Back in the saddle

Well, after nearly two weeks without seeing a single card dealt, I finally had the opportunity to sit back down at the felt tonight. The bi-weekly tournament I run was thrown a bit off-kilter by the Canada Day long weekend, but we were back at it this week. Unfortunately, things are slowing down because it’s summer so we only had ten people show, including a buddy of mine who I was backing for his (belated) birthday. It’s a $20 buy-in for T1000 in chips, blinds starting at 10/20 and going from there.

Things started off not too bad, saw a few big aces in the first few hands for some small pots and then limped in with ducks. The table was pretty passive, so it was fit or fold. But the flop came KJ2 rainbow so it was definitely fit. I bet the whole way down and ended up losing a good chunk of my stack when someone showed pocket jacks for the overset (that he never bet or raised with). I was not pleased with the result, but was actually pretty happy I didn’t end up losing more money on the hand. I was visibly tilting for a few hands after that, right down to the bit of steam coming out my ears, but I calmed down soon after and began to work at building my stack back up.

Later on I peel KK and hit KJx on the 3-suit flop. People had started to get suspicious that I was stealing pots, particularly the guy still in the pot, who believed I bought him out of a hand earlier. I bet the pot, trying to play it like a bluff. I get the call and the next when I go all-in on the turn. The hand holds up and for the first time in the tournament, I’m in comfortable chip position. Not quite the big stack yet, but not too far off.

But the big surprise is the friend I was backing, who is doing pretty well for himself. He’s been working the play money tables for the past while as he works on finding his game. He hit a few good hands, but he was certainly holding his own at the table. Only made one mistake all night, though it unfortunately put him out on the bubble when he called the bluff I wasn’t making. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll be back and making a play at the prize money in the future.

His exit brought it down to three and I had a reasonable chip lead on second place and the third man at the table was going all-in at every opportunity to try to turn his small stack into some real ammunition. It doesn’t take long for him to run into a real hand and I’m heads-up with blinds at 100/200.

I have a small chip lead, but it was close. After trading the blinds back and forth for 10 minutes or so, I manage to squander my lead with a couple of ill-advised bluffs and am outstacked about T6000 to T4000. The big handwas a J2 of clubs in a passive pot where I made a 1000 bet at the turn with a four-flush. I really expected to take the pot after the passive flop play, but my opponent was smart enough to call and I had to hope for a club to avoid the uphill climb with my dwindling stack. Fortunately another club came on the river and my opponent wasn’t quite smart enough not to call my all-in bet and suddenly I was in the driver’s seat. Everything ended up in the coming down to my QT against his 33. The flop came 9xx, turn J and river 8 for the unlikely flush and the victory. That puts my record at 3 victories and 7 money finishes in the 11 tournaments I’ve held. Not too shabby, but I just need to hope that everyone else will keep coming out.

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