Go, Bob! Go!

Dedicating today’s post to Badih “Bob” Bounahra, my sentimental favorite for taking down the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event during next week’s November Nine Final Table.

Portland Players Club Noon $250 Guarantee (2,000 chips)

Got the 2,000 pre-add-on. Won the first hand with 57, hitting the straight on the flop and a straight flush draw on the turn. Pulled in over 1,500 chips from the pot and was still up over 5,000 chips after 15 minutes.

Went all-in with KJ with top pair and three diamonds on the flop and got called by a hand holding the A. Caught a third king on the turn and no more diamonds showed up. Then I won a couple smaller pots with just a pair of kings on one hand and sixes on the other. By forty-five minutes in I was up to 12,000 chips.

Got involved in a three-way all-in with just 7x7x against TxTx and Ax9x. The tens made a full house and I lost 2,400 chips. Lost some more drawing to a flush with just 42 and was down to 8,000 at fifty minutes.

Bet hard post-flop with QxQx from SB and again with AxTx that made a wheel on the river and took two pots down without showdown, which put me back up to 12,300 ten minutes later.

One of the players hit three full houses in the time I was at the table and I got caught by one of them, losing 1,600 on Tx4x with just top pair against his 3x3x. At break 1 I was down to 9,200 and added 4,000.

Slowly crept back up to 10,300 chips by the middle of the second hour, but got knocked out when I went all-in with 56 and middle pair when I was called by the big stack who had jacks for top pair. I think I almost managed to bluff him off, he would have taken a big hit if I’d managed to make a set or two pair, and he said he was expecting to see kings when he called me. But he did call me and he won.

115 minutes. -100% ROI. Finished 21st of 26 players. Pot was $615, including 16 re-buys, and over 50 addons (both pre- and post-).

Portland Players Club $200 Guarantee Freeroll (2,000 chips)

Got the 2,000 chip pre-add-on. Twenty minutes into the game I’d won a few and lost a few but I’d lost more quantity than I’d won, so I was down to 3,825. Then I picked up J9 and made two pair on the flop, with the third card being a diamond. My push got called and two more diamonds hit the turn and river, improving me to a flush and putting me up to 7,700 at the 45-minute mark.

Made a stupid mistake after calling 200 with KxTx. The ace-high flop didn’t have much on it for me, and I folded to a post-flop all-in bet of 500, but there were three callers and no more bets as a queen and jack ran out to make what could have been Broadway (and the nuts) for me.

Raised pre-flop at 100/200 to 500 with Ax6x and got two callers. Bet 2,000 on a flop of AxKxJx and took it down, then made a flush draw on the next flop with J2 and bet 600 for another win. At break 1 I had 9,100 before getting the 4,000 chip add-on.

I raised to 1,000 from 200/400 with AxTx and got a caller, hit the ace on the flop and bet 1,500 to take another pot, then things started to fall apart.

UTG with an up-and-down straight draw, I lost more than 3,000 with KxQx against AxTx. Dropped another 4,000 stupidly betting on Kx5x with a flop of Tx5x2x against the big stack of one of the better players in the house. I had to fold after the turn when he bet enough to put me all-in. He said he had AxTx and I have no reason to disbelieve him; he knows my fondness for JxTx.

JT cost me 1,200 after the flop whiffed past me. At 1:25 into the game, I was down to 4,400. Dropped another 1,200 on a weak ace.

Final hand was 9x7x. Blinds were 300/600, I was in BB and there were two all-ins ahead of me. If I was lucky, I could triple up to 8,000 or so. The big stack had TxTx, the other all-in had AxQx, and nothing came close to saving me.

Ninety minutes. -100% ROI. 12th of 21 players.

Only 32 winning days before EPT Prague.

Queen of Spades Kills the Action

D’s Game

Played at the dealer’s choice cash game again, but without the saving coup at the end. My worst beat of the night came on a 7-card stud variation I can’t remember the name of that had wild queens. I got two queens down and a king up, I’d been pushing the pot incrementally, and got another queen up on the last card. Then the queen of spades came as an up card, which killed the hand and broke my quad kings.

Full Tilt $15,000 KO Guarantee 6-Max (3,000 chips)

This game started off with a great overlay of only about 175 players but it was clearly going to meet its guarantee by the time I was eliminated. I’d won nothing larger than 100 chips, waiting for my spot for almost half an hour and dropping about 400 chips when I got 5A in my hand on the button at the 20/40 level. There was a limp and a min-raise, which I called. The blinds dropped out and the limper called.

The flop gave me a straight: 432. The raiser bet 120, I re-raised to 300, and the limper folded. There was a three-bet to 720 and I raised all-in to 2,550. He called and showed his flush draw: AT. The turn J was safe but 9 on the river put me out and gave him my bounty.

Full Tilt Step 1 Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

Kind of rocky for the first twenty minutes: meaning I was flirting with the 1,500-chip starting position most of the time. A couple good hands bumped me up to 2K for a few minutes but then a nut flush draw bottomed out and I lost 500.

Then I caught a batch of good hands, starting with TT and a double-up. We were already down to six players and two of us went to the flop after a raise to 300 (at 50/100). The flop was an unpromising QK3, but I called the bet of 700 with most of my stack to be rewarded with T on the turn. I checked again and was put all-in to call. He turned over KA, the river was a 5 and I was up to 2,820. I picked up the blinds on the next two hands with raises holding aces, got a straight on the river with 9T, and extracted a little bit more with 4A.

Ten minutes more and KK made me another 1,800 chips, even without the help of K on the river. That put me up at 5,400 and I managed not to blow it, going out in second place—which was enough to win a Step 2 ticket.

Full Tilt Step 2 Sit & Go (1,500 chips)

I built up to a nearly 2:1 lead over the other stacks by the 40-minute mark with four players eliminated, and over 45% of the chips in play in my stack. We were competing for two Step 3 tickets. Did I get one? No. I risked nearly 2K on a JQ and got knocked down to a minimal lead, then slowly slipped into third place, which is where I went out, earning another Step 2 ticket.

Full Tilt Step 2 Sit & Go 18-Players (1,500 chips)

Made it to almost 6K in chips before the tables consolidated but won just a single hand after that point, going out in sixth place, and getting yet another chance for Step 2.

Aces Players Club $1K Guarantee (5,000 chips)

Took a couple of early hits that nearly chopped my stack in half by the 40-minute mark, but shortly before the first break I caught a double-up with a flush through Señor Frog, a player two seats to my right who had a sparkly amphibian statuette for a card protector who was sucking down chips like they were flies. Didn’t quite make it to the second break, though, when I had QxQx. The flop was 7x9xTx, there was a (shorter-than-me) stack all-in, an all-in by the Frog, and even though I was virtually certain that the Frog had pocket 9x9x, I went all-in to call. Hey! I was right! The initial all-in had AxKx and the Frog ate our chips.

Aces Players Club (5,000 chips)

I hate to even admit this but this blog does not lie. The late-night table was exceedingly wild, with two all-ins and rebuys within the first six hands. I’m playing cautiously, I think. I’ve still got most of my stack left twenty minutes in when I get to the flop with KT in my hand and two hearts on the flop. The lady across the table goes all-in. I call—which means I’m all-in—and another player follows. The lady flips JJx. The other caller flips KT. I look back down at my cards and what I see is KT. Not good. The jacks win. I decide my eyes need some rest but instead I play some poker.

Full Tilt $10,000 Rush Guarantee (1,500 chips)

Everything’s peachy until the last hand. Bleed some chips looking for a good hand, win a chunk of chips, repeat. It doesn’t work when my A9 runs into 88, though. Four players go to the flop: me, in the big blind, and three limpers. I make top pair on the 289 board, make a pot-sized raise that gets one call, and a player on the button raises to 450, which I call. Then the player who’d called my bet goes all-in for more than either of the other two of us in the hand. Mr. raise-to-450 gets out of the way and I stupidcall. Trips end my tournament.

Full Tilt $18,000 Rush Guarantee Rebuy (1,500 chips)

I’m above the starting stack for less than 20% of this tournament. My last hand is AA. The flop is AJ7. 98 calls my 628 all-in pre-flop, just from a starting stack. The turn of 6 and river T make his straight and my trip aces are no good.

Full Tilt On Demand (1,500 chips)

More textbook tournament stack building ruined by stupidcalling. Forty minutes in, I’d quadrupled my stack. I got J8, min-raised at the 40/80 level, got a call from the small blind, a raise from the big blind, and calls all around. The flop is J8T. Top pair and an open-ended straight draw. I raise 500, small blind folds and big blind calls. The river’s just 2 but Q shows on the river. I have a chance to bail when a 1,400 chip bet is raised but I go all-in with my Q-high straight. It’s called immediately by KA. Wouldn’t you?