For Every Queen a King
On day 1b, I remarked before the tournament I was overdue for some Aces and some big hands. I got 'em. The Aces held and gave me some chips in good spots. The Queens that's another story. In poker the longer you play the more you see. I once watched a guy at the IP get Queens like 7 times in two orbits and win every single time with them, always showing when not called. Crazy.
I've read online hand histories which defy the odds like a player getting Aces for four five hands in a row and winning with them. I used to doubt those unlikely occurrences but in truth everything WILL happen. When somebody asks me what's the odds in a hand they just saw, the answer is really 100%. Play enough hands the world over, just about everything will happen.
Anyway, I say that only because I retold this story to a few players at the Beau and received skeptical and dubious looks but it's true. Poker players like to exaggerate as one friend told me, but this is no exaggeration. I got pocket queens five times over the day. Guess what... I lost with the five times. No big deal right, what's strange about that. Well every time I had them somebody else had pocket Kings.
Hand one: new guy at the table raises, nit 3bets (first time of the day), I look at queens. I know Nit (nice guy, so I mean no disrespect for that term just describing in short hand his style) has KK or AA, I consider folding but looking at the stacks I decide to set mine and call. Original raiser is having none of that and puts out a huge bet. Nit stews and folds. While he was stewing I told myself I'd call if he folded because he likely has AK and so too the other guy. Then with action on me I revise my strategy (too early, too risky and no read on the new guy so based on the action I have to lean more to AA, KK than anything else and disregard the Nit's folding). I fold face up, new guy shows AA, and the Nit says he had KK. Sweet.
Hand two: I've got some chips. Guy just shoved and won. He shoves again for about 14% of my stack. I got queens. I call. Hello Kings. Bye-Bye Chips.
Hand three: I bet. Quickly a guy 3bets, then he's 4bet. I decide to sit this one out. They get it all in: JJ v. KK. KK holds--no queen either.
Hand four: I'm moved to my final table for the night and a guy that got moved from my previous table with me won the battle of the seat changes getting run-over by the deck with AA and KK multiple times in short order. The following action happens. He bets from UTG, I look at QQ I 3bet. He shoves. Whoa. We talk and I get a read of strength. He's a nice guy who I'd previously chatted with and tells me he has me and I should fold, because he's got me beat. I told him that's what the last guy said when he didn't. He tells me he'll show, I say that's what the last guy said too. He smiled broadly and I knew he was sitting on a monster. I fold face up and he shows KK.
I didn't ask for it, and didn't see it but somebody said the dealer rabbit hunted and I would have hit a queen on the flop. At that point that would have put me at 120k and I would have been sitting pretty. Instead I wear down. Then...
Hand five: UTG+1 raises, my buddy from the previous hand 3bets, and I looked at QQ. I stew and decide my buddy is not radiating the strength he had last time. My stack isn't big enough to do anything but shove, besides at some point I have to run into a hand other than KK. The initial raiser shoves over the top (... looking at the wrong guy). My buddy stews forever, both these guys have a lot of chips (so not as weak as I first thought). He folds. Hello KK. I get no help.
As I walked away I think I heard my buddy say he also had queens as the table laughed. I had been lamenting my misfortune earlier about queens vs. kings so if he did have them that is kind of funny. Part of me thinks I should find a fold there because when I looked at the queens it was almost like I was falling on my sword by putting my chips is in, saying to myself this hand was meant to beat me. Still, my read on the 3bettor was accurate so I can't fault my decision, and I can't limit the opener's range to a massive hand.
Anyway, played really well to get there but made a couple of mistakes, here are a couple of them and some other tidbits.
-I'm buying new contacts. I misread the board in an early hand and put in a third of my chips. I had A10 in a limped pot in the blinds. I thought the board came out 1052. I led out and the nit in the first hand shoved over the top. I called and he showed 52 (limped in late postion). I felt like I was going to suck out on him. Ace hit the turn. On the river the dealer pushed up the 52 and gave him the chips. Slow your roll buddy I thought. Then, I leaned in real close to the board and saw the card furthest from me, wasn't a ten but was a 9. A good player at the table didn't believe that I misread my hand and needled me a bit. I liked him so I didn't mind. He later accused me of Nit-rolling (which I did) an aggressive player that played a hand awkwardly and he needled me some more. It was all in good fun. By the way, I busted him and the needling stopped.
-On Day 1A, I got into a smallish hand with a guy that seemed to be no-fun in his conversations with the other players when I had just gotten there. On the river after a lot of checks I had the best no-pair hand KQ (on an Ace high board). He fired in a bet and I contemplated raising or calling. I figured I had a little showdown value and gathered my chips for a call, I didn't even get them halfway out when he showed his hand (a gross little bottom pair). I stopped perplexed. I knew I could pull the chips back to fold, and in the back of my head I wondered if he was angle-shooting me and in that case I was going to raise. Then I decided it was most likely an honest mistake, because at the time I didn't see value in angle shooting that way and I let the chips stand and gave him the pot. I said "If I was Shady I would have pulled them back." Another player, a good player I respect, who was having his way with the table, told me I should blog about it during a break and we discussed whether it would have been ethical to pull the chips back or to raise. Since he was no nonsense type player, the raise bluff would have been funny especially if I showed, and for that reason alone might have outweighed the ethics of sticking to what I intended. So, I blogged about it. Funny enough, now in retrospect it might have been an angle shoot, maybe he understood what I was thinking and didn't want to have to call a raise so acted quick enough to make it just a call.
-On Day 1B, I played with a nice kid who owns a logging truck company. We chatted for a while and he said he'd visit the site. Just so happened on the other side of me, I was sitting next to Jeremy Drewery (a guy I final tabled at the Main Event at the IP), who ironically is pictured in my previous post. The kid started asking me if I had any big scores or played a lot and I told him to just visit the site. I can only imagine what he thought if he came to my blog and saw the other guy he had been playing with all day as well. I didn't really say anything to Jeremy and pretty much enjoyed being on his left and being able to pick on the rest of the table and avoid him. I also didn't sell him out by saying what we both had done recently when the kid was asking. Anyway, if the kid is reading this I enjoyed playing with you, and you played well while I was there. I could tell you had already figured out not to mix it up with Jeremy too much, so no harm no foul?