Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Second Place in a Shootout Tournament Just Does Not Do It

One of my home game buddies alerted me to a freeroll tournament at a bar in a nearby city. The friend had to work last night, so I decided to make the drive by myself. The tournament was a shootout format with the possibility of getting to play at a second table if you didn't win your first.

This WAS a freeroll in a smallish local bar, so the structure did not surprise me: 4,000 chips to start, 100/200 starting blinds, blinds increased every ten minutes, eight people per table. Yeah -- it would soon turn into a pushfest.

On the second or third hand of the tournament one guy caught fire. He quickly chipped up when his flopped set of 6's held and crippled two opponents. He then was involved in a three-way all in and hit runner-runner crubs (what else?) to knock two people out in the same hand. Not good for one guy to have so many chips early on. Pretty soon people began pushing and he was picking them off one by one, seemingly catching every card in the deck. Meanwhile, I was getting a steady assortment of 10-5 os and the hammer. I was treading water and suddenly there were only three of us left. Then the player on my right pretty much gave up and pushed with a crap hand. Cya.

So ... here I was, heads up, down approximately 28,000 chips to 4,000. Ouch. I played my heart out and started eating into his stack, but finally went busto when my Q-4 ran into the bad guy's A-9 sooted. Not much of a fun game, that was for sure.

I helped shuffle cards for some other tables.  Meanwhile, the guy running the tourney got down to seating the final second chance table before my ticket number was called again. One last chance at a table they expanded to ten. But this game was totally different.

In the first or second orbit I got A-J sooted. I made a standard raise from early position and got two callers. The flop was Jack high and I checked. A guy in middle position went all in. Guy in late position folded and I called. I was up against a pair of 8's. Boom -- my first big hand.

Timing is everything in poker, and suddenly everything was breaking my way. A shortie would push all in and I would look down to find hands like A-J and K-Q. Pretty soon I started eliminating everyone and had the biggest stack going into the final three. I knocked out a shortie, then faced the one other player at the table who was pushing people around. But I was a little ahead of him and knew I could take him. I was dealt A-J and saw the end coming near. I raised and the other guy went all in. I, of course, insta-called. He tabled A-9. Now it was time to dodge the outs. But ... and you know what is coming ... a 9 hit on the flop. No Jacks hit, and suddenly I was a shortie. A few hands later, with the blinds being huge, I pushed A-4 into Q-Q. The Queens held and that was it. Two tables. Two second place finishes. No trips to the final table.

I rarely play shootouts, but this turbo one wasn't bad -- for a freebie. I had little chance to win my first table and was unlucky not to win the second and earn a seat at the final table.

I had about an hour-long drive home and contemplated deep into the cool night what might have been.

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Blogger Josie said...

Exactly how many crucifixes are in your house? I'm guessing more than one or two....and don't feel the need to count necklaces, I'm talking "hanging on the wall crucifixes."

2:18 PM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

You forgot to run like JoC!

2:20 PM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

That's a long way of telling us you suck.

2:27 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

On the contrary, Waffles, my play was great. I wish I had a picture of the guy at the first table. I was hanging on for so long that he was getting scared he would lose after having the huge chip lead -- and in front of his friends. At the second table, the guy who won knew he lucked out. Such is the game.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Yes Lightning, on the contrary they were very afraid of you even though you suck and you lost. Perfectly clear to me now.

3:19 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

It is amazing how clear things can be sometimes, Princess Runner-Runner.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Well, I think you played great!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Light, I just pucking with you. Sounds like you did play well.

10:49 AM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

I think you played well, you just ran into the curse of the big ace. Doomed to fall to Ace rag time after time. Unless of course you are the one playing ace rag.

6:23 PM  

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