Aces Players Club Back-to-School Special (12,000 chips)
DV and I both played this game, in which the house added $1,000 to the pot for first prize just to make it extra juicy. I ended up at table 1, seat 8, and spent the afternoon next to R, the gent who beat me out of a first-place finish in a freezeout a few months back. DV ended up out in the hinterlands.
My first move of any sort was as BB with Ax9x. By the turn, there were two kings on the board and when a bet of 400 opened, I folded.
On SB with 8♦9♦, I caught top pair on the flop with my nine. The K♣ on the turn, two clubs on the flop and a bet of 400 from the same guy (seat 1) as the hand before and I folded.
Shortly thereafter, I picked up A♠K♠ and raised to 350, getting four callers. The king paired on a pretty dry flop, I bet 1,000 and took the pot. Twenty-five minutes into the game, I was 625 chips ahead of starting stack.
Three players were in for 350 when I picked up AxAx as BB. I raised pre-flop to 2,000 and only one stayed in. The flop was jack-high, I bet another 2,000 and my opponent folded. R told me he folded jacks to my raise. That put me up to 15,225 by the 35 minute mark.
Called 225 with K♦J♦ and whiffed the board, then folded to a river bet, then blew another 300 playing Ax2x (althought that wasn’t my worst play in this tournament with that hand). I lost about 1,000 chips over twenty minutes.
Dumped another 750 chips raising to 350 with AxTx. I had a wheel draw on the turn but missed. Just after an hour of play I was back down to 13,400.
Set-mining with 6x6x as SB is dangerous work! Don’t call 600 pre-flop with it. It isn’t worth it. 8x8x as BTN, on the other hand, proved profitable when I re-raised to 1,100, made my set on the flop, then won with a 2,200 opening bet post-flop. Twenty minutes after the hour I was up to 13,975.
With A♠Q♣ I raised to 2,000 pre-flop, getting two callers. There were two spades on the jack-high flop and I opened for 1,300. I was min-raised, then action came to a halt when the player to my right went all-in for more than 14,000. I thought about it briefly and laid down my hand; everyone else did so as well. The winner showed JxJx for top set and took in a big pot. I, on the other hand, was down to 10,400 at the beginning of the first break, so I almost doubled my stack by buying the 8,000 chip add-on.
Set-mining with 7x7x is dangerous work (see above). 1,500 chips worth of dangerous. Speculating with K♣6♣ is 500 dangerous. From 20,000 chips (12,000 starting stack plus 8,000 add-on) at the two hour mark, I was down to 16,300.
Things looked up a bit when I called 1,200 holding A♣6♣ and the flop was all clubs. Heads-up after the flop, I bet 1,200 after my opponent checked and took the pot. At two-and-a-half hours I held 17,400 chips.
R remarked that I wasn’t holding onto many hands, which is when I coined the title for this post. Then I lost 2,400 with JxTx, which is usually a good performer for me.
Last hand of the game was a highly speculative A♠2♣. The flop made me straight possibilities: Q♣4x3♣. The only other player in the hand was pushing hard, and I pushed back, eventually going all-in. Then the turn improved me to a flush draw: 9♣. Then I connected to my flush with 4♣ on the river. Unfortunately, what the other guy was connecting to with that card was a more powerful full house because he had QxQx in his pocket. R said he thought I was getting frustrated. I don’t know. I didn’t feel frustrated, I just thought I had an opportunity with that hand to do something before my stack got so small from blind attrition that I’d always get called. If my opponent had a pair instead of a set, he might not have called the all-in.
DV lasted a couple hours longer than I did. I swung back by the club to see if there was anything I could get him about an hour after the last I’d heard from him, but he was out by then. R was there but wasn’t in the tournament any more.
Three hours. Placed seventy-first of 93 entries. Fourteen places paid, with $15,000 in the prize pool.