Wednesday night I played the No Limit Hold’em tournament held by the EPT in Milford, MA.
My goal this tournament was to place in the final 4, and in the meantime, keep an accurate chip count of my stack, the pot, and the other player’s stacks.
I got some decent hands from time to time. I played cautiously with mediocre hands because there was a belligerent drunk two to my left whose only move for a while was All In. He was scooping lots of pots because no one wanted to put their tournament on the line when the blinds were at $100/$200, $200/$400, $300/$600.
Curiously enough, both times that I got pocket Aces, the final two in the hand after the flop were me and the same other player. So, once I won a big pot and the next time he won the big pot. Fair enough.
I got pocket rockets two times! One time they held up and the other they got beat by a Q 9 two-pair suck out on the Turn. The time that they held up, I got congratulations from the other players at the table; not just for having As, but, for playing them so well. I had intended to play them so that they had no idea I had As — and they didn’t. I didn’t slow play them, but I was patient. I called the other player’s raises, re-raised modestly, and won the hand.
I had played As the Friday night before. Won the hand and got a similar reaction from my table mates. I couldn’t help but think about the results of the Donkey Test that I had taken back in May 2009. My comment about the profile the Donkey Test had created for me was:
My Big Pair play is my best skill. My score is better than 85.69% of all persons taking this test.
I’m thinking that maybe there is more to that Donkey Test than I had originally thought.
Anyway, I was grateful to be getting better cards than Sunday night, even though I was feeling a little stifled with the one-play drunk on my left.
I made it to the final 16 (<– milestone for the Eastern Poker Tour tournaments. Anyone who places 16th or higher receives bonus points). When we got down to 16, my table was split, and I joined a table with serious but fun players, two of whom, I had played with before, and the drunk guy was shuffled off to the other table.
I sat through a whole round without getting beyond the flop. Then I was in the Big Blind again. My stack was about $21K. It was the last hand at the $600/$1200 level. Everyone limped, so, I checked my option with a Q 6 offsuit. Flop came 9 Q Q. I checked and the other two left in the hand checked. Turn came something like a 3 or an 8. I bet 3x the Big Blind, $3600. One player folded and the other raised All In. Hummm. What do I know about this player? I had only played him once before. As I recalled, he would have the goods. So, I knew he had a Q. The question was whether he was slow playing a Full House, or whether he just had a poor kicker. I decided that he would not slow play a Full House, so he had to have a lousy kicker. But was it lousier than my 6?
The pot had $28.6K. I had $4800 invested. If I folded, I’d have $16.2K; 10x the Big Blind (starting the next hand). If I went for it, I would double up and he would be down to the felt. The River was still to come, and we had equal chances to hit a Full House. If the River did not make a Full House for either of us, there were 6 cards that could beat me [7, 8, 9, T, J, K]. I called.
As soon as I put my money in the pot, he flashed a Q at me with a big, wide grin. So, I returned the favor and flashed my Q at him. That got the table’s attention! That big grin instantly turned into a furrowed brow, and he was genuinely concerned. Sheepishly, he turned over a T. I showed my 6. The table breathed a sigh of relief to have their “regular” player win the hand. I thanked everyone for a fun hand and bid them good night.
I placed 15th out of 32. Gained 43 points. Missed my goal to come in 4th or better. Practiced counting the chips to a greater degree of accuracy.