Poker Night 9

Here it finally is:

My poker game was in shambles heading into night 9 of the 2005 season. I was still somewhat considered Mr. Consistent, but had gone from a comfortable second place and had now slid into barely holding onto fourth place. I needed to reestablish myself somehow. My old aggressive style just wasn’t holding water anymore. I needed something new. Enter my tight conservative persona.

Game 1 was an exercise in patience for me. I folded a lot of hands. Usually once I fold a hand I try to forget what I had, but I found myself paying attention more. My cards were so bad that for the entire game the best I would have had was a pair of nines. I believe I ended up in fourth. That was a painful game and I questioned at many times whether this was going to work out and whether I could stick with it.

Game 2 started with more of the same except early in I folded what would have ended up being trip nines. I thought that might be all that I’d get, but things started happening for me. A good hand here and a good hand there and I found myself down to the last four with maybe second most chips. Then a dry spell hit. I got nothing good. It got so bad I was starting to worry that I might be perceived as sandbagging so that I could get into the points. A player dropped and after another dry spell I finally knocked another player out. I was heads up with none other than Unholy himself. Of course, this wasn’t the Unholy from my earlier posts. What used to be an insurmountable lead was within reach if someone got hot. Unholy was having a cold streak, and I loved it!

We ducked and jabbed for some hands when this hand came up. I had 10-9 on the button and Unholy just called. I flopped trip 10’s and had fireworks going off in my head. Unholy raised something like 40 chips. Deciding not to slow play my trips and also knowing the type of player Unholy is, I pushed all-in. Unholy contemplated for quite some time and then asked me if I wanted him to call. Now I usually try to not answer questions because I know my opponent is just looking for a tell, but when I do I try to mix up my answers. One of the poker shows over the past week or two had a segment on tells. Popular belief is that a player will try to appear strong when their hand is weak and appear weak when their hand is strong. I figured that Unholy could possibly have that belief fresh in his mind since it had been on recently. So I decided to use it against him, hopefully. I said yes. It started looking like Unholy wasn’t going to bite. He started sliding his cards away, saying “I don’t think this time.” I tried hard to not act disappointed, when all of a sudden Unholy called. I showed my trips and Unholy didn’t look happy. He caught a pair on the turn, but wasn’t able to summon his dark forces on the river. That hand decimated him. With 30-40 chips left, he went all in before the deal and I called blind. I won and took first.

I continued my conservative play into game 3. With four players left, I was in a pot with two fives in the hole. The short stack was all-in. I contemplated going all-in to try to isolate the pot but didn’t. I was second in chips and the player third in chips took a long time to call. The flop came pretty varied and I decided to turn the screw and went all-in. I eventually got called and saw that I was in trouble up against two pair. Elation hit on the turn when a third five came up, but then rock bottom hit when my opponent made a full house on the river. Now with three of us left I was pretty crippled. The next hand gave me two jacks in the hole. All-in I went thinking maybe I’d be able to dig myself back, but when I was called my queens in the hole my game ended in third place.

I finished game 4 with another fourth place finish. So I finished in points twice and nearly made it to a points spot the other two. I was happy with my play. Standings wise I jumped ahead of the two players in front of me and had the player behind me jump ahead of me by 3 points. So going into the last regular season points night, things are pretty interesting. I’m 3 points out of second place and probably a little over two wins out of first place. I’m less than a win ahead of fourth and fifth place. The most interesting is the fight for sixth place. Only 1 point separates sixth and seventh place. Only the top six places are assured a place at the final table. Should be entertaining. Would be nice for me to have a big night now.

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