Friday, April 12, 2024

The first hand at our table was quad sevens. I didn’t feel slot hoki good about my chances.

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I developed a rockish reputation, but not of my own will. In the first three levels, the best hand I was dealt was AJo. That hand was a misdeal.
For three levels, I played no hands out of the blinds, raking just one pot when the J6 in my unraised BB flopped top pair and I bet out.
Midway through level two, the lady at the table turned to me and said, “Do you work for….” she finished the sentence with the name of my workplace.
“Yeah, that’s me,” I said. I was a little worried someone slot hoki might recognize me and think I was…
“He’s here doing an undercover investigation,” someone joked.
Yeah that’s what I was worried about.
Instead of protesting, I simply lifted my lapel and asked the four-seat to speak a little more clearly in my direction.
After three levels, I was up all of $3 from my original starting stack of $85. After racing off the whites, I had $90.
This was not going well
***
After a short break, we returned to play with the blinds at $5/$10 and threatening to go up at any moment. My stack looked flacid and small. The lady at the table was shortstacked and pushed in with jacks, getting two callers. Her hooks held up and she became the table bully.
After the guy to my right busted out, The Lady started trying to exploit my rockish-reputation. I had to play along. When she raised my BB from the SB, I had to fold my 95o (a hand I saw way too many times last night).
As it turned out, it might’ve been that hand that kept me in the game so long.
On the next orbit, the table folded around to us again and she raised my BB again. I peeked at my cards and saw Big Slick. As short as my stack was (about $65 now), I had no choice but to push in.
The Lady went in the tank, then began to consult with a lady friend who had sidled up and sat down at an open seat at the table. At first I thought about reminding them it was one player to a hand, but I discovered I could hear their conversation and they were having serious trouble deciding whether to call me. I decided I wanted the call.
When Team Estrogen finally decided they were calling, I figured I’d have two overs to a medium pair. Instead, The Lady turned over AJo. She was dominated.
The flop came QTx. The turn was an eight. Then the river…
I had actually turned my head to look at The Lady and had to whip my eyes around when the table erupted.
The river was a jack. At first, some of the players were cheering for The Lady’s good fortune at hitting her jack. The Road Gambler at the table corrected them, so I didn’t have to. The jack made my straight and I doubled up.
Two hands later I picked up TT in late position, raised the amount of the BB’s short stack, and got no callers. I sat at about $140T when we re-drew seats.
Okay: Here’s my petty short-stacker’s complaint:
I believe in keeping even tables and consolidating tables as soon as you can. That wasn’t happening nearly as much as I would like. I started to get a little hot when we were down to 16 players and we were still playing on three tables. The blinds were already going up every 20 minutes. Playing five and six-handed when we could’ve sat two tables of eight was just silly.
Okay…end complaining. After all, the tournament made up for in good, nice players and prize money what it lacked in a clear sense of a plan on how it would proceed. Maybe I’m just too much of a stickler for the details.
Eventually, we convinced the host to let us break to two tables. We sat eight at each. The blinds were up to $15/$30 and my stack was down to $90. I didn’t have long. By the time I had a hand even close to playable, I was down to my last $30. I pushed it in with AQs. It held up and I took down the blinds.
I still didn’t have long.
As the orbit came back around to me, I looked down and found KQo UTG. I pushed in again. Everybody folded around to the BB. The Road Gambler thought for about a minute before calling with J5s. He caught his jack on the turn. I caught my king on the river, but it happened to be the king of diamonds, filling in my opponent’s flush.
I was out in 13th place, which somebody reminded me paid the same as 50th.
To whoever that was….up yours.
***
I wandered the room for a moment. There was a full $1/$2 NL game going and a full $2/$4 limit game running, as well. Rather than walk out a 13th place loser, I wanted to sit and win some of my entry fee back. With no seats available, I walked to the store next door, bought a beer, and walked back toward the games.
By the time I got back, the tournament had collapsed to one table and a seat had opened up at the $2/$4 table. I bought in for $50, sat down, and thought about how I played in the tournament.
In short, I decided that I played every good hand I was dealt the best I possibly could have. I laid down trash when it was dealt. The only regret was the memory of a hunch. I had 89s in middle positition and felt like I should limp in with it. My good sense got the better of me, though, and I laid it down. An eight and nine fell on the flop. Another nine fell on the river. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
As I worked my way into the loosey-goosey $2/$4 game, I found myself sitting to the right of a psychiatrist. He was the tightest limit player I’d ever seen, but he talked a lot. Since he wouldn’t play his cards, I decided to chat him up.

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