Saturday, May 01, 2004

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling

I'm sorry to bother you, but more poker stories...

I enter another little tournament of online NL Texas Hold'em, 132 entrants, 10 places paid, prize pool $660.

We start with 1500 each. I win the very first hand dealt, I rake in 2020 with my four tens. This places me in fifth place. A few won rounds later I, li'l ol' me, am actually in the effing lead! For a while. Quite a few won and lost rounds later I'm still in the top ten when I lose 3000 against an all-in with pair of queens that lost against pair of kings. On one hand I plummet from top ten to bottom ten.

I work my way up the field, I'm in the middle. A player after me goes all-in pre-flop. I have JJ, everybody else folds but I tag along, going all-in too. Pocket cards are turned over, he has AJ! My hand is winning! Flop gives me three of a kind, I'm liking this, I'm still winning this. But as I (figuratively speaking) already am grabbing for the pot, the river gives him a straight and me the 57th place.

But hey, at least I lose with good hands.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

Hmm, there's another $1 tournament coming up soon. I enter it.

It starts, with 251 players. I do very well, I'm in the top quarter of the field consistently. I win most hands I play in, and win big by careful raising and betting in some hands where I have straights. Just sit there and watch the eager ones go all-in pre-flop (I dread that phrase) with purdy cards and say bye-bye. Sift out the chaff...

At the one hour break I'm in 7th place of 87 players. Chip leader of the table. Not in on many pots, and then I rake in some medium ones with a straight and some (heh, feeling like a hustler now) raising in a late position where everybody except the blinds have folded or checked, or buying the blinds. In 18th place of 50 remaining.

But, you know the score by now. J6 on hand, I scare away all except one pre-flop. Flop gives me pair of jacks but there's an ace there too. Check to the turn, I before E except after C. The other player goes all-in. Me too. He has an ace in the pocket and I'm out at 46th place. Why, oh why did I chase that hand? It was beatable, and I could have stayed on, just ignore the hundreds I already put into the hand. But, and those of you that have read this and my earlier postings on my poker play can say it in chorus:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call it gambling.

And hey, since in a tournament everybody starts with the same amount and you don't play with "your own money", so to speak, I've overcome my fear of No Limit Hold'em. I used to play some Fixed Limit Real Money, but there you can be scared away with your measly few bucks by the big boys with many chips.

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