Sorry about the delay between posts for the Tournament of Champions. There’s been a lot going on lately. I believe we left off where I had just won a significant pot because I got extremely lucky when I was trying to steal the blinds…
Because I had the chip lead I felt no real need to push too hard against my opponents as I wanted them to start chipping away at each other. This strategy was working well as I watched a couple of the other players take each other out. I picked up the occasional strong hand and was able to play back at some people as well. On one such occasion Dan, aka “Highway A”, had raised a pot where I picked up a pair of
While this was going on Mark, who also is the league’s director, was starting to pick up some chips and had about half as many as I did. I looked around to see where all my opponents were at, and the approximate chip positions were:
everyone else, <3000
With the chip positions as they were the only player that could hurt me significantly was Mark. He also happened to be seated on my immediate left, which is a bad spot for me to have him at the table. It was this fact that started my decline. We were at six players, and I found myself holding Ace-Ten. I was in early position so I raised. At a six-handed table Ace-Ten has a slightly better than 50% chance to be the best hand dealt. After I raised Mark reraised. Everyone else folded, and the action was back to me. Mark’s reraise had put in about 40% of his stack so I really didn’t think he’d be able to fold his hand. Also, I’m sure Mark was aware of the chip stacks and the fact that I was the only one who could knock him out at the moment so I decided that his hand had to be pretty strong if he was going to risk getting knocked out at this stage of the tournament. I decided to fold. That obviously put Mark and I a little closer to each other in chips.
This incident wouldn’t have made the blog except for the fact that this scenario happened two more times within about a 40 minute span. I raise, Mark reraises, and then I fold. The two times it happened after that I had Ace-Nine, which I folded for very much the same reasons as I explained earlier, and then it happened again when I was stealing with Ace-Three. That time I was banking on the fact that Mark just couldn’t keep catching hands when I was. Well, I guess I was wrong. It was that, or he just realized that he was able to steal from me in that position. Either way, it was working for him and it was killing my chip stack. After those hands took place we had basically flip flopped chip positions.
Mark was also scooping some pots by eliminating opponents. He managed to eliminate Rock when Mark got it all in preflop with 7-7 against Rock’s Q-Q. The action had gone: Mark raised, Rock reraised all in, and Mark called. Given the action I was very surprised to see what Mark was holding, but he must have known something I didn’t since the river (last card) was a 7, giving Mark a set of 7s and sending Rock to the rail. I was eliminated shortly after that when I got it all in with AQ against Don’s pair of 3s and I didn’t win the coin flip. That crippled me and I went out in 4th place a couple of hands after that.
The final three were set, and it was at this point that Don decided to get a little creative with his raising of the pot. To fully understand what happened here you have to know that in poker, if you announce your action your statement is binding. If you don’t say anything and perform an action then that action is binding, but it must be done all at once. Well, Don announced that he as going to raise to 2400, but when he put his chips out he only put out 1400. No problem, we pointed out the “accidental” mistake and it was corrected because he announced his bet. On the very next hand, Don decided to raise again, but this time he put out 400 less than what he announced. Once again, we had him correct it, but now it was time to definitely give him a hard time about his ability to count chips. A couple hands go by, and then Don wanted to raise again. This time he grabbed his chips ahead of time, was made sure to look at me as he announced in a mocking tone, “I’m raising to 2400. Does that look right this time?” To which Adam replied, “Well, you only put 1400 out there again, so you owe another 1000!” Now, I know Don wasn’t doing this intentionally, but it was too hard to pass up ripping him for the mistakes. By the way, did I mention he’s a teacher of children? I’m guessing that those children are not our future. I sure hope those poor kids can pass their math tests!! Just kidding ya, Don.
Shortly after that Mark, now known as the “River King”, got involved in a pot with Pete. In an unraised pot, the flop had shown up with the following three cards: Ad-8d-something non diamond. Pete moved all in, and Mark decided to call. Pete turned over Kd-9d giving him the nut flush draw, and Mark turned over 7d-3d. Mark was down to only six outs, and he also had to dodge any diamond in the process! Well, the turn card missed both players, and the river was a 3, giving Mark the win and eliminating Pete.
In an unraised pot, the flop came Kx-8x-X. Both players check the flop. The turn was a 4. After a bet by Don and a raise by Mark, Don shoved all in. Mark thought about it and called. Don table a King for top pair, and Mark showed J4 for bottom pair. Mark needed to catch either a Jack or 4 on the river to win, and as Adam dealt the last card it was a…4!! Mark won again on the river! Mark was very gracious in his win as I think even he realized how lucky he got on those three hands…three rivers!! Wow! This, friends, is the “class of the CCPL”. Make a note of Mark's pose here as I think I can sum it up as "F.U.! Look at these hands and your new CCPL Champ!"