Sunday, July 29, 2012

What are the odds?

Last week in a tournament I got to be part of a pretty amazing hand.  It ended badly, but it was still amazing to witness it and be a part of it.

I was dealt KK, so I was excited.  Folks bet and raised before me, so I'm getting even more excited that I will win a big pot.  I raise.  The original bettors raised and raised again, so finally I just go all in, and they both call!

The guy after me, as he turns over his hand, says "do you have the red ones?"  He turned over two black aces.  Then the other guy turns over QQ!

So its AA against KK against QQ are we're all all-in.  Deal the board...

nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, and then.....Queen on the river!

The underdog with the Queens lets out a victory roar, and my tournament is over.  The guy with the aces had a pretty big stack so he got to keep playing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lucky chop chop

A little bit of bad luck turned good in a tournament today at the Palace in Hayward.

After I limp in with Q-9 and two players follow me, the flop comes K-9-9.  I know I've got a pretty good hand, so I bet 2BB hoping for a caller.  The guy after me goes all-in.  Hmmm....does he have a King?  or the other 9?  Even if he's got the other 9, I probably have him out kicked, so I still think I'm in pretty good shape and I call.  We have about the same number of chips, so one of us is about to get knocked out.

He turns over A-9.  One of only a couple possible hands that could be ahead of me at this point.  Groan!  I'm probably dead.

But then the turn comes and it's a King!  We both have 9's full of kings for a chop pot.

Went on to chop the final purse at the final 5 as well.

Accidental muck!

When you muck your hand, it's dead, and your chips are gone.   Even if you didn't mean to, even if you're still in the action, and even if you have a winner.  I've seen some casinos where all it takes is a forward motion towards the muck, and they take your cards.

But the Palace in Hayward has a different rule that saved my ass today.

It was late in the tournament with 6 players left at the final table.  I went all-in with 4-4, looking at the guy in seat 9 for a fold.  I thought he was the last to act, so when he folded I threw in my cards and got ready to collect the blinds.

The whole table bellows "uh oh.....floor man, get over here!".

That's because the big blind was actually in seat #1 and had not acted yet.  My cards were in the muck, and the obvious outcome would be that seat #1 wins without even having to call.

But lucky for was still obvious which two cards in the muck had come from me.  They were, as they said "retrievable" from the muck.  So the floor man said I could have my cards back.  Seat #1 guy was bummed, but he then folded and I won his blind.

He was soon knocked out and we chopped at the final 5.  That could have gone entirely differently if the ruling had been different.  Whew!

Crazy players look good, then lose

In a tournament at The Palace in Hayward today, I got off to a good start thanks to this one hand.  There was a guy who was playing just about every hand early on.  His table image was HOT because he was winning just about all of them.  He had nearly double his starting chips after only about 30 minutes.  Many times when I got to see his cards he had good ones, but also he won a lot by betting people away from the pot.

Then there was another guy that was losing a lot of hands and was getting desperate.

So I get a hand of A-Q, and desperate guy before me goes all-in for about 1500 chips.  I have about 2500, and I was gonna just call, but instead I go all-in hoping to scare away the people after me, including crazy guy.  But crazy guy calls too!

(this is a bounty tournament, so you get $20 if you knock someone out).

Crazy guy turns over 5-7 suited!  Desperate guy turns over K-J off suit, and I show my A-Q off suit.

The flop comes with a 7 and it's not looking good for me, but then I hit the Ace on the river.  Crazy guy is pissed, but it's his own fault for calling against two all-ins with just a 5-7!

He was knocked out himself not too long after that.  I went on to chop at the final 5.

Crazy, but funny.

I played some tournaments in Reno while passing through on a road trip.  A funny thing happened in a hand that I was not involved in, but it was fun to watch....

Guy #1 limps for 400 in and guy #2 raises the pot to 800.  Guy #1 in calls.

After the flop comes 2-4-6, Guy #1 bets out 2400, and guy #2 looks at him like he's crazy.  "What do you have?" he says, and Guy #1 looks at the board and replies "What do I have?  I have a 2-4....I called your pre-flop raise with a 2-4...ha...ha...".

Everyone laughs, because who in their right mind would do that?

The hand later ends in a showdown, and Guy #1 turns over 2-4 to win it with two pair.  He was telling the truth after all, but it sounded so ridiculous that he had to have been kidding, we all thought.

I'd say that guy was a lousy card player, but a pretty good poker player.  He knew how to play the mental game, but I would NEVER call a raise holding a 2-4!