So, I met this guy on HomePokerGames.org, a place where you find local home games. He has a big home game every once and while in town, way in town... so I decided to go. Mostly because I just wanna play live poker, but everyone from my home game is either busy or very hard to schedule for a single date... argh.
So here's the set up. He is hosting a $100 buy-in, 18 man (2 full tables) tournament (more like SNG). You only start with 1,500 in chips and 15-30 blinds, just like online (that's where he got the idea)... My table seemed okay, I didn't know any of these people, but most looked pretty serious about the whole thing... YES, a couple of them had sunglasses and iPods on... lol, I know!
Based on the crazy structure I felt like playing really tight early on would not work out well, so I thought I'd try and get in a lot of pots and mix it up... keep in mind I wasn't gonna get too crazy, just a little. You may argue, "But you don't know how any of them play, you should wory about that first." Well, just from looking at some of them I could tell I was in for some ESPN poker if I played a pot with them (all in with any middle pair or AK/AQ/KQs), but the great thing is that that that coin flips both ways - they know nothing about me, so they will mosy likely stay out of my way early on until they get an idea of how I play. So...
On the very first hand I ended up winning a $600 pot... pretty sick.
Everyone folded to me in the cutoff and I made it $90 to go with 10d-6d.
( I know, I know, "the poker books say that's a shitty hand", well most of the poker books are terrible peices of literature that were printed to make people into drones... I didn't raise because I think 10-6 is a monster hand, I raised becasue its been folded to me in late position so I only have to beat the 3 people behind me, and even if they do call I will most likely have position after the flop.)
So I make it 3 x BB with the 10-6 suited and the button calls behind me, followed by a call behind him from the SB, BB folds. So we go 3 handed to a flop of Ah-10h-2c. Not too bad, not great either. I raised before the flop so I can easily represent an Ace by betting the flop. I do so - $120 total. Button folds, SB calls. Either the SB has a weak ace or some type of draw, he may put me on nothing and is calling the flop just to bluff the turn. Turn is an Ac, and he bets $200... this is a weird bet becasue its so small compared to the pot. If he had an Ace for trips he would not be betting such a small amount when there are 2 flush draws on the board. Therefore, it's most likely a bluff... maybe even a semi-bluff with a heart draw. I just called behind, to see what he does on the river. River is an 8c. He checks and I check. He mucked Q-Jos. I really liked the way I played this hand after the flop, but in the end it was a pretty easy call on the turn. On the river, I don't think he has a thing so I don't see much value in betting there... even if he does have a middle pocket pair (a hand that could possibly call a bet on that board) he isn't gonna call after I looked him up on the turn.
After about 10 hands in I was feeling very comfortable, and was not only the chip leader of my table, I had total control over the table... I was the clear leader. I raised a lot of the pots in those first few hands and then picked 'em up with continuation bets after the flop. Then this hand came up...
I was in the cutoff with 4-4 and there were 2 limpers in front of me, I limped behind (something I almost always do with these hands) and hoped to flop a set. Well, things were going good so of course the flop came A-4-2 with 2 clubs. The player to my left bet $120, I had re-popped him a couple times already so I figured, "What better time than 2 to re-raise 'em again!" If he has an Ace he most likely get fed up and play back at me... so I raised to $540 total. He just called which screamed 'Mid-Ace'. Turn was a Q, he checked and I shoved for a little more than what was in the pot trying to make it look like a steal. He reluctantly called with A-9os and was drawing dead. So BAM! Just like that I've got a little over 3,900 in chips with the blinds at 15-30, WOW!
With the fast structure they used, I felt like it was right to lay low a little, not totally because afterall - I was captain of the table. But I did slow down some since the blinds were starting to speed up. After I raised 3 pots in a row to take them down pre-flop I finally picked up a real hand...
With the blinds at 25-50, I was in the BB and as I said had raised the last 3 pots pre-flop, so needless to say people were getting a little annoyed. So the cutoff limps in, the button raises about 4 x BB, and I look down at Ah-Ad. Again, "What better time than now to re-raise, right?!?" I mean it will 100% look like a steal, so I do the 'ULTIMATE STEAL PLAY' - I just move in (No human would ever waste A-A like that, right?... hahaha, so she says, "You wouldn't do that with a real hand... I call!" BINGO. I table A-A and she shakes her head tables Ac-Tc. No miracle = I win. Hey, I got another equation for you, Fish + Mind Games = Fish Goes Busto.
So now I've got over 4,800 with the blinds at 25-50. We're down to 10 people so we play hand-for-hand (5 handed) at each table. I do my short handed magic and get myself over 5,000 before the final table. Going into the final table I'm the chip leader with 5,100 and with the blinds at 50-100 I still have a lot of room to play poker, with 50 x BB. I play fairly tight early on because, (1) I don't know half the people (because they were at the other table) and (2) It's 9-handed with a bunch of short stacks... and for those of you who can't put those 2 together, that means constant action being pushed - action that me and my 5k just don't need to get involved in.
With the blinds at 100-200, it was folded to me in the cutoff with Ac-6c and I raised to $600. The SB (who was the chip leader with over 7k) called and the flop came 6-5-4 and he just shoved... ??? It was really weird. I put him on 2 overs and a flush draw which means he's actually a favorite going to the turn. I HATE flipping coins for your tournament life so I mucked it and when asked he said, "Sorry, dude... I don't remember." LOL... that's not funny, bro. That line is played out. Fucking queer... he looked like some college kid.
I bounced back the next hand with 9-9 against A-K, the guy raised pre-flop and I just called, flop came low unsuited and he shoved, I called and he blanked off. GG him, down to 8.
A couple hands later with the blinds at 150-300 and only 5k in chips, UTG limped, MP1 limped and I looked down at K-K in middle position, I made it 1k total. Mike McDermott Motherfucker re-rasies all in and the BB (short stakced) calls all in! WOW! In most cases someone has to have A-A here, but with these blinds you just can't fold K-K. I call and now there is 12,000 in the middle between the side pot and the main pot. Mike McD (LOL) shows 10-10, and the SS shows Ah-5h... he gets up and starts SCREAMING, "Ten! Ten! Ten!" THANK GOD, no ten or ace came and the K-K held up to scoooop me a 12,000 pot. WOWOWOWOWOW!
So now I have 12,000 in chips. The closest person to me has 4,000... seriosuly, no joke! There are 7 people left and I can taste the money, but that's not what I want... I want that $720 1st place prize... I wanna come onto their turf, first time there and take their title for pride! (Not really the later, I just wanted the money... LOL!)
After Mr. Tax Collector from Orange Park busts we're down to 6. And 6-handed = My speacialty... so I felt REALLY good. You have no idea how it feels to have a 'safety net' like 12k when the closest guy has 4k... I now understand Jamie Gold. You can just stab at every flop, and statistically people miss more than they hit, so you win more than you lose!
I got the rest of Mike McD's chips in with A-Q vs his A-5, but the board came 9-A-K-10-10 and we chopped... so gross... fucking luckbox. Very next hand he busted the SS to put himself 2nd in chips at 4.7k and we were down to 5 people... on the money bubble with the blinds at 200-400. And me still barely over 12k. Then Mike McD busted the guy on my left and we were down to 4 people (in the money) but Mike McD had over 6k... not good.
Veyr next hand I get Kh-10h and raise to 1,200 (blinds 200-400 still), SB calls, BB calls. Flop came Ah-As-6h (I flop nut flush draw), everyone checks to me and I take a free card. Turn is a Jh, BINGO. SB checks, BB bets 2k, I just flat call 2k. River is a blank and he shoves, I beat him into the pot he shows A-8 for trips and we're down to 3 with me having over 18k! No lie, very next hand Mike McD busts the SS in 3rd and I'm heads up against Mike McD of all people!!! I'm serious, I thought it was ironic aswell.
We trade blinds for few hands and then it happens... :(
He limps on the button and I check from the BB with 5h-2h. Flop comes Q-4-3 with 2 diamonds. I check, he bets 1k and I call with my open ender. BAM! Turn is a 6c, I make the Nuts. I check again, he bets 2k, I just call. River Jh. I check the Nuts!!! I'm serious... I knew he would bet it. He shoves with Q-7, I call, I WIN!!!
$720, baby! They had a 1/2 ring game afterwards, that I was emi-obligated to play in (the winner always stays and plays the ring game I guess...) I just played really tight as it was 9-handed and semi-loose. I won like $45 by the end of it (which wasn't much based on the money they were throwing around) after winning a couple small pots here and there.
For those skeptics out there, I know it seems a bit ironic that he quoted Rounders, so I started calling him Mike McD, we ended up getting heads up, and the last hand was played exaclty like the final hand against KGB.... but for those of you who know me, you know - that's what I do, I slowplay and trap people... so it's just a mere coincidence that I "checked it the whole way because I knew my man would bet it"...
That was a HUGE confidence builder... I'm out.