|This is just a sample pic, not from our game|
The goals of the league are pretty straightforward - we compete in these weekly tourneys to win the greatest percentage of that week's buyins. A portion of our buyins, however, go to one large pot that, come summer and WSOP-time, the top few players who have the most points (i.e, have done better overall throughout the year in the weekly games) will have earned $1000 buyin seats.
I know the exact mileage to L's house because I made the decision to play yesterday at the last minute and needed to calculate whether I had enough time to get there. I did, but just barely. I had to scramble since one of the prerequisites to a bonus chip is that we bring a 12-pack of something to drink. Luckily, we had a 12-pack, minus about 4 cans, of Root Beer in the pantry. I was able to scrounge up a complete 12-pack by throwing in the odd Coke and Big Red. Diet, of course, because, you know, we're healthy like that.
I wasn't planning on going because the weather has just been so nice - late in the day, we decided to BBQ and some good friends came over. L's league games are a scheduled event though (I've only played it two other times and have had to cancel a few times), and so as I was talking with everyone about whether or not to go, my love said simply - "just go, we'll cook you a steak. If you bust out early, come on home and it'll be waiting." Ah...how sweet, right? My poker buddy Terry had been texting me, trying to get me to go, so with all that encouragement I did my one absolute ritual: had my daughter kiss my card protector (please don't call CPS because she knows what a card protector is). I love this card protector (which she gave me).
|Froggy, your standard PetShop toy|
That's a boatload of verbiage to basically get to the point of this post, working with whatcha got - or, taking care of your stack. If you followed my tweets from that night, you know I had a pretty standard game. Nothing too amazing, tricky, or spewy in the first few rounds. The one thing I noticed was that I was just having fun. I had no concern for my cards and/or worry about raises and/or the players in front of me or acting behind. My mood was happy to be playing and trying to focus on betting patterns and any reads based on same (I was so happy inside when I put a guy on Js and that's exactly the hand he turned over. I wasn't in the hand). A couple of times when folded to me, I played some hands I normally wouldn't open with and I called behind in MW pots with hands I'd generally raise with. I had to lay down AKs once in such a spot, but J8s ended up being a nice winner.
By the time we'd made it to the final table, I'd taken a bit of a hit to my stack. I was lowman on the totem pole and had some work to do, but oh did I have interference to my left: cL directly to my left, then, my friend Terry, and next to her - a big stack who was basically a nit/spewtard (a lovely gentleman who on a previous table had raised 3x in a row. 3rd time he did it, I was on B and reraised. He thought a minute and said, "ok, honey, I'll let you have my 3500 *this* time." I smiled sweetly and said, "thank you, honey." I don't think he liked that, but I'm not sure. He just said, "you're welcome.")
|My final table stack|
With all that interference, I really had to pick my spots carefully. When I'm in that position, I mentally talk to myself. Normally, the poker gods listen and reward my positive self-talk. This time, however, I kept getting dealt 92o, 84o, you know - the dreaded 72o. With those holdings, what's a girl to do?
Raise it up! You better chip up or go home, sister. I knew my steak was long cold by now and we weren't yet even in the money so something had to give. Over the next three-to-five orbits I pick spots and I shovey-dovey and take down blinds. I'm back to fighting weight and we've lost a few in the process - ITM!
S, to my right, has played many events, including WSOPc events and I'd overheard him earlier telling someone that he'd chopped a recent one for first, taking down $7000. I'd never played him before, so I didn't have much information. All I know is that he and I were about equal in stacks. He's two to my right...not raising every button, but almost (as he should), and I've folded each time. The next time, I tell myself, if he min-raises, I'm raising.
It's next time. I'm overjoyed because the poker gods have gifted me with a beautiful big blind of J4o. S min raises his button. I reraise and, for the most part, am AI. He tanks and shoves. I made my decision, it's now time to follow through, "I call." He has Axo and I flop a J. GG (I just had him covered).
Ah - a little breathing room. I'm not cL but I'm also not SS anymore. We've lost two more and are now 5-handed. Finally, just when I needed it, the poker gods pay me another visit. I look down at a glorious Q4o. It was the typical blind v blind battle. I'm SB, cL (who by this point had taken a hit or two but still had me well covered) is BB. I raise it up. He calls. Flop comes x7x - I shove. If he calls, he's left with 2500 (about 1.5bbs). He tanks. He knows how to play this game...he tanks and tanks and tanks.
Now generally when I'm in this position, I'm in turmoil inside. I am so competitive that I want to win everything. It's such a huge leak because there can be no emotion in this game - you either make the best decisions you can with the information you have and chalk the outcome up to experience or you make yourself miserable with all the bad beats you're going to experience when you do get it in good and lose (which was obviously not the case here).
In that moment, I truly didn't care what happened. Sure, I wanted him to fold because I had squatcha nada, but I knew in my heart that I'd played my A-game.
cL made an excellent call. He had A7o. And I turned a Q. Down to what was effectively one big blind, (former) cL proceeded to rally over the next few orbits with some excellent holdings (Ks and As) and began what he hoped was a come back.
Now that I am cL, I am exerting pressure. I'm still not really getting any great cards, but whatever I have, it's doing the trick. Finally, we're 4-handed (my friend Terry played a helluva a game but got unlucky when SB woke up with a hand against her average stack and B raise). Former cL is still hanging at 10-15bbs. Nit/spewtard is making some raises a few times but is folding to AIs from the Guy To My Right (GTMR). Finally, I'm B, former cL is SB and N/S is BB. I look down at A4o and raise it up. SB folds and N/S goes AI. I've got him well-covered and call. He flips up A8s. Ugh, I'm dominated. Until...until the flop brings me a 4. And the turn brings me another 4. Wheeeee! He was so mad.
Can you imagine what those three gentlemen were thinking? Here's a gal showing down hands like Q4, J4, A4 (seriously, those were my showdowns. I told Terry later, the only pairs I got all night were 2s, 6s, 7s and Js and the only hands that did anything for me were the 7s) - I'm a total luckbox, right? ;-)
Former cL and I were BvB again - he had 2bbs. I had 94o, "I'm AI" What am I gonna do? Fold there? He turns over 84o. GG
Poor GTMR. Important note, however: when we sat down at FT 9-handed, someone made a comment about chopping. He and former cL both averred with much (and deserved - they are the top two on the league's leader board) confidence that they play to win. GTMR added, after expressing purposefully pointed surprise at seeing two women at a final table, "you've got to have GANAS to play this game." So, when we're heads up and he asks me, "what do you want to do?" I responded, "don't you want to keep playing?" So, yeah...no, we're not going to chop, Mr. nice GuyToMyRight (with ganas).
I think we played 7 hands. It was a very fun night.
|$435 - ship it|
If you've read this far, thank you! And if you railed via twitter last night, BIG TIME thanks! It's so fun to have a rail, even more so when it's a good night. You guys made it truly fun-ner.
I hope you're chip stack ninja-ing it up in your own games, peeps. Good luck at the tables, my friends.