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.