Saturday, January 12, 2008

The First High Stakes Tourney in the Man Cave

Since the Wednesday night game had lost momentum, most of the remaining players had suggested that we scale back to once a month and increase the buy in.

Today was the first attempt at the new structure. $60 buy in and rebuys. $200 in starting chips with 1-2 blinds and 30 minute levels.

We had 9 players for today, which put $540 in the initial pot. With a suggestion from Robert I decided to pay 3 places instead of 2 and I decided to take the cost of food and drink from the winners cut.

The first thing I noticed is that just because the buy in was $60, nobody was really playing any tighter than their usual loose passive self.

I was playing my standard game trying not to get distracted by the U of A basketball game on the TV behind me.

Early on I called a raise with 5-6 suited on the button after Jon had open raised under the gun. I flopped an open end straight draw with the board reading 7-4-10. Jon led out with a continuation bet and I raised my draw. He just called but he did not look happy about it. The turn was a King and Jon checked. He did not look happy about that as well. I knew he either had a small pocket pair or had missed with big cards. Instead of betting, I decided the safer play was to check and take the free card. The river was a Jack and he checked again. I bet half my stack and he folded. I decided to show him the bluff and he was not very happy that his Ace-Queen had missed.

Later Jon took a bad beat on a two outer and he was down to $20 or $30 from his starting stack. He wanted to rebuy right then but I had to explain that we can only rebuy when you're broke. He hung around for a while and eventually went broke on another bad beat. Jon was our only rebuy. Now the prize pool is $600.

Right about this time, Craig finally showed up to play. He had slept in until 11:00 and we had started at 12:15. Craig did not make it until 1:00 PM.

I had started to accumulate some chips and was feeling comfortable. Jon had raised under the gun again and got a couple of callers. I looked down at Ace-King on the button. My first instinct was to move all in, but I decided to just call in position and see what happens.

The flop was J-10-X. Jon bet again and the others folded. I decided to make a loose call and hope for the Queen since I figured I could get all of Jon's chips if I hit it. The turn was the perfect Queen. It did however put 3 hearts on the board but I had the Ace of hearts. This time Jon checked and I bet. Jon raised me all in and I called. Jon turned over pocket Queens for a set and he was heartbroken to see my straight. Unfortunately, I knew that Jon had 10 outs and was not that big of an underdog. Sure enough, the board paired on the river and Jon won a big pot.

That pot would have put me in a great position with over $500 chips. Instead I was down under 100.

On the first hand of the third blind level ($5-$10 blinds which is the last hand for rebuys)I picked up Ace-Jack of diamonds in second position. Mike raised all in from under the gun because he was down to $30. He could have darn near anything. I raised all in and everyone else folded. Mike turned over Ace-Queen and I was screwed. Mike's hand held up and I was down to $40. This is the worst possible scenario because you figure if you lose the all in that you will rebuy and have $200 in chips. Instead nobody with a bigger stack than mine calls and I lose to the shorter stack. Now I can't rebuy and I'm down to 4 big blinds.

Luckily two hands later in the big blind, I picked up pocket Aces and nearly tripled up. One rotation later, I had pocket Jacks and limped, expecting Craig on my left to raise all in, because he was getting short. I was hoping to get a couple of other callers so I could make more money after I pull off the limp reraise. I only got one caller between me and Craig before I raised. Devin folded after my reraise and my Jacks held up agains Craig's pocket 4's. Now I had around 9 big blinds which was enough to scare a few people if I move all in.

For the next two levels, my only move was all in and I was not called once.

Eventually I out lasted 5 other players and it was bubble time with 4 players left. It was Jon in the chip lead, Devin, Mike, and me. I had stolen the blind from Jon on my left a couple of times so I was going to have to be careful. On the other hand, everyone that was left was folding too much and it was smart to put maximum pressure on them to fold before the flop since the blinds were pretty big. In fact a couple of times on the button or small blind I raised without even looking at my cards just make sure I did not chicken out.

We played 4 handed for 3-4 rotations and I was feeling good because I had moved up to second place in chips. The end came when I picked up Ace-10 under the gun. I raised all in for $400 and Jon declared, "I have had enough of you Larry, I call". The others fold and Jon turns over Ace-Queen. Rob was watching and could not believe Jon called. I tried to explain to Rob that Ace-Queen was easily a call 4 handed against me who had raised all in probably 10 times in the last 90 minutes. I'm not sure it sunk in.

Anyways Jon spiked his Queen on the turn and eliminated me in 4th place for no money.

After Devin eliminated Mike in 3rd place, Devin and Jon were heads up with about $1,000 a piece and the blinds were 50-100. It would all be over soon.

Here is where I saw Jon make a big mistake. Now I could not see his hole cards, but I thought he played way too conservatively. He folded his button a couple of times, and hardly ever raised. If I am heads up with those blind levels, I think I am pushing all in with anything better than a 50% hand. With Devin known as a conservative player, he is going to fold way too much preflop and who knows if he calls with a good hand, you may just get lucky. With only 20 big blinds left in play, it's pretty much a crap shoot anyway.

Jon was blinded down and eventually went all in with Ace-8 against Devin's Ace-Queen. Devin's hand held up and he won $300 after paying for the beer and pizza.

I was shocked Devin won. He got lucky at the right times and he kept his patience. The good news is, now that he won, he'll probably want to come back again for the next few months.

1 comment:

Megabet said...

keep blogging regularly on poker because you have great analysis and really capture the moments well!