Sunday, February 13, 2005


Money In The Bank

As I mentioned in my diary, I grabbed a tasty slice of cake on Friday in Luton's £100 No-Limit Freezeout. I do mean to at least mention the result of every live tournament I play - soon enough there'll be a post that says "No hands. Found AK. Lost to JJ. The end". But not today !

My initial table was good - for about ten minutes. At that point three loose players had already departed. From then on it was a bit grim. But I hung in there and 2 hours in, still had 4000 chips. Then I went on what you might call a rush. AA beat QQ, up to 8K. Nicked a few, up to 12K. KK beat A9, up to 20K. AA beat JJ and AK, up to 40K. Ching ching ! Nicked a few more, took a short stack out and when the crunch time came I was in a great position to push on, chip leader on a tight table, with 50K and 14 players left.

Poker being what it is though, soon enough I was down to 3 big blinds. I lost a chunk calling Charlie's SB all-in with A9 in the BB - his K5 took it down. Then I misjudged the player on my left - I had him pegged as a total rock so raised his BB with nothing, only to find he had obviously decided enough was enough and "gave me a spin" with QTs which was a mile in front and held up. I stole a couple, then went for it again with A2. The BB had a bit of a dwell and then made a "what the hell" looking call - with QQ. Ace on the turn, instant karma baby, see you next week (I had a few more chips before the hand). I was about to slate the guy for needling me but it is (just) possible he was actually considering passing, the way some people play. Really ! I hope anyone who reads this doesn't [play like that], but some people do. If he was needling me (and I've never done anything to him), he has his own permanent reward of having to live inside his own head. Only he knows.

Anyhoo, QQ v 88 went my way this week (Q first off this time !) and I had my 50K back. The player on my left confirmed my read of him as a total rock (when he hadn't given up) by passing 99 to my button raise and the final table convened 8-handed, 2K-4K for a round, and just over an hour to finish the job !

I picked up a few decent hands, AK, AJ, TT, enough to knock out three shorter stacks, and I was in decent shape. I thought Lady Miros was going to harvest all the chips, especially when she flopped quad 3s against someone foolish enough to call her all in with JJ pre-flop, but a couple of ill-timed bluffs saw her once-towering stack all in the hands of a very quiet old guy who I'd seen a few times before but didn't know. We were 3-handed with Xuyen "Bad Girl" who was the short stack, she asked for a saver (no fool that one), I didn't mind as I only had about 25% of the chips, and the chip leader agreed - he must have had his reasons but I wouldn't have done it. Not only was he giving up immediate EV, he was taking the pressure off both of us and we could now gamble. Which Xuyen did, and lost, so we were heads up.

All that happened remarkably quickly so we had about half an hour to play heads up, with a chip count after that if necessary. Which basically meant we were now playing a heads up cash game with a fixed end point. I took the lead with AK v A3 all in pre-flop, and then set him all in with AsJs on a K high flop with 2 spades. When he called and showed 7s2s I thought I was a mile ahead - but the other card on the flop was a 7, so it was smack on 50/50. I missed. After that either he was incredibly lucky or he was playing much better than me - every time I had a hand (including a flush and 2 pair) he escaped, every time I bluffed he nailed me. Or so it seems now ! I could have won about 25% of the chips with AK v K3 with the ref looking at his watch, but it wasn't to be. I'm going to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, I think he played better than me post-flop, so well done.

I'm not complaining about £1700 one little bit though ! It's important to remember though I did have quite a bit of luck at times. I mean even with the AA/KK/AA premium hands, as an accumulator I'm odds against (6/4) to win all three. I'll have to bear that in mind when the rush ends, but for now I can enjoy the biggest thrill in poker. Raking in a big pot ? Running a successful bluff ? Explaining my play at the table like a champion analyst while some poor sod has to sit there and take the rubdown ? Zinging Steve Templeman about his shirt ? No, not even the last one - taking the money to the bank.

Didnt u consider a chop once u were level headsup with no play left?



I asked him when the heads up started if he'd be interested in a deal (having seen what a bad deal he made 3-handed) but he said no. Fair enough. In fact, with 400K in play and blinds 6K-12K I've been in situations with a lot less play.

I should point out that if it had gone to a chip count, it would have been divided up proportionally by chips, if anyone didn't know that.

he must have thought u were a fish :) I am never surprised by how badly people make deals. Once a guy, with a big chip lead, back in the day, asked if I wanted to do a deal. First was 2k, second say 1200. He offered me 1300. Needless to say we played on :-)

My favourite story was when, 5 handed and a big chip lead, I asked for first prize and very nearly got it, sans 100 quid. 5th actually got less than the value of his chips!!! This was Liverpool tho. I actually think my best skill of those long ago days was doing the deal not actually playing


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