Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Group think

Bubbled in tonight's $22 Group tournament on Stars (11 starters/3 paid). Doubled up with aces to put me comfortably in second while four-handed and didn't get much of anything else after that. Blinded down, I pushed with K-Q and got called by Theo's A-J.

Having lasted awhile, I was 2-tabling while playing in the Group's $11, which starts an hour later. Played aggressive at the start of that one, but didn't give it too much attention until I'd busted out of the $22.

The $11 proved worth the price of admission. It took 2:37 to finish what in essence was a 10-person SNG. Intense stuff. I finally made it heads-up with Meat (aka Matt). Didn't time it, but I've got to believe the heads-up portion of the program took 30 minutes or more, a lifetime in the online world.

Meat's got mad skills, and it showed. He not only knows when to press the accelerator, but has a good sense of when to hit the brakes as well. Heads-up play is a crapshoot, but this felt more like an epic gun battle with both sides refusing to die even after suffering near-fatal wounds.

Heads-up went something like this: I started with the chip lead, lost the chip lead, got back to even, got the chip lead, lost the chip lead, got back to even, lost the chip lead, got back to even and then got the lead and finally won it. My K-Q vs. Meat's short-stacked 7-8 suited and nothing on the board for either one of us. To employ the old cliche, neither of us deserved to lose.

An encouraging night. Played well in the $22 but ran out of cards. It happens. And then I managed to outlast a player of Meat's caliber, which is obviously satisfying.

Yet tonight also made me aware of some leaks that need to be sealed. No problem. It should only take a lifetime or two to make my game air-tight. Funny thing about poker: A little knowledge about the game only shows you how much more there is to learn.


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