Friday Home Tourney

It’s coming a bit late, but I finally have a few minutes to piece together my notes from Friday’s home PLHE tourney. The big difference this week was the $5 bounty added to the regular $20 buy-in. Another nice change was the fact that we had 15 players instead of the 10 we’ve been getting out for most of the summer.

I played mainly solid tight aggressive poker in the early rounds. Most people didn’t know how to deal with large raises so I won most of my pots uncontested on the flop or turn. In fact, I didn’t go to showdown until after the tables merged.

I got a bad draw when we merged at 9 and ended up in the big blind. I got to see a free flop with with rags. The flop came down 852 rainbow and I thought I had an open-ended straight draw. I checked and the minimum bet was folded around to me, but I had pot odds for the call. A 2 came on the river, which wasn’t much help to me, so I checked again. The other player in the pot is very cautious and after going into the tank, checked. The river was a beautiful ace and I was excited to have hit the straight. I checked again and got the bet which I quickly re-raised all-in. Suddenly I realized that my hole cards were not connectors and I couldn’t have the straight. I peeked at them and was relieved to find 42s for trips, but it didn’t matter as my opponent folded.

Next hand was 85 of clubs in the small blind. Multi-way pot gives me the excuse to complete and see the flop. It comes down with two clubs and I again have odds to chase the flush for a minimum bet. Another club on the turn and I bet out, getting called there and on the river for my first showdown of the night.

Forty minutes later we are three-handed and I’ve got a little more than half the stack of the chip leader. I come in for a pot-sized raise with A9. The chip leader thinks for a bit and then calls from the big blind. The flop comes AJx and I push all-in, not putting the chip leader on an ace, of if he is, it’s an even weaker ace than mine. He eventually calls and turns over Jx for second pair. I could have hoped for better, but I’m still a big favourite. But not when the jack hits on the turn. I’m cursing myself for a fool for busting out before the short stack in third when the river comes down beautiful with my two-outer ace. I can’t even feel too bad about the reverse suckout.

Unfortunately, that’s the last bit of fairness I’d see on the night.

I made a mistake heads-up ending up all-in with A4s against J8s. I thought the ace would be a bigger favourite than it was pre-flop against a marginal hand (I could read my opponent fairly well and was pretty confident I had the better hand). Still, not many people would have risked all their chips (which was still a playable stack) with J8s, so the play wasn’t completely awful. But when the flop didn’t hit him I was a 2-1 favourite and was disappointed when the jack hit on the turn. No help on the river and suddenly I’m no longer the chip leader.

A few hands later I push with 66 in the small blind, thinking I’ll take a coinflip situation at this point, and his blind is nothing to sneeze at. He calls down with A5, which again makes me a 2-1 favourite. He hits his ace on the river however and I’m out in second. I should probably have waited for a better moment as I had a great read on my opponent, but the blinds were 300/600 and I had only 4K in chips, so I couldn’t afford to be too patient in case I didn’t hit any hands.

Still, 2nd place and two bounties is a decent night, but it was disappointing to lose the game after I was so much in control and was consistently making the correct read on my opponent. But, it’s difficult to knock out a calling station when he’s hitting cards.

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