Thursday, October 18, 2018

Oasis in the Desert

After my score in the last post, tournament success dried-up.  I broke even in the next tournament but then went zero for nine!  It felt like I was searching for water in the desert.  Here are a few examples.

In a $75 buy-in tournament with 23 players, I finished 5th and the last four got paid.

I played in a $150 buy-in, $10,000 guarantee, tournament.  I was bleeding chips and finally found a spot to go all-in.  Holding 7-8, I moved all-in on a 7-8-K flop.  A guy holding A-K called.  The turn was an ace and I was knocked out.

I also played in a $100 buy-in, $5,000 guarantee, tournament and finished 13th out of 84 where 10 players ended up getting paid after making a deal.

On one trip in October, I played in a noon tournament.  Around 4 pm I was knocked out and decided to drive down to Harrington, DE.  I wanted to check out a small casino there.  It was only a 30 minute drive and the casino was as expected, ordinary.  I returned to Dover in time to grab some food and head back to the poker room for a 7 pm tournament.

The buy-in was $75 and the guarantee was $2,000.  We ended up with 52 players.  I ran good right out of the gate.  In the first half hour, I doubled my starting stack thanks to the following hand.

A guy with 4,500 chips bet 1,200, I made it 4,000 holding pocket aces.  A lady with a 7,000 chip stack called and the guy went-all in.  I moved all-in (was this even legal?) and the lady called.  The guy showed J-8 of spades and the lady had 10-10.  The dealer wasted no time crushing me with a flop of 8-8-7.  I lost the main pot but won the side pot and got most of my chips back.

In another hand, only two of us saw the flop of 10-9-7 with one diamond.  I was holding 8-7 of diamonds.  The turn was the jack of diamonds.  I bet and the guy went all-in.  I called, he revealed A-8 and it looked like a chop.  But the river was a diamond and I scooped with a flush.

Few hands later, the guy that cracked my aces went all-in.  I found two queens staring back at me and called.  A short stack also called and they flipped over pocket fives and pocket sevens.  The board ran out clean and I sent them packing.

With three tables to go, I was the chip leader.  I cruised to the final table.  I stayed away from playing marginal hands.  When we were down to 5, I was dealt pocket jacks and called an all-in from a lady holding A-Q.  Again, the board came with nothing but blanks.

Then the short stack moved all-in with K-Q.  I called with J-10 and another guy called with A-4.  The flop was king high but the dealer produced an ace on the turn.  And with that, we were down to three players.  The stacks were 135,000-140,000-150,000.  We ended up making a deal and each walked away with $830.

After wandering in the poker tournament desert, I finally found an oasis.

- October, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

First Success

The second tournament I ever played at Dover Downs had a $5000 guarantee.  Entry was $100 and we ended up having 63 players.  Top eight would get paid.

Things started off pretty good as I doubled my 10,000 starting stack in the first hour.  We got down to about 20 players when the guy to my left, in seat 3, went all-in for 10,000 chips.  Seat 4 and the Asian guy in seat 5 called.  It folded to me.  I look down at the Alcoa Corporation (aka AA on the New York Stock Exchange).  I move all-in with my aces.  Seat 4 moves all-in for less and the Asian guy asks me for a chip count.

I tell him that it is about 30,000.  He says that it is too much and folds.  Seat 3 flips over 8-8 and seat 4 shows 10-10.  The board runs out clean and I chip-up to 65,000.

With only two tables left, I played a bit tighter.  When we got down to one table, the fight was on to make the money.  Seat 10 went out on a coin flip.  The bubble burst thanks to a suckout.  It didn't take long for the blinds and antes to chip away idle stacks.  I was down to 25,000 chips when the 8th place was determined.

Then, I moved all-in with 18,000 and got one caller.  Luckily my ace high was good enough to win.  When we got down to 6 players it was close to 1 am.  The two big stacks started discussing a deal.  They proposed ~$900 apiece for the top two and $700 per person for the rest of us.  It was a good deal and we all accepted it.

- August, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Christian Man

During the next few posts I plan to share some poker stories that happened way before I had a blog.  Story numero uno:

I'm on my way to Dover, Delaware in search of live tournament poker.  It is my first trip ever to Dover Downs.  The drive ends up being uneventful, mostly farmlands between the Kent Narrows bridge and Dover.  

I park and go inside looking for the customer service desk.  Since it's my first time here, I need to get a player's card before registering for a poker tournament.  The casino is alright and the patrons are mostly senior citizens.  I get a player's card without an issue.

Card in hand, I walk around the casino for a bit before heading to the back of the room.  I take the elevator to the third floor.  As I near the poker room entrance, I notice that Crown Royal is the official sponsor.  I've been to a few poker rooms before but never to a one that's this isolated from the rest of the casino.

I sign up for the $1000 guarantee tournament.  We end up having 9 players only, each paying $75 to enter.  A laugh a bit thinking that I'm at the final table already.  I decide to play tight at the beginning and see how the table plays.  I slowly build my stack to 12,000 chips from the 7,500 starting stack.

That 12,000 stack gets cut in half after my opponent's A-Q catches a Q on the river (My notes don't say what I had).  I rebuild my stack back to 9,000 chips by the time we are down to 5 players.

The blinds kept increasing and with only two players getting paid, I had to make a move.  I pick-up K-Q suited and a guy moves all-in for 5,000.  I put him on A-9 or better.  Everyone else folds and I call.  To my surprise and delight, he shows Q-J.

The flop was Q high.  The turn was a blank.  Only a higher power could save him from being knocked out.  Well, he must be a Christina man who goes to church every Sunday because the river was a Jack!

Shortly after, I was knocked out of my first poker tournament in the state of Delaware.

August, 2012