I ended up working a half day on Friday, came home....and started thinking about an afternoon trip to the Seabrook Poker Room. Hmmmmm.....
Pros - Winning would give me a little extra cash in my pocket for Vegas, plus getting some real live action practice is always a good thing.
Cons - Last time I went I won the tourney....can lightning keep striking? Plus funds are limited. Do I want to lose cash in NH when I'll be going to Vegas next week?
I decided to go. I played the 4:30pm $70 tourney, no rebuys with 50 players.
Earlier in the week Lightning baby was giving me a little advice on my play. Actually he was showing me where the holes were. I already knew where the holes were but hearing it really sunk in for me. As Light said, I always chip up early (Mama likes having a stack) but then I gamble it away. So the WHOLE time I played this tourney, I focused on that. On NOT donking off chips. Not playing too many hands. If you always go in with the best hand, you are going to win more often than you lose. (alas, not as easy as it sounds)
For the 2nd time ever, I played with headphones. And I am now 2 for 2...while wearing headphones. :)
Game started out with a very full 10 person table and I was determined to not limp into too many hands. 30 minutes in, I got AA! Blinds were 100/200 and there were 5 limpers and it came to me. I raised to 1,200 and I was heads up against a Robert Downy Jr look alike. Flop was 7-4-4. Mama likie!
I bet 1,800 and he goes all in! Shit. I doubt he called that huge raise with a 4 in his hand.....but I really don't want to be out of the tourney before the first break. My biggest fear is pocket 7s, but I ain't laying down Aces with that kind of board. I call. I flip over my aces and he flips over......Big Slick! Jeeeezus. He had a bit more than me and I doubled up.
And I don't donk off chips. (at this point anyway) tee hee
I don't play much until I get 5-5 and limp. I flop trips. There are 3 people in the pot and betting. This woman does not have a fold button. She keeps betting and I keep calling....until the river when I reraise her. She calls and pays me off. Very next hand I have 6-6 and yes I flopped trips again. Twice in a row. This time I bet after the ugly flop and get no takers. I show my trips though.
Guy to my left is a frigging chatter box and very shortstacked. He keeps telling me that he can see I'm a great player, but I don't like to talk much in the beginning of the tourney, so I plug my ears back up. A few hands later, he's in the small blind and I'm on the button with 8-8. Everyone folds to me and I throw in a standard 3x raise (1,200). He jams all in for 1,500 on top.
I know he isn't doing this with shit. It's too small to put me (the big stack) off my hand. I see his hands shaking and KNOW he's got himself a better hand than mine. At best I'm racing, but I really think he has a higher pair. And even though it's only 1,500 to call, I hear Lightning telling me to hang onto my chips...and I tell myself the other hole in my play is over playing middle pairs. I just can't do it when I "know" he's got a better pair.
I fold my 8-8 face up and tell him, "I know it's crazy to fold these, but I think you have pocket Jacks." He looks SHOCKED and turns over his pocket Jacks for all to see. Everyone is amazed at my lay down. Frankly so am I. Hardest part of poker, for me anyway, is folding.
But after that little show, I get very little action. Perfect IMHO. I steal blinds selectively and keep adding to my stack, until our table gets broken up.
I arrive at my new table, but I should've gotten a rack. I have so many chips I can't carry them and put a few in my pocket. You're not supposed to do that you know! After I got yelled at, I looked down at A-7 sooted. First hand at this table, and I raise it up. First time I've raised with a meh hand all day.
Flop is seven high! I make a big bet and get a call from the person to my left. Ut oh. Turn is a Jack and I check. I check on the river too. I am done putting money on this shitty hand, that is no longer top pair. Fortunately he's done betting too. My sevens win against his busted straight draw, but he starts talking about how I raised with A-7. I retort that he can't be too proud about losing money chasing a straight.
I'm easily the chip leader and decide to not play anymore shitty hands. And then I lose 2 big ones in a row. I'm in the big blind with J-5 spades. No raises so we look at a flop, which was Jxx with 2 spades. Top pair and flush draw! Yay! I bet and get one caller. Turn is med card 8 or 9. I check (bad move) as I am hoping to hit my flush for free. River comes and I check but he bets. No flush but I still have top pair. I call and he shows that he hit an inside straight on the river. Next hand I'm the sb with 9-7. I limp and flop is 9 high! (fuck me) I bet and shortie moves all in. Ha! I instacall and he flips over J-9. I am bleeding fucking chips! Not good.
Don't get me wrong I still have plenty, but instead of being the chip leader, in two hands I've been reduced to middle of the pack. Blah!
I stop playing. No limping, no nuttin.
Until I get AA again. :)
Blinds are big and a very tight player raises to 7K. I think and think (not really, just a show) and jam all in. I know I have slightly more than him and his chips will get me back to where I was. Everyone folds and he calls.
He flipped over AK against my AA. I like this! Until I saw the flop. Flop was Q-J-x. Fuck. All of a sudden he has 4 outs. Thankfully no tens hit and I scooped all his chips!
Okay we're down to the final table. The final table lasted about 3 hrs btw. Long fucking grind. 5 ITM. When we are down to 7 we agree to pay 6 and 7th place $100 each, so we are all winners!
When we are down to 6 everyone wants to do a 6 way split, which would be about $400 each. Blinds are HUGE, 4k and 8k and I'm no longer the chip leader. Normally, I would NEVER split 6 ways, but $400 sure thing. That's like an extra $300 to bring to Vegas so I agree! Besides the chip leader is dying to split. He looks like HELL and for hours he's been saying that his back is aching. He can't sit there anymore and he had a heart attack yesterday. wtf! Yep, he was in the hospital, they confirmed it, and it's his 8th.
They wanted him to stay in the hospital but he left anyway. Okay........
So the pit boss comes over to discuss the split. He says that the winner of this tourney also wins entry into a tournament of champions in March as well as a jacket! So if we split Heart Attack man gets to play that tourney for free. He doesn't want it! He wants to split and go home. A couple of other guys want to win the tourney entry though....he tries to give it to me, but it's nontransferrable.
We finally all decide to split the money ourselves, but keep on playing so one of us who wants the TOC seat can get it. Heart attack guy says he won't play in the ToC. So no matter what, it's $400 split, yet we keep on playing.
Because of the split, everyone starts playing differently especially the chip leader. He's trying to get out of there so he's calling all ins with crap but all he accomplishes is knocking people out. He's pwning with shitty hands and looks more upset with each win.
We are finally down to 3. Heart Attack, Young Kid and me. Young Kid REALLY wants that ToC seat, but I do too! Unfortunately Heart Attack has all the chips. Blinds are 6k 12k. Crazy!
I am on the button and have K-J. I jam all in and Heart Attack calls with J-10 (my fave hand). As soon as I see it I feel like I'm sunk. He caught a 10 ON THE RIVER and knocked me out. He seemed more bummed than I was.
Very next hand Young Guy jams all in. Heart Attack calls with 2-6 off suit. Young flips over AJ hearts. Heart Attack's 2 was a spade and the board had 4 spades.......Game over! Crazy shiat.
We split up all the money and I got a bit over $400. I was kicking myself for the split as 3rd place was $550 but there were no guarantees I'd have made 3rd without the split. Everyone's game changed as soon as there was no more money to be made.
Then.......since practice makes perfect I spent about 45 minutes at the Black Jack table with $20. Max bet is $4, so not alot of betting range, but I liked the idea of practicing my card counting.
Now card counting is only effective when there is a big betting range (like in Vegas!). The point of counting cards is to bet the minimum when the count is against you, and then placing large bets when the count is in your favor. The range here didn't allow for that, but what the hell. I practiced my counting and pretty much kept my bet at $4.
I cashed out 45 min later with $62 instead of $20 and found I could keep up with the count pretty well! Oh and I cheated a little.
Just a little!
Dontcha think that a black jack dealer should be able to add to 21? Well this one couldn't. It took him frigging forever to add when there were multiple cards. Hmmmmm so when I had multi cards and matched his hand (it should've been a push) I clapped my hands and said "I won!".....AND HE PAID ME.
The guy next to me did a double take.....and a few hands later I did it again. LOL Shweet! Then Mr. Math Genius got tapped out. Boooooo!!!!
As Oh Captain would say.....4 sleeps until VEGAS!