The poker tables have not been very kind to us since we returned from New Orleans and Biloxi but last Saturday the PQ and I headed back to Derby Lane with hope in our hearts and a gambling jones to fulfill. It was an interesting day.
We decided to play in the 1pm tourney on Saturday due to my need to work early on Sunday morning. We were hopeful of a long run in the tourney so we didn't want to come home at 1 or 2 am like we would if we played at 6 pm. I had to get up at 6am to head into work Sunday morning. While only for a few hours, it's not ideal to be testing new reports on a few hours sleep. So we decided to play early and this tourney had the same structure as our normal one so no big difference. 91 people ended up signing up for the tourney which was a decent turn out.
Early on, the cards were not much different from previous weeks. No big hands, no pocket pairs, and not much I wanted to play. My table was pretty aggressive with the guy on my immediate right making 2-2.5x raises in just about any position. He was getting decent cards many times - he won with KJ at least 3 times - but I knew he wasn't raising with premium cards. The good thing his raises did from my point of view was keep me from throwing chips around with some crappy cards just to have something to do. Some other people attacked his raises so if I had gotten into some of these hands, I'd just have been wasting chips. While we started with 20K, I really didn't want to splash them around the way hands were being raised. Luckily the hands I tossed were not improving on the flop so I wasn't missing out on any chips.
We were in the fourth blind level at 200-400 when I look down at K-10 of clubs in early position. My neighbor to the right is under the gun and makes his standard raise, this time to 1100. I'm down to 17,500 here and with only a little over 40 big blinds I know I need to get into some pots since the poker gods are not rewarding me with aces or kings. So I call the 1100. Guy across from me calls then it comes back to the button who reraises but only to 2200. This is an older guy and I know the hands he's played have been big hands. I immediately think AA, KK or maybe AK but more probably AA. The small blind surprises me by calling and my neighbor does as well. Since I'm already in for half the bet and 3 are already in, I call as does the guy across from me.
Flop comes down A-8-7 with the A-8 of clubs. Not too bad from my perspective. Everyone checks around to the button who bets out 1200. I was surprised he bet so small. Which again made me think AA in his hand. Small blind calls, my neighbor calls, I call, and the guy across from me folds. Turn is the magical 6 of clubs. Can you say nut flush? It's checked to me and I decide not to fool around. I am a bit worried about the board pairing and someone making the full house. So I bet out 5500 which was a little small at about 1/3 of the pot. The old guy calls which I did expect, the small blind also called which I did not. My neighbor dumped it which was too bad. Dealer flips over the river and I'm praying "Don't pair the board" which is rewarded with the jack of diamonds.
The small blind shocks me and pushes all in. He has me covered by a little. I take my time then go all in for less. I'm hoping the button will call also but I'm disappointed when he decides to fold after thinking for a little bit. I flip over my flush versus the small blind's made straight (he had 9-10 so when I turned the flush, he turned the straight and then improved to a higher straight on the river) and I magically go from 17,500 to a bit over 50K in one hand.
My cards don't really improve much from there but I am able to bluff steal a pot after showing down that flush. Neighbor to my left gets into a hand calling a raise preflop. The flop is 2-2-4. Guy with a mid pocket pair pushes at him and he ends up doubling up when they get it all in and he turns over the deuce-four suited. The mighty grump strikes again. A little later I call a small raise with the same cards, flop comes out 8-4-2 and I drag a decent pot with my post flop bet. Some days that grump gets you in trouble, some days it gets you victory.
We come into the last hand before break and I'm feeling pretty good about having an above average stack, especially with the cards I've been getting. Blinds are 400-800 with a 50 ante. I'm sitting in the big blind with A-5 of clubs. Guy in mid position who lost to my neighbor's 2-4 is sitting with just over 14K pushes all in and makes a comment asking if he can still rebuy (he can). I'm not putting him on a huge hand and I like A-5 suited. Everyone folds to me and I think for a while. I sometimes get involved in hands right before the break, often to my detriment. I get the dealer to count it down and it's another 13.5K for me to call. I'm sitting at about 60K now so losing won't kill me. So I finally do. I was pretty happy he showed KQ offsuit. Flop was nice, small with 2 clubs. Turn and river didn't help either of us and I bust him. Now I'm over 65K at the break. Not bad for a guy with almost nothing worth playing.
The PQ comes by during break and she's doing ok sitting at 38K. She does a double take when she sees my stack. We talk a little bit about our hands - she hit quad 10's early on which helped her chip up. Outside of that she said she hadn't had much to play either. Break ends and we get down to it.
Now the weird hands started happening. Fortunately I wasn't in them. Aggressive guy on the button raises 3x the big blind and gets called by the big blind and a guy near me who had called preflop. Flop comes down 9-9-2. Big blind checks, guy near me checks and the button puts out a healthy raise. Surprisingly they both call. I'm wondering what everyone has that they feel they can call this but maybe they aren't putting the button on much of a hand either. Turn is a 7. Again it goes check, check, bet by the button. This time the big blind goes all in over the top and the guy near me goes all in for less. Now I'm really surprised. The button is looking at the both of them and he's a bit confused. He has them both covered and finally he says "Well, I have to call". Then he flips over 10-9 for trip 9's. Boy was he shocked. The big blind flips over 2-2 for 2's full of 9's. Then the guy near me rolls over 9-7 for 9's full of 7's. The river was a king so the guy near me who had been getting short got a big triple up, the big blind lost a bunch but got some chips from the button who paid off everyone. I'm sure he saw that 9-9-2 flop and thought Bingo but instead he was behind the whole way.
We got down to 2 tables not long after this. More crazy hands happened and in a short time we were down to 6 people at my table so we were broken and moved to the last 2 tables. The PQ was knocked out as well when her A-10 lost to 9-9. I still wasn't getting much in the way of hands, I did get AA and won a decent pot but otherwise I was pretty much treading water. And with blinds and antes increasing I had to do some creative bluffing to keep my chip stack up. Of course the crazy hands kept coming. 8-8 takes down KK when and 8 hits the river. We were down to 11 players total, 6 at my table when 3 guys get it all in with AK vs 4-5 suited vs AJ. Looks like AK is going to take it all down when an ace hits the flop but a river Jack gives AJ the hand and busts the other 2 guys. That gets us down to 9 and we're all in the money as top 9 get paid.
We redraw for seats and I've got 2 larger stacks to my right but the really big stack is across the table from me so I don't have to worry about him too much. I'm probably 7th in chips at this point. Not too long into it, the guy in seat 9 - the guy who won with AJ before - tangles with the lady in seat 10 and she busts him. I can't remember the hands but he was ahead and she pulled out a straight on the river to take him out. The funny thing was, she was the wife of the guy he had busted who held AK when he got his Jack on the river. We all got a good laugh out of that. The big stack across the table tangled with guy to my right who had a good sized stack as well. Big stack pushed with AQ into KK and did not improve so he lost a large chunk of chips. Not too much later he was out and we were down to 7. Now the 2 biggest stacks are sitting on my right. We kept playing for a while and the other short stack to my left got knocked out. I've pushed a couple of hands and because I've been so patient, no one has looked me up figuring I'm sitting on some good hands. Eventually people start talking about a chop and we end up chopping it up. The 2 big stacks got an extra hundred, the rest of us cashed out for $420. Not too bad for a $60 buyin. Definitely a result I can live with.