November 2006
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Aces, aces everywhere

I’ve left it a bit late to write up the tournament I played at Gutshot on Monday, but I did win… so I think I should still make the effort to recount my moments of greatness. ūüôā

Clearly I rock.¬† I picked up pocket aces three times in the first hour.¬† Bad players just can’t do that, it’s the reason they suck.¬† This was an unlimited rebuy tournament, so I didn’t even need to find opponents with much of a hand to get action.¬† It’s¬†a satellite into the WSOP qualifier next Monday (a ¬£150 ticket),¬†and actually a freeroll.¬† You start with 500 chips for absolutely nothing.¬† Then every time you need more, ¬£10 gets you an extra 1000 and there’s¬†an add-on¬†after an hour where your tenner gets you 2000 more chips.¬† 148 rebuys and add-ons created 10 seats; in fact the cardroom¬†added ¬£20 to the pot rather than create a cash prize for 10th.¬† ty.

Aces #1: There’s an all-in from early position by a player who has made it quite clear he isn’t going to rebuy.¬† He’s been¬†playing it, well, like a freeroll.¬† His bet¬†is¬†called by the player to my right who had taken one rebuy to start with 1500 (as had I)¬†but¬†now has¬†a little less than that¬†remaining.¬† I move all-in over the top – no point being fancy here,¬†and there’s no real downside to showing strength now.¬† If the guy stuck in the middle likes his hand, he’ll call.¬† If he doesn’t, we have a chunk of dead money and a better chance of winning.¬† I’m not letting anyone else into this pot for cheap.¬† Turns out he did like his hand: 9Ts.¬† The freerolling maniac flips up AJ and I take it down.¬† One player rebuys, the other makes his way downstairs.

I’d been sitting tight for a good 20 minutes.¬† Usually not even worth thinking about, but in this game chips were flying and dudes and dudettes¬†were gambling.¬† Everyone except me, that is.¬† I feared I may have too much respect, so when I looked down and saw the Gutshot Powerhouse, I thought I’d check my table image.¬† I raise, and all fold to the big blind who thinks for an age and eventually passes.¬† I throw the mighty five-high face up, and nobody looks impressed.¬† Yet when someone¬†folds the same hand face up from a blind later in the¬†tournament there is much talk about how they were way ahead, it never loses,¬†how can they fold that, etc.¬† I’m dealing that hand,¬†so I cheekily rabbit hunt and¬†make him a one card, five high¬†flush¬†to beat the raiser’s pocket tens.¬† Ahead the whole time, indeed.

It couldn’t get more perfect when the very next hand …

Aces #2: Kerching. AA.¬† Let’s see how much respect I have now.¬† Hopefully none.¬† Blinds are up to 50/100 so I open with a raise to 300.¬† A newly rebought 1000 chips comes over the top and my hand holds up against another AJ.¬† Rebuy in seat.. well, who knows what number the seat is in these self-dealt games…?

I’m then moved to another table, and having lost one small pot and a couple of rounds of blinds I am sitting behind a stack on 3300 when the last three hands for rebuys is announced.¬† Two hands pass uneventfully.¬† Last hand before the break, and wouldn’t you know it…

Aces #3: Woohoo.¬† There are two limpers ahead of me, and I make it 300 to go from¬†the button.¬† I haven’t needed to rebuy yet and I’m feeling a bit frisky, hence the small raise.¬†¬†I’d like some action please Bob.¬† It’s not very often you’ll see me trying to build a pot with one pair, but right now I¬†can still pay ¬£20 if it all goes wrong and be back to 3000 chips, roughtly where I started.¬†¬†The blinds quickly fold and the two limpers call.¬† These two limpers had history.¬† The guy in early position had been frustrated by the girl in between us twice since I’d been here, with her moving all in over the top after he bet.¬† Both times he folded a medium strong hand face up (whereas she showed nothing and just grinned), and though he was probably correct both times he was clearly getting rattled.¬† So with me last to act behind these two, I have to hold my breath when there’s a bet of 500 and an immediate all-in on a Q-high, fairly raggy board.¬†¬†Had she not seen me here?¬† I don’t think the other guy had, as he announced "call" before I had chance to do anything.¬† Two nits at the table convinced him that the call stood because¬†I had ever so slightly less chips than the raiser.¬† Which I think is correct, but instead of calling for a ruling he just threw in his remaining 500 with bottom pair (45s) and started berating the nits for getting involved once his hand did not improve (compulsory call for him though anyway in that spot).¬† QJ also did not improve, and I’m up to about 10,000 at the break after I take the add-on.

The girl does not return, so there’s 125 chips with no owner at the table when we come back from break.¬† The table gets broken quickly and I have no idea where those chips end up.¬† Surely they won’t have reseated her with a dead stack for three or four hands?¬† Wasn’t at my table anyway…

The streak continues at my new table.¬† I get one customer when I raise with AQ, the flop comes Q-high and he check-calls all in on the flop with 66.¬† Not exactly pot-committed (the bet was about the size of the pot) but he must not have believed me.¬† Doesn’t he know how powerfbloody lucky I am tonight?

From then on it did get harder.¬†¬†Can you believe I didn’t see aces again all night?¬† Sometimes that really makes you question how good you are…¬† I was glad to have the big chip advantage because the blinds got silly pretty quick.¬† I’m still not convinced by the 250/500 and 350/700 levels.¬† They are uncomfortable numbers, and really just serve to skip three levels for the price of two.¬† About half the players were pot committed on every hand they played, so I mostly just stayed out of trouble.¬† No need to win this one, top ten will do fine.¬† I manage to maintain and creep my stack up a bit to 16k before¬†we are down to two tables.

Playing some great push/fold, crapshooty,¬†throw-it-all-away-on-one-hand¬†poker, I see AJ and have to move in from the cut-off.¬† The small blind likes his hand.¬† He thinks for a while and says "I have a pair".¬† Bad small blind – if he calls and shows a pair, he can’t win this pot.¬† They only recently allowed any speech play at all at Gutshot, but you still can’t talk about your hand whilst there are other players to act.¬† Heads up it seems you can do what the hell you like…¬† So do I actually want him to call, then yell for the floor and let them decide whether I just get his blind or the whole pot?¬† Or do I say something now, and make him pass whilst also letting the other player still in the hand know that I’m not particularly keen on getting action here?¬†¬†I decide to keep quiet and fortunately¬†he folds what he says is a pair of sixes.

From then on the remaining players dropped like flies.¬† I still had to take a 50/50 with my 55 against AT to ensure safety, but I stayed lucky and didn’t finish 13th.¬† Two simultaneous bustos, one on each table, took ten of us into the next round.¬† One winner even got all the way without paying a penny.¬† Living the dream baby!

The ¬£150 satellite is next Monday.¬† It’s costing me ¬£88 on the train (they just got expensive for Christmas) and ¬£34 for a hotel (and yes, you get what you pay for)¬†to be there. ¬†With my ¬£20 investment, I guess I’m¬†about ¬£8 up…