Through an amazing combination of fishery and donkishness, I managed to finish sixth in the WWDN invitational. That is a pretty big deal to me, since some of the best poker bloggers in the game compete in that event. If I get an inkling, I may add to this post at a later time. With mad props to Mungo (linkage to come) for doubling me up when I was down to 475 chips and had a lowly 48 offsuit. But he also should have known better than to go in against a powerhouse hand like that; the only thing that can take it down is the hammer.
I managed to nearly double up very early on when I got queens, but even with what should have been a dominating hand I was scared to go in, and when the board came up with a jack, and the other guy raised, I really thought I was in trouble. When the river came up a 9, giving the board a pair of 9s and a Jack, I had visions of going out really early to either three nines or a boat, but thankfully he had an AJ, so I did get the win. But my god how horribly I played that hand. There is no way I should have let myself get into the position where I felt that I might actually be behind when the cards on the table were all undercards, and with the size bet he had to call to see the flop. But, it turns out that my fears would be realized just a few hands later.
In the small blind with an A5 offsuit, I can see the flop for 50 in chips, so I take it. The flop is A-10-5 rainbow, giving me top and bottom pair. I bet the pot (200 at that point) and get raised, uh oh. I am putting the other guy on a TPTK though, I think he pushes all in on that flop if he has hit middle pair; there isn’t a huge pot, but he can’t possibly want me to see another card if he really has two pair. I raise him all in. He shows AJ, which is good in exactly one way: my read was more or less right on (I had him at AK, AJ isn’t too far off). The river comes up a 7, which leaves me in the lead, but he has way too many outs. Since I have an underpair if the board pairs up the seven or the ten, or if he hits a Jack, I lose. The river pairs up the seven, giving him two pairs with a jack kicker to my 5 kicker. *sigh* I am sitting here thinking about it and wondering if I would play that hand the same if I got it again, and I think I would. I don’t want to go all in on the first bet after the flop, cause I need to see if he has middle pair, especially since an A-10 is likely a hand that someone is willing to pay 50 to see the flop with. So, I donked away 1,000 chips on that hand, but I was still in fairly good position.
Then came my Holy Fuck, what in Christ’s name was I thinking there play of the game, or at least a strong contender. When dealt a 9-10 offsuit in early position, I limped in. I hadn’t been in an hand in quite a while, and that was the closest thing I had seen to a hand since my early A-5 smackdown. Of course there ended up being six guys in the pot, so I should have known that one of them could have a better hand than a 9-10 offsuit. So when the flops comes up 6-3-Q and is checked to me in early position what do I do? I bet half the pot, that’s what I do. Because nothing screams “I don’t have shit here, but I really want your blinds, so please just go ahead and fold now” like an early half pot bet. Apparently at least one guy was on to me. So when the turn paired up the sixes, thus destroying any outside chance of getting a runner runner runner straight, and at the same time giving me what had to be the losing hand, I simply folded. Well, I wish I would have folded, but instead some jackass bet 500 (yes that was me), which was quickly called. Then when the river hit an Ace, my donking off of chips was nearly complete, but at least I had the good sense to lay the hand down, albeit about 800 chips too late. In retrospect, I wonder what the hell I was trying to bluff there. In order for a bluff to work you have to be able to make your opponent believe that you have something better than him. Was I really betting the 500 on the second 6 thinking that I was going to fool him into thinking that I had made my previous bet on middle pair and hit trips on the river? If I was (and honestly I don’t know what I was thinking), that was a totally stupid move. Of course you know what they say about hindsight.
The next thing you know I am down to 475 in chips when Wil gets moved to my table, thus putting me on the short stack, on the TV table, in the big blind. Just fucking perfect. The cards:4-8 offsuit, it would have been more fitting only if it was a 3-8 offsuit. Mungo pulled a reverse-hoy on me, and I called, hell I had to call; I already had a third of my chips in the pot and only had enough chips to post the blinds once more. Well, I sucked out HUGE on the river when I hit and 8, and his pair of threes hadn’t improved. I was back to 1024 in chips, but I wasn’t done there.
I actually got dealt a fairly decent hand the very next time: A-Q in the small blind. I got into the pot with another 75 chips and saw a queen on the flop. I bet a quarter of my stack with TPTK, fully expecting to get re-raised all-in, but figuring he would have folded if I would have simply pushed. He called me all-in with an A-J and I double up again. But could I do it five times in a row? Well, not this time.
It is worth noting that it was at precisely this point that I actually looked at the pokerstars “stats” tab for the first time since I have been using the software -how sad is that? I had won 7 of 8 at the showdown at this point, and had seen an impressive 8% of the flops, which is probably a bit too conservative no matter what your game is. Was I really just going to sit on the sidelines and wait for AA to make a bet? No, no I wasn’t. I proceeded to donk off a sizable portion of my stack when I made a foolish call that I had to lay down on the turn, but should have laid down before the flop.
Later in the tourney, on the bubble, I got aces again. Someone in front of me had already raised it to over half of my stack, so I just smooth called it, not wanting to scare anyone off, and hoping to pull down as many chips as possible. The flop was a goldfish, a flower pot, and Britney Spears, which helped no one, and he called me all in. I went on to double up yet again, and at a crucial time.
I got to the final table with a veritable Who’s Who of the tournament regulars, except for Wil, who was just as lucky to be at the final table as I was. Mungo was kind enough to double me up one last time, but it was clear that I was out geekedmatched at this table, and my ass was getting really sore (you would not believe how many excuses I could come up with in a pinch), so I decided to make the play I had to make: Drop the Hammer!
Unfortunately, Kaellin(matt?) didn’t get the memo, and thought that he could dominate the hammer. Well, it turns out he was right, he had pocket sixes, and the flop came 6hearts, 6clubs, and 6pinnacles. Not often you get quints on the flop. When the turn came up 6swatstikas, I briefly thought I could be back in it. If there were five sixes on the board it would be a split pot. Unfortunately the river was a Babe Ruth rookie card, which is just fucking worthless in that situation, so I go home.
Interesting to note that on 6-6-6 I went home in sixth place, to a six of a kind sixes, at 6:66 pm (+66minutes, +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds +66seconds). That is just too spooky to be a coincidence…
I had a lot of fun playing though, and thanks to actually finishing in the money this time, I will be able to play it again next week. I was damn near out of cash and wasn’t about to rebuy just to throw money to a lot of people that I have no business competing against anyway. And that is the kind of optimism I take into every tournament!