BREW

offical Blog of the Liger

Monday, January 17, 2005

POKER AT TURNING STONE

Saturday morning I drove up to Turning Stone Casino. It is about an hour and 1/2 drive from the GBA. I left the GBA around 8:00 in the morning as I had never been there before and was not sure of the exact time that it would take me to get there and I was relying on Yahoo Maps to get me there. I stopped for breakfast on the way up and got there about a little before 10. I had gone up to play in a poker tournament that started at 11:00. It was my first time in a Casino, but it was exactly what I expected. The only thing I was not used to is to see people smoking indoors. In New York you cannot smoke in any public building including bars and restaurants. This has been the law for almost two years now. It has been a long time since I had seen someone smoke indoors and I had gotten to use to not seeing people smoke that it was a strange thing to see. I wondered around for about 10 minutes and registered for the tournament. It was a $55 buy-in, a $10 registration fee and $2 poker room daily pass. The limit the tournament to 159 players and I think they were pretty close to that. So in the $8,000 dollar pot gets divided among the top 5 finishers with the eventual winner getting the largest share and so down to 5th place. Each table has 11 people at it, which is more than I am used too, but the game moves along rather quickly. I decide to make my first move about 5 hands in. I was dealt the king and jack of hearts. I rose to the ante up to 100 and I got 2 callers. The flop came down and it was all low hearts, so I flopped a flush. I was way ahead in probability to win the hand. The first person checked, I raised 500 and the guy after me went all in. The guy that had checked folded and I immediately called his all in. I knew that the only thing that could beat me is if the other guy had an ace of hearts and another heart. He flipped over the Ace and my heart sank. I had only been playing for 15 minutes and I was about to go out. He flipped his other card and it was off suit. I would win the hand as long as no heart came up on the turn and on the river. There was no such heart and I had double the chips that anyone else at my table had. The very next hand I was dealt a pair of kings. In this type of situation the best thing to do is lead with a big bet and just scare everyone off and take the chips out there for the antes. I did raise, but not enough and I got 3 callers. The flop was all low cards and I raised again and only left one other person in. This started to get me worried because at this point, the other guy could have paired both his cards with the flop. I checked the next hand not wanting to throw any chips away if I lost and the other guy checked as well. We both check the river as well. We flipped our cards and he had nothing. If this had been one of my friends I would have berated him for staying in on such a bad hand. At this point I am way ahead of anyone else at the table, but I could not get to cocky because there were 15 other tables in the room. I decided that I would play 'table boss'. This was a term that my 'clone' came up to describe a way of playing when you are way ahead in chips. The point is to bully people out of pots that you only have a nominal chance of winning. You only lose on the chance that someone out there has gotten a lucky 3 of a kind. I did not lose and by the time we took a 1/2-hour break for lunch at 1:00 there were four people gone from our table. I had successfully bluffed my way to a few pot wins. I did end up having to fold a few hands and lost a little money when the flop came up and a flush and a straight where possible and people bet into them. The afternoon wore down and I was still making more money. We took a 1/2-hour dinner break at 6 and we were down to 5 tables. I was dead tired because I had gotten up at 6:30 that morning to work out and playing poker for 7 hours at the rate we were playing was emotionally draining because of all the highs and lows. I think the longest time I had every played in a game before was 3 hours and it has always been with friends. This was a different environment. I came back from dinner and I my play was a little bad. I was betting totally wrong in certain situations, but I was also playing against better players since there was less that 50 of us left now. Another hour past, and we were now down to four tables. My last hand I was dealt ace, queen off suit. I called to stay in for the flop. Two 2's and a 7 came up on the flop. I am thinking there is nothing out there. The one person that was been at every table I had played at calls me. If I was not taking chips, he was taking chips. The river was nothing. I checked, and he bet low. I called. The river came up and it was another 7. This point I was thinking that no one in their right mind would stay in with a deuce or a 7 in there hand. I though my ace was good as the high card. If anything the other guy had a pocket pair and that would be me. I was bet pretty large into the pot and now had more in the pot than I had in front of me. The other guy went all in. I am thinking I am already pot committed. If I fold, I will be the short stack and it will just be a slow death after that. He has got to be bluffing. I called. He flipped over a queen and a two. Full House, deuces over sevens. I was beat. It was a bad beat to, so I could not get so upset about it. A bad beat is a poker term for when player wins a hand he has no business being in. He should have folded before the flop but he got lucky and milked me for all my chips. I was very happy for the way I played and I had gotten pretty far in the tournament. It is just money anyways and I had a lot of fun. It is definitely something I will do again.