June 2016 pokerpalooza: Day 1, tournament 1

June 8, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
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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