Going for the repeat

Last night was the weekly Thursday game and I was going for a repeat victory. I was well on my way before busting in 5th place after taking some horrific beats, but I played really well and had a great chance to take down 1st place for $240.

I was up to 13,000 after the rebuys (above average) and my table had a lot of chips. I started to tighten up and was folding the majority of my hands when this hand came up. A middle position raiser made it $1200 with $200-$400 blinds. The cut off and button both called and I looked down at 88 in the small blind. I certainly didn’t want to reraise here, but I wasn’t going to fold. For $1000 more I was going to see a flop getting almost 5-1 odds on my money. I checked in the dark first to act and lo and behold the flop was perfect: 8 5 3, hehe, I’m a sneaky bastard.

The original raiser bet out $4000 and I called. On the turn I checked in the dark again, Jack. He went all in for $4400 more and I called, he showed 1010 and failed to improve.

I stalled for a bit and lost a few decent sized pots when this hand came up. I was in the cutoff with $24,000 with the chip leader to my left on the button. It folded around to me and I looked at 66. I made a standard raise of $3200(3-4x BB) and the button thought and reraised me $10,000.

I knew he was a good player, but I also knew that he thought I was decent as well. Earlier I saw him reraise like this with AQs but I thought it was likely he could have a hand like KJ or even a smaller pocket pair, and just thought I was trying to buy it right there. I pushed all in on top for an extra $8,000 and it was obvious by his reaction he didn’t want me to do that. I called and I asked if we had a coinflip, but he showed 22! I doubled up in a huge pot and was over $50,000.

On to the final table. With 8 players left I was in the big blind. The small blind was a loose and seemingly reckless player who never spoke a word (that always annoyed me, it was a friendly game afterall). It folded to us, he limped, as usual, and I raised $4,000 blind. He thought about it and went all in … well shit, better look at my cards, and what do you know: A … K, “I call”. To my dismay he showed Q4, haha, and the flop came down A K 4. Beautiful right? Just need to avoid a 4.

The turn brought a 3 and the river a 9 … wahoo, right? Oh wait, he hit a flush with his queen with runner clubs … oh, ‘nice hand???’. I couldn’t for the life of me explain his reasoning. Unless he knew I hadn’t looked, but I don’t think he knew that. He had folded almost 15 hands in a row up till then, then he decided (With only $1600 invest preflop) to push all in with Q4? After playing so tight for so long why try to make a move there? Anyway, I tried to brush it off and told myself I had plenty of chips left.

I made a move at a pot later in the game, 7 handed, with J9 of spades. With FIVE limpers I moved all in in the big blind for $17,500 more (blidns $1000-$2000). I would’ve been fine with just the $10,000 in the pot already. I figured it was a pretty obvious steal, but who could call for that many more chips? The early position raiser called and everyone else folded, he showed 33. 33? I don’t think I would have risked $17,000 more with a low pocket, but okay. I flopped a jack and I was back in business.

I made a few untimely raises and was back down to $25,000 before I knew it though when we were five handed. I was in the big blind with QJ of clubs, the UTG player had limped and the small blind called. I thought about raising here but I figured I’d just like to see a flop instead, my mistake.

The flop was 995 and it checked around. The turn was a jack and I check called the UTG player. The river was the third 9 giving me 9s full and I checked. Something didn’t seem right about this hand, I had a horrible gut feeling, so why did I go against it!?!!? The player bet out $8,000. I thought about it and almost just called, then I decided to raise! Why? I don’t know, I was hoping he simply had a 5. In all honestly my best hope was that he had a Jack as well and we were splitting, why did I raise there? He went all in and called, he showed Q9!

He had three outs and caught them all, and on top of that I hit a boat! That was pretty sickening after replaying the hand and realizing a) he limped UTG with Q9o, b) I should’ve raised preflop, and c) I knew I didn’t feel good about my jack!

Oh well though, I guess I won’t make that mistake again, hopefully. I ended up profiting $10 instead of $220, but it was a good break from studying for exams.

Good luck!

I've been playing poker for almost four years now (well before it was legal for me, woops!) Besides poker I enjoy playing the guitar and I'm very enthusiastic about pursuing Dentistry as a career. I'm currently at The Ohio State Univeristy studying Microbiology, living with three of my close friends. I'm dating a lovely girl from Australia and am looking forward to the oppurtunity to study abroad over there as well.

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