Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Badger Poker...Finally, Victory?

It is a Wednesday night, so I must be at Gametime to play poker. Got there early to eat as I didn't have any food in the house. Was going to try the Hotter than Hades wings but decided to opt for the burger at the last moment. Good fries. Talked with the Twins fan Justin. Compared notes on what we thought about the whole series, the players, etc. Looked around at the tables that were set up. They are all regular poker tables now. Nice enough. Looked around for the right place to park my butt. Hmmm...where are the rubes? Saw some guys I had played with the prior night but that table was full. Damn. So I chose a fairly empty one. Space is good. So would the table be.

When play started, things were a little confusing at first. They were playing in two separate rooms, so it seemed like communication was not flowing between them as to when to raise blinds, move players, etc. This meant we got more play in at smaller blinds. Play was tepid at first. No one was playing much. So when I caught an Ace and nobody bet the 800 pot after the flop, I through out a bet and took it in uncontested. I would win a couple, lose one, but slowly chip up to just under 20k. Best hand was catching KQ with 2 callers. Flop came A Q 10. I bet 800 and was raised 1000. The turn was a J for the straight. I checked as the others checked as well. River was a rag. I looked and noticed one guy had about only 4k more so I moved all in. He thought for a while. I though he would call but he tossed it. Later he would keep asking if I had the K. At the end of the night I let him know.

I would stay just under that 20k mark for quite a while. Never going above and not any significant drops. A pair of K pushed me above the 20k mark. I took down a couple more quick pots to go to about 29k. People were moved in and out of the table. Some bigger stacks showed up. Play was flowing nice. The chick to my left showed up and knocked out two guys before a break. I don't think she liked me calling her a Black Widow. Oh well. When play resumed, they filled our table up to 10. I now had two big stacks to my left. There was a slow player in the middle (he had monster hands that he never raised preflop and rarely bet more than 2k at any time). The tight guy 4 over to the left was consistent. Luckily, I was able to double up. I moved all in 3 spots in with K J spades. The big stack to my left quickly called. Oh crap! I counted out my 29,300 and pushed it all forward. He easily had me covered. Everyone else folded. He showed A K offsuit. Oh well, it was just before 10. Maybe I will get some sleep tonight. Flop came all spades. Jackpot! Oh wait, he has the ace of spades. No spade, no spade. None on the turn and river and I double through.
Now I am just under 60k and floating around. Steal some blinds, avoid some major confrontation as we drop to about 30 players. I would soon drag down a hefty pot. I look down two see pocket rockets. I was in late position and looked around. Blinds were up to 2000/4000. There were two limpers already in. I looked down and moved it up to 25k. I get two callers, both bigger stacks. Did I screw up? I put half of my chips in. Should I have pushed them all? Flop comes all rags. The other two check the turn and river. I turn up my aces and they have held up. I am now at 160k with 3 tables left and feeling good. As we got to 20, I didn't play that much. Defended the blinds, picked up some small pots. We waited and waited until we had our final table.
Going in, I noticed I was either 2nd or 3rd. But only 2 people had very small stacks. Blinds were now 10000/20000 plus a 5000 ante. Ouch! I was shocked that he added the ante. I think it is a great move, but 5000 was pretty high. After the high card came out to pick the new button position, I was suddenly putting out those blinds. On the second or third hand in, I tried to make a move. Caught A Q clubs. The pot had been raised to 100k. I moved all in (probably too aggessive here). Guy to my left called as did the original raiser. I saw A 10 suited and then K K from the original raiser. Ouch! No ace or clubs helped me and I dropped dramatically down to 60k (I had them both covered). Played tight from there. Caught an ace and moved all in for no callers. That helped. People started dropping left and right. There was the aggressive old guy to my left now. He dropped a good pot when his bluff was called. Otherwise, the others chipped there was out. I got back up when my K J held up knocking out a guy. I got some more when A 9 paired the 9s. On that hand I knocked out Justin the Twins fan for the second straight night. Suddenly there were only 4 people left. Me, the chip leader and the lady on my right who was very quiet. I noticed she had a big stack earlier in the night but at the final table, the blinds and ante slowly bled her. She went down on a low pair that lost to two pair. Now there were 3 and I was in trouble. Blinds were now 25,000/50,000 and antes of 10k. I had about 2000k or so left compared to their 1.2 mil and about 900k respectively. I posted my ante and blinds and caught nothing. Old guy tried to put me in post flop when I had the small blind. I called the BB with a J 7 suited. Flop came 8 10 Q. He moved me all in. Did I want to make a stand and go for the gut shot? No, not taking the chance with those cards. I have two hands I can see before I am all in. I had 65k left and was on the button. Toss my crap cards out. The other two big stacks then went to battle. I was shocked to hear one guy go all in and quickly get called. Before I knew it, old guy was out! I fell bass ackwards into 2nd place. I was shocked. I had half a stack. The good tourney player waits for me to fall out. I wasn't complaining. I thanked the old guy twice for letting me fall in.
So I moved my whopping half stack in against the guy who looked like he had 25 stacks out there (each stack being 100k). I survived the first hand. Good. Then the second, and the third. Now he was tossing hands. I had 8 stacks now. But my big comeback wasn't to be. I had K 5 in the small blind. It was quarter to midnight. Flop came all spades. He checked. I checked. Turn was a red card. He moved all in. I figured he didn't have an ace and was trying to bully me. I didn't think he had a flush, but I didn't give that much thought. I called figuring I could hit the flush or at least have high card. This move wasn't the brightest. I knew immediately I would have folded in all instances. This guy bet only when he had it. I was thinking more of doubling up and really getting into the game. He showed his flush. Last card was not a spade and thus it ended. Got me a polo shirt and hat and the thought of how I woulda, coulda shoulda, played better the last hand.

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