The last three days, I have seen the final table in three blogger events. Though this is obviously a product of extreme luck, it still feels pretty good. The blogger events still always include at least a dozen people who I don’t have any business being at the same table with, let alone actually competing with.
The Mookie went pretty well, and I think I actually played that one pretty solid. I didn’t make a lot of stupid mistakes and I was able to win a couple of races when I needed to. I did get my chips all in on a pretty questionable call against Drewspop when he pushed from the small blind:
I haven’t ever read a poker book, and I let a lot of things influence why I make a call. The cards come into it a bit for sure, but usually only after a whole bunch of other factors. On this particular hand, I put a lot of thought into his stack size before I made the call; If I fold it right here, he adds 30% to his stack uncontested. I have a pretty fair hand, but not one that even I would normally call an all in with (push with, sure, but not call with). Trying to put him on a hand here, I figure there are really only two possibilities 1) he has an A-x, and I get into the flop as an underdog. 2) this is a straight bluff, and I get into the flop way ahead. I eventually call it, fully expecting to either win or lose a coinflip, and it shakes down like this:
I wasn’t expecting to see him flip over an Ace-Queen of hearts, I was thinking it was more likely to be like A-7o or something. So I was more of an underdog than I thought I would be, but the poker gods gave me one here. But like I said, I knew I was going to be looking at a race, and had I lost the race, I would have still had 2400 in chips with the blinds still at 75/150. I would have hated to lose the chips, but I knew that it was a very real possibility when I pushed them in.
Not much more that I really care to comment on happened in this one. Well there was this time at the final table where I raised 3x from MP and got the table to fold around to me. That was just wonderful, since it was the first time I have ever been able to show this at the final table:
Shortly after dropping the hammer, I found myself with a pair of 9’s. I raised to 3x again, and Tripjax scoffed at this 1200 bet. He threw some godawful huge bet out there, which would have left me with only a few hundred chips if I were to call. I really thought he was trying to teach me a lesson about stealing blinds, after the hammer just a few hands before, so I decided to go all in. I figured he probably had two over cards, and that I was going to be looking at another race. But when he flipped over aces, even I don’t have that kind of luck. So I managed to donk myself right the hell out of this one, again, in 7th:
This was a call that I really shouldn’t have made just because I would have still been in really good position if I would have laid them down. Tripjax had been stealing pots with abandon, but I really should have waited for a better (or worse) hand to take head to head with the chipleader. He had no reason to be risking that much of his stack when he could easily just watch everyone else kill each other off. I should have given his raise in that position some respect, and in the end the reason I didn’t was because it was so insanely large; I thought he really didn’t want me to call it. I think I would have gone out on that hand if he would have just called it though. Unless the flop would have come up with three over cards, I would most likely have pushed on the flop anyway.
Then last night, I signed up for the WWDN: Not. I had been playing Guild Wars (geek alert! geek alert!) and barely made it in time, but make it I did. Unfortunately, my pc required a restart after an afternoon spent slaying demons, and I completely forgot to fire up my screen cap program, so the few that I am going to throw up here were ripped off directly from this photo album. I absolutely have to put them up here though, ’cause I was sucking out like nobodies business.
I started it out innocuously enough, donking off a third of my stack early. I happened to get jacks early on, raised pre-flop, then called a bet on the flop even though it had a king and an ace in it, and eventually layed them down on the turn -which is exactly one more card than I should have paid to see, but I am new to this-. The good news for me is that this was the last stupid play I would make the last time that the board wouldn’t bail my ass out on a big hand. I made a couple of calls that I really shouldn’t have made, but I was feeling lucky, and each of them paid off. It did lead to a lot of apologizing in the chat, but when I am hitting the cards, I am going to take more chances than when I’m not.
The first hand that I am going to post about is one where I got into a pot with Hacker. As I said before, a lot of things go into why I do or don’t make a call, and the cards I am holding are only a small part of it. In this particular hand, Hacker is the short stack with 1448 in chips. Superman raised it to 600, which I called, and then Hacker pushed his 1448 in chips into the pot that was now at 1500. Hacker just doubled up if I don’t make the call here. I have an A-6 s00ted, and figure Hacker could be pushing with any two cards at this point (note that he doubles up even if no one calls). I really think that my ace is probably ahead, and I call off the additional 800 chips to find out:
What I got instead was that suckout. I am posting this one only because someone asked how I made that call, and I wanted to explain it. It sure is easy to look at it after all the cards are dealt and say that it was a horrible call, but I really didn’t think he was holding anything at all. If you were the short stack, and you could double up if you pushed and the other guy folded, would you make that push regardless of the cards? I would. It sucks that I was wrong and then went on to bust him out with a lucky card, but in my mind that is a call I have to make. We are all trying to win the game, and letting the short stack double up without a challenge, when I am holding an ace, is something that I just can’t do. Had it not been raised on the way to Hacker, that would have been the easiest lay down of the night for me.
The next in my long line of suckouts was a push I made with a suited A-J. This one really should have sent me home. I thought I was going to be ahead when the chips went in and instead I was way, way behind:
Yeah, that one really should have sent me home. Hoy even wrote that only a fish calls an all in with A-J, so what do I do? But, on a 1-10 scale of suckouts, this one was right up there. But it was nothing compared to what was about to come. With three people left, I make an all in call on the turn with nothing but a king high and a flush draw. There are no face cards on the board, so I am figuring that we are in a battle of high cards, until he flips over pocket queens. I got about ten outs and, well, I got lucky again:
I went on to win the heads up, which is only the second heads up I have ever won. I didn’t really get a lot of good pocket cards, but the poker gods were bailing me out there as well. Except for one hand where I would have ended it when I made a flush on the turn and got all in, only to see him complete a flush on the river, and his ten beat my 8(?).
Like I said at the beginning, I made some pretty big suckouts that led to a lot of apologizing in chat, but that’s poker, and after having this done to me a while back, I can’t feel all that bad. I hope that I can limit the foolish calls (notably those last two shown) in the future, ’cause it sucks to have to write about making a bad call and sucking out huge. Also, it sure is nice to see this once in a while: