Still working like the dog that I am but things at work are improving. Of course with the end of the year fast approaching and another tax season around the corner, I expect our volume of calls to become much higher and in fact it already is getting busier on the phones. Still all of my long hours are not going unrewarded on a financial basis and I am making huge strides in clearing up my work so things are looking up indeed.
The last couple of weeks have also been somewhat rewarding on the felt fields of battle as well. I think I'm seeing the hands more clearly, I'm definitely being more aggressive, and I'm making better reads as well. Of course I haven't had too much bad luck either which is often the difference between a good result and no result at all. The weekend before this past one we played a tourney and while the PQ was out fairly early, I had a good deep run going out just before the final table. Bad cards most of the time but I was able to make good reads and get more aggressive. Caught a couple of bad breaks trying to take out the guy on my right. He managed to beat my AJ with A6 for all his chips then beat me again when he rivered a flush vs my top pair all in after the flop. I make one of those and I'm into the final table but I've heard some people say that's poker.
Monday the PQ was off from work so I took a vacation day as well. We grabbed a great breakfast then headed over to the Hard Rock casino. We figured to play a little video poker and she had a gift from the casino for all of her video poker play. Not sure why they reward her for taking money off them but then again she has given a good bit back to them too. We play for 10 minutes or so and she hits quad aces for 500 bucks. I couldn't hit crap and decided shortly afterward to see if I could play some Omaha 8 in the poker room instead. Got in there and got seated in 5 minutes.
Had a bit of a slow time, mostly losing in dribs and drabs and never making much of a hand. After a couple of hours I was down about half my buyin. Finally my luck turned. Won a very nice pot to go from down to up in one hand when I flopped the nut low then turned a straight to claim the high end as well. A couple of hands later I made a decent pot on a high only hand. Won a couple of other small pots to about double my buy in but went card dead again and after a couple of more hours I decided to call it quits. I was still up over 50% so it was a profitable run for us both as the PQ was still doing pretty well.
After 4 more wonderful days of work we made it to another weekend. The PQ had planned on playing in this womans tourney on Saturday afternoon but some family things got in the way of that so we both decided to play the 6pm tourney instead. The turn out was a bit low and I had a hard time making anything happen early. I did manage to score some chips from the big blind when I had K4 and flopped 2 pair. Turn was another 4 and I got paid off on the river for a fairly good score. The blinds went up every 15 minutes so keeping up with that was not very easy. At the first break I was sitting on 10500 chips from my 6000 starting stack. I was a little above average but the blinds were already up to 200-400. The PQ was out already as she pushed all in against 66. Unfortunately she only had AA and when a 6 hit the flop she was out. And quite unhappy. I assisted her to enter the 8pm tourney as well and her luck did not change. She was the epitome of running bad that night.
After the break I started making some moves. While I didn't get great cards I got stuff I could work with and I was willing to make moves in position. Once we were down to 2 tables this younger gal maybe late 20s or early 30s got moved to my right. She was pretty aggressive and I figured I better be careful with her. Too bad I didn't listen too well. A bit later I decided I needed some more chips and made a move after she called the big blind. I only had 86 but I knew I couldn't wait on cards. Unfortunately she called my raise as well. Flop was not too good with A95. Especially when she pushed all in. I didn't think she had much or maybe nothing but I knew I had nothing and her nothing was probably better than mine. Or she had an ace and I was really cooked. I made a good show of debating my next move before I folded.
As the blinds went up so did the aggression. I found it harder to pick my spots and basically got down to push all in or fold time. Which I did successfully a couple of times. The big stack in seat 10 really gave me a look and I figured he would look me up with any decent hand next time I pushed. Not long after I picked up 88 and pushed in under the gun. I was right as he called me with KJ. Luckily he didn't improve and I got a much needed double up. People were dropping pretty fast by now having to make the same decision as I did. Before long we were down to 11 but then it slowed down a bit. I was able to chip up a little more by stealing a couple of times but finally one more guy busts and we are down to the final table.
I was seated at number 4 at the final table. The big stack who was now a bit smaller was in seat 5 on my left and the aggressive gal was in seat 1. On my right was a good sized stack as well. He was the guy who knocked out the PQ with 66 against her AA though I didn't know that at the time. The first few hands were pretty tight but then the chips started to fly. I kept out of the fray at first as I had nothing to play with but I knew I couldn't wait long. In short order we were down to 7 as 3 shorties busted out pretty quickly. My neighbors and the gal in seat 1 were the beneficiaries. There was an older lady in seat 10 and she had a good sized stack but she got pretty tight here. Not a wise move the way the blinds were going up. When we got to the final table the blinds were 800/1600 which meant her 40K stack was only 25 big blinds. Of course that was much better than my 17K.
With 7 left I was 7th in chips and new it was time to move. I got my chance in mid position when I picked up AQ of hearts. The gal in seat 1 UTG raised to 4500. I figured her for a decent hand but I hoped it wasn't AK, AA or KK. I pushed all in on her and everyone else folded. She asked for a count so I knew she didn't have a monster and eventually called my 16K which was half her stack. I flipped over my cards and she shocked me and showed J8 of diamonds. Really? Does that seem like a good move to you, I don't think I call there in her position. Maybe she just read me for any 2 cards and a resteal, I don't know. She flopped 2 diamonds but thankfully didn't improve and I got some space with a big double up. She went out not much later. I got my next double up opportunity courtesy of PQ's nemesis. I had lost some chips back to just over 30K and was in the small blind with Q10 suited. The kid to my right calls from the button and so I just called while the big blind looked at his cards and decided to check. With a big stack on both sides of me I thought I better be careful there.
Flop was Q92. I liked it enough to bet 4K. Big blind folds. He played pretty careful with me after the hand we played earlier and the other hands he saw me show. The kid on the button didn't fold but raised to 8K. Now I had to think. Did he have a bigger Q? I doubted that. Did he play Q9 or 92? I thought it possible for the first but not the second. The one thing I feared was he played 22 and flopped a set. Not much else made sense. QJ or better and he raises I think since it was folded to him. 99 or QQ as well though I could see not raising QQ and taking a chance on busting someone - pretty risky though. So after going through the scenarios I pushed all in. I really hoped to take it down there. I thought he might have nothing but put me on a steal and try to take it back from me. He went into the think tank then so I knew he had something. I just looked at the board while he pondered his move. Eventually he called. He was very disappointed in my Q10 as he had 98 for middle pair. He did not improve and I doubled again. This made me almost chip leader. Then when I have plenty of chips I get dealt AA twice in a row. After winning a couple of hands, no one wants to really tangle with me I fear. The first time I called in 2nd position and hoped for a raise or all in push but it was not to be. Only the older woman in the big blind and I saw the flop. She had been bemoaning how she couldn't play a hand and her stack had dwindled to just over 20K. Unfortunately a flop of 942 saw her check and then fold to my bet.
Next hand I get AA again and figure I'm not playing around twice with it. So I make a moderate raise and take down the blinds and antes. From there we got down to 4 fairly quickly. The kid next to me made a great comeback to third in chips and with only 3 getting paid he was in good shape. Eventually the older woman pushed all in and he called immediately. I was happy because I got to fold a crap hand there and when he took her A6 out with AJ we were in the money. We chopped it up evenly from there since our stacks were pretty close, guy on my left had a little more than me and the kid did. I was more than happy to walk away $400+ ahead of where I expected to be.
Well that wass my Saturday and in an effort to make myself a little less like Rob I am quitting here. I can talk about Sunday in my next post. No poker in that one. I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving. We are having a late dinner and the house smells fantastic right now. Spend some quality family time today and I hope you all get lucky on Black Friday. I will be working unfortunately but I will be doing the online thing too. Buy me something nice everyone. And stay lucky, I know I am.