So as not to completely bore everyone to tears, I’ve decided to wrap up the tournaments I lose when I finally place in one. This week we have 3 tournament reports.
My first tournament after two bigs wins was on Halloween at the Lucky Chances 12:30pm Sunday No-limit hold’em tournament that I have yet to make a final table in. This day was no different. It’s a $125 buy-in with a single $100 rebuy at a slight discount. I had the worst cards I have seen, my best hand was a 55, and I was ejected from the tournament with that very early. My second best hand was AQ that I had to fold on the flop. I did get tons of Kx where x < 9. I just can’t seem to catch a break at this tournament, perhaps the caliber of players is higher.
Sunday is a big tournament day, because after you bust out early from Lucky Chances you have plenty of time to go over to Artichoke Joe’s tournament and play in it as well. This tournament went terrible as well, but I lasted a long time. Not a lot of interesting hands at the beginning, but when we got down to around 20 players the action was fast and furious. I had very few chips left and was forced to go all in a few times as the blinds threatened my game. The first interesting hand was Qs8s. Normally this hand would be a quick muck, but i was low on chips and it was the best thing I had seen in a long time. I raise all-in (about 3x the big blind) and get one caller. He shows AQ, no spade. I stand and get ready to go home as I am totally dominated. Then it gets worse. The flop comes As Ac 6h. Now he has 3 aces and I have nothing. The dealer then makes a comment that I have absolutely no chance… then he nicely flips over two more low spades with no friends to make my flush and win the hand. I checked the suck out chance on that after the flop, it was 3.6%. My luck then reverts to its normal course and get nothing over a T for a long time, finally a KT comes, and I have to go all in. I get one caller, he exposes and we see that I am screwed again, he shows AJ. Fortunately, I get a straight on 4th street and double up so that I have a little more time. At this point, my suckouts are starting to become the thing of legend. I lose more chips, and I try and steal the blinds on the button. I have T7 and go all in. The small blind calls with T9. We both get a T, a pair, and an A to chop the pot. I’m still in, but that didn’t buy me much. Finally we are down to 14 players and again the blinds are coming on strong, none of my doubles have been able to give me much breathing room. I get JhTc and go all in. I get one caller, the chip leader at the table, and he shows me his AsKs. Ugh, this is going to have to be a big suck out. The flop comes KhQh8h. This gives me both a straight draw and a flush draw. I am now leading the hand 52% to 48%… Unfortunately, since I am ahead, the poker gods frown and don’t bring me any love. I leave, knowing that making it to 14th was a gift.
This Sunday I missed the Lucky Chances tournament because I went surfing off the shore of Santa Cruz. It was an amazing day with tons of sun. I didn’t catch much, being terribly out of practice, but it was nice just being in the water. Anyone who hasn’t worn a modern wet-suit should try them out. It’s amazing how warm they are. In the afternoon I played some online poker and netted about $3 playing $5 tournaments. Interestingly, even the lowest buy-in 10 person tournaments feel quite realistic and I think they are great practice. After that, I went to my wife’s baby shower. It was a great affair, my sister-in-law did a great job of bringing all of Lucy’s friends together for a nice party.
Off to Artichoke Joe’s. I started out well but ended up having to rebuy after I called down a flopped flush vs. my AAs. I then kept playing a little loose during the rebuy period and gained some momentum for a bit, but it was short lived and at the break I only had $500 more chips than I had bought for a total of $3000. The journey from 93 players down to 20 players was again mostly uneventful, although my chip stack was not as big as one would hope. Probably the highlight of this journey was busting someone with KK. They go all in with 77 and the flop comes 999. Only out for them is two more 7s which do not come. I go into chip management mode with some super tight play and some loose all-ins to try and weasel my way into the final table with a short stack. There are at least 3 other people at the table with stacks that are more than 5x mine. They actually play their chip lead well it is becomes impossible to steal as they clearly are taking turns calling down us unfortunate short stacks. I choose my battles wisely though and finally two people get knocked out at the same time at the other table and I slide into the finals! On the first hand another person gets knocked out and we are down to 9 players. I bide my time, but the ante (not including the blinds) is a significant portion of my stack. When I finally am big blind I have $8000, the ante is $1000 and the blind is $4000. I am essentially committed to this hand. Someone raises $14k, another short stack goes all in, a larger short stack goes all in, and finally I have to go all in as well. We expose our cards and we find that I have Qd7d and the others have A5, A6, and A7. It was actually looking pretty good for me, even dominated I had a 33.5% chance to win with the others near 17% a piece. If I hadn’t been dominated and had 2 live cards, like Qd8d, I would actually have been the majority favored hand (50%). As it turns out though nothing comes but a 6 for the smallest stack, the next smallest stack had the 7, and the big stack had the 5 so no one is knocked out but me. Oh well, I think I had to make the bet, and 9th place for this tournament was a pretty good finish as I was on the ropes for most of the time. I’m now 5/11 final tables in this tourney.
This week is going to be some exciting poker. My super-satellite win comes to fruition with a $30k no-limit hold’em tourney, a $50k limit tourney, and a $100k no-limit tourney!