Saturday, June 23, 2007

OK, so maybe it is alright to be lucky sometimes

I have written many times about whether you have to be luck or good to win MTTs. And about everytime, I say that you have to be both.

I am two days into my dream long weekend of golf, poker and softball. It started off with Wed night and as usual in my online tournaments, I was a little impatient and went out early in the mook... Mostly on a hand where I flopped 2 pair on an all spades board where somebody had flopped the flush.. .such is life. I went out a a little bit later. Luckily, I have qualified for the season ending BBT due to 20 tournaments. I am in the top 50; but the averages aren't real good.

Thursday was a day of what supposed to be all day golf; but only ended up being 36 holes. It was a little hot (mid 90s); but I don't think that was the real reason. Since I only get to play 3 or 4 times a year, my game isn't doing that well so we weren't that enthusiastic. I did drop my second round score 10 shots going from 98 to 88. As usual, when you don't play very much, the short game is what costs you and that was no different as I gave up at least 7 to 10 strokes each round. So anyway, we called it a day a little earlier than normal.

That night was a live poker game. About 20 of us got together for a $30 buy in. And here comes the 1st reference in this post about being lucky or unlucky. We are down to 8 or so.. 4 get paid. I flop Top pair with T9s.. We get all of our chips in the middle and he has the open ender which he hits on the turn. He had over cards so it was probably about a coin flip. A little later, I go all in with A9 against KT and lose my 60-40 when he spikes his K. No worries, that is poker.

Friday was then a day to go play at Harrah's. There was a 1PM $55 buyin tournament. It ended up getting 60 players. Anyway, I get there a little early and fired up a litte 1/2 NL action. I only got to play for about 1 1/2 hours; but I did when about $75 which basically paid for my tournament entry which as cool.

As usual, there was some pretty bad play at the beginning of this thing and I really didn't get any cards so I was pretty much a spectator. Right before the 1st break, I was able to triple up when a shortie went all in and with one caller, I felt ok calling with K4 for just a little bit more. A King came on the flop and I checked down to the river where a Queen came and I just threw in enough chips to basically bust the other player. Luckily, he did have a Queen and called and he was left with 1 chip. He went out few hands later (after the break).

During the 1st break, another one of the tournament players from another table came up to me and called me by name. It turned out to be a guy I hadn't seen in probably 20 years. I knew him and his older brother when growing up. How weird is that? We caught up for a little bit and of course before we went back to the tables, we said "see you at the final table". Unfortunately, I'm having the same cold cards and again just spectating until again right before the 2nd break and this time I pick up KK which was my first premium hand of the tourney. Of course, I got all my chips in as I was a short stack and unfortunately 4 players total came along; but fortunately (and lucky), they held up and now I had some chips to work with for the latter stages of the tourney. The good news was that my buddy was also still in and he definitely had some chips.

We finally get to the final table (both me an my buddy.. how cool is that?). I am not the shorty; but definitely in the bottom half. Nothing has really changed and I spectated until it almost became obvious that it would be time for me to gamble. Foreshadow alert. I ended up gambling 3 times and each time it was while I was on the button.

Button #1. Chip leader who had been raising most pots and playing very good big stack poker min raised for what seemed like the 4 thousandth time. It folded it around to me on the button with K7s. I pushed my chips in which was probably about 2 1/2 times his raise. In other words, he didn't have to call if he was just playing big stacks. Well, he wasn't. He had AQo and unfortunately a Q came on the flop, but a King came on the turn and I got lucky. I told him that I didn't believe him and that I now I do... he later showed AK from an EP raise and said that was for me.. OK.. it was funny, but I guess you had to be there.

Button #2. This time it is folded to me. I have KTs. I anguish a little (outwardly... inwardly, I know I am pushing). The SB thinks for a bit and also pushes over the top of me. He had A4s and again I luckily catch a K to win.

By this time, my buddy has probably taken over the chip lead getting some nice cards and also pushing his big stack around nicely.

Button #3. My buddy, I believe limps UTG and look down to QTs (clubs). Blinds are pretty big so I go ahead and push and I think only my buddy calls. To my dismay he turns over AA and I stand up getting ready to leave; but wait... the flop has 2 clubs on it so I have a slim chance. No club on the turn and an Ace on the river seals my fate... but wait again.. it was a club and his pocket aces that hit a set lost to a river flush so for the 3rd time and the final table, I got lucky (unlike the night before). I knock at the 4th place finisher and we are down to three which qualifies the top 3 to a month end tourney of champions where 1st place is 10K. Very nice. The bad thing is that it is on a Sunday morning so there is a chance that I may be a little late depending on how long church goes. A little more on this later.

We are down to the final 3 with my buddy still with a big lead. He probably had over 1/2 of the chips. The 3rd guy jokingly asked my buddy for an even chop. Again, you probably had to be there, but it was pretty funny. I ended up knocking out the other guy. I can't really remember the hand and the dream scenario ended up with me and my buddy making the final 2. We played for about 10 minutes and by this time were about even in chips. I then offered for us to chop it up 2 ways. He thought about and said... let's play for another 10 minutes and see what happens. 1st place paid close to $800 and second place about $550. We played break even for a little bit and we decided to chop it up. He ended up winning as we played pretty loose from there on out.. so he got around $700 and I got a little under $650 as we tried to compensate for the tax issue as Harrah's will send him a W2g on his 1st place winnings.

A kind of funny thing is that they wouldn't handle the chop and they watched us like hounds to make sure that we didn't split the chips. We had to cash out and then chop it up which of course is OK.

Back to the tournament of champions thing. I told them that I would be a little late and after a while they asked me why? When I told them that I go to church on Sunday mornings they thought I was a little crazy to do that instead of playing poker for a chance at $10,000. To me, it was really a no brainer. It is hard to explain to others, but God is really one of the top priorities in my life even though I fall short of His expectations all the time, I try to live up to those expectations. I made a comment about how money is temporary and stuff like that. I think they understood my position; but probably still thought I was a little crazy. Our church does have Saturday night church so I suppose I could go to that; but it just seems weird doing that so that I can play poker on Sunday. Anyway, they didn't have a problem with me coming a little late so that is what I am going to do. The tournament is on the 1st of July so we will see how it goes.

I'm off to another home game tonight where we just play a bunch of low limit SNGs. I'll have just as much fun doing that as anything else. It has definitely been a fun weekend up to this point.

Have a nice rest of the weekend!!!!


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I don't go to churches on Sundays but I definitely respect your priorities. Being lucky always helps and that is really cool that you and your buddy ended up as the final 2. And I think any of us that's played live poker understand the humor in the big stack showing you AK and suggesting a 3 way chop. Not a LOL funny, but a smile on the face funny... at least as a reader. Good work!

jamyhawk said...

Congrats on the money at Harrah's! Now if you can just do that every day, you won't have to play in the Sunday tourneys! ;)

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