Monday, January 09, 2006

Home game fun

I got invited to a big home game on Friday night. It was only my 2nd time ever playing live, so I was a little nervous. There were a total of 24 people playing, and I ended taking 3rd place, and profiting a nice $50!

The structure was pretty nice (coming from someone who has played live twice). $10 started everyone out with 20,000 in chips. Blinds start at 100/200 and go up every 15 minutes. Everyone was allowed up to two rebuys up until the 2nd break, and then an optional add-on for $5.

My nervousness was extremely apparent on the very first hand. I get KT of hearts and limp in middle position. A couple other limpers, and 5 total people see the flop. Flop comes Qh, Jx, 3h, so I have an open ended straight draw and the 2nd nut flush draw. Someone makes a smallish type bet and I call. The turn comes the beautiful 9s, giving me the nuts. Our host, who was in the BB leads out for a bet, and I re-raise him a little bit. I'm sure my hands were shaking because I was so excited to hit the nuts. He called my raise. The river came, and it was a low card, and I was so excited, that I didn't pay much attention to what it was. He bets again, I re-raise a significant amount, and he then says "I'm all-in". I quickly call. He says, " I think you got me" and shows a Queen with no kicker. I show my cards and say, I got the nuts. I won the hand and doubled up, but what I didn't notice, was that the river was another 3. Obviously I didn't have the nuts, as a number of hands would have a full house. Fortunately, he didn't have one of those. I still felt like a fool for not even noticing what came on the river. The other people at my table must have been licking their chops.

So, I'm off to a nice little start by doubling up through our host to 40,000 chips. I wasn't involved in too many more hands the first hour. The 2nd hour was a little more exciting, as I was playing a little more hands with a nice chip stack.

I get the hammer, 27 offsuit, and raise it up to 3x BB (blinds at 500/1000). The button and SB call. Flop comes out with a 2 and rags. We all check around. turn is another blank, and it's checked around again. And the river is another blank. I decide to bet 2000 into the 10,000 pot. They both folded! I showed my bluff, and the button said he folded pocket 4s, and the SB had nothing. I was pretty happy with my "dropping of the hammer".

Later on in the 2nd hour, I flopped 2 pair with K8 out of the blinds, and forced another player to rebuy when he only hit top pair. I has a nice chip stack of around 55,000 chips when the last hand before the re-buy period came up. I'm dealt pocket Kings on the Button. MP raises it up, and I re-raise 3x his raise. He thinks for a while, and goes all-in. He had about 35,000 in chips. I was really worried about him having Aces, but I called anyways, and he showed AK. No ace came, and I ended the re-buy period at 90,000 chips, and the chip lead in the whole thing!

I didn't take the add-on after the first break. I figured that an extra 10,000 in chips wasn't really worth it for me with the chip lead. The only hand I was involved in when before it broke down to 2 tables was with me getting dealt pocket Qs. I'm in the blinds, and UTG raises it up. I re-raise a significant amount, and he goes all-in. He had a healthy chip stack, so I was committing a little over a third of my chips if I called. I did call, and he showed AK. Unfortunately, I lost this race when a King came on the river. Ouch!

We broke to two tables, and the blinds started creeping up. I finally made a stand with pocket 3s when I was UTG. It folded to the BB who had me covered, and they called and showed AQ. An Ace came on the flop, so I was drawing real thin. The turn is a heart, and oh wait! There are 3 hearts on the board. I have the 3 of hearts, and my opponent has none! 11 outs for me on the river, and a beautiful heart comes, keeping me alive. What a suckout! Off to the final table!

I didn't get too many hands at the final table. I stole just enough to keep my chip stack from dwindling too much. With 7 people left, I am dealt pocket 7's. Early position raised it up, and I pushed all-in. Player behind goes all-in too ( I just have him covered). EP calls and we flip over our cards. EP shows AK, I have 77, and player behind me has QQ. But wouldn't you know it, a 7 comes on the flop and I triple up!

It gets down to three people, and I am the short stack. I get pocket 8's and go all-in and the extreme big stack calls with Q9. Flop comes J, Q, x. Turn is a Ten, giving me 3 more outs (two 8's and three 9's). But alas, none came on the river, and I go home in 3rd place.

I had a lot of fun that night. The host had a great set-up and plenty of room. A couple things I learned: I need to be a little bit more aggressive. I should have stolen blinds a lot more. I also through away some decent hands like AQ - AT in early position. Oh, and pay attention to the board and don't say that I have the nuts when it's obvious I don't!

Also of note, I'm trying out the Haloscan commenting code, so feel free to throw in a comment or two to see if it works. Click on the comments link right below this.


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