Jack Fall Classic Series

August of 2017 turned out to be a hot month for poker in Ohio.  And since we have NO online poker sites to turn to for satellites, (thank you, US government) we must play the live versions.  Luckily, both Hollywood Columbus Casino and Jack Cincinnati Casino decided to have their poker series within a week of each other.

As you know I have min-cashed at the Columbus kickoff $350 event, so I was riding high with the hopes of another solid performance.  I got all my ducks in a row.  Took two days off work, to make sure I can play both starting days if things don’t go my way on the first try.  Got my bankroll ready.  Even hit a cash giveaway for a thousand bucks just to make sure I have enough wiggle room in my bankroll to play.  Poker Gods however, had different plans.

Unfortunately for all my well laid plans, I caught a cold a day before the kickoff event, and ended up spending both of my days off, and the whole weekend, with the miserable sniffles.  I heard that most of the events didn’t even make their guarantees, and I did not get a chance to grab my slice of the pie.  So sad.  I think I need go get a flu shot.  It’s been over a decade since I’ve been vaccinated.


The Protective Shove

I wanted to review a poker hand that I was involved with this past Sunday at Jack Cincinnati.  I was playing my usual Sunday morning $160 buy-in $10,000 guaranteed tournament.  I really like the structure of this tournament, so I try to play it every weekend.  The blind levels are 30 minutes, which allows you to take your time and not hurry the action.  Plus, Jack just eliminated the antes at the lower levels, so the game goes a lot quicker.  You don’t get blinds until way into the final table, and it saves a lot of time.  Anyway, the pace is always very leisurely, and I like that a lot.

We were about to get down to 4 tables (final table made money), we were running a bit shorthanded, and I was in the big blind for 1600.  Everyone folded to the button, and he raised to 3300.  This guy was definitely the chip leader at our table.  He came to our table about 20 minutes beforehand, and immediately started pushing people around.  I was in a card slump, and for the most part, just tried to stay out of his way.  The small blind folded, and I peeked at A6 suited.  I know this is not my usual protective range, but something about his demeanor suggested that he just wanted to steal my blinds.  I thought about it for a few seconds, and looked him over.  He seemed nervous, and uneasy.   So I decided to put him to the test, and shoved for over 35k.  He snap called, and flipped over pocket Queens, I flipped over my A6 suited.  The flop came 2 6 Q, all rainbow, I sighed in disgust and got up from my chair.  There was another 6 on the turn, and 10 on the river.  I mumbled “Good game” through my clenched teeth, and walked to my car.

I was really mad at myself for misjudging the raiser guy, and busing out right before the final table.  At first, I was convinced that I made a huge mistake, and if only I just called, or even folded to the raise, I would still be in the tournament.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that no matter how I played it, the end result would be the same.  Even if I slow played it, and not shoved preflop, I would surely get it all in on the turn, with the trip 6s and an Ace kicker.  And he still would have snap called me with a set of Queens, and I would still be out.

I was running the scenario in my head over and over, all the way into Monday afternoon.  Then I caught the third episode of the 2016 WPT Montreal, where Darryll Fish made an exact same shove with A2 offsuit into a beautiful AK.  He was heads up, so really shorthanded, and the other guy kept raising aggressively.  Darryll just had to stand up to the aggression, he saw an ace in his hand, and me decided to shove it.  He got busted out too, but in 2nd place.  Seeing such a successful professional poker player do the same exact move I’ve been agonizing over for two days brought me a sense of relief.  I realized that I did make the right move by shoving into that raise, and in order for me to maintain my aggressive style, I will have to make moves like that every once in a while.  And even though I will lose some of those shoves, it is still the correct decision.  And that what poker skill is all about.  Making the right decision.  I’ll try to refrain from shoving weak aces this Sunday.


After School Special

It has not been that long since I finished my writing class, and my desire to practice the skill of writing has not abandoned me.  With this journal I hope to improve my own writing skills, and hopefully, provide some interesting or at least entertaining reading material.

What I am going to write about?  First off, Poker! I am absolutely hooked on the game, and in my quest to become a professional poker player, I will devote a lot of time and attention to studying and perfecting my game.  I will start out by discussing some general game issues, and follow with a review and analysis of nearby casinos and card rooms.  I will also discuss home games and how they are different from the raked game in a commercial poker room.  I wanted to devote a whole section of my blog to promote the game of poker, both live and online, so expect a lot of links and promotions.  Please do me a favor and click on some of those links, it will make me feel like I have done something productive.

Coming next :  The Early Days, Lawrenceburg, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Cleveland, Louisville, Hammond (East Chicago), Pittsburgh.

I need to get a giant wall map.  And a dry erase board for my brainstorms.  If you are feeling extra giving this holiday season, please make my WISH come true.