Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

What did you do for New Year's eve? I decided to play poker in a tournament at the Goldstrike Casino. Does that mean I need to get a life? Of course, you dope. Nah, it just means I like poker.

I showed up one hour and 20 minutes early. There was already a line of about 10 players. After I gave my player's card and got signed up, the line was then about 20 players! I knew it would be huge. There are others beside me who don't have a life. They started with 110 donkeys players who were crammed 11 to a table at 10 different tables. Then they opened another table to accommodate 10 more runners. Then they let 25 more enter as alternates during the first 60 minutes. If you're doing the math, that's 145 players. Ten people would get paid. First place was $1750 and second paid $900. People have money to play poker, so who says the economy sucks?

The players were mostly tourists, there for a good time. Some of the locals (such as moi) were there as well as Eskimo Clark. Huh? Yeah, he was there. I think there is a tournament in Biloxi MS next week and I guess he was passing through on his way to it.

The entry fee was $50 and we began with T4000 in chips. The blinds started at 25/50 and each level was 20 minutes. When the blinds were 50/100, I held 10 9. There were two limpers to me on the button, so I limped along with them. The SB folded and four of us saw a flop of: 8 7 5. The BB bet 300 and I raised to 900. I had 15 outs, so I'm 54+% to make either my straight or my flush, and if he folds, that's a good result for me too. If you make a play like this, you have to be willing to call if he re-raises you (I was). With 145 players and only 4000 in chips, you have to take some chances to chip up. EDIT: I forgot to mention that by raising, you get a free card on the turn. They virtually always check to you after you raise them on the flop.

The turn was the A giving me the flush. The BB checked and I moved all in. He thought for a while and called and turned over 7 5 -- he had flopped two pair. The villain had a redraw to a full house, but the river was no help for him, and I had doubled up.

After that I went card dead and my stack dribbled down. Finally I picked up A-Q in the cutoff seat. There were two limpers, and the player on my right raised. I went ahead and moved all in. The limpers folded and the player who had raised called and showed me AA, oops! Her hand held up, but I still had chips. On the very next hand I had A-10. A short stack moved all in, as did I. The BB called. The shortstack showed A-3 and the BB showed 10-8 off. Wow. My hand held up and I was back in business.

I never really had a big stack of chips, but rather I just managed to survive. One hand I moved all in with A-K (I was a shortstack), and was called by A-Q. On another, I raised with J-J and won a small pot when everyone folded.

When we got down to 12 (six at two tables), someone suggested we take $200 out of the prize pool and give 11th and 12th places $100 each. That was fine with me. I was a short-stacker and it feels good to know you'll get something out of it, even if you bust out next.

When we got to the final table, the average chip stack was 58,000. My stack was around 40,000. Most pots went like this: someone raised and everyone folded. There was not much real poker being played.

On one hand, the button was a short stack and moved all in. The SB called, and I was the BB. My hand was A-10 suited, so I moved all-in to try and get heads-up with the shortstack. The SB called, however, and he also had A-10! The short stack turned over 6-4 off! But after the cards were dealt, he won the pot with a six-high straight!

Finally, the two shortstack players were eliminated. Now someone asked how much was the payout if we chopped. They got the answer and everyone agreed to it. This was a sweet deal for me as the average stack was 72,500 and I had only 37,000.

So, on the last day of the year, I tied for 1st (okay, okay I tied for 1st through 8th). Tomorrow is the first day of the new year. There's another tournament, so let's try and do it again!

Happy New Year everyone!

NOTE: My next post will be my 200th, so I plan to include some photos like I did for my 100th post.