Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blackjack Perfection

So the poker gods weren't with me today at Lucky Chances.  I lost my whole buy-in in less than an hour, thanks in part to a guy who called my pre-flop raise with 9-3 off-suit (who does that?!) and then he flopped a full house, 3's full of nines!

So I was steaming a bit, and left the table to go home, but decided to try re-couping some of my losses at the blackjack table first.   Yes, they have Blackjack at Lucky Chances.   Its just like Vegas Blackjack, but you play against a third-party banker and you pay a $1 fee to the house to provide "dealer services".

It wasn't long before I plopped down a $50 bet in an effort to make a fast buck before leaving.

I get dealt a 4-4 and the dealer has a 6 showing.  Split-em!

I get another 4.  Split-em again!  Now I have $150 on the table.  Not what I had planned.

On my first 4, I asked for a 7 and got it.   Double down!  I get a 8 and have 19.

On my second 4, I got a 6.  Double down again!  I get a 10 and have 20.

On my third 4, I got another 6.  Double down a third time!  I get an Ace for 21!

So I've got $300 on the table.  Definitely not what I planned and my wallet is now dry.

The dealer turns over a 10 for 16, and hits and gets a 10 for bust!

Jackpot, $300!  Time to go home.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aces Aces!

Today at Lucky Chances another amazing hand happened.  I've never seen pocket aces go up against pocket aces before, but it happened to me today during 1-1-2 No Limit.

I see my pocket aces while waiting to bet from one off the button.  There was a raise to 15 and four callers.

Knowing I'm ahead, I raise to 30.  There was a call behind me and then a guy who RE-RAISED me to 60.

Still knowing I'm ahead, its time to push all in.  I have $230 on the table, but I know I'm making a good bet.

He calls, and turns over HIS OWN pair of pocket aces.  Oh well, I guess we're gonna chop it.

Not so fast...

The flop comes 8-9-10....all spades.  I am the lucky holder of the ace of spades, so there is hope that I might run away with a flush.

7 of diamonds on the turn, and then....

6 of spades on the river!

Not only have I made my flush, but the board also made a straight, so two reasons we should have chopped but instead my flush takes it all!

I felt kinda bad, especially after celebrating the on the river, so I apologized to the guy who lost.  He took it all in stride though.  Nice guy.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rack Attack Hilarity

At Lucky Chances in the afternoon they have "Rack Attacks".  Every 1/2 hour they draw a random table number and they add a rack of chips ($100) to the pot for the next hand.

So I'm at table 12 playing 1-1-2 no-limit, but at the moment I'm away from the table in the bathroom.  I hear the announcement for rack attack time, and "the next rack attack goes to lucky table number 12".  Quickly I rush back to my seat and they're just about to deal the hand.  Whew, I made it!

But the boss says to me (and me only): "you can play, but you have to win twice".  What?  Why?  He says "you have to be in your seat for the hand before the rack attack, otherwise if you win, the rack stays in the pot and you have to win it again on the next hand".

Its a silly rule that I don't understand, and I told him so.  "That sucks, dude, but whatever".

So I get dealt an A-4 off suit, and the flop comes 4-J-Q.  There is a bet and a raise before me, so I'm pretty sure my bottom pair is no good.  Not wanting to chase a rack that I would have to win twice, I go ahead and fold and save myself some money.

In the end the guy in seat 7 wins with two pair, Jacks and Queens.    All total the pot was over $250.

So then comes the next hand.  I look down, and I have pocket aces!  I make a modest raise, to like $8 or $10.

Then comes that lucky guy in seat 7.  He raises me to $40!  Now I am clearly ahead pre-flop, and I hate slow playing aces and getting them cracked.  So I go ALL IN.  I push $232 into the pot.  Surely he will fold.

Nope.  He calls.

Its just me and seat 7, so the dealer deals out the full board.  The highest card on the board is a Jack.  There are three clubs, so there's a possible flush.

Seat 7 turns over pocket Kings.  I turn over my pocket aces and double up my $232!

The whole table was laughing for at least 5 minutes after this hand.  "That guy took your rack!  Ha ha.  You hadn't even finished stacking it up!"

I guess I didn't actually need to win twice!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Please, Somebody Bet....

I had an interesting day at a tournament at Thunder Valley last weekend.  Here are a couple hands I remember....

On the VERY FIRST hand of the tournament, I flopped a Queen-high diamond flush (with Ace of diamonds on the board).  I decided to slow play it, so I just called the opening bettor.   The jack of diamonds came on the turn and everyone checked.  The river was a blank and then I faced an opening bet of 800 (blinds started at 25-50).

I should have seen this as an alarm bell, but I knew that only one card could beat me: The King of Diamonds.  So I go all in, and I'm called.  She turns over the King and I'm knocked out, on the VERY FIRST HAND.

I re-enter.

At my new seat, I do pretty well, and I make it all the way to the final table and past the bubble.  Very happy that I'm going to be getting my two entry fees back at least.   Now lets see how much more I can get out of this.

At one point, I folded Ace King when faced with an All-in ahead of me.  These are the kinds of things you have to do at the final table.  Be conservative and wait for others to self-destruct.

Then came one of the prettiest hands of all time....

I had Ace Queen, and I limp in along with three others including the blinds.  Four limpers with the blinds at 6000.  The flop comes out A-A-Q and I have a full house.

I'm thinking....please, somebody bet! I check.

The turn is a blank, and I'm still waiting for a bettor to trap.  Nothing.

The river comes another Ace!  I have quad Aces!

Still no betters, so I shrug coyly and say "ok, I'll take a stab", hoping that someone will think its a bluff and call me.  I bet out 12000, but much to my dismay everyone folds.

I flip over my beautiful hand to enjoy my moment of glory.

In the end, we chopped the pot at the final 7 and I took home about six times the entry fee.

Monday, January 7, 2013


So I'm playing a $20 Double-or-nothing Sit-N-Go online....Six seated, four are left, so I'm on the bubble and short stacked when I get a King-Queen off suit.

I go all in and I'm called.  Turns out I'm up against A-A.  Damn.

The flop comes: J-10-A.  I flopped a straight!  The other guy flopped a set of aces, but who cares, because I flopped a straight!

The turn comes a King.  No big deal, I'm still going to win...

The river comes another King!  The board pairs and now he has aces full of kings.  My straight loses.

Its one of the weird, often sad facts about poker that a lesser hand like 3-of-a-kind or two-pair can, with the flip of one card, instantly become a full house and beat all the straights and flushes in-between that thought they were winners.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Damn Bubble!

Today was the "Super Sunday" tournament at the Palace Hayward.  That means double the normal entry fee, more chips, more players, and of course, more prize money.

I played my usual tight, patient game, and won most hands that I participated in, including some big ones.  I made it to the final table and continued the strategy.  All through the final table people were talking about deals to cut in the 5th, 6th, and even 7th place players, but there were a couple of guys who wouldn't go for it.  So it was looking pretty clear that only the top 4 would be getting paid.

It was down to 5, and I had a good sized stack, about 20BB.  I get 6-7 of spades in the big blind and there were no raisers, so I get to see the flop.

The flop comes with two spades, 5-J, and the 3 of hearts.  The other player in the hand checks and I check too, knowing I have a possible flush coming.

The turn comes 3 of spades, and I made my flush, albeit a low one.  I push all in, and I am snap called by the other player.

"Do you have a flush too?", I say, figuring my flush was no good because it was too low.

"Nope".  He turns over 5-5.

This is one of those hands that is easy to mis-read.  I saw a set of 5's and thought I had won, but with the pair of 3's on the board, he actually had a full house.  That 3 of spades helped him more than me!

So I lost ALMOST ALL my big stack in one hand.

With only enough chips left for one or two rounds of blinds, almost all hope was lost, and sure enough I was blinded off and finished in fifth place.

The highest possible finishing place with no money.  Bummer.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Not my lucky day

In poker you have good days and bad days.  Today was a bad day.

Early in the tournament, I get pocket aces, and I do my usual small raise on pre-flop, and again on the turn.  On the river I face a bett of 500 (blinds at 50-100).  There's a 8, 10, and Jack on the board, for a possible straight if she's holding Q-9.  No possible flush.  So I push all in, she snap calls, and turns over her Q-9.  My aces were cracked.

But I'm still in the tournament because she had a smaller stack.

A little later, I'm fairly short stacked and the break is coming up (last chance to buy in again).  So I push all in with a hand I would normally play more tightly: K-J off suit.  I get called by a guy with pocket 8's.  The flop gives me a flush draw of clubs, but it also gives him a third 8.  No flush on the turn, and the fourth 8 comes on the river, so I'm taken down by quads.

I buy back in.  A fresh start.  I make it past the break, and then comes another blow....

I have pocket Kings, and there is decent sized bet in front of me, so I push all in to try to steal it.  He calls, and turns over A-K.  Ace on the turn.  Blammo.  My stack goes from average size to only 1BB left.

Its hail Mary time.  I push all in on a couple decent hands and get lucky, working back up to a 4BB stack.

But I still have to keep the heat on, so one more time I push all in with pocket 3's.  I have one caller who turns over A-10.  Again an Ace comes, and this time I am dead for good.

Bad day.