Today I played in three satellites at an Eastern Poker Tour event in Taunton, Mass. The main event was a charity no limit hold em tournment that began later in the day. One-table no limit hold em satellites where the top 2 advanced to the main event started at noon. Each satellite started with 10 players.
I used a $30 voucher that I had won May 3, 2010 (Why do we call when we know we are beat?) to get into the first satellite. Not really much to say about that one. Didn’t get any cards and couldn’t get any momentum going. Basically, got blinded off.
Second satellite, I paid $30 cash. Got one decent hand every round, and, that was one-upped by another player’s hand. When there were still 7 or 8 players at the table, I was the Small Blind. A player out of position, say under-the-gun +2, had raised it 2x the Big Blind. Action folded around to me. I had pocket 5s. I flat called the raise as did the Big Blind. The Flop came something like 5 K 2. A 5 right in the door! I’m breathing easy and choking back an ear-to-ear smile.
P-e-r-r-r-f-e-c-t, I’m thinking! Time to go All In. The under-the-gun +2 had been timid and didn’t mix it up much. He acted like he was more afraid of losing than he was interested in winning, so, he’d fold. The Big Blind was a more experienced player, had a ton of chips, and I knew that he would call with whatevah. BUT…and this is a BIG BUT – when he called, He said, ‘Sorry…I have to call.” Okay, so there’s the kiss of death. You know he’s got pocket Ks or pocket Aces.
Sure enough, under-the-gun +2 folds, and I’m heads up with the Big Blind. He turns over a pair of Aces. Gulp… I’m ahead with trip 5s and crossing my fingers that an Ace doesn’t hit the board. And my hopes are dashed immediately. A big fat Ace comes on the Turn. Now that its set over set, I’ve got one more card to survive… Can I suck out with the case 5? Nope. The 3 of hearts comes on the River. Wasn’t meant to be, and I hit the rails with the bemoans of the remaining players fading in the air as I walk away.
Third satellite, I paid $30 cash. Players were good and the action was at a good pace. When we were down to three, I was short stacked. The chip leader (on my left) had about 50% of the chips in play and the other player (on my right) had about 35%. I was determined to fight my way into the top 2 so that I could play the main event at 4:00. While I didn’t have so many chips, I believed that I could recover. The player to my right was not a good player, probably a beginner. The player to my left was a very good player with lots of experience. He appeared to be mentoring the player on my right, and they had played together the night before.
One obstacle I had is that they were playing together to get me out – and pretty obviously so. So, it wasn’t one brain against another. It was always two brains against mine because they would signal without overtly signalling and talk without talking. After each hand played between me and just the inexperienced player, the mentor would explain to the inexperienced one what he should have done…If you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. Two people from the same region. Naturally, they want to advance to the main event together.
Anyways, I knew that my skills were better than the player to my right. I hacked away at him mostly when he was the Small Blind. I made some smart plays and he made some blunders and my chip stack started to be even with his. So much so that his buddy on my left remarked that he didn’t like the way things were going…”I’m not liking this”, he said. And shortly after that, I had just a slight edge on the player on my right.
I’m in the Big Blind. Player to my left is on the Button. Player to my right is the Small Blind. The Button folds. The Small Blind flat calls. I move All In with A K offsuit. The Small Blind thinks for a long time. Fiddles with his chips as if he is going to move them in. Brings them back to his torso. Fiddles some more with the chips. Finally, he calls with K 10 off suit. And we are off to the races!
I was feeling good. Thinking…When I win the hand, he’ll be down to the felt and unable to recover… and I’ll advance to the main event. I will coyly smile at the two of them and… Screechhhhh. Hear the brakes on the train…fingernails across the chalk board. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!
Sure enough, by the time the Turn comes, he’s made a K-high straight – and – I need a ten on the River to survive. Nope. Adios amigos!
Okay so that’s a wrap. I invested $90 to win a seat in the $125 main event. After three stikes, I figured I was out!
My biggest frustration on the results of the last satellite is that I would have been able to last so much longer than the newbie who knocked me out. Oh well, guess I was that player one day…
To work off my frustration, I came home, got on PokerStars and placed fifth in a $6.50 45-player no limit hold em tournament. There…I recovered $24 on the day.