Monday, January 17, 2005

Laundry Day

Monday at my house is fairly routine. I get up, eat, watch some TV, do my laundry, and play some poker. My favorite is the 1 p.m. dollar tournament at Paradise Poker. This is a no limit tournament with no cap on the number of players and almost all the money going into the prize pool. Usually it draws around 1500 people and today was no exception.

I've played in this tournament several times in the past few weeks but haven't made it to the first break since my 16th place finish a couple of weeks ago. My goal for today was to make that first break and then make it into the money. At least I accomplished half of my goals.

The tournament started well for me. A few hands in I was dealt 99 in early position and decided to call. The button raised but not enough to get me to fold. On the flog I caught a set and try to set a trap so I check. The button makes a good sized bet and I call, all others fold. We see the turn and it pairs up the board, now I have a full house and my objective is to get all my money into the pot. I knew I had to let him make the first move so I checked again. My opponent bets 500 and I raise to 1000. He re-raises me all-in and I call. The river is another rag and I rake in a killer pot. He had called me with high pair so he must have thought I was bluffing.

So now I am in good position to make the first break and I start folding almost everything (wasn't getting much anyway) until I get KK in middle position. After the flop showed all under cards I took the initiative and made the first bet. I got 2 callers and the turn was another low card. I bet double what I had bet earlier and seat 6 called. I figured he had a pair but hadn't hit the set. We see the river and it's another low card. I'm feeling good and bet again. This time he raises.....DAMN....I wasn't expecting that. I call but figure I'm beat. Sure enough he had 5's and had rivered his set. I'm now back to less then what I started with and the break is still about 20 minutes away.

Finally, a couple of rounds later, I get something to make a stand with....Ah, 10h. After I call a raise the flop is dealt and I see two more 10's and an Ace. I had flopped a full house! Now I had to get the rest of the players to pay for it. Someone bet and I decided to go for the minimum raise. Two players call and we see the turn. I decide to stay passive and wait for the river to get serious. River comes and I raise a minimum bet to about half the pot. One guy folds and the other calls. He had pocket 7's to go with the 10's from the flop. I figured he at least had a set. I get about 2000 in chips and make it to the break.

Unfortunately for me I only lasted about 5 more minutes. I had great starting hands but couldn't catch anything and the blinds had increased to 200/400. I caught a good hand, went all-in, and lost to a better hand. I ended the tournament in 459th place. I should have been listening a little more carefully to the song on the radio (something like "I've got a bad feeling about this"), maybe I would have folded.

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