Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gone but not forgotten

Poker Jones is back from a self-inflicted, technology-driven hiatus caused by the death of my 3-year-old laptop. (I would think three computer years equals about 60 human years.)

It was not a natural death. I killed it. After falling asleep in my big-ass recliner several weeks ago, I regained just enough consciousness to drag myself to bed, got out of my chair and took one small step for man, causing a hideous crunch. Yikes. Let's just say 200-plus pounds of foot pressure on a laptop screen is not a pretty thing.

Never fear, though. I called Dell and ... voila ... a new laptop arrived via UPS a week later. It's a signficant upgrade (1 MB of memory, Intel duo-processor), but I still feel like a donk. The old girl still had life in her before I dispatched her to the Great Computer Junkyard in the sky.

But there's been some good karma pinging inside this new machine. Last night, for example, I looked around for a tournament to play and signed up for a $5.50 on Stars. Five and one half hours later, myself and three other low-limit denizens were chopping the remaining $2,600 in the prize pool.

My voyage to the final table (1,198 starters) seems non-adventurous in the light of day. I got to the first break with around 1,800 chips after dipping below 1,000 and chipped up steadily. A couple of double-ups with aces helped in the second hour followed by tight, solid, aggressive tournament poker. Surprisingly though, there were no suckouts along the way and actually lost a fair number of races against short stacks in the latter stages, but I had enough chips to easily withstand those losses.

Pocket kings served me well later on and, in fact, propelled me to the chip lead shortly after making the final table. I then went steal crazy, flopped a boat with A-J, and by the time we got to four players, I had accumulated double the number of chips (750,000) of my nearest competitor.

I felt in control and confident that I could take the puppy down. Perhaps I had gotten some inspiration from Hoyazo's recent win in a Party 40K guaranteed, having gleefully read his post during the early stages of the tournament. A few previous final table appearances in large-field MTTs didn't hurt, obviously.

My trip to the Winner's Circle got sidetracked, however, by my least favorite hand -- K-Q. It has gotten me in enough trouble in my short poker career that it's not uncommon for me to lay it down from early position (something I did earlier in the tournament) or, if I'm feeling especially frisky, try to limp with it.

But four-handed, it would seem strong, and I raised it to 64,000 (blinds at 8K/16K) preflop. A strong player named Asianj (15 final tables and $35K in tournament winnings since March 2005) shoved his remaining 300K in chips, leaving me a tough decision. He obviously has "steal" in his bag of tricks, but would he make that move at this point in a tournament? I doubted it. His range, I figured, was anything from a big to medium pocket pair to ace-something. I had 232,000 to call. If I win, I've got over 1 million chips and should be a huge favorite to take down the tournament. If I lose, I still have ammo.

I called, hoping for a race. He showed A-6o. Cool. I got what I wanted. But an ace came on the flop and a meaningless queen on the river. I remained in an aggressive, blind-stealing mode and got it back to 400K. With our stacks pretty much even, Asianj proposed a chop, to which we all quickly agreed. It seemed like a good deal to me.

All in all, I consider it a good night. The cash, after all, will go along way to paying off this new laptop.


Anonymous mookie99 said...

Congrats on the great finish...Awesome.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Nice man...we're officially building the Ctown Posse (ya know...such as it is). congrats on busting me...I'm pretty sure even if I called you, with that K showing and little info I would have pushed into catastrophe anyway! All good...there's always tomorrow!

9:19 PM  
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