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September 25, 2005

Chip And A Chair Part 2

Posted at September 25, 2005 06:04 AM in Personal Poker Experiences , by Sack.

So there I was, waiting in line at the local Wal-Mart with my thumb up some chick’s… wait, wrong story. But the end of that one is she says, “ excuse me, do I know you?” This story begins it’s end with me not quite as short as the short stack, only seven players left and only three of us will gain anything out of it. The big stack has 5 or six times the amount I do, with 2nd through 5th not too far off his pace, and me and one other guy are applying for government assistance. Blinds are at a point that I know in any raised pot that it could potentially be my last hand. That exact scenario came up sooner than I had hoped.

I believe I was in the small blind, and I get K-J suited. There is a pre-flop raise in early position, with 2 other callers when it gets to me. Calling this will cost me around a third of my chips, but I know if I hit it big that the pot is already going to be meaningful to me. I almost move in for some reason, but I just call. My Jack hits top pair on the flop, and I bet out the minimum to see what’s out there (probably should have went ahead and moved). One guy stays in with me. Next comes the ace, and I decide to go ahead and move. My thinking here is that if he had A-J he would have pushed me on the flop, my worry is that he may have called my min bet originally with 2 over cards, possibly the ace, in which case I am dead. He called me and I thought I was a gonner, but luckily he had J-10, and I won it, doubling up!

Now I’ve gone from a chip and a chair to actually being right in the mix of things. For the first time since the first few hands I could relax and get comfy. I could actually afford not to gamble on hands. This is where my play began to hurt me. I had fought so hard and taken so many chances to get this far, I didn’t have it left in me to gamble and take chances on hands that I could now. Guess you could say that Sack’s sack shrank up a little bit. I laid back too much and missed some prime opportunities. Namely I had several middle of the road hands, such as Q-10, low pocket pairs, and that range of hands that I usually like to see for cheap, that I just folded when I could see them cheap. Problem being that I had three such hands in a short span that connected big time, and if I only got paid off big on one such hand I could easily have become the chip leader. Instead I folded them away. Now, they weren’t bad folds really, just folds that could have potentially paid off. If I did play them and not connect, then I would have been nickeling and diming myself back down again. A case can be made either way for any of those hands, but the bottom line was that I was still in it, could actually afford to play some, and had a legit shot at making the money.

The larger stacks picked off a few people, I took a few small pots and stole a blind or two, and soon we were a group of four. 2 chip leaders were comfortably in front, and me and the other guy were close in chips but not in immediate danger. For a little while chips just got passed back and forth, then a shining light came as one of the big stacks took about half of the other shorts stacks chips (I think it was a beautiful bluff that did it too). Now I felt like I could easily roll into 3rd. Several hands later the short stack in the small blind with me the big and I get A-Q. He only calls, and I should push him here, but for some reason I felt like I was going to win this hand either way. I check and a beautiful lady comes out on the flop. I know I have him now. I min bet it, hoping he’d push, but he only calls. Next card seems of no consequence, and I proceed to bet his remaining chips. He mulls it over a few seconds and calls. The final card doesn’t phase me either, knowing I won the hand. Until I see chips sliding his way, and realize he hit a gutshot straight draw on the river! I was baffled, mainly because he called originally with nothing, and then called the second time for all his chips with only 4 outs. Suddenly I’m mad- and he and I basically just change places in chip stacks, so I’m hurting badly.

Very next hand I’m kind of tilting, moving all in from the small blind with K-6, big stack calls, and I get lucky and double up (I don’t know what he had, I may have been best all along, but in my perception I got lucky). So now we’re back to where we began with 4 players again. The other guy played so wild, up and down. He’d lose half his chips one hand, then double back up the next, teasing me each and every time his chips were all out there. The big stack wussed out on many many times he probably should have took a shot at the other guy, which was just making this all the more intense for me.

Finally, something had to give. With the other short stack under the gun (position following the big blind) he pulled one of his now redundant acts of moving all in, I have him covered only slightly. I had pocket Jacks. I almost wanted to just let it go as crazy as it sounds, but as many times as the big stacks had folded their blinds away to this guy, I felt I had to try to do the job myself. So I call, and wouldn’t ya know the ONE time I don’t want the big man to call, he does. I only have about 73 chips left after his call, so this is gonna be it for me either way. I love this low flop that comes, 3-3-7. He bets me my remaining chips, of course I call. The turn is another beautiful low card- a nine. I love it, rainbow and nothing quite to a straight yet either. The only way it could be any better looking to me at this point would be if a jack was there. Final card hits… a king. Big stack shows his K-6. But I also know I had the other guy covered, which would give me third and in my eyes a successful chip and a chair story to share. Only he flips up A-3 to win the hand! Of all the friggin’ luck!

And thus ended my incredible run battling back from only a chip and a chair, one spot, one hand, one card away from actually winning some money. There’s so much more to the story than this, but I feel it is long enough as it is. Throughout there was a lot of great play on my part, mixed in with a good bit of luck as well. I felt I played to the highest level for the entirety of my comeback, only to lapse once I got comfortable again. But this one tournament helped me to learn a lot of things, most important being that as long as you’re in it, you’re not out of it. And next time I’ll have all the more motivation to actually win the thing. So when you see Sack in your tournament sitting in dire straits, go ahead and click the auto fold button, cuz I ain’t going nowhere.

All Heart, No Chips

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