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Thursday, September 01, 2005

My First Online Tournaments

My first tournaments are over, and I'm very happy with the results. I ended up playing in three, two play money SNG's and a Freeroll event that had over 4000 registered players.
My first ever play money tournament was an 18 person 300+20 No Limit Hold'em SNG. The biggest pot I won was 550, yet I still managed to pull a 3rd place victory overall, finally busting out in the 50/100 Blind Level. I played about 44 hands and folded over 90% of them, but I still collected 1080 in prize chips so I was very happy with my first ever SNG. My last hand I started off seriously short stacked (370 chips vs. 24325/2305) however I had crap hands all night long so I don't feel too badly about it. My best starting hand was AQo which I won 105 chips with and was my first win of the evening.

As I still had time before my 3:00 AM Freeroll Tournament, I decided to register for another Play Money SnG. This time I went in for a 300 + 20 SnG with 45 other players to see how I would do. Unfortunately my cold card streak was still in effect so my best hand of that tournament was the first hand of the tournament, I won 220 but that was it for quite a while. It was all downhill from there, and I finally busted out after just 25 hands when I went All In with TJo and lost to a Full House (A's over 6's) when the board came down AdAh9h6dKh. I still managed to place 11th which wasn't bad, and I didn't feel to badly as my Freeroll was starting in about 10 more minutes.

I took some time to go to the bathroom, kiss my girlie CC (she was sleeping downstairs on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds so she could be close to me while I was Pokering it up), and get some water before the big tournie began. I was so excited my legs were bouncing like crazy, my pals were a bit sweaty, and I had butterflies in my stomach. After a few more minutes the dealing began and I was in my first official tournament! Let the Pocket Aces begin! My first hand came in at 3/4 diamonds. I called UTG but folded when the player to my right went all in. So I waited until the next hand, sure to get my Bullets then. Sure enough, on the next hand, I got 3/5o - fold. The next hand, J4o - fold, and so on and so forth.

This was actually my initial strategy, I folded most everything and only played decent hands and when position allowed. This simple strategy helped me stay alive while over 2000 of the 4000 players eliminated each other. My patience finally paid off and I eventually caught my monster hand. I stared off the hand with 3602, and in medium position with the blinds at 200/400 (25 ante) and was dealt Pocket Kings. I called 400 and had two callers join me. The flop came down 5/3/3 rainbow. Not good. I always get killed at the lower levels by three of a kind when the board pairs, so I checked. One of the remaining two players bets 800 and the other folds. I called figuring it to be a position raise. The turn is the beautiful but fearful Ace of Spades, now my Pocket Kings are in some pretty real trouble. I check and the remaining player in the hand bets 1200.

With the blinds so high, and my stack pretty low I decided that if you can't make a move with Pocket Kings, then why play poker at all, so I call his 1200 bet. The turn comes down a Ten of Spades, I check, and he bets 1200. With no flush or straight possible, a 3 unlikely at these levels, the only thing I had to fear was one of the 3 remaining Aces. I call with my remaining 1177 chips and am All In.

I would love to end the story here but I realize that if I did, I'd probably wake up tomorrow with tons of hate mail, and no one would ever visit any of my sites again, so I suppose I'll finish what I started.

He had 8/7h, he was bluffing the whole time and I took the 8354 pot with 2 pair, Kings and 3's. I eventually busted out when I went All In later on in the tournament with Q/Jo and lost to a High Card Ace which put me at 215 of 4187. In my next tournament, I'm shooting for the final table.