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Monday, September 17, 2012

Vegas or Bust Poker League

The ten members of our Vegas or Bust Poker League met last Friday for our ninth of 16 monthly tournaments. The players who occupy the top two positions after 16 tourneys win a trip to the 2013 WSOP.

Seated around the table were J-Dawg, Tin Man, Lil' Annie Okie, Philly Phanatic, Ollie the Accountant, Dealer Larry, Stamps, Bobby Dee, Big Daddy, and your truly.

My first notable hand was against Big Daddy, which is both good and bad. Big Daddy usually overplays his hands, which can be very profitable, but unless you have a big hand it's difficult to put him on a hand and know what to do. I was UTG +1 when I looked down at A-A. Blinds were at $30-60 and Big Daddy had limped, so I popped it to $160, hoping to play heads up with him. Bobby Dee decided to protect his BB and called with 8-8. Big Daddy completed the betting with a call and the three of us saw a Q high flop. Bobby checked and Big Daddy min bet $60. I raised to $160 to find out if he was serious and after Bobby folded, he called. The turn was harmless and he min bet again, but this time I just called, wondering if he had stumbled into two pair or a set. He checked the river and I checked behind. Big Daddy tabled A-Q for top pair, but my unimproved aces were good enough.

Big Daddy was the first to fall on his sword, followed by Dealer Larry. Bobby Dee was next to go when Philly hit runner-runner for a flush. I would later fall victim to the same later in the tournament.

Lil' Annie Okie went out in seventh, followed by J-Dawg. Ollie and Tin Man were the next two to receive toe tags, which meant that I had reached my first goal which was to finish in the top three. Now my challenge was to win it!

With blinds at $300-600, Philly raised to $1500 from the dealer button. Stamps folded and I peeked down at K-K. I figured Philly would push any flop, so I smooth called with my plan being to check the flop and call Philly's push unless an ace showed. Then I would have to go with my gut. The flop had two spades and one of them was a K, giving me the set. I checked and was not disappointed when Philly shoved with A-Q offsuit. I called, only to lose to runner-runner spades, giving Philly the flush and knocking me down to 4 BB.

The very next hand Philly and Stamps got it all in on the flop when Philly flopped top and bottom pair, but Stamps hit a set of eights. Philly didn't improve and strangely enough, both players had exactly the same amount of chips, even this late in the tourney, so Philly was felted and Stamps and I were down to heads-up play.

With only 3 BB, I picked up K-9 offsuit and thought it was good enough to go with, so I pushed, only to be insta-called by Stamps. That was bad news, because Stamps is one of our tightest players. As I feared, he turned over a premium hand, pocket queens and just that quickly the tournament ended.

My second place finish enabled me to extend my lead to 12 points over Ollie and 15 over J-Dawg, so things are looking good right now. I'm not ready to go ultra conservative yet, but if I can hold this big a lead for another three tournaments, I will have to reconsider my strategy. After all, second place is as good as first!

Click here for the results and updated standings.

Till next time, win the flips.