Monday, September 07, 2009

One Lottery Ticket Please Part V

I gotta finish this story at some point. Right?

For my own sanity.

If you're late to the party there's

part 1

part 2.

part 3

part 4

and now part 5 below.


6:24 PM. The good news is only 1170 of the 2781 players that started the day with us still remain. The bad news is I've only got 1825 chips and 3 hands to push. I fold 2,6 off from 3rd position.

6:26 PM. I fold 3,9 off from 2nd position.

6:29 PM. I throw my 25 ante out for the dealer to grab. This transaction leaves me with 1750 chips. I peak down at my first card and it's an ace. Good enough. I make the executive decision that I'm better off not looking at the second card. Instead I slide my 1750 out there. Much better this way.

I may have looked around the table and shrugged my shoulders. The kind of shrug that says "I got aces here but I'm going to act like I'm just going all in because I'm so low on chips and about to be the big blind, so maybe you'll fold and save yourself 1750 chips."

You know. That shrug. Come on. You know you've seen it.

My subtle Jedi mind trick makes no difference. One gentleman calls. Then so does another. I got action. If you're an optimist, you're excited by the fact that if I'm gonna win the hand, I'm gonna triple up. Who needs to go through all the trouble of winning a hand like this and only doubling ones chips?

Flop is 2,3,4. There's a pot size bet and the other guy is small so he calls all in. First gentleman turns over pocket queens. The other pocket tens. Unfortunately this forces me to look at my second card.

I turn over a 4. And feel strangely good about it. I got 9 outs! Kind of like I'm on a flush draw.

There's two more 4's in the deck, Four 5's for the straight. And three more aces.

And if you know me well you know I always hit my flush draws, mostly just to see the other players reactions.

I don't even need to look at the turn and river. I start counting the chips in the middle. I'll have 5850 after my hand hits.

The earth spins. Across the table I hear the guy with queens gasp. Apparently the dealer turned over another 4 on the river.

People saying I can't suck out anymore.

I still got it.

No matter what they say.

6:35 PM. 1130 players remain. Average chips is 11075. I got 5350 if you're keeping score at home. And the best part is suddenly I feel like a monster stack.

6:42 PM. With blinds at 150/300/25 I raise in middle position to 750 with ace 9 suited. My nemesis from a couple of hours ago (the guy who raised me all in with pocket 5's) calls. So does the big blind. The 3 of us see a king 2,2, flop. I don't continue bet and we check it around.

A second of my suit hits on the turn. I'm ready to start throwing some chips around but before I can act the big blind bets out 1650. I wouldn't mind getting my chips in as the aggressor but I'm not in love with calling off my stack here on the draw. I keep running the math. There's around 2500 out there...but calling 1650 to win 4200 doesn't make no sense on a 4 to 1 dog.

My better option is to raise. However I don't think I have enough chips to get him to fold a king or worse a deuce. And I believe he has something. Doubling up here won't win me the tourney. But getting knocked out will lose it. I fold.

Nemesis calls behind me. I am able to maintain my calm when a diamond doesn't come on the river. They check it down. Nemesis wins with king 10 of diamonds. Damn that guy has my number. Why couldn't we have flopped 3 diamonds? Not even for the chips I'd win. Just for my ego.

6:47 PM. 1060 players left. Unfortunately I'm sitting right next to a monitor showing this statistic so I can't help but to keep looking at it between hands. Because obviously it makes a big difference to my small stack how many players are left.

7:00 PM. I end level 6 with 3900 chips after folding from the small blind. Dinner break. Cards back in the air at 8:30 PM. Blinds will be 200/400/50. That's 1100 a round but at least I'm starting on the button so I'll have the maximum number of looks to make my move.

7:05 PM. I stand on line for a sandwich and use my 10 dollar voucher. People saying this event costs 1500 bucks. According to my accountant it's $1490 baby!

7:09 PM. Much like Felix Unger at the start the Odd Couple I have no where else to go. Unlike Felix Unger I can't return to the home of child hood friend Oscar Madison. If I had planned this trip well I'd be going upstairs to my room at the Rio. But since I'm not staying here I do the next best thing. I walk out to my car in the parking lot, turn on the A.C. and eat dinner.

7:23 PM. I know I've bragged in the past about how I never need to use the bathroom. Well guess what? I gotta go. At least my body is so advanced aerodynamically that it waits until breaks to get the urge.

I take the long walk back across the parking lot to inside the Rio to use the restroom. When we make a movie of this day we'll have me just pee into a cup. Much more memorable.

7:35 PM. I'm back in the car and between the past 24 hours, and the turkey sandwich I just ate, I gotta admit I'm feeling tired. I decide to take a nap. I put my seat back and set the alarm on my phone.

8:15 PM. The alarm goes off on my phone. I think I feel worse than before. Lets play poker!

8:27 PM. Back at my seat. My favorite monitor says there are 975 players remaining of the 2781 that started the day. Average stack is 12835.

8:31 PM. First hand after the break. New guy at our table limps under the gun for 400. What the hell does this mean? Two more people smooth call behind him. Action gets to me on the button. I look down at 5,6 suited. Damn it. I can't fold the Lawrence Taylor.

I am tempted to push but to be honest I'm not feeling it. I look at the guy under the gun and he's looking around the room, as if he's not involved in the hand. I take the safe route and just call. So do both blinds.

Flop comes king, queen, jack. One of my suit. Incredibly it gets checked around.

Turn brings a second of my suit. And the gentleman under the gun bets half the pot.

Damn. I'm in the same spot as that ace, 9 hand before the break. I'm not getting the right odds to chase the flush. And I'm not getting my money in first.

What kills me is I think it's coming. I am convinced another diamond is going to come on the river. That's what intuition tells me. I've seen this hand before. It comes on the river and it's really unfair to the guy sitting across from me with a real hand.

However my way too logical math brain steps in and points out that if it doesn't come, I can't beat any hand. I don't even have enough chips to bluff.

Damn it. I'm getting swift-boated by my math head.

I fold.

8:50 PM. Another hand against that same new player. He opens in early position for 1200. It gets folded to me in late position. I only have 3000 chips left. Ace jack is more than good enough. In fact it's the best hand I can ever remember seeing in my 5 years of playing poker. I shove my chips out there. And stare at him calmly. Whatever happens happens. No need to act strong or weak. He has to call. And hopefully I'm not dominated. As they say in track and field, I'm ready to race.

He folds. For 1800 more.

Huh? What just happened? Sure doesn't make a ton of sense mathematically.

Psychologically I understand it. But not mathematically. Mathematically he's risking an additional 1800 to win 5300. That's almost 3 to 1 odds. And he wasn't a small stack.

I suppose he was playing something he considered to be junk and didn't want to show the table his range of hands. Personally speaking, I think it's good advertising to show the table you play lousy hands. But that's just me.

And last time I checked there were 930 players remaining.

9:01 PM. 870 players left. Average stack is 14384. I got 4400.

9:13 PM. 850 players remain. They're dropping like...things that drop. I pick up queen jack suited in the cut off seat. It's a hand I've had a crush on since high school and I'm excited to raise with it. Unfortunately some bully in middle position gets in my way and moves all in. I fold.

9:18 PM. I got 3 hands till I'm in the blinds. I'm down to 3400 and starting to feel desperate again. I got ace jack that one hand but otherwise it's all 2,9 and 2,7.

9:20 PM. Under the gun I pick up Ten, Jack suited. Gold in this economy. Seriously. Ten Jack suited? Are you kidding me? I love overplaying that hand.

I shove my 3300 out there and feel really good about it. I know I'm exuding confidence. Everyone is looking at me differently. I don't give them eye contact but I can feel them staring. My theme song from that pilot I did for a sitcom that never made it to television starts to play over the sound system. Lets just say that if I get called here it's gonna be because I'm behind. Not because someone dares to challenge my mojo. Who would have the nerve?

A dude in the blinds, the kind of character that Sacha Baron Cohen might play in a movie, looks at his cards and decides to get cute. He shrugs his shoulders at me and asks me how much I bet.

Damn him. Shrugging shoulders is my move! These freaking hacks stealing my act.

I shrug my shoulders right back at him and gesture for the dealer to count.

How in the world could I possibly be expected to ball park such a large stack.

There were at least 6 chips on the table in front of me.

My indiscriminate stack doesn't slow him down. He calls me and turns over king queen. Whew. No problem. No problem at all. We all know my Ten Jack is a coin flip against any over pair. But in this spot against king queen I'm at least a 4 to 1 favorite.

I've never played dungeons and dragons but I suppose this is similar to situations in that game where someone has "hit points."

The only question is how I'm gonna beat him. Will he completely whiff and I'll pair my jack? Will he flop trips and I'll go runner runner for a straight? Or will I hit trips on the river to take out his over pair?

Dealer turns over a queen ten rag flop. Okay. So trips it will be.

I do the math and get excited about the 7500 chips I'm about to watch the dealer shove my way.

Did I mention that that a few hands earlier this same tool called over a reporter from Poker News to give his chip update?

Who does that? Who needs press that badly? This isn't your movie opening buddy. This is a poker tournament.

The universe responds with a ten on the river.

Dude looks across the table at me like he'd never been sucked out on before.

I shrug my shoulders.

To be continued.