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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Winning Ugly

It wasn't pretty, but it was effective.

Entering the final league tournament, Tin Man and I were tied for second in the standings, with Ranger Rick hot on our tails, and both Ray Ray and Stacy within range.

Stamps clinched first place two months ago, leaving just one WSOP seat available. With half the league in contention for the second seat, several things would have to go my way in order to win the trip to Vegas and entry into the WSOP.

The night started well for me as I won a nice pot early with a rivered two pair. Ranger Rick and Stacy both dropped out early, leaving only Ray Ray, Tin Man, and myself in the running. Now that the water wasn't quite as muddy, I was able to focus on my two main opponents. Ray Ray trailed Tin Man and myself by five points, so I set my sights on Tin Man, figuring if I could finish ahead of him, Ray would have to win the tournament to have any chance of catching me. Stamps had also busted early, so we were down to six players.

As blinds reached $50-100 ($1,500 starting stack), Tin Man was down to around 1,000 chips and I had chipped up to 2,000. In addition, I was seated two to the left of him, giving me the position advantage on most hands.

I lost over 600 chips when I open-raised to 250 from middle position with A-J. I got calls from both blinds and we saw a flop of K-Q-5. Both blinds checked and I c-bet 350. Big Daddy called from the SB and the BB mucked.

We both checked the turn and river and Big Daddy turned over A-Q for the win.

Tin Man and I took turns folding for quite a while, both knowing our next hand could well be our last. He was finally forced to go all-in blind for his last 200 chips and received four callers. If he won he would have 1,000 chips and the luxury of folding for another orbit around the table.

I had 450 chips at this point, so I knew this hand wold probably decide which one of us would win the second seat. Tin Man never looked at his cards, so we would all find out together.

The board ran out 7-8-Q-A-3, with no flushes possible. Ray-Ray showed a pair of eights and everyone else folded. Now it was time for the moment of truth. Tin Man turned over the first card which was a 4.

One card away.

The second card was a harmless 6, and suddenly it was over.

With fifth place in the tournament secured, it gave me 6 points for a total of 68 on the season. Even if Ray Ray won the tourney, the most he could get was 67 points.

Two hands later I pushed my final 450 chips in with A-4. I don't remember what the board was, only that I lost the hand and finished fifth.

CLICK HERE to view the final standings.

I think I'll probably play in Event 63 ($1,000 NLHE) on July 3rd. Ms. Duck is checking rates as you read this.

After not winning a seat last year, it'll be nice to play at the Rio once again.

Till next time, win the flips.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Vegas or Bust Poker League

The fifth season of our Vegas or Bust Poker League wraps up on April 14th. We began last May, playing one tournament per month, and will send the two players with the most points to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP this summer.

I have run bad through most of the season, seemingly never catching a break. I generally play tight during the early portion of tournaments, waiting for the other players to knock each other out. My problem this season was that whenever a short stack would get his or her chips in the middle, they would almost always win. Then the blind levels would get high and when I pushed it seems I would always lose, regardless who had the best hand going in. I don't know how many times I had the best of it going in and lost, but it was well above the norm.

Like I said, running bad.

Going into last month's tournament I was 6 points "out of the money," and needed quite a few things to go right in order to have any chance at winning a seat. You receive a point for each position you finish in the tournament. First place is worth 10 points, second 9, third 8, etc. Stamps has run away with the first seat, so the other nine of us are playing for the remaining seat. There were several players between me and second place, so I needed to win the tournament and hope all of them bust out early.

I knocked out Thom first, and he was one of the players ahead of me. He pushed with a K-Q offsuit and I called with A-K off. Through most of the season I would lose here, even though I had a dominate hand. I was waiting for the Q to hit the board to send me home, but we both paired the king and my hand held.

"Maybe things will finally go my way," I thought.

By the time the smoke cleared at the end of the evening, I had knocked out all the players in front of me, including Tin Man, who was second in the league, and was able to win the tournament.

My win was worth 10 points, and combined with Tin Man's seventh-place finish, left us tied for second place with one tournament left. The standings are close, with several players in contention for the second seat, but Tin Man will be the one in my cross-hairs. I'm hoping my new found "run good" will stay with me one more time!

CLICK HERE for the latest standings.

Till next time, win the flips.