Hey look, 50 cents…

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When I first started playing poker on Poker Stars, I, along with “the family” would frequently play the freeroll tourneys they offered. It was a nightly routine…we’d play the tables until the freeroll started, which was usually about 1am my time, so depending upon my mental alterness I would either play or railbird for multiple people. It was fun and a good learning experience…but I rarely cracked the top 1000. And one time, John finished as high as 57, but kinda of lost motivation once he realized that with the PS freerolls, you’re playing for entry into a weekly freeroll tourney, where if you win there, you get cash. Which is OK…except for each week, the type of tourney varies – so it could be Omaha hi-lo or Seven Card Stud. Which, if you’ve never played those…what good is that to you? After we discovered that, we kinda lost interest (not that any of us but him ever really stood a chance in hell of actually winning a tournament), plus that’s about when he and I ended up at Ultimate Bet. So I put freerolls behind me.

But when I was between bankrolls (waiting for the PS to UB transfer) I decided to try one for old times sake. Plus, I’ve signed up for the College Poker Championship (hey…I may be 28, but I’m still in college, so dammit it counts!) so I figured it would do some good to get some tourney experience again. Plus, I was feeling like I was completely off my game, yet I knew what I was doing wrong, and how to fix it…so playing for free…a good thing.

I don’t have many notes from that one, but I do remember that I played tight agressive, built up a nice lead and was ranked in the 100s for the majority of the tourney. And then…I find myself in the BB with K 2. Flop comes K K x. I bet it out, just to see if there is another K really out there. One caller…so yep, there is, and I’m gonna have a kicker problem. But then the turn is a 2…so I check…he bets, I call. The river comes a Q. I bet large, he raises, I call. Hey…guess what his kicker was? I really don’t think I played that one wrong…I bet it out just enough to see if there really was another K out there…when it was clear that there was, I was ready to muck on the turn, but then the 2 came out…the river was just very unlucky for me, very lucky for him. That was just the start of quite a rush for him.

All told I finished 637, out of 6000. Not spectacular, but still ok I guess. What bummed me the most was that I had been ranked so much higher for so long. It was the boat over boat that hurt me, and that was just bad luck. I suppose I had to give him credit for it given the amount he was betting???

Anyway…yesterday I decided to do a UB freeroll. UB actually has a nice freeroll system…they award Ultimate Points or Bonus Dollars, and they payout to approx. the top 150 players. I really wasn’t catching cards at first, but finally, with the blinds at 20/40, I find suited Big Slick. I was going to raise, but it is raised to me, to 80, so I call…then it’s raised again, to 100…then a player goes all in, for about half my stack…I’m not thrilled to do it, but I call, because I figure we’re a coin flip at this point, unless I’m up against aces themselves, which I don’t think I am. Flop comes rags…player bets, and it’s to put me all in…I hate this, but I’m so damn pot committed at this point, and really, I think I have the best hand…so I call. Sure enough…way to win 3K with ace high. πŸ™‚

The next hand, I find pocket 10s. It’s raised to 100, so I call. Flop is 7 9 10. The betting is huge…and I’m a little worried about a straight, but I call. Turns out I was against Jacks and Queens, bust those players out, and find myself with a 7K stack.

Made only two mistakes really – the first, blinds are 75/150. I was dealt Qd Jc. Pre-flop it is raised to 675. (And I call????) Flop is 2s Qs 8d. It’s bet 1000. I raise to 2000. (Why do I do this? To find out if I indeed have the best hand). He responds by re-raising all-in. I CALL. (Hellooo…dumbass…you DON’T). And sure enough, he turns over Qh Ac. Turn is a 6c, River is a 6d. While I don’t think AQ off-suit is particulary worth a raise, QJ sure as hell isn’t worth CALLING one with, so who the hell am I to talk?

I get moved to a new table, this one with a idiot who obviously believes the “any two cards” philiosphy. With the blinds at 100/200 and my stupid call, I am waiting for my move to double-up. I find queens, and that’s the one…he calls, putting him all in…with A 5. Thankfully no ace, I win 2410 for a 3855 stack. I continue building up with little battles here and there. I begin to hate Jacks when they are beaten by trip 10s on the river…I knew I had the best hand until then…I had bet 1K on the turn, there was a possible straight draw I was trying to drive out…when he called that I couldn’t figure out what he had…and then he got his lucky 10 on the river…glad I checked then.

THIS however – qualifies for coolest. hand. ever. (for now at least) πŸ˜‰

Hand #3433397-133 at Fri515pmA-026 (No Limit tournament Hold’em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 26/Nov/04 19:34:57

chadmandue is at seat 0 with 11260.
Sumantix is at seat 2 with 9970.
jcloud is at seat 3 with 6935.
jeter2 is at seat 4 with 35095.
TexansBaby is at seat 5 with 4025.
Garland44 is at seat 6 with 9885.
Da Cooler is at seat 7 with 7910.
spacey is at seat 8 with 2485.
coach 2 is at seat 9 with 14485.
The button is at seat 2.

Da Cooler posts ante (50).
Garland44 posts ante (50).
TexansBaby posts ante (50).
jeter2 posts ante (50).
jcloud posts ante (50).
Sumantix posts ante (50).
chadmandue posts ante (50).
coach 2 posts ante (50).
spacey posts ante (50).
jeter2 posts the small blind of 200.
TexansBaby posts the big blind of 400.

chadmandue: — —
Sumantix: — —
jcloud: — —
jeter2: — —
TexansBaby: 7h 5d
Garland44: — —
Da Cooler: — —
spacey: — —
coach 2: — —

Pre-flop:

Garland44 calls. Da Cooler folds. spacey folds.
coach 2 folds. chadmandue folds. Sumantix calls.
jcloud calls. jeter2 calls. TexansBaby checks.

Flop (board: 7c 5h 5c): [Um…ok…someonepleasebetsoIcanslowplaythis]

jeter2 checks. TexansBaby checks. Garland44 bets
400. Sumantix raises to 800. jcloud calls. jeter2
folds. TexansBaby calls. Garland44 calls.

Turn (board: 7c 5h 5c 8s):

TexansBaby checks. Garland44 checks. Sumantix
checks. jcloud checks.
[Damn! Someone was supposed to bet so I could check raise! Why does that never work for me…]

River (board: 7c 5h 5c 8s 5s):

TexansBaby goes all-in for 2775. Garland44 folds.
Sumantix calls. jcloud folds.

[He had actually bet, then I had re-raised all in…tough call for him, I know. Remember…I’m familiar with the boat over boat concept…and given the way I had been playing this hand until then, I would not have put me on 5s at all.]

Tournament all-in showdown — players show:

Sumantix shows 3d 3s.
TexansBaby shows 7h 5d.

Showdown:

Sumantix has 3d 3s 5h 5c 5s: full house, fives full of threes.
TexansBaby has 5d 5h 5c 8s 5s: four fives.

Hand #3433397-133 Summary:

No rake is taken for this hand.
TexansBaby wins 11200 with four fives.

So that was nice. πŸ˜€

Then I find JK and hit both on the flop, go all in, take it down and now sit with 16K. Next hand find Queens, raise to 1600, get one caller, flop is rags, bet the pot, take it down.

I make the money…ante is now 100, blinds are 400/800. My chip count is 19,820. I find Jacks. Raise to 3,600….BB calls. Flop comes 4 Q 7 – BB checks. I bet 3600. BB, whose stack is slightly more than mine, goes all in….and I make mistake number 2 and call. (Queen on the board…he called the pre-flop raise, which although not HUGE, should have indicated to me that he had something…and even something as lowly as 4s had my big Jacks beat at this point). Sure enough…he had 7s, and the turn and river were no help to me, so his set held up, knocking me out of the tournament.

I finished 96th and got 50 cents in UB bonus dollars for my efforts. I’m proud of myself for a) finishing ITM b) cracking the top 100 and c) only making 2 mistakes (although damn were they costly).