A Little Success at Illinois Charitable Games
Despite my past nasty beats at Illinois Charitable Games
events, I was hoping to be able to get out of town in time to play ICGA's One Year Anniversary $2,500 Freeroll. The problem: The Online Forum Challenge
tournament at BigJuicyOdds
I was actually doing okay at the forum challenge at the first break, but during the second hour I lost two crucial hands back-to-back: Q-Q vs A-K and A-K vs A-Q. Had I won the coin flip and had my opponent not hit his three-outer, I would have had a stack that would have put me in contention. However, with those two beats doing damage to my stack and with the blinds quickly excellerating and my M getting low, I decided to push with A-9os. I got one caller, and then a big stack went all in. The original caller then also went all in.
The hands I was up against: 5-5 (the original caller) and 7-7 (the big stack who went all in). So ... I was not really in bad shape with two overcards. The flop: 9-rag-9! I was all ready to triple up when the tournament came to a thundering halt for me when the river brought a 5, giving the initial caller a full house. In my opinion, he should never had called the all-in of the big stack and risked his tournament life with a the lowly 5-5. Looks like Presto works for many players!
Having about an hour until the ICGA freeroll, I jumped in my car and cruised on the interstate at a, shall we say, rapid pace! ICGA events usually run late, so I was not surprised to find that I had plenty of time to register and hit an ATM for some cash.
The donk-a-thon (1000 starting chips with blind that increased every eight minutes) started off well when I was able to double up with Q-Q. However, a long, dry run of cards (certain death at a tourney like this) forced me to go all in with J-7 diamonds in my big blind. It was the best hand I'd seen in several orbits. Unfortunately, I went up against K-J. If that wasn't bad enough, the flop was K-J-K! Talk about bad timing!
Knowing that making it far in the freeroll was a long shot anyway, I sat down to play some $1/2 NL.
After sitting on my hands for several orbits, I was dealt A-K. I smooth called a raise (maybe I should have re-raised here?) and saw, along with a few others, a Q-A-Q flop. Okay -- did anyone have a Queen? It turns out that two other players had one. One unfortunate soul lost almost everything with his trips when he was outkicked. I stayed in for a bit in case I got lucky and an Ace hit on the turn. I bailed on the river, knowing I was beat by at least one of the others.
After hitting trip Aces with a poor kicker, I scored a nice win when someone bluffed at the pot. I was afraid that he had an Ace with a better kicker and I would be out a buy-in, but fortunately I decided to go for it.
The big hand: I was dealt A-10 os in early position and stayed in a raised pot with a few others. The flop: K-Q-J rainbow! I checked, and someone raised $15. There was one call, then a re-raise to $45. Of course, it was thespian time, as I tried to look perplexed and worried and undecided about what to do. Figuring that a few minutes was enough, I re-raised to $120, and watched people scurry out of the hand -- except the guy who re-raised, of course. He went in the tank and decided ... to re-raise! I ended up all in, and he had me covered by about $35. He turned over K-J, and I prayed that the turn and river wouldn't make his boat. The turn: a 3. The river ... a Queen. Sorry, but three pair does not beat a straight.
Within about 15 minutes, a few of the players had to catch a ride, and the table emptied. I decided that that would be a good time to call it a night since I had not had any dinner and had a 50-mile drive back home.
So ... my plan was to play in the freeroll -- which I did -- and then hopefully score at the $1/2 NL tables as I recently did in Las Vegas -- which I did. Amazing that things sometimes just work out ...