Waterskiing and Poker


No Longer a Virgin!

Well I finally played for the first time in a B&M (Brick and Mortar) cardroom. As a totally awesome birthday present from my wife and the rest of the family I was given $440 cash to buy-in to my first “big” tournament in Canterbury, which is south of Minneapolis. The tournament was on Sunday, 9 Jan 05, a day after my birthday. The big “4-0” on case you were wondering. The original plan was to play in a smaller tournament earlier in the week but the weather was not cooperating.

Of course there was the birthday party the night before, which my sister organized, and many beers were consumed. This made for a rough start the morning of the tournament since we had a two hour drive to get there. So up at 6:30, out the door at 7:10, and the wife, my sister and I were on our way.

Arrived at Canterbury at about 9:30 for the 1100 tournament start time. No problem with getting into the tournament since the buy-in was $400+40, and according to management many of their bigger players whom would normally play the tournament were out of town at “major” tournaments. So with time to kill, what’s a guy to do but play cards? Got immediate seating at a 2/4 limit game. I have to hand it to the dealers, they were very helpful and courteous, and didn’t give me a hard time what-so-ever when I asked a question, or tried to raise when I couldn’t yet (remember this is my first trip to a B&M). Sat down with $100 in chips and was very glad to get up from the table with $140 when it was time to start the tournament.

I gave my wife the $140 in chips and said to give $2/4 a try. She is a good poker player but this was also her first time in a B&M. She lasted from 1100 until about 3pm and finally lost it all. Time for a little more coaching at home. I do have to say, she lost some big pots with good hands. One that I actually witnessed she had AJs, board J5XJX, so with trips and A kicker, she gets beat by someone with J5. I walked in on the tail end of the hand so I don’t know how all the betting went down. Another HUGE pot she lost, she had the highest full-house on the board, Queens over Jacks, of course the guy who kept calling/raising had QUAD JACKS. Ouch that hurt. I told her that everyone will lose money in that situation, just be glad she wasn’t playing no-limit and pushed all-in.

On to the tournament. Started with 35 people. First hand I get involved with I had AJo on the button, blinds are still low, and got in for the price of the BB. One raise in front of me, I call, after the flop of JXX (jack high and two cards I don’t remember). Player ahead of me bets, I call. Turn another blank. He checks, I bet, he calls. (Sorry I didn’t take a notepad now to record the details better, sorry.) River another low card, no straight or flush on the board, he checks, I throw a pretty good bet out but not huge since it was still early in the tournament and I didn’t want to risk too many chips. Other guy calls, we flip our cards up and bam AJ vs. AJ for a split pot. I have to tell you, for the first hand I got involved in, in my first B&M tournament, my heart was pounding. I was definitely disappointed that I didn’t win the hand, but at the same time glad I didn’t lose it.

I finally saw my first pair when I was 1 off the button. Chip leader raises it, another person re-raise, so I throw my small pair of 3s in the muck. Glad I did, would have made a set but would have been spanked by a larger boat that finally won the pot.

Slowly getting blinded down, played a few hands that I had to fold, and get the second pair I have seen all day, once again 3s. I am OTB and get to see it for the price of the BB. I get my set on the flop, push all-in and cross my fingers. I get one caller, he has AA gets no help and I double up. Woo-hoo.

First break and down to 21 players, I now have an even 10,000 in tournament chips (TC) out of the 140,000 in play. Chip leader by far is sitting to my immediate left now, he has totally dominated and called down people with the weirdest starting hands, and keeps beating them. So I know I have to be verrrry careful. Finally get another pair, two red 9’s this time. Get my set on the flop. Flop has 2 clubs, one of which is the 9. I bet large, but don’t push (which is maybe what I should have done, hind sight bla-bla-bla), chip leader is the only one to call me. Turn is a low club, scary with the 3 to a flush on the board now. I bet the same amount, chip leader calls. Hoping the board pairs with another club but it does not….but a damn club did come on the river. Now four to a flush on the board and I don’t even have one. No straight possible. I check, chip-leader bets enough to put me all-in and all-out of the tournament if I call, so I laid down my set of nines. Now my chip stack is hurting, but I felt I made a good laydown at that point.

Survived for a while longer and now have 3900 TC. OTB I get AKo, BB raises to 1000 and everyone folds around to me so I push. SB folds, BB thinks for a little bit and then calls. He has me covered in chips but not by much. We turn our cards up, he has AQs vs. my AKo. I felt good until the flop gave him a Queen. I don’t catch one of the remaining 3 kings and I am done. Out 13th out of 35.

What an awesome experience, glad I had it, just wish I would have done better.
Sidenote: Almost had a fight break out at the second table I was at. One player was giving a guy with headphones on a heard time because he was taking so long to react because he couldn’t hear what was going on. Headphone guy also happened to be the chip-leader (CL) previously mentioned who kept knocking everyone out. I think he put everyone at the table (except me, I found it kind of humorous that he was getting under everyone’s skin so bad) on tilt. Headphone guy (CL) knocked another player out and he was pissed, a different person at the table defended the headphone guy, and here we go. Words were flying, the knocked out player said “let’s take this outside”, the other guy got up and started to go towards the door with him. Of course management jumped in between the two and it took several long minutes before we could resume play. Wasn’t quite like it was on the premier of “TILT” but could have been had they not been on the far ends of the table (seat 1 vs. seat 7).

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