98 Tournaments

Played three tournaments yesterday(ish), which brings my total since 1 May to 98, including both live and online games.

Aces Players Club $10K Guarantee (10,000 chips)

I haven’t cashed in this tournament over six attempts. But at least I usually make it to the add-on break so that I can donate another $50 to the prize pool. Not last night. I picked up KxKx as BB and hit a set on the flop. I was so busy hoping for the board to pair on the river that when a mid-position player who’d been calling my raises shoved, I snap-called and was easily beat by the Broadway straight I missed seeing. I just said “Not tonight” when the dealer asked me if I wanted to rebuy, but what I was thinking on my way out the door was “Not after a stupid call like that.”

Twenty minutes. Didn’t even bother to check the entries or my position but I think I was first out among about 45 players although some likely showed up after I was KOd. -100% ROI.

Encore Club $3,000 Guarantee (10,000 chips)

I thought of variations on the theme of what I should have said as I drove across town to the Encore. I still had enough in my pocket for a buy-in in their Friday night 8pm freezeout, and I even managed to get a spot in their parking lot.

Sometime about three months ago I stopped keeping notes on my live games. It seemed distracting, I wasn’t always finding time to post the results here (I’ve got several games from June and July I never got around to), and I felt I wasn’t able to concentrate on my game as much. On the other hand, I was cashing more often while I was keeping notes, so I decided to do it again for this game. Did it make a difference?

Early on I lost 1,300 chips with QJ. I needed a 9x for a queen-high straight but folded on the turn bet and the other two players still in the hand chopped my contribution, as they were both holding AxTx and made a pair of tens.

Hit a pair of queens with Qx9x and took a small pot, then tossed JxTx post-flop which would have made a jack-high straight on the turn. By 15 minutes into the game I was down to 8,600 chips.

J7 lost me 250 when I folded after an unpromising flop. I pushed 1,200 into the pot holding 9x9x in position after a limper who called but Ax on the flop and a bet from the limper made me throw it and he showed his Ax. Down to 7,575 at 33 minutes.

Called a raise to 425 with Qx8 but tossed it after another ungood flop. Three-quarters of an hour in, I was down to 6,950.

Finally, my flushing strategy worked with T8. I hit on the turn and pulled in enough to bring me back up over starting level, to 11,825.

Overbet AxTx and lost 1,200 when I didn’t connect by the river heads-up and my opponent bet another 1,200. At the first break I was holding just over the starting stack: 10,125 chips; just a little below average with only one player out.

I went card-dead for quite a while and slipped slowly to 9,100 after the return to play, then shoved from BB with JxJx (the strong hand of the night) and was called by AxQx (which was consistently losing last night). The woman who called me had me covered by only about 600 chips and the loss was crippling. On the other hand, I was up to 17,800 by the two-hour mark.

I called an all-in with A8 and was outmatched by A9 but the board gave me a low straight and I knocked out a player, taking me up to 23,200 at 2:15 into the game. By break two that had increased to 25,800.

With the blinds at 400/800/100 after the chip-up, I raised to 2,000 with QxJx from UTG and managed to take the blinds down. With K5, I raised from BTN to 2,400. There weren’t any hearts on the flop and BB won the pot hitting jacks over nines right off the bat.

A player with 9x9x went all-in with 14,000 and I called with KxKx, which held up. A little more than three hours into the game, I was up to 33,800. I promptly slammed down again calling an all-in from a 5,000 chip short stack with JxTx. They tripled up.

Clubs failed me again with A5 on BB. There weren’t any black cards on the board by the turn when another player bet out and I folded, losing 1,600 chips. Twenty minutes after being at neatly 34K I was down to 24,600. Another twenty minutes had me cut down to 20,600, just under the average stack.

Two kings on the board by the turn forced me to fold Ax8x and forfeit 1,600 more chips. The slide continued, down to 18,800 at the third break.

Four hours into the game and it was an even 14,000. I took the blinds and antes with K[tyd] but a pre-flop all-in with QxTx got called by a big stack with AxJx. I had an up-and-down straight draw from the flop, but nothing else materialized and I was gone.


Five hours. Finished eleventh of 44 entries. Six places paid, with $4,400 in the prize pool.

Carbon Poker $150 Guaranteed Pot Limit HO (2,000 chips)

What better to cleanse the palate of five hours of play, only to bust out short of the money, than some mixed-game online action? I joined the game with only four other players at one of two tables, playing Pot Limit Hold’em. I lost a couple of early pots, laid down a KJ after missing the flop that would have cleaned up on the fifth hand, then finally turned A8 into enough to get me back up over starting stack on hand 8.

The very next hand, I paired my ace in A7 on the flop to win a small pot, then lost a little back. We lost a player on hand 10, then the tables consolidated on hand 14. The sixteenth hand was the beginning of our switch to Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo.

Hand 21 was a turning point. I picked up K932. Seemingly not a particularly good hand, but with low possibilities if there’s an ace on the board. I raised to 90 (from 15/30) UTG, was re-raised by UTG3 to 315, and called after BTN called. The 7JK flop gave me a heart draw and top pair; I bet the pot: 990. UTG3 went all-in and I was all-in to call. He had 7AKA for two pair as it stood; we were 40/60 with me on the short end. But I made the flush on the 5 turn and his only hope was to catch7, 7, or K on the river. I went from 2,295 to 4,920 and a more than 1,000 chip lead.

I didn’t win anything through the next round of PLHE, actually managing to lose the 1,000 margin I’d had. By the start of hand 40 I was down to 3,285. That hand, I got 34A7 in SB and called the 60 chips of the big blind. The QT3 flop gave me a gut-shot Broadway draw; I had a backdoor nut flush. I checked it and BB checked. K on the turn gave me the nuts: Broadway. I checked, BB bet 225, I pot-raised to 1,425 and he called. A pointless 7 showed on the river. I checked, BB tossed in his remaining 515 chips and I called. He just had kings and threes. He was KOd, I was up to 5,945.

Hitting trip nines on the next hand (the last of that round of Omaha) put me over 6,000 chips. AQ on hand 47 dragged in another nearly 4,000 chips. At nearly 8,500 chips, my nearest competitor was 2K below me. I lost a bit on a few hands, but a split high pot (22KK on the board and two of us with aces) on hand 54 (PLHE) got me up to 8,088.

My nearest competitor and I went head-to-head in hand 56 (PLO8) with me taking the low and earning a couple hundred in early bets and calls.

The next hand, I picked up 66KA in HJ at 75/150. Action folded to me, I raised to 450 and got called by BTN and SB. The flop of 952 missed me completely and got checked all around. 2 on the turn didn’t do me any good, either, but when SB checked to me I bet 750 and both the others folded. I was up to 9,288 and I was invincible with a nearly 3,000 chip lead.

I lost 825 speculating with one of those unrecommended hand that I nevertheless enjoy in PLO8: 9T78. SO good if you manage to hit a bunch of mid-range cards on the flop for a straight, not so good when it’s 55J and someone bets 1,330. I folded and watched nothing that would have improved my hand show up.

I speculated with a couple of more hands, dropping down to just over 6,000 chips by hand 63. Then I picked up 52A7 and everything went to hell. A player starting with just under 5,000 raised to 425 from UTG1, and I re-raised to 850 for some reason. SB folded, BB called, then UTG1 raised to 3,475. My hand wasn’t strong—even if a low came along I could be easily counterfeited— but I called anyway. The KK8 on the flop gave me nothing, but I still called an all-in bet of 1,450. My opponent flipped over AA64 for a pretty good two pair. The K on the turn sealed my fate. With no possibility of a low and a full house in his hand, I was drawing dead for a pot of 10,775 chips. I started the first hand of a round of PLHE with just 1,101.

My last hand (at 100/200), I potted pre-flop from UTG to 700 with JT. BTN re-raised to 1,200, then BB pushed to 4,400. I called with my remaining 401 chips and BTN folded. BB flipped over KA. He had over cards and both my suits, but I still had about a 35% chance. That dwindled to 22% when we both paired on the T9A flop. Neither the turn or river cards improved my lot, and my implosion was complete. Top to bottom in five hands.

67 minutes. 67 hands. Finished seventh of 10 players. Three places paid; $190 prize pool.