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He Had Outs

Hey all. In case you missed it, I posted You Decide #50 earlier today. In that hand, I was in the Big Blind as one of the larger stacks with only 9 or so people left out of 19 that started the tournament. After a player in mid-position limped and the SB chipleader, who announced he had to leave very soon, called, we saw a flop, T93, all hearts (I incorrectly stated T83 in You Decide #50, but it doesn't change the hand). I made a baby flush with my 24h and got into a raising war with the chipleader. In the end, I pushed all-in, he called. 24h vs. KhTx. Many of you agreed that pushing was the right play, and our assumptions about the SB's range were correct. He called with top pair, second-nut flush draw. At the time, I had him on the Ah or Kh, so I was right as well. I wasn't worried too much about the bigger flush, although that was definitely my major (and only) concern. At the flop, I was actually 68.38% ahead of my competition and I prayed that another heart would not come. It didn't. Instead, the turn was a 9, and the river was an 9. I was ecstatic for about .02 seconds, and then I saw the full house.

If I had any doubts about how I played the hand, it was this: with this many players left, did it make sense to get all-in against one of the only (or possibly THE only) player who could bust me? I'm still not 100% sure. I got in as an almost 70% favorite, but I also believe that tournament poker is often about avoiding going all-in. I'm on the fence because, had I won, I would've been a prohibitive chipleader and I could've potentially coasted to the money and then been in great position to make a deal for good money. All-in-all, I'd probably play the hand the same way, though.

That's how I got tossed from the I Had Outs tournament this past Friday. Losing like that was a real blow. I often write about how you should not focus on how others played. Yes, I'm anti-rant, mostly because I think the ranter gets little benefit out of it. In fact, I sincerely believe that the ranters (there are always exceptions, and if you've thrown out a rant or two, let's pretend like you are that exception, since I don't feel like arguing over, really, you are the exception...rant on...) do themselves a disservice because they fail to see how they could have changed their fate. That is not to say that I don't react to bad beats. I most certainly do.

When I first lost the hand, it felt like I was punched in the gut. I mean, literally, punched in the gut. I think a heart would've been easier to process, but runner-runner full house was a blow. It was very similar to the time that I bubbled in the Showboat tournament many many months ago. I remember I held AQ v. KQ all-in preflop, and when that K hit, I stood up, didn't say a word and just walked as far away as possible trying to gather my thoughts. This time, I got up from the table, may've said, Good Game, and then walked away. Karol saw the look of shock on my face and suggested I step outside to join some of the people celebrating April 20th. I could use the air, so I walked out onto the balconey. From there, I chatted with some of the fellow players who had busted. I didn't particularly mention the hand other than to tell them I had busted. I may have given a quick rundown, but only because they were surprised that I was out. Before that hand, I was a strong chipleader (although not #1) and I was playing extremely well.

A couple of the people tried to talk me in to staying for the .25/.25 NL ($25 max) cash game, but I couldn't play that cheap. I was stuck $60 ($30+$30 rebuy), and anything less than .25/.50 $50 max seemed pointless (frankly, I would've been glad with 1/2). But I also felt that I was going to chase losses and go on tilt. I didn't want a relatively minor loss caused by odds to turn into a major one caused by my own stupidity, so as I sat on the couch and we discussed the possible stakes, I finally had to relent and tell the room that I was heading home. It was just past midnight and I had had my fill for the day. So, I lost the hand, it tilted me, but I didn't act on my tilt. To me, it feels almost like winning. Almost...

So, how did I become such a force at the final table? Actually, from the Crackhouse gang's usual players, especially Alceste and Mary. At first, I was sitting at the main table with a bunch of players I didn't know as well. I eventually gave up my first stack to Ron Lad, Karol's brother, on two hands that saw him with monster hands and me with a stubborn refusal to recognize that I was beat or my bluff wouldn't work. I joked as I rebought that I don't play for real until my second buy-in. It seems like a trend at these games, but its likely more to do with the fact that, by the second buy-in, I know the table a lot better. For instance, Matt, a player I had never played with before, was clearly on tilt, playing tons of hands loosely and aggressively. I held 69h on one hand, and when he raised preflop, I called (along with another loose player) from the blinds. I knew he was ahead at that point, likely with a bare Ace or something similar, because he was willing to make preflop raises with as little as A7. When the flop came down 589, I checked. He bet out $500 (this is in the early goings, so that's a big bet), and I raised to $1500. He folded and I heard him say he had AJ. The check raise with such a seemingly vulnerable hand might seem like an odd play, but I knew he was folding because he rarely ran into any resistance, at least in the early goings. Aside from this, I scrapped up some more chips as I tried to get to 6k, essentially my starting stack (3k) plus my rebuy stack (3k).

When I was moved to the other table, I sorta grumbled. The couch was a much worse seat for comfort, and I was playing with some of the Crackhouse (the name of the weekly low limit NL cash game) regulars. They all see me as loosey goosey (no matter how much I note their opinion of me here), so I was able to chip up nicely by taking out Alceste (his 99 v. my QQ), and winning a big pot off of Mary when she called me down with an unpaired AK, and my T6 had flopped top pair (I did, admittedly lead her on). To Mary's credit, she made a great laydown in an earlier hand I re-raised her preflop with AA. She was definitely considering pushing all-in on top of me, but somehow she got away from her hand. I had assumed she was on something like AK, and when I said, "Big slick?" she looked at me like I was crazy. "What then, QQ?" "QQ!!" she replied, "I wish!" Later, I told her I had Aces. She had 88 or 99. It was then that she realized she was happy she didn't have 88 or 99. Other big hands saw me bust a player when I played J8s in LP. The flop was a seemingly harmless 368 rainbow flop. When it checked to me, I bet out. The SB, a smart player, raised all-in. I had to consider the possibility that he got a SB special, two pair. I made the praying call though, and he showed A3o. Ka ching!

But alas, it was all for naught. I ended up losing, but I had an exceptionally good time. Thanks again to Dawn and Karol, along with all of the players. If all goes well, I may have even scored myself an invite to the Wall Street homegame. That's a mere three blocks from my apartment, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it happens.

This is a crazy week for poker. Aside from today and tomorrow, wifey Kim and I have our own separate plans for the rest of the week except for Saturday. Wednesday is her usual girl's night to watch America's Next Top Model. I'll be at EBB with Matty Ebs and Mikey Aps playing our team poker tournament. Hopefully, 23Skidoo will be around on Thursday, and I will probably be meeting him and one or two other people over at Salami for the $60 tournament. Friday will see my first appearance at a homegame hosted by a law school acquaintance. It should be particularly interesting, since the game is mostly Stud variations and draw games. The players also seemingly have more knowledge than me in those areas, but also seem to be more social players, as opposed to for-profit players. Saturday is a day with wifey Kim, followed by Sunday, when she will be at some other conference, this time in NYC. I may be hosting a home game, but I'm just as tempted to return to NiceLook. After all, if I throw a homegame, I have to worry about gathering players, negotiate on stakes and then clean up after everyone leaves. I'm also usually more distracted during the game. At NiceLook, the stakes are set, the players are fishy, and all I have to do is remember to bring my sunglasses. Hmmm...

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:41 PM,


At 3:21 PM, Blogger Alceste said...

Given how relatively tightly you had been playing, I was actually thinking about laying down the nines; but my stack was so short (I had somewhere over 2.5:1 odds to call your re-raise) that I figured the call was probably close to +EV since your range of hands would still include two overcards.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

You lost but you can not fold that. No way. No how. Forget it. That is losing MTT poker. Do not be an idiot. Cry on your wonderful wifey's big boobs and then man up and play the next one. That is the way of the MTT player.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There won't be too many times where two big stacks will clash and one will be a 70% favorite, so if that's the hand you put him on, take those odds all day.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Your bust out was SICK -- perhaps even sicker than karol's bust out where she had top two against that guy's 6 high and he went runner runner for a flush on her. He was on a craaazy run!!


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