I ended up in 31st place out of 164 people in this weeks pennbrook tournament. This is the first time I haven’t finished in the money in one of these events. Granted i’ve only played 3 previously but i really liked the idea of going 4 for 4. The thing that really stings is that with only 40 players left i had 7500 chips which is a comfortable lead over the chip average of 4100 chips at that point. So how did I loose all those chips?
40 players left, blinds 400 – 800, 8 handed, First to act. I look down at my hole cards and I see that I have KK. None of these players are terrible, but none are really that good. Most are oblivious to betting patterns, so doubling the big blind in an effort to get someone to come over the top is a pretty good move. Unfortunatly no one raised and the big blind calls the extra 800. I don’t watch the flop but instead watch the big blinds reaction to the flop…. which is a combination of joy and reliefe. He says all in. I ask him to count it and I finally look at the flop. A 5 9 with two diamonds. The blinds hands are shaking a little as he counts out his chips. For me to call it would cost me all but 1200 of my chips. This was a fairly easy fold if it wasn’t for my ego. I hate the idea of laying down kings or aces because you will feel so stupid if your wrong. But I figure if I show my kings he will have to show me what he has…. unless he had a worse hand in which case he won’t want to show the bluff. I toss the kings in face up and the big blind guy shows AJ. The dealer rabits the next cards to see what it would have been and no king would have come to save me. The big blind looks confused because he was sure I had called with the kings but I explained that when someone throws their cards in like that, it counts as a fold since it hits the muck. No one really thought it was that good of a read on my part, but I was still pretty juiced that I layed it down even if no one else was.
Next Hand: 5100 chips with my 800 big blind allready posted everyone folds around to the button who moves all in for 2700 total. The small folds and I look down and find QJ suited. It costs me 1900 more to go after 3500. Not quite 2 to 1 odds but still it makes a coinflip worth the call, but now i have to figure out what he has. If he has AA, KK, QQ, or JJ then my call would be a bad move. AK and AQ or KQ are also bad hands to go up against. For my call to be correct he would need to have a hand like 10 10 or some other pocket pair, or Ax suited, or maybe suited connectors. I also have to take into account this guys table image, my table image, and his chip stack in relation to the blinds. This kid looks like he would be very aggressive and so far at the table has lost two races to loose most of his chip stack. I have been kind of tight and have only showed big hands, one of which was KK that I was willing to laydown. Just based off of that I’m thinking that he might be making an attempt to steal the blinds against a fairly tight player (me) from good posisiton. When I’m on the button I often try and steal and I deffinatly try to steal from one off the button where it’s less obvious i’m trying to steal. Why wouldn’t this guy be trying to steal? Based off of this along with pot odds and him needing to double up to last through the next 2 round of blinds, I decide to call. this kid shows 66 which is a good hand for me to go up against. Mace tells me that the odds heads up are in my favor, which I doubt, but then verify on cardplayer.com holdem odds calculator. So I have a 51% chance of winning so the call is correct. But If I loose i’m going to be down to 3200 chips and I’ll be in the small blind which will put me at 2800.
And I’m down to 2800 after I loose my race and fold in the small blind. I get nothing on the button. On the next hand everyone folds around to me and I look down and find K9 suited. I’m one off the button so It’s a good steal position and if called I could still win. The big blind only has 700 so he is all in regardless so i only have to worry about the button and small blind. The button is fairly tight so I’m not worried about him calling with a bad hand, and the small blind got lucky on a couple of races to get where he was (about 5000 chips) so I don’t think he’d want to keep pressing his luck as well. So I go all in. Button folds but small blind calls. Thanks. Small blind shows AQ off and big blind shows 10 3 suited. My odds aren’t that bad since I have live cards and a flush draw. The flop hurts thought when my 9 pairs but so does the ace of the small blind. The turn is another Ace which means I’d drawing dead. I would have beat the big blind but that is little consolation as I walk away from the table in 31st place.
This was tough for me because I was close to the money and people we dropping out left and right so maybe i should have folded the QJ and saved my chips for a big hand latter on. Then again with 1200 in blinds everytime around 5400 wouldn’t last long enough for 1300 more players to drop out.
I also played some poker Saturday night with Rocco’s family… and his money since I woulnd’t pay to play wild card games like pass the trash, screw your neightbor, between the sheets, midnight baseball, and hold’em high low with any suited connectors being wild. The last one I made up on the spot. Rocco gave me 30 to play with and I lost it all puls 50 of my own cents. I mean when you have three people with 5 aces, and 4 people with perfect lows on the same hand, you have to admit that the game is a combination of luck and futility.
So how do I rebound? I plan on working a new points forumla and set up for www.fridaynightfelt.com this weekend…. well today. Maybe that will get me in the right mood that I can take home another money finish at creekside next week, or maybe inspire me to play some poker online. Who knows.