Harrahs Poker Tournaments Part I.

So, I've had mixed results in the Bayou Poker Challenge. It's been a challenge. In one of the tournaments I played I thought my starting table was as tough as any starting table I've had in the last two years. Just seemed there were no weak spots at the table. Sure, I exploited a loose player's tendencies, to generate money without a hand, and knowing he'd recognize I was playing pretty snug early but other than that money was hard to come by.

We eviscerated two bad players early on and then dance around each other until the table broke. I played Kings pretty well, inducing the bad player to go all in with the right bet size. There was a bet and three calls including the bad player. I look at KK in the big blind. One of my favorite Texas Hold 'Em poker hands.

I bet about 1/3rd of the bad player's remaining stack. This guy had shown he would push if he thought there was any window to get a guy off a hand. I thought I was giving him that window. What surprised me was the loose player that open the hand tanked and folded--guess my bet size looked like a weakish steal to him and the pot was swelling. A steady player in middle position stewed way too long. Again, maybe he thought my bet was fishy considering the action. The guy on the button also pondered and then called. I didn't like that, his call closed the window a little bit.

The bad player ignored it and shoved. Phew! I put the rest of my chips in over the top, and the button had to lay down. He said he had tens. Damn, turns out I wanted the call

The bad player had complete suited garbage c-ya. Couldn't have gone better. The rest of the time at the table I was just learning like I was a poker school.

So, I felt good about that hand. Later I gave up some chips when I raised with QQ. The guy who had been the button before called from the blind. Flop came AKJ (of course). The guy said something that made me think he was really strong and then checked. I checked behind. Turn was a 10 (bingo was its name). He checked again. I laid out a large bet, he called. River was a J (bingo was not its name). He led out for a pot sized bet. I knew I was beat.

I envisioned quads. Or Kings full. Ugh. Wanted to lay down but AK made sense too. Eventually I called. He showed KoJack. Bad call.

I felt bad about it really all week. I didn't listen to my gut, and I noticed I got in situations where my gut told me to lay down even though my head said don't make hero folds, the odds of him having that hand are slim. I'd listen to my head and not my gut. Gut knows better at Harrahs it seems.

I got moved to another tough table, with raising wars going on with me in the middle. I immediately started to rate the field as one of the toughest I've played in. Made sense for a mid-week tournament only those that can play would be there. Then that table broke up after a pretty nondescript few rounds for me.

My new table was like Manna from the heavens. The only player was a girl with a lot of chips. The rest were passive weak. The short stacked guy to my right who could play thought different of the table. You can't steamroll this crowd he said. I thought otherwise. They were preflop calling stations, or if they caught a draw they'd suck out on you, but with a little pot control you could bully any of them off a hand on the river. Had to get your money in late if you wanted to steal.

Which I did. I donated money to the girl who I had to lay down to twice, think she had me pipped. Then they took her and her stack away. Then it was open game...

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