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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Check Behind with the Nuts

You may have heard of Jan von Halle checking behind with a Royal Flush at this years WSOP ... well, it works with a Straight Flush as well ;-)

Went to the Poker-Club again last Thursday for their €30 Deep-Stack tournament. 37 players showed up and I had a good start bringing my stack from 8,000 to around 14,000. But it could have been much more. With 45s it was just me (BB) and the SB in an unraised pot during the second level of the tournament. Flop came 3 of hearts, 6 of diamonds and 7 of hearts. The SB checked and (even so there were two hearts on the board) I decided to trap with my made straight. The turn was a 2 of diamonds. SB made a bet and I raised him and got a call. River was a 3 of diamonds. Now there was a possible flush on the board and I was happy that the small blind just checked and I checked behind. Most probably I had the same puzzled look like Jan when he opened his cards because I was holding 45 of diamonds for a straight flush. After I had hit my straight on the flop I totally forgot about the color of my cards.

If I hadn't read Jan's story I would have felt really dumb and silly and it most probably would have affected the whole play that evening. But things like that can happen. I laughed about myself and decided that this story has to go into the blog. But I was still focused on my game which was very important.

Shortly after that the first table was broken and a big stack (about 50.000 chips) came to our table. He was sitting to my immediate right (which turned out to be a very important factor). This guy was one of the worst players I've ever seen but totaly bullied the table. He called every single hand (raised some) and quite often went all-in on the flop against smaller stacks. I had to give up some of my chips against him when I was holding AK but didn't hit and he then showed me 47 for a total bluff.

He took out several people (being lucky more than once) but also gave away some chips. While he went to almost 60,000 chips (holding about one third of the chips at this table) I went down to 9,000. Finally I found KK. Mr. Maniac just called from EP and I went all-In. This was a strong overbet at the current blindlevel but I was sure that everyone would fold and Mr. Maniac would call. I had pushed him from a pot earlier (holding TT) so it was time for him to show the table again who's the boss. He called with QJ and I was up to almost 20,000 while he was now at 40,000.

On the last hand hand before our table was broken I received TT again. Being UTG I just called as I don't wanted to create a huge pot preflop with Mr. Maniac sitting in the BB. So it was just me, a MP player and Mr. Maniac in an unraised pot. The flop was an absolute dream: A-T-6 (no flushdraw). Mr. Maniac checked, I checked and the MP player went all-in for 11,000. Mr. Maniac thought for some time and then called(!) this all-in. Of course I went over the top with 20,000 and he had to call this too. MP player had A6 for two pair ... very reasonable all-in against two players who checked the flop to him. Mr. Maniac had A-9 for just a pair. My set won everything and I went to the new table with 55,000 chips while Mr. Maniac went to the other table with just 20,000 chips. He made it to the final table but busted in 8th position (out of the money) never recovering from that lost hand.

It's amazing how easily people are able to blow a good position. Just imagine that I played only a few hands till the final table from there (being quite unlucky in two hands) and went to the final table with 50.000 chips as 2nd or 3rd in chips. And this guy had that amount of chips already in the first third of the tournament.

At the final table it was a smooth sail into the money and down to the final four. Losing the next player took a long time then as every small stack was able to survive his all-in (some times in an amazing way). I got my share of luck in that time too when a miracle Ten on the river created a straight on the board and we had a split pot were I was almost destined to lose most of my stack. I then busted a player and we were down to three. With me and the other guy almost equal in chips (60,000 - 70,000) and the chipleader holding 175.000 chips the tournament went to a crapshot as the blinds already reached 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante. Therefore we decided on a deal and I was declared 2nd place finisher after 5 hours of play.

The tournaments at the Poker-Club are still among the better ones to be found but with only 8,000 chips (before 10K) and the introduction of antes they have a quality decrease to a PF=7.85. Still playable but not at the top of the list anymore. The double-deepstacks with 16,000 chips now have a PF=10.93 (also a decrease) but still good value for a €60 buy-in.


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