Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Avoiding total disaster...

I had two weeks remaining before February ended with a total blank in the column under my name for points in our increasingly popular Park Avenue Poker Tour. Zero points after two months of play would have been a disastrous start to my quest for the PAPT Player of the Year. But alas, last night, I outlasted the field of 8... well, almost... came in 2nd and got 3 points. (Points are awarded to the top 3 when 8 or more players show, 5pts for 1st, 3pts for 2nd, 1pt for 3rd). I was actually pretty happy with my play and even though I didn't get as many good hands as I would have liked, when I got em, I got good action on them.

Very early, when the blinds were 2/4, I got dealt KJ of diamonds from late position so I raised to $12. Patrick (remember, no more name hiding until someone objects) popped me back from the blind for another $15 so I called. My intial instinct here told me that he's got a good hand but since I had position, I thought it was worth a call since he could be doing that with AA, KK, maybe even QQ or JJ and AK. The flop came K-x-x with two clubs on the board. Not exactly what I was hoping for but I did hit the flop. Patrick without hesitation bets out $25. At this point, I have him on AA or AK (if he had KK, I'm leaning towards him maybe slowplaying that a little). So, I call. Turn comes an A, he pushes all in and since I KNEW he had AK or AA at that point, it was an easy fold. He flips over his AA for trips. Now, if I "KNEW" he had a much better hand, why did I play on after the flop? Well, my thought was that he had AA or AK. In which case I thought $25 was a cheap enough call to make when the pot already included over $75 and if I hit my J or even another K (if he had AA), I knew that I could bust him. Granted, if he had AK and the 2nd K of the board hits the turn, I'd be writing this blog probably around 9pm on Tuesday about how I didn't make it...

Later, when the blinds were 3/6 (I think), I got dealt pocket queens. I haven't gotten much till then so I was pretty happy since I was hovering around $120 in tournament chips. I am in the big blind and there are two callers so I bump it up to $18. I believe they both called. Well, the flop comes Q-x-x with two spades on the board. I hit top set. Now part of me thought about checking this monster but I didn't like the fact that there was a flush draw out there with 2 players and one of them was a calling station (in my opinion) so I bet out hoping that if either one of them caught a piece of the board, I might get some action. Well, the one caller I got was the one I wanted. When the K (nonspade) came on the turn, I pushed all in... and got an instant call. Unfortunately for my friend across the table, K completed a second pair so with 2 pair, obviously, there was no way to fold the hand. My trips held up and that was a big double up (and then some) that got me about $300 in chips.

After that, I went card dead for a long time. And I mean I didn't see anything good. Not even an ace... At one point, I do get dealt 88, I raise, but big blind reraises me all in (Adam, if you're reading this, nice reraise). I folded because I figured the best case scenario for me was that I was a very slight favorite on a 50/50 and I knew that there would be a better spot for me. And my chip stack wasn't hurting so I played a little safe there. There was another instance when Patrick pushed all in and I found myself in the big blind (I think we were either 4 handed or 3 handed) with A6. I thought about it but I decided I could wait for a better moment... unfortunately, he flipped over A5 so I would have been a huge favorite.

Well, the poker gods were smiling down on me last night though. Once we were three handed, there was a big change in chip stacks when my dwindling stacks found AK, I raise, only to be pushed back for all my chips by Brent with AQ. Fortunately, my AK held up so I doubled up. Shortly, I find myself KK and so I raise only to be pushed all in by Patrick... who had QQ. Now THAT was an insta-call for me and my KK held up. So, going into heads up match, I was a clear chip leader with over $600 in tournament chips. But... no crazy big hands heads up. I missed a very big draw that would have ended the tournament with me winning but I didn't get there. That shifted the chips and not too many hands later, I bluffed on a busted straight draw... except he had top pair. Oh well, maybe next week!

On a side note, the House of Bad Beats lived up to its name... only against Adam... The two beats he took were brutal. Both times, he shared the top card, dominated the kicker and both times, he saw the mountain of chips shipped to the other player. I think one was KJ vs K7, K7 takes it. AK vs A8, A8 takes it. The interesting thing was that he was setting it up for that as well. Not for the bad beat but the bad calls. I don't know if he was catching but he can't have a monster every hand. And he was raising probably 70-80% of the time when it was 4 handed. When I felt like he was going too far, I hear Brent say "I raise, I'm all in." I thought to myself, there you go, someone pushing back. Let's see what Adam does. So, I was astonished when he said, "I call." Even more astonished with the AK. I thought this was gonna be his tournament. Until the house on Park Ave lived up to its name. Tough to finish 4th in that style.

1 comment:

Sia said...

Wow. What a match. 2nd place is a nice start. I get to start playing poker again in a week. PAPT appearance sooner than you think perhaps.