June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 1, tournament 1

June 8, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
June 8, 2016

Author’s note: The following post contains imprecations and “curse words” that may not be appropriate for younger readers. MEM

~~~

Early strikers tournament, Sunday afternoon, June 5, 2016. The biggest move in this tournament was probably one that I didn’t make.

With blinds low — 200-400, I think — the man in seat one raised to 1,100. The woman two chairs to his left then re-raised the bet to 2,200.

When I looked at my hand, I found that I held dual sixes. These are perfectly serviceable hole cards, but something told me to play conservatively, especially because on the prior hand, the woman who had just re-raised had collected a big pot with that exact same pair. Sixes couldn’t hit twice in a row, could they?

Discretion is the better part of valor, I decided, and folded my hand.

The board that followed included a six and a pair of fives; both of the participants in the pot showed their cards at the end, and neither had better than two pairs. In other words, due to timidity, I folded what would have been a full house, and the chance for a major payday.

Otherwise, my tournament experience began unremarkably. I hit on a few hands and missed on more. After losing a few pots, I built myself back up to a thoroughly average stack.

Shortly after I moved to a new table, my second or third of the contest, I was sitting in the big blind when about four or five people limped into the pot. I checked my hole cards and found queen-six off-suit, a thoroughly unimpressive hand.

The flop included a six, but it also included a few higher cards. There was either light betting or checking after the flop and the turn.

The river brought a queen. I was pleased, because this brought me two pairs. Without scrutinizing the board carefully, I pushed all-in.

Everyone folded except for one gentleman sitting across the table from me. He deliberated for a while before calling.

Then my opponent showed his hand. It was here that I learned that I’d made a huge error: He held (I think) king-nine, and the queen had helped him tremendously by giving him a straight to the king.

“Oh, shit,” I said, and stood up to go.

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