Monday, September 27, 2004
On the Bubble
This weekend, I played in the Sunday morning NL tournament at Chumash instead of the Saturday limit one like I did last week. I had pretty much the same results, though. For the second week in a row, I busted out 41st in a tournament that pays 40 places. At least I was all in with the worst hand this time, unlike last time when I had my aces cracked. Nothing terribly interesting happened in the tournament, I just really got no cards to work with.
The tournament was the end to a fairly successful weekend, though. I got to the casino shortly after 8 on Saturday night, and took a seat at the 4/8 table while waiting for a NL seat to open up. I was about even when I got 44 in the big blind on a kill (6/12) pot. I called the extra $2, and flopped my set. I bet out, got a call and a raise, I three-bet it, and both players call. The turn and river are both jacks to fill me up, and I bet the whole way and take down a nice pot. A little while later my name gets called for NL. I leave +$70 (8.75 BB) after about an hour.
I had bought in with $100 at the 4/8 table, so now I have $170 in chips. I color change $100 in whites to reds and keep the $70 on the side, for dealer tokes and food, so that money doesn’t come out of my stack. I lose my first two $100 buyins at the NL table when my two pair (no pair on the board, of course) gets beat by higher two pair. The first time, I had 95o in the blind, and flopped top two pair, and got beat by T5 who called my pot sized bet with middle pair and hit his ten on the turn. The second time, I was down the whole way with Q8 vs A8 and an AQ8 flop. I don’t get much in the way of cards for a while, and finally throw in my last $25 or so with 54s to try to take the limps. I get called by a K8, flop comes K5x, and I river a 5 to take the pot. From there, things started to turn around. I finally started getting some hands to play and taking down some decent sized pots. There was one interesting hand I wasn’t involved in: Four all-ins on a flop of 789. The hands were: JT, 89, 99, QQ. The straight held up. Most of the hands I won weren’t terribly interesting, so I’ll talk about two laydowns I made instead. I limp in in the cutoff with 7♦5♦. The button and small blind call, and the big blind checks. The flop comes down looking pretty good for me: K♦6♦8♠. I have an open ended straight draw, and a flush draw. It checks to me, and I bet $25. The button pushes in for $60, and then the big blind pushes in for $220 total. It folds back around to me. I pretty much knew I had to fold when it came back to me, but it’s still a tough decision to throw away that good a draw. After a while, I finally did lay it down, mainly because I thought I was still no good if I hit my flush, and I was right. The button had A♦J♦. The big blind had 86o, for two pair, and turned his boat. That was my good laydown. The next one, I’m still not sure about, and I’ll never know for sure. I limped in with a 76o on the button. The flop is 2♣8♣5♥. Small blind checks, middle position bets $5, I call, small blind calls. Turn is the 4♣. I have a straight, but there’s a possible flush out there. Checks to me, I bet $20, small blind calls, original better calls. The river is a blank, and the small blind immediately pushes all-in for $275. Original better folds, and now it’s $275 to me. I have about $400 in front of me at the time. The small blind is a bit of a maniac, but the chances he has a flush are just too good. After what seems like forever, I finally fold. Later, he told me he just had a set, but I don’t know if I believe him. Either way, I kept the chips that I had in front of me, and eventually finished with $700 (+$330, including the $70 I had on the side for tips). For the second week in a row, I left the NL table with more than a rack of reds. It felt good.