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My Would-Be Diamond Royal Flush

Posted on February 7, 2009 by under Poker.    

This is why they say that you shouldn’t rabbit-hunt. First, allow me to provide a background.

We are only at $200-$400 blind level and I am already crippled. Crippled because I hadn’t been getting any cards, but it was one momentous hand that really took most of my chips. Here’s the story of how I got into this sad state so early in the game:

So I finally get after over half an hour of just folding my cards. It is the first hand that I’m actually able to play. The flop comes and I have a straight draw. There are two hearts on the board, however, indicating that someone could be on a flush draw also.

The turn comes and it is Qh. That gives me my straight. Someone could very well be holding two hearts, though. Richard is first to act and bets $2,000. I thought to myself that he can’t possibly have the flush. If he had the nuts, he would have checked (which is what I would have done). I convince myself that he is bluffing and, after much deliberation, raise to $5,000. This was a very big mistake as you will see later.

Another player calls. I figured, she has the flush. Ack! I didn’t put Richard on the flush even though he called my raise. He could very well have the flush also, though. I was for sure she was the one who had the flush.

Richard bets his final $2000 on the river. At this point I realized my mistake and figured out that I am hosed. Even though I was pot-committed, I decided to save what little chips I had left and fold. The only other player remaining in the hand called.

It turns out she had the straight and he had the nut flush (Ah Kh in he hole). That was good playing on his part, though, because he did the exact opposite of what I would do in that exact same situation which is what really convinced me that he was simply trying to buy the pot. That was an expensive lesson to learn.

A few folded hands later, I look down at Kd Jd. Flop comes Ad As 10d. I checked. Richard bets $2,000. I’m thinking to myself that this is what he did earlier. Instead of checking his big hand, he bet it. I had this nagging feeling that he didn’t have an ace, though. I was drawing to a gut-shot royal flush, but I could not put my tournament life on the line. That bet was about the same amount of chips as what I had left. Calling would have meant the end of the line for me if I was wrong.

I folded and he showed pocket deuces. I said, “I knew you didn’t have an ace!” I was dealing that so I rabbit-hunted just to see if I would have beat his deuces on the turn or river. I hate deuces because they are so easily beaten.

The turn was a blank and the river was a Qd, giving me a diamond royal flush. Ugh. I missed out on a good opportunity to double up!

The rest of the night it was a struggle to stay alive. I’m not sure how I made it to break. I had $8,000 left at that point, which is not even three blinds. Brian, on the other hand, was doing fantastic. He had almost $60,000 chips at break time. I was literally on life support, hanging by a thread.

Brian parlayed his chip stack to the final table. I knew half of the people remaining: Dill, Sunny, Rich (not the Richard at my original table; different guy), and Binder. Sunny got knocked out before the money. Dill got knocked out in fifth place.

Only Brian, Binder, Rich and another guy (we play with him a lot but his name escapes me at the moment) were left. They played a few more hands until the stacks were pretty much even. Brian who had been one of the chip leaders when the final table began, was only third in chips at this point. A chop was proposed. Brian agreed on the condition that Dan, our tournament director was guaranteed tips. They decided to chop $475 four ways at $115 each leaving $15 to Dan and the players would tip more as appropriate. Brian gave an additional $15, so we left with $100.

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I wanted to make sure Dan made money so I asked Brian if the other players tipped Dan as well. Brian said he thinks that there was at least one other player who tipped $15 and then maybe a couple more $10 tips. I saw Dill tip him too when he left. I hope Dan made good money last night. He is a good guy. As tournament director, you want to make at least 10% of the pot in tips. That’s a long night. Tournaments will usually run 4-5 hours.

BTW, Sunny and Scott and the rest of the WPTAPL/Highlands big shots are playing in the WPT Celebrity Invitational at the Commerce Casino in LA in three weeks. I’m not sure what day it airs, but remember to check it out. One of our friends might just make the televised final table!

Here’s Vince Van Patten of WPT, which has moved to FSN from the Travel Channel:

P.S. Shane celebrated his 32nd birthday last night. Happy birthday, Shane!

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