Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thanks, fairy godmother!

About a week-and-a-half ago, Robbbbbb described his night of poker as getting "hit over the head with the deck like a fairy godmother gifting me with her wand." Too bad I was playing in a play-money tournament last night, because the same thing happened to me.

I haven't played for real money in a few weeks. I'm still trying to build my confidence back after my rabid tilt-a-thon. So in lieu of that, I like to be in play money tournaments, because the people there -- for the most part -- are still actually trying to win. Sure, once in a while you'll have someone who gets bored and decides to give all their money to the winner of the next hand by jamming the pot with 2-2 offsuit, but usually when half of the 10 original players are left, they're in it to win it. Granted, they still play a bit looser than real money tables, but it's still the tightest free game I've found.

The game is a ten player table, everyone starts with 800.

Early on, at the 15/30 level, I was dealt pocket 8's. The flop came T48 rainbow. A set of 8's? I'll bet that aggressively. I did, had a couple of raisers, a lot more callers, and got the pot up in the 400s somewhere. The turn was the fourth 8. I jam the pot, still have a few raisers, and it's up in the 800s. The river is a low rag, I've got the nuts, and leave that hand up about 1300.

I'm the big stack at this point, and I watch as four players drop out over the next ten hands.

The guy to my right is a pretty aggressive player; over the next 20 hands, I gave him a bunch of blinds and two-bets. Then, I get pocket jacks under the gun, and raise him all the way to the end, and he lost with his 4-9 suited. Ahhh. A bluff-bully revealed.

The next hand, with five players left, I'm in the big blind and got dealt crap, but everyone calls and I see the flop for free. A84 rainbow. All I've got is a pair of 4's. It checks around to BluffBully, who bets the minimum. I raise him, thinking he's got nothing again. Everyone else gets out, and we're in a raising war. We raise each other all the way to the end, and the dog wins with his AQ. I picked the wrong time to try to push him around.

The game continues. Three players are left, the blinds are at 100/200. I'm on the button and get dealt 5-5. I raise to 400. Small blind drops out, and BluffBully raises, of course. I call, and I hit another set on the flop, T57. BluffBully bets, I raise, he raises, I call. The turn is another 7; I've got full house 5's over 7's. I jam the pot, he slowly jams the pot, the river's a 9. We both quickly raise raise raise, and he's all-in. He's holding 6-8 for the straight. Buh bye.

A few hands later against a very short stack, and for the first time in weeks, I've won a play money tournament.

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