Tuesday, May 11, 2010
C'est la vie
The economy might be bad, but if you have a poker tournament, players will come. On Monday, 335 runners paid $345 to play in Event No. 5 of the Bayou Poker Challenge at Harrah's Casino (see image above) in New Orleans -- first place paid ~$22,000. We started with $9000 in tournament chips with 40-minute blind levels -- a nice structure.
At my table, there was the guy who plays online everyday. He won a bad beat jackpot on Ultimate Bet(he had 4-4-4-4 and lost to a diamond straight flush). His share was $125,000, so he quit his job. There was a middle-aged lawyer. There was an Asian lady from Houston who said she plays online for a living. There was a guy who finished 5th in a big online tournament the day before (and I had to hear about it again when a new player came to the table). But mostly, there were schlubs like me.
I was pretty much card dead until Level 3 - blinds were 200/100. I picked up ♥J ♥10 and raised to 600 from the cutoff. The button called. The flop was ♠K ♦Q ♣5. I often lead with a draw as a CB, but this time I checked. The button bet 600, and I called.
The turn was beautiful: ♥A giving me a Broadway straight. Because the board was rainbow, I didn't have to worry about flushes. The pot was 2700, I led out for 2100 and the button called. At this point I put him on A-K or K-Q type hands or he could have something where he decided to float me.
The river was the ♥Q making the board: ♠K ♦Q ♣5 ♥A ♥Q.
That was a real bad card for me as it makes a full-house for some of his holdings. I checked and he bet 2500 into a 6900 pot. I thought for a while and called. He showed ♠5 ♦5 for a boat. He value bet just enough to get me to call -- boo.
I built back up to 7000 and picked up ♦4 ♥4. The blinds were 200/400/25. I limped and a short stack moved all in for 2500 more. What would you do? You know it's either a flip, or the villain has you crushed with a higher pair.
I decided to gamble and called. He showed ♣A ♣Q. The flop included a queen and his hand held. After the short-stack moved in, there was 4150 in the pot and it cost me another 2500 to call. So, from a math standpoint, it was right to call (based on what he actually held), but in retrospect, it was a bad call. I had built back to a playable stack and should have just given up.
That left me with about 4000 which dribbled down to 3200. The Asian lady raised to 850 which was called on my right. I checked my hole cards and saw Q-Q! Yes! I moved in. The button had only 2100. He checked his hole cards and moved in as well. The Asian lady folded, but the guy on my right called and showed: Q-J. The button turned over A-J, so the Q-J is in bad shape. A queen helps me, a jack helps the button.
The flop was J-J-x! The turn was a king, and the river was a brick.
I had hoped to go deep, but was out after only four hours. C'est la vie - wait until next time.
Below are a few of the 335 poker players who entered Event No. 5:
Entrance to the tournament poker area in Harrah's Cssino, New Orleans:
Images by MOJO - shot with my P&S.