Losing Streak Broken?
Last night I had some free time, so I decided to play a cheap tournament at the Orleans Casino. The Orleans claims it was “Named Best Poker Room by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.” Maybe this is true, but only because they run cheap tournaments that attract a very big field of players, so the prize pool is relatively big. The place is a bit run down with highly padded but wobbly chairs and worn, wobbly tables. I entered a $100 tournament at 7:05 PM.
It seemed that my unlucky streak had finally ended, as I won almost every hand I played for the first two hours. Every time I had a pair, I flopped a set, including twice with pocket 4s to bust out two opponents. The buy-in stack was $25K. The average stack was about $30K. I had $120K. Then I got pocket 10s in the big blind. The player under the gun did a big raise, and everyone folded around to me. I called his raise. The flop was 10 3 4 rainbow (i.e., all different suits). I checked. He bet big. I shoved. He called with pocket As. As he stood up to leave (rumored to be a way for you to get the card you need as you’re walking away from the table), an A came on the river to give him to give him the win. He got a two-outer: only two cards in the deck would have helped him, and he got the one he needed.
That took about half my stack. After that, I lost hand after hand. I actually thought, “Is God teaching me a lesson here? If so, I don’t know what that lesson is.”
My stack was down to about 10 big blinds as we got close to the money. I decided to just hang in and hope that I could survive into the money. They were paying the top 24 people. When I got down to 6 big blinds, I was sure I wouldn’t make it, but hoped I would. I got AQ and shoved. I got called by pocket Ks, but an A showed up to give me the win. I then got pocket 4s and called the bet against two other players. The flop was 545, giving me a full house. One player bet big. I shoved. The third player called my shove while the first player reluctantly folded. As I suspected, the remaining player had a 5. He also had an 8, so I had to avoid an 8 showing up, which I did to almost triple up.
On the bubble, I had built my stack up to about average, with $250K. The bubble burst, and I was in the money. My stack got low again in the next few hands, when I had about 10 big blinds with A♥2♥ in the big blind. One short stack shoved with about 8 big blinds. Another short stack shoved with about 12 big blinds. I decided I wasn’t going to survive much longer unless I took a shot, so I also shoved. The first player had K♣Q♣. The other player had A♥J♠. I was in trouble. But the board ran out 7♠5♥A♦6♠2♠, giving me two pair for the win. I had tripled up!
I was able to hang on till 10th place when I shoved with AQ. I was called by pocket Js and didn’t improve, so I busted out. I didn’t quite make final table, but I was happy. The tournament ended for me around 2 AM and I had a Zoom meeting at 7 AM. I didn’t get much sleep last night, but it was a peaceful, happy sleep.
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