First Hands

Interesting (to me, at least) starts to the last two tournaments I’ve played.

Yesterday, on my first hand, I picked up [ad 8d] and called a small raise from early position, only to see a flop of [qx 8x 8x]. I called a continuation bet on the flop, then raised on the turn and managed to eat up half a starting stack when my trips beat pocket aces. I wish I’d pushed a bit harder, after we broke to three tables, I ended up giving a bunch of chips to the same player before chipping up again then losing everything in an attempt to push someone off a pot with my flush draw.

Today, I didn’t play a hand for nearly the entire first level. Close to the start of level 2, “Little Bill” (featured at the end of this Bluff article about PPC) sat down on my right; the last time I’d seen him months before, he was shouting drunkenly at my car from across the street while I was at a stoplight. He raised UTG to 150. I had [9x 9x] and re-raised to 400. There were calls from the middle of the pack and SB. The flop was a rainbow [7x 8x 9x]. SB bet 150 into a pot with more than ten times that in it. Bill raised to 1,000. I shoved for close to 4,000. SB and “LB” called. SB had [tx 3x] for an up-and-down straight draw, but LB had the made low straight with unsuited [5x 6x]. The turn [tx] put all sorts of chopping possibilities on the board, but [3x] for the river gave Little Bill nearly 12,000 chips at the beginning of level 2. Not so little after all.

Player Hand Pre-Flop Flop
[7x 8x 9x]


Poker Mutant [9x 9x] 59% win 36% win / 2% tie 21% win / 17% tie
Little Bill [5x 6x] 16% win 41% win / 2% tie 62% win / 17% tie WINNER
SB [tx 3x] 25% win 22% win / 2% tie 6% win / 17% tie