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.


  1. Seems like you played well, the cards just fell wrong.

  2. Tough having that Queen hit on your straight for his boat. Hope you had fun anywas.

  3. Live poker is so rigged. Some hard to take beats in there, but 4-4? A race at best but not a time to be racing as a best case scenario. BTW, while the math may make the call reasonable you can't use cash table odds in a tourney unless you can rebuy or have a gigungous stack. You make 4 calls on a 3-1 shot at 8-1 odd in tourney play and what you get is 3 busted tourneys. (gotta bust on you, getting tired of Josie, she's too easy) Hope you had fun.

    BTW, quit his job after winning 125K. Gotta be a kid. Only a kid thinks you can live on 125K for any length of time especially if you play poker.

  4. You run live like I run online. I can totally commiserate with you!

    One of these days... right?

  5. Google and Bloglines finally allowed you to live again.

    You must have been tired to hang onto the 4,4 to the bitter end.

    Better cards in the next.

  6. Ouch...those are some tough beats, but long term your good playing will pay off....like in Vegas in June! I'm already rooting for you!

  7. Hey Mojo.. Was it a two day tourney? I have to agree about folding the 44 as being the more prudent move at that time, after just rebuilding your stack. BUT we all know you have to win some races in order to go deep to win.

  8. I love the photos! The place looks like some sort of castle. Gambling does pay, I guess, for those who own the casinos.

    Sorry you didn't win big. Next time.