Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bar Poker Night Win and a Baseball Update

Last night was the monthly championship at the bar. The tourneys all start at 7pm but my son had a game last night so I knew I was going to be late, if I made it at all. If you get there before the first break ends, you can still get in with a few blinds taken off.

My son's game got over at about 7:35 and the bar is about 20 minutes away so I gave it a shot. If it was a normal weekly game, I would have just skipped it in place of watching the Sox vs Yankees game. Since it was the monthly championship, I decided I should try to play it.

I got there as the break was happening, so I was ok. Just a little bit short-stacked, but probably close to average or just below. In my second hand, I had pocket 10s in the SB and bumped it up to 600 to go. The blinds were 100/200 and my stack was at about 3200. I got 3 callers. The flop came all unders and I pushed. Everyone folded and my stack was healthy right off the bat.

There were about 35-40 people I think in the tourney at that point. 5 tables of 7 or 8 players but since the blinds were getting up, people starting dropping quickly and taking chances. Soon, my table was broken down and I was moved.

I was pretty card dead for a while after that, but managed to make it to the final 2 tables. At that point though, I was short stacked. I had stolen a couple pots, but I was at the point where I needed to get a hand and double up, or I was done. Finally, with the blinds up to 1k/2k, and me sitting on 4k UTG, I pushed with K6h. I didn't think I could depend on getting a better hand in the next 2 and I got 3 callers.

I haven't mentioned this too much, but it has been a little harder with some of the players here since I got back from St. Louis. Everyone seems to know me and wants to knock me off. The people that stay away from me are the people that I know and play with regularly. Of course, in this case, it wasn't a big raise, but the stacks were all getting pretty short because the blinds increase fast in these tourneys.

Anyway, on the flop, one of the guys bet and one of my buddies looked at him like he was an idiot, since he wasn't checking it down, and decided to push on him. The guy calls with TPSK and my buddy has 2 pair. He takes the side pot, but the river gives me a straight with my 6 and I have some cheeps to work with.

We quickly get down to the final table and I have about an average stack when the chip up happens. I have mentioned the blind structure here before. Basically, when you get to the final table, it all comes down to the cards. The challenge is getting there, and then getting lucky once you do get there. The final chip up takes us to 5k/10k blinds. With about 40 starting players with stacks at 3500 or so, the total chips in play are about 120K. With 8 players and the blinds at 5k/10k, you do the math. It is a push or fold fest and it is all about the position if you have even a marginal hand. Late position with paint? Push.

Anyway, I had about 15k and we had one guy all in, with just his BB and I was UTG with pocket 10s again. I pushed and got one caller. My 10s held up and I was up to about 45k or so with the blinds. My blind was no good when someone pushed their 30k in and got a caller. I had 46o. It, of course, would have been good with the 44J flop but another person was gone.

Down to 4 of us, I am in the SB with A2h. The button goes all in for his last 5k and I push to make it 35k total. The BB insta-calls, putting him all in. The big stack, who had me covered at the time, but just barely, labors over his decision for about 3 minutes. Basically, if he calls with us all in, he wins if he wins the hand. At the same time, if he folds, and I win, we are heads up and he is assured second place at least. He finally folded, which I was happy about, figuring I was probably already behind the BB. I was wrong when he flipped QJo and the button flipped pocket K5d. I hit a duck on the board, it held up, and I was heads up with the chip lead.

At this point, the blind went up again to 10k/20k. The first hand, I was the BB and he folded to me pre-flop. Now, the guy I was playing with a friend and someone that was at my home game Friday night. He is nice guy. He started talking about how I had won a monthly before, and that he never did. I almost felt bad for him for a minute. With the win, you get qualified for the semi-annual regional tourney, which is a step toward the state championship again.

Anyway, on the second hand, in the SB, I get pocket 6s. I push on him and he says, "I think you made that decision before you even looked at your cards". He thought for second and then called. He had J10o. Not a bad hand, and about a coinflip to my 6s. The flop came K Q 8. The turn gave him more outs with a 3rd heart on the board with another Q. The river was a blank and it was over. I took it down. Again, I almost felt bad because it seemed like it meant a lot to him but hey. It felt really good to take it down. Almost like a little bit of validation after my finish in the National Championship. I had made a couple final tables since then, but hadn't won one. Like I said, everyone seems to know me in there now, mostly because of that one run I made, so it was nice to take it down.

Ok, some non-poker talk. My son is kicking ass at baseball. Even though he is the youngest on the team, he is pounding the ball. Since he stuck out his first 4 at bats of the year, he hasn't struck out since and has been hitting the ball hard every at bat. He is really hard on himself though when they make the play on him.

In Sunday's game, he got up with the bases loaded in the second inning. The team was down by a couple runs. Although he has been hitting well, he has had a couple bad swings on pitches out of the strike zone high. I mean like at or over his head. I told him to tuck his chin into his front shoulder and if he had to pick up his head, it was too high. Of course, the first 2 pitches were at least at his eyes, and were both called strikes. The next pitch though was right down the middle of the plate and he crushed it. It looked like it was headed to the left center gap when the left fielder ran over and made a ridiculously great diving catch on it to rob him. I thought he was going to cry. He was pretty upset as he went back to the dugout and I had to sit him down and tell him that was part of the game, the kid made a great catch, but he did everything he could have hoped. Later in the game, he got 2 hits and drove in some runs. The scariest part, for me anyway, was in the last inning when the other team was making a comeback. The inning started off 15-8 good guys, but before you knew it, they had scroed 3 runs and had men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. The next batter lofts a lazy fly ball out to left field. Exactly where my son is playing. I see it going out there and think, "please let him catch it". He dances around under it like he has to pee or something but ends up making the catch. Phew. But wait, the runner on 3rd didn't tag up and was basically already in the dugout at this point. We are all yelling, to throw it to 3rd. He does but misses the cutoff man. Fortunately, like I said, the runner was nowhere in sight and it was an easy double play. A couple plays later, it was all over and they won. If he missed that, it would have been terrible for him. He also made a great relay throw earlier in the game when the ball got to the wall. He made a perfect, strong throw to the cutoff man, who then fired a perfect strike to 3rd to get the runner trying to stretch it to a triple. You don't see that too often at that level, so it was a great play.

In last night's game, in his first at bat, he hit the ball hard but the left fielder caught it for the out. In his second at bat, he got a nice single up the middle. In his third at bat was when he was at his best. The team was down 7-2 but had the bases loaded and there were 2 outs. They had just brought in the pitcher that had struck him out twice in the second game. A big kid with a nice fastball.

The first pitch as a called strike down the middle. The second pitch he swung and missed and he was behind it. On the next pitch though, he connected and put it out in the right center gap. He cleared the bases but, trying to stretch it to a triple, was gunned out there. Again, he was upset and I had to talk to him about the fact that he just got his team back into it and did great. All he focused on was the fact that he made an out. Oh well, we can work on that. He is doing great though.


At 10:01 AM, Blogger mookie99 said...

Congrats on the win last night. So what do you get if you win the weekly tournament vs. the monthly one ?

At 10:25 AM, Blogger drewspop said...

Thanks Mookie. The win in a weekly gets you the same as the others in the top 16. Just a spot in the monthly (aside from the $25 gift cert they give you for the win).

The monthly moves you into the Semiannual, which, in order to qualify for that now, you have to actually win a monthly, not just get points in a monthly. They changed the rules this year, which make it a lot hard to get to the Nationals. Last year, I won a monthly and got into the state tourney by doing that. This year, you have to get points at the semiannual to get the state, so there is another layer this year.

Check out www.apl1.net and see what it is all about. I know they have venues in Texas, plus if you join, you can then play a weekly freeroll on Doyle's room and some other APL only tourneys there. They are affiliated now.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

Nice win, Chris. Keep up the solid play. I wish the APL had games in my area. I'm signed up in case they start one. It's really surprising, though, seeing as how this is the nation's capital.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Congrats on the win man. I wish it was easier to play live in nyc, but the city has just so clamped down on the underground clubs, that you either have to play a home game, play on line, or not play at all. Can't stand the lack of home game practice, and AC / Foxwoods are just a little too far to drive to with any regularity.

Hopefully see you tonight at the WWdN.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger iamhoff said...

Good job on the win, and congrats on your budding retirement plan, I mean your son's budding baseball career! Thanks for stopping by while I was donking away chips last night...always fun to have a witness to my donkitude.

Don't know if I'll make the WWdN. If it started a half hour later, then it'd be no problem. Maybe Mookie. Definitely DADI. And I used your blog when I registered for the PokerStars thing. Don't know if you get anything for that, but there ya go. See ya out there.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Damn you continue to impress...hawesome dp


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