Monday, January 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland and Tournament of Champions

Our 2007 Neighborhood Poker League Tournament of Champions was on Saturday. I started the morning by getting a massage at Village Health and using the gift card that Stacie gave me for Christmas. When I left the spa, it was starting to snow for the second time in a week and it continued for about 6 hours. The beautiful snow storm prevented only 1 of the 13 qualifiers from making it. The weather never got bad, but there was the potential to have some slick roads by the time the game ended.

With 12 players, we paid top 3 and started with 2 six handed tables. We consolidated when we lost 2. Our Gigli was "Main Event" Mike, the 2007 points and money leader. He had a bad case of good, but second best hands to kill his stack pretty quick. If he had 2 pair, someone had trips. If he had trips, someone had a straight or flush. His top pair no good because I had the better kicker. I hated to see the host go out first, but if you've seen how much he's thrashed us throughout the year, you'd know that he's taken plenty of our money and aint hurtin'.

I played a pretty good game and felt like I had recovered from my bad play the week previous at Kaj's. I played my monsters a little slower with safe boards and didn't let anyone catch up when it looked dicey. I never put all of my chips at risk until we were 3 handed and I was the shortest stack but fairly close to even. The button / chip leader limps (300), small blind calls, and I check with 7,8. The flop comes out 5,6,7 and I bet 1000 which was a little over the pot after the small blind checks. The button then raises 3X my bet and I think for a few moments and then push for the remainder of my chips (about 4K more on top). He starts wondering aloud if I had flopped a straight or 2 pair. After a few minutes, he finally folds his hand face up. Since he showed his pocket Aces and it's a friendly home game, I showed him my top pair with the open ended straight draw. At that point, he was not pleased with his fold. To make it worse, we ran rabbit and I wouldn't have hit my coin flip. This knocked him down a good bit and put me in the lead. He only lasted a few more hands and now we are heads up. I played it very aggressive and kept taking pots until we both hit good hands on the flop. Unfortunately, his was better than mine. I'm in the big blind with Ace, rag and check after his call. The flop comes out A,7,X and he bets out at it. I have him covered and push all in. He calls and flips over pocket 7s for trips. Whoops! He continued on a roll with good cards and finished me off a few hands later.

I cleared enough with my second place finish to put me back ahead for the year and give me some cash for the ATL bloggers cash game tour. I won't be able to make the first one, but I should be good for a game in February.


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