Saturday, November 01, 2003
Bluegrass Poker Series.
Phil Helmuth nor Russ Georgiev played.
Should I have played the poker hand below differently? Preflop?
Wow, I've been posting for a month now. How do I know? Because today was Bluegrass Poker Series time. Please see my prior post and read about Dan's magnificent comeback (down to $4) and subsequent final table finish.
To recap, it's a 125 person No Limit tournament. It's grown from one fellows home game into the spectacle of today. I think this was the fifth tourney, and my third. It's run extremely well and the players are friendly as only Kentuckians can be. It's not for profit and the sole purpose is to send a player to the WSOP in the name of BPS. A bow to Filmgeek for hooking me up with these guys.
I really wanted to wear a clown suit or something today in honor of Halloween. Talk about changing your table image. Also, that way, someone could say, "That guy plays like a clown!" and it would be accurate.
The $110 buy-in (1 pm start) was for $135 in tournament poker chips. I was late (imagine that), so Dann and I were both horrifically hung-over and starving by the time we arrived in Lexington.
Blinds started at $1.$2, escalating every thirty minutes. My table was semi-tough as three of the guys had made final tables in previous tourneys. Oddly enough, we had a huge pot in the first hand with the flop coming all clubs and one player holding QJc and the other A8c. Needless to say, mister nut flush almost doubled through.
Angie, the truly stunning wife of the fellow who runs said tournament was the first person knocked out. She has placed second and third, respectively, in the last two tourneys, so yes, she knows how to play. There was a huge round of applause for her. You'd applaud, too, if you met her.
Side note: the worst part about getting knocked out early of a poker tournament is having to listen to all the awful bad beat stories.
It was also fascinating to listen to table chat about playing online, specifically about Party Poker.
Anyway, Mister nut flush big stack bullied our table for awhile. It was weird, actually, because there was a lot of passive calling with no allins. Guys would make large ($25-50) bets on the flop and turn and still get called down. Not many raises, just calls. Odd.
After an hour and 20 minutes, we are at 3.6 blinds and I have manuevered my stack up to $200, second only to Big stack at our table. I've actually caught some playable hands and managed to grab a couple pots with semi-bluffs in late position when 2 or 3 handed. I was liking my chances and felt great. If you read my last trip report to the BPS, you know that for three solid hours, I didn't win ONE frigging pot. Today was feeling quite different.
Did I play this wrong?
I'm on the big blind and peek down to see two red kings.
Five players limp to me. No way I'm letting anyone see the flop on the cheap, much less five of em. I throw out a green chip, raising $25.
I stare down at the table and hear, "Fold, Fold, Fold, Fold" and then silence. I look up.
Mister nut flush Big Stack is thinking. And Thinking. Then he moves allin.
Of course, I call. Of course, he has pocket aces. Of course, they hold up.
In retrospect, it's easy for me to second-guess and realize that he prolly had AA because why else move in on the other big stack, pre-flop? Looking back, I can't put him on any other hand BUT AA.
Is there ANY way I can fold my kings and continue the fight with T175? I was still a healthy stack - losing that $25 isn't crippling at all...
I think not. That's just poker, right? If he has aces, so be it...
I still had fun. The downside is that I was playing very well, ahead on the table, feeling mentally great, look down and see KK and my heart leapt! 30 seconds later I was out on my ass, freaking stunned.
Now that's the essence of poker.
Arg. Got a big round of handshakes and condolences from the table as I departed to the bar.
So Dan, the no-limit master, hung in there fer a few hours, I think finishing 31st or something. AQ did him in. Hopefully he'll email me the details so I can give an accurate report.
The highlight of the trip was Waffle House after Dan got knocked out. I paid because Dan lasted longer in the tourney. :)
All in all, still a great experience. I love no-limit poker. I wish I could say I tilted in the ring game afterwards, but I didn't.
Ever the poker student, I've been pondering all day what the lesson is from that hand. I always try and take away some nugget of knowledge about a poor or losing play. How about: never call for all your chips in no-limit. Keep betting and raising. Calling is losing poker.
So tell me. Do you ever fold kings in that spot?
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