You know those days when you’re playing and you’re card dead for three hours, everyone draws out on you, and no matter what adjustments you make you just can’t win?
Yesterday was not one of those days for me.
I played two Party player points free rolls yesterday, kind of on a lark really since I never play multi’s on Party (1000 starting chips? Gimme a break). But it was Super Bowl Sunday, the PSI final table was on, I wasn’t going to be concentrating 100% and so a free roll was about all I had any business playing. And hey, it’s free money folks!
Apparently not concentrating and not caring about one’s result is a very effective mindset to be in. The 1000 starting chips in these sh*t shows force you to play very aggressive poker, and that’s what I did. It helped that I got slammed over the head with the deck and that the other kids in the tourney were playing aggressive but stupid. I can’t tell you how many times I busted people who shoved with 22, Axo, or my favorite, KQo. Wheeeee!
So I got very deep in both these freerolls and started wondering how it was that I had ever busted out early in a tournament, since they were obviously so easy to beat. After a string of poor showings in tourneys lately, it felt damn good! What also felt good was knowing that I was really playing well at the end of both free rolls. Obviously at this point you start caring about your result and so do others – no more KQo all-ins to call.
…Or were there?
Final table in first free roll. I’m the short stack with 150,000 chips. Two others have about 240,000 and then there’s one stack of 450,000. Blinds are 10,000 and 20,000. I’m dealt ATs in the small blind. It’s folded around to me and I raise it up. The big blind, our friend with 450,000, calls my raise. Flop comes AJ7 rainbow. I make a bet of about 60,000 and this guy shoves the rest of his 450,000. At this point there are four of us left in this thing and it’s pretty unlikely that both he and I have an ace in the hole. I think to myself, “He’s got a jack, maximum.” I push my chips in. He turns over KJo. I check the payout structure to see how much more money I will be able to win with all these yummy chips in my stack. The turn is a king, the river, a blank. I check the payout structure to see how much fourth place pays, because that’s what I am getting after this suckout hand. Still I feel good about myself because I played well. Add free money in the amount of $88 to my bankroll.
Free roll number two. Final table once again, six remaining. I don’t remember the exact chip counts because the game was on and I was just starting the Stars 11R that my boyfriend coaxed me into playing, even though at this point I’d already been in tourney mode for seven hours. (More on the 11R momentarily.) I had a medium-sized stack and the blinds were 7500 and 15000. I’m dealt 66 in the big blind. A short stack raises to 30000. The small blind calls and I call. The flop comes 6KK. Small blind checks and I check. Short stack bets out. I raise him all in, and he calls, turning over 88. I check the payout structure to see how much more money I will be winning today. The turn in an 8. Sigh. I’m crippled and never make a comeback, finishing sixth. Add free money $300 to my bankroll.
So at this point I’m tired and not a little cranky after two bad beats (though I am trying for a Howard Lederer-style decorum when these things occur). I know what would bring some sunshine into my life: the Stars 11R! While all of this free roll nonsense is going on, I am battling it out during the rebuy period with one of the toughest tables I have ever faced in one of these things. It was damn near impossible to play a hand unless you were willing to put all the chips in. I managed to double up through this maniac one time with QQ vs. 77, but other than that my run of cards seems to dry up and I was hanging onto my chips for dear life. At the add-on I was lucky to have an average-sized stack.
Nothing remarkable happened for a while. I ran up a sizable stack, only to have it reduced to 1,000 chips with AK vs. AA. At that point I was irritable and tired. I’d been playing poker for ten hours straight, very rare for me. Yet somehow I managed to get the hands I needed and built my stack back up to a respectable pile of chips. Chris and I always do a last longer on these rebuys, and I think I was more irritated that I was going to lose that than that I was in danger of busting out. That’s what made me hunker down and fight my way back up into contention!
Eventually I was moved to Chris’ table, which is always fun. Since we play in the same room I have to move to a spot where we can’t see each other’s screens. Much playful banter ensues. I was able to double up through this psycho on the table who was giving his chips away. Got it in with 88 vs. 77. Lovin’ it. Then Chris got moved and the psycho from my very first table during the rebuy period comes in. Oh, please give me aces against this guy ONE TIME!
We play on. We’ve hit the money a while ago and there are 37 people left (a bubble number – 37th pays $98 while 36ths pays $130). I’m dealt (drumroll please………) pocket aces. Oh, they are so lovely. At this point the blinds are huge and I’m on a painfully short stack. This is the most gorgeous hand I have seen all night. Plus, I have psycho on my left just waiting to push all-in (his signature move). It’s folded around to me and I shove. To his credit, he does think for a full minute before calling me with pocket jacks. Oh, baby, no 37th for me. (Guess what’s coming…) The flop comes 97T. The turn is a 6. The river is, of course, an 8. I channel Howard Lederer, take my 98$ (since I’m in this thing for $31, I take my $67) and start cheering for Chris.
So to sum up, I had a really successful day, played good poker, and busted in three tourneys with three suckouts. I got my chips in with the best of it, and that’s all you can do. And now the weekend is over and it’s back to Millbrook, where I must keep my alter-ego (poker tourney expert) hidden as I maintain the identity of “high school Spanish teacher.” Until the next 11R that is…