Gaming respite

Since doing the switching jobs thing earlier this summer, I’ve had less and less time for gaming and poker. Amazingly, I got to do a little bit of each over this holiday weekend.

I only made it to two of my monthly poker club’s meetings this year, but I was determined to make it for the Finale night. Last season I would have started the night with the second most chips but had to miss it to get ready for back to back Thanksgiving’s. This season, I started with 30 chips, lowest at the table of nine, and showed up twenty minutes late. The regular season points leader started somewhere between 120-130 chips. My strategy was to try to wait for good hands that would give me good double-up potential. If I could do it twice, I’d be right back in it. Luckily, the blinds only stole one chip out of my starting stack before I got there. Eventually, patience paid off when A-Q came my way. All in I went and doubled up. More patience found myself with a pair of jacks. I raised back all in over the top of another bidder, taking the pot right there. I was nearly healthy, but still not ready to play crap. The key hand of my rise came with when I found myself with A-Q suited. Behind a low pair after the flop, I caught a karma induced queen to cripple another player. With enough chips to splash around a bit, I was able to out play a couple more pots and become the chip leader. That was my pinnacle, and from where I started the day I was happy just to make it into the money, which was paid out to six places. My downfall started when the low stack went all in against my K-Q suited. At that point, calling 34 chips didn’t seem like a big deal, and with a pretty king and queen of hearts against their junk I felt good. But they hit their 10 on the flop and I didn’t catch up. After that, I just couldn’t get anything decent to play. As the escalating blinds began to make an impact on my stalled stack, I made my last stand and bowed out in 4th place.

I would have loved to have been the Cinderella story of lowly stack rise to take 1st, but I was very happy with my play. I don’t feel like I made a mistake. I was helped my a hand or two of luck and some decent cards when I needed them. I lived by my philosophy of getting my money in the pot when I’m ahead. Unfortunately, there are always cards to come. Outlasting five other players who started the game ahead of me is my badge of honor.

My most amazing moment came in our extra game we played after. I was in a pot with two other players who were all-in pre-flop. I had A of clubs with a queen. Another player had two clubs and the third had 2-7 of clubs. Two clubs on the flop and one on the turn had the one player yelling for joy. A final club on the turn had me yelling for joy with the nut flush, until after a five second delay we all realized that the player with the 2-7 of clubs had a straight flush. Quite a amazing, the first straight flush I’d ever seen live. Of course it was against me. 🙂 Later that game, I saw someone get quad sevens. It was quite a game of big hands compared to our first game of the night where we had no straights, flushes, or full houses.

Last night, the family and I played some games. Most notably was Pandamonium. The object is to get rid of your cards. The catch is you have to remember what action each card requires you to take (for instance, standing up, raising your hands, slapping the table, nothing). I am just horrible at these types of games and the girly-wogs really cleaned my clock.

I went and updated my games played on the Geek and saw that I hadn’t played one game in October. Disgraceful and shocking.

Post Edit: Upon seeing the final poker standings, it was a table of 10 players, not 9.

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