Friday, August 8, 2008

Scratching the itch

When I came home from Las Vegas, I had the urge to play poker. For more than two weeks, I had not had a chance to play, even online.

Last Friday night I entered the $100 buyin at Harrah's (Tunica MS). There were 94 donkeys runners. Unfortunately, I ran into two coolers. We started with T10,000 in chips and I lost half of it early when I had Q Q and a guy behind me had K K. I was lucky not to go broke, actually.

I built my stack back up and then I picked up 10 10. I raised three times the big blind and got one caller. The flop was 9 high, rainbow. I bet about 2/3 of the pot and the hand behind me raised all in for slightly more than my bet. I called and he turned over J J for a second cooler.

I built back up and when we were down to 17 players left, I limped in from middle position with J 9. This is a questionable play in a tough game, but the table was playing tight and passive. I don't remember how much the blinds and antes were, but they were enough to try and outplay someone after the flop. Both blinds called.

The flop was J 6 3. The small blind checked and the big blind, who was short-stacked, moved all in. I had been watching him and decided to call. He turned over Q 3 ! Sweet! Not so fast. The turn was the Q and his two pair held up.

Now I had an extremely short stack and raised all in two deals later with A 7. The big blind called, only because it didn't cost him that much more. Everyone else folded. He turned over 5 2, which was good for me until he flopped two pair.

I didn't post about it at the time. It was disappointing and I don't want my blog to be a "poor me" bad beat blog.

The next night, Saturday, I played at Goldstrike's 6 p.m. tournament ($110 buyin). They had 84 entrants and the casino added $1500 to the prize pool -- a sweet deal. I built my stack up, then I donked off most of my chips. I hit a flush on a paired board and bet into the only one other player still in the pot. She moved all in and sure enough had a boat. This was dumb because I could have and should have folded and saved a big chunk of my stack. I don't claim to be a great player, but I know better than that.

I built up again, however, and made the final table (10 got paid). On the second hand there, I overplayed A K. I had T42,000 and raised to T10,000 (with blinds 1000/2000/300a) and a guy behind me moved all in like a shot. He seemed strong, but I was too stubborn to lay my hand down and, sure enough, he had A A. The flop came with Queen, jack and a low one, giving me hope. A 10 would give me a Broadway straight. It didn't happen, however, and I played for four hours to basically get my money back.

Now it's another weekend! I plan to play in a tournament tonight and maybe on Sunday afternoon. I have to itch to play, so let's scratch it.

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