Wrap up

Gene and I didn't get to play in the Helping Hands Invitational tournament on Friday night. We really wished we could have made it over there but we were focused on Big Ray's bachelor party. The IP is running a pretty good promotion right now. If you play 5 hours of cash play on Friday, you get to buy into their $120 tournament for $20 on Saturday. As we were playing Saturday anyway with Ray and his crew, and as we figured we'd be playing 5 hours of cash somewhere Gene and I decided to head down a day early.

We had hope to get to the Beau to meet up with Mobile's finest Reid G, but couldn't get over there. The Friday night action had some weird things going for it. I quickly got up $300. I flopped top two with AK. Guy pushed me on the turn with the queen coming. I had tried to protect myself with a large post-flop bet that he called. I was committed and anticipated him showing J10. Didn't get to see his cards as another A hit the river but he didn't act like I sucked out on him so he probably had a weak ace.

Oddly, I won another pot with AK in the first hour, then I watched my profits slowly drain over the next four hours until I won three small late pots with... AK. One pot that sapped some of my cash that I wanted to discuss was a classic example of greed biting me in the ass. I had 87 suited in late position. I don't remember the preflop action but I think it was just limped because there were 6 of us. Flop came out AA9. Checked to me with only the button to act behind me. I knew he was the type that like to fire when checked to, so I decided I'd let his money give me the information on the early players.

I didn't put anybody on the Ace but there was one tricky player that might have it. Sure enough, I check and the button raises, I had that feel he was thinking if nobody else wants it I'll take it by the way he cast the chips into the pot. He also fired smallish, which he did when he was weak(er). Folded to me. Sweet. I decide I'm going to take the pot from him.

Turn gives me a legit draw with a 6, so I decided to check again, if he fired big I'd push (with a redraw if he sniffed weakness in me) if he bet small again, I'd call. He pushed out a little bit bigger bet and I was positive I was going to take this from him on the river. Or I'd get the nuts. The river was a brick. Now, I should have just bet about half the pot and pocketed it, but I thought I could get him and his deep stack to fire one more time. I thought there was a chance he'd cast a hundo in there as he had done before with nothing against the rest of the table.

I check. He gets his chips together, I'm thinking "Bet, Bet, Bet, Bet, Bet," he pauses and rubs his chin and hesistates and starts to bet and then goes, "I guess I had better check." ARGH! He turns over K5 to win with King high. Though I pissed away about a hundo and lost the hand, in retrospect, I'm pretty happy with that hand and my progression as a player. I had 8 high and was begging in my head for him to fire on the river so I could take a pot with the worst hand.

I made a stellar read and arguably solid calls. Arguably solid, because I know I let him get inexpensive cards to hit his hand so I probably should have moved on him earlier, but at the time I rationalized not doing that as I had just checked raised a few times already so was somewhat gunshy about doing that with nothing after the flop or the turn. I wanted to be able to escalate it to all in, and I felt like if I check-raised somebody again on the flop or turn, they'd simply push and of course I'd lay down.

I had such a good feel in that hand, I was completely ready to push all my chips in if he made a move back at me on the river. So, though I squandered an opportunity and let money go, I'm definitely improving as a player.

Did well in the tournament on Saturday. I really didn't have any good hands but I had the good fortune to play with a number of better players, like player of the month leader Mike McDade and I made moves on them early because I knew they were smart enough to fold. When I got short I got my run of cards and really was lasered in on picking the correct spots. All day people were laying down to me and my confidence just kept raising.

Ray's bachelor party was fairly subdued but I enjoyed hanging out with Mitch, Alex, Sam, Brandon and Ray. We played some cards too and Sam kept getting big hands over me. I have the nut flush and he's as confident as a jaybird when he pushing me in. I ask if he has A8, for the full house. I was very confident that he did. 6 handed, raising with A8 seemed possible but I really hoped he was just confident about AK and trip aces. My chip stack pretty much mandated a call. However, my read told me it was a loser and if you know you are beat you should fold, no matter what the odds are laying you. Finally, I decided I couldn't deal with the embarrassment of laying down the top flush if I was wrong. Unfortunately, I was right.

The next game, we got into a big hand, I with AQ and him with less. Flop was rags. The turn brought a second spade and seemed like to me gave him some sort of hope. I figured he had a draw. If it was no spade I was going to take down the pot. It was the Queen of spades--sweet. He bet, I laid down. That crippled me.

It was a fun day and I was glad to be able to enjoy it with Ray. Hopefully, they'll get a home game together soon. Til next time.

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