Sunday, March 23, 2008

Charity Poker and 5-150 at Casino AZ

My friend Jeff held another charity poker tournament called Aces and Bases last night. The entry fee to this one was a little more reasonable than his Super Bowl week party as this one was only $125. I tried to have my friends over for a tournament at my house, but I could only get 3 other guys. So I canceled my party and played in Jeff''s event instead.

Jeff had been messaging and calling me, trying to get me to play. He had a tough time rounding up a lot of players and offered to put me at the same table as Kim, who won the Super Bowl tournament. Kim is a very attractive woman, who does title work. I know her through Bill and Rob and amazingly she has won two of the charity tournaments that Jeff has put together.

When Kim won the Super Bowl poker tournament, she won a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker. I offered to buy it from her for $8,000, but she has not figured out a way to sell it yet. After watching her play, she better find a way, or that money is as good as gone.

Kim relies on a lot of luck to get by in these tournaments. She plays a very typical charity tournament type of game. Call with any 2 cards before the flop. If you hit something and the bets are not big, then call it down to the end. If you miss, but have over cards, call it down until you hit something.

I was two seats to her left and it was a weird coincidence that the few times I picked up hands, I was under the gun plus 1 which put the big blind on Kim. I bluffed her out of one pot with As6s when the flop came 3s-4s-5c. I pushed all in for a little more than the pot and got the guy on my left to fold a weak five and Kim to fold as well.

I busted Kim for the first time, when I picked up pocket Jacks on my big blind. A couple guys limped as did Kim, I pushed all in. One guy called with Ace-King and Kim called with pocket 3's. Somehow my hand held up and tripled up.

A short time later, Reggie Sanders, the ex Diamondback baseball player, was moved to our table. He barely had enough to pay the blind. He was in the small blind and I was the big blind. Everyone folded to Reggie who was all in. I got a slight refund on my Big Blind and turned over Qc3c. Reggie had A-3. I hit my flush on the river to bust him.

Overall there were 50-60 players at the start. I busted out in 12th place when my AhTh got beat by K-9 when a nine spiked on the river. I'm not sure how I lasted this long with the blinds doubling every 15 minutes for the first 4 levels and every 10 minutes after that.

I'm pretty sure I am done playing in charity tournaments. I know that I should not take the poker so seriously, but I'm not wired that way. It annoys me when I see players not follow the buy in rules. Many players at my table were allowed to rebuy after the deadline had passed. And not only were they allowed to rebuy, but they finagled a way to buy 2 to 3 times the original starting stack. Theoretically I could have rebought for $5 twenty times until I was one of the last remaining four players and won a prize. This drives me up the wall.

After my exit, I decided to hit Casino Arizona. On the way there, I decided to take another shot at the 5-150 game since it was a Saturday night and I might run into a few donkeys at my table. The stakes of this game are larger than I should be playing with my bankroll rules, but I felt like taking a stab at it.

When I arrived the entire parking lot was full and I had to park in an auxiliary lot down the road. The poker room was packed with lists running for every game. The poker boom is not showing any signs of slowing down here in Arizona. Luckily the list was not too long for 5-150 since they had about 10 tables of it running.

I decided to buy in for $300 and that was my loss limit. One bullet only. I came in at utg + 1 and folded my first hand. My second hand utg was AdKd. I did not even have my chips yet from the runner. I signaled to the dealer that my bet was $25. A young blond haired kid who had just lost the last hand when the drunk on my left hit his flush with Qc3c, called my bet. Everyone else folded. The flop was a beautiful 7d-Qd-8d. Yahtzee!!!

I bet $30 to build a bigger pot, hoping he had at least flopped a pair. He called. The turn was a blank. I go for my Academy Award and act weak. I sigh and check. Now it looks like I am on the draw and since he just got beat by the flush on the last hand, he is sure to make me pay to draw on this one. He bets $65 and I think for a little bit then call.

The river is the 10 of diamonds. Not exactly the card I want since it will probably kill my action. I decide not to risk him checking through, so I bet $75. He whines and moans as he throws away his pocket 10's. Even with that card to give him trips, I think he was too gun shy to fire a bet on the river into a board with 4 diamonds.

I am off and running with a $125 profit on my second hand. I fold for the next 20 minutes when I pick up two black Queens in the cutoff. I open raise to $25 and the drunk on my left (the Qc3c guy from earlier) calls. The flop is Kc-Qh-9c.

Since "Shrek" on my left has been calling big bets a lot, I decide that I need to be ready to put everything in on this hand. I bet $40 and he raises me the $150 max. That only leaves him with $35 and it's $190 to call. I immediately reraise all in, hoping that he did not luck into a straight. Shrek calls and tables A-K. The turn and river do not give Shrek any hope and I win another huge pot!

I won two other small pots and called it a night after two hours of playing. My net profit was $407. Definitely one of my better nights in that casino and it has been long over due. The poker bankroll is over $2,200 now and climbing steadily.


Anonymous said...

Hey there! This is Suzi, we met prior to the event starting and were chatting about our league. Brian ended up winning, but not sure if you left before that. Ran across your blog in a search for info about the game last night. Very cool. You played great and I totally agree about how people play at charity events. The re-buys were a HUGE fiasco! Anyway, keep in touch and visit our website.

birdiemachine said...

Why not reload to max buyin and take full advantage of your doubles?