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.

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