Bloggers Busted slot hoki on the Bubble


Hypothesis: Poker, while always a wonderfully American and often suburban event, has become popular enough to overshadow our nation’s independence.

Proof? I drove an hour from my home today to a Fourth of July party (complete with red, white, and blue decorations) that was more poker tournament than family gathering.

Analysis: That’s exactly the way it should be.

I hit the road with the wife the morning and met slot hoki and friends at the Independence Poker Open in Greenwood, SC.

It was a family event, complete with holiday streamers, a BBQ, a pool for swimmers, and–most importantly–a room set aside for poker.

Twenty-three people ponied up $50 a piece to take a shot at the final four paying spots. The room was full of attorneys, engineers, TV personalties, a judge, a preacher’s wife, and some other business-types. Badblood and I added a blogger element to the room(although we fit into the other descriptions as well).

Because I’m sort of in the mood to keep drinking (there was a keg keeping the tourney going), I’m not going to write a full tourney report. Instead, here are a few hands of note.

Hand #1

On the second hand of the game, on the button, I see the Hilton Sisters (QQ) staring back at me. I put in a 3xBB raise. Only the SB calls me. The flop came 9TJ (the nine and ten were spades). I bet the pot and the SB called. The turn brought the 8 of spades, making my straight but putting a flush on the board. I checked, the SB put in a reasonable bet. I called. The river was the 6 of spades. I checked my queen high flush. He made the same size bet as before. I called to see his 72 of spades. My QQ turned Q-high straight turned Q-high flush got killed by 72spades…a straight flush 6-10. My stack was diminished by more than 2/3 of my chips. On the second hand of the game. I later learned the guy who played the 7-2 had recently run for county prosecutor and lost. I vowed–no matter what–to make sure I outlasted him. And I did.

Hand #2

The host’s brother (who claimed never to have played the game before) was running over the table. He was the first to double up when his pocket cowboys made a set on the flop and a boat on the river. I was severely shortstacked and none-too-happy to see 10-6 of hearts in the BB. Fortunately, no one raised it to me. I checked. Two sixes fell on the flop. I slowed played them and cold-called a reasonable bet. The turn brought a ten and made my boat. I checked, then hemmed and hawed over whether to call a large bet from the self-problaimed Newb. I also checked the river when it came an Ace. Newb put me all in. I obviously called and doubled up. He didn’t show his cards.

At the first break I was sitting at an exact 75% of my starting chips. We consolidated to two tables shortly thereafter.

Hand #3

My stack was getting short. I re-raised all-in with pocket nines. The big stack at the table called with K9s. The nines held up and I doubled up.

Hand #4

Perhaps my biggest mistake of the day, although it cost me nothing…sort of. Everyone folded to my small blind. I had A3of clubs. I decided to raise to push out Teddy Ballgame. He’d been playing very conservatively. He cold-called. the flop came with rags, but two clubs, giving me the flush draw. I put in a big bet and he cold-called again. I put him on a middle pair or second pair on the board. The turn paired my threes. I can’t remember if I bet and he called or we both checked. Regardless, the river was a rag. We both checked and both turned over A3 to split the pot. Had I been more aggressive, I could’ve taken that pot from him and it really would’ve helped my chip position.

After bluffing the big stack off a pot, and wisely laying down some unsuited face cards and small pairs, I picked up a nice pot when my big blind rag cards made a pair of threes to an under-aggressive big stack. It carried me to the next break and the final table.

I started the final table with 2800T, below the average chip count but on par with more han half of the final table particiapants. I had enough for a few orbits and the blinds were skyrocketing. I never saw a flop at the final table when I pushed in from the SB. I had rags, but not enough money for the BB the next time around. I wanted to steal the judge’s BB. He called and had two overcards and they held up. I was out in 6th.

Badblood, true to form, busted out next…on the bubble. He and I are trying to come up with a psychological profile of players who finished consistently on the bubble.

Now, I’ve been writing for about 45 minutes and I still want to go out drinking…but I’m killing a Empire $3/$6 game. I’m up $233 in 45 minutes.

What’s a poor boy to do?

Incidentally, Greenwood Phil ended up with the $575 win. As he was born on the fourth of July, it was a nice birthday gift for him.

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