Poker Report: Super-Stack at the Bicycle Club Columbus

I'm going to start writing a quick little report after each poker game I play. The idea is to help me reinforce my good plays, recognize my bad plays, and help my writing. And to brag when I win. Tonight I played at The Bicycle Club in Westerville, in their regular Monday Night Super-Stack no-limit hold'em tournament.

Long story short, it was my first game in a month. Don't be shocked when I lose, but do feel free to mock me on Twitter for how I lost (read on to find out how.)

First Steps

The first table I'm at I have two club regulars to my left, Vab and Artie. Vab's a fun player who bluffs on occasion. Artie's a LAG who plays super-well post-flop. One of the worst things I do is rock up because I really want to win and can't stand parting with chips, so I've resolved to not worry about it and try to play solid poker. Immediately I'm catching good cards, making good reads, and upping my hands.

Notable Hand

Artie and I are in a hand together. I've got Queen/Jack of Diamonds out of position, but it's folded aroud to me and I raise for 3x the big blind. Artie calls.

The flop is King/Ten/Six rainbow -- no two cards are the same suit. I bet out half of the pot, and Artie calls.

The turn is a low card that probably didn't help anyone -- a blank. I bet half the pot again. Artie's obviously not liking this, but he calls.

The river is another high card but nothing that completes my straight. I bet out 3/4 of the pot. My hope is that this looks like a solid value-bet and Artie will fold. He goes into the tank -- literally with his head in his hands -- and doesn't know what to do. Defeated, he eventaully looks up and says "Fine, I'll have to pay you off" and calls, and I lose.

This was a great hand for me though! First, it shows the other players that I will bluff the river. Second, it nearly worked. If I had bet less, Artie would have called quickly, and had I bet more he may have seen through the deception.

Break

At the first break I have slightly above 28k in chips, after starting with 22,000. Blinds jump up to 200/400 after the break.

My Undoing

After the break, I'm not catching any hands but I'm occasionally stealing blinds and generally staying even, until I get moved to a new table.

Apparently everyone who busted out came from this table, because of the five other players, two have me well covered (and they're to my immediate left), and two have me nearly equalled. Only one player is very low, and he's two to my right. To my right is an old asian guy loudly humming what sound like traditional tunes, which just kills me. The atmosphere at my old table was jovial despite the relatively tight play. Here it's serious, and the chip leader is being very aggresive. To top it all off, the second chip leader has to have his options explained to him at every decision, which is slowing things down.

I'm not getting hands, or I'm getting hands that the action is forcing me out of. The antes have started and I'm dwindling fast.

Finally, in the cutoff seat, I get Ace/King of hearts! I'm commited, the minute I see my hand, I'm getting all my chips in.

The guy two to my right goes all in for his last few chips.

The guy to my immediate right -- the humming asian gent -- goes all in for roughly what I have.

And I go all in for the rest of mine.

Mistake #1

What the hell was I thinking? One shove from a guy on the edge and I'm a fool not to re-shove. But two? Someone's got aces. I figure this out right after I commit my chips.

Mistake #2

I can't see for shit. Captain Humming to my right has at least one 10k chip that I didn't see. He's got me way covered, possibly double my stack.

The short-stack had JJ, the asian guy has KK, and I have AK. Not only does a K hit -- I would have made it against just the jacks -- but both players made a club flush, but the King-high was best.

Lessons Learned

  1. When moving to a new table, take deep breaths and re-adjust your game. This probably cost me the most. I tried to figure out what the other players were doing, and I made an excellent read against the chip leader, but my whole game got thrown off in the new environment.
  2. When you have AK against two all-ins, someone's got aces or kings. If you don't significantly cover, bail. I still don't know why I thought that was a good plan.
  3. Trust my reads when the hands down to the river. I too-frequently second guess myself and give up on hands I could win (legitimately or otherwise). I did well with this tonight, gotta keep it in mind.