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The Wedding Party Poker Tournament
After spending twenty five years watching your older brother win poker championships, it's only natural that you'd become a good player yourself. That's why my sister Molly included a poker tournament as part of the festivities at her recent wedding.
Forty five mostly beginner players anteed up and, as you might expect, my chips soon began to grow. These novices simply played too many hands and called too many big bets. As for me, I never bluffed and always bet big when I had it.
For example, once I called with A-9 and the flop came down 9-9-7. I bet small to keep the other players in the hand. The turn was a seven. I made a huge bet with my full house and got called by two players. The river was the last nine giving me quads. I moved all-in and again got called by two spots.
Later, when we reached the final two tables, this hand came up.
With blinds at 150/300, two players limped in and I looked down at pocket tens. I made it 2,500 to go. The players in both blinds plus two limpers called.
The flop was Qd-10c-9c. The small blind bet out 2,000, the big blind called, one of the limpers called, and then I shoved all-in for 22,000. Both blinds called all-in while the other limper, who was second in chips behind me, folded his A-J.
The hands were flipped up: A-Q for the small blind, Kc-Jc for a flopped straight for the big blind, and my set of tens. The turn was a four but a nine fell on the river and I scooped the huge pot with a full house.
Oh, to have this hand come up in a WSOP or a WPT event!
Let's take a closer look.
I like the limp in with A-J at a super-loose table. There's no reason to raise it up when so many players are certain to call, and when you need to hit your hand to win the pot.
I also like my mega-sized eight-times-the-big-blind pre-flop raise with 10-10. My objective was to clear some players out of the pot and hope for a nine-high flop so I could power out a huge bet and get called with top or second pair. I guess I could have just called with pocket tens but considering that I had the chip lead, I didn't want someone with say, 6-4, to get lucky and hit a flop like 6-4-3.
Calling my huge pre-flop raise with A-Q is okay with me but the call with Kc-Jc seems a little loose. The fourth player's limp call with A-J was a little thin but the lineup was weak and his hand was getting great odds of roughly five-to-one.
I don't like the 2,000 bet with A-Q on the flop. He should have moved all-in for his last 5,400 instead. I mean, really, he just flopped top pair with top kicker!
The Kc-Jc smooth call was solid, although with only 4,800 chips left, this player should have shoved all-in, too.
My all-in move was a good play as I needed to protect my hand and wanted to get it all-in while I was the likely favorite. No way did I want to see some crazy straight card or flush card pop up on the turn.
The A-J laydown was a great decision. That player correctly reasoned that in order to win the pot, he needed to hit a lucky king or eight to make a straight, and likely had to avoid the board from pairing or a flush card from hitting.
Good fold, man, better to save your last 16,000 chips for a better spot!
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