Friday, February 18, 2005

Poker Results

My second evening of tourney play showed more improvement, as I finished 9th overall, which put me the points for the second week in a row. More on that later.

The most fun I had all evening was the first hand I won. It was a fairly unremarkable hand. There was an ace on the flop, I had an ace in hand, and I check-raised hard. The player making the initial bet correctly guessed that I had the ace, but asked me to tell him. That wasn't happening, so I trotted out one of my favorite Matt Damon lines from Rounders: "Sorry. Funny enough, I forgot".

He was pissed! He said something to the effect that he would get me later. I snickered and acknowledged that he might well.

I was eliminated on the last hand before consolidating the last two tables into the final table. My new friend was nowhere to be found. Again, in losing, there were lessons to be learned.

There are plenty of novices at the table besides myself, but in addition to that, since there is no buy-in, the players tend to be really loose and agressive in betting up lousy hands. What the heck, they aren't betting the rent. As a result, tight play can help a player survive as wild play takes several players out. I took this route. It helped me later, as players reacted to my larger bets assuming that I had the cards since I wasn't playing anything weak.

I discovered that I could bully anybody with a shorter stack of chips. If another player started the betting, so long as nobody else made a bet, and I could raise the bet to put the betting player all-in. Invariably, they chose certain survival over potential elimination. They would fold and I would rake in the chips. Best yet, I never had to show the cards.

I used this ploy successfully four times before being moved to a table where all of the players but one had greater stacks then I did. That one player had only a little more than enough to make the big blind, which she had to put up. She went all-in without even looking at her cards. I was on her left, and another player with a larger stack was on my left. After I called the big blind, he quickly went all-in, and I figured it was little more than an attempt to run her off the table. I believed that he probably didn't have much more than a K-Q or A-10, and with his full stack on the table, he would scare everybody else away. I had pocket 8s. A pair of Jacks showed on the flop. I went all-in, even though I couldn't cover his bet, which was over 1,000 chips. I had about 900. He was shocked that I called. We turned the cards over.

He had a Jack. So, he got much more than he bargained for, taking down two players at once and an extra 900 chips above what he had planned. The lesson is: stick to the game plan, especially when it is working. Two pair was a nice hand, but I was only in for 80 when he went all-in. I could have easily folded and kept the 900 chips, and more importantly, kept playing deeper into the tourney.

Now, as the tournament scoreboard goes, I was in the points both weeks- 50 points for best hand of the night last week, 100 points for 9th place this time. I'm going to need to do much more if I'm going to advance to the next round. In fact, I pretty much have to win a night. Only the top five in points will advance, and winning is good for 1,000 points. I'm guessing there will be five winners, so five players with at least 1,000 points. Points system.

LPIN Central Committee member Chris Ward and his girlfriend Beth did not fare so well this time. Still, with Beth's 4th place finish in the first week, she's in a position I would happily trade for.

See you at Barley Island next Thursday!

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