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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Royal Couple Goes Down In Flames

I had a long night at J-Dawg's Poker Extravaganza last week. In three hours of poker I won a grand total of two hands. As you have probably guessed, my draws never got there and my two pair and sets were shot down by miracle river cards. When the smoke had cleared, I had turned my $20 bill into three Georges. Yuk!

Dealer Larry won the High Hand Jackpot with quad fives, but still had a net loss for the night. Farmer Harry and Ray-Ray were the big winners, both cashing out north of $40. Although it was a tough night on the felt, I still had a good time with a fun bunch of runners.
Tin Man's $5 NLHE Tourney went much better. I had the dealer button on the opening hand and looked down at a pair of black aces. I knew it was gonna be a really good night. Or a really bad one. I'm not real excited about getting involved in a big pot early, but A-A almost demands it.

There were several limpers in front, so I popped it 6X the BB ($12) to take out the trash. Bluffing Bev and Big Daddy both called. I knew Bev had a strong starting hand to call such a big raise, and there was no telling what Big Daddy had. The flop came 5-6-J unsuited. Bev and Big Daddy both checked, so I bet $25, figuring to take down the pot right now. Both Bev and Big Daddy called. Oops!

At this point, I'm putting Bev on a set or an overpair and Big Daddy could be as weak as second pair. Bev led with a small $12 bet on a dry turn card with Big Daddy folding. I called, but wasn't happy about it.

The river was another small, offsuit card and Bev checked. I really felt like I was behind and didn't want to invest any more in this hand and checked. Bev tabled Q-Q and I almost doubled my stack on the first hand. Whew.

There was an unusual amount of big pots played early in the tournament and the blinds were only to level four ($5-10) when Lil' Annie Okie and I got heads up. She had a small chip lead on me and we decided to chop the first place money, with Annie cashing for $23 and me for $22, so we could get over to the $2 buy-in cash game.

I got into a big three-way pot with Philly Phanatic and Debbie not long after joining the game. I had steadily built my stack since sitting down, and both of my opponents had me covered. I raisied 3 1/2X the BB with K-J offsuit and saw a nice board of K-J-A. Deb led out and both Philly and I called. The turn was a blank with Deb and I both checking. Philly slid out a pot-sized bet with Deb and I coming along for the ride.

I had lost some confidence in my hand, but the river brought another king. Deb checked and I pushed my remaining stack in. "I can't fold now'" Philly said as he called with A-9 and I pulled a nice $10-12 pot.

I slowly built my stack up to around $17 when the final hand of the night was pitched.  We were down to four players, with me in the BB. I peeked down at K-Q offsuit, the Royal Couple, and decided to check, just to mix things up a bit and possibly trap someone for a big pot. The flop was K-7-4 rainbow. I was going to lead out with a 1/2 pot bet, but I noticed that Big Daddy, who was on my left, reaching for chips. I decided to check and let him hang himself. He tossed in .70 cents, which was almost a pot-sized bet, with Philly Phanatic and Tin Man both folding. I smooth called.

The turn was a beautiful Q, giving me top two pair. I checked and smiled to myself as Big Daddy pushed out $1. Hee-hee, gotcha! Call.

Then came the river card. The seven of spades, which paired the board and was also the third spade.

Ugh! Just an awful card.

I had planned to bet enough to get Big Daddy's entire stack, but I changed gears and checked, fearing he might have hit trips. Big Daddy pushed for his last $2.50. Crap.

My initial read on him was that he wanted the call, but the longer I watched him the tighter he got. it's one of those situations that you really feel like you're beat, you just don't want to believe it. I hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before making the call, only to be shown 7-5.

I guess sometimes you can get too cute with your hands.

I still cashed out for a $10 profit, and combined with my tournament winnings, added $28 to the 'ole bankroll, more than making up for the J-Dawg fiasco the night before.
My online heaters continues. I banked a $17 profit yesterday and another $24 tonight. Onward and upward!

Till next time, win the flips.

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