Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Family Reunion Poker

I am posting this from my Blackberry and it likes to skip the letter "t" when I type fast so please pardon any missing "t"'s. I posted my NWA rant from this device also and it was missing a few.

I attended my wife's annual family reunion in Brockway, PA this weekend. It is always a good time and it got better in the past two years because of poker. The host/organization duties rotate each year and last year it was our turn to run it. Each year there is a golf scramble on the Saturday before the reunion Sunday. We decided to host a poker tournament after the golf outing. About 28 entrants for the $10 entry fee and we offered $5 re-buys during the first hour (with all re-buys going towards the reunion fund). It was a great success and the reward for good work was, yup, you guessed it, more work! Even though we were not hosting the reunion this year, we were asked to run the tournament again this year. I was bummed at first because I could not play last year since I was running it. Helping decide play rules, handling re-buys, balancing tables, and keeping things moving was too much to do while playing. SteelerSteph knew that I really wanted to play so she volunteered to run it this year. (Thanks Steph in case you ever read this blog).

26 entries in the 2006 Reunion WSOP created a first prize of $130, an amount I am proud to say I brought home! It was interesting as the mix of players was eclectic at best. There was a group of 10 or so avid players, 10 players that were social players and a handful of just for fun players. It seemed that almost everyone at my starting table wanted to see the flop no matter how much it was raised PF. I am kind of glad I did not get many premium starting hands because it helped me avoid the inevitable bad beats. I limped with suited connectors a lot and got paid when they connected. My one premium hand (KK) was doomed on an xAx flop. I raised 3x BB (600) and had three callers. I continuation bet the flop with another 600 and I knew my one caller had an A. I checked the turn and the river (she checked too) and was not too surprised when she flipped AK. The play was very passive until the final table with min bets all the way with full houses and flushes not uncommon.

I made the final table with a smaller chipstack and was able to double up twice through the chip leader. My first double up happened when I limped with 68h on the button. The flop came all hearts and I jammed on the gutshot straight flush draw figuring my flush was good anyway. The chip leader had already put in a 2k bet but I was confident he did not have the flush already, I knew him and it was a semi-bluff. He thought for a minute and then called. He said he knew I had the flush so I am not sure why he called. He had outs with his Ah but they did not come and I was now in the top 3 with chips. A few hands later I finished him off when my QJ flopped two pair. I jammed again and he quickly called. The speed of the call concerned me, did he get a set? But his PF action of limping did not make me think pocket pair. He normally would bet that. With a flop of QJ7, he flipped his Q7 and was all in. I felt a little bad because of my aggressive final table play, I don't think I could have gotten away from a flopped two pair heads up either. Just bad luck. No sevens came and I was the new dominant chip leader with 7 to go. 7,6,5 got it all in one one hand and then there was 4 of us left. I took out fourth on a hand I can't remember and then took out my father-in-law 3rd with my 33 v his AQo. He turned a Q and was crushed by my rivered 3. Whew, good job John, I got lucky on that coinflip. The final hand of the tourney was my AK v Holly's A9. The favored hand stood up and I won my first family reunion WSOP. I knew I could outplay most of them and had final table expectations but did not think I would take it down.

The next day we got a small cash game going with $5 buy in and .05/.10 blinds. I did well in that also cashing out more than 5 times my buy in. I am either on a little rush, or I am seeing some fruits of my poker labors. The play was pretty bad so I am leaning towards a 70/30 split. 70% experience and 30% dumb ass luck.

Happy Fourth of July to all and condolences to DNasty. I think Ben moved to the Bulls because he heard STeelerJosh was moving to the D and there is only room for one Ben in my heart.... The stupid no helmet wearing QB Super Bowl winning one. I appreciate Wallace's style and think he would make a fine Steeler Linebacker. Good luck in Chi-town other Ben.

No Internet poker out here in the sticks (dial up only) but I will see you all on the virtual felt again soon. I am headed back home tomorrow and cannot wait. My homebrew is ready to be bottelled and in 3 short weeks I will be enjoying some fine honey wheat "HammerBrau" or whatever the hell I decide to call it. Suggestions welcome. The next batch I am planning will be a much lighter raspberry ale. This high test stuff (10.5 alcohol) takes too long to ferment.

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