to take on a guy who played poker slots.
I took some solace this morning in Hdouble's post on poker, why we play, and what it says about us as players. It helped me set my head straight, but I'm not sure I need to be playing for a while.
Before I went to bed, I took my bankroll at True and cashed out. My Empire bankroll is still intact. I'm not broke. I'm still way up from my fresh start last February. But as the song goes, I ain't broke, but I am badly bent.
I have a homegame this Saturday and then the World Poker Blogger Tour III on Sunday. Hopefully that kind of play, the fun kind, the kind that serves as the reason we play, will rejuvinate me.
But this morning, I feel a lot like I did the night of the hypnotized beat-down. And I'm still asking, "What the hell happened?"
You think there's any chance that vietguy was actually that hypnotist exacting revenge?
Me, too.<-- Hide More
Why haven't you signed up? The Iggy Invitational (as I've called it) is Sunday night at 9pm and you have to get signed on by TONIGHT!
I don't want to hear some lame excuse about your stack. I don't want to hear some lame excuse about being busy that night.
If you can't convince your wife you need to play, you're not a man. If you can't come up with $20, you're not a poker player. And if you can't beat me, you should give up now.
Get on board. Head over to Guinness and Poker and use Iggy's links. You won't be sorry.
Or, How I gave up eBay and started to love online poker
A few years back, I walked into a metal-walled warehouse and came eye-to-eye with a blurry-eyed gambler. The game hadn't started, but he was already eying his prey, rubbing his roll, and settling into a chair that was just a little too small for his sitting parts. Though the room was filling up with degenerates just like this bloodshot gambler, I knew that the plump man with sausage fingers and double-stack pancake face was my competition. He was the man who I'd battle until one of us had no money in his pocket.
A family of rednecks ran this place, the kind of people who show love through insults and comments about each other's intelligence. They supplied folding metal chairs for the collection of gamblers who found their way to the city limit warehouse every other Monday night.
I slipped into my chair, checked my pocket to make sure my roll was still there, and started figuring out how I would best the room, and more importantly, the guy with the big hindquarters. I could tell from a distance, he knew he'd be fighting me before the night was over.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The story of my burgeoning poker maturity would be better if this warehouse, Ralph's, had been an illegal poker room in Upstate South Carolina. It would be a better story if Mr. Bloodshot was an old-school chip-slinger with a fat roll and a razor in his boot.
Instead, Ralph's was an auction house, specializing in old and antique junk. And Mr. Bloodshot was just an older, fatter version of me looking to make a few quick bucks on the eBay auction revolution.
Once eBay began to gain in popularity, it didn't take me long to figure out that the easy money was in the international resale of old books purchased at local auctions. More often than not, auction houses sold boxes full of 100-year-old books at a fairly reasonable price (depending on who was bidding). A savvy seller could pick up a box for a relatively small amount of money, then sell each book individually for a minimum 200% mark-up.
On this particular night, I was in over my head. Mr. Bloodshot was a long-time eBayer and he had my number from the beginning. As I predicted, as soon as the auctioneer started his machine gun rat-tat-tat mutter from a raised podium in the middle of the room, Mr. Bloodshot and I went at it. The price for one box of books went from $5 to $50 before I knew it and I was still bidding.
I realized in the middle of the raising, check-raising, and mind games associated with auction people that I was getting that same feeling in my chest that I get when I walk into a casino after a long absence. This was competition. And it was competition for money.
At $55, he backed off and I raked my first pot of the evening. Before the evening was over, I had spent about $100 and had three boxes of books. Although I won, I felt like I'd lost. I really wasn't sure if I could turn the evening of low-stakes redneck wagering into a profit.
Three weeks later, I was hooked. One of the books--ONE of them--sold for $80. I estimated I had paid about .75 for it. The profits started to roll in.
I was hitting a B&M auction house once or twice a week. After some research, I expanded beyond books and into NASCAR memorabilia. It comes cheap in the South and you can sell it anywhere in America. I paid .10 for a Dale Earnhardt card and sold it for $50.
Within six months, I established a big enough bankroll to fund a trip to Vegas and stake me for four days of gambling.
I was, in a word, hooked.
Then came that night about a year ago when the World Poker Tour aired the first Aruba episode. I'd already seen the WPT and found myself hooked on the new production style. During a break for the Aruba episode, they aired an UltimateBet.com ad. After the show, instead of working on eBay, I decided to check out UB. I started playing for play chips. Over a few weeks, I raked up enough points to play in a real money tourney. I won real money and the past 13 months has been history.
And so is my eBay career.
For a while, I was doing both. That's when I started getting tired of the hours of labor that went into eBay. A couple hours at an auction. Several hours photographing merchandise, loading it onto eBay, researching the product and its history, and writing up a product description. Then a week of monitoring eBay and answering buyer questions. Then a couple hours boxing everything up and going to the post office to mail everything.
I weighed that against sitting in my underwear and check-raising fish. The decision was clear.
The more reasonable side of me screams: RISK! RISSSSSSK! And that side of me is right. Late last fall I suffered a major hit to my bankroll at UB. Something happened (I'm still trying to analyze exactly what that something was) and I lost about 75% of my roll. I took a few weeks off and considered quitting completely.
Then, I entered the World Poker Blogger Tour tourament hosted by Iggy over at Guinness and Poker and won the thing. I kept that account at True Poker and ran a $22 buy-in up to nearly $1000. I transferred $100 of that over to Empire Poker (Bonus code: OtisBDart) and as of last night that account was sitting at $600.
It's not enough to pay the rent, but it's enough to keep me playing and learning (which is all I'm really interested in).
Last night, my wife was bored. She's never really been a fan of my online poker playing. She surprised me by agreeing to play a few Empire hands under my direction. She got a really cold run of cards and suffered one very bad beat. Her stack had been reduced by about $60 when she won her first hand. She'd never admit it, by I saw a light in her eyes. She loved the feeling.
She went downstairs to watch the news and I set about making back her losses. Thirty minutes later, she came back and asked how I was doing.
"I'm up about $20 since you left."
"That's $20 in 30 minutes, hon. That's $40 an hour."
She didn't say anything, but I saw that she understood. That's more than either of us make at work.
Of course, I'm not quitting my day job. Last I heard, Empire doesn't offer health insurance. I doubt I can making a living playing $3/$6 online.
Still, I think I've given up on eBay for good. All it took was asking myself one question:
Would you rather make $80 on the sale of a book after a week's worth of work, or rake an $80 pot after less than five minutes of surfing the net and check-raising a guy playing 5-6 offsuit.
I think the answer is pretty clear.<-- Hide More
I really enjoy this game. It's become my game of choice on Planet Poker until I get regular internet at home and time to start grinding again.
I've gotten to the point where I'm better than most of the regular Omaha players in the tournaments. I'm placing in the money much of the time (and usually only the top 3 to 5 pay), and getting a real feel for the game.
I'm trying to limit my starting hands to strong flush draws (ideally, multiple flush draws) and hands with good low possibilities. Early on, I'll play many more hands because you can hit a lot of flops.
My problem is late in the game. I'm not sure how to tighten up my starting hands. In fact, I worry whether I should tighten up, or start to play more. Soemtimes it feels like I keep folding waiting for good strarting hands and I get blinded away. Guess it'll take a little more practice there.
I also have to learn when a "winner" might actually be a loser. The low is often split among two or sometimes three players. That means you could actually get a piece of the pot and lose money. Unfortunately, there's not much of a way to determine when that will happen to you, so it's hard to avoid.
I've decided we need a better way for all of the poker bloggers to keep in touch. With that in mind, I've set up a simple Poker Bloggers mailing list that poker bloggers can use for announcements or communication.
For instance, if it's time for a poker bloggers tourney, we'll send an announcement to all subscribers on the mailing list. If a blogger is changing domain names or website locatios, you can tell everyone to update their links via the mailing list.
This will be a list for poker bloggers only. It's not for readers, so the list won't be clogged with random messages.
So, if you'd like to get on board, just send an email to me (pagemaster @ upforanything.net) and tell me which blog you run. The list is very simple to use, and I think it will help us keep all our find fellow poker bloggers up to date. Let me know if you have any questions!
It was time. I had been in Louisiana for almost two months, and had yet to visit a casino for some real B&M poker. Today, that drought came to and end.
As I drove the 70+ miles to Kinder, LA and the Grand Casino, a sense of foreboding overcame me. Perhaps I was nervous, or perhaps it was the pitch black thunderclouds I was driving directly into.
Then I noticed the lightning, and wondered if a higher power was telling me to go home. Then it rained so hard, I had to pull over to the side of the road. If I had to wait much longer, I'd miss registration. However, I never saw the animals walk past two-by-two, and I made it to the casino in time.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The game was Texas Hold 'Em. The buy in was $100 for 2000T with an optional rebuy of $100 for 4000T. In other words, you were paying $200 for 6000T. There was also a $10 entry fee. That meant this poker excursion would cost me $210.
The tournament structure was thus (with blinds increasing every 20 minutes):
25-50//50-100//100-200//200-400//BREAK (last chance to rebuy)
No Limit at the final table
65 entries would mean a guaranteed $15,000 prize pool. However, only 60 players entered, but the casino did announce it would kick in an extra $2000. Final table paid: 10th-5th recevied $400; 4th received 10% of remaining prize fund; 3rd 15%; 2nd 25%; 1st 50%.
I paid my registration and got table 4, seat 7. Here were my table mates:
Seat 1: Mr. Any Two Cards (ATC)
Seat 2: The Old Guy
Seat 3: Robert Loggia (look-alike)
Seat 4: Shades
Seat 5: The Fisherman
Seat 6: The Woman
Seat 7: Me
Seat 8: Little Vietnamese Woman (LVM)
Seat 9: Don (only name I got, nice guy)
Seat 10: Weird Guy
As the tournament began, I got comfortable, knowing I would be folding a lot of hands. I wanted to try and get a read of my fellow players, and I was in no hurry to chase pots and lose my chips. The cards made it easy on me because I folded a lot of junk.
It became clear early on that most of the action would go through Mr. ATC. I don't think he saw a hand he didn't like. LVM and Don played a lot of early hands as well. In fact, Don was the first player in the entire tournament to rebuy. Before the tourney he told me these things go fast. Early on I figured it was just because he played poorly. More on him later...
After one circuit, I finally caught a hand to play: Pocket Jacks. I raised preflop and got two callers. The flop came K-J-x. I liked my set. I was first to act and bet. LVM and The Fisherman called. The turn was a 10. That opened up a straight possibility, but I still bet, and only LVM called. The river was an A, meaning any Q beat me. I bet anyway and LVM folded.
The only other hand I saw a flop on before the blinds increased was 10-7s, and I missed the flop completely. By the time we got to the next blind level, and colored up, I was up 100 from my initial 2000T.
As Mr. ATC continued to play every hand, he built up a nice stack. Maybe he was bluffing sometimes, but no one ever caught him. When he did showdown, he had two pair or had flopped a set. He played a lot of marginal hands, but often saw the right cards.
I didn't play every hand. In fact, I didn't see another flop until I got dealt K-Js. The flop brought me two more diamonds and I had a nice draw. Eight of us saw the flop and it was a very nice pot. I let Shades set the pace, and merely called his bets. In fact, I believe 5 of us stayed in until the bitter end. And I mean bitter end because my diamond never came, and a straight took the huge pot.
I was about down to the felt at that point and it was time for my rebuy. With about 4200T in front of me, I stayed out of the way until the break came. Before the break, we lost The Woman in seat 6. She was the very first out of the tournament. Of course, someone has to be first.
After the break, I was determined to play more hands. I wondered if I was being too passive. Of course, none of the hands I folded would have been winners anyway, and with Mr. ATC and LVM at the table, just about every hand went to the Showdown.
The cards suddenly changed after the break, and I was seeing a lot of action.
First it was A-7o. I know, it's not a great hand, but I was on the button, and I was itching to play. An ace came on the flop, and I figured I'd bet it. Only Mr. ATC stayed with me. I figured that was good news, as long as he didn't get lucky. Nothing scary ever hit the board and he kept betting with me until he folded on the river. It was a nice pot for me.
The very next hand, I got dealth A-2s. They were diamonds again, and again, two diamonds came on the flop. By this time, Big Guy replaced The Woman in the seat to my right. We also had a non-descript replacement for weird guy. I think three of us saw the flop, but when I bet my flush draw, only Big Guy called. The turn was a blank, so I checked. The Big Guy bet and I called. The river was the K of diamonds (thank you!). I bet and The Big Guy called, reluctantly. It was a very nice pot.
At that point, I was up to about 17,000T. Players were starting to fall to the wayside. Soon, Robert Loggia went all-in for 2000T, and since I had Big Slick, I was compelled to call. I was hoping he didn't have a pair. Of course, he had a pair of 3's, and that was enough to beat me.
It didn't take long to get that 2000T back. The next hand I looked down at AJs. When I raised, everyone folded. Next hand, it was Cowboys. When I raised, and everyone folded, The Old Guy said, "Watch or you'll get bit." I responded by flipping my K's. It was the only courtesy show all day. The Old Guy mumbled something about never getting Cowboys.
I was feeling really good about my play at that point. I was the big stack at the table. Unfortunately, the good hands started drying up, and I wondered if I should have started trying to buy some pots. The play became more and more timid as the blinds increased.
Pretty soon, Mr. ATC was out as his huge stack dwindled thanks to a lot of marginal hands. LVM went out soon thereafter. Robert Loggia and Shades didn't last much longer either. They must have thought they were pretty good because they mumbled about the lucky play.
One of the replacements for our lost players was Mr. WPT. He wore the World Poker Tour button up shirt, so maybe he fancied himself a pro. Hell, maybe he was a pro, I don't know. He hadn't been at the table long before we faced off.
I got dealt A-9s (diamonds again). Because we had lost a few players, there was a small blind and two big blinds on the table for a total of 2500T. I was one of the button and everyone folded to me so I raised to 2000T. The first two blinds folded, but Mr. WPT called. The flop came 9-5-3 rainbow. I had top pair, top kicker.
Mr. WPT was first to act, and he just checked. I thought he was opening the door so I bet. He hesitated and called. The turn was a 6, I think. Mr. WPT checked again, and I pressed. I figured this big 2000T bet might scare him off, and I figured I might have him beat anyway. It's not like he's holding 4-7 or something like that.
He calls my 2000T after much deliberation. At that point, I'm down to 2500T and Mr. WPT was down to 2000T. The river was another 5. I guess at that point I thought he might have a 5, but I had to bet anyway. He called me, but looked like he didn't want to. When he flipped over his pocket 10's, I couldn't understand why he played his hand the way he did. Perhaps it was sheer brilliance, because it worked.
I was down to just one brown 500T chip. My "big blind" forced me all in with K-2 of diamonds. Mr. WPT raised everyone else out of the pot and showed me pocket deuces. My K-2 was a heavy underdog. In fact, the hand analyzer tells me he was a 2-1 favorite. A King fell on the turn, however, and I was still alive with 2000T.
That's when we moved to the final two tables. There were 19 players remaining, and I was in 19th place, a long way from 18th. Luckily, I was two seats to the right of the button, so I'd get to look at a few hands. Unfortunately, two people between the button and I got knocked out, so my blind came along before I ever saw a playable hand.
I didn't look at the cards. I figured I'd see them at the end. A young guy with a big stack raised everyone else out of the pot and when the showdown came, my 4-5o paired a 5 on the board, but his J-9o paired a 9. I was out, in 16th place, 6 places from the money.
Amazingly, Don was still alive. After his early reckless play, he really settled down and caught some good hands. I was really hoping he'd make it to the money. The Old Guy was also still alive, and after mumbling about Cowboys, it's actually a pair of K's which got him to the final two tables. In a three-way all-in showdown, his Cowboys beat 10's and Rockets when a K hit the table.
During a brief break, I got to talk to Mr. WPT about that hand that did me in. He thought I was just raising from position to steal, but he checked to me because he wasn't sure. He thought I had a higher pair, but was pot committed and had to stay in when no scare cards hit the table. If any thing higher than a 10 hit the flop, he likely would have folded. Just my luck.
So, did I play that hand wrong? I wish now I had played it differently, but I'm not sure what else I would have done. I thought I had the best hand, and I bet it. I guess I'll do it again next time.<-- Hide More