Thursday, August 03, 2006

Home Tournament Win!

I have been playing Omaha 8OB and NL Hold'em online since my last update. I am down a few dollars in Omaha and up over $100 in the NL games. Nothing much exciting on either site.

Last night was my second go round with the Home Game Tournament at Greg's house. $20 buy in , winner takes all. Rebuys go to the 2nd place pool.

In my last post, I wrote out my theory on how to beat the players from last week. This week we had a few new players. There were 10 in all.

Greg - Owner of the home. He works as a superintendent for a national home builder. He is still learning the game, however I spied a copy of the new Sklansky/Miller NL Hold'em book on his kitchen table so he is trying to get better.

Jason - He is the one who invited me to the game. He also is a new financial advisor at my company.

Tran - New to me. He used to live in apartment complex with Jason a few years ago.

Mike - He cracked my pocket Kings with pocket Aces last week. Seems to know what he's doing.

Kory - Another co-worker at my company. Rumor has it he is very aggressive in his card games. He mentioned that he plays in another regular game for higher stakes.

Craig - Kory's younger brother. Crazy aggressive.

"Medical" Kory - operates the machines that keep the blood pumping during a heart transplant. Decent player.

Scott - another apartment buddy of Jason's

Seth - I can barely remember his name

We started with .25 and .50 blinds and $40 in front of us. I decided to tighten up considerably from last week because there is plenty of time for the others to make a mistake and we were playing 10 handed.

The game was mostly the same as last week, with lots of limping and underbetting the pot. Lots of grumbling when I would raise preflop. I was patient as I watched Craig bluff too many times to mention and other players ship chips back and forth. Every once in a while, I would win a small pot to slowly build up my stack.

After the rebuy period expired, we lost 5 players within 30 minutes. I picked off one of them when I limped in late with Q-9 and the flop came down A-Q-9. Tran had Ace-Ten and thought it was the nuts. We got it all in the flop and my hand held up.

When it got short handed, I was the most aggressive player at the table. All of the maniacs had blown up earlier so only the tight-passive players remained. The vast majority of my hands, were raise, get called, bet the flop, everyone folds. I still can't believe how little I was reraised. I was not being a manaic by any means, but you think they would catch on eventually.

I eventually lasted until the final 3. It was me, Mike, and "Medical Kory". 1st Place was going to pay $200 and 2nd place paid $60 unless there was a deal made. This is the point where I made my one glaring mistake of the night. I was dealt 5-7 on the button and just limped in. The flop came 6-8-9 with 3 spades. I had the 7 of spades. I checked it through on the flop to slow play. Even if I hit the flush, it's probably still good. The turn was a high card. This time I bet, hoping somebody hit it. Kory calls. The river is another non-spade brick. Kory checks and I move all in. I am pretty sure he was drawing to the flush and I don't want him to call with some crappy pair.

As he folds to my big bet, Kory says, "I was drawing to the straight flush" "Oh!" I exclaim, "I guess I had one of your outs" as I turn over my 7 of spades. It's then I realize that I misread my hand and I have a 4 instead of a 5. So I won the pot with 7 high. Yea me!

A few hands later in the big blind I am dealt Q-5 offsuit. Kory limps in and Mike just completes the blind. Mike completing the blind seemed suspicious because he had just announced that he is short on chips and it's "All in or fold time". I know he likes to slow play big pairs so my spidey sense was tingling.

The flop was Q-J-9. Mike then moves all in for $35. I have about $140 left in my stack. Because I am a little suspicious I briefly think about folding and letting Kory with his big stack make the call. I decide that top pair is likely good and I just call. Kory then moves all in.

At first I was cursing under my breath, because he's supposed to just call and check it down. I have to fold and I am hoping Kory did not do something really stupid. To my surprise, Kory turns over Q-J for top two pair! Mike had J-9 for bottom two. Mike was eliminated and I was heads up with Kory. I did not do an exact count but I probably started with $140 in chips compared to his $320.

This was one of the occasions where I had to fight the urge to explain how much I know about the game in fear of letting on how good a player I am. Kory and I began to argue over where the button and small blind start. The correct rule is the small blind has the button and acts first. Obviously I know this from playing a thousand tournaments online. Kory did not believe me and had some crazy logic for figuring out that the big blind was on the button. I mentioned that I have played a ton online and I am sure I am right. Apparently that was not good enough. It was past 10:15 so no one else was awake or around to settle the argument so I just let him have his way. There was no need to elaborate on my poker exploits further just to win this small argument. Today I found a great website from Bob Ciaffone on the rules for poker tournaments so I emailed Jason with the info to pass along to the rest of the guys.

From the start of our heads up match, I basically ran over Kory. He never raised preflop. I finally made a comment about it and he tried it with 6-2. I folded that one, but I think I called the other couple of times he tried it and he stopped doing it again. I mixed up my play and won a lot of pots uncontested either preflop or with a continuation bet on the flop. On the rare occasions he played back at me, I usually let the hand go.

Before we knew it I had just over $210 in chips to his $250. I was dealt Ac 7s on the button/big blind :0. He called, I raised to $20. He called again. The flop was As-Qs-10s. He checked. I bet $20. He moved all in. I am guessing he doesn't have the made hand yet. I decide to call and he turns over Js-9c. So he has the better flush draw and outs to the straight. I have to fade 11 outs twice. The turn and river are blanks and suddenly I am huge!. Kory did not realize that I had been catching up and was surprised to only have $40 left.

Even though the blinds were only 3-6, I decided I was just going to move all in every hand from now on, until it was over or we were even in chips again. Luckily I picked up pocket 9's. He moved all in and I called. He turned over Q-5. Spikes a Queen on the turn and he doubles up to $80. Next hand I have Ace-baby. I move all in and he calls with King-baby. My ace high holds up and I am the winner.

While it was fun to win the tournament, it was a bit of a let down, because there was no one else around to enjoy it with. Everyone else had left or gone to sleep since it was 11:00 PM when we finished.

Hopefully this will turn out to be the first of many victories in the future.

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