Continued from the previous two posts but you probably deduced that since this is titled part three...
We get to the final Texas Hold'em table and Merle Bourgeois gets seated to my left. I don’t know Merle well but he’s a funny and nice guy when we have talked, and enough people that I know pretty well really like him, so he's okay in my book. I took a snapshot of him for the GCP page because he was a good enough sport to do it after he chopped the tournament. If you need a visual go there. Ugh, that came out short of ickey. Let's just leave it at he knows how to play poker and move on.
In fairly short order, we knocked off two players to get into the money. Merle was a bit of a short stack at the time. They said an even chop would get us all $600. I had a goal of at least $500 so I was going to be willing to share. One gentleman refused it. He wanted Merle and another to get lost before divvying up the prize pool. I didn’t blame him, but from the payouts I deduced we’d only get $56 more losing one player and $68 for the next guy.
All of us were even in chips so seemed a lot to risk, almost third place money, to win $124 more. The real benefit for outlasting short stacks was going to be getting rid of 5th and 6th, I thought.
Still, the guy didn’t want to chop so fair was fair. I folded a lot because he tipped his hand he’d be willing to chop later and I had chips to spare. Then, Merle was under the gun and shoved, folded to me in the big blind. It was barely double the bet.
I was conflicted, part of me wanted to just give Merle a walk, but I didn’t want to collude or cheat the other players out of money by folding when I shouldn’t. Also, we were pretty open about our friendliness as we chatted at the table so I realized that even if I could rationalize a fold, there would be at least be the appearance of collusion. I felt compelled to call. So when I saw a deuce I hated it.
Especially as other big stacks had tried to eliminate the shorties. I flipped over a king next which was even worse. In that spot I’d much rather deuce three than deuce-ace or deuce-king because I’m so dominated by so many hands Merle shoves with under the gun.
Lots of players shove any two cards under the gun, because if they are so short they recognize the value of fighting against the blinds rather than being in the blinds and having to call off. I don’t know if Merle thinks that way, but I did know he has solid hand selection and was showing only premiums in the time I was there.
So, eventually I call not wanting to wrong the table. The weird thing was, I asked myself if I would call if it wasn’t Merle and I decided I might find a fold there. I was going to wait for the chop, so chips were precious at that point. If I were playing for the win, I call in a heartbeat. Still, I called because I thought the table would think I was up to no good by folding.
As soon as I did call, two or three players chastised me for taking so long, including the guy who didn’t want to chop. Merle turned over something like AQ. I don’t think the second card was quite as good as a Queen but it was irrelevant as it was much higher than my 2. Also it was within range of his Ace to get additional minimal odds for me to hit a king and him make a broadway straight. Merle survived the flop, turn, and river despite my live hand. I was happy for him, though a little pissed about donating.