Sunday, June 22, 2014

Aces vs. Kings -- Tournament Edition

(This is Part 2 of the previous post and picks up right where we left off.  For Part 1, see here).

I started the next level up to $31,600 and the level after that $31,300.  All I could do there was make a few timely shoves that basically got me enough chips to pay for the antes and the blinds.

Level 11 saw me doing a lot more shoving and never getting called.  This time I chipped up doing that and by level 12 (400/1500/3000) I was up to $54,500, still fairly desperate.  After a few uncalled shoves kept me fairly even, I had Queen-10 on the last hand before break..  First in, I just raised to $9K.  No one called and I was still alive at the dinner break.  Two crummy hot dogs for dinner.  I kinda/almost wished I’d busted there.

Note:  Binion’s Deli, right next to the poker room isn’t bad at all.  But it’s not equipped to handle the 57 people left who were now on dinner break.  Especially since they only had one guy working there—getting the food, preparing the food, and being cashier.  I’ve seen them have two people behind the counter sometimes and this time they really needed it, but no, there was just this one guy.  I was second in line, so I was lucky.  I was almost going to have the guy make me a sandwich, but out of consideration of all the folks behind me, I just had the fastest thing, the two hot dogs.

Started level 13 (500/2000/4000) with $56K and soon after it started I was moved to a new table when ours broke.  Bad luck, I had just been big blind and then I was moved into the big blind at this table.  The player under-the-gun made a normal raise, it folded to me and I was looking at King-Queen of diamonds.  To me, that was more than a big enough hand to shove with, so I did.

The raiser had me covered and he made some comment, “OK, let’s go” and called.  He turned over Queen-Jack.  Not only did a King hit but there were two diamonds on the flop as well.  The flush never came but the King was good enough.  The other guy was fuming.  “How could you shove with King-Queen?”  I didn’t bother to ask him how he could call a shove with a worse hand than King-Queen.  And he had not raised so much that he was committed there.  Easy laydown.  Especially since that was my first hand at the table and he had no idea how I played.  He was pissing and moaning about the hand for some time.

That guy got a double up himself a bit later and announced, “Now I’m dangerous again.”  Then he raised preflop and the girl behind him shoved.  It folded back to the guy, who snap-called and flipped over pocket Aces.  The poor girl had pocket Jacks.  There stacks were pretty similar.  The guy had a defeatist attitude, sure that a Jack would hit.  It didn’t.  But there were two clubs on the flop, another one on the turn and a fourth one on the river.  The girl had the Jack of clubs.  Neither of the guy’s Aces were clubs. The guy had no idea what happened, he was already celebrating the lack of a Jack.  “What….what…what happened?”  When he saw he actually lost the hand, he was cursing in disbelief. It was close but the guy had less than she did and he was done. All of us were thankful to her for busting out this jerk.  In fact, she even joked that we should all throw her some chips for getting rid of the table’s most obnoxious player.

This girl was really nice, and I later found it she was playing in her first tournament.  Soon after the hand I just described, I found myself looking down at my old friends, the dreaded pocket Kings.  And this same girl made a reasonable raise in front of me.  I of course announced all-in.

When she snap-called, I asked, “You got Jacks again—or Aces this time?”  I didn’t like the answer.  It was indeed Aces. 

The flop had two Queens and I said, “Damn, if only those Queens had been Kings.”  The turn was a blank and there was no air between my butt and the chair.  And then a beautiful, beautiful King hit the river.  Still alive.

She had me covered and said, “Well, I guess I deserved that after the Jacks hand.”  That’s how I should have known she was playing in her first tournament.  I said to her, “No, that’s just poker.”

My notes were a little hard to decipher which is why I wasn’t specific with bet sizes and chip counts.  But this was before level 15 started and when it did, I now had $177,500 chips and the blinds were 1K/4K/8K, so I was still fairly short stacked.

I was moved to balance tables.  We were down to 4 tables and we needed to get down to 3 tables to be in the money.  I raised to $18K on the button with King-9 off.  Small blind folded instantly. The big blind, a lady who took forever to make any decision, tanked and finally said, “Goodbye chips,” as she folded.  I laughed and said, “Goodbye Mr. Chips.”

Then came the hand that started my downfall.  In the small blind, first in, I raised to $18K with King-Jack off.  The big blind was a gray-haired lady who I didn’t recognize but seemed to be a pretty good player from my brief experience there.  She had a much bigger stack than I did, and for that reason alone I probably should have made a bigger raise.  We were getting near the bubble and I didn’t want to bust out on K-J when I didn’t have to.  She called.

The flop was Ace-King-X.  I bet $30K and she called.  The turn was a blank and we both checked.  The river was a 4, which looked like a blank to me.  This time, she led out for $45K.

Sigh.  I knew she could have a crappy Ace that would beat me.  But I also felt she could easily have read my check on the turn—and the river—as a sign of weakness and that she was capable of betting there with a smaller pair or even air.  I tanked and finally convinced myself there was too much in the pot vs. the size of her bet for me to fold.  I called.

She turned over King-4 offsuit!  WTF?  She called my preflop raise with that?  Then called my flop bet with middle pair, no kicker?  And then got extremely lucky to river her total rag.  Yikes.

She played that hand badly, I thought.  But I guess I played it worse.  Where did I go wrong on that hand?  The preflop raise?  Betting the flop?  Not betting the turn?  All of the above?

I started level 16 (1500/5K/10K) with $101K.  I shoved with Ace-King and didn’t get called.  In the big blind, I had pocket 10’s.  It folded to the small blind, who completed.  I raised and he folded. 

That took us the last hand before the next break.  By this time we were down to 28 players and on the bubble. We had been playing hand-for-hand for at least half a dozen hands. Several attempts had been made to pay the bubble, taking the money off the 1st place prize of over $6K.  But one guy, who wasn’t really close to be the chip leader—and an old coot at that—vetoed it.  The first time it was suggested that we pay the bubble $150—which wouldn’t have ended hand-for-hand.  So it was suggested we pay $275, the same as last place, but again, the one guy vetoed it. 

There had been a few all-ins at the other tables, but no one busted.  My stack was one of the three shorties at my table.  On the last hand of level 16, it folded to the small blind, who shoved.  To everyone else’s surprise, the big blind called.  They were the other two short stacks.  It looked like it was possible that we would break the bubble right before going on break.

Small blind flipped over pocket 5’s and big blind showed pocket 3’s. There was no need for the dealer to count the chips and with the different denominations, it was hard to tell who had the bigger stack.  The pocket 5’s held and everyone was praying that the big blind had the bigger stack.

Nope, it was real close, but the big blind had a few chips left over.  Just a few.  He had $15K and we were headed to level 17 where the blinds were (2K/6K/12K)  In other words, on the first hand back, he’d be the small blind and hew would be shoving with anything.  So hopefully that would burst the bubble.  He even said, as he left for break, “The worst part is I have to wait through the break to bust out.” 

I started level 17 with $119K.  I was under the gun.  I folded some junk and it folded all the way to the small blind, who of course put everything in and the big blind called for only $1K more.  The short stack had Ace-9, a pretty nice to hand to have in that situation.  The big blind had 7-5.  There was a 5 on the flop and a 7 on the turn.  Looking good.  But no, a damn Jack hit the river, putting four to a straight out there.  The missing card was the 9, which the small blind had and now had a double up.

Damn.  That made me the big blind.  Again, it folded to the guy on life support, now the button.  And he shoved.  I was praying the small blind would call so I could fold my Queen-6 offsuit.  But the small blind folded (later he said he had 5-3).  It was another $18K to call and I couldn’t really afford to lose that.  But I figured I had to call.  I could bust this guy out, bust the bubble, and there was no risk of busting myself….at least on this hand.  I assumed he was shoving light and I had just as good a chance of catching a pair as he did.  So I called.

He turned over Queen-10.  I needed a 6.  Nothing hit the flop but a 10 on the turn had me drawing dead.  That guy had doubled up again and I was now really hurting for chips.

I had to fold some garbage hand in the small blind. Before the next hand was dealt, we heard that at another table, someone busted out and the bubble had burst.

It turned out that the girl whose Aces had lost to my Kings was the one who busted.  Oh well, she sure had a nice run playing in her first tournament.

Hand-for-hand was off and now, some 10 hours after we started, near midnite, I was in the money.  I didn’t make a note of my stack, but it was just a few big blinds.  The very first hand after the bubble broke I finally got a hand—Ace-King.  It was raised before it got to me but there was nothing that could have happened that would have made me fold there.  I shoved and it wasn’t much more for the original raiser to call.  He flipped over pocket Queens.  Among the cards not on the board when the hand was completed?  An Ace and a King.

I was done.  I collected my $275 and after leaving a tip, it worked out to about $13 an hour for my efforts.  I suppose if you look at it another way, I came really close to paying $140 to be stuck in a poker room for 10 hours.  So I guess getting paid a bit more than minimum wage was a lot better than that.


  1. HOT DOGS??????????????? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FRIED TWINKIES/OREOS,sir.

    1. That place is always mobbed and I only had 1/2 hour. Not enough time.

    2. excuses excuses. i bet if kate upton was there .the mob wouldnt matter

    3. If Kate Upton was there, a lot of things wouldn't matter, anger.

  2. Binion’s Deli, right next to the poker room isn’t bad at all.

    They have cinnamon covered nuts that you can smell all the way in the playing area that might be amazing. Did you try them?

    I played at Binion's twice while I was in Vegas. In one, I busted out fairly early, but chopped the second one three ways for a small cash. A surprisingly good place to play. Planet Hollywood was another I liked.

    1. No, I'm not familiar with the cinnamon covered nuts. I'll have to check them out.

      Definitely like Binion's, the Saturday Deepstack is hard to match.

  3. You should have made an extremely meticulous order at the break and put the rest of the field on tilt, but nice cash anyway... ;)

  4. mininium wage????????? 13 dollars and hour??????? where the fuck is that at??????

    1. Actually, they just voted to make the minimum wage in Seattle $15 an hour!

  5. is that a pic of carmen electra?????????? i thought she had bigger boobies?????????

    1. The pic is not identified as Carmen Electra, just as a misc girl, so I don't know.

      But really, those boobies aren't big enough for you?

  6. Personally I wouldn't raise with KJoff, and sometimes only call with KJ suited (at that stage of a tournament), BUT to go the distance and lose out to K4 is a kick in the proverbials, no doubt. In retrospect, if she is going in with that you did the right thing. Do you think she would of gone with you if you shoved ?

    1. Funny, at that point in the tournament, when its blind vs blind, I'm never calling. I raise there with a lot of worse hands than King-Jack. If I were to call and BB raised, I'm insta-folding.

      I doubt she calls a preflop shove but if she somehow read me as shoving super light just to steal, maybe.

      And who knows....maybe she calls a shove on the flop with her King? We'll never knew.

    2. Hi Rob Nice cash. I was in Vegas last week final tabled daily at PH. Payed 7th I opened shoved A 10 suited guy last to act looked me up with K 3 off suit. Yeah he hit a 3 on river. Out in 9th no cash for me. Played 235 Deep Stack at Rio Saturday. Lasted 6 hours finished 250th out of 960. It was fun.

    3. Glad you had fun. Too bad you didn't cash, especially final tabling at PH. That hurts.

  7. In the sb vs bb with KJo, there was no reason to cbet the flop with it, without read i believe x/c one street is ok, people usually dont run multistreet bluff in A high boards!


    1. Thanks, anony. I had middle pair, and if I don't bet the flop I'm sure she bets and I have to fold. If I knew she was so weak I would have shoved!

    2. It's sb vs bb, usually sb doesnt have much neither bb! So bb is expected to flat wide as you would try to steal wide, on the flop there's not much value, hence the x/c seems ok b/c from bb is going to stab at it a lot with a lot of air, like any suited connector, QTo etc.!!

    3. Kind of hard to follow you because of the short-hand, but again, thanks for the comment.