April 2, 2006

This weekend, I took part in Poker Bastard's April Fool's tournament. (Dan runs the best house tournaments.) It was a $20 buy in, with about 22 or 23 entries, with the top 5 in the money. 5 out of 23 didn't sound so hard. The tournament was going to start about the same time as the Florida-George Mason game. I had also put down $20 on Florida, so even if I got busted out early in poker, I could at least root for the Gators to make most of my buy-in money back. And if Florida was well on its way to covering, I could then afford to go crazy in poker, knowing that I would at least break even (minus the 5% juice).

There were three tables and I was going pretty well at table 2. Former champ Mike was at table 1 with a $10 bounty on him, so I kept telling him to stay alive until I could knock him out. One of my other goals to knock out Dan out of his own tournament by going with my patented no-look all-in strategy.

After some table balancing, Dan was moved over to my table and I know he was instantly scared of my healthy chip stack. When he moved all in, I had J-6 clubs, thought about it for a while, and then deciding calling wouldn't cripple me, so I did. His A-Q never had a chance. I flopped a J and 2 clubs. I ended up making a flush. It wasn't blind, but it worked just as well. So the rest of the night, merely mentioning 'Jack-6 suited' would get an angry response from the Poker Bastard.

I reached the final table of 9 or so with Mike still standing. I had to get him before the final 5 to collect his bounty, so I was ready to put him all-in any time he went in a pot. I got pretty lucky on this one. With just one spot left before the money, Mike went all-in with pocket 8's. I had pocket jacks. So now, I was in the money and Florida had covered. That combination made me a dangerous player.

I was in the final 2 and had decided it was time to use the no-look all-in strategy, since it was designed for heads-up play. This plan obviosuly shocked Henry, as he had to fold several hands to me. I skillfully decided not to use this plan the times he was holding pocket jacks and other high cards, which probably tilted him a bit. Finally, I decided to just call and see a flop. I had Q-7 and flopped 2 pair, Henry had middle pair and a straight draw, so he went all in. I called and ended up winning with a full house, queens over 7. Got the first place money and a Harry Potter wizard hat.

On Friday night, in our EC game, I had pocket queens and made a full house, queens full of sevens, only to get busted when Searcy turned over his jackpot winning hand of quad sevens. So it was really cool to win with that hand. And even though the George schools probably cost me more than $20, it was nice to get some revenge against George Mason at the same time.

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