Thursday, July 21, 2005

If It Weren't For Luck

I just finished 19th in the $2000 guaranteed, $10 buy-in tournament on Ultimate Bet.

Basically I was bored with limit play over on Poker Stars, they didn't have any interesting tournaments starting up, and I am on a break from SNG's so I headed over to UB to see how quick I could lose the last $14 I had left in my account. It was nearing the start time for the $2000 guarantee and, even though it was more than I usually buy-in for, I said "fuck-it" and signed up. There ended up being 241 entries and the top 30 payed. Oh, and it was a turbo tournament. Nothing says "take my money quickly" like the all-in crapfest that is a turbo tourney.

My first table was fairly tight-passive. I won a few small pots and managed to get just above the average when I got moved to table that was a little more interesting. Unfortunately my cards sucked. Finally I got a pair of 8's and made a good sized raise. The guy across the table from me called and I got annoyed. On an earlier hand he got me to lay down AQ by going all in after a flop that I had missed completely. I felt he was on a steal but I wasn't ready to find out. Anyway, back to the pair of eights. The flop came something like 2 4 5 and I knew that I liked it. The other guy was first to act and pulled his all-in trick again. All my B.S. alarms started going off and I called. He had AQ and didn't improve. He was out but turned out to be a good sport and complemented me on the call.

At this point, I was sure I had enough to make the money, even with the fast rising blinds but I hate just sneaking in like that. Fortunately, the cards made the decision for me as I didn't get anything worth playing. I was moved again and this time, with 2 of the 3 chip leaders at my table, I decided to wait for a premium hand. I made it to the break with 11 to go before the money but, since I was on the button I could afford to wait at least an orbit before I had to start worrying. The action finally got back around to me and it looked like I was going to bubble. That's when the luck really kicked in.

I was in the SB when I was dealt the evil AK. Since I couldn't even complete the BB, I once again said fuck-it and went all-in. A full boat and a couple hands later, I found myself in the money. Now it was time to get serious. All-in or fold were my only options if I wanted to compete with the big stacks. That's when I got a pair of 7's in mid to early position. I put all my chips on the line and had 2 callers. Flop comes and there, staring back at me, is a third 7. I'm feeling good but one of the other guys has Q's and I think there was a flush draw. The next two cards came quick but I remember the flash of the 4th 7 on the river. The four of a kind gave me about 15,000 in chips and I was confident I could get to the next payout level.

Sure enough, a few hands later we were down to two tables. Again, I was going to wait for a decent hand and push. That's when it happened. I looked at the screen and saw two beautiful Aces. One red, one black. I bet out 5k and it was folded to the guy across from me. He went all-in and, without hesitation, I called. He had 8's and I was feeling good. I could actually see the final table on the horizon but luck always finds a way to turn and bite me in the ass and this hand was no exception.

The flop was harmless but the turn brought the ugliest 8 I've ever seen. I received no help on the river and I was out in 19th with a profit of $7. For a moment I was in shock (because we all know that aces always win) but I remembered that I had entered the tournament with no real expectations so I had absolutely nothing to complain about. If I repeat that to myself a couple more times, maybe I'll actually start to believe it.

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