Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tournament Poker: Hands To Another Final Table

Tournament Poker: Hands To Another Final Table

The Image by dhammza via Flickr

I entered a $125 no limit poker event at the Oaks on Saturday morning. I finished at the final table in the last two events at the Oaks, so I was determined to make it three in a row. It takes more than determination, of course...

Early Rounds

Early on I was dealt pocket Aces. A tight player raised in early position. I decided to move all-in since his raise looked to me like a premium hand and I wanted him to think I had A-K. To my chagrin, he folded. I guess I overplayed the hand. I could have re-raised and bet or moved in on the flop. Of course, he may have folded to my re-raise.

I was dealt 10d-9d in the big blind and 3 players limped. I checked. The flop was Ad-Kd-Ac. Everyone checked. The turn was a 3d. I checked. The next player moved all-in. This bet was many times the pot size. The other players folded. I had a flush, but I know this guy would not jeopardize all his chips on a bluff. If I called and I was wrong, I'd be out.

Online, it's an instant call. Here, against this player, well, I decided to fold. I believed I could outplay him later on in the event.

The blinds were up to $100-$50 and I was on the big blind again. 5 players called. I found Ah-Jh. I bet big and raised to $1,200. One wild player moved all-in for $2,600. The others folded. I called. He had Ks-9s. The flop was all spades and my stack was cut in half.

The next round it was $200-$100. I was on the button with Jd-10s. The same wild player called. I called. The big blind checked. The flop was 10c-8c-5d. The big blind checked. The wild player bet $500 into the $700 pot. I called. The big blind folded.

The turn was a Kc. The wild player bet $1,400. I moved all-in for $3,000. He folded. He said he folded because he thought I hit the King. I don't think he had any outs to my pair of 10's.

Premium Cards And a Lucky Seat

This table was interesting in that players were being dealt so many premium hands . It was unreal.

There were two players who were moving all-in whenever they had a big hand. This made me slow down a little, since I didn't want to run into one of their all-in moves.

After the break, I had about $6,000--we started with $5,000. The blinds were now $200-$100 with a $25 ante. I had Ad-Kd and raised. One of those all-in players moved all-in. He was the chip leader at the time. I knew he was ahead, but I needed chips. I was hoping he just had pocket Q's.

I was wrong. He had K-K. The flop had an Ace, and I luckily doubled up. It also put this guy on tilt for the next hand. He made a terrible all-in move which reduced his stack further.

Another interesting hand. A player limped under the gun. The other all-in player pushed all-in. I had pocket 9's. I sensed something was off, so I folded. The limper called. He had KK, and took out the all-in player. At first, I patted myself on the back for folding; well, that is, until a 9 hit the flop.

Rather than focus on the missed opportunity, I made a concerted effort to get my head back into the game.

Middle Rounds

A new player sat to my right. He was a strong player. His first hand he limped in an early position, and then insta-called an all-in. He had pocket 10's and doubled up. The next hand he raised the $600-$300 blind to $1,800. I had As-Qs.

If he limps with 10's, my thought was that he wasn't that strong with that raise even though it was 3x's the big blind. I moved all-in. Everyone folded back to him, and he insta-called. Bummer. I had about $12,000 and he had $8,000. He showed A-K.

The flop came A-Q-4 and I got lucky again. Phew...A bad read turns into a good outcome. While a good read holding 9's, turned out to be a missed, huge outcome.

Poker is a strange game.

A few hands later, that player who had pushed on the turn when I had a flush, moved all-in pre-flop. I found pocket Kings, and took him out. I guess it worked out for me.

Late Rounds

I kept adding chips. I was at the same seat throughout the event and frankly, it was proving to be a lucky seat!

I increased my chips to $40,000--which is enough to give you a good stack for final table play. Of course, we were not at the final table yet.

We got down to the final two tables, and I was moved to a new table.

Yeah, a bad seat. I went card dead.

It was miserable. I finally got a hand when we were 6 handed. I raised with pocket 7's on the button. The small blind moved all-in. I had to fold since I was sure he had me beat. He showed pocket Jacks.

I was being slowly but surely blinded and anted off. With 5 players left at the table, I found pocket 3's under the gun. I moved all-in and won the pot uncontested.

Final Table

At the final table, I started at $20,000. Again, I got nothing to play.

The blinds were up to $4,000-$2,000 and I was in the big blind. It got folded to the small blind who raised to $8,000. I moved all-in with pocket 4's. It was only a $10,000 raise, so the small blind called. He had K-2 and I won a pot.

Players knocked each other out. We got down to 6 players. To survive, I pushed on the cutoff with Q-10. It looked like a huge hand at the time. Everyone folded.

Another player got knocked out with a weak play.

It was 5 handed, and one of the chip leaders wanted to chop. I was in 5th place. The other 4 players discussed a deal. They agreed to it. It was an okay deal for me, since I ended up with a little less than 3rd place money, or $800.

Yeah, I got lucky. But you have to be lucky to get to that final table. It was cool since it was the third final table in a row at the Oaks Tournament.

On a separate note: A dealer at the Oaks told me she won a big HORSE event online. She said that she read my Play Razz Poker to Win book, and it was a big help in her winning. She said that other players don't know how to play Razz. She didn't either until she read my book. She said that she can't wait for the Razz rounds since she feels she now has a big edge.
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