Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

August 10, 2006

Third Time Not Quite The Charm

I made my third final table of the week last night in the Mookie, another small, yet very challenging field of (mostly) bloggers. This game started off a lot like the WWdN in that I lost a third of my stack pretty early on. I hit top pair on a flop and was betting and being cold-called by SteelerJosh. When he led out big on the river, I knew he had hit a set, and I had to lay my hand down.

However, as I told my table last night, you don't want me on a short stack. I was able to double up when my top pair held against a flush draw, when the player didn't think I had him beat (I believe I had stolen a few pots prior to this). So with my new found stack, I went charging back into the field.

The only big hands I remember are my KK holding up against QQ and my QQ holding up against JJ to bust a couple of people out. The rest of the game was pretty much taking enough pots pre-flop to keep ahead of the blinds and watching the other stacks decimate each other. I found AA a few times, but each time I got it, I received little or no action.

The final two tables started to get a little stressful, especially when we were down to eleven players. We were five-handed at my table, and all of us were healthy stacks. The two short stacks were playing six-handed on the other table. My table tightened up immensely, and everyone was able to steal a few pots, basically moving the blinds around the table.

We finally broke to the final table, and I was greeted by familiar final table faces Hoyazo, Mowenumdown, and Surflexus. Needless to say, I was a little worried that I wouldn't make it very deep at this table.

Hoyazo was the first to bust out, when he lost his 60/40 AQ vs KJ to Dylan. A king spiked on the flop, and Hoy was out. Not a fun way to go, but Dylan had a monster stack and could afford the call. I made what I think was a good laydown a few hands later when I was in the BB with pocket jacks, and Mowenumdown pushed UTG with his short stack. It folded around to me, and I tanked for a bit. I figured it was either a race, or I was really behind so I let it go. I would pick my spot later.

My spot came about an orbit later when I found QQ. I forget the exact action here, but I ended up all in against Mowenumdown, who flipped over JJ. My queens held, and Kelly went out in 8th.

Grupper was the next to go, followed by love_elf on the bubble, and we were in the money! I had a healthy sized stack, and this is when I made what I think was a bad play. I'm not certain, though. I had A8 on the button, and it folds to me. Five handed, I'm definitely playing this, so I raised it up. Dylan calls in the SB, and the BB folds. I think the flop was AhJh8h or something like that, and Dylan led out for 2400. I called, and the turn brought an xh, giving me a flush with my eight. Dylan checked, and I checked behind. The river was a blank, and he led out for 2400 again. I called, and he shows the king of hearts. That hand cost me I think 2/3 of my stack.

Seeking Advice:
Please let me know how you think I should have played this one because I think this is a tough situation. If I raise on the flop any meaningful amount, I'm extremely close to committing myself here, but I wasn't even sure I was behind with his flat call pre-flop. The flop is definitely dangerous, but I could also be ahead. He had been playing very marginal cards the whole night, throwing people off, so it was entirely possible he had a pair of jacks. Let me know what you think.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Luckily, that loss didn't phase me at all, and I scraped and stole my way back up to third place in chips. Surf was the next player to bust when he was forced to push with an M of around two. His KJ didn't hold up against A5, and he was out in 5th.

Now for the hand of the night. We're four handed, and I'm pretty short stacked. I look down to find presto, pocket fives in the big blind. Marx limps on the button, and I immediately know he has a pocket pair. In fact, at the time I placed him on 33. I decide to raise and try to push him out or maybe get him to push, so I bet half my stack. He tanks for a while, and then he types, "I have a pocket pair." That's when I knew I had him. He ended up putting me all in, and I happily called. He flips over 44, and it was at this point I ran into an old friend of mine:

Matt: Hey, T.O.! How's it going man!

Two-outer: Hey, Matt.

Matt: Hey, dude, I just wanted to thank you for getting me out of that tight spot on Sunday. I mean if you hadn't...

Two-outer walks right up to Matt and kicks him straight in the nuts. Matt falls to the ground, writhing in pain.

Matt: *whimpering* Man, T.O., I thought we were cool.

Two-outer: Shut your face douche-mop.

Two-outer walks out into the night. Fade to black.

That's right, one of those two fours came down on the flop, and I bust out in 4th place, just when I'm getting ready to jump up to a fighting stack.

There was a brief flash when I thought I would be able to take down the whole tourney right between the spot when he flipped his cards and the flop was dealt. That didn't last very long. Overall, I'm completely satisfied with my play, except for that one questionable one I pointed out a few paragraphs back. Please let me know what you'd do in that situation; I'm curious to know what you all think.

Congrats to everyone who made the final table, and a big congratulations to Marxst1 who used my chips to take the whole thing down. Good luck to you all, and I'll see you on the felt!


  • nice job with the final table streak, and good luck with the 180's. I want to win one, but it's so frustrating to get deep and win so little. i took second in a $4 a while back, but haven't been close since.

    By Blogger Johnny Mac, at 8/10/2006 10:58 AM  

  • I think pocket 5's were cursed last night as I lost with that very same hand, only I was up against two over cards and the flop/turn hit them both. No 2-outer to save my ass. Had a blast with all of you guys last night in my 1st Mookie. Catch you at another one soon. Chipper - aka pokerdwarf

    By Blogger chipper, at 8/10/2006 2:19 PM  

  • Congrats on the final table and cash spot. You are on fire lately.

    The A8 hand is tough, I think even if you bet/raised the flop he's coming along with his draw.

    By Anonymous mookie99, at 8/10/2006 3:03 PM  

  • For what its worht (and believe me its worth very little) I think you played that hand exactly right. I know I would have lost a lot more money on it, because I saw Dylan calling anything that smelled of a continuation bet, so I would have gone min-2x on the flop and then gotten creamed later.

    Man, sorry about those 4s. I totally misread you. You may have had a second sight about me "having 3s" but I put you on Ace face and I hoped for a low flop. It was actually a really bad call on my part all around, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    Great Game! Love to play you again.

    By Blogger Marxst1, at 8/10/2006 4:49 PM  

  • Great finsh Matt. You played very well. Those hands make you want to quit poker and join the Circus.

    A few weeks ago, I lost out on making the money in a hand just like that except it was a ONE outer! GRRRRRRRRRRRR

    By Blogger mowenumdown, at 8/10/2006 5:10 PM  

  • No apologies necessary, Marxst. It's all a part of the game. If I were you, I probably would have put me in with the 4s as well. I never said you played the hand badly, but I sure wasn't a fan of the outcome. :-)

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 8/10/2006 5:11 PM  

  • You're definitely ahead on the flop. I would've been tempted to push back at him.. since then he would know he's drawing to the flush, and (depending on stack sizes) wouldn't have the odds for the 2-1 call.

    As played, I think you could've folded the river. Calling a raise from the SB with a couple of high cards, and being happy about the flush means he's almost certainly got you beat by now.

    It probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in the long run though, and 4th is a great finish. WP.

    By Anonymous PokerBarney, at 8/10/2006 8:17 PM  

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