Monday, March 26, 2012

Poker Diary: Multiple Street Closures

So I've been playing poker for, well, five years now. A few thousand hours. And have never, ever, had a tournament play out like this last one. Dive into the pain with me, will you?

Holding $16K in the second hour of tournament, I've outlasted about a third of the field, and catch pocket 7s, my biggest pair of the tournament to date. The short stack shoves for about a third of my stack, and it's all folds to me. I call it, and immediately regret it when the big blind, who is also the big stack with about 3X of my chips, calls. The flop gives me the top end of a double gutshot straight, and isn't making me too worried that someone else has the nuts... but it's a tournament, I'll check it down to the river and hope.

Which is when the big stack throws another thousand into it. Bloody irritating. And I can't imagine he's actually hit anything here, or doing anything other than being a chip bully. So I shove. And he, misreading my move as betting on air, calls. And when he flips it over, I've made the correct read, and lookie lookie, I've gotten it all in for the good money.

For funsies, here are my odds now. Not looking so bad, is it?

Now, if you've read enough poker stories by now, you know that the 60% to hold and win both pots (and go from $16K to just under $38K, also known as a better than average chip stack) isn't going to work. No sir, not one bit. Here's the turn...

Which means the short stack now has my $5K, but I could still get it back with a 3, 7 or 8; 10 outs is relatively thin, but not the most insane thing you've ever seen. And I'm still in really good shape to get $22K or so out of it, and be ahead of when the hand started if not terribly happy... and that, of course, is when the king hits on the river.

So, um, yay poker? Actually yes: the cash game went well enough. And there's the happy little knowledge that no matter what else happens to me in this game, I've already had the drawn out on multiple streets experience taken care of. Whatever doesn't kill you... hurts like hell. And tastes worse...

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