Monday, May 30, 2005

Getting even

Time for the poker tournament at the location where I won last time.

Nice weather, and I arrive in shorts, Hawaii shirt, bucket hat and sunglasses. We're 24 players and there's one rebuy+addon available.

I'm seated on the "veranda" table along with the host, co-host and two other players I know are good. And three more I know nothing about. At this stage in a tournament you'll have to be strict. I do well and build a nice stack, the draws come. Lose some of it, make the addon. Coffee and cookies and sausage-in-a-bun is provided in the first break.

I accidentally tear down a curtain and spill coffee all over myself when pushing the curtain aside to enter the house. Sorry about that, J.

The stack dwindles and I'm in one of the blinds when the host raises the minimum and calling puts me all-in. I have Jack, King off-suit and this is it. Nope, he has Ace Queen and makes a pair and I'm out at 15th or 16th place. Five places paid of 24.

I lounge about a bit and then enter the cashgame with knocked out players that has started, I buy in for the same amount as the tournament buy-in (200 SEK) with blinds 5/10, No Limit.

That was a whole other game, they were wild and crazy and I just folded and folded until really good hands and positions came up. After a while I loosened up a bit, when I was up in stacksize. I really prefer tournaments because there you know what amount you "risk", but here at this table, a 50-chip was 50 currency units. But I overcame this mental block, so to speak, and also started flinging 50, 75 and 100 in chips around. The trick is to ignore the money and consider it ammunition. I don't recall who said it, but the proverb is "Poker is a game of money played with cards". At one time, I'm down to 50 in stack and get a pair of nines as hole cards in the small blind. All-in, and they hold up with three other players in and I'm back where I started. The hours dwindle on, players come and go and I'm up to 700-800 at one time and when we break up my stack is 600, meaning I'm break-even for today, having made up my tournament buy-in and addon.

Notable hands: One where I made a weak flush (two diamonds on hand) but the opponent also had two diamonds and one of them was a Queen. Another one where I didn't make anything with the strong whole cards calling another player's all-in. He has a deuce on hand and makes three of a kind on the flop, but the board ends up AAA22 so we split the pot. Something like that at least... Pity, he almost deserved that pot but, hey, it's poker. (should've had a special house rule, he had two Three of a Kinds).

The tournament ends with the host and co-host making a deal splitting the 1st and 2nd place prize pool evenly.

Afterwards I meet up with some of the players at a pub (after stopping by at home to change out of my coffee-stained shorts) where I blow the amount of a tournament buy-in on Fast Poker, a form of Caribbean Stud. You place a bet in a Bet square to get cards (three (3) cards) and place the same amount in the Play square if you want to play them. You have to beat the dealer's poker hand to get Play and Bet times two back and also get something extra if you have better than pair. Straight beats flush. Dealer has to get Queen high or better to play, otherwise it's No Game and payback.

Last hand was me getting AAK, and then the dealer gets Three of a Kind, 666, of course.

And I learned that you should check the house rules. Usually at Black Jack tables at pubs in Sweden the normal rules apply. Dealer has to draw to seventeen, equal value is a Push. Double and Split possible. I had seventeen, dealer draws to seventeen and then scoops up my last chip. "Hey, I had seventeen as well, you can't do that!". "Sorry, that's the way we play it here." Well, you do that, but I won't be coming back.

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