Monday, June 12, 2006

Seven is not a good kicker

My bankroll has taken a decent-sized hit in the last couple of weeks due to the usual combination of bad luck and bad play. Sadly, it's been more the former than the latter. Coaching and (gasp!) work have dominated my time and the proper mindset needed to play has proved elusive. On top of that, the golf jones has reappeared as my game slowly rounds into shape.

With some time to actually play tonight, I signed up for The Group $11 on Stars and Hoyazo's new $22 blogger tournament, Monday at the Hoy. For whatever reason, the game that had served me well earlier this spring made a surprise appearance. A visit by Mr. Luckbox didn't hurt. There were some aces that got paid and I won healthy pot off Mailman in The Group tourney with my third-ever royal while holding As-2s (he had a king-high flush).

Undeterred, the Mailman continued on one of his frequent heaters, knocking out players left and right. By the time we got heads-up, he held a 3.5-1 chip lead. Lacking the requisite multi-table laptop skills, I tried to concentrate primarily on The Group while keeping an eye on the action at The Hoy, which featured a typical lineup of dastardly aggressive bloggers. Despite Mailman's chip lead, the blinds were still small compared with my stack and my previous life as an SNG regular had taught me that patience is often rewarded heads-up. I stayed aggressive, won a few nice pots, and pulled even before dropping down a bit. Then this hand occurred:

PokerStars Game #5237742376: Tournament #26333401, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (100/200) - 2006/06/12 - 23:19:05 (ET)
Table '26333401 2' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 7: Mailman (10240 in chips)
Seat 9: hacker59 (9260 in chips)
GregDude: posts the ante 25
hacker59: posts the ante 25
GregDude: posts small blind 100
hacker59: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hacker59 [Kd As]
Mailman: raises 300 to 500
hacker59: raises 1500 to 2000
GregDude: calls 1500
*** FLOP *** [Jh 2s 7c]
hacker59: checks
Mailman: checks
*** TURN *** [Jh 2s 7c] [Ts]
hacker59: bets 2800
Mailman: raises 5415 to 8215 and is all-in
hacker59: calls 4435 and is all-in
*** RIVER *** [Jh 2s 7c Ts] [Qc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
hacker59: shows [Kd As] (a straight, Ten to Ace)
GregDude: shows [2h Ah] (a pair of Deuces)
hacker59 collected 18520 from pot

A donk call on my part? Probably. I had outs, obviously, and thought that any one of them would have been good (wrong). Plus, I had accumulated a stack in The Hoy and was second in chips as the final table formed. Given the competition, that's the one I really wanted to win. Thus, I made a "screw it" call and got real lucky. Pocket 8s the next hand sealed the deal. Admittedly, it was not great poker on my part, but in the end, all you can say is ... "Ship it!"

Turning my full attention to The Hoy, I watched as players fell by the wayside until we were finally four-handed with Mr. Aggro himself, SoxLover, louddwnunder and drraz (sorry I don't know your blogs). I stole some, folded some and basically bled/blinded away from a high of nearly 8,000 chips to exactly 5,000 when this hand occurred.

Table '26138165 1' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: SoxLover (10175 in chips)
Seat 3: louddwnunder (8857 in chips)
Seat 4: hacker59 (5000 in chips)
Seat 9: drraz (5968 in chips)
SoxLover: posts the ante 25
louddwnunder: posts the ante 25
hacker59: posts the ante 25
drraz: posts the ante 25
drraz: posts small blind 100
SoxLover: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hacker59 [Ah 7c]
louddwnunder: folds
hacker59: raises 600 to 800
drraz: calls 700
SoxLover: folds
*** FLOP *** [Ac 5d 4s]
drraz: checks
hacker59: bets 1200
drraz: raises 3943 to 5143 and is all-in
hacker59: calls 2975 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Ac 5d 4s] [Tc]
*** RIVER *** [Ac 5d 4s Tc] [6s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
drraz: shows [4d As] (two pair, Aces and Fours)
hacker59: shows [Ah 7c] (a pair of Aces)
drraz collected 10250 from pot

I'm still not completely sure why I called the all-in, which just about says it all. I figured my chances were 50-50, at best, to be ahead, yet sensed strongly I was behind. My hopes rested on him having an ace-smaller card, but failed to recognize the fact that two of the five "smalls" he needed were already on the board. Argh.

I'm mentally kicking myself in the ass for making the call. While a laydown would have left my stack at only 3K, I still had time to rebuild. Instead, I turned a potentially nice night of poker into a friggin' bubble. I despise bubbles. They conjure feelings of revulsion and self-loathing and make me question why in God's name I was ever born while dragging sharp objects across my forearms. (Did I mention I despise bubbles?)

With a frantically busy week ahead, I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to play again. A couple of cashes tonight would have sustained me with some warm, fuzzy poker feelings during my self-imposed hiatus.


Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

PJ, the very title had me laughing...

Now as for your bubbling, Mondays at the Hoy is a cut above, given the structure the usual cowboys show up ready to kill. To have bubbled that baby is a testament to your ability to hang tough. Nice work.

You should check Jules' (loudndownunder) blog, its wicked cool. I have a link (Ayers' Jules) or the address is

Mookie tonight?

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Mailman said...

Great! I finally made the blog, and it had to be for THAT hand. Oh well, that the way the River runs. Enjoyed the battle, and looking foward to our next one.

7:14 PM  
Blogger drewspop said...

Great job in the Stars tourney tonight. See you at the Mookie.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

UnFUCKINGbelievable DUDE...
15 out of 2247 = poker blogging overlord!

You did Cleveland proud, PJ. Nice work.

10:30 PM  

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