You know sometimes you're playing a poker tourney or a cash game and things are going good and it's a friendly table and the game is just fun. It's just a joy to play the game in those situations. Valentines Day was not that kind of situation.
The PQ and I always play in the Valentines Day couples tourney at Derby Lane every year. It's a fun tourney and we've usually done pretty well in it. You play 6 or 8 levels and then they total the chips for everyone left. Any couples who are both in at the end are added together but if you or your partner busts out, you can still win if you can build a big enough stack. The first 2 or 3 years they ran it as a limit tourney which was interesting but for the past 4 or 5 years it's been a NL tourney. They would limit to fifty couples and pay the top 5 couples. We cashed 4 or 5 times but never placed first.
The tourney started slowly for me. I could not draw two playable cards it seemed. I spent the first four levels mostly folding and only a couple of good bluffs allowed me to get my chip stack almost back to even at the first break. After four levels I had gotten exactly one pocket pair (threes) and exactly no Aces with any face card. I had bluffed at a pot early and screwed it up and played too softly but after that I buckled down and my other bluffs went well. But I wasn't feeling overly positive about our chances with the way my tourney was going. The PQ hit the break at about 9K from our 6K starting stack so she at least had accomplished a little but there was a long way to go.
Right after the break I finally get AK suited. Raise and get two callers. One caller is in the big blind and one is behind me, not the best position. Flop is of course Jack high. Big blind puts out a healthy bet and I decide to let it go as my only choices there are fold or push all in. I was hoping my luck with hands had turned but I was wrong, I immediately went back to 3-7 and J4 type hands. I kept getting blinded off while the play got looser, especially the guy 2 seats to my right who sucked out on the river and had gotten a big stack and now was bullying the table.
The blinds and antes just started killing me. The table bully and the guy in seat 1 raised my blinds a lot but with my stack size I couldn't defend well and I never had the cards to push back. I was about to push in with KJ in mid position but a raise, a shortie going all in, and a reraise was enough to convince me not to play. I was down to 2000 chips when I finally picked up AQ. Table bully raises to 1500 in early position and I pushed in. Everyone folded and it was only 500 for him to call which he did with 85 offsuit. I flop an ace and he gets nothing which more than doubles me up. The very next hand I look down on 99. Mr Big Stack does his part and raises preflop again, this time even more to 2500 and he looks me up again when I push all in for a bit over 5K. He looks disgusted when I flip over the 9s and he has 4-5 of diamonds and he doubles me up again. Sorry Charlie and I'm over 12K
The tourney continued but my run was mostly over. Mr Big Stack got himself a bit short then lucked into a winner with A2 over AK when he four flushed the guy. I got nothing for a long time then tangled with him again and took more chips off him when my AJ ran down his 77. The tourney ended and I was sitting on a paltry 17K. I looked over at the PQ at the next table over and she was sitting on a healthy stack. I figured we'd need around 65K to make the money and we came close at about 63 but ended up being on the bubble as we finished 5th but they only paid top 4. The PQ was pretty pissed but I took it a bit more philosophically. It was a fun tourney but I was a bit disappointed in my play being a little lax and I also wished I had gotten more than 4 or 5 hands worth playing. I did channel my inner Mojo to lock down and not do anything stupid as I was getting short which allowed me to stay in to the end. Considering I only got 4 pocket pairs the whole time, QQ, 99, 33, and 22 and only AK twice and AQ once, I thought I had done ok. But I was rusty and missed out on some chances too.
Last night the PQ and I visited the Hard Rock in Tampa. They were giving away 5K to 20 people that she was entered for and there were not all that many people registered so she was hoping for a 5K score but it didn't happen. I decided to spend my time playing Omaha while she whiled her time away on video poker. I probably should have stayed with her. I got mostly crushed. Not very many good hands and most of the time I had a good hand the flops just completely missed me. It was hard to deal with, especially since the guy across from me was raising just about anything and then sucking out. He raised preflop with A-4-9-10 once and ended up taking 3/4 of the pot when he rivered an inside straight. He pushed it all the way, got half the low and on the river a Jack hits to give him a straight to the queen with his crappy 9-10 beating out the guy who flopped top set with QQ. When I left he had started giving it all back but I just couldn't stay any longer than 3am.
It was a more disappointing night than the Valentines tourney but that is how it goes sometimes. I am thinking of going to Derby Lane tomorrow morning and taking another swing at Omaha. I'm also going to start a pot roast in the crock pot before I leave so that when I come home the house will smell fantastic and I won't have to do much of anything to get dinner ready. Well that's my week in a nutshell. Hope everyone else is having fun. And better luck than me.