Played poker yesterday.
Went to Harrahs for the super turbo with the old dudes. I trudge along. Get moved to another table. Two hands of note. Loose older gentlemen is playing lots of hands, and playing them for raises. He had been raising two to three times the blinds and showing hands like KQos A7os KT. We were six handed. Pretty standard stuff. This hand he min raises in early position. Folds to me in the big blind and I have J8 of spades. We have nearly the same chip stack. His raise to me smells like a monster. AK or a big pair. I decide to call and hope for a favorable flop even though the 400T blind represented a significant part of my stack. The structure in this tournament is escalates rapidly. Horrible, but the only game in town. We see a flop A-3-9 all spades. I check the monster while trying to remain calm. He thinks for a few seconds and moves all in. He has me covered by T100. I croak out a call. He flips over A-Q of clubs and is drawing nearly dead. I hold and my stack makes me the chip leader at my table. We play one more hand and eliminate the shorty. Final table time. First hand at the final table, I look down at A-A in the cut off plus one. A short stack in the cut off limps for one quarter of his stack. I pet enough to put him in and protect my hand. To my surprise the only guy that has me covered pushes. Cha Ching. Thank you poker gods. Folds to the short stack and he calls. I call and flip over my cards. The big stack groans and shows his JJ. I have to sweat the river when JJ gets open ended but prevail. I now have 25K in chips. The tourney started with 68K in chips. I am the huge leader. Two hands I go from short stack to prohibitive leader. I give away a bit with AK on the next hand against JJ, otherwise I go on cruse to the final three. I lost the chip lead to seat one when he knocked three people out back to back to back. He had AA, KK, and AA in three successive hands. Unreal. He had me two to one in chips then as I had dwindled. I had a third more chips than third place. Surprisingly, the chip leader asked what the three way chop would be. First woas 554, second was 340ish and third was a little over 200. He proposed the chop and we jumped at the idea. We all got a little better than second place money, $366. Turns out he had to leave soon. Take it.
Harrahs was otherwise dead so I headed over to the Ameristar. Sat down at a 1/2 table. Chipped up a bit. I was being fairly active and get AA under the gun. The older solid guy in the big blind said it smelled like 99 to him and called my $15 raise saying he had two overs. Flop is T-4-4. I bet and he raises me. I call, happy to let him drive the betting. I was confident I was ahead. The turn is a king. He bets half the pot and I smooth call. Still confident I was ahead. The river is another ten. He checks and I decide to value bet $20. He thinks and then raises me $40. I make the crying call and he tables T-7 for the two outer. $100 bucks gone.
I decide to play the tournament. Much better structure. T5500 starting chips. More blind levels. A lot more playing room. First hand I get 9-9 in middle position and limp. The small blind at the other end of the table raises. If folds to heads up with me and I ask the dealer how much he raised. Could not make it out. She seems to ignore me and starts pushing the chips to the raiser. The guy next to me starts yelling at her to stop and tells her I asked how much the raise was. She was apologetic and got it right. I call and we see the flop of 9-7-3. Gin. Small blind leads out 400 and I bump it 1000 more. If he has AK he goes away. Big pair, he stays. He calls. Nice. Turn is another 7. He checks and I make a mistake. I thought he would go the distance with his over pair and bet 2k. He thinks and folds showing QQ. Oh well. Still a nice start. I chip up to twice my starting stack. Win some key races along the way and make the final eight. Four get paid. I am a shorty with blind at 1k/2k. I have about 15k left. Under the gun limps. This guy had not made any moves or out of line calls while I played the last hour with him on the final table. I think to myself, this looks and smells like aces. I look down at AKos. Damn. I raise to 4k from middle position. He starts fidgeting and actually kicking the table. He cannot wait to make a move. I see it and my mind is still screaming ACES. He puts me in. My mind says ACES ACES ACES WARNING. ACES ABORT ABORT ABORT. I find my hand picking up my chips and throw them in while saying you have aces don't you. He does and I lose. I should have folded, but I could not stop myself. I guess I just wanted to show myself that I was right. I will never be great until I learn to lay down those hands.
I have one more story. Next post.