An era is coming to an end soon. Although I'm not a part of that 'college scene' anymore ... the true 'end' will be coming this May, as most of my buddies move away and move on with their lives. Only then, can I add the concluding paragraph to this chapter in my life.

I had a helluva time today; there was the Hold 'Em for Hunger poker tournament at Carolina from 4pm until about midnight. All the Stacy Poker Tour guys from Tuesday and most of the Thursday guys showed up for the game... and boy was there a strong showing from the games! I'm quite proud of the level of our games and our ability to represent the best in Carolina poker. Individual achievement is great (e.g. me kicking ass), but I think it's a far better reflection to have whatever group you hang with do well!

In any case, my thoughts on the tournament: the structure was obscene. We started off with blinds at 100/200 with 5000 chips, and blinds were raised every 20 minutes. The structure went:

  1. 100/200
  2. 200/400
  3. 400/800
  4. 500/1000
  5. 1000/2000
  6. 2000/4000
  7. 3000/6000
  8. 5000/10000

Starting with 5000, your only strategies in the first two rounds is to raise then push off the flop. I managed to outplay and get incredibly lucky the first few rounds and I ran up my chip count to roughly 25,000 by the second level (I eliminated close to 5 people on my way up there; busted aces once with T6hh, busted A3 with AA, slowplayed top pair to induce a bluff all-in from a queen-high, and I forget the other one for now).

One problem with the blind structures is that we barely made it through one round before the blinds went up again. Once it got to about Level 5, the only move short-stacks had was all-in (they would have roughly 3-5K in chips, with 1.5K in the pot). It became a total crapshoot.

Now, everytime someone goes all-in, they have to count their chips out. Then the person who calls has to think about how much it costs them. Each all-in hand literally took 5 minutes. And it happened _every_single_hand. This made play almost impossible.

There was a girl seated to my left who kept beating me in pots. She would keep losing her chips, then she'd get down to about 2xBB, and I'd always wake up to Ax in the SB. I'd always push, and she'd always call. Only once did she have a better hand; the other times she had small underdogs but they'd always catch. In any case, she was a very solid player who knew what she was doing ... but she wasn't a great player. She never had to make a tough laydown throughout the whole tournament like Terrence did (he had to fold a set early in the tournament); people knew she overvalued ace rag and kept playing at her with it.

I almost caught her in a huge pot with it; I saw KQo in the SB and raised; she immediately called. The flop came AKQ; a gorgeous flop for me. I knew I could take her out... but the friggin turn came an Ace, so I had to dump two pair against her trips. Agh.

In any case, she ended up winning the whole tournament! So I'd like to take some credit in her victory; she won a trip to a satellite tournament ... she's quite a cutie! (Any girl who plays poker automatically becomes a cutie!)

By level 5, I was 4th in chips in the 300+ person tournament, but the real blinds hadn't hit yet. I knew I had to pick up at least one blinds per level in order to remain healthy - I was aiming to hit roughly 60K in chips by the final table ($5K/$10K). Since the tables would recombine to full tables, 6xBB would give me small breathing room.

Unfortunately, people before me kept going all-in, and the gap concept came into play. I found myself blinded down to about 21K in chips from 35K at my high.... some guy had limped UTG with blinds at $3k/$6K. I looked down on the button to see A9o. Not the best hand, but I knew SB and BB both were weak, and I was hoping to dump UTG off his hand (maybe he just had a drawing hand like JT or something); there was close to $15K in dead money in the pot ... but the guy reluctantly called and flipped over A7dd against my A9! Awesome! I got my hand in with a big favorite (I will only lose this hand 1/4 of the time)... but as it were, the flop hit a 7... and the river gave another 7 (just for good measure).

I played so well today too; I only made one huge gross misplay against a player I knew was a very tight player ... but besides that I was very happy with my moves. I got my money in with a huge favorite in a pot that would have given me a very good standing in the run for the final table.

In any case, Terrence, Joe, Baby Ace Muckface, Andrew, and Godwin all made the "final" group of 30. Yush bubbled out in the 33rd position. Terrence, Godwin, and Baby Ace Muckface both made the final table of 10, which was THE MOST BORING FINAL TABLE I'VE EVER WATCHED (until people started getting eliminated).

Now, normally I do not lambast plays against Terrence, but I think he missed some VERY good +EV opportunites at the final table. Everyone was more interested in placing higher (except for the guy who busted me and the girl who seemed content to overrisk EV with Ace rage), and I do believe Terrence should of picked up on this. Blinds were at $5000/$10000 with antes of $1000 from the 10 players. That's $25,000 in dead money in the pot. If you only have $75,000 ... you have to push with position EVERY TIME with any two cards. Given how easy people were folding to minimum reraises, no one was willing to call $50,000 except with huge hands (top premium) and Ax (from player-who-busted-me- and really-cute-girl). I was so sad to see Terrence deviate from what I perceived to be his 'normal' strategy ... but he still placed 8th, and we're incredibly happy for him.

Even better, Godwin placed 3rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Out of 300+ people!!!! Great playing, Godwin! He said he felt hot, and the man was right. He also went on an incredible rush over two hands with blinds high enough ... he caught a boat with A3 when he was all-in against AQ (A3Axx board) and some other guy. I'm assuming her an up roughly $30K (with blinds at $4K/$8K) to $90K off that hand; then he picked up AJ and won against AT on a AAxxx board!

In any case, afterwards, I suggested we go get some ice cream (yes, pretty random). So a bunch of us drove over to Harris Teeter and got 5 Ben and Jerry ice cream pints; I got ice cream sandwiches and picked up sprinkles and cones. We decided that we were hungry for some 'real' food as well, so we bought two huge bags of Tyson's chicken fingers and steak fingers (which were both insanely good)... then we hung out, played some ping-pong (I retired from my game with Terrence when I was ahead 2-1!), played some Risk (I won!) and played an amusing HORS tournament (where I kept asking the dealer to deal my last Omaha and Hold 'Em card face up, and it was a deuce EVERY TIME!).

It is now 621AM, but I just realized that nights like these where nothing yet everything happens; where we share some amusing anecdotes and poke fun of each other while eating junk food into the wee hours of the morning is what I'll miss most about college.


Posted by roy on April 10, 2005 at 03:23 AM in Ramblings, Poker | 1 Comments

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Comment posted on April 10th, 2005 at 07:57 AM
I agree. Those kinds of nights are one of the best things about college.