KKing David

Ruminations on poker

Aces full loses to quads at final table

This actually happened last Friday night.

I was playing in a tournament in a local private neighborhood clubhouse.  I’d been hearing about this game for several months.  The buy-in is $60, which includes $50 to the prize pool and a $10 bounty.

My buddy Greg called me Friday afternoon to ask if I knew the details of this game.  I suggested he call either Mike or Larry as surely one of them would know.  And please let me know what you find out… I might be interested and don’t have any plans tonight.  Greg dutifully called me back, said to show up between 7:00-7:15 and I decided to play.

The setup was pretty good, with 47 players to start.  The noise level was pretty high, as they had rolled up the carpets to protect from spills, and had a bunch cheap plastic top folding tables with no covers on them, so the chips made quite a bit of noise when splashed into the pot.  But rookies should never complain.

I started off pretty well.  (There were a couple of hands I would describe in detail if this was a place to brag or provide poker instruction and coaching, but that is not the point of this blog.  This is my place to vent and to try to learn from my mistakes, which are many.)  They formed a final table of 10, and the chips moved around pretty fast but without any quick knockouts.  I played really tight there and the blinds were getting to me.

With 9 left, and knowing only 5 would get paid, it was clear that I had to make a move.  Starting stacks were 10,000 chips, or 50 big blinds.  At this point, blinds were up to 2,000 – 4,000 and I had 17,500 remaining.  After posting and folding the BB, blinds went up to 4,000 – 8,000 and all-of-a-sudden I was down to 9,500, barely enough to cover a single BB.

Three hands later in the hijack position, everyone folded to me and I looked down at A-7 off-suit.  Easy decision to shove, only the blinds called.  I flopped another A and tripled up to 28,500 chips.

On the very next hand I looked down at A-A.  What a great world we live in.  I haven’t seen A-A all night and here it is at the final table just after tripling up.  A younger guy under the gun goes all in for about 40,000+.  He was a pretty good player, aggressive, and young enough to wear his baseball cap backwards.  At my age, I’d just look silly doing that.  Obviously I’m going to shove and everyone else gets out of the way.  The pot is 69,000 chips – my 28,500 plus his 28,500 after pulling back the excess of his bet plus the 4,000 & 8,000 blinds.

He flips over 6-6, and I flip over my aces.  The first card turned over is another ace.  Cha-ching!  Then a king and a six.  The dealer comments that both of us made sets.  The turn is a jack and someone declares that there is only one out remaining.

Mathematically speaking, there are 52 cards in the deck.  8 of them are now turned up, including his 6-6, my A-A, and the board of A-K-6-J.  That leaves 44 cards that we haven’t seen.  The odds are 43-to-1 in my favor.  Yeeee-hah!  Start the par—   uh oh.

When the dealer lays the last six down on the table for the river card, half the room is stunned and the other half is going crazy.  Much to the other guy’s credit, he didn’t get up and dance or strut or yell or whatever, but was humble and apologetic.  Since this is my first time playing at this game, clearly a neighborhood-oriented social game, I have the good sense not to pitch a hissy.

One second I’m starting to calculate the chip average and thinking that first place pays $1,000 tonight.  Bam!  The party ends abruptly and I’m driving home.  Before leaving I take a picture on my iPhone of the kid with my chips and tell him it’s going on my bulletin board.

Went home.  Didn’t sleep well at all.  Decided to start a blog.

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