If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Posted by in Poker

I decided to spend my last night of summer freedom playing a Aruba satellite at UB. The options for these are somewhat limited – it’s nearly impossible to find a straight out normal tourney – the majority are Turbo (5 minute levels), Ultra-Turbo (2 minute levels) or rebuys. The option that was up for grabs last night was a $5 Turbo Rebuy.

April: “Why does ‘Turbo Rebuy’ sound a little scary?”
DoubleAs: “Sounds like gambling fun to me.”

Although I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the available options, the $5 Turbo Rebuy would do. I signed up, got a table, and won the button.

Not really wanting to rebuy, I played tight while watching most of the table go in to agressive mode and rack up huge chip stacks. It didn’t hurt that one of the chip leaders was catching cards right and left. He even had Aces back to back, and they held up both times. I just waited patiently, knowing (hoping) I’d get a great hand shortly and then could grab some chips.

I’m UTG+2, and I find a pair of 4s. Blinds are 20/40, and I call. Big stack raises to 220, and possibly tilty (he had just been busted and re-bought) player re-raises to 800. I call. Big stack re-raises all-in, which of course would put me and tilty all-in. Tilty calls and so do I – figuring worst case, I can always rebuy, but knowing if I hit my set…

Tilty shows AdQs. Big stack has 9d 9c, and I have 4s 4h. Flop comes 4c Jc 7c. I immediately think “Yes!” but then catch all those clubs…turn is a Tc, giving big stack the flush, but the river comes 7s, pairing the board and giving me the full house. I love the suck-out re-suck-out (when it works in my favor, of course). I won the main pot of 4840 chips and was sitting quite nicely.

A few hands later, with blinds at 50/100, I get my own pair of Aces. There is a minimum raise to 200 and two callers before the action gets to me, so I re-raised to 700. Raiser then re-raises to 2650, and I just call, along with the short stack, who had around 600 chips at that point.

Flop comes 8d 4s 3c, and I go all in for my last 3900. I get called, and see my opponent’s cards of Q9 from the shortstack, and QQ from the re-raiser. Turn is 8c, river is Kd and I rake in a very nice pot, and take 10th place overall in the tourney.

Maybe I can’t handle a comfortable chip lead. Maybe it’s because my railbird left me. Maybe I just still felt that even with my lead, it wasn’t enough – that I had to catch up to the bigger stacks. Whatever the reason, I soon started to make mistakes. And as we all know, in tournament play, one mistake is one too many.

I get 6s in the cutoff, and limp in to see the flop (a rare hand where no one raised pre-flop). Flop is a hammer-holder’s dream – all 2s. My thinking was that since, hey, I just flopped a boat, I’d slowplay it a little, and checked the flop. Turn came an Ace, my opponent bet a small amount, and I smooth-called, thinking I would catch him in his bluff by being ever so sneaky. River was a Q, and again, another small bet to me, which I called.

Moral of this story? Don’t slow play a boat when it comes on a board like that. My opponent, having A6, was the winner that time.

I found myself with Paris & Nicky at one point, facing a Bradoween-esque large raise and call all-in in front of me. I called, only to see the action then re-raised behind me. I thought about it intently, and decided to fold. The two remaining players showed AK and QT. When the King hit the flop, I didn’t feel so bad about my fold, even if it did feel like the wrong move.

I get JQ in MP and call a minimum raise. Flop is K Q 9 and it’s checked to a pot-sized bet, and then action is on me. Given the game I’m playing (i.e. – a WPT satellite and not a low-limit ring game) I see that as a drive off draws bet. I can put the bettor on a piece of the flop, but which piece? And how good is it? I call, and two players fold behind me. Turn is a Ac, and my opponent goes all-in for 4080. Again, I call. My read was right – he had KT. River was no help in the form of a 7, and there goes a large portion of my stack.

If you read my twin, you heard about our recent showing during a late-night blogger SnG on Stars. We both doubled-up with pocket 7s, one right after the other, when we hit the set on the flop. So with the blinds at 150/300 and a 25 ante and me offically short-stacked with a total chip count of 3010, the pocket 4s I was dealt again sure looked tempting. I wondered, could lighting strike twice?

With a raise of 2700, and a caller before me, I should have gone-all in. I had a pair, I was needing to make a move soon, and there might not be a better hand. But I didn’t. I folded, fearing (correctly) that there was a bigger pair out there. Of course, that wouldn’t have mattered since a 4 hit the rainbow flop.

We all have that happen in games – fold hands we’re unsure about and by the time all the cards are out, we see that we would have had the winner. What bugged me about that hand was that I should have pushed there, and I didn’t.

Quickly realizing the error of my ways, I went all-in with A9o – thinking it was an Ace after all, and not too terrible a kicker. I was very surprised when I didn’t get any callers, but I happily took the blinds of course. I waited it out a bit more, when finally with blinds at 300/600 and 75 ante, I pushed with QT, got called by Jacks, and that was the end for me. I finished in 46th place, out of 106 players.

I did take the add-on after the first break, so all total I spent $11 on the tourney. And actually had a good chance of winning it too, had I not self-destructed. Still, a learning experience if nothing else.

Very disappointed in myself for my crappy play, I went to make cookies for comfort and solace. And then promptly burned them.