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    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Poker? I barely know her!

    I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Dweeze, played any online poker lately?” Here’s my response to that.

    “What do you mean by that, asshat? Fuck you and your fucking accusations!”

    Sorry, acid flashback.

    Anyway, yes, last night I entered the Full Tilt 2,500 chip tourney. It used to be the 9:00 tourney, but Full Tilt has moved it to 10:10 CST because they hate everyone in the central and eastern time zones. Fuckers.

    But I digress.

    I didn’t start out well. In fact, I was down to about 300 in chips by the end of the first half hour and I was hanging onto my tournament life by a thread. That’s when my fortunes changed. First, I tripled up, bringing me to just under 1,000. In short order I doubled up two more times, won a couple of other good pots, and found myself as the chip leader at my table. I was playing in streaks – I’d go seven or eight hands without a hand to play and then seven or eight with playable hands. It stayed that way through the first break, through the next hour, and on up to just before the second break. In the meantime the bubble had come and gone and I found myself in the money. Well, not the money. But in the chips.

    In the last hand before the second break I found myself with about 25,000 in chips. I got dealt A-K offsuit. I bet double the big blind, got called by one player, and raised by another. I called him, as did the person who had called me. The flop comes 4-Q-J rainbow. I check, as does the guy who just called, and the guy who raised goes all in for about 15,000 in chips. After hesitating for a bit, I call. So does the third guy. I’ve still got chips left if I lose, but if I win the other two are gone. I show my A-K, the raiser shows pocket Js for a set, and the other guy has pocket 9s. I have no idea what he was thinking. So we brace for the turn, my only hope being the 10 for the straight, cause even if I go A-A to get a set of As or K-K to get a set of Ks the guy with the set of Js gets a full-house. The turn is the 10, the river is harmless, and I knock out two people and take a 50k pot. Add that to my chips and I’m sitting nicely at just over 60k in chips.

    It got better from there before it got worse. I remained right around 60k for the next hour, sometimes going up a little, sometimes going down, never straying far from the 60k mark. That changed shortly into the fourth hour. The chip leader at our table had about 100k in chips. I get dealt A-J. The chip leader raises the big blind, and everyone scrambles but me. I call. The flop goes A-3-4. He raises twice the big blind and I call. The turn is a 7. He checks and I go all in. I figure we both have an A. My J makes a decent kicker. I figure if he had a better kicker, or if he had matched the board earlier, he would have bet higher. He calls, shows A-10. I show my A-J. The only thing that hurts me is a 10 on the river. But it’s not a 10. It’s another 4, and I win.

    And now I’m sitting pretty. I check the tourney info, and I’m in 5th place overall with over 120K in chips. There are only 30 people left in the tourney, and I have a pretty clear path to the final table – bet smart, don’t get too aggressive, and I’m in.

    The next hand I lose 65K.

    Here’s how it started. I get dealt A-K clubs. One person bets pre-flop, raising twice the big blind. I’m the only one who calls. The flop goes Qc-Jc-6d. The other player goes all in. It’s 60k to call.

    Now scroll back up. This is almost the mirror image of the earlier hand, the hand that started me off to a good tourney. The difference? This is a better hand. Not only do I have the straight draw, I also have the flush draw. Even better – I have a straight flush draw. So I call. How could I muck? As far as this tourney is concerned, this is my lucky hand.

    He shows pocket Js, for a set of Js. The hand my opponent had in that earlier hand. Again, another omen that this was my hand.

    Now, if you play a lot of online poker, you see a lot of things you never expect to see. It’s inevitable. The more hands you see, the more the odds work in your favor of seeing unexpected stuff. Once, I got both four of a kind and a straight flush not only in the same tournament, but within four hands of each other. In another tournament I was part of a deal where one player got pocket As, one player got pocket Ks, and another player got pocket Qs. Hell, earlier in this hand I had a streak where I got dealt pocket 6s on three consecutive hands. (Won with all three of them.) So while it is unusual to say the least that this almost mirror hand happened, it’s not unheard of. Still, it’s unique enough to suggest to me that it was a good omen. I mean, look at all the fricking outs I had. Any club gives me the nut flush. Any 10 gives me the straight. A 10c gives me the straight flush.

    I don’t remember what the turn and river were – I’ve blocked it – but suffice it to say it contained neither a club or a 10.

    So with that I was down to 60k. If I were smart, I would have mucked a few hands before playing any. But I kept getting good cards. Unfortunately, others got better. Finally, I was down to about 9k in chips when I got dealt K-J suited. I was short stack for the tourney, and figured that was as good a place to make my stand as any. The blinds were 1,000-2,000, the ante 200, and I would be blinded out in short order anyway. So I went all in. Unfortunately, the player who called me had pocket Ks. It played out as expected, and I finished in 20th place.

    Not a bad night though. Really. I mean that.

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