I'd like to talk about baseball today. I really would. But I can't. Here's why:
About 5pm last night, I decided to play a 50-dollar entry fee poker tournament at Party Poker. I didn't have much planned for the night, and I need a break from 'limit' games. So I sign up, along with 419 other people, and start playing with 800 chips. I'm doing decently well when I get a call from the math lab that I work at. They need me to come in to proctor a make-up test for one of my students. DAMN! I give JT a call, hoping he can play the tournament for me, but he's not there. So I figure, what the heck, I'll just go all-in next hand, 'cause I have to go. So I go all in with Q10 of diamonds. Two guys call. One has AK. One has JJ. A queen comes on the flop. I triple up. I can't make this stuff up, I swear. Only then do I realize I can click on 'away' and it will just post my blinds for me, so I'll stay in the tourney. I finally reach JT as I'm driving to the lab, and he agrees to play for me until I get back (basically sacrificing a fantasy baseball draft to do so.) At this point I have about 1400 chips.
While I'm in the lab my roommate Mike calls, and basically orders me to go sake-bombing with him. I try and argue, but to no avail. JT calls me every 10 mins or so for an update - he doubles up with 99 vs. 68, then takes a bad beat after having the nut straight with AK (the board pairs on the river, giving an all-in guy a full house), then doubles up again, I think.
Finally I get home, and take over with about 4100 in chips. The 2nd hand I play I have 99, and double up when the flop comes 743 and some guy with AK pushes all-in. Then I don't get any decent hands for about 30 mins to an hour, putting me down to around 5600 in chips. Todd's also started watching me and giving me occasional advice (along with JT) on IM. Then I win a few hands, and I'm at right around 17000 or so with the blinds getting pretty rough (maybe 800/1600 or 1000 /2000) when the following hand happens. I have 77 UTG (this means I'm the first to act - the blinds are to my right). I raise to about 5000, I think, and everyone folds....until the small blind, one of the chip leaders, raises to 20,000, easily enough to put me all-in. I think...and think...and think. JT is unsure - Todd says call. I think it's probably a coin flip situation, meaning he has two overcards: AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, etc. But if he has a higher pair, I'm a huge underdog. I finally decide to call based on Todd's advice and the fact that I've already put in about 1/3 of my stack. My opponent flips over AK, and my 77 holds up. I double up to about 35K!
Then I play pretty tight for a while again, as it's getting close to the final table (maybe 20 guys left or so). Then I have 88 in middle position, raise to around 10000 or so (I think the blinds were 1500/3000, maybe 2000/4000 at this point), get called by the guy immediately to my left, then the big blind(a very loose and aggressive player) raises to 17000. I call, thinking of pot odds, and so does the guy on my left. The flop comes 227, with 2 diamonds. In other words, the perfect flop for me, since I've almost surely got the best hand, unless someone has a pocket pair higher than 88 (unlikely), or a 2 (even more unlikely) or 77 (no WAY). So I go all in for the rest of my chips. The guy on my left RAISES to around 50K. The big blind folds, and the raiser flips over A6 of diamonds! So he went all-in on just a draw, although a pretty good draw. But no ace and no diamonds come, and I double up to around 80,000! Huge pot for me.
Then I play pretty tight, and eventually (it takes a long time) we get down to the final table, the last 10 players. I'm either the chip leader or close to it - I can't exactly remember. I don't get many good hands for a long time, but a few other guys get knocked out, and it gets down to 5 players or so. Then I knock a guy out when I go all-in with AQ and he calls with A5. See ya. Then it gets down to 3, and the more dangerous opponent gets knocked out by a tight but not-aggressive player on a KK (dangerous player) vs. AA (tight player) hand. Remember this.
So now it's heads up, me vs. a guy that I'm pretty sure I can beat, although he has me outchipped around 280,000 to 140,000. We battle back and forth a bit, and then I'm dealt AA in the big blind. He minimum raises to 16,000 (blinds are 4K / 8K at this point). I raise to 50,000. He goes all-in!! I take a little while, savoring the moment, and then call. He flips over KK!! Tough luck for him, but no K comes, and I double up, and am now in a commanding chip lead, around 350,000 to 60,000. We go back-and-forth a bit, then I put him all-in with AJ, he calls with K6, and he hits a straight on the river - but I hit a flush on the river! So, in summary:
50+5 dollar entry fee
1st place pays $5250.
So I went from trying to leave this tournament to winning the whole thing, and making a cool $5200 in the process. After paying JT (after all, he did play for me for a while) and Todd (for the advice, especially on the 77 hand), I shouldn't have to worry about rent for a little while.
Anyway, I was pretty happy, and I still can't completely believe it. Gotta go teach - thanks again to everyone that helped out. Later.