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Saturday, February 02, 2008

The weirdest Poker Night of my life

Tonight I went to The Sporting Emporium. This place is compared to the Jackpot Club like the Bellagio in comparison to the El Cortez. Or in other words a nice casino with a great victorian style atmosphere. They have Roulette and Black Jack on the first floor and a Pokerroom with 13 tables on the second floor. Entry is €20 (for a one year membership) but you get a €10 token for that. Drinks are free. The poker dealers are well educated and some of the fastest dealers I've ever seen.

As I was a little early I spend my $10 bet on Black Jack and of course lost it. But they have a hand-shuffled €3 minimum 6-deck game that allows multiple splits, double after split and surrender. The cut could be better but in general it was one of the better games I've seen for a long time. So I decided to kill some time there. Broke even but had fun to reactivate my Black Jack Skills.

The poker tournament ($50+5 with one RB or Add-On) had an interesting rule: If a player misses more than a whole round after the break (3rd level) he will be blinded down by posting the big blind every single round of the game until he comes back. I really like that rule.

I donked off my first buy-in with an over-aggressive bluff against an unbluffable opponent. With the second I was more careful and pumped it up to 22,000 till level 9. With blinds 400/800 and a 15K average I was in good shape and had much room for moves. With 22 of 54 left I was dealt 66 in late position and raised it to 2,400. The Big blind went all-in for 3,900. Another player called the bet and so did I. Flop was 5KT and we both checked. Turn was a 6 and made me a set. Here I made my first big mistake by just checking again. River was a Queen and the other guy bet 1,500 into a 12,000 pot. Mistake number two: There are times were it is better to call than to raise ... especially on the river. But I decided to make it a raise to 5,000 and was faced by an all-in. The pot was now 34,000 and I had to call another 12,000. No way I could let this monster go here. Unfortunately my Set wasn't good as I was facing a straight with AJ. With just 800 chips left I went all-in with J9 a little later and was called by JJ.

If you read my posts in the past you read a lot about being card dead and the bad beats I received. This time there's noboy than myself to blame. I blew it myself. By just calling his suspiciously small bet I would have still had an average chipcount of around 15,000 chips. Definately one of my biggest mistakes I ever made. With that mistake I threw away a good shot on the final table.

I wasn't really in the mood for playin cashgame but there is an important rule in Rock'n'Roll dancing: If you fell down at an arial do it again as soon as possible - preferrable immidiately. This is the best way to avoid bad feelings in the future. I was in the same situation here. A good poker player has to make his peace with wrong decisions as fast as possible - especially with a big tournament around the corner.

Little did I know at this time how good this decision was. Bought in for €100 at an €1/2 PL game and pumped it up to €282 with a straight against two pair quite soon. Just two rounds later I got dealt 44. The flop was A45. There was a bet, a call and I made it €220 to go (pot). First one folded but second called (had him covered). What I didn't know at this time was that I was way behind. He was holding 55 for a higher set and was happy to call as he put me on a set of 4s. A set of Aces was unlikely due to the way the betting happend. But sometimes even the Shadow hits an one-outer on the river. Quad 4's and I was uo to €430. Gave some back on a missed open-ended straight and flushdraw but the poker gods loved me this night. With Q6 in the big blind it was just called around. Flop was QQx and I decided to check. One player bet €10 and the others folded. I called. Turn was nuts ... THE nuts as the last Q appeard on the board. I checked it again and he bet another €20. Just called. River was a blank and this time I bet €50 into a €120 pot after some hesitation. I was very delighted to get called here. Up to €396 I cashed out after 80 minutes of play. What a way to end a poker night. There are days were I love poker...!


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