I played in the 15th of Wil Wheaton's Tuesday weekly night tournaments last night, yes I did, and placed 8th in a field of 83 players, garnering $37.35 for my efforts, a little over triple my buy-in.
It was a small, fairly subdued tournament, at least in comparison to other WWdN (Wil Wheaton dot net. Go visit) and WPBT (World Poker Blogger Tour. How come we don't have these anymore?) tournaments I've played in. I didn't see a lot of recognizable names. WWonka, a Worcester, MA boy who would eventually win the tournament, showed up at my table around Hand #6 and we'd play against each other almost throughout the entire night. In fact, many of the top 9 finishers were at my (only three) pre-final tables, including Ganton516 and The SubHuman from NY. One very recognizable blogger name, BadBlood, finished 3rd and his presence at the final table eventually did bring out a few blogger railbirds, including the Good Doctor.
Part of the reason for the general quiet could be that Our Host, Wil Wheaton, was knocked out relatively early, in 68th place, reportedly by RobbieRob, who noted while at my table that he had pulled a river suckout on Star Trek Actor (my words, Wil, not his. Don't blame him). Wil eventually went over to a $20 buy-in tournament and was still in the lead when I was finally knocked out of his namesake tournament around 10:45 ET. I suspect Wil drew most of his fan base with him. Hope he won. He's been on a bad streak, but if good wishes influence cards, that should soon change.
Miz Maudie, the notorious Pokester, finished in 66th place, again, not from lack of good wishes from Rico and several other railbirds. But it was one of those nights for M. and she couldn't get any traction. But it sure was nice to know she was back in the game. Mr. "Give Me a Pigfoot and a bottle of Guinness" is off on the slopes someplace, and didn't play last night.
And Lil Rico? I was pleased with my play last night. Head was good. Felt like I was going to be in the money. Early on I took a few chances that paid off, at least one of which bemused a fellow New Hamster player from Nashua who I took out, a xkm1245. On Hand 19 I had 1670 in chips, xkm1245 in the small blind with 1140. I get an offsuit KQ, and limp in. Two players fold, the rest limp too with $30 calls.
The flop is Jc 7s 6c, really no harm to me with two over-cards, so I wait to see what the table does, and everyone checks.
I pair my King on the turn. It's a diamond, so except for the mini-worry of those two clubs already on the board, I think I probably have the best hand. Betting goes first with xkm1245 who checks, and then its check, check, check, check to me, and I bet the pot, which is $180. xkm1245, who's next in line, now raises an additional $300 to $480. The other four earlier checks all fold, as could be expected, and, after a little thought, I call xkm1245's $300 raise, figuring he's betting the King too, and most likely with a weak kicker. I mean, yes I know it's a check-raise and all that and maybe he had a 6 or 7 and now has two pair with the King on the board, but it just doesn't feel right, y'know? I mean, he's done no betting since throwing in his original $15, and now he's willing to put up $480? It really doesn't smell right. If I had K6/K7 with that board I'd have just called my $180 bet and see what the river brings. I figure he's trying to chase me off.
River is a nothing 2 of spades, which takes out the only thing I was scared of, the club flush draw, but I don't put xkm1245 on a flush draw at this point anyway. He does what I was expecting and goes all-in with his remaining $630. I've got him covered... and this is a tournament. I've learned - often painfully - that you don't finish in the money in tournaments unless you're willing to gamble with some hands. My stack will be pitiful if I lose, but at this stage of the game it's possible I can rebuild it. And all those chips will give me such a nice cushion if I've guessed right.
I call. He's got a K10 offsuit. My Queen kicker beats out his 10. I'm more or less right, and collect $2400 for the hunch. xm1245, who seems like a nice guy, also seems concerned about why I would stay in after his check-raise, and I think my answers - which I'm trying to give while still playing several hands - don't satisfy him very much. Maybe this, if he comes across it, will help. Bottom line is that 1) His check-raise seemed fishy (not in the poker newbie sense but in the smelly sense). If he had gone all-in with a raise at the turn, I think that would have said, "I'm not scared of anything that might show at the river, I have you beat." and I think I would have folded. $480 was either, "I'm trapping you," or "I'm scaring you off," and I decided for the latter. 2) I had enough in my stack to cover his all-in at the river. If it was an elaborate trap, I was willing to pay to see it sprung at that point.
Rest of the night was me folding many, many indifferent hands, pulling down some pots, and trying to avoid all-ins as I edged closer to the money table. I folded JJ at least twice in situations that would have put me all-in. Short-stacked, I gambled a couple of times, and survived. Hand #215 at 11:13 pm, the short stack at the table with $2505 in chips and facing 600/1200 blinds, I go all-in with a pair of 6s against a raise from ringo6624... who has a pair of Kings. To add insult to injury, the flop displays another King as well as two 8s, to give ringo a full house. At the turn I'm drawing dead when another 6 doesn't show, and that's all she wrote.
In unison now, "Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?" Tune in next Wednesday to find out.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Posted by Fred Bals at 9:12 AM