Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Rare occurences

Yet another installment of our biweekly homegame.

The boyos make me proud, they've grown up so fast... *sniffle* They're checkraising, exchanging chip denominations, bluffing, maximizing "the nuts" et cetera like they've done this a lot before (an by now they kinda have).

Each poker night, there's always one or two legendary hands. Tonight there were two:

  1. Which one is biggest? The board is two eights, two sixes and an ace. Player A who has won a few of our tournaments before goes all-in. Player B calls. Player A has full house, sixes full of eights. Player B (who plays a little online) has eights full of sixes.
  2. A worthy finish. Player B and Player C (who both have finished last in almost all our other games they've participated in) are the only ones remaining (I came in third). After some betting, the board is mostly low cards, but three clubs and an ace. Player B goes all-in and Player C calls with what he has left. The cards are turned over. At first glance, B has a straight. C shows his hole cards, a king and queen of clubs (=a flush). Yay for him! But wait... B implores us to look closer. We-ell, whaddyaknow, his straight is all clubs. What the conneiseurs call a Straight Flush, a rare occurence. A worthy finish for both players. Good hands, and their grinding paid off in the end.

I'll take Potent Potables for 200, Alex

When I come home, I find a letter from Jeopardy (the Swedish version) in the mail. I've qualified for the tryouts! Put me in coach, I know I can do it! (cue theme and soundtrack from Rocky and a montage of me running up the steps of the library, punching Google staff hanging in a meat locker and other carryings on)

I've actually been to one before. There are four stages, or qualifying rounds. You start out with a lot of people, answering more trivia questions (on paper). Those who pass go on to the next stage with harder questions. Those who pass that then go on to a "screen test", so to speak, where you play with buttons and "phrase your response in the form of a question". Then another round of questions and those who pass that are almost guaranteed to go on to the real thing on TV. That's where I failed last time, we were about ten left (out of more than fifty to start with) and four passed. I wasn't among them, but I think I was just a few points short.

Now to ponder what my dream categories would be...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cry me a river

Soo, went to the big live No Limit Texas Hold'em tournament yesterday.

I was feeling confident, having played in some of these live tournaments and quite a few homegames now. I no longer feel nervous handling chips or the "procedures" of a game (keeping track of blinds, ruling hands, shuffling'n'dealing). Also, I was hoping for Good Karma, since I helped an elderly woman with a walking stick off with her luggage on the train I took.

We start, 45 players, with 1500 in chips each. I soon manage to double that to more than 3000, even being the one who knocked out the second player to be knocked out. I think... Have to focus on my game, not the other tables.

Then the crippling hand. I get QQ on hand. The flop comes JJJ! Full house! But a player before me bets two times the big blind, so I have to be careful. He might have a pair on hand too, I think, or maybe an ace kicker, or bluffing. The turn and river aren't spectacular but we both bet much, however not nearing all-in. Showdown: He has the fourth Jack, played nicely. Now I'm down to 1000.

I was moved to another table to keep them balanced. I have 775 in chips, big blind is 300 and when I'm under the gun I get JTo. I call and nobody raises. The flop gives me a pair of Jacks and I go all-in with the remaining 475. Two callers, the guy immediately to the left of me (who by the way won the last tournament) and the guy immediately to my right. The turn is checked and at the river (a three) the guy to my right bets, the guy to my left folds. Showdown: He had 35 on hand, had flopped a pair of fives, and gotten two pair on the river, beating my one pair. I had him beat 'til the river! That is a recurring lament among Hold'em players that are all-in...

So, two significant hands sunk me. 29th place of 45, 8 places paid. But it was, as always, fun. Everybody there knew how to play and everybody tagged along on our "tradition" of everybody applauding when someone is knocked out. By the way, that's a good way of making sure the tournament directors, so to speak, know that someone is knocked out. The two guys who started this whole regional poker tournament didn't play this time, just ran the tournament. We even have a proper poker club now.

At least I have a story to tell this Tuesday at our regular biweekly homegame.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Obi-Wan has taught you well


Yesterday we had our li'l biweekly NLTHE poker tournament. Six participants, prize money to first and second place. And it just wouldn't work for me. I made two rebuys, yet I ended up in fourth place. Maybe I shouldn't've done the last rebuy, at that time I wasn't at least the first knocked out. Four rebuys in total, giving money to Mr. MA in first place (he's won two times before) and Mr. MF (second place, has finished last or second to last all the previous times, yay for him). Totally disrespectful to the fact that it's my poker equipment.

I'll never play Queen-Ten as hole cards again.

Oh, well, in less than two weeks I'll participate in a live multitable tournament that has potential for many participants. Maximum 70, last time we were 43. Could work out, could work out... Now I have even more live experience, can play the players, not just the cards.