Saturday, February 10, 2007

Slowplayed out

I bubbled in a live $20 rebuy tournament Friday night when my push with A-Q failed to hold up against someone who called off more than half his stack with A-10. The guy, in his mid- to late 60s, mentioned earlier in the evening that he was playing playing poker when they still delivered ice in horse-drawn wagons. But it was obvious he hadn't spent much time at a tournament table.

I'm not pissed at him. Ace-ten probaby looked like gold. Even experienced donkeys make that play. (Although I don't believe he had some kind of read and put me on crap. He insta-called/raised. He pretty much said both.) But it hurt. I can't win a race against one of Jerry's Kids in a tournament at the moment and get taken out on a 3-1 shot.

Bubble anxiety had made for a passive final table. The big stack (and big man at a conservative 450 pounds) raised with some frequency. Monsignor on a healthy stack raised some. But the blind play was uber tight and no one seemed willing to defend.

I wasn't going crazy either, given my short stack. I stole enough blinds to stay afloat. And on the three occasions I did have big hands -- pocket aces twice, kings once -- I failed to get action. I guess I should have tried limping.

Had I folded A-Q there, I likely would have cashed. There were two stacks smaller than mine. I hate bubbling more than most, I believe. Despise and detest it as much as eggplant and nuclear winter. But bubble bedamned. Poker Jones plays the poker, baby. I had a pushable hand, got my chips in way ahead and lost. Again.

I managed to grind out some profit Saturday afternoon ($20 in a Stars Silver freeroll, an SNG, $25 NL and even some triple draw). After a Jones family dinner at superb Chinese restaurant in our 'hood, I jumped into one of the new $3 rebuys on Tilt. I love rebuys. The strategery in that first hour is a hoot and I'm getting more comfortable gamboooling during the rebuy period.

In the second hour with a slightly better than average stack and the blinds at 100/200, I found two red aces UTG. Remembering the lesson learned from the night before, I limped and hoped for a raise. I didn't wait long. A smaller stack to my immediate left made it 660. Everyone else folded and I just called.

The flop came 9-5-7 rainbow. I checked, he bet 1K, I pushed. After a short delay, he called off his remaining 3,500 or so with ... K-10. Noice!

The following picture says it all.

Could he have spewed his chips in a worse spot? No pair, no draw and a 6 percent chance of winning, for fuck's sake. I execute a slowplay with aces to perfection and Tilt delivers a junk-crunching, rant worthy, runner-runner straight.

Afterward, I politely asked in chat what he thought he was ahead of when he called off his stack, but got no reply. Not surprising. There's no honest way to defend that play, save putting me on a complete bluff.

I sat stewing as I watched him build his stack to over 30K. I rebuilt mine, but then got overly aggressive, made a few sketchy plays and busted 70th, 43 from the money.

Global warming? Bah. Welcome to Coolerville, baby. Tournament poker -- my degenerate raison d'etre -- really sucks at the moment.


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