Monday, February 18, 2008

Big Tournament Score at Casino Arizona

It is Presidents's day today and a holiday for me so I decided to spend my day off playing poker. After a tough tennis workout in the morning, I cruised over to the casino by 8:00 AM.

During the graveyard shifts they run the Aces Cracked Win A Rack promotion until 9:00 AM. Luckily my Aces were cracked by Jack-3 offsuit when he rivered a 3 to make two pair. That was good for a quick $100.

I folded away about $50 and bought into the 11:15 AM tournament with a $50 profit.

The buy in is $60 with an additional $5 toke to the dealers for an extra $500 in chips. I also earned an additional $1000 for my two hours of cash game play. My starting stack was $3500 with 25-50 blinds. We started with 183 players.

One thing I always wanted to try is raising the very first hand. Everyone always starts out trying to play tight solid poker. The problem is that everyone loses their patience at a different rate. I raised A-7 offsuit in middle position to open the pot. The big blind called. I made a continuation bet for $200 and he called. Uh oh! I had nothing except position. The turn brought a check and I checked behind. The river brought an Ace. He checked for a third time and I made a value bet of $500. He folded and looked a little disgusted. I guess I lucked into it.

A little while later, I picked up Aces under the gun. I decided to pull the old Doyle Brunson Super System play and limp hoping to reraise. It worked out perfectly as another player woke up with pocket Kings and raised. I of course raised and he pushed all in. And miracle of miracles the Aces held up and I had a quick double up.

My next big hand was on the button in the same rotation. I picked up pocket Queens on the button. There was an under the gun raise and everyone folded to me. I reraised and he moved in. I had him covered by about 2-1 so I called. He turns over Aces and now I need to get lucky. No such luck as I miss my two outer and I'm back where I started.

There was a bit of trend at my first table as out of maybe 50 hands we played before we broke up, someone had pocket Aces 10 times. I was lucky enough to pick them up again and make some good money.

The blind structure is pretty quick as I would liken it to a multi table turbo Sit-N-Go on Poker Stars. You never have a big stack after the first 3 levels. I was constantly between 8 and 12 Big Blinds for the middle levels. Occasionally I would pretend to look at my cards, but blink so I would not lose my nerve to raise. I also had some good hands, but I don't recall ever getting called when I was all in.

I continued to scratch and claw my way to survival and we were getting close to the bubble. The top 20 places paid. 11-20 would get $100 which would be a whopping $15 profit for me. I was not sure if people would take the money bubble seriously. After all it's only $100. Boy was I mistaken. When it went hand for hand, everyone at our table was constantly looking at the other tables and trying to find out if anyone was really short. One of the women at my table said she absolutely did not want to bubble since she had already done that at an early tournament.

The first hand at my new table was a little nerve racking. I was moved into the Big Blind for the first hand. Blinds were 500-1000 and I had 12,000 in chips. There was an early raise to $3000 and everyone folded to me. I had King-Queen offsuit. I felt like reraising all in but I did not think I could get him to fold because I did not have that many chips left. I decided to call and see if I could get a good flop.

The flop was Jack-Nine-Eight. I thought for a few seconds and then moved all in. I figured with over cards and inside straight draw, I had outs if I was called. He thought about it for what seemed like a couple of minutes and then told me he folded Ace-Queen. Whew!

I managed to steal the blinds a couple of more times before the bubble burst.

The next highlight was the final table. Once we got there, everyone immediately started talking about a chop. Basically we would each get $1000 and play for the last $640 and the tournament leaderboard points. Everyone agreed except for the chip leader. I can see his point, but he did not even counter with a different deal. He was willing to piss off 8 other players to try for the $3,400 first place. The funny thing was that I think he only had about 15-20x the big blind, so he wasn't exactly dominating.

Very shortly after we got started, I picked up pocket Kings. I raised and the other big stack at the table reraised me all in. He had been a bit loose and aggressive when I had spent some time at his table earlier, so I called believing I would have the best hand by a mile. To my shock, he turned over Aces. So here I am, one dick head away from collecting $1,000 and I run my Kings into Aces and I am going to leave with $350. What a crock of shit!

Then the poker gods shined down on me when I flopped a King. My trips held up and suddenly I had a big stack. I think that had pumped me up to around $120,000 with the blinds at 2000-4000. Maybe I can win this thing?

This is when my luck started to turn. I got a little frisky and raised with Ace-Five of diamonds in early position. The player on my left raised all in for just a little bit more. The player whose Kings I had cracked, moved all in. It was too much to call and I folded. He turned over Ace-Jack offsuit and the guy on my left had 7's. I would have flopped a straight flush draw and rivered the flush. Instead the short stack lived and I lost a chunnk of my stack.

A while later, I got healthy again from my wild friend on the other side of the table. I picked up pocket 10's under the gun. I raised and he moved all in for almost all of my chips. He made a mistake in that he asked me if I was going to make another good call. The way he said that told me that I had the best hand. I called and he turned over King-Ten. My hand held up and I was healthy again.

The last of my unfortunate circumstances happened a short while later. Once again I am under the gun and I have Ace-King offsuit. I raise and my friend on the left goes all in on me again. I believe I had raised to $25,000 and raised all in to $36,000. Then the big stack who did not want the chop, just called in the small blind. Since he did not look that comfortable calling, I figured I could push him off the hand. Plus who are we kidding, I am going all in with this hand any way I can.

I move in, and he thinks for a short while and calls with pocket 3's. My buddy on the left has pocket 9's. If I win this pot I will have at least half of the chips in play with 4 players left. I can jump up two spots in the money as well. By the way, what the hell is that guy doing calling off his stack with pocket 3's?

My luck runs out and I miss everything. My buddy on the left triples up and I think the big stack makes money by beating me out of the side pot. Now I am down to 6 Big Blinds and stepping into the big blind.

I go out soon after to Mr. 3's when I reraise all in from the big blind with Ace-5 and he turns up 7's.

He was probably on his way to victory after picking up my chips. There was one guy left who could make a dent. The other 3 players looked like they were just hoping to move up or talk him into a chop.

Anyway, I walked away with $650 for my effort and an entry for a $12,500 prize pool free roll in March. Although their "free roll" has a $25 service fee.

In summary I felt like I played pretty well. I picked my spots and made some good laydowns. I also stepped up with some aggressive moves when the timing looked right. If I could have just gotten lucky one more time, I might have picked up a big pay day.


Anonymous said...

pocket threes in that spot is just must feel a little cheated.

Anonymous said...

keep poker updates coming!!!