Getting My Feet Wet: Showboat Nightly Tournament 04/14/2012
So after my poker free Lent, I decided to get back into the game...slowly. Prior to giving up poker for Lent, I was not doing so well. You know it's bad when I buy my husband into a poker tournament and rail him (I watch from the other side of the rails). My husband normally does not play tournaments, he is more of a cash guy. But he cashed in a tournament at Borgata in the Fall on our vacation, then went on to cash in a tournament at Showboat. So when the Saturday Series came to Borgata a week or so after, I figured I would buy him in and ride his coat tail on it. Giving up poker for Lent was a decision I made to clear my head of poker since I was running bad. I don't know if I was just unlucky or playing scared, or even both, so getting away from the game I felt was best for me to rethink my game plan and move forward once Lent was over.
The buy in for the nightly Showboat tournament is only $65, as opposed to paying over $350 for a Borgata Spring Open event. Those are the ones I normally play, but the bankroll wasn't supporting that. Normally I can play cash and win a buy in or two after a few weeks, but not lately, so the smaller buy in tournaments are what I need to get my feet wet again. DH and I bought in, and a friend of mine came down as well. We were all seated at different tables. The play was quite normal...nothing too nuts at least at my table. I have been reading 'Decide to Play Great Poker' by my poker idol Annie Duke and tried to remember some of the things I've been learning. I'm on page 125 of her book and I have taken 15 pages of notes so far. Hopefully after I fully read it, I can go back, re-read my notes, type them up and take some stuff out that I don't need b/c I already know.
Early in the game, probably when the blinds were 100-200, I got 8c9c on the button. It was announced as the dealer dealt that the blinds were up the next hand. I hadn't really gotten involved in many hands to that point, so I wanted to limp in cheap if I could so I can see a flop. A few limpers, I limp, small blind (SB) limps, big blind (BB) checks. Flop is 9d9h3s. BULLSEYE! The action goes check, check, bet 300, fold fold to me. At this point, according to Annie's book, I should just call. I have a HUGE hand, there are no straight or flush draws out there, it's a very safe board for my hand. But silly me is too darn giddy that I have a hand after coming back from a break from cards, and I raise to 1200. Fold fold fold...darn! At least I got a few bucks from the limpers, and the guy that bet.
A few hands/rounds later (I don't remember, and I'm kicking myself for not bringing a little notepad to keep track of this...this is what I plan on doing, keeping very good notes of my hands so I can go back to my coach/mentor and run the hands by him), I get Kings in position...yay! One guy that gets involved in a lot of hands raised (he always raised) so I popped him. I knew he had nothing as he was always trying to steal the blinds and limpers. He called. Flop was 10 or J high. He bets, I raise. He thinks and thinks. And thinks. The way he was looking, I knew I had him beat. If he raised, I'm shoving (going all-in) I'm thinking to myself. He thinks and thinks, finally folds showing a pair. I contemplated showing my cards, but I remember one of the first things I was told when learning to play was NEVER show your cards. This is from a guy that I played with at a local place, and run into him almost all the time in AC now. He said you have to be consistent, so if you show once, you show all the time. But he said never show, be consistent that way. Keep them guessing. Were you bluffing b/c you were bored and wanted to play a random hand, or did you have it? They can read your facial expressions, so if you show you had a big hand, they will make a mental note of it for next time. Never give anyone the upper hand on you. So I mucked and raked in my chips.
Soon after, I got pocket kings again. There were 1 or 2 limpers in front of me, I raised and guy across the table from me called, everyone else folded. Flop came out 9 10 Q. I bet out immediately. I had checked out quickly when he called how much he had behind him (how many chips he had left after he called, so I knew how much I might have to risk post flop). He had not much left after the call, so I knew I wanted all his chips in the middle. So I bet out more then he had and he instantly called with 10 J. He had a pair with an open ended straight draw (An 8 or K would give him a straight). A 4d came on the turn, and all I'm hoping for is to fade an 8 or a king. A 6 or 7 came, and I took him out, and took all his chips. That was a great feeling.
Over a few rounds, I got my starting stack of 20k to about 35k and was feeling good. I'm in the BB and I look down at AhQh. It was really pretty. There were about 4 or 5 limpers in front of me so I raised to about 4k or 5k (blinds were either 600/1200 or 800/1600.) One guy called. Everytime he was in a hand, he'd bet or call with authority, like he had a great hand. A few times, he did have nuts...other times he had a pair but acted like it was nuts. So he calls, everyone else folds. Flop is A K A. BOO YA I think. So I bet out 10k I believe, he shoves for an additional 5k or so and I insta call. I flip over my hand, and he flips his over...A K he has! UGH! How bad luck is that???? Both of us were not going anywhere, pre or post flop. I played it well I believe, we both did, but that was just bad luck on my part I guess. I went down to about 15k and was not happy at all. I took a walk to see how DH was doing then came back. I ended up getting A Q off a little while later, won the pot and was back up to about starting stack of 20k.
Blinds were going up and I knew I needed to pick my spots carefully. It seemed that nobody at my table had a monster stack either, it was weird. I guess those with chips got moved to other tables. One hand I kick myself with is I was late in position and got Ace Ten offsuit. A few limpers, the guy in the 10 seat looked like he wanted to raise, but just flat called. I opted to fold. I thought about calling, but I didn't get the warm and fuzzies about seat 10. Even if I hit an Ace, I would put him on a bigger hand. Wouldn't you know, the flop comes out A A 10. and tons of action on the flop and river. A pair of jacks on the river took the pot. Oh well.
So I'm about at starting stack and look down in late position at kings. I raise to 5k, guy with Ace King earlier shoves for 4k more, I call. I don't remember off hand what he has, something like 9 10 or something, and hits a straight on the turn. Yikes. Oh well. So now I'm dwindled down to about 9500 left. blinds are going up again to 1500-3000. I get down to about 6k and shove with Ad Kd and decided to shove. I get called with nothing from the big blind and he hits a pair, nothing for me. So I'm out. I did last longest from my DH and my friend, so that's a win in my book.
I need to overcome this 'play tight' as I fear losing in most spots. I won't play random cards like I used to. I'm playing scared and I don't know why anymore. I guess too many bad beats will do it to you!
I am married to the most wonderful man in the world! He pushed me to get out of dead end job and get into the field I love, and I did it! I am loving life, thanks to him!
I'm a semi-professional poker player (I say semi-pro because I'm no amateur and DH won't let me quit my job and go pro). I follow poker on TV and live, I love it!
I recently became a grocery hound and I love the highs I get from getting great deals!