Friday Night in Downtown SJ

Last night saw 10 people gathered for a friendly $40 buy-in tourney at D’s apartment in Downtown SJ.  Since I live so close, I got there early to help D and T setup for the tourney.  I biked over with a case of chips, a 6-pack of beer, and a camping chair – which made for some interesting navigation through the streets/sidewalks of SJ.  I made it there alive, got started with the set-up and people trickled in.  I was glad to see us start at 7:30 and the fireworks began.

The tone was set pretty early that this was going to be fun, friendly, and very lively.  At one point W, who I’d never met before, raised to $2K in the dark.  L re-raised from an earlier position.  W, who will never be outdone as I figured out in a short span of being in his presence, went all-in in the dark.  L called of course.  They flipped the cards and L showed a solid hand, while W showed 5-3 offsuit.  Neither of them seemed worried, but as soon as the flop hit, L’s chipstack shrieked in horror.  Trip 5’s on the flop for W.  FIREWORKS!!!

Where’s that leading me?  Well, I’ve always kind of feared L.  Rightfully so.  He’s a great player and is really aggressive.  After playing with him more lately though what was once fear has now turned into more of *what I think* is an understanding.  I can’t say I’ve totally figured him out.  It’s nearly impossible to put him on a hand.  He doesn’t typically play “junk” from what I’ve seen.  And if he does, you’d never know – he can play 7-2 the same as he would A-A.   He’s got many of the ingredients for what I’d condsider to be a consistently successful player – and his frequent final table appearances back that up.   Are there any sure-fire strategies for defeating an opponent like this?  To be honest, I’m not at a skill-level to know for sure yet.  What I do sense is that at certain points in a tournament against aggressive players like this you’ll often find yourself being asked to commit all your chips before the flop.  You’ve gotta be ready for it, and know whether you’re going to call an all-in or walk away any time you make a move.   If you make the call, you sometimes just hope it’s a coin-flip against this type of player and hope that you walk out on the lucky end.  The good news is that you’re not going to get outplayed – you’re going to see 5 cards.  You’ll either double up through a tough opponent or you’ll give them more ammunition to carry on their aggressive ways – and if that’s the case, you won’t be subjected to any further stressful decisions because you’ll be out of the tourney.  Depending on your tolerance for pain, it could be a win-win no matter what!  You’re either rich or someone has put you out of your misery.  Either way – not so bad. 

In regards to key hands in the tourney (I came in 2nd by the way…a payout of $140), I was faced with just such a situation and decided to call with what I think was K-10 *if I remember right* vs 6-6 (again, if I remember right).  Later vs D, I had A9 and not so many chips.  I was to act before him, so I pushed all-in.  In these situations you hope your opponent has to really think hard about making a call and I hoped D would have to think a bit harder than he did.  He called with K’s, and the river brought me an A to take down the pot – he was the chip leader going into that hand.  A nice turn of events for me.  Under the circumstances, I believe it was the right move for me – though it was an unfortunate suckout for D. 

In the 2nd match I think I may have folded the best hand against DW, who in hindsight I suspect may have had pocket K’s after a flop in which I paired my A.  Don’t know for sure, but his aggression was believable so I got the hell out with 1/2 my chips left.  That eventually left me in the familiar town of AllIn on any Ace.  When I saw A9, I went for it and was called by B – the lucky birthday boy – who knocked me out with rockets.  As a side note, he knocked out D on the first hand.  B held 10-10, D held Q-Q.  With the amount of re-raising pre-flop, I thought for sure B had A-A, and was surprised to see 10-10.  A lucky 10 on the flop saw our host on the rail after the first hand.  I thought the general rule was that the 3rd raise meant A’s – apparently not.  :-)

 High Roller tourney tonight – which could be dangerous as I didn’t get much sleep.  Fingers crossed!


3 Responses

  1. Wow you had that all wrong.
    1. W went all in blind with 5 3, i called reraised all in with AQ, and L called with KK
    W beat us both and i beat L. which left him all but dead
    me about 3X what he had and warren the chipleader.
    I was no sober by any means and i tried to get off that table on the second tourney fast
    i called out D’s cards before we flipped
    i think i was away from the table more then i was on it.

    It was a social game and i just wanted to hang out i dont think i dealt or shuffled the whole night
    u ever give L his 20$?

  2. Yep – Gave L his $20 a few days later at B’s.

  3. K, This is the first time Ive read your blog. I keep forgetting about it and didnt realize you put so much work into it. Thanks for the kind words but unfortunatly for me I think you and others are on to me cuz I cant money lately to save my life!!

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