Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Trying to Win a Poker Tournament

Dover Diaries: Part 7  - December, 2012

With the winter on the doorstep and the golf season over, I drove to Dover Downs on a Saturday for a 1 pm tournament.  The buy-in was $65 and 50 players were ready to battle it out for the title.

I didn't record many hands because I was on life support after my two pair got beat by a straight.  Short stacked, I didn't think I would survive for long.  Somehow, I hung on until we were down to 18 players.  I was dealt A-4 and moved all-in.  There were two callers and both showed Q-J!  They managed to pick-up a straight draw on the flop.  The turn sent me packing as the straight came in.

I had a decision to make.  There was a second tournament at 7 pm but that was a couple hours away.  I could drive home or stick around.  The tournament in question had an $80 entry fee and a $2,500 guarantee.  I decided to stay in Dover.

We ended up having only 41 players.  It was a bit surprising considering that the earlier tournament drew 50 players.  Things got off to a great start when I picked-up pocket kings.  I ended up putting two players all-in pre-flop.  One showed pocket queens and the other Q-J.  The guy holding pocket queens was not happy to see one of his outs dead.  The flop was jack high but it was not enough to keep them from being knocked out.

Then I had pocket threes.  The flop was 3-7-Q.  My opponent bet and I raised.  The turn was the 9.  He went all-in and I called.  He showed A♠-2.  I started looking at the dealer to see if he had something against me.  He turned over a black king on the river.  I looked closer and saw that it was the king of clubs.  The guy got up and went to the cage to re-enter.  Right around this time, I won a polo shirt through a raffle.

The guy re-entered and was sent back to our table.  A few hands later we were battling again.  I was dealt pocket kings.  The flop was 7-x-x.  I bet and he called.  The turn was a king.  The river was another 7 and he went all-in.  I called and showed the full house.  As he got up to leave, he said, "I just can't beat you tonight."  After this hand, I believe I became the chip leader.

I wasn't involved in any other big hands until we got down to the final table.  I knocked out a lady after she went all-in and I called with A-K.  She showed K-J but didn't get any help.  Being the big stack, I wanted to keep putting pressure on the rest of the table.  A guy bet, I moved all-in with A-Q, and he made the called with Q-Q.  He had a much smaller stack.  The flop was ace high and I knocked him out.  After that, I had an overwhelming chip lead.

We were down to four players when I picked up pocket deuces.  The flop was jack high but a two was also present.  He had a jack and long story short, I knocked him out.  Then I had Q-9♠ and the flop had two spades.  I bet large and my opponent called for his tournament life with 5-4♠.  The board didn't help either of us and my queen high delivered the knockout.

After all these tournaments, I was finally heads-up for the title.  I started the heads-up with about 270,000 chips while he had 80,000.  He doubled up when my A-7 lost to his K-10 all-in pre-flop.  He caught a 10 on the flop.  He moved all-in a few more times pre-flop and I had to fold my weak starting hands.  Winning those blinds, gave him the chip lead.

With a 150,000 stack, I moved all-in holding A-4 and and he called having 200,000 chips.  He didn't have an ace but the flop did.  The river was a four.  As I was raking in the chips, I noticed that the board also had another four!  I had no idea that I had made a full house.  He commented how it seemed that I always had an ace.

The blinds were 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante.  I had a 300,000 chip stack versus his 50,000 stack.  I looked down at suited J-9 and called his all-in.  He flipped over K-8.  I caught a nine and eliminated my last opponent!

I outlasted 40 players, ran hot like lava, and I won $1,000.  There was no trophy but I did get a free entry into a $300 buy-in tournament with a $25,000 guarantee for my efforts.  It was a great feeling to finally win a live poker tournament.